Top 10 Mafia II Characters

Which characters from Mafia II will make this top 10 list? Just like the first game in the Mafia series, Mafia II is full of a cast of rich and compelling characters, many of which you'd want to treat with caution. Who do you trust, who will betray you, and is there more to these characters than meets the eye?

Top 10 Mafia II Characters Cover

The first Mafia proved to be a big success, thanks to its glorious cast of characters. Mafia II is no different. It’s darker and edgier, and so are its characters. Throughout Mafia II, you’ll get to know mobsters and Don’s, the typical people you would not want to cross. These characters showcase what life is really life in the mafia, and it isn’t always pretty. Let’s see which characters really brought the game to life. Which characters did we like, and which ones did we love to despise?

Be aware that major spoilers for the game’s story lie ahead

Vito Scaletta, the main protagonist of Mafia II.

Vito Scaletta, the main protagonist of Mafia II.

1. VITO SCALETTA

The main protagonist of Mafia II. Vito is no stranger to the Mafia series. He makes his first appearance at the very end of Mafia, when he and his buddy Joe pay Tommy Angelo (the protagonist of Mafia) a visit. Now Vito is the protagonist, and it’s his story that we follow.

Since Vito and Joe were responsible for killing Tommy, you might be forgiven for hating them, but Vito is actually a likeable person. Vito has a rough ride in Mafia II, growing up in poverty, fighting in the war, going to prison, and losing his friends and family. You can’t help but feel sorry for him. He has to deal with all kinds of craziness, and luck isn’t always on his side, but he finds a way to get through it. Vito is tough as nails, but he’s human, too. You feel for him when his mother dies while he’s locked up in prison, as well as when Henry is brutally killed. You feel like Vito is trying to do what’s best, for himself and other people, even if it isn’t morally right.

Vito is ambitious, values his friends and family, and will do anything for money.

Vito is ambitious, values his friends and family, and will do anything for money.

Due to Vito’s life in poverty and mixing up with Joe from a young age, Vito seemed destined for a life of crime. It seems he can’t get out of it, even if it gets him into trouble, whether with the law or rivals. Vito finds that a lawful life isn’t for him. His short spell of hauling boxes at the docks makes him realize quickly that he is better than that. His ambition is to make it big in the criminal underworld, and make lots of money. Even after Vito’s grim existence in prison, it doesn’t turn him off from the only thing he knows.

Vito also wants to do right by his family, who he cares about greatly. It’s heart-wrenching the moment when he learns that his mother has died, particularly as he’s in prison at the time. He may secretly blame himself for her early demise. Vito is also very protective of his sister, Francesca, fighting off a loan shark hassling her and hastily getting some money to pay his father’s debts off. Unfortunately, Francesca dislikes Vito’s dark side, when he violently threatens her abusive husband, and she wants nothing more to do with him. It seems that Vito can’t do right from wrong.

Vito also values his friends. Joe Barbaro is his best friend, and Vito is always grateful for the things Joe does for him. Vito is utterly stunned when he discovers that Joe may have been killed at the end of the game. Vito is also devastated when Henry Tomasino is brutally killed, his eyes being opened to the ruthlessness of the criminal underworld. Vito also befriends Leo Galante. When he is given the task to assassinate Leo, Vito outright refuses, a rare moment when he turns down an instruction from his superiors. Instead, Vito races over to save Leo, despite the consequences of getting found out.

Joe Barbaro, Vito's larger-than-life best friend.

Joe Barbaro, Vito’s larger-than-life best friend.

2. JOE BARBARO

Joe is Vito’s best friend. He is someone who is larger-than-life. He likes women, fast cars, drinking, and partying. Joe can be a fun guy – but he isn’t someone you want to get on the wrong side of. He’s a rather brutish person, who isn’t afraid of violence, and is very lawless. He thrives in the mafia, bringing Vito along with him for the wild ride.

Joe might act like a thug, but he has undying loyalty to Vito. He is the true definition of a best friend. He is the one who greets Vito at the train station when the latter arrives home from the war. He also pulls some strings so that Vito doesn’t have to return to the fighting. He continues to help Vito out throughout the game, such as giving him a place to stay, giving him money, and getting him paid work (even if it’s dodgy). Joe is also with Vito for many of his jobs, the pair often working side-by-side. There’s no question that Joe is a great friend to Vito.

