Twitter is kind of an Animal Crossing hellhole right now. I mean that in the most respectful way, I swear. Going through the #AnimalCrossing hashtag will flood the viewer with all sorts of screenshots, videos, and fanart of a large variety of villagers from the latest installment: New Horizons. Many people have opinions on these villagers; I, included. After playing the game daily for over a month now (have not missed a single day), I’ve come to the conclusion that I think a lot of the villager list is cute. But who is the cutest? You will not find out here, because I go for the more vague “visually appealing” moniker.
Gender, personality; doesn’t matter. This is a list of villagers I find to be the most eye-catching the game has to offer (in a very good way), based solely on design. And as a quick precaution: My taste can be a little weird. For example, Raymond, Marshal, and Judy will all not be on this list—there’s your cue.
I will also specify beforehand that every image obtained for this list was through Twitter. If the people behind the images happen to read this and would like me to credit them, I would be glad to do so.
If Raymond, Judy, or Marshal not being on this list was your first cue, this is your second.
“Cesar???? He is so uggggggggly!!!” Twitter is not kind to this big buddy. Just because a gorilla has a mustache, suddenly they’re “ugly.” I think Donkey Kong ruined me—or perhaps Animal Planet, too—because I adore gorillas. Big, beefy bozos in cutesy game form just do it for me. And Cesar has a very strong case in another fashion, too:
He reminds me of Bluster Kong from the Donkey Kong Country TV show, and my adoration for that will never leave me. Stupid as that is, it helps. I look at Cesar, I think of DKC, which makes me happy. That’s all that matters.
Fun fact: The above image was taken from a tweet where the composer was overjoyed that Cesar was moving out. No respect at all.
Hey, everyone. May I introduce you to Audrey Hepburn?
I mean, this isn’t the bunny interpretation of her or anything… except it kind of is. Supposedly modeled after Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany‘s, Tiffany has that sort of retro chic to her design, complete with pantyhose of all things. Though outside of that subtle(?) connection, she just looks like one of those curt, aloof anime women who would stab you if you looked at them funny. She’s great.
I’m not typically someone infatuated with eras of old, but there’s a nice accumulation of styled facets to her design that looks really good. It’s more simple than otherwise, except some really good color contrasts make the basic foundations really pop. I think the sleeves are a tad much, however.
Something to know about my taste in Animal Crossing villagers: I tend to like eagles (hint, hint) and squirrels. Pecan is one of the more visually appealing ones for me in part by her combination of colors—slight exaggeration normalized.
By most accounts, Pecan looks pretty normal. The eye shadow aside, her colors aren’t too far off from what one would expect from a real squirrel, with only a slight shade differentiating it. I really like the almost burgundy red combined with the pale yellow—almost reminds me of a certain NFL team (whose uniforms I like). And the little swirl of colors adorning her tail (which is common for squirrels in this game) also pop greatly.
I said before that personalities didn’t really matter to this list, but going through the full list of villagers in New Horizons, I also found that snooty and cranky villagers tend to have the most appealing designs to me. Something about the glamorous look really speaks to me; perhaps my inner fashionista wants to be freed. Pecan pulls this off, and the slight skid from normalcy, quite well.
Gotta say: looks much better with the glasses.
This choice shouldn’t be too surprising, considering Diana is also quite popular among players for her extravagant design. Something about galaxy-like pinks and blues and purples really stand out in this game. With fur(?) like cotton candy, she has a cuteness that is only outdone by the almost regal aura she exudes. Diana is both a princess and a pop star rolled into one.
For whatever reason, Twitter seems to really enjoy having her reading with those glasses on. I suppose the popular headcanon is that she’s a studious type enraptured by knowledge, but that’s merely conjecture from me. Nevertheless, Diana is popular for good reason, and it shouldn’t be understated that her design is among the best in the game for its particular purpose. Her eyelashes are also killer.
How can you not dig a macaroni penguin, and the only one in the game?! And those red eyes… fantastique!
