Cosplay characters

The Most Popular Video Game and Anime Character Cosplays

America’s Most Cosplayed Video Game and Anime Characters

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The Most Cosplayed Video Game Characters

Video Game Character Interesting Findings

The Most Cosplayed Anime Characters

Anime Character Interesting Findings


If you’re an anime fan or gamer, Halloween isn’t the only day you can dress like a character from your favorite anime or video game. Cosplay, the act of dressing up to recreate the look of a fictional character, is becoming increasingly popular.

Hundreds of American gamers and anime fans participate in cosplay at gaming, anime, and comic conventions nationwide annually. In 2021, New York Comic Con saw high attendance numbers, with 150,000 fans participating in the event. A recent Allied Market Research report shows that the global cosplay costumes market was estimated at $4.62 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $23 billion by 2030.

We took to the internet and Instagram to identify America’s most cosplayed anime and video game characters and ranked them from most to least popular.

Top 10 most cosplayed Video Game characters

Interesting Findings

  • The Legend of Zelda protagonist Link is the most popular video game cosplay character, appearing in 82,300 cosplay posts on Instagram.

    • Link has been recognized by the Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition as the second best video game character of all time.

  • Lara Croft, the main protagonist of the video game franchise Tomb Raider is the second most cosplayed video game character on Instagram, with 69,600 cosplay posts.

    • Croft holds six Guinness World Records including the records for Most versatile female character in a video game and Best-selling video game heroine.

  • Life is Strange character Chloe Price is the third most cosplayed character, with 35,000 cosplay posts on Instagram.

    • Price was ranked one of the best video game characters of the 2010’s by Polygon and GamesRadar ranked her 41st in a list of the 50 most iconic video game characters.

  • Despite being named the best video game character of all time by the Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition, Mario ranked only sixth on our list of most cosplayed video game characters, appearing in just 29,700 cosplay posts on Instagram.

Top 10 most cosplayed Anime characters

Interesting Findings

  • The two most popular anime cosplay characters are from Naruto, including Hinata Hyuga, the most cosplayed anime character on Instagram, with 133,000 cosplay posts and Sakura Haruno, the second most cosplayed anime character, who appears in 88,400 cosplay posts.

    • Naruto, which was named the best-selling manga series in history with 250 million copies in circulation worldwide, turns 20 in October 2022.

  • Rem, an antagonist in Death Note, is the third most cosplayed anime character on Instagram, appearing in 79,000 cosplay posts.

  • Attack on Titan’s Levi Ackermann is the fourth most cosplayed anime character, with 75,100 cosplay posts on Instagram.

  • Anime cosplay appears to be more popular among women than men. Seven of the most popular anime cosplay costumes are female characters.

  • The states that have googled cosplay the most in the past year are California, Washington, Arizona, Texas, and Utah.


  • To find the most cosplayed video game and anime characters, we first compiled a list of the 50 most popular video game characters based on data gathered from Ranker and GamesRadar, and the 50 most popular anime characters based on data gathered from My Anime List.

  • We then determined which 10 video game characters and which 10 anime characters have the highest hashtag count by searching for “[character] cosplay” on Instagram.

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