Joe’s loyalty is really proven in the final chapter of the game. When Vito confronts Carlo Falcone, Joe holds a gun to Vito’s head. Falcone offers Joe a promotion. Does Joe betray his friend? No. He helps Vito finish Falcone off. He’d rather help his friend and sacrifice his chance of climbing up the ranks than betray his best friend. If you didn’t respect Joe before, you probably do now.

Vito and Joe were the ones who assassinated Tommy Angelo in the first Mafia game.

Vito and Joe were the ones who assassinated Tommy Angelo in the first Mafia game.

Vito isn’t the only friend Joe cares about. He’s also got close ties with Marty, a youngster eager to be a gangster like Joe. He may act gruff and impatient with Marty, but it’s very clear that he cares about him. When Marty is killed, not only does Joe avenge his death by mercilessly executing his murderer, but also gets very drunk, clearly shaken by his death. It’s plain as anything that nobody messes with the people Joe cares about. Joe is also upset when his friend Henry is savagely killed, immediately going after those responsible. You mess with Joe’s friends, it may well be the last thing you do.

Joe is such a big character that he is the star of his own DLC, Joe’s Adventures. This takes place while Vito is banged-up in prison. You step right into the shoes of Joe as he tries to help out his friend in trouble, as well as completing jobs to climb the ranks in the mafia. You really get a greater understanding of who Joe is by playing as him, seeing the story in his eyes. 

What happens to Joe at the end of Mafia II is a mystery. He is driven away in a car, presumably to be killed. Joe may have his flaws, but you’ll probably be just as stunned as Vito.

Henry Tomasino, a good friend of Vito and Joe.

Henry Tomasino, a good friend of Vito and Joe.

3. HENRY TOMASINO

Henry can be described as being cool, calm, and clever. He works closely with Vito and Joe. He is the serious, level-headed member of the group, the one who cooks up the plans, usually in great detail. You’d think that nothing would go wrong, except they occasionally do. For example, Henry tips Vito off about some gas stamps, but once they get them, he discovers that they expire that night, leading to Vito madly driving around the city to sell them at gas stations. This plan also leads to Vito’s stint in prison. We shouldn’t be too hard on Henry though. At least he’s trying to come up with ideas to make money. Henry also isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, so at least he doesn’t sit back and let someone else take the fall when his plans fail.

Henry is a man of honor, a stickler for the rules, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t afraid to break his own code now and again. After Vito refuses to kill Leo Galante, Henry takes the job instead. Vito begs him not to go through with it, and Leo offers to make a deal with him. You’d think Henry would ignore them, refusing to go against orders. Instead, Henry reluctantly agrees to let Leo leave quietly. This is quite a surprising move on Henry’s part, but for that, we respect him more. It’s good to know that he respects his friends’ wishes and doesn’t betray them for his own gain.

Vito, Joe, and Henry usually work together for jobs, and make quite a good team.

Vito, Joe, and Henry usually work together for jobs, and make quite a good team.

Henry is very knowledgeable about the crime families in Empire Bay, which he uses to his advantage, often to cook up the next big plan. He’s also not afraid to grab an opportunity when he sees one. He persuades Vito and Joe to enter the drugs business with him, believing they can greatly profit from it after learning all the crime families are in the business. It starts off well, but this is Mafia, so as you might expect, it unravels.

If you thought you knew Henry well, think again. It’s a huge shock to learn that he’s an informant for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. You’d never imagine that Henry was a “rat”, as he’s labelled. You think he’d be so loyal to the people he works for, but apparently not. Despite this shocking discovery, it’s horrific when he is savagely hacked to death with cleavers by the Triads, suffering a brutal and agonizing death. Poor Henry…

Leo Galante, a mentor and father figure to Vito.

Leo Galante, a mentor and father figure to Vito.

4. LEO GALANTE

The consigliere of the Vinci crime family. Leo is a cool old man that Vito gets to know in prison. Leo’s time in prison is considerably more plush than Vito’s, thanks to his status and connections. You wouldn’t see Leo cooped up in a dank cramped cell. Leo can also get the guards to do favors for him. Leo is definitely someone you want on your side.

Leo becomes interested in Vito after seeing the latter fight with another inmate. Leo takes it upon himself to mentor Vito with boxing, a very useful skill in Mafia II. It also makes Vito’s time in prison more bearable, giving us something to distract us from the harsh, grim conditions. Befriending Leo turns out to be extremely valuable, as he reduces Vito’s time in prison to almost half his original sentence. 

Vito and Leo do a lot of favors for each other, even saving each other's lives. It's a shame Leo couldn't save Joe though...

