On the subject of video game pirates, you might instantly think of emulators, ROMs, and R4 chips. This list is not about that type of piracy, however. Rather, this list honors video game characters that have turned to a life of piracy on the high seas (or, in some cases, the sky!) These pirates often captain their own ship, are in business for themselves, and basically live by their own rules. Some have good intentions while others are rotten to the core, but they'll all laugh in the face of danger and proudly break any laws that gets in their way. I've opted to only include male pirates on this list. Since I made separate lists for male ninjas and kunoichi, it seems appropriate to give the buccaneer babes a list of their own.
Since the plotline of Chrono Cross spans two separate parallel worlds, we are technically introduced to two separate incarnations of Fargo. In one timeline, Fargo captains the S.S. Invincible and is depicted as an unforgiving and spiteful man who has developed a vindictive personality in the wake of his girlfriend's death. He has a sizable chip on his shoulder and goes out of his way to ridicule demi-humans by forcing them into slave labor on his ship. In the parallel timeline, Fargo captains a cruise ship and is somewhat less malevolent. This Fargo is not into slave labor or anything, but he is a cheater in his own casino and will do whatever he can to swindle people out of their hard-earned money. Fargo's ability to steal items in battle makes him an effective pirates and a useful ally to have in your party.
Kaptain K. Rool
Donkey Kong Country 2
King K. Rool made his first appearance as the final boss in Donkey Kong Country and – for reasons I will never fully understand – he had a deep-seeded desire to steal Donkey Kong's banana hoard. There is some debate as to whether Kaptain K. Rool is an alter-ego or a relative of the King, but there is no doubt that he is every bit as despicable. Escalating from stealing bananas to kidnapping, Kaptain K. Rool abducted Donkey Kong and held him captive atop Crocodile Isle. Taking cues from their leader, the Kaptain's minions all adopted a pirate motif and Donkey Kong's buddies had to work their way through dangerous galleons, haunted groves, and island fortresses en route to rescuing their friend. You'll have to keep your eye on the Kaptain, as he is known to fake his death to catch you off guard. That's just cruel!
Zack & Wiki
We were first introduced to Barbaros when his skull was discovered by a young aspiring pirate named Zack. Apparently, a spell had been cast upon Barbaros and his body parts were turned into gold and sealed away in hidden treasure chests. The cursed pirate offered to give Zack his Legendary Ship and guide him to Treasure Island if he were to help restore his body. Zack scoured the globe for Barbaros' treasure before the infamous pirate was finally reverted back to his normal self. It was at this point that Barbaros' true intentions were revealed. He had never planned to give Zack anything for his troubles and, instead, cast the naive pirate-wannabe into a pit before sailing away to claim Treasure Island for himself. And that's why you should never trust talking pirate skulls that you find in treasure chests.
Assassin's Creed Series
Edward Kenway is a privateer-turned-pirate and a former member of the Royal Navy. Like many pirates, Kenway was seduced by the promise of gold and glory. Operating in the Caribbean during the "Golden Age of Piracy," Kenway unwittingly stumbled upon a conflict waged by the Assassins and Templars. He eventually became a member of the Assassin Order, but this list focuses on his piracy. He plunders ships, steals treasure, and encounters many real-life pirates (including Bartholomew Roberts and Edward "Blackbeard" Thatch) during his adventures. He even assists a notorious band of pirates in seizing control of Nassau and establishing a pirate republic. The republic eventually collapses and Kenway serves a brief stint in prison for his crimes, but this "pirate utopia" would never have existed without Kenway's involvement.
Skies of Arcadia
Vyse is an ambitious swashbuckler from Pirate's Isle who dreams of seeing what lies beyond the sunset. As a member of the Blue Rogues, Vyse has more in common with Robin Hood than he does with typical pirates. He only attacks armed Imperial vessels and often share his loot with the less fortunate. His confidence, optimism, and friendly demeanor make Vyse a natural leader, and he is able to unite a disparate crew of sky pirates from all around the world. In battle, Vyse arms himself with a pair of cutlasses and demonstrates incredible bravery. He has little patience for cowards, however, and feels that "impossible" is just a word that quitters use to feel good about themselves. Vyse is full of courage and ambition, and this is why a justice-seeking prince entrusts him with a ship and names him the captain of the vessel.
