The 15 Most BADASS Heroes From Video Games

15 Most Badass Heroes From Video Games
The 15 Most Badass Heroes From Video Games

What makes a video game hero a BADASS?

Is it the size of their gun, the axe they wield, or a witty comment at just the right time? Or is it perhaps something less tangible like the clothes they wear, their general attitude, or just the setting of the game? Is it all of the above?

Can such a thing be quantified by mere mortals such as you, or I? Has this all gone a bit too deep and philosophical too quickly? I think so too. Let's be honest, it's mostly the gun and the axe thing isn't it?...But that’s what make it so hard to come up with a list like this. You see it’s not just video game heroes in general is it:-  

It’s ‘Badass’ video game heroes. And it’s for the PC.This could be a challenge. Well not really, but you know my editor said I had to make this sound interesting so there you go. That's that done.  

Now on with the list.


It’s not Gordon Freeman.

15: Cate Archer

No One Lives Forever series

James Bond would lose.

There’s a reason she used to be regularly included in top 50 video game character lists. Somehow she seems to have disappeared into video game obscurity but if anyone deserves a reboot, it’s our favourite deadly assassin darling Cate. She is badass, and the two games she starred in were really good too.

Imagine The Man from Uncle, Sean Connery’s James Bond, a twist of Austin Powers, but with a hard edge of Bourne and then imagine she’s also a spy and she’s really hot. That’s Cate Archer. God, I miss her…By the way, both of her games games also still play really well and look decent too, if you can find the originals somewhere.

14: The Lone Wanderer

Fallout 3

"All I said was your ass looked big. I like that, no really I do.You always overreact."

But you could make the main character be as evil as you wanted couldn’t you? Do you know I honestly can’t remember? I knew you could do bad things like explode ‘the bomb’...and build your own character from the ground up, and your dad was Liam Neeson and Malcolm McDowell played some random bad guy, but that’s about it really. But that didn’t make you any less of a BadAss. And how could you not be? It’s not everyone who has the N*** to dare wander the wastelands of a post nuclear Armageddon landscape killing anyone who dares to get in their way. 

Did you make the ultimate sacrifice at the end of the game or did you walk away and let the soldier enter the radiation chamber? I let the soldier do it. But I have it on good authority that almost everyone else chose to go out in the noble fashion. Call me a coward if you will but I really wanted to go on living and I was really Bad Ass in the game right up to that point. One day I will go back and make the right choice at the end of Fallout 3.

One day.  

13: Guybrush Threepwood

Monkey Island series

Vomit joke, for the win.

Sometimes you just got to go the old school library to get what you need. Yeah, I know most of you only know who he is from reading lists like this written by old people like me who still think and hope they're young enough to be ‘cool’ with the kids. I tried playing this game of my youth again recently and while the essence of the game is still as great as ever, I think it might be time for Monkey Island to be retired from lists like this. After this one of course.

What makes Guy so iconic? I think it’s the fact that in the whole Monkey Island series he grows from being an awkward teenager with no skills, courage, or back bone into a sharp witted BadAss by the end of the last game. Guy proved to a generation of gamers that resourcefulness and wit could be their own reward.   

Winning sword fights by throwing insults is pretty hard-core in my opinion: 

Insult: There are no words for how ugly you are!

Repartee: Yes there are, you just never learned them.

Or what about this one?:

Insult: You fight like a dairy farmer.

Repartee: How appropriate; you fight like a cow.

I don’t think there’s anything else I can add there, really. The case has been made and the prosecution rests.

12: Alice

American McGee’s Alice

 “Eat me. Drink me. Suck on my shoe, bitches."

I can't believe this game is 15 years old. Despite its age, Alice is still one of the most mind bending games ever made. While the game is based on Lewis Carroll's original Wonderland, it’s been done with the proviso that the character of Alice is a sort of insane and is cooped up in an asylum at the start of the game. This version of Wonderland is a totally warped reality and you play a very much non-Disney version of Alice. The original game was deemed such a critical success that at one point the game was actually slated to be turned into a movie due to the highly original concept but has been left to rot in ‘development Hell’ for over 10 years at the time of writing.

What makes Alice so BadAss is her sheer inventive use for items such as kitchen knives and croquet mallets while wearing a dress you’d expect to see her in church with. Alice is crazy, and I love the crazy chicks.

11: Isaac Clarke

Dead Space series

Too much for an engineer?

Who would have thought an engineer could be so fixated with his ex-girlfriend. You know when you think about it, it is all kind of a bit stalkerish...isn’t it? I mean, it’s over, let her go. Try internet dating, man. She’s gone, she left you. Have some pride. Is it any wonder his ex killed herself? Obsessive or what. You don’t have to go into deep space and kill necromorphs, or fight alien hive minds to prove how much she meant to you...That kind of s*** could have put him in a mental hospital. Oh, it did. But he still fights on and never gives up. Still, pretty hard-core as far as video game heroes go. Every entry in the Dead Space series is a great game so they’re all worth exploring as options if you haven’t had the pleasure of being alone in the universe of Dead Space yet.

10: Sarah Kerrigan

StarCraft series

 Badass to the bone.

There’s no doubt she’s badass. There’s no doubt she would win hands down in a fight with most people. There’s also no doubt she’s the queen of a gigantic alien army. What more do you want? What’s really worrying is that you probably still would. I wouldn’t, but you might. Try internet dating. Your date might still be psycho, but at least she won’t have tentacles. What? You're actually into that? Whatever gets you through the day…

9: Daniel Garner


Daniel practices his ‘determined’ face.

