The legendary Animal Crossing franchise is deserving of its iconic status for many reasons, but it’s hard to deny that part of the series’ longevity can be traced back to the memorable personalities of its villagers.
In a franchise seemingly devoid of many traditional gameplay hooks, the thrill of inviting that one villager you’ve been looking for to your Animal Crossing home regularly ranks high among the best moments in gaming. Anyone who has spent any time with these games will waste no time telling you about their favorite villagers and the way they’ll always remember the time they spent with them.
There’s no way you’ll be able to convince those fans that anyone but their favorite villagers are the best villagers in Animal Crossing, we humbly suggest these 20 icons rank high among the greatest neighbors in franchise history.
While often described as one of the few “non-animal” creatures in this series, this longtime Animal Crossing villager challenges society’s expectations by blurring the arbitrary line between frog and robot.
You may be worried by Ribbot’s decision to never carry an umbrella when it rains much like his frog companions, but the character’s rally cry of “Never rest, never rust” tells you what you need to know about his resiliency. When robots take over our world, we can only hope they have the heart and grace of Ribbot.
With her “big sister” personality, futuristic vibes, and recent insistence on calling everyone “cottontail,” the mysterious Mira has been stealing our hearts since she arrived in Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
Much like Cotton Eye Joe, nobody really knows where Mira comes from or where she’ll go. However, her thought bubble cry of “I want a futuristic space full of futuristic furniture!” will echo through eternity.
Somewhere between Ernest Hemmingway and the grouchy old guy you lived next to growing up is Lobo: the outdoor-loving wolf with a heart of…well, certainly not gold
I don’t know what it is about this cranky purple wolf that speaks so loudly to my soul, but since Animal Crossing’s earliest days, he’s one of the wolves that I want in my village and by my side.
Maybe it’s because I suffer from a rare case of chicken blindness, but when I look at Knox, I don’t see a chicken; I see a noble knight.
This “Man of La Mancha’s” adventuring days may be behind him, but Knox’s ability to get medieval on the Animal Crossing series has been appreciated ever since he made his debut in Animal Crossing: City Folk
Lionel’s passing resemblance to Colonel Sanders of KFC fame earns him some bonus points (as does his gentlemanly demeanor), but when I think of Lionel, I think of class.
After all, Lionel upgraded his tasteful Victorian home in Animal Crossing: New Leaf to a skyscraper penthouse in New Horizons. He’s a lion that isn’t afraid to keep up with the times, and for that, he is our cultural superior in every conceivable way.
With his famous saying “Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better” and his rally cry of “harrumph,” it’s easy to assume that Chief is just the jerk that his cranky personality seems to suggest he is.
Yet, Chief’s thrift store decor in New Horizons suggests that Chief is actually an ‘80s dance movie protagonist with the fire of the streets in his soul just waiting to burn down the stuffy world he was born into.
Some Octopuses use their eight tentacles to take eight times more than they’ll ever need and squeeze the world. Others use them to warm society with a slightly tight and surprisingly squishy embrace.
Marina is an example of the latter. This ode to joy has been brightening up Animal Crossing village since their debut in New Leaf, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Beau is an enigma. He’s a lazy villager whose famous sayings include the line “You snooze, you lose.” Is this a defeated deer on the verge of a breakdown over the paths not walked?
No, as it turns out, Beau is just a naturalist whose charming personality and looks have made it easy for him to embrace a simpler lifestyle. He also owns some truly fantastic sweaters.
Coming off the top rope like the Macho Man on a vengeance quest against the dastardly Hulk Hogan is Lucha: the mysterious masked wrestler who has graced many a lucky Animal Crossing players’ villages.
We don’t know much about the bird behind the mask, but Lucha’s warm personality suggests that wrestling is just his work and he does it for pay. When it’s over, he’d just as soon go on his way.
It’s tempting to hate Raymond after his explosion in popularity in New Horizons, but since I suspect that Raymond is fuelled by the cries of “haters,” I’ll counter his strategy by welcoming him into the ranks of Animal Crossing’s best villagers.
