Hands are great! Most of us have them and they are quite useful, but many of us don’t really think about our grippers. Life would be a lot harder without them, and they tell a great history about our lives no matter what state they are in.
Of course, game characters have hands too – it would be hard to hold all those weapons without them. They are also often overlooked, but some games give their hands an extra touch, a personality of their own without a single word.
8 Resident Evil 7 and 8 – Ethan’s Cursed Hands
Resident Evil characters have always had hands, but you’re never forced to pay attention to them the way you’re forced to in Resident Evil 7 and its sequel. They are nice hands, he really looks like he takes care of them. Until the events of the games, alas.
Those lovingly tended hands meet their own horrors at the Baker Residence, where they are cut off early in the game before being lovingly sewn and spiced back together. Resident Evil 8 doesn’t really treat him much better, with his other hand cut and healed back. It’s a hard life.
7 Super Smash Bros – Master Hand
Super Smash Bros is a historic series, with one of the largest fighting game rosters in gaming and an avid community that opinions. But for all the famous characters throughout gaming history, Smash even has a few unique characters of its own.
Master Hand and its counterpart Crazy Hand are semi-divine figures in the universe. That sounds strange to say, but lore says it as such. These disembodied hands play with you, point fingers at you and just use tremendous force – which is apparently only a fraction of their potential.
6 Doom (2016) – The Hands Of Doom
Doom has a long history and is one of the first and most revolutionary first-person shooters in gaming – and probably the most ported game in history. It has firmly established its place, showing with the 2016 reboot that Doom isn’t quite surpassed in speed yet.
The Doomslayer has always been light on personality, dutifully slaying demons all the way to Hell. However, as the reboot shows, those hands have some personality – from all the gruesome executions to the little fist punches he gives his action figures.
5 The Legend of Zelda – Wallmaster
The Legend of Zelda is one of the oldest game franchises, a style that has influenced so many games since then and even reinvented itself with Breath of the Wild. Along that storied history is a colorful cast of enemies.
Zelda may have been the moment when many people got their hands on a seemingly irrational fear. You’re exploring a dungeon and suddenly a grotesque, disembodied hand falls down to wipe you out. Their appearance is limited, but every time you step into a dark dungeon, there is always the fear of a Wallmaster 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 together engaging gameplay and a compelling story. The series has become loved 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 amazing). Alyx’s Gravity Gloves are a great thing, a mishmash of materials covered with great strength, that align with how VR games play and give it a unique gameplay vibe.
3 Thief (2014) – Stealthy Fingers
Thief is one of the original stealth games that uses a first-person perspective and has such a unique design. It focused on avoiding conflict and stealing everything you can from under the noses of those you meet.
The 2014 version of Thief didn’t quite understand that. Garrett is a much more cynical character who is curiously open to murder. But his hands are animated with so much love. With every move, his hands stretch out, skilfully glide along the edge of a painting, extinguish a candle between his fingers, or grab a few fine jewels. For all its flaws, those hand animations really make his presence in the world physical.
2 Elden Ring – Finger Crawler
FromSoftware has a reputation for great games and Elden Ring just added to that. The introduction of a more open world introduced a new element to that Soulsborne gameplay, where you traverse a world of monsters at your own pace.
It wouldn’t be a Souls game without an intensely creepy creature to curl your toes and set you on edge. Probably first encountered in Caria Manor, Fingercreepers are just… terrifying. Bejeweled figures chase you like a spider and shoot you away like an insect. They also have more fingers than a single hand should ever have.
1 Ghostwire Tokyo – Your Hands
Tango Gameworks has a long history of horror, developing 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 into something different, something with a great love for hands.
Ghostwire is by no means a horror game, but draws from Tango’s big box horror inspiration to bring horrific folktales and dazzling action to the streets of Tokyo. At the center are the incredible hand gestures that the protagonist performs in battle. It harks back to ancient Japanese hand signs to perform magic, but also offers a unique approach to combat and gives first-person hands the loving animations they really deserve.
NEXT: Most creative idle animations in games