Far Cry 3
Far Cry 3's most memorable antagonist is an impulsive, sadistic, and unstable man with a serious case of island fever. Vaas Montenegro spends his time on a remote island in the tropics, but it's a far cry from paradise. The island is populated entirely by wild animals, slave traffickers, and brutal pirates. All three of these labels could accurately be applied to Vaas. When a group of thrill-seeking vacationers have the misfortune of landing on the island, Vaas and his band of like-minded pirates waste little time in kidnapping them. The initial plan is to hold them for ransom, but things fall apart when the victims escape. After Vaas manages to re-capture them, he is determined to end their lives. The psychopath has no regard for human life and is completely unhinged from reality, but he's entertaining in his own twisted way.
Final Fantasy XII
The son of an influential scientist, Balthier was appointed as an Imperial Judge at a young age before deciding to cut ties with his family to forge his own destiny as a sky pirate. The captain of a small airship, Balthier flies around the skies of Ivalice and attempts to stay outside the ongoing war between the kingdoms. However, his hopes to stay autonomous are put to an end after an ill-advised attempt to steal from the Royal Palace goes bad. Despite the sizable bounty on his head, Balthier is always full of confidence and has a self-assured demeanor. He frequently claims to be the "leading man" of the story and repeatedly insists that he's invincible. Credence is lent to this claim when a sky fortress he was on crashes and he manages to survive. He has continued to laugh in the face of danger ever since.
Linebeck stole the show in The Phantom Hourglass. Like any good pirate, Linebeck is the captain of his own ship and a man of the sea. He's also a man of questionable character who constantly argues with his friends, frequently insults them, and only agrees to help out when he knows he can get something in return. While some believe him to be a courageous sailor, Linebeck also has a cowardly, self-centered side. He's always running away from battle, he often refuses to leave his ship, and he has a habit of hiding in crates when danger approaches. Naturally, he has no qualms in taking credit for the heroic deeds of others. Although Linebeck is obsessed with hunting treasure, his true passion is the sea. When given the choice to wish for anything he wants, Linebeck simply asks to be returned to his ship before quietly sailing away into the horizon.
Cervantes de Leon
After choosing a life of piracy, Cervantes attacked and plundered treasure ships from all over the world. However, he got more than he bargained for when he came in contact with the Soul Edge – an ancient sword forged by human hands that gained a soul of its own after years of bloodshed. Driven to insanity as the cursed sword consumed his soul, Cervantes killed anyone who opposed him – including his own crew and the entire population of his hometown. Cervantes was finally defeated after a reign of terror that lasted 20 years, but the immortal pirate was resurrected by fragments of the Soul Edge that were still lodged within his body. After returning from the grave, Cervantes exercised great mental discipline to preserve his own free will and sailed the seas on an eerie ghost ship while stealing souls of helpless victims.
Monkey Island Series
The star of the Monkey Island series, Guybrush is a scrawny teenager who lacks courage, intelligence, and charisma. Frequently referred to as "Fancy Pants," his only talent is his uncanny ability to hold his breath for ten minutes. Despite his obvious shortcomings, Guybrush had enough determination to attempt the three trials of piratehood. During these trials, he met and immediately fell in love with the Tri-Island Area's beautiful governor, Elaine. When Elaine was kidnapped by the ghost pirate LeChuck, Guybrush felt compelled to rescue her and – as improbable as it may seem – he somehow managed to destroy LeChuck before becoming a famous pirate himself. Guybrush continued to prove his worth as the series progressed by besting evil ghost-pirates, evil zombie-pirates, and even evil undead-demon-zombie-ghost-pirates.