The most iconic video game characters have specific characteristics that make them stand out as memorable. For some, it’s their attitudes towards situations and how they treat their friends and enemies. Others may be known for their sheer strength in taking down enemies, either with a weapon or with powers.
But even the most subtle detail like an article of clothing could be what most players think about when asked about a certain character. One clothing item that has been on many iconic video game characters is a pair of gloves. Over the years, gloves have become a major part of gaming in a bevy of ways.
10 Hitmonchan – Pokemon
While gloves can be a fashion statement, sometimes it is important to the purpose of the character’s behavior or job. Hitmonchan is a fighting-type Pokemon that has boxing gloves for its hands. It has appeared since the first Pokemon generation and is among the more iconic creatures to have notable handwear.
This humanoid Pokemon has many moves that revolve around the ability to pound any other creatures into the ground, from the initial Drain Punch to moves such as Power-Up Punch and Focus Punch. It is also a very defensive Pokemon in that the creature it evolves from must have its Defense statistic higher than its Attack statistic in order to evolve into Hitmonchan.
9 Sly Cooper
Being a thief requires wearing clothing items that will protect them from leaving any trace of themselves behind, like gloves. One of the most iconic gentleman thieves in gaming, Sly Cooper, has a signature pair of blue and yellow gloves that he has on at almost all times.
One of the many mascot platformers on the PlayStation 2, Sly Cooper tells the story of the raccoon whose family has a rooted history in being thieves and works together with his friends to take on villains that have wronged Sly personally or that are doing bad things in the world-at-large.
There are characters that wear gloves, but then there are characters that are gloves. In one of the stranger N64 era platformers, Glover stars a glove with two fingers for arms and two fingers for legs. This lovable clothing item sets out to help a civilization called the Crystal Kingdom become fully restored.
The gameplay has players use Glover to push a ball from one end of a stage to another. Players can maneuver the ball in any way they see fit to get them to the finish, which includes both rolling and bouncing the ball plus much more. There are a total of six worlds which include three regular stages and a boss stage.
7 NES Power Glove
The most famous gaming peripheral that involves wearing a glove is the NES Power Glove, which was made by Mattel and was released in the U.S. in 1989. The glove was long with a device attached to its sleeve that had a configuration of buttons on top that the user can program and a normal setup for a controller on the bottom.
While the glove could be used for a handful of normal NES games, there were two games specifically released for the accessory: a puzzle game called Super Glove Ball and a beat ’em up called Bad Street Brawler. Unfortunately, other games that were planned to work specifically for the Power Glove were canned.
6 Master Hand – Super Smash Bros.
Speaking of characters that are just hands, Master Hand is maybe the most iconic for being one of the early introductions of a boss in the Super Smash Bros. series. The character would go on to appear in various Kirby games as well and his inspiration may have come from Wham Bam Rock from Kirby Super Star.
Master Hand, along with his left-handed partner Crazy Hand, has interesting attack patterns including slamming down on fighters or even just trying to sweep them away. There’s also a finger gun attack that actually produces bullets that players need to avoid. While other bosses in Super Smash Bros. have possibly overshadowed Master Hand, he will always be considered the original.
5 Joker – Persona 5
While there have been plenty of older characters listed here, one character has become so iconic despite having his first appearance be as recently as 2016. Joker, the main protagonist of Persona 5, has a recognizable look with his black-and-white mask and blood-red gloves.
After leaving his hometown after a false accusation ruined his name, Joker comes to Tokyo where he and his new friends wake up one day with the power of Persona. Using the powers given to them, they become the Phantom Thieves of Heart to try to stop people from acting on malicious thoughts and find a way to defeat those demons.
4 Sora – Kingdom Hearts
He stars alongside one of the most iconic characters with gloves in Mickey Mouse, so it makes sense that Sora of Kingdom Hearts would have his own set of memorable handwear that he has as he takes on the Heartless and travels to various Disney worlds.
In the original game, Sora has white fingerless gloves with blue and yellow stripes that attach to a metal plate on the back of his hand. Future games see the gloves evolve, including black gloves with a white crisscross pattern on the back and a longer pair of gloves that have a mix of black, gray, red, and yellow.
3 Little Mac – Punch-Out!!
While there has already been one boxer-like character on this list, it would be hard to keep going without mentioning one of the most famous boxers in video games in Little Mac. The star of the old-school Punch-Out!! games, the green-gloved athlete was seen as an underdog during most of his fights because of his stature.
However, all the player needed to do is have patience in these games as the goal was to try to read the biggest opponents Little Mac would face to try to memorize their pattern of attack and take advantage. Despite being more of an avatar than an in-depth character, it’s hard not to have love for the guy who will take down any foe with just his pair of gloves.
2 Knuckles – Sonic The Hedgehog
While Sonic the Hedgehog is known for having a nice set of gloves as well, they pale in comparison to the sheer style that is Knuckles the Echidna. His gloves are the typical white gloves that players have seen many famous characters wear across gaming.
However, with his introduction in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, the notable difference with his gloves are the two spikes that stand out from his knuckles. Without hearing him speak a single line in the game, players could probably tell that this guy was going to be tough. And despite many characters wearing gloves throughout the franchise, his stand out as the most memorable.
The most famous face in all video games may also have the most famous gloves. Since as early as Super Mario Bros. 2, Mario has been marketed as wearing gloves on his journey despite the in-game art not necessarily making them stand out. However, as more adventures came out, the more the gloves became defined.
The iconic gloves are generally simple white gloves, but they are notable in that they have three ovals that make a pattern on the back of the gloves. This design would be adopted by other characters in the franchise and the concept would even be copied by other games. Despite the simplicity of the design, it’s hard to ever imagine Mario without his hands covered.