The Top 7… Unlikeliest badasses in gaming

There are some undeniable badasses in the world, kicking butt in the baddest and assest of ways. Take Final Fantasy X's Auron, for example: a smooth-talking, shades-wearing, longcoat-rocking snarker who can wield a huge sword with his one good arm. He is a badass, and nobody can deny it. With that perfect storm of cool, he has nothing to worry about.

Above: Nobody questions this man's badass credentials, ever

Some characters aren't quite so fortunate. They might not have the stylish clothes, the husky voice or tough, asskicking grit of a badass, lacking even the basic swagger found in an Auron, a Master Chief or even a Kratos. With poor dress sense, bad attitudes and physical imperfections, these characters are doomed to a life without badassery ... or are they?

Perhaps not. There are some characters who struggle through their myriad flaws to become something more, something better. Something truly badass. They don't look like they should be, but they most certainly are.

7. Ganondorf

From: Legend of Zelda series

Why he shouldn't be a badass: Ganondorf is the kind of guy who would get picked on in high school -- if you ignored the fact that he's almost invincible and wields tremendous sorcerous power. He's cursed with a massive nose and ginger hair, two physical afflictions that remain prime prickings for schoolyard bullies. It doesn't help that the aforementioned hair also seems to be receding, and growing that beard in Wind Waker did NOT deflect that fact.

Then, of course, we have the hideous complexion. Badasses don't have green skin. Only witches have green skin, and his giant snorter compounds the stereotype. One can only assume that years of being called Ginger Witchy Poo in school is what set him on his dark path of conquest.

Why he IS a badass: As stated a moment ago, one can only assume he was bullied if one does not factor in that he's a near-unstoppable force of magical devastation. Not to mention Ganondorf has never let his looks affect his self-esteem. Throughout his appearances in the Zelda series, he’s always been a confident, smooth talking, self-assured kind of guy, and having the right attitude is nine tenths of the law. Ganondorf is so powerful, and so secure about it, that it doesn't matter whether he looks like Carrot Top with food poisoning.

He's a smooth operator and a surprisingly charming character to boot. His looks actually cement his badassery, because anybody who looks like that and still has the balls to go up against an entire kingdom on his lonesome is undoubtedly The Man.

6. Adelbert Steiner

From: Final Fantasy IX

Why he shouldn't be a badass: From the outset, Steiner is portrayed in Final Fantasy IX as an oblivious idiot. His gullibility and unflinching loyalty to a monarch who has clearly gone bad sets him up as a foil to protagonist Zidane and consistent comic relief. He also looks like Eddie Izzard in a tin can. Then we have the fact that he wears armored shorts and a feathered metal farmer's hat. It's like a kid's fancy dress costume as opposed to an actual suit of full plate armor. What a chump.

Why he IS a badass: Steiner might be an imbecile, and he might dress like a ninny, but when it comes to bravery and dependability, there's nobody better. Steiner is a badass because, even if he accidentally picks the wrong side, his determination and sheer, unfettered grit just has to be respected. He doesn't let little things like slavering monsters, overwhelming odds or blatant facts deter him from his mission.

Oh, and when it comes to using him in the game, he's the hardest damn hitter of the lot and can take as much as he dishes out. He's an invaluable soldier, a courageous fighter, and that is why he's a guy to look up to, no matter how ludicrous he is.



Top 7


  • BertTheTurtle - October 10, 2011 4:28 p.m.

    Honestly, I thought Pyramid Head sounded kind of silly...until I saw him. Now I actually think he looks scary/intimidating.
  • Mezolitik - October 10, 2011 3 p.m.

    Jacob's Ladder! You're officially person three on my list of people who have seen that film. What about...Cidolfus Orlandeau? Old guy in a cloak. I didn't expect much from him in FF Tactics. Then he destroyed everything. Ever.
  • nyef - October 9, 2011 10:37 a.m.

    "Travis is living our dream, nutting up for all the shut-ins who wish they could be tough sumbitches, but never will be." ... my name is Travis :D best. article. ever
  • psycho ninja 4 - October 4, 2011 11:15 p.m.

    Wait, your saying Travis DOESN'T look like a badass.
  • codystovall - October 5, 2011 8:14 a.m.

    Hes a bit much.
  • Yeager1122 - October 4, 2011 8:34 p.m.

    Ganondorf will always be badass no matter what.
  • fadedlinevigil - October 4, 2011 9:52 a.m.

    Maijin Boo - the epitome.
  • taterboob - October 4, 2011 9:02 a.m.

    Death Adder actually used to scare me back when Golden Axe was fairly new in the arcades. To be fair, I'm still a little scared of Right Said Fred.
  • Fuzunga - October 4, 2011 8:47 a.m.

    wtf is Jim doing here?
  • CitizenWolfie - October 4, 2011 6:48 a.m.

    I had never noticed that Right Said Fred could kick everyone's ass until I read this article *shivers* Ganondorf will always be badass. Even the skinny dude in the rubbish costume who played him in "There Will be Brawl" was made over 9000 times more badass by the sheer fact he was playing him.
  • CitizenWolfie - October 4, 2011 6:50 a.m.

    By the way, looking on a bigger monitor at work, Death Adder looks like he is wearing a golden breast plate armour as opposed to being bare chested...
  • Asloveszuko - October 4, 2011 6:22 a.m.

    I think Meta Knight's battleship should be added to Cundy's "Things in games that look a bit like penises" folder. Or maybe I'm the only one that sees a penis with bat wings.
  • ranzatsu - October 3, 2011 11:49 p.m.

    Steiner was always in my party. Sync him with Vivi and you get the best combo in the game. I mean...I didn't even need the new characters (excpet Freya and Quina). With Steiner around, I'm fine.
  • TheOracle8191 - October 3, 2011 8:08 p.m.

    It's Death=Adder guys.
  • rballa2 - October 3, 2011 7:19 p.m.

    Where is TalkRadar?
  • shawksta - October 3, 2011 7:08 p.m.

    It looks like you just chose a random thing about Ganon to think he's not badass, that was REALLY Weak, the only thing that should be talked about Ganon for not being one is ONLY his Pig form, especially the original. He is, and has been a badass. Everyone else, I agree, Metaknight was random but somehow became badass.
  • shawksta - October 3, 2011 7:08 p.m.

    *I meant Ganondorf, Ganon is monster, Ganondorf is human form
  • IceBlueKirby - October 3, 2011 7 p.m.

    I always thought Meta Knight was a badass because he always gave Kirby a sword and refused to fight until Kirby picked it up. So he was an honorable badass, basically, and it made me think he was totally awesome. Until I got good enough at Kirby's Adventure (back when I was young and still sucked at games for the most part) that I could kick his ass without taking a hit. Then Kirby became the badass.
  • n00b - October 3, 2011 6:41 p.m.

    metaknight is so badass that he was banned from ssbb
  • killorabbit - October 3, 2011 6:22 p.m.

    How about Gordon Freeman? He's a theoretical physicist whose fellow employees talk to him like a child. They also force him into an unstable test chamber while the equipment is 'going critical'. To top it off, he can be found overheating their lunches and running away. He then crowbars his way through an alien invasion, military cleanup operations, a zombie outbreak and a police state.

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