What other video games has ‘The Last of Us’ star Troy Baker appeared in?
Troy Baker is a mouthful.
If you’ve immersed yourself into The Last of Us in any way that it exists — video game, HBO series, even the official podcast — then you’ve been impacted by Baker. The longtime voice actor has made his living on his voice and the way he’s able to bend and manipulate emotions just by the inflections in his voice.
Whether the name is familiar or not — and chances are now that the first sensational season has come to a close, you are — Baker’s fingerprints (and then some) are all over The Last of Us. In the video game, Baker plays the co-main character, Joel Miller, who is then played by Pedro Pascal in the series. And in that same series, Baker makes a cameo as James, the right-hand man to pseudo-evangelist David (Scott Shepherd), one that delighted fans of the game, making a big impact on screen even though his screen time wasn’t lengthy.
Finally, to bring things full circle, Baker stepped in as the host of HBO’s official The Last of Us podcast, bringing incredible insights alongside the creators and cast of both the game and the series for nine episodes that mirrored the game. For devout gamers, the sight of Baker is probably less recognizable than closing your eyes and hearing his resonant voice because he’s played a big role in numerous, almost countless video games throughout his career. Starting with BloodRayne 2 in 2004, Baker has lent his pipes to a role in at least 170 video games. One-hundred and 70 games! By our count, The Last of Us was Baker’s 104th game at the time in 2013. All those appearances are to say nothing of the dozens of anime he’s had a voice role in, all the while standing as the frontman of several bands and even contributing songs to five different video games.
That brings us to another full circle, as Baker sang a duet in The Last of Us Part II, called “Future Days,” with Ashley Johnson — who plays Ellie in the video games and steps into the live-action show with a cameo role as Ellie’s (played masterfully by Bella Ramsey in the show) mother, Anna, in the finale. Johnson also appears in the last episode of the HBO podcast, which if you’re a fan of the game, show, or both, is absolutely riveting and a companion piece that provides even more depth to both.
Back to Baker and those aforementioned 170-plus video game roles, while we don’t have the fortitude to carry on through listing all of them, let’s have a look at the top 10 video game roles he’s had over a nearly 20-year career on that side of the business. Naturally, some of these will be series, with a sequel or three in there.
Even in supporting roles, Baker has played a part in some major titles that don’t quite make the list, including several Call of Duty roles, Mortal Kombat 11, Fortnite, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Final Fantasy XIII, and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, among many, many more.
10. Higgs Monaghan—Death Stranding (2019)
No big deal here, just Baker holding his own in a supporting role in a game that also features Mads friggin’ Mikkelsen. Baker plays the leader of some deadly terrorists in the game that takes place in a world following a catastrophic event that features evil creatures roaming the planet.
9. The Joker—Batman: Arkham Origins (2013)
This won’t be the first time we address Baker’s ability to take a well-known role and totally own it without taking anything away from the character. Obviously, there are several famous renditions of the Joker in live-action, animation, and gaming versions of the character. Baker stands out in this rendition even among several other characters and costars with a snarl that matches the on-screen depiction of the Joker.
8. Vincent Brooks—Catherine (2011)
This might be the game that really started to bring a bigger spotlight to Baker, as he landed a gaming nomination for NAVGTR Award for Lead Performance in a Drama, the first of many to come in his career. Catherine is definitely skewed for adult gamers, as Baker portrays Vincent Brooks, a haunted man who suffers from deadly nightmares stemming from his affairs with more than one woman. All of Brooks’ choices play a role in the outcome of the game, including how much he drinks at the bar.
7. Rhys—Tales from the Borderlands (2014)
There’s not always a lot of room for a video game to really lean into a comedic portrayal, but as Rhys in this Telltale Games spinoff from the Borderlands series, Baker gets to give gamers some good guffaws. Baker and costar Laura Bailey, who plays Fiona, are played separately but are equally impressive, and the game is one of the more fun ones to get immersed in thanks to other legendary comedic talent such as Patrick Warburton, Chris Hardwick, Phil LaMarr, and even fellow The Last of Us (game edition) costar Ashley Johnson. Baker’s portrayal landed him a win for the NAVGTR Award for Lead Performance in a Comedy.
