Perhaps the most hated character in all of Destiny, Rahool the Cryptarch is responsible for many aggravating nights thanks to his wonderful ability to not offer players the gear they desire from exotic or legendary engrams. While his loot ratio has significantly improved over time, those who dealt with him during Destiny’s first year know just how barren his offerings were. There isn’t a ton known about Rahool outside of his base job, race, and stoic personality on display at The Tower. Yet, we cannot help but think of him as a staple too not only the HUB world itself but the core experience within Destiny.
Rahool is iconic within the community, some unknown deity that we as players beg and plead to grace us with that one piece of loot we’ve yet to receive. Everybody knows who the Cryptarch is, mainly thanks to him serving as the universal punching bag for those frustrated Guardians who have an inventory full of useless engram loot.
9. Ikora Rey
The Warlock’s Vanguard, Ikora Rey serves as one of the main characters that help drive Destiny’s central plot forward. While she does offer some good loot from time to time, her real status comes from the interactions with the player. Most users know her thanks to the dialogue she’ll typically deliver during missions or strikes, allowing her act as a guiding voice that lends better context to engagements. Ikora embodies much of the traits the world of Destiny typically associates with the Warlock class. She’s proud, intelligent, and calculating, which makes her a wonderful contrast to the likes of Cayde-6. Even in a chaotic world like Destiny, where the story can involve armies, gods, and the very conception of time itself, having a voice of reason is always nice.
8. Amanda Holliday
While Amanda Holliday may only be known for selling players ships and speeder bikes, she has become a staple of The Tower in Destiny. As one of the few characters that is more focused on the actual vehicles over weapons, Amanda’s interactions with the player are always entertaining. This is especially on display during her Sparrow Racing League event, which sees her not only organize the entire tournament but act as a commentator for the races. Despite Amanda only having two real missions focused around her, her moments with Cayde-6 prior to the Dreadnought infiltration still stands as one of the best scenes in that entire expansion. She is willing to bend the rules if needed, however, it’s quite clear that Amanda isn’t simply a pushover.
7. Variks, The Loyal
Despite many players only knowing Variks either for his PvE activity Prison of Elders or for his love of releasing explosive mines, he is actually a rather intriguing individual. Prior to his work with Mara Sov, Variks served under Skolas himself within the House of Judgement during the Reef Wars. However, he found Skolas’ cruelty too much to stomach, and as punishment had his top two arms ripped off. Now he serves the Queen and acts as a wonderful representative for The Fallen’s culture. While he may have been forced to the background with Rise of Iron, his missions and motivations have always offered fantastic depth to various strikes. This is especially on display during any of the levels focused around Skolas, as it’s clear from the get go that Variks has both a respect and anger towards the self-proclaimed Kell of Kells.
The Ghost is the mascot of Destiny and serves as the main character that players interact with throughout the entire campaign. Despite having two different voice actors over Destiny’s lifespan, it’s impressive just how much this little guy has grown on us. While initial interactions didn’t really go beyond opening doors and telling us to wait around while he hacks computers, his involvement has only increased over time. Now he acts as the pseudo-narrator for the player, explaining the various factions, campaign missions, and enemies one would encounter. Ghost is always there for the player, regardless of what shell the user decides to dress them up in.
Yet, this emotional attachment we are supposed to have with this little robotic device didn’t manifest itself until a specific mission in Rise of Iron asks you to look back and reflect on your journey. For many of us, those who’ve dumped hundreds of hours into this title, Ghost embodies just how much this game has changed over the years and how much farther it has to go.
5. Lord Shaxx
Shaxx to some may simply be that cool Titan with the fur padded armor we get certain exotic weapons from. However, those dedicated to competing in the Crucible know Shaxx as the announcer and sometimes hype-man for insane stunts that players pull off. Hearing one of the most powerful characters in all of Destiny shout “This is amazing!” in pure glee still stands as one of the most memorable moments a player can experience within the Crucible. He is the voice of combat and one that many players know better than any other, as Shaxx represents thrilling matches that can change in seconds. While he may lack a fully fleshed out backstory like other characters, what he represents to a lot of players is just how much fun Destiny’s PvP mode can be.
Skolas is one of the best villains that Destiny has to offer both from a gameplay and story perspective. Mechanically, he offers one of the best boss fights in the game, mixing challenge and problem solving in a way that allows him to move beyond just being a giant bullet sponge. Much like a raid boss, the final battle with Skolas in the Prison of Elders was incredibly difficult yet fair. Having to juggle damaging the boss, dismantling mines, and passing a powerful toxin between players was an exhilarating experience that no boss has been able to mimic since.
In terms of lore, Skolas’ attempt to unite all of the Fallen Houses under one banner gave this enemy fantastic motivations for the story. With most Destiny villains are relegated to simply wanting to destroy the world, Skolas felt like a breath of fresh air that had more complexity than the likes of Atheon or Crota. Plus, getting to chase him up a massive spire above Venus for a final showdown still stands as one of the more memorable missions in this title.
3. Mara Sov
Mara Sov is the queen of the Awoken and is perhaps the favorite Destiny character of many players. Not only does she control one of the most powerful alien races, The Fallen, as if they were fluffy pets, but she has no fear of those factions that still oppose her. This queen is one that’s not afraid to speak her mind, and she hardly dances around political motivations that many other faction leaders hold. From her first introduction in the vanilla Destiny story, it’s clear that she is force to be reckoned with and one that the players desperately need as an ally.
Couple this with the fact that she effectively sacrificed her power for the sake of saving her people during the opening battle with Oryx, and she has cemented herself as one of the most badass characters in Destiny. To this day she is still missing after that fight, yet her mysterious absence has only made her more compelling. Someday we may learn the fate of Mara Sov, but as it stands she is remembered as one of the most powerful figures in the entire game.
Oryx is without a doubt the best villain that Destiny has to offer thanks to not only his various boss fights but the story based around him. The father to Crota, Oryx comes to our galaxy in search of revenge against those who killed his son. Outside of Skolas, he is only of the few villains that has real motives, and the death of his son almost makes us feel bad for Oryx… almost. That is until he begins to haunt the player at every turn with his warped Taken army. There’s always a looming sense of dread during your hunt for this monster, as his very presence is always watching your moves in one way or another.
Yet, it’s once you finally face him in the King’s Fall boss fight then it becomes apparent just how powerful and intimidating this creature can be. Not only is he the size of a damn building, but Oryx’s mechanically demanding boss fight demands incredible precision from your fireteam. While his fight was more puzzle-focused, it still serves as one of the best final bosses that Destiny has to offer.
Could it be anyone else? Cayde-6 is far and away the best character in Destiny, his memorable, sarcastic approach to virtually everything making him a standout in any mission. Voiced by none other than Nathan Fillion, this Hunter is full of wit and humor that could make even the grumpiest of Guardian crack a smile. While he really didn’t receive any development until The Taken King expansion, Cayde-6 has rocketed to the top of many a fan’s best Destiny character list.
Given that Destiny has always been a bit too melodramatic at times, Cayde-6’s wisecracks help reinforce that over-the-top science fiction style that the title has embraced. Even so, it’s once you take up the quest to find his friend that Cayde-6 moves beyond simply just a funny man. Finding his dead friend, only to hear his rage and sorrow, is a chilling moment that serves as a reminder that even people like him suffer from the horrors of war. Cayde-6 is a wonderful character and one that we can only hope is explored further in Destiny’s inevitable sequel.