Mindless violence - check. Reluctant hero; - check. I guess for some, the game only starts after they die. Just Imagine being told the only way for to you get into heaven was to strap on a rocket launcher and go up against the hordes of Hell. Would you do it? Daniel Garner did, and that kind of thinking is more than enough to get him on this list. When a game has a tagline that goes “Heavens got a hitman," it couldn’t be anything else. This is an old school mindless run and gun FPS that features 100 foot demon Generals, twisted angels, leather jackets and all done in a style beholden to another era in gaming.

They just don’t make them like this anymore but I wish they did.  

8: Francis

Left 4 Dead 

“Ok, no more “My Way,” sheesh....”

In the real world you can’t help but get the feeling that Francis would just be a massive tool and the type of guy that would hang around in bars starting fights all day long. In short he probably wouldn’t be your friend. But when the zombie apocalypse begins you might want to have at least kept him on side. Characters like Francis were born to survive end of the world situations because for people like him it’s just another day. Francis wouldn’t take s*** from anyone at the best of times let alone a shuffling member of the undead.

7: Garrett

Thief series

“I will make jokes about your Mom if I want to”

Before Assassins Creed, there was Thief, and there was Garrett. The best kind of hero is surely the hero who doesn't want to be one. That’s Garrett in a nutshell. He’s more interested in himself and witty one liners than saving the world. He’s also deeply cynical and convinced everyone else is out to kill him. But none of that stops him from being one of gaming seminal video game heroes. So to sum the Thief games up; it’s sneak for the win and kill for the fun.   

6: Doomguy

Candy Crush Saga.


The game that started it all.  

Doomguy is the classic strong silent type hero. He is a lone marine trapped in a fight to the death on Mars in a time before such a tale would be classed as cliché and worn to death. Almost every First Person Shooter that has ever followed owes something to DOOM’s silent protagonist. There’s very little you can say about Doomguy as he doesn’t say anything himself, ever. But that is what makes him such a BadAss video game hero and such a quintessential icon of gaming history. I mean it’s not everyone who would take on the forces of Hell armed with just a shotgun and a stern chin.    

5: Strelok


“I turned down Half Life for this, you know.”

The character of Strelok is a mystery from beginning to end, an enigma travelling the nuclear wasteland in the aftermath of the second Chernobyl disaster. That’s a pretty mental thing to choose to do. But who knows why he does it, or why he is so pulled toward the reactor core and its secrets? He is troubled by visions of who he might or might not be, a loner caught in the middle of warring factions in a world where everyone wants to kill him or use him to achieve their own ends. In the midst of one of the most atmospheric games ever to grace our PC screens Strelok is without doubt one of the ultimate video game heroes.

Those crazy Ivans, man. I’ll say one thing for them, when they throw a nuclear disaster, they really throw one.


4: Duke Nukem

From all good Duke Nukem games.

“Needs no caption.”

Duke has come a long way since his 2D side scrolling adventures in 1991. And yeah sure, he has hasn’t been in a good game since the original Duke Nukem 3D but that doesn’t make him any less badass for that. The guy even has his own autobiography entitled ‘Why, I’m so great.’ When the aliens invade Earth and steal all his chicks, Duke goes mental, becomes a one man army and singlehandedly defeats the alien scum. Most people look like idiots if they wear sunglasses inside or at night. Not Duke.  

3: Gordon Freeman

Half Life series.

Gordon, with that 'chick.'

Yeah, here he is. Part time scientist, full time alien genocidist. No that’s right he’s not number one. Why? Because ultimately he’s just the G-man's tool. He has no choice but to do what he does because he’s just a pawn in a much bigger game. Also his primary weapon is a crow bar. And please, those glasses with that face?  What was he thinking? Still, Gordon is pretty kickass for a geek. Maybe that’s why the geeks all like him so much. I don’t know.

2: Kyle Katarn

Star wars: Dark Forces/Jedi Knight

And if you can find a hi-res picture of this guy then you're welcome to my dog.

Who? Imagine Han Solo but with a lightsaber and you’re pretty much there. Kyle is an outcast, and a Jedi and almost as powerful as Luke Skywalker. Essentially he’s a covert ops agent mercenary for hire with a good heart, a beard, and Force powers. If Kyle had  been around for Episode III, both Anakin and Palpatine would have gone home crying; that’s how good Kyle is, and it’s about time he made a serious comeback if you ask me.

1: Max Payne

Max Payne series.

"Was that a mouse?"

Coolest. Name. Ever.

“When the darkness fell, New York City became something else, any old Sinatra song notwithstanding. Bad things happened in the night, on the streets of that other city. Noir York City.”

Playing Max is like being a movie, and not that God awful one with “Marky” Mark Wahlberg either, but like a really good one. Max is in a class all of his own.

“It wasn't about how smart or how good you were. It was chaos and luck, and anyone who thought different was a fool.”

Max is a walking cliché; the hard bitten cop on a mission of revenge and for justice, and fighting his own sanity while battling demonic forces. But it’s like I always say; clichés are only cliché in games, if they’re not done well.  

“I don't know about angels, but it’s fear that gives men wings.”

So that’s it, another list down.  

The hard bit wasn’t writing it, all my time went into who I should leave out. Should I have put in Serious Sam, or Jim Raynor from StarCraft? And what about Sam & Max, or even Ripley from the new Alien game....I was torn about whether to include her or not. It was a tough choice.

But do you agree? That’s the question isn’t it? Who do you think should have been at the top and who would you include that I haven’t. Log in or sign up and tell me what you think.


Chilled, Calm, writer, lover, fighter
Gamer Since: 1994
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: World Of Tanks, Skyrim, GTA5, Dying Light
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn, Borderlands 2, Grand Theft Auto V