Vito and Leo do a lot of favors for each other, even saving each other’s lives. It’s a shame Leo couldn’t save Joe though…

Leo is very much like a father figure, and Vito looks up to him. At this point in the story, Vito needs a father figure, after the recent passing of his mother and the death of his father years ago. Leo seems all too happy to fill this role, showing a fondness for Vito.

After Vito leaves prison, that’s not the last time we see or hear of Leo. They are later reunited and do each other favors. After Vito saves Leo from an assassination, Leo pays Vito back big time by tipping him off about having a target on his own head, giving him the opportunity to save his life.

You can’t help but warm up to Leo… until the very last scene in the game. Vito sees Joe being taken away in another car, and Leo hints that Joe is doomed, not part of the deal to keep Vito safe. He does seem to be sincerely sorry for what ultimately happens though.

Marty, a young man eager to be a gangster like Joe.

Marty, a young man eager to be a gangster like Joe.

5. MARTY

Marty is a young wannabe-gangster with a squeaky voice. Many people find Marty irritating, and maybe a little too enthusiastic at times, but there’s something very sweet and lovable about him. He looks up to Joe, who in return is very fond of him, treating him like a kid brother. Marty and Joe’s relationship is similar to Vito and Leo’s, acting as student-and-mentor. He’s very eager to please Joe and prove himself as a gangster. Even though you feel somewhat protective of Marty, like Joe, a part of you also wants to give him a chance.

It’s awful what happens to Marty. He goes along with Vito and Joe on an important job, but when they return to their car, Marty is dead. It’s tragic discovering his bloodied body slumped against a wall near their car. He was so young and eager, with so much potential. It’s a brutal showing of how cruel a life in the mafia can be. Marty’s death is a huge blow to Joe, who blames himself for his protégé’s death. Joe makes sure that Marty’s death is not in vain, letting Vito stay in Marty’s old place when Vito loses his home. It may not be a palace, but we’re still grateful to Marty for leaving us a parting gift.

Derek Pappalardo, a shady man who Vito's father used to work for.

Derek Pappalardo, a shady man who Vito’s father used to work for.

6. DEREK PAPPALARDO

When you first meet Derek, you’ll probably instantly dislike him. There’s something rather off about him. He’s a very shady and unsavory character. As a union boss at the dockyards, he was Vito’s father’s boss. Vito’s father slaved away at the docks, so your attitude towards Derek may be very sour before you even meet him. Even when Vito is on good terms with Derek, you can’t help but not trust him. He always seems to have that evil look in his eyes that makes you think he’s up to no good, and he’s definitely someone to be cautious of.

It’s later revealed that Derek had Vito’s father murdered. The dock workers rebel against him, which is hardly surprising. Vito turns against Derek, something that seems long overdue. There’s a big showdown against Derek and his goons at the docks. It’s the hardest shootout in the whole game, with scarcely any checkpoints. You think shooting your way through several heavily-armed men is bad enough, but then Derek relentlessly throws Molotov’s at you in an enclosed space whilst being shot at. At this point, you really want Derek dead, and boy is it satisfying when you finish him off.

Eddie Scarpa, a member of the Falcone family who works with Vito.

Eddie Scarpa, a member of the Falcone family who works with Vito.

7. EDDIE SCARPA

We don’t get to meet Eddie until after Vito’s time in prison, but when we do, boy does he make an impression. He spends the night out with Vito and Joe, partying with women and getting seriously drunk. They’re having a fun time out, but that turns sour when we discover that there’s a dead decomposing body in the trunk of the car we’re driving! We’re forced to drive to a secluded spot to bury the body, which Vito ends up doing in disgust when Joe and Eddie are indisposed.

It doesn’t help much that Eddie is just a little too laid back about the whole situation, but that may be because he’s so out of it. It may be very obvious, but Eddie has a terrible drinking problem. When Joe says he’s probably had enough to drink, you know it must be bad!

Eddie’s not drunk all the time though, and he’s not really that bad. Eddie instructs Vito to assassinate Leo Galante, and when Vito flat-out refuses, instead of getting mad, Eddie actually takes it very well and respects Vito’s decision. It doesn’t stop him from passing the job onto Henry, who takes it without hesitation.

Luca Gurino, an unpleasant sociopath.

Luca Gurino, an unpleasant sociopath.

8. LUCA GURINO

Luca is probably one of the most unpleasant characters in Mafia II. You won’t be sorry when you get the chance to take him down.

