The Best & Worst Cranky Villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Published: Monday, May 18, 2020 - 11:00 | By: Robert Grosso
Developer
Nintendo
Publisher
Nintendo
Release Date
March 20, 2020
Multiplayer modes
Local, Online
Platforms
Nintendo Switch
Purchase (Some links may be affiliated)
Amazon Nintendo eShop
Some of the Best for Last

Cranky villagers were always unique, mostly because of their deeper baritone voices and often... well, cranky personalities. Mostly cantankerous and a bit stand-offish, cranky villagers represent the ‘older’ generation in Animal Crossing, and their presence in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is no different of course. 

Of course, we need to ask now, for the last time, which cranky villagers are the best and the worst found in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?

 
 

Worst Cranky Villager: Rooney

ACNH Rooney
Image from Nookipedia

Male kangaroos are rare in Animal Crossing. In fact, there are only two of them in the whole game, and both happen to have the cranky personality. Of the two, I would argue that Rooney here is clearly the inferior kangaroo, and overall a pretty lame villager. 

Part of the problem is the design and references Rooney is supposed to represent. The teal-colored skin is ruined by the poorly contrasted tuft of brown hair on top of his head, and the red ‘boxing gloves’ on his hands just look ridiculous when compared to the rest of the design.Yet, it’s purposeful, because Rooney is supposed to be a reference to boxer Mike Tyson. 

Yep, you read that right.

His English name is based on Tyson’s trainer, Kevin Rooney, but his Japanese name directly references Iron Mike. Nothing personal to Mike Tyson, but I already don’t like direct references to celebrities that much in Animal Crossing. Plus Tyson already had his 15-minutes by being in Punch-Out!, and Street Fighter 2, and countless other games... It’s just a tired reference, OK?

Best Cranky Villager: Static

ACNH Static
Image from Nookipedia

Ahh Static. He's definitely an odd duck but in a good way this time around, being another winning squirrel design with a unique twist this time around, being a reference to, well, static electricity.

Static’s design is a winner because it has consistently stood out among other villagers since the first game. His purple skin greatly complements the green and yellow accents he has, and the lightning motif running down his head is the kind of oddball reference that works well in Animal Crossing; it's simple, effective and not overly contrasting or given much attention. 

Personality-wise, Static is obviously a bit standoffish and thinks he is self-important. He lacks a lot of the ‘old man’ jokes that most cranky villagers tend to reference in Animal Crossing, and instead puts on a face of being more mature than the rest of the village, despite being incredibly insensitive. Solid use of the personality with a unique-looking squirrel design, a winning combination ultimately. 

Worst Cranky Villager: Vladimir

ACNH Vladimir
Image from Nookipedia

I normally have no problem with the cub designs in Animal Crossing but man a lot of them are pretty sub-par. So many cubs in the game either have fairly safe and bland designs, or have aspects that make them incredibly off-putting but stand out. Vladimir here I would argue is for the latter.

 

In this case, the buck teeth just get me. Hell, they may not even be buck-teeth, but just a really tiny smile. Combine this with a weird color scheme of pink and yellow, and that angry-looking face all the time, Vladimir definitely turns heads...mostly away from him though. 

Outside of the eyes, there is very little that denotes Vladimir as a cranky villager. His personality is just as insensitive, sure, but his design screams ‘cute’ instead. It’s a weird mix that really doesn’t work too well for me, and it makes Vladimir a weak cranky villager.

Best Cranky Villager: Roscoe

ACNH Roscoe
Image from Nookipedia

Evil black horse as a winning design? Hell yeah Roscoe is supposed to be here.

Well, evil is definitely not accurate for Roscoe. Like all cranky villagers, he is a bit rough around the edges, but he is also fairly kind and considerate over time. Heck, his red eyes are not even when he's angry, they turn yellow when that happens. 

 

I really love the sharp contrast of Roscoe’s design compared to other villagers. There are barely any black-furred villagers, and his ‘dark horse’ inspiration also contains a bit of a chess motif in his design. It is honestly striking in a positive way, one that is alluring and mysterious over repulsive.

It is also much better use of strong hues than other villagers on this list….

Worst Cranky Villager: Monty

ACNH Monty
Image from Nookipedia

Ahhh Monty. The only cranky monkey villager. Monkey villagers were added in Animal Crossing: Wild World, but have not had many additions to their roster since then. In fact, outside of the octopuses, monkeys are a pretty uncommon villager type.

They also have pretty odd designs and visual styles. Some are OK but pretty bland, while others veer on the negative side of things. Monty is in the latter category. The white fur is a great touch, as it gives Monty an ‘older’ appearance that a decent number of cranky villagers represent.

Outside of that though the rest of the design is pretty standard. What sinks Monty is his personality, which is incredibly off-putting. Even more than other cranky villagers, Monty typically is unpleasant to be around. A lot of it comes down to his hypocritical attitude; he pretends to be all-knowing but almost smugly complains everyone is out of touch but him. It’s kind of ironic how Monty is the living embodiment of a Simpsons meme. 

