When you're getting your cosplay or Halloween costume ready, you may consider wearing a mask or makeup. Each has pros and cons, but sometimes the character you choose makes the decision for you. We'll share some of the most famous masks in video games with you! They won't be ranked in a particular order, but these iconic masks are some of the best of the best. (Although we'll be sticking to masks and not helmets—sorry, Pyramid Head and Master Chief!) We'll also only pick one mask from each video game series because some games could honestly have a list all to themselves. Keep reading to see how many video game masks you recognize!
1. Majora's Mask - The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
[Source: Nintendo EAD/Collider.com]
We know we said we're not ranking masks, but Majora's Mask from The Legend of Zelda franchise is probably the most famous video game mask. The franchise has enough masks to create its own list, such as the Hawkeye Mask or the Gerudo Veil, but they all pale in comparison to the brightly-colored Majora's Mask. After corrupting a Skull Kid, the Mask is the true villain in Majora's Mask, rather than Ganondorf, the regular series antagonist.
2. Shy Guy Mask - Super Mario Bros.
A common enemy seen in the Mario and Yoshi franchises, Shy Guys are easily identifiable by their white masks with large eye holes and a small mouth hole. They are generally relegated to the role of a minion, but these iconic little enemies have been known to appear as playable characters from time to time. The red-robed Shy Guy is the most recognizable, but they have been known to come in a variety of colors!
3. Joker Mask - Persona 5
If you have a flair for the dramatic, you'll love Ren Amamiya's mask, a.k.a. Joker. The leader of the Phantom Thieves of Hearts, Joker is the protagonist of Persona 5. He wears a white eye mask with black liner around the eyes and black lines like eyelashes. Your actions as the protagonist will influence gameplay, although he tends towards being somewhat cheeky to rather cocky. While dressed as a civilian, he appears to be quiet and unassuming, but upon wearing the mask, we see his true trickster personality.
4. Corvo Mask - Dishonored
[Source: Arkane Studios/thegamer.com]
After Corvo Attano's life is turned upside-down and he goes from royal protector to accused assassin, he cannot publicly show his face. The mask he receives from Piero Joplin does more than hide his identity—it is useful as armor and is equipped with a telescopic function that allows Corvo to see long distances. We guess you could also list its terrifying appearance as another asset, striking fear into the hearts of Corvo Attano's enemies.
5. Dragon Priest Masks - Skyrim
The dragon priest masks are a set of named masks that you can find scattered throughout Skyrim. They have a variety of magical effects, from increasing the player's spell resistance to letting them breathe underwater. In the original game, locating all eight of the dragon priest masks and placing them on the shrine in Bronjunaar Sanctuary reveals a ninth mask—though more masks would be added later.
6. Cubone Mask - Pokémon
The Cubone mask rides a thin line between mask and helmet, but we'll allow it. In reality, Cubone wears the skull of its dead mother. We're honestly not sure what this means, given that every Cubone ever encountered has a skull mask. Do all female Marowaks just die when they have a child? We'll let you think about that one.
7. Sub-Zero and Scorpion Masks - Mortal Kombat
With a cast packed full of martial artists, ninjas, ronin, and the like, quite a few of them have face coverings of one kind or another. However, Scorpion and Sub-Zero are among the most popular fighters, winning the top spot for Mortal Kombat character. They're also some of the most iconic characters in the series, even recognizable by non-players. (Which is ironic if you think about it—you're identifiable because you wear a mask!)
8. Darth Revan Mask - Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
The playable protagonist of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic video game, Revan, has a past as both a Jedi knight and a Sith. You learn about his life as you play the game, discovering that his memory was wiped. You can make choices in the game that lead you down the light side or the dark side of the force, which inevitably affects the game's ending.
9. Imp Mask - Okami
On the other end of the "is it a mask" spectrum, we have the imp mask from Okami—a piece of paper. It may not be the fanciest mask on this list, but it's certainly one of the most fun! The mask allows you to walk among the imps, but the biggest perk is that you can draw on it. Players have been known to write or draw some hilariously creative things on their imp masks, from smiley faces to phrases like "I am not a wolf".
