Ace Attorney prosecutors have quite an important role to play in all the games, as while there usually isn’t an over-arching baddie for the player to direct their hatred towards, the defence always needs to face off against the prosecution across all the cases. This means that you’ll be seeing these characters a lot during your playthroughs, but luckily Capcom knew this, and nearly every prosecutor is an extraordinarily memorable character who even outshine the defence on occasion.
Some of my favourite videogame characters ever, not just in the series, have been Ace Attorney prosecutors, and each of them bring a new and exciting agenda or dynamic to courtroom proceedings – and they’re all partly why I love this series so much. I definitely have my favourites, though, so how would I rank them?
You can check out some of my related posts below, and BE WARNED: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD for all games.
11 – The Paynes (The Whole Series, unfortunately)
The Paynes were always going to be at the bottom of lists like these, but that is by design. They’re completely incompetent, forgettable and laughable, but the story needs an easy tutorial opponent just to get the ball rolling.
In fairness, they do make the subsequent prosecutors in the story feel so much more competent by comparison, but I’m just fed up of dealing with one of them every single game.
10 – Nahyuta Sahdmadhi (Spirit Of Justice)
Of all the prosecutors that weren’t dumb tutorial foible, Nahyuta was by far the most bland and forgettable – and it’s kinda crazy how every other prosecutor is leagues ahead of him.
He just brings absolutely nothing new to the table, as both his motivations and his arc have been seen countless times before. He has a paper-thin connection to the plot, so at least there’s sort of a purpose to him being there, but otherwise he’s just a lazy excuse for a court opponent.
9 – Queen Ga’ran Sigatar Khura’in (Spirit Of Justice)
I would say spoiler alert, but I guess the name alone is enough to give away the finale of Spirit of Justice … so sorry I guess?
Anything was always going to be better than Nahyuta, so to actually face off against the queen of the country in the final trial upped the ante to a ridiculous degree – but that sort of wackiness is why I love the series so much. She’s also quite a competent and intimidating prosecutor in her own right, so overall a great final boss (even if we hardly spend any time with her).
8 – Franziska von Karma (Justice For All)
I genuinely surprised myself when I put Franziska so low on my rankings, as I do believe her to be a good character and one that I thoroughly enjoyed during Justice For All.
I guess it’s just a case of personal preference, as I found her whip gimmick to get a little boring over time. Also, it doesn’t help her case that during the final part of the game she gets shunned aside so that another (admittedly superior) prosecutor can take the reigns, so that undermines her importance ever so slightly.
7 – The Masked Disciple (The Great Ace Attorney)
Of all the prosecutors on my list, this is easily the one with the biggest SPOILER WARNING attached to it … you have been warned.
It turns out van Zieks’s disciple was actually Kazuma Asogi in disguise, Ryunosuke’s best friend who he thought was dead, so that twist was pretty epic. He’s also an incredibly intelligent prosecutor that even rivals the intellect of van Zieks, so he made for a great opponent during the final trials.
Unfortunately, I found Kazuma to be far less interesting once he was unveiled as a prosecutor. He’s fairly by-the-book as far as prosecutors go, and I actually preferred him when he was just your ally near the start of the story. I can’t deny how important he is to the plot, though, and the twist alone is enough to bump him up a few places.
6 – Simon Blackquill (Dual Destinies)
It’s almost over-the-top how intimidating and fearsome Simon Blackquill is, but I come to these games for crazy premises so I’m all for it.
Having an actual prison convict on the opposing bench is ridiculousness personified, but the courtroom interactions make it all worth it (and his “Silence!” is pretty rad). Blackquill also has a surprisingly emotional backstory, so that wins some bonus points.
5 – Manfred von Karma (Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney)
It’s rare for someone who just appears in one case to make such an impression, but von Karma is one of the most terrifying presences ever in an Ace Attorney courtroom.
The “final boss” of Ace Attorney if ever there was one, the original demon prosecutor himself is somehow even more imposing than his protégé Edgeworth. It blew my mind when it was revealed the he, the prosecutor in the opposing bench, was directly involved with all of the incidents of the case, and as a result von Karma is at the centre of the first great Ace Attorney twist.
Spoilers for Investigations 2: I also really liked his appearance in Investigations 2 against Gregory Edgeworth, where we got to see prime von Karma with a currently spotless record manipulate the events to his favour.
4 – Klavier Gavin (Apollo Justice)
It got a bit silly after to a while to have prosecutor after prosecutor have agendas against the defence, or some sort of spite inside of them, so it was refreshing to just have a cool dude with a pure heart who also wanted to find the truth.
Everything from his outfit to his theme tune to his attitude were just so cool, and he’s also a musician so that gets bonus points from me. I think I would have liked it if he were a little more involved / moved by the plot (there are certainly a couple of moments where I thought he would’ve given more of a reaction), but otherwise he was a great opponent in court.
3 – Barok van Zieks (The Great Ace Attorney)
Barok van Zieks wastes no time at all making an impression when you first meet him in The Great Ace Attorney, and dare I say he may be the most intelligent and insightful prosecutor we’ve ever seen in the franchise.
All of his objections and observations were extremely well thought out and reasonable, and it felt like you were genuinely doing battle against the most formidable prosecutor of all time.
The whole backstory about the Reaper of the Bailey and The Professor were some of my favourite backstories in Ace Attorney history as well, and he’s right at the heart of it all. His arc and direct influence on the story were truly a sight to behold, and maybe in a few years down the line I may look back and even hold him in the same regard as the next two on the list.
2 – Godot (Trials & Tribulations)
I’ll be delving into a few spoilers for Godot’s character and the plot of Trials & Tribulations, but I’m sure you’ve already played that game if you’ve clicked on this list.
Godot seems a little unremarkable at first, but as the cases of Trials & Tribulations keep going and the mystery keeps unfolding you start to realise what a great character he is. Apart from being one of the coolest cats you’ll ever meet with a penchant for a nice brew, it seemed like his heart was in the right place – even if his hatred of Wright seemed wholly unjustified.
Once the final two cases roll around, and his backstory as Diego Armando is revealed, the story comes to a head in an incredibly emotional and satisfying way. All of his motives suddenly make sense, and his final scene (“In my world, the colour red doesn’t exist … so these must be … my tears”) completely wrecked me for days. I wish he had the chance to live out the life with Mia he deserved, but eventually this tragic hero managed to make things right in the world.
1 – Miles Edgeworth (The Whole Series)
Miles Edgeworth is my favourite prosecutor in these games, but not only that – he’s my favourite character in the series.
He has a fantastic arc in the first game about what it means to be a prosecutor, and these themes carry over into every one of his memorable appearances. His attitude and arrogance may be off-putting at first, but once he explains the details of the case you realise he has a Sherock-ian intellect that is truly a sight to behold. I’m glad he got a couple of his own games to explore his arc further, and I hope he continues to make many more fantastic appearances.
Aaaand that’s my list. You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:
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