The Top 7… Games with badass helicopter fights

3. Metal Gear Solid

The kickass copter battle: Snake beats a Hind D with his bare goddamn hands… eh, and a big-ass surface-to-air missile launcher.

Solid ‘Dave’ Snake is the manliest damn assortment of polygons ever assembled. FACT. If hiding cigarettes in his stomach or beating a minigun-toting shaman in a giant freezer wasn’t enough to convince you, let us tell you a short story about his get together with a Russian military gunship in Metal Gear Solid.

Above: The greatest story ever told

Now first, we should probably put into context just how shitting scary the Hind D our stealthy hero bests is. Early in the adventure, Snake’s evil twin (with disappointing lack of twirly moustache) only goes and uses it to shoot down two bloody F-16s. Y’know, those cuddly little fighter jets, which have been the backbone of the US Air Force for four decades.

Above: Adorable and totally non-threatening, right?

Lets just reiterate that point again. The combination of Liquid and the Hind is so devastating, Snake’s bro manages to swat down aircraft, which have featured in almost every conflict for the US since the Gulf War, so easily, he refers to them as “bothersome flies”. And what does the Solid One proceed to do? He not only avoids hails of its gunfire while rappelling down a tower, he also manages to destroy the ruddy thing with a stinger missile. In the middle of the freezing Alaskan wilderness. At night. During a raging storm. Without suffering a scratch.

Above: Look, a couple of dozen white pixels qualifies as a ‘raging storm’ by PS1 standards, alright?

He also cracks off a final line after the fight that would make even John McClane doff his skin-tight vest to our 32-bit hero…

Ladies and gents, the definition of badass has just been redefined. Yeah, and US Government? Next time you get into a scuffle with another nation, don’t bother sending out the F-16s. Just give our boy Snake a quick call.

2. Half-Life 2

The kickass copter battle: The Water Hazard Hunter-Chopper fight.

City 17 is full of perils. Headcrabs. Men with gasmasks who’ll beat you within an inch of your life if even a single hair from your manly moustache of science twitches at them the wrong way. Oh, and the deadliest, most relentless flying machine we’ve seen that wasn’t piloted by a stoic Star Wars bounty hunter.

Above: Slave One ain't got anything on this

Seriously, the Hunter-Chopper you encounter, as you flee through the city’s rivers and reservoirs with Gordon Freeman, simply will not stop. Not for fuel. Not for ammo. Not even for special mystery tours of creepy-ass houses hosted by the G-Man.

Thanks to a pulse cannon and the bastard thing’s ability to constantly drop mines in your path, what should be a soothing detour in Goggsy’s airboat becomes a white knuckle thrill ride. Just replace the thrills with impending death. Really, such is the dedication at which it dogs you over miles and miles of terrain; it makes the T-1000 look like a lazy, if homicidal, slacker.

What could have easily been a ball-ache of a setpiece is quickly transformed into one of Half-Life 2’s most memorable sections, purely because of Valve’s watertight pacing. You’re given occasional lulls during the pursuit where you might have to go onto land briefly to flip a switch to open the gates of a dam. Rather than being unwelcome breaks in the action, though, they act as welcome respite and stop the fight from becoming overwhelming.

Above: A relaxing interlude

And the end of the battle? It’s satisfying like popping bubble wrap as Alyx Vance simultaneously gives you a neck massage while sensually whispering inspirational messages in your ear. We suggest taking time out from your ‘busy’ work/school day and watching the climactic scrap below.

Taking out an enemy which has pursued you for the best part of an hour? Now that’s cathartic. Who knew bespectacled men of complicated science were capable of such heroic incidents of badassery. Although considering this particular specs wearer has single-handedly taken out armies of Special Forces, aliens and zombified monstrosities (no doubt while doing a bit of theoretical physics work on the side), perhaps we should be a little less taken aback.

Above: If only all physicists were this adept at handling machine gun turrets, what a world this would be


  • Metal4Ever - January 24, 2011 4:25 p.m.

    Battlefield of some sort needs to be in here somewhere!! whether it's Bad(ass) Company, or an older one. Modern Combat had some pretty killer chopper fights, if i remember rightly...
  • HAHAFTW - January 24, 2011 1:57 a.m.

    I loved the McMillin terminator. lmfao
  • tomasspipass - January 20, 2011 9:55 a.m.