10. Terror Mask - Splatterhouse
Sure, the Terror Mask gives us Friday the 13th vibes, but the Splatterhouse franchise carved a name for itself with an original storyline. Our protagonist, Rick, goes through a transformation whenever he wears the mask, gaining superhuman strength and stamina. However, the mask is also possessed, so players experience it talking to them while playing as Rick and fulfilling their objectives. The mask is more than just an item found in the game as it takes on the role of a character too!
11. Stone Mask - Castlevania
The Castlevania games involve several masks throughout the series, some only appearing for one game (such as the God Mask and Devil Mask) while others frequently appear in one form or another. The Stone Mask is one such mask, depicted as made of Jade and used for ritual sacrifice. Throughout the games, the Stone Mask had various buffs it could grant the wearer. It even appeared in the Castlevania animated series as an easter egg for fans of the games!
12. Handsome Jack Mask - Borderlands 2
[Source: Gearbox Software/IGN.com]
Video games love a villain—or even a self-proclaimed hero—with a menacing appearance. One could say that Handsome Jack certainly fits the bill! A blast of energy destroyed Jack's left eye and branded his face with a Vault symbol. Jack had a mask made with his pre-accident appearance—and then had it grafted onto his face! (It hits that uncanny valley spot just right.) After taking out the President of the Hyperion Corporation and installing himself as the new President, he used his corporate powers to take military and political control over Pandora. Upon besting Handsome Jack, you can add his mask to your inventory.
13. Splicer Masks - BioShock
The main villains in the BioShock games, Splicers, are the remnants of humans changed by ADAM use. What had initially been a miracle cure was, instead, an addictive substance that made people unstable and gravely disfigured. As a result, many Splicers wear masks to hide their faces. The Splicer masks are generally reminiscent of masquerade masks with animal characteristics. Bunny masks appear to be the most iconic Splicer masks from the BioShock series, but you can also spot cats, birds, butterflies, owls, and spiders.
14. Vega Mask - Street Fighter II
Like Mortal Kombat, you can find several masked fighters in Street Fighter. Originally a boss character from Street Fighter II, Vega later became a playable character. He was the first Street Fighter character to wear a mask, so he tends to be the first to come to mind! Inspired by Spanish bullfighting, he resembles matadors while simultaneously being a ninjutsu master who wields claw-like bagh nakh.
15. Meta Knight Mask - Kirby
A friend and rival to Kirby, Meta Knight appears frequently throughout the Kirby franchise. His appearance is quite similar to Kirby's, except with wings and actual hands with fingers. Meta Knight dresses as a knight and follows a chivalrous knight's code, often rewarding Kirby with a sword for fighting with him. What would generally be a knight's helmet is instead a knight-like mask worn by Meta Knight. Meta Knight is known to make a swift departure if he is ever unmasked.
16 - Lucina Mask - Fire Emblem Awakening
[Source: Intelligent Systems/thegamer.com]
First appearing in Fire Emblem Awakening, Lucina wears a mask and masquerades as Marth, one of her ancestors. Her mask resembles a dark blue butterfly with gold accents and slits in the eye areas for visibility. With the help of Naga, she takes a trip to the past and hides her identity from her future father. The ruse doesn't last long, but it opens up the game for even more timelines and future child shenanigans! Lucina also has a few other appearances in later games and was additionally a playable character in the Super Smash Bros. series.
17 - Death Masks - Resident Evil
There are a series of four death masks to collect in the Resident Evil remake. While they had been crests, the masks made everything feel more ominous! They're also vital to access the courtyard, an area that unlocks after you have all four. They're also all missing some aspect of a face, making them extra creepy. There's a mask without eyes, a mask without a nose, one without a mouth, and the last mask is missing all three previous parts.
18. Pig Mask - Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Masks are very frequently scary because of the person wearing them, but this mask proves to be creepy on its own. As you explore Oswald's world, a mysterious, decorative pig mask has a bad habit of randomly appearing when you least expect it. It never moves, is never worn, and yet, is somehow always there, watching you. You could be in a room, see it on a chair, and turning around to continue looking around the room, the mask appears on the dresser. We'd expect nothing less from a horror game!