Best Cranky Villager: Tom

ACNH Tom
Image from Nookipedia

Tom is another one of those ‘evergreen’ villagers that everyone seems to love. Like Rosie, Goldie, Marshal and others, Tom is a popular cat that has had a significant presence in almost every Animal Crossing game to date. He is also the second most popular male cat, outside of the meme-tastic Bob. 

A lot of things work in Tom’s favor as a good villager. His name, of course, is a reference to tomcats, his design is simple but not bland, and his personality is memorable for being crotchety but not over the top. Unlike Monty, who is woefully out of touch and arrogantly claims to be right, Tom is just a sourpuss most of the time who means well and is willing to admit his own wrong-doing. 

Tom is just a solid villager and, like most of the cats in the game, super popular and highly coveted for a player's own town. 

Worst Cranky Villager: Limberg

ACNH Limberg
Image from Nookipedia

Unlike my counterpart Austin Suther, who has a rather disturbing hatred for almost every single mouse in Animal Crossing, I find the mice to be rather inoffensive most of the time. Yeah, some have poor designs, but I really hate their food-related pun names. Really, they are no better or worse than most animal types in the game. 

At least they are not hamsters, for example.

But I digress. I bring this up because if I had to pick one really awful mouse villager, Limberg would it. Never mind that his name is a cheese reference, but what gets me is how disturbingly ugly Limberg is. He comes across like a hobo with a five o’clock shadow. The rosy cheeks and orange colored skin is also an overly sharp contrast that doesn’t compliment Limberg at all.

That mug is frankly over-designed, and suffers heavily from being a design that tries to showcase the ‘old man’ part of the cranky villagers, but fails at it horribly. I can see why Austin hates the mice in the game sometimes…

Best Cranky Villager: Apollo

ACNH Apollo
Image from Nookipedia

I am honestly surprised I didn’t put many Eagle villagers on these lists. Eagles always stood out as villagers to me due to their majestic-looking size and color schemes. Almost all of them have great designs as well, and having at least one eagle in my village is something I strive to do in Animal Crossing.

Of course, if I had to pick only one, Apollo would be the choice. His design is unique because it’s simply a bald eagle. Like Savannah before him, being based on a real-life animal helps him stand out amongst his brethren easily. That type of simplicity is also the best type to have, as it doesn’t overload the senses or feel boring to look at.

What really helps Apollo is the personality though. Like most cranky villagers, he acts a bit older and wiser than the other animals in the game. Unlike most cranky villagers, Apollo is actually pretty friendly, all things considered. Sure, he belittles you from time to time, but he is quick to become friendly without losing his cranky edge. Apollo is easily the best eagle in the game, and one of the best cranky villagers you can find in Animal Crossing

Worst Cranky Villager: Hamphrey 

ACNH Hamphrey
Image from Nookipedia

I guess I have no leg to stand on in criticizing Austin for his hatred of mice, when I have a hatred for hamsters.

Seriously, none of their designs are any good. Not one. They are all just squat, oddly colored, and oddly shaped little creatures with weird faces. The only one I really tolerate is Clay because he wears a mask, and even then that’s not really a ringing endorsement. 

Hamphrey though...oh boy is it bad. An all-black hamster with a smug look on his face is the complete opposite of Roscoe; he doesn’t stick out due to his coloring but instead comes across as actually mean and off-putting, with the cranky personality tuned to 11 for that. 

Roscoe, at least, can be friendly. Hamphrey however is constantly complaining and like Monty, is more out of touch than most cranky villagers. So factor in bad design, bad personality, a terrible pun name, and being a hamster, how can I not pick him as one of the worst cranky villagers?

At least he's mildly better than Rodney, but that's not saying much. 

Best Cranky Villager: Octavian

ACNH Octavian
Image from Nookipedia

I mean, was there any other choice really? We have to complete the trifecta of having all three octopuses in the best category. 

Octavian is the original octopus, a villager so rare that they added Marina as an islander in the Japanese expansion of Animal Crossing just to make up for it. Why he was the only octopus villager in the first game is always a mystery to me, but it certainly helps to make him stand out. 

Octavian basically is a contrasting character, with that bold red color that is often used to depict octopuses, often juxtaposed to a black T-shirt. It's a solid design that, like Apollo, is simple but eye catching in a good way. Octavian is also typical of most cranky villagers; he talks about being older and is fairly grumpy all the time when compared to his cranky counterparts.

Yet, Octavian still can be charming, in his own way. He never really breaks out of his cantankerous nature, but unlike Hamphery, he never comes across as mean-spirited or full of himself. Octavian is just an old man stuck in his ways, who is trying to pass on some wisdom to those around him but knows his limitations to that. The older I get, the more I can relate to this, honestly.


And there you have it. We have finished our journey across the villagers and pointed out the best and worst of each personality type. The only question now is do our picks match your own opinions? Let us know in the comments below!


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Staff Writer

A game playing, college teaching scholar who happens to write some articles every so often. Enjoys penning long-form articles that few probably read. Love the art of gaming, preservation, collecting and RPGs. Have worked as a journalist, critic, educator and blogger for over ten years now, with articles published (as user editorials) on Game Revolution and Giant Bomb as well as a contributor for the websites Angry Bananas and Blistered Thumbs. Now making TechRaptor my home.