Do you ever wonder why your favourite video game characters never seem to age? Staying in their top physical condition, they just keep doing what they do best, without ageing a single year.

We were curious to see what the nation’s best loved characters might look like in 2021. By taking their age of when they were first released, we then calculated how old they’d be in the present day, and worked with Carol Holland, Professor in Ageing Research at Lancaster University, to offer commentary on what they could look like in 2021. We then brought the characters to life.

1. Mario

A plumber with an iconic moustache, Mario spends his days rescuing Princess Peach, and battling Bowser.

Mario first appeared in 1981, said to be 25 years old. Now 65 years old, Mario may be grey. However, he’s likely to still be in good shape because he’s always been physically active and is probably still embarking on quests – although less keen on jumping long distances. The Mediterranean diet is known for its healthy antioxidants and so, as an Italian, Mario’s likely ageing well.

2. Luigi

As Mario’s younger brother, Luigi’s often thought of living in his brother’s shadow, but he regularly fights alongside him and has superior jumping skills.

Luigi made his first appearance two years later in 1983, aged 25 years old. At 63 years old now, he’s probably a bit fitter and slimmer than Mario, but as he jumped more, he’s likely to now have more knee issues, which will affect him walking upstairs and on slopes.

3. Carl ‘CJ’ Johnson

Second-in-command of Los Santos-based gang Grove Street Families, CJ sought revenge on everyone who had wronged him.

When Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was released in 2004, CJ was 36 years old. Although he’s slim and looks physically fit, at 53 years old now, he may have experienced injuries over the years, so might not be in great shape, and could also be starting to go grey in his older age.

4. Lara Croft

Archaeologist, tomb raider and treasure hunter, Lara has searched for very powerful artifacts across the world and visited some of the most mysterious places on the planet.

First appearing in 1996, Lara Croft would now be 46 years old this year and would likely still be in very good shape. Lara will still have her famous hourglass figure and her defined facial features could have smoothed a little. She may also have grey hairs, though regular suncream application has helped keep Lara’s skin healthy while adventuring in exotic locations.

5. Dr Eggman

Sonic’s arch-nemesis, Dr Eggman’s dream was having his own empire, and the ability to control space and time, yet he was always overthrown.

Dr Eggman was first introduced in 1991, aged 50, and so would today be at the impressive age of 80 years old. Dr Eggman will be showing his age, having led a sedentary lifestyle and fighting in many battles over the years. He’s likely to have mobility issues and be frail, and may have lost weight due to losing muscle mass.

We’ve let our imaginations run free in creating what the nation’s most loved video game characters could look like today. Is this how you imagined your favourite video game characters to look in 2021 and do you prefer their ageless versions?

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