When it comes to storytelling in video games, the voice acting can either make or break the game, as important plot points require masterful delivery from the voice actors in order to keep players engaged and immersed in the story.
While most game developers use tried and trusted voice actors within the industry, there are occasions where some of the biggest names in Hollywood get cast for their voice talent on both big and small budget games.
Here’s 10 celebrities who voiced characters in video games.
1 Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon is an Irish-born English actor that has a career spanning many years. It wasn’t until Harry Potter became a global phenomenon that he started to be recognized on the global stage for his portrayal of Albus Dumbledore, beloved headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
What many fans don’t know however is that he also played an important character in 2014’s most anticipated MMORPG The Elder Scrolls Online.
Lending his voice to the Prophet Varen Aquilarios, the character narrated the main story cut scenes and dialogues, guiding the players on their adventures throughout Tamriel.
2 Ellen Page
In 2013, Ellen Page was cast in the video game Beyond: Two Souls, a visual narrative storytelling epic that required both her acting for motion capture and voice for dialogues.
Having burst into the mainstream movie scene with critically acclaimed films such as Juno and X-Men, it was a surprise that the 29-year-old decided to dabble in video games.
As the game character Jodie Holmes, Ellen plays a young woman with special powers and players have to navigate through the game in order to unravel her mystery.
3 Ray Liotta
Casual gamers who’ve played Grand Theft Auto: Vice City will tell you that the voice acting of the game’s main character, Tommy Vercetti, was excellent.
The performance accurately paints the picture of a mobster in his prime back in the 1980s. This really shouldn’t come as a surprise, because the character was well cast.
Tommy Vercetti is voiced by none other than Ray Liotta, who is well known for starring alongside Robert De Niro in 1990’s hit mafia blockbuster Goodfellas.
It’s a pity that the younger generation of gamers may not have heard of or seen the movie when it was released.
For purists, the similarities between Ray’s movie character and the game character are unmistakable.
4 Lena Headey
The title ‘queen of mean’ undisputedly goes to Lena Heady, who plays Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones.
By now most of us can recognize that sweet yet deadly voice of hers, having seen her stir chaos and mayhem on the show for six consecutive seasons.
One character she voiced that we may not recognize is from the stealth assassination game Dishonored, which was released back in 2011.
In the game, Headey voices the character of Callista Curnow, and the reason you wouldn’t have noticed this is due to her using an American accent. Bet you didn’t know that!
5 Liam Neeson
When Liam Neeson says he will find you, count on it. But not if you find him first – and gamers have uncovered that Neeson is indeed the voice of a prominent non-player character in the very successful role-playing game Fallout 3.
In the game, Neeson voices the character of James who is the father of the protagonist.
Best known for his roles in Taken, the Star Wars prequels and Batman, Neeson can certainly be identified immediately thanks to his signature voice especially since his character bestows quests and dialogue to the players.
6 Kiefer Sutherland
You can’t call yourself a fan of Kiefer Sutherland if all you remember about his performances on the big screen involves a number.
While we can collectively agree that his role of Jack Bauer in 24 is great, Kiefer has also gotten involved in some high profile games, most notably in the recent Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
Besides having his facial performances captured, Kiefer also voiced the protagonist character Snake, and has gotten mass approval for his work from long time Metal Gear fans ever since the franchise replaced its original voice actor for the character.
7 Gary Oldman
Another Harry Potter and Batman movie alumni on the list is Gary Oldman and he is as diverse as they come with a distinguished acting career.
Until it was widely reported or when players sat through the end credits, no one had any clue that the voice of the iconic Seargant Reznov, an over-the-top screaming officer in Call of Duty: Black Ops I was played by Gary Oldman.
He mentioned in an interview that during recording he had to scream for over four days.
8 Peter Dinklage
Peter Dinklage’s career has hit its pinnacle thanks to his Emmy award winning performances on HBO’s hottest television series Game of Thrones.
Playing the fan favorite character Tyrion Lannister, followers adored his mix of witty and cunning dialogue and were excited to hear that Dinklage would play a central role in the video game Destiny, voicing a robot companion named Ghost.
But a year after the game was released the developers recast the role to a new voice actor, due to Dinklage’s constant unavailability and from player’s feedback that his voice performances were “Boring”.
9 Mark Hamill
No he isn’t just a one-hit-wonder celebrity known for playing Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars Universe.
In fact, Mark Hamill has a very prolific voice acting career, lending his very talented vocal chords to no fewer than (at the time of writing) 21 different video games.
These include reprising his role as The Joker in Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman Arkham City.
What many gamers don’t realize is that Hamill actually also appears in 2001’s Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, where he voiced one of the game’s elemental masks known as Py-Ro the Fire Elemental.
Upon first hearing players will never guess that it’s Luke Skywalker speaking to them, albeit using a different kind of Force.
10 Kevin Spacey
The ever talented Kevin Spacey is a Hollywood icon that has starred in films which will make many top ten movie lists.
When it was announced that the American Beauty star would play a role in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – one of the most lucrative gaming franchises today – many were obviously surprised.
It’s not every day that games can lure an A-list multi award-winning celebrity for voice work and motion capture.
In the game, Spacey plays the primary antagonist who’s out to rule the underground world as the chief of a rogue corporation that specializes in offering private military services at the right price.
Spacey is well known for playing memorable villains, thus the final product was ultimately well received by both critics and gamers.