This one will not be hard to explain: macaroni penguins are super cool. Hopper is the only one in the game. His uniqueness makes him more interesting visually, and I believe he’s also the only villager with mostly red eyes. Don’t quote me on that, unless I’m right. In terms of overall design, it’s very, very simple, almost on the level of Tad (who is literally just a basic frog). Hopper’s just what he is: macaroni. Yet that same simplicity is why it works and hasn’t been replicated since.
It also helps that he features some of my favorite colors, all in one package. Black works with almost anything bright.
This dude looks like an Egyptian painting. It’s awesome.
For as much as I adore color, some of my favorite designs and color combinations are a little more flat. Grays of any brightness can be just as effective as creating something unique and strong as the boldest shades of blue and green. Avery is a great example of grays coming together to make something that really shines.
There’s an abstractness to Avery’s design that really resonates with me, as someone who adores the abstract. Realism is overrated; just let things be wild creatively. The uniformity of the blocks along the wings and tail almost give off the impression that he’s armored, which is super neat. And what little color he does have, shone through his talons and beak, only add to the pop of the generally dulled color palette.
And one shouldn’t forget the eyes. Almost as simple as can be, if not for some stylish eye-liner that looks almost Unown-like. It brings it all together.
Two eagles in a row, and the third bird villager in a row? Almost seems like a trend… maybe Apollo’s next?
So all that stuff I said above about grays being great and that color isn’t everything? Still credible, except this is an example of color winning out.
Frank, putting this as bluntly as possible, is gorgeous. Look how the green, yellow, and burgundy just blend together effortlessly! He looks like he originated from a tropical island, full of beautiful rainforests and bizarre creatures. Just looking at him is scrumptious.
Unfortunately, there is one thing about him I’m not huge on: the eyes. Not the eyes themselves, but the way the burgundy makes his eyes look. Frank looks lonely, unsure, and anxious. His personality is cranky. These things do not correlate… or maybe they do, speaking realistically, but in-game, I don’t think so. If not for this tiny detail, Frank might be within the top two on this list, instead of where he is now.
Here it is. This is the old, cynical version of me selling out. Audie, one of eight new villagers in New Horizons, is not only great visually, but is in my top three of the best-looking villagers ever. Sorry, Apollo. (Oops, spoiler.)
The color choice for Audie is superb. Gorgeous shade of an almost sunset red with bright yellows and teal eyes give her an aura unlike any other. I’m not sure there’s any other wolf villager that looks quite as inviting, but Audie does it effortlessly. Hell, she could almost be a character from a completely different game! And those sunglasses… she’s just ready to hop onto the beach and work on her fur tan!
This has little bearing on the design, but knowing that she might be named after the grandma that put 3,500 hours into Animal Crossing games is really sweet. Tidbits like that add some memorability, even if for reasons outside the jurisdiction of my criteria.
Look at this cranky dude. He’s a grape with a lightning bolt on his head. That’s amazing.
Static reminds me of gatorade every time I see him. The lightning bolt synonymous with the brand, and the bright purple just makes me want to swig some grape soda. The design just punches you in the face with how obnoxiously bold it is. And look at him—he knows it! He is absolutely aware of how flashy he is, despite the cranky demeanor he carries. He’s like zumba pants reincarnate. Like retro sports drink commercials trying to appeal to surfer bros. Like being transported into a psychedelic state where everything is bolder than one can imagine.
How can I not put that within the top two?
Lucky is a mummy dog! Lucky is a mummy dog! How can that possibly be topped? Look at that glowing, mysterious eye! That and his ears and tail are all one receives in knowing that he’s even a thing at all!
In the end, nostalgia wins: Lucky was in my first Animal Crossing town. I thought he was amazing then, and I still think he’s amazing now. Mummy doggo!!!! I don’t like the shirt in the above image but MUMMY. DOGGO!!!!!!!!!!
Honorable mentions: Apollo, Blanche, Gwen, Admiral, Caroline, Tasha, Amelia
What are your favorite New Horizons designs? Did you stop looking after Cesar? Tell me what you think!
For more video game Top 10’s, check out the associated archive!
Thank you for your time. Have a great day.