Luca kidnaps three of Falcone’s men and tortures them at the slaughterhouse. When we get to him, one of the men is dead. When Vito confronts him, Luca sets one of his men on Vito. There’s something very spine-chilling about the way Luca smiles evilly as Vito struggles against a brute stronger than him. It looks like Vito is done for, but he manages to ultimately triumph.

When Luca realizes he’s in trouble, he leaves his men to deal with Vito and runs away. The coward locks himself in his office while we’re forced to deal with an onslaught of armed men. It looks like we’re never going to get to him, but Luca can’t hide forever. Vito doesn’t kill Luca personally. He leaves it to the men Luca had kidnapped and tortured, wanting to give him a taste of his own medicine. His death is ensured to be slow and painful, not to mention well-deserved.

Carlo Falcone, Vito and Joe's boss and the final boss of the game.

Carlo Falcone, Vito and Joe’s boss and the final boss of the game.

9. CARLO FALCONE

When you first meet Carlo, he seems friendly enough, but don’t forget who he is: the Don of the Falcone crime family. After dealing with sinister Luca, Carlo officially welcomes Vito and Joe into the family. He praises them for their work, showing how much he values them. He’s not a bad boss to work for… at least to start with, but following the trend in the Mafia series, things soon turn sour.

After learning that Henry, who was also working for Carlo, was a rat, Carlo blames Vito for Henry’s betrayal and involvement in his business, turning completely against him. It’s at this point we see Carlo’s true colors, and he’s not such a pleasant person after all.

Carlo Falcone is the final boss that Vito confronts at the end of Mafia II. Vito is summoned to the planetarium by Carlo to be executed. Luckily, Vito is tipped off and prepared for an ambush. This leads to a memorable final showdown at the planetarium.

During the final confrontation, Carlo expresses his disappointment in Vito. We feel disappointed with him, too. He seemed okay at first, and then we saw the real Falcone. It makes you wonder if you can really trust anybody. If that wasn’t bad enough, Carlo tried to get Joe to turn against Vito. This is a real punch in the gut. It’s a good thing Carlo misjudged Joe’s loyalty to Vito. As Vito puts it, him putting several bullets into Carlo is personal, unlike the other killings Vito has done. When Vito puts that final bullet in Carlo, you get a sense of closure, that it’s all over… or is it? 

Alberto Clemente, the Don of the Clemente family and a nasty piece of work.

Alberto Clemente, the Don of the Clemente family and a nasty piece of work.

10. ALBERTO CLEMENTE

There’s a lot of unpleasant characters in this list, and Clemente is no different. You don’t even get the chance to like him. He’s a jerk from the moment you encounter him. Everyone in Mafia II has their flaws, but even the unsavory characters have their moments where you like them even just a little bit. That’s not the case with Clemente. Even his own men don’t like working for him, which says a lot. 

Vito and Joe get an opportunity to assassinate Clemente. The plan Joe cooks up doesn’t work though. It’s frustrating when you discover that Clemente survived the ambush, killing everyone at the meeting but him. If you already hate Clemente, you’ll undoubtedly hate him even more when you come across Marty’s body, who Clemente and his men heartlessly killed as they escaped. Clemente isn’t going to get away with that, and he doesn’t. You’ll probably cheer when Joe riddles him with bullets. Clemente is not going to be missed. Even Henry isn’t sorry that he’s dead, even though it means he’s out of work.

Jimmy, the protagonist of his own DLC who works as a mobster and hitman.

Jimmy, the protagonist of his own DLC who works as a mobster and hitman.

SPECIAL MENTION: JIMMY

The protagonist in his own DLC, The Betrayal of Jimmy and Jimmy’s Vendetta. Jimmy has his own unique story to tell, separate from Vito and Joe and the other main characters in Mafia II. He’s a cool bald-headed guy who likes to wear shades. He works as a hitman for the mob, completing any task necessary. He thrives in the mobster life. Playing as him gives us a refreshing take on the Mafia series. Although you may not feel as invested in him as the other protagonists, there’s something about him that you can’t help liking. He’s a cool veteran you’ll love to play as, carrying out all kinds of crazy and dangerous jobs.

Mafia 2: Definitive Edition - Official Trailer

That rounds up the top 10 list for the characters in Mafia II. Like the first Mafia game, you’ll discover that not everyone is as they seem. You’ll also learn that while nobody is perfect, even those who are a little rough around the edges can still be very likeable.

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