Sometimes our gaming heroes simply don’t present themselves in the form of a knight in shining armor. For some, it’s much easier to swashbuckle, drink and even plunder their way through adventure just in time to save the girl, unearth the treasure, and sail of into the sunset. These are the pirate scallywags we can’t help but adore, each waking a moral line that while questionable believe they are doing so for all the right reasons.

Here’s our list of the top 5 pirates in video games, with the odd surprise or two thrown in for good measure!

  1. Ridley (Metroid)

Reptilian leader of the space pirates or “interstellar nomads” to be more exact, Ridley is the ultimate yin to Samas Aran’s yang. Although his rank amongst the league of space pirates always remains unclear, his overarching power and desire to destroy anything remotely good makes him one of the most dangerous pirates on this list.

Despite no need for a conventional intergalactic ship for that matter (hence the wings), Ridley is the enemy who just doesn’t know when to quit or take no for an answer. He’s been bested by our blue-laden heroine but due to advances in space pirate engineering he keeps on coming back for more, always larger and always more beastly. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

  1. Guybrush Threepwood (Monkey Island)

Originally little more than an awkward teenager who wouldn’t dream of perfecting his sea legs, over the course of various Monkey Island games, Guybrush Threepwood has more than earned his place as one of video games’ best pirates not least due to his ability to wiggle his way out of a tricky situation. First taking up the buccaneer mantle by defeating ghostly pirate LeChuck (before his revenge), Threepwood with his partner Marley is no stranger to exploring the seven seas.

  1. Tetra (Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker)

Don’t be fooled by the color and whimsical charm of this young pirate’s attire or facial expressions, Tetra is a swashbuckling landlubber in every sense of the word, following in the footsteps of her deceased mother to become leader of the pirates with a “go get em” attitude to prove it. Unlike most female characters in the Zelda series, Tetra is a gal that can look after herself, thanks in part to her nautical sense of adventure.

If a badass curved scimitar and red bandana wasn’t enough for you, her boisterous attitude is proof enough that there’s a wild fire within her. Despite eventually being revealed over the course of the game that she is in fact the true princess of Hyrule, if ever we do see a direct sequel to The Wind Waker we’re pretty sure she won’t stay on land for too long.

  1. Vaas (Far Cry 3)

Perhaps not the most obvious choice for this list, Vaas from Far Cry 3 is someone who definitely earns his place dining with the most villainous of them but also isn’t a stranger to engaging in all things pirate-related – particularly in the modern sense. Vaas was the merciless pirate lord who reigned supreme over a tropical island just off of the pacific ocean. Obsessed with discovering what the meaning of insanity actually is, it isn’t long before you as Jason Brody start to think you may be staring at it.

He might not have much of the traditional pirate about him, yet when you strip away the parrot, the eye-patch and peg leg, what you have left is one of the most unruly and mentally twisted psychos to ever grace a remote island which would otherwise be ideal for a vacation.

  1. Edward Kenway (Assassin’s Creed IV)

So, let’s get the one everyone will be expecting out of the way and ticked off the list. After the slight miss-step that was the rather moody and downbeat Connor in Assassin’s Creed III, it was a refreshing rejuvenation to see such a charismatic and fleshed out character back in the driving seat of the franchise in the form of Assassin’s Creed IV’s Edward Kenway.

A welsh-born privateer-turned-pirate who wasn’t afraid to play the part of the lady’s man, Edward Kenway warmed our hearts with his thrilling sense of adventure and fast & loose view on life. Whether it’s through piloting his trademark ship the Jackdaw in an attempt to overthrow enemy vessels or simply by traversing the tropical rooftops of either Havana, Nassau or Kingston, there be pirate blood in this one that’s for certain!