Daddy of the Year 2018
Throughout the years, fathers in gaming could be generously described as a mixed bag. For every devout, upstanding man out there who is just trying to do the best by his kids, there’s a Heihachi Mishima literally flinging children off cliffs. Fun in theory, but it rarely ends well.
In 2018, we didn’t exactly see the greatest displays of parenting, but at the very least, there were a few who gave it the old college try. In this list, we honor the best daddies of the year.
Disclaimer: Despite the title, this article is in no way going to be sexy. I mean, unless you’re into that kind of thing.
Honorable Mention: Dutch van der Linde (Red Dead Redemption 2)
Contributor Tony Cole-Cocking: We open on something of a dubious note with a fellow whose crimes are notorious throughout the old west, and technically not even a father to begin with. Unless you count the myriad of bastard children dotting the country, as I’m certain he’s got a fair few of those.
The reason why Dutch makes the cut is because, despite his many flaws, he acts as a father figure to Arthur Morgan, the protagonist of Red Dead/Dad Redemption 2. He also makes the cut because, to be honest, there were a lot of dreadful dads this year. I’m looking at you, King of All Cosmos.
Dutch’s principles and guidance help shape the impressionable Morgan in his teenage years, and though the two may not agree on everything, the old man’s word is law. He turns out to be a bit of a dick when it’s all said and done, but we all have our shortcomings.
We also appreciate that Dutch is a man of impeccable taste, often sporting a sharp fashion sense and a mustache that could be best described as transcendent. Just because you’re a lifetime outlaw doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look spiffy.
Second Runner-Up: Jefferson Davis (Spider-Man)
Dad Enthusiast Tony Cole-Cocking: This one takes a bit of prior knowledge to justify, but at least our second runner-up isn’t robbing banks in his spare time (unless he’s got some hobbies we’re unaware of).
Jefferson Davis plays a minor supporting role in the PS4’s blockbuster hit, Spider-Man, giving Spidey a few missions and trading in some friendly discourse in the process. He’s a member of New York’s boys in blue; a hardworking family man who is trying to repent for the mistakes of his youth.
His son, one Miles Morales, is a name you may be much more familiar with, taking up the web-slinging mantle and currently dominating cinemas via Into the Spider-Verse (a title that sounds vaguely like it should be succeeded by a spider rap).
Jefferson’s past as a thug combined with his police training has made him capable in hand-to-hand combat, and my goodness, can he rock a uniform or what? Jefferson? More like JefferYUM.
First Runner-Up: Kazuma Kiryu (Yakuza 6)
Dad Bod Owner Tony Cole-Cocking: As if we needed a reminder, Kazuma’s latest exploits have reaffirmed his status as one of the most diligent dads out there. He’s an eye-popping papi, and deservedly claims the silver medal for 2018 fathers in gaming. That medal is shaped like a tanto, because he may need it for stabbing someone.
He has long been a de facto father for the orphan Haruka Sawamura, and when she disappears from the safety of his company, he resolves to seek her out. Kazuma discovers that she has fallen into a coma, and meets her infant son, Haruto, who he then cares for.
Technically, this makes him a grandfather, but in our minds, it just elevates his status to double daddy. Very few ever attain this distinction, but Kazuma pulls it off with aplomb. Wouldn’t your heart just melt if you saw him strolling down the streets of Hiroshima with a baby carrier strapped to his chest? Mine certainly did, and I think that means I’m going to die soon.
Irrelevant side note: I erroneously kept calling him Kazuo Kiriyama when I originally wrote this piece. Despite all odds, Kazuo Kiriyama was not a candidate for father of the year in 2018.
Winner: Kratos (God of War)
Master of Dad Jokes Tony Cole-Cocking: How could it ever be anyone else? Kratos has been filling our lives with mirth from the moment he first graced the screens in the mid-2000s. He did this by brutally killing and dismembering his foes, and that’s just fun for the whole family.
In the acclaimed soft reset to the God of War franchise, Kratos sets out with his young son Atreus to spread his fallen wife’s ashes at the highest peak of the nine realms. Frankly, that sounds like a pretty big ask, but the game probably wouldn’t be as much fun if they just went to the Meadowlands in Jersey.
It has been fairly consistent across these rankings that each of these fathers has their own personal demons that they are constantly grappling with, but in Kratos’ case, that is quite a literal definition – the man has been to the depths of hell and back in his quest for revenge, and within him lurks a sinister fury that threatens to return at the slightest provocation.
Kratos wants more for Atreus than he ever had, and his worst fear is that he will end up becoming a bloodthirsty maniac, just like his pops. But hey, Kratos can now add to his list of conquests the title of Twinfinite’s 2018 Daddy of the Year award, so it’s not all bad.
He can display this prize on his mantle next to the severed head of Helios, which is probably starting to smell by this point.