Prompto Argentum. Ignis Scientia. Gladiolus Amicitia, aka Best Boy. Noctis' stalwart companions provide the emotional center of Final Fantasy XV, and it is their relationship that drives much of the game. From the opening of the game, pushing the broken down Regalia down a dusty desert road, you immediately get a sense of how well these characters play off of each other, which carries through the entirety of Final Fantasy XV. You see them eat together, laugh and cry together, and make terrible, terrible puns at each other. Each party member has a hobby they indulge in, such as Prompto's photography, giving them a humanity that has oftentimes been missing from recent Final Fantasy titles. While the supporting cast unfortunately gets the shaft midway through the game in terms of development (particularly Lunafreya Nox Fleuret and her brother Ravus, built up in supplementary media like Kingsglaive but ultimately left in the dust), it's clear that Square Enix's focus was on characterizing the main four, and in that regard, they have succeeded in creating one of the best lead casts in the series' history.
Read our review of Final Fantasy XV
Class VII of Thors Military Academy initially comes across as the kit and caboodle of anime archetypes. There's the haughty noble, the hot-tempered guy, the excessively young assassin girl, the dreaded tsundere and so on. However, these tropes are dropped surprisingly quickly, as each character is given their own dreams, motivations and anxieties. All nine students of Class VII, plus a couple of extra transfer students, teachers and kids from other classes, have a well-crafted arc that serves to humanize them. Class VII won't just endear themselves to you, but to each other as they put their differences aside in lieu of mutual respect and understanding. The students of Thors are incredibly fun to get to know, and you'll love spending a semester alongside them.
Note: Due to its late release on December 22, 2015, we were unable to include the first Trails of Cold Steel in last year's awards and still post them in a timely manner. Given that the two games are two halves of one story, we opted to combine them both for 2016's nominations.
Read our review of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel
Read our review of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II
Final Fantasy XV's
boy band boys fared well with your votes, but couldn't quite beat Cold Steel's huge, diverse cast.