And since it's Finland's 100th independence day today, we thought that was something worth celebrating.
In this list we're going to look at 25 of the best. Some of them you'll have heard of, some of them you won't, and at least one of them has a funny name.
Red Bird - Angry Birds
Red Bird has become the Finnish pop culture export of recent times. From smash hit games to a blockbuster Hollywood movie, from novelty socks to kid's backpacks, it's hard to think of something that hasn't been branded with his cheery visage. I mean, his visage isn't actually that cheery. He's an Angry Bird after all.
Max Payne - Max Payne
Grizzled and overworked, Max Payne might be a bit of a walking cliché, but the first two games in the series are classics of the third-person shooter genre. Bullet time, drug-induced hallucinations, and more bullets that you can shake a stick at. Max Payne was the archetypal grim hero.
Alan Wake - Alan Wake
A novelist plagued by demons. Demons that can only be stopped by light. Demons that really want to kill you. It helps that the game Wake stars in is so impressive, but he's one of the great characters of the last generation of console and PC games.
The Barbarian - Clash of Clans
You've probably seen the Barbarian's face more often than most of the others on this list. He's the good looking fella that graces the App Store icon of Clash of Clans. And he's instantly recognisable among all the other stars of the App Store even to this day.
Hog Rider - Clash Royale
There's something painfully annoying about seeing the Hog Rider played by your opponent in Clash Royale. Especially if you don't have one in your own deck. I bet you've screamed in rage at him more than everyone else on this list.
The Grand Master - Hay Day
Sometimes it's just nice when an old man comes to visit your house. The Grand Master pops in every now and then in Hay Day, and you need to provide him with what he wants or send him home on the train. Don't send him home though, that's mean.
The Rider - Trials
It's hard to think of a character that's taken more damage in gaming than The Rider in the Trials games. He's been blown up, had his back broken, and fallen off more ramps than most of the rest of us have had hot dinners. And he still looks like he's having the best time.
Moomintroll - The Moomins
The first non-game character on the list. Moomintroll is the star of the Moomin books. Or one of them anyway. It's fair to say that he loves the laughter and he loves the singing. And he's one of the cutest pop-culture icons of the last century.
Zoya the Thief - Trine
You can't have a good RPG without a thief. That's just a fact. I bet you can't think of one. Zoya is the first character that you unlock in the game, so you're going to spend a good deal of time learning the ropes with her. And unlike many other thieves, she steals for herself.
Mr. Boo - Mr. Boo
The star of a series of strange children's books written and illustrated by Hannu Mekala. They're popular all over the world, thanks to their warmth, humanity, and the fact that sometimes they're so funny you'll fall off your chair laughing.
The Finn Woman - The Snow Queen
A Finn who helps the heroine in The Snow Queen. She only has a small part to play in the story, which is actually Danish, but she says that the most important thing in the world is to be sweet and innocent, which I think we can all agree with.
Mr Lordi - Lordi
The lead singer of a heavy metal band best known for winning Eurovision once. The band appear in extensive make-up and prosthetics that make them look like terrifying monsters, which is pretty awesome. It's fine though, they're not real monsters. Or are they?
The Furmins - The Furmins
The Furmins are nice and fuzzy. I like fuzzy things. I'm sure you like fuzzy things as well. The game they appear in is sort of like a cross between Lemmings and a physics puzzler. And even though the Furmins themselves are cute, the game itself might have you scratching your scalp red and raw.
Charlie Chucker - Charlie Chucker
Okay, so Charlie Chucker is a gravedigger. But he's a gravedigger who likes throwing ragdolls into coffins. Think a more macabre Angry Birds, with additional pipe smoking. And there are some dinosaurs in there too.
The Spymaster - Spymaster
The string puller in the game that takes his name. Technically it's you, but as main characters go, a super smart espionage leader is a pretty cool one. And he wears a really cool hat. I always wanted to wear a really cool hat.
The King - Clash Royale
Another well known face on the App Store and Google Play Store. The King is the face of Clash Royale. Not only do you see him on the app icon, you'll see him sat in his castle waving his shooter around as well. Smash him up and you're a winner.
Weird Blob Thing - Badland
I don't think that's the character's actual name, but you know them when you see them. They're cute, pudgy, and really rather adorable. And sometimes there's hundreds of them on the screen at once. More characters means more awesome, right?
Nonstop Knight - Nonstop Knight
A knight that does not stop. I mean seriously, nothing is going to stop this knight. You can even stop playing the game and the knight is going to keep on not-stopping. The fact he's the star of one of the best casual games on mobile helps his cause somewhat too.
The Swapper - The Swapper
I don't know if the Swapper or the Swappee is my favourite character. I guess that sort of poses a deep existential question that's probably too involved to really go into here. So I won't bother. Still, cool puzzler.
Bad Piggies - Angry Birds
All the best games have memorable antagonists. The bad piggies are every bit as well known as the birds that get hurled at them. And all they ever wanted to do was snaffle some eggs. Poor things, they deserve love too.
The Undying One - The Legend of Grimrock
A character that's essentially a (spoilers) giant evil machine. While other bad guys might have something sympathetic about them, it's really had to find anything nice to say about a giant evil machine.
Amazing Alex - Amazing Alex
A kid that's good with his hands, an expert at making contraptions, and who always seems to have a cheery smile on his face. Maybe Amazing Alex should be in more video games, rather than all the grumpy grey dude bros we see all the time.
The Hero - Swordigo
A character with a really big sword that stars in a game that's a lot like classic Zelda platformers. Bright and cheery, and did I mention that really big sword? I think the bigger the sword, the better the character.
Top Hat Willy - Top Hat Willy
I'll be honest, I just wanted to include Top Hat Willy in this list because I wanted to see how many times I could type Top Hat Willy without laughing. It is none. I am completely incapable of writing the name of the star of this Jet Set Willy riff from the olden times of computing without laughing.
King Oddball - King Oddball
I like King Oddball because his name describes him perfectly. He's a king, he's a ball, and boy is he odd. He uses his weird tongue to fling stuff around and cause mayhem. And I think that's something we can all relate to.