Can you make a living as a video game voice actor? These ten people certainly prove you can. We’ve compiled a list of ten of the highest-paid video game voice actors of all time, and you’re bound to recognize quite a few names on the list. Keep reading, however, for some of you would have never guessed to be behind your favorite video game characters.
1) Mark Hamill
“It warms my heart knowing that you’re still kicking, Batman! There’s still plenty of fun to be had out there tonight and I’d hate to see it all go to waste.” -The Joker
- Net Worth: $18 million
- Notable Roles: The Joker (Arkham Asylum), Master Eraqus (Kingdom Hearts)
Everyone knows Mark Hamill for his portrayal of Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise, but not everyone knows that he has an equally impressive and prolific voice acting career. Most notably, he’s the voice behind the Joker in several DC games, including fan favorite Arkham Asylum. Interestingly, he’s also appeared in Kingdom Hearts, among other franchises.
Mark Hamill is a fantastic example of what it takes to be a voice actor. He has a wide range of personas, inflections, and vocal profiles. Although he plays the hero in the Star Wars films, he’s often typecast as a villain in the DC universe. He was such a hit with his early portrayals of the Joker that he was slated for several more projects involving the beloved character.
2) John DiMaggio
“Well, we’re not here to sell cookies… So they know something’s up!” -Marcus Fenix
- Net Worth: $10 million
- Notable Roles: Marcus Fenix (Gears of War),Wakka/Kimahri Ronso (Final Fantasy X)
It makes sense that some of the highest-paid video game voice actors stand behind some of the greatest titles in history. This is the case with John DiMaggio, who voices Marcus Fenix in the long-running Gears of War series.
In addition to his plethora of video game roles, he also voices Bender in Futurama, among other roles in TV shows with cult followings. It’s rare for games to disclose the salary of their voice actors, but DiMaggio’s $10 million net worth makes it evident that game studios will make it worth their while.
3) Tara Strong
Welcome to Blackgate. We’re just going to do a quick psychiatric evaluation. Bad day, huh? Cops in this city – always beating on the sick and defenseless.” -Harley Quinn
Harley Quinn has a distinctive voice that is instantly recognizable, and Tara Strong is to thank for that. She’s voiced Harley Quinn all throughout the Arkham video game series, including Arkham Asylum alongside her love interest the Joker (played by Mark Hamill).
Interestingly, Tara has strong ties to the DC universe: she also plays Batgirl in a variety of video games, TV, and movie productions.
4) Troy Baker
“If somehow the Lord gave me a second chance at that moment… I would do it all over again.” -Joel
- Net Worth: $6 million
- Notable Roles: Joel (The Last of Us), Booker Dewitt (Bioshock Infinite)
The Last of Us is considered to be one of (if not the absolute) greatest video games of all time. While the leading character Joel has his problems, the voice acting is nothing short of authentic and flawless.
Troy Baker is the man behind the character of Joel, as well as some recognizable characters in other popular franchises. His rough around edges vocal profile makes him a great pick for characters with conflicting internal qualities.
5) Keith David
“You did good, son… You did… good. I’m… proud of you…” -Captain Anderson
- Net Worth: $5 million
- Notable Roles: Captain Anderson (Mass Effect), the Arbiter (Halo)
A strong, resilient man needs an authoritative voice to carry him. This is the case with Keith David, the voice actor behind Captain Anderson from the Mass Effect series.
While many voice actors diversify their portfolio between TV, movies, and video games, Keith David tends to stick within the gaming genre. This makes him one of the most highly paid video game voice actors of all time. It’s a wonder if some of his later roles, like the Arbiter in Halo, were created with his voice in mind.
6) Camilla Luddington
“In our darkest moments, when life flashes before us, we find something; Something that keeps us going. Something that pushes us.” -Lara Croft
- Net Worth: $2 million
- Notable Roles: Lara Croft (Tomb Raider), Supergirl (Infinite Crisis)
It’s no doubt that the historically significant Tomb Raider series climbed to new heights of success partially due to the talent of Camilla Luddington, the voice of Lara Croft. While Luddington didn’t start out voicing Lara Croft, she took over in the early days of the franchise and seems to be here to stay.
