A new study has revealed that Kitana from Mortal Kombat is the most popular video game character to cosplay.
Online card game site SolitaireBliss analyzed the number of Google searches of 1,000 video game characters alongside terms such as ‘cosplay,’ ‘costume,’ and ‘outfit’ to determine the video game character cosplays people are most interested in.
1. Kitana (Mortal Kombat)
The former assassin doesn’t just have killer moves; she has a killer fashion sense too. Kitana tops the list of the most popular video game characters to cosplay, with an average of 8,191 monthly searches.
First appearing in Mortal Kombat II in 1993, Princess Kitana has featured prominently throughout the Mortal Kombat series. Her most recent appearance was in Mortal Kombat 11 in 2019, and she is set to appear in the upcoming Mortal Kombat 1, set to release in August this year.
Her appearance has changed over time from her original blue leotard, mask, and knee-high boots, though her design’s signature blue mask, blue outfit, and steel fan usually make an appearance.
2. Carmen Sandiego (Carmen Sandiego)
We might not always know where in the world Carmen Sandiego is, but we do know she is the second most popular video game character to cosplay, averaging 6,799 searches per month.
The master thief first appeared in the educational video game Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? In 1985 and has gone on to appear in several other games, as well as an animated TV show in 1994, which received a Netflix reboot in 2019.
Carmen Sandiego is instantly recognizable by her scarlet trench coat and wide-brim hat, with her most recent outfit including a black catsuit, gloves, and heels.
3. Steve (Minecraft)
Steve from Minecraft is the third most popular video game character to cosplay, with an average of 4,910 monthly searches. He is one of the default skins players can select in-game and was the first to feature in 2009.
Since his introduction, Steve has become an icon of gaming and a mascot for Minecraft in general, even if little is known about the character other than their appearance. Such is Steve’s popularity; he was even included in the ensemble cast of Super Smash Brothers.
Steve’s style might be one of the more easily accessible on this list: the turquoise T-shirt, blue jeans, and dark grey shoes make for a simple yet iconic outfit.
4. Mileena (Mortal Kombat)
Another Mortal Kombat character, Mileena ranks as the fourth most popular, with an average of 4,560 monthly searches. Mileena also first appeared in Mortal Kombat II and is likely to appear in the upcoming Mortal Kombat 1.
Mileena is Kitana’s evil clone and shares many style similarities with her counterpart. Her original outfit was a magenta leotard, mask, and knee-high boots, similar to Kitana. Over the years, her outfit has changed, but it usually keeps the touchstone magenta mask.
5. Misty (Pokémon)
With 3,844 monthly searches on average, Misty from Pokémon ranks as the fifth most popular video game character to cosplay. Originally appearing in Pokémon Red and Blue in 1996, Misty is a staple of the Pokémon franchise, frequently appearing alongside protagonist Ash Ketchum throughout the series as a fellow Pokémon trainer.
Misty has a simple but renowned style; a cropped yellow vest, blue shorts, red suspenders, and red and white sneakers complete the look.
6. Scorpion (Mortal Kombat)
The third Mortal Kombat character to make the list, Scorpion sits at sixth, with 3,079 monthly searches on average. Scorpion is an undead ninja who first appeared in the original Mortal Kombat in 1992. He has appeared in every franchise instalment to date and is set to appear in Mortal Kombat 1 later this year.
Originally a palette swap of fellow Mortal Kombat character Sub-Zero, his first appearance was wearing a yellow and black ninja outfit with a yellow mask. His outfit has evolved over the years, but his signature style cues are the yellow mask and black and yellow ninja outfit.
7. Cammy (Street Fighter)
Cammy from Street Fighter ranks as the seventh most popular video game character to cosplay, with an average of 2,452 monthly searches. The former assassin turned secret agent made her first appearance in Super Street Fighter II in 1993, and her most recent appearance was in Street Fighter 6 in 2023.
Her original outfit was a green turtleneck leotard, red beret, red gauntlets, and brown combat boots. However, her outfit has completely changed in Street Fighter 6, now opting for dark blue yoga pants and a sports bra with white trimming, royal blue cropped jacket with a Union Jack on the back, and red combat boots and gauntlets to complete the look.
8. Isabelle (Animal Crossing)
Isabelle from Animal Crossing ranks eighth for the most popular video game character to cosplay, with 1,894 searches on average per month. She first appeared in Animal Crossing: New Leaf in 2012 as the player’s secretary and most recently returned to Animal Crossing: New Horizons in 2020.
She is a fan favourite among the Animal Crossing fandom and across the wider gaming landscape and even appears in Super Smash Brothers and Mario Kart.
The Spring and Summer outfit from Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which she is most commonly seen sporting, features a green checkered vest worn over a white short-sleeved shirt, a red folding bow tie, and a blue skirt.
9. Reaper (Overwatch)
Reaper from Overwatch ranks ninth, averaging 1,810 monthly searches. He is a major antagonist in the Overwatch story and a formidable close-quarters damage hero, first appearing in the full game as a launch hero in 2016.
His outfit comprises a hooded black trench coat, dark grey armoured boots, gauntlets, dark grey armoured combat fatigues, and the infamous, stylized, long, white skull mask.
10. Master Chief (Halo)
He finished the fight and is now finishing this list. Master Chief from Halo ranks tenth, averaging 1,724 monthly searches.
The Spartan is legendary in gaming and has become synonymous with console first-person shooters. His first appearance was as the protagonist in Halo: Combat Evolved, and he has since become an unofficial mascot of the Xbox fandom.
His green Mjolnir power armour with a yellow visor is iconic, with most revisions to his appearance since Halo 2 being minor cosmetic additions.
I have to say, I’m honestly surprised that Kitana reached the highest rank. I have never found her outfit particularly interesting. Mileena is far more interesting when you add the additional cosmetics that go into her face, etc. Also, where are all the Final Fantasy characters? Where is Sephiroth, where are any number of the iconic summons?
There are obvious ones on the list, Scorpion makes sense as does Master Chief. I’ve been to many cons and those two are there a lot.