Badassery is an art. It’s hard being heroic and macho without being cheesy. And not all characters manage to achieve that. Don’t get the wrong idea here though, being badass isn’t just about looking and sounding cool, it’s much more than that. Badass characters make you want to meet them and wish that they were real so that you could salute them for their awesomeness. Here is a list of those who I consider to be the best in the business. Note that I can’t have played every game in existence and it’s only natural for me to miss really cool characters (for which I’m genuinely sorry, I know what it’s like when someone doesn’t bother to mention my favorite character), especially from the Nintendo side.
Anyway, let’s get on with the list…. among the Heroes:
From: Call of Duty Modern Warfare Series
Voiced by: Bill Murray
Based on real life SAS soldier John McAleese who neutralized 5 of 6 terrorists during the Iranian Embassy Siege, Captain Price embodies the very core of Modern Warfare. Once you’re in his iron sights, you know your days are numbered. Price plays a father/mentor figure in the game, always guiding you and taking the rein in seemingly impossible missions. What makes him badass is his hard-edged British accent and his borderline crazy plans to deal with his adversaries (oh and his mustache). He’s a hero through and through, one that you’d like to shake hands with.
From: Metal Gear Series
Voiced by: David Hayter
The Metal Gear Series is known for its lengthy but awe-inspiring cut-scenes and mind-boggling storyline. While it is still hailed as the best stealth action game ever made, it’s also one of those few games which focus heavily on character development. Solid Snake’s personality is an amalgam of notable Hollywood heroes such as Clint Eastwood and Kurt Russell. He’s a mercenary and an infiltrator. As cold hearted as he’s shown to be, he’s never too far from the moral path and always sticks his neck out for his friends. His guttural voice only makes him cooler than he already is.
From: Devil May Cry Series
Voiced by: Rueben Langdon (Devil May Cry 3 and onwards)
Dante is the half human, half demon son of a hell knight. Despite being born of demon blood, he kills other demons for a living, eating pizza, in mid-air, while metal music plays in the background. And he defeated the ruler of Hell once. What more could you possibly want to know?
From: The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim
Voiced by: Your mind
Ok, maybe he has no actual character. Then again, he does. That’s what comes with playing RPGs where character choice is totally upon the player. The Dragonborn’s abilities make him badass. He can speak in the ancient dragon tongue (Dovahkin is Dragon for Dragonborn) and absorb their souls which spells uber cool in my book.
This video here should solidify why the Dovahkin is so awesome –
From: Dead Space Series
Voiced by: Gunner Wright (Dead Space 2)
They say the greatest heroes are born in the worst of situations. Engineer Isaac Clarke was placed in the most uncomfortable position one could hope for – a derelict ship in the middle of space full of the undead. And that’s not the worst part; these zombies don’t cease to exist upon removal of the head, oh no. These “necromorphs” as they are known need to be torn apart, limb from limb, only then do they stop coming at you. Equipped with basic (albeit effective) engineering tools, Isaac set out into the darkest of places to set things right. If that’s not badass, I don’t know what is.
From: Half Life Series
Voiced by: N/A (He was never really given a chance to speak)
The Freeman and Isaac have much in common. Gordon was thrust into a world invaded by extraterrestrials from another dimension. All he had to defend himself during the first few hours was a crowbar. In the game he is constantly outnumbered ten to one. But defeating this particular theoretical physicist isn’t an easy job. We only wish that Half Life 3 comes soon so that we may finally witness the end of this great series.
Hitman, Agent 47
From: Hitman Series
Voiced by: David Bateson
Anyone having played video games knows this bald headed, sunken eyed, black suit wearing pale skinned man. He’s gaming’s dark angel. He epitomizes precision, ruthlessness and cunning. Mr.47 isn’t your regular mercenary. He’s genetically enhanced to be the best. 47 isn’t devoid of emotion however; he does have a conscience. He’s the perfect anti-hero and a badass one at that.
From: Max Payne Series
Voiced by: James McCaffrey
“New York. Fugitive Undercover cop. Nothing to lose.” This is what was written on the cover of the Max Payne video game. Payne is a troubled man. As his name suggests, Max, from the start of the game is on the verge of mental collapse. Having lost his wife and child by the hands of deluded drug abusers, Max Payne goes on a hunt to avenge his only family. He’s also the guy who we remember whenever a game goes bullet-time.
Witcher Geralt of Rivia
From: Witcher Series
Voiced by: Jacek Rozenek (Polish voice acting); Doug Cockle (English voice acting)
Few characters are as distinctive as Witcher Geralt. Witchers are monster hunters for hire and as expected of any hero, he’s the best at what he does. Unlike other heroes however, he is more in tune with his own mortality despite his astounding skills at sword fighting. This property doesn’t make him less badass; in fact it makes him more human in his strange world of ghastly monsters. Geralt resides in this list because there is more to him than meets the eye.
Master Chief, A.K.A Spartan 117
From: Halo Series
Voiced by: Steve Downes
Many claim that he’s overrated, characterless and that he’s just another guy in a super suit. At first glance he’s exactly that, but then you start to notice the man underneath the Mjolnir Armor. A patriot to the core, the Chief is pure blood and sweat. Though much of his character is touched upon in Halo books, the games give us a good idea of one of the greatest heroes of this gaming generation.