Although she divides her time between live-action TV appearances and her voice acting endeavors, she remains one of the highest-paid video game voice actors to date.
7) Terrence Carson
“The Cycle Ends Here. We Must Be Better Than This.” -Kratos
- Net Worth: $2 million
- Notable Roles: Kratos (God of War), Mace Windu (Battlefront II)
Terrence Carson has an exceptionally wide range of voice acting capabilities, and this has earned his spot on our list of the highest-paid video game voice actors. If he sounds familiar, you can probably place him as Mace Windu in the Star Wars extended universe, including the Clone Wars and several video games. However, he also voices Kratos, the protagonist in God of War.
He’s apparently used as a stand-in for Samuel L. Jackson in the Star Wars extended universe, but his resume goes far beyond playing Mace Windu, and his spot as one of the highest-earning video game voice actors of all time is proof of that.
8) Jen Taylor
“Could you sacrifice me to complete your mission? Could you watch me die?” -Cortana
- Net Worth: $2 million
- Notable Roles: Cortana (Halo), Princess Peach (Super Mario Sunshine)
Jen Taylor may not be the absolute highest-paid voice actor of all time, but she’s amassed quite a bit due to her role as Cortana in the critically acclaimed Halo series. In terms of impact, she’s got everyone beat. Microsoft developed their competing AI interface with her voice and role as Cortana in mind. Even the average layman that doesn’t play games will be able to place her voice.
Cortana isn’t Taylor’s only claim to fame, however. She also played Princess Peach in Super Mario Sunshine, one of Nintendo’s best-selling games of all time. Although her appearance was short, it’s interesting to note how vastly different a voice actor’s roles can be. Jen Taylor is a prime example of how critical voice actors can be to any given project, especially video games.
9) Nolan North
“As thrilling as the next adventure may be, in the end, you’re always left with that same feeling.” -Nathan Drake
- Net Worth: $2 million
- Notable Roles: Nathan Drake (Uncharted), Desmond Miles (Assassin’s Creed)
This voice actor is known for his long-running roles in several AAA video game franchises, including the popular Uncharted and Assassin’s Creed series. North’s voice acting was so instrumental to the Uncharted series that the production team reportedly consulted him for the movie adaptation of the book-turned-game-turned-film.
North is another voice actor that mostly devotes his time to video game voice roles, and to great success. He’s also made appearances in games such as Call of Duty: Zombies and Arkham Asylum, as The Penguin. This makes North the third actor from the Arkham Asylum video game to make a list.
10) Felicia Day
“It’s not always meant to end in violence. There are other paths.” -Tallis
- Net Worth: $1 million
- Notable Roles: Tallis (Dragon Age), Veronica (Fallout: New Vegas)
Depending on your interests, you may know Felicia Day from her extended career in theater, her role on CW’s Supernatural, or even her appearances on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Off-screen, Day has a number of video game voice acting roles under her belt. Most notably, she voiced Tallis in Dragon Age. She went on to write and star in a web series called Dragon Age: Redemption, where she reprises her role as Tallis in real life.
Day is one of the few voice actors to actually have the chance to play her character in real life. Not every voice actor matches their character’s appearance, but Day’s uncanny resemblance to Tallis made it all the more possible to play the character IRL.
The Voices Behind the Videos
Not only are these actors well paid for their work, but their work is impactful, often boosting the success of their respective franchises. Some of these actors made their name in video games, whereas others first found success on the silver screen before coming to consoles.
Regardless of how these actors found their way to their iconic roles, it’s clear that voice actors are an integral part of video games. While most games early on lacked voiced roles due to the amount of memory it required, it’s now a given with any AAA title.
Did we miss your favorite video game actor? Let us know in the comments below.