Hands are great! Most of us have them and they're pretty helpful, but a lot of us don't really think about our grippers. Life would be a whole lot more difficult without them, and they tell a great history about our lives no matter what state they're in.
Of course, game characters have hands too — it would be hard to hold all those guns without them. They're overlooked a lot of the time too, but some games give their hands an extra little touch, a personality of their own without a single spoken word.
8 Resident Evil 7 And 8 – Ethan's Cursed Hands
Resident Evil characters have always had hands, but you've never been forced to pay attention to them like you're forced to in Resident Evil 7 and its sequel. They're nice hands, he really looks like he takes care of them. Until the events of the games, unfortunately.
Those lovingly tended hands meet their own horrors in the Baker Residence, being cut clean off early in the game before being lovingly stitched and herbed back together. Resident Evil 8 doesn't really treat him much better, with his other hand being cut off and healed back. It's a tough life.
7 Super Smash Bros – Master Hand
Super Smash Bros is a historic series, holding one of the largest fighting game rosters in gaming and a fervent community that has opinions. Yet despite all the famed characters from all over gaming history, Smash even has a few unique characters of its own.
Master Hand, and his counterpart Crazy Hand, are semi-godlike figures in the universe. That sounds odd to say, but the lore says as such. These disembodied hands toy with you, pointing fingers at you and just using immense power — which is apparently just a fraction of their potential.
6 Doom (2016) – The Hands Of Doom
Doom has a long history, being one of the first and most revolutionary first-person shooters in gaming — and probably the most ported game in history. It's firmly established its place, and showed with the 2016 reboot that Doom has yet to be truly surpassed in speed.
The Doomslayer has always been admittedly light on personality, dutifully slaying demons all the way to Hell. As the reboot shows, though, those hands have some personality — from all the gruesome executions to the little fistbumps he gives his action figures.
5 The Legend Of Zelda – Wallmaster
The Legend of Zelda is one of gaming's oldest franchises, a style that's influenced so many games since, and has even reinvented itself with Breath of the Wild. Along that storied history is a colorful cast of enemies.
Zelda might have been the moment many people grew a seemingly irrational fear of hands. You're exploring a dungeon and suddenly a grotesque, disembodied hand drops down to whisk you away. Their appearances are limited, yet anytime you step into a dark dungeon, there's always the fear that a Wallmaster is hovering above.
4 Half-Life Alyx – Gravity Gloves
Half-Life is legendary in gaming, one of the earlier first-person shooters that chose to bring engaging gameplay and an immersive story together. The series has become beloved for that, and more, and Half-Life Alyx is a wonderful return to that world.
VR games have always relied on your hands, so it can be hard to say which is the best when it's technically so personal (your hands are great). Alyx's gravity gloves are a wonderful thing, a mish-mash of materials overlayed with great power, that tie into how VR games play while giving it a unique gameplay vibe.
3 Thief (2014) – Stealthy Fingers
Being one of the original stealth games to use a first-person perspective, Thief has such a unique design. It focused on avoiding conflict altogether, and stealing everything you can from underneath the noses of those encountered.
The 2014 version of Thief didn't quite understand that. Garrett is a much more cynical character who's oddly open to murder. But his hands are animated with such love. Every action has his hands stretch out, deftly sliding along the edge of a painting, quenching a candle between his fingers or snatching some fine jewels. For all its faults, those hand animations make his presence in the world feel truly physical.
2 Elden Ring – Fingercreeper
FromSoftware has a reputation for great games, and Elden Ring has only added to it. Introducing a more open world gave a new element to that Soulsborne gameplay, traversing a world of monsters at your own pace.
It wouldn't be a Souls game without some intensely creepy creature to make you curl your toes and put you on edge. Likely encountered first in Caria Manor, Fingercreepers are just…terrifying. Bejeweled digits chase you like a spider, and flick you like an insect. They also have more fingers than any single hand ever should have.
1 Ghostwire Tokyo – Your Hands
Tango Gameworks has a long history in horror, having developed both The Evil Within and its sequel. The studio was also founded by Shinji Mikami, co-creator of Resident Evil. Ghostwire Tokyo is their first step towards something different, something with a great love for hands.
Ghostwire is by no means a horror game, instead pulling from Tango's big box of horror inspiration to bring horrific folk tales and dazzling action to the streets of Tokyo. Central are the incredible hand gestures performed by the protagonist in combat. It harkens back to old Japanese hand signs to perform magic, but also offers up a unique approach to combat, and gives first-person hands the loving animations they truly deserve.
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