    Gamesradar,you need to follow this article up with a part 2. Out of all the helicopter battles i've fought my way through, Die Hard Trilogy's last level involving destroying a helicopter by driving a car up a ramp is all kinds of awesome. They even paid tribute to it in the latest die hard movie!
  • AlpineGuy - January 19, 2011 6:24 p.m.

    Another awesome article only GR could make, complete with hilarious photoshops to make you eeeextra sure what site you were on. Good job, guys!
  • Shuuvuia - January 19, 2011 8:50 a.m.

    I actually liked the second helicopter fight from Uncharted 2 better. It was funny when Drake is being attacked by both a helicopter and soldiers on top of the train, and he yells at the soldiers "Don't you a#@holes see the helicopter?!! I've got enough problems!!!!" I laughed out loud at that. That scene also had the rolling coal car, which was awesome.
  • Skykid - January 18, 2011 10:44 p.m.

    *Grins Manaically* Pilot meet .50 cal, .50 cal meet pilot's face! That moment in Modern Warfare is still so damn good. great job resurecting it in Black Ops, sorta
  • batman5273 - January 18, 2011 10:41 p.m.

    That Uncharted 2 scene was intense. Makes me wish I had a PS3
  • Japanaman - January 18, 2011 8:11 p.m.

    Does Double Dragon II count? It had a helicopter battle with a bunch of thugs hopping out to kill you.
  • Howetzer - January 18, 2011 12:33 p.m.

    Lol @ Bellakaza.
  • philipshaw - January 18, 2011 11:12 a.m.

    When I read the headline I had the same top 3 in my head,also the DR2 boss battle is so stupid but at the same time personifies everything I love about the game
  • barrage7667 - January 18, 2011 10:18 a.m.

    @HankVenture The mission with the Chopper IS the carnival mission. I just played Uncharted 2 again 2 days ago. Might i say whoever was playing was pretty darn good.
  • cart00n - January 18, 2011 7:49 a.m.

    I like the helicopter "fights" in Split/Second - threadin' the needle 'tween multiple rocket explosions in a souped-up musclecar, rackin' up combos to earn your own missile salvos to fire back, all whilst attempting to beat the best time? The very DEFINITION of an edge-of-your-seat-thrillride!
  • Rattlehead - January 18, 2011 3:37 a.m.

    Like the battle in HL2: Ep. 2 more
  • Dutch - January 18, 2011 3:29 a.m.

    YO! What about 50cent Blood on the sand! The only bosses you fight in that game are are helicopters RASIST HELECOPTERS!
  • SuperStingray - January 18, 2011 3:20 a.m.

    Dude, what the heck? No Prototype? Really? Dead Rising 2 I was definately expecting, but you can't tell me that none the 101 ways you can take down a helicopter in that game kick flying steel ass.
  • quincytheodore - January 18, 2011 3:10 a.m.

    "’s sending helicopter pilots straight to Beelzebub. We don’t exactly know why Wolvey’s blood pressure gets so riled up every time he sees a chopper. After all, it’s not like their bullets can cause much harm to his indestructible, regenerating ass. Yet every time he sees one, he throws himself at it claws first, like the poor chap inside had just finished double teaming Mrs. Wolverine with the aid of Sabretooth." ^epic writing, the inclusion of Hind made me happy
  • gopikmin - January 18, 2011 2:19 a.m.

    I would have wanted Just Cause 2's helicopter fights except that after a bunch of times of doing it, it really isn't badass anymore.
  • NightCrawler_358 - January 18, 2011 12:05 a.m.

    Uncharted 2 Chapter 15: Locomotion. after finally rpg-ing the chopper that was giving you trouble the whole trainride, it starts crashing and rolling along the train about to crush you... ! and then it hits the door of the tunnel and your safe. I actually shouted at that moment!
  • Clovin64 - January 17, 2011 11:38 p.m.

    Imagine my complete lack of surprise to see Uncharted 2 at #1. I died a fair few times during that chopper battle, but that didnt make it any less awesome. All in all, a brilliant Top 7, with the same brand of humour I've come to expect from Meiks. The Justin Beiber pic and the Keanu Reeves pic made me lol hard.
  • HankVenture - January 17, 2011 11:12 p.m.

    @twinkletitsmcgee I only remember bits and pieces of that level, like the end while I fight off people until some time limit..

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