19. Drift Mask - Fortnite
Fortnite does things differently as a battle royale/creative sandbox/save the world third-person shooter. You can play the game in several different modes depending on your version. Fortnite also doesn't entirely have characters so much as it has skins for you to dress your character, some of which went viral and continue to be highly sought-after. One such skin is named Drift, a legendary outfit that goes through unlockable stages. The main component of the Drift skin is a white fox mask with magenta and gold accents.
20. Jack of Blades Mask - Fable
Due to the unique ability of Jack of Blades's mask, it is sometimes referred to as the Soul Mask. While Jack wears the Soul Mask, he has two other masks tied to his belt. We find out that the mask has the ability to trap souls, possessing many heroes over the centuries. After defeating Jack, you are given the choice to don the mask or destroy it forever. You will experience one of a few different endings depending on your actions.
21. Spy Mask - Team Fortress 2
Classes in Team Fortress 2 are more like jobs, from Medic and Engineer to Demoman and Spy. The Spy class's default appearance is a man wearing a suit and tie with dress shoes and a ski mask. He has a penchant for knives, cigarettes, and a French accent. Team Fortress 2 is a multiplayer first-person shooter game where teams play games like Capture the Flag or King of the Hill. As you might have guessed, with the Spy's identity hidden, some of his special abilities include masquerading as enemy characters and turning invisible.
22. The Puppet/The Marionette Mask - Five Nights at Freddy's
People wearing masks is creepy enough, but a masked puppet off its strings is somehow much worse. This creepy animatronic has long, tendril-like fingers, black and white stripes on the elongated limbs, and three buttons on the body—as if that helps to make the monstrosity cuter. Possessed by the spirit of the first victim of the frightening events at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, it will rise up to hunt you down if its music box ever stops playing. Can we say nightmare fuel?
23. Dollface Mask - Twisted Metal
Part racing game and part vehicular arena combat, the Twisted Metal series pits racers with nothing to lose against each other. Dollface from Blackfield Asylum is one such driver. Her former employer nailed and locked a porcelain doll-like mask to her face after she spilled coffee. (Honestly, it sounds like he belongs in the asylum instead!) Dollface agreed to join the Twisted Metal contest for the key to take off her mask, should she win.
24. Soldier 76 Mask - Overwatch
[Source: Blizzard Entertainment/thegamer.com]
Super-soldier 76 often fights as a masked vigilante, working to find out more about the downfall of the Overwatch organization. He wears a unique visor that enhances his accuracy, and a face mask over the lower half of his face to hide his identity. Soldier 76 was one of the original 21 characters featured in the first Overwatch release and has remained one of the most popular playable characters ever since.
25. Ryu Hayabusa Mask - Ninja Gaiden
Ryu is the main protagonist of the Ninja Gaiden series, dating back to the first arcade game in 1999. He was born into the Dragon lineage, so he was destined to be trained as a ninja from childhood. As a ninja, Ryu wears a modernized version of tactical ninja garb, with tabi footwear, shin guards and bracers, a black bodysuit, and his famous face mask and scarf. Framing his eyes and forehead is an armored piece attached to his hood, which makes his garb stand out from other ninja-adjacent characters. Also, Ryu's entire outfit is known as the Legendary Black Falcon, which earns Ryu extra cool points. (As if he needed any more!)
26. Masks of Yalung - Far Cry 4
The sheer amount of masks to collect in Far Cry 4 makes them so memorable. A serial killer named "The Goat" has scattered 55 masks across the landscape as morbid mementos, part of a bizarre ritual killing spree. The masks look similar to those used in noh, a form of Japanese drama. As you explore the world of Far Cry 4, a chanting sound will alert you to a nearby mask. Finding all of them is optional, but will the completionist in you be satisfied until you've found every one?
27. Sammy Mask - Bendy and the Ink Machine
Sammy Lawrence used to be a composer in the world of Bendy and the Ink Machine. Overworked and under-appreciated, Sammy drank quite a few bottles of ink meant for the Ink Machine. This ink addiction led to Sammy's corrupted ink monster form, an inky body in overalls and a face hidden behind a deteriorated Bendy mask. Notably, the mask has a carved hole for his mouth, but no eye holes help him see.