Somewhere between a business cat and a fashion cat, Raymond would devour Wall Street’s Gordon Gekko in the same way that so many cats before him have devoured so many geckos before them.
As a fan of the Japanese snack “Takoyaki” from which Zucker’s original Japanese name (Takoya) and elements of the character’s look are derived, I suppose you could say that I’m a bit biased in my admiration for one of Animal Crossing’s few octopus villagers.
However, it’s really the way that Zucker’s entire demeanor flies in the face of the fact that takoyaki consists of fried dough balls stuffed with minced octopus meat that leaves me no choice to respect this king of villagers.
Whitney may come across as a snooty villager with a better than you attitude, but maybe you should consider the possibility that your real problem with Whitney is that she’s a class act with style to burn.
As a wolf firmly against the idea of crying wolf, it’s clear that Whitney doesn’t play and very likely dropped out of school because of recess.
Look, I’m not saying Fauna ranks this high on this list because she’s a deer who calls everyone “dearie,” but I’m also not going to insult your intelligence by sitting here and pretending that didn’t factor into this decision.
Mostly, though, it’s Fauna’s warm vibes, retro decor, and undeniably cute design that helps her stand out from some truly considerable competition.
While we’re all more than a little tired of people who base their personalities on their facial hair, we’d probably all be a little more willing to put up with it if their facial hair was nearly as excellent as Beardo’s.
This ladies’ man bear doesn’t actually have a proper beard, but his mutton chops, mustache, and tweed jacket strike a figure that makes it easier than ever to overlook his smug personality and lack of namesake facial hair and just appreciate everything he is.
In case you couldn’t tell from her bright big eyes that have caused lifelong enemies to end their conflicts, Chevre is a dreamer in the body of a goat.
Chevre is the kind of villager you’d do anything for. While she’d probably never ask you to do anything more than live your best life, I’d have no problem answering a 3 a.m. call from Chevre to meet her in Manhattan and help her steal some diamonds as easily as she stole our hearts.
Lots of villagers make it to this prestigious list (some would say the most prestigious list) for lots of reasons, but in the case of Merengue, the reasons are almost all based on her iconic looks.
As the best “food” villager in Animal Crossing history, Merengue embraces her looks by baking up a storm whenever you visit her cafe-themed home. She’s the friend we all want in our lives if for no other reason than she’s always got a sweet roll to spare.
Do I have questions about how Stitches (an apparently stuffed animal who regularly takes residency in Animal Crossing’s villages) actually came to life and gained sentience? No, I don’t, because I don’t question the good things in my life.
Stitches is one of the most visually iconic characters in Animal Crossing history as well as one of the characters that still has an element of mystery to them despite the fact that they’ve been in every AC game.
This squirrel without a cause has long been one of the most desirable villagers in Animal Crossing history. Somewhere behind those “I don’t care eyes” is the insistence of millions of players everywhere who scream into the night their assurances that he does care because they care.
Marshal is one of the coolest characters in AC history as well as one of the characters that made players realize there are certain villagers they want more than any other.
A popular theory suggests that Bob was actually the first Animal Crossing villager the series’ developers ever created. If that is the case, then I have to commend them for having the courage to continue to create despite achieving near perfection.
Bob has long been one of the internet’s favorite Animal Crossing villagers, and the fact that so many elements of his personality seem to cater to the internet’s love for memes hardly makes his iconic status a surprise. He’s a legend that’s legacy has surpassed even his in-game attributes.
If the best Animal Crossing villagers are defined by the ways they let their personality shine through relatively simple mechanics, then Lucky has to be considered one of the very best Animal Crossing villagers ever at the very least.
This decidedly unlikely dog who is presumably covered in bandages due to various injuries embraced his new look by adopting a horror theme that makes him a favorite among genre fans everywhere. Any island would be lucky to count this legendary dog among its residents.