So, as the title suggests, the latest Gameinformer has an article entitled "The 30 Characters Who Defined A Decade", featuring "the best, most fully realized characters we've seen" in what they term the greatest decade of video games ever. Now, here's the cool part. There were four games/franchises which were represented multiple times. They generally weren't surprising. The four games which had multiple characters (for a total of 8 of the 30) were: Red Dead Redemption (John Marston and Bonnie MacFarlane), the Uncharted series (Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher), the Grand Theft Auto series (Niko Bellic from GTA IV and Tommy Vercetti from Vice City), and... you guessed it. Mass Effect. Coming in at #12 is Commander Shepard, and at #17 is The Illusive Man.
To give you an idea of what games didn't get more than one character on the list, Mass Effect beat the Halo series, Dragon Age: Origins, the Assassin's Creed series, BioShock, the Knights of the Old Republic series, and the Call of Duty series. Not too shabby!