28. Death Mask - Darksiders II
[Source: Vigil Games/polygon.com]
In Darksiders II, you get to play as Death, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. He is technically one of the Nephilim, a race separate from and more powerful than humans. With his hulking physique, Death wields dual scythes and wears a skull-like mask over his face. (Honestly, how else would you expect the horseman Death to look?) This game is a prequel to the original Darksiders, with Death on the path to redeem his brother, War. He's not quite a hero in a mask, but more of an anti-hero who must confront his dark past to secure a future for his brother.
29. Jhin Mask - League of Legends
Jhin's grinning mask is just as unsettling as the character himself. A serial killer-turned-assassin, he went by the name the "Golden Demon". Jhin masqueraded as an artisan, but he found his "art" through brutality, only stopping when he was caught for his crimes. Now free, Jhin's employers are behind some unscrupulous dealings. Of course, this champion player character with a dark past may appeal to the ultimate edgelords, but his mask is well-known throughout the LOL community.
30. Blinding Mask - Fatal Frame
In Fatal Frame, you explore a haunted mansion where a failed ritual once resulted in the Calamity. After collecting several ritual masks and placing them in a special mask room, you gain access to the blinding mask. Possibly one of the creepiest and most uncomfortable masks on this list, the blinding mask has stakes poking through the eye holes, which will presumably blind a person when worn.
31. Richard Mask - Hotline Miami
The main character in Hotline Miami, Jacket begins the game with the iconic Richard mask. (Oddly enough, the Richard mask is a rooster head mask!) The game revolves around gaining animal masks (with oddly human names), which give the wearer special abilities. Of course, the exception is the Richard mask, which merely hides your identity and has no other skills. Still, it remains one of the most iconic masks in the game. You never forget your starting item, after all!
32. Pinwheel's Masks - Dark Souls
Pinwheel may be one of the easiest bosses to take down in Dark Souls, but it's absolute nightmare fuel that we wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley. (Or the creepy catacombs where it resides.) Pinwheel bears three masks that reside somewhere around where its head should be. One of its three masks is guaranteed to drop upon Pinwheel's defeat—the mask of the mother, the father, or the child. However, you can earn the other two masks by farming some Pinwheels elsewhere in the game. If you happen to love masks, this may be up your alley!
33. Kate the Chaser's Mask - Slender: The Arrival
Slender Man of Creepypasta lore became popular enough to spawn a video game series. Several known Proxies work under Slender Man, of which Kate was the first to be officially announced. The game's lore reveals that Kate had been an ordinary girl, but Slender Man caught her during an excursion into the woods. Kate appears as a young woman wearing a dirty white hoodie and a white mask with splattered black eyes and a black mouth. She also has stringy black hair hanging from her hood, giving us some serious Grudge vibes. While she will chase you as you play, you can use a flashlight to stun her due to her photosensitivity.
34. Aku Aku - Crash Bandicoot
Video game masks can fill several roles, from collectibles to equipment, as well as aspects of a character's overall design. Aku Aku is an instance where the mask is a character! Technically, Aku Aku is the spirit of a witch doctor who now lives in a wooden witch doctor mask. He is an ally in the Crash Bandicoot games, and collecting his masks will give players temporary invincibility. He becomes a sort of father figure to Crash and his friends throughout the series.
35. Clown Dallas Mask - Payday 2
[Source: Overkill Software/Eurogamer.net]
Similar to other video games on this list, there are tons of masks featured in Payday 2. While that might make it difficult to choose the game's most iconic mask, the clown Dallas mask was an immediate yes in this case. This star-spangled clown mask makes its way onto the front cover of the game case, and also into quite a bit of Payday 2's promotional art. It's also one of the default masks in the base game, so it gets bonus points for accessibility.
What are your favorite video game masks? Are there any masks that you feel could have earned a mention? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! If you're feeling a case of mask fever, check out these Halloween masks for your personal collection!