6. Samuel “Sam” Drake—Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End/Uncharted: The Lost Legacy (2016, 2017)
One of the hardest traits for a voice actor to convey might be jealousy because there needs to be affection and resentment coming to the surface simultaneously. Playing Sam Drake, the brother of the first three Uncharted games’ protagonist, Nathan Drake, Baker brings about this brotherly affection of a man who might have missed out on parts of life that Nathan gets to live out because he was tasked with watching over his little brother and couldn’t always enjoy life in the same manner.
5. Pagan Min—Far Cry 4/Pagan Min: Control [Far Cry 6 DLC] (2014, 2021)
Baker’s portrayal of the main villain in Far Cry 4 is so great that even as he was considered dead following the game, the creators found a way to bring Baker and the character back for a downloadable content (DLC) addition to Far Cry 6. Pagan Min bears the torch in the long line of well-developed villains in the Far Cry series, but Baker adds a level of sophistication and burbling aggression that made the game’s antagonist as memorable as its protagonist.
4. Talion—Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor/Middle-earth: Shadow of War (2014, 2017)
While the Pagan Min character might be more widely adored, there’s a reason Baker won the award for D.I.C.E. Award for Outstanding Character Achievement for his role as Talion in 2015. Not just that, he beat himself out for the award as he was also nominated for the role of Pagan Min and Delsin Rowe in Infamous Second Son (not the first time he beat himself out for an award in a category).
As Talion, Baker takes his voice to the deeper end of the spectrum to portray a character who is killed and inhabited by a specter.
3. Batman and Bruce Wayne—Batman: The Telltale Series (2016)
To stand out as the voice of Batman when so many have played the part across so many mediums is a true testament to Baker’s ability to adapt his voice to just about any part while adding nuance to the role and not distracting from the character.
In the Telltale series, Baker’s Batman leans into the emotional toll that Bruce Wayne is constantly indebted to because of what he must endure living a dual existence. Gone is the gruff recent portrayals of the character, but the edge and the torment conveyed by Baker are memorable for those who’ve had the pleasure of playing through the game.
2. Booker DeWitt—BioShock: Infinite (2013)
The funny thing about 2013 for Baker is multi-fold. For one, it was the most hits he was a part of in one year, with 12 total voice credits to his name. On top of the ones on our list — Batman: Arkham Origins, BioShock: Infinite, and (spoilers) The Last of Us—he was also in God of War: Ascension, The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Metro: Last Light, Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta, Marvel Heroes, Saints Row IV, Infinity Blade III, and Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
The other layer of that is the fact that Baker garnered six nominations for different video game honors, and he beat himself out for the gaming industry’s top honor of VGX Award for Best Voice Actor, taking the win for The Last of Us in the category, while also being nominated for Bioshock: Infinite, too.
The last part of this is that his performance of the song “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” from BioShock: Infinite, featuring his gaming costar Courtnee Draper, also won at the VGX awards for Best Song in a Game.
1. Joel Miller—The Last of Us/The Last of Us Part II (2013, 2020)
Before the adaptation to a TV series, the sheer popularity of the first The Last of Us video game puts this as Baker’s most iconic role. The biggest reason for that is the emotional strife that players go through while toggling between playing Joel and Ellie, and the harrowing conclusion of the first game that is still debated to this day (with the debate renewed after the show mirrored the game’s ending). Players of the game are engulfed in Joel’s outlook of the world, and as one of the two main voices guiding them along through the game, Baker’s portrayal of Joel is instantly recognizable.
The quick synopsis for those who haven’t played the game or seen the show is that Joel is a quasi-mercenary in a post-apocalyptic world who has lost his young daughter, but is now in charge of protecting another young woman who just might be the key to a cure for the infection that’s overrun the Earth.