3. Donkey Kong – “Donkey Kong”
It’s clear to even non-gamers that the star of the original “Donkey Kong” game, Mario—known as Jumpman at that point—won over enough fans to become one of the most iconic game characters ever. The titular villain of the game managed to carve out a fan base, too. The inexplicably named ape with a knack for barrel tossing may have begun his career with kidnapping, but would go on to become a hero in his own right. His love of barrels has never subsided, though, so perhaps we should keep an eye on him.