When the day needs saving… When the forces of evil have amassed against you, and all hope seems lost… When you need to kill, like, a million bad guys and stop the end of the world, you need… A COMMANDO. Commandos are the ultimate soldier; an unstoppable military force that looks damn good doing it. We’ve gone through a slew of action titles to curate the most kickass ass-kickers we could find. Here are our Top 10 Most Badass Gaming Commandos.

10. Nathan “Rad” Spencer (Bionic Commando)

He’s buff, he’s tough, he’s… even got a robot arm! Originally released in 1987, the platformer was the first game to sport a grappling hook in the form of Spencer’s robotic arm. With multiple sequels and iterations down the line, the Bionic Commando has proven himself over the years to be one of gaming’s oldest and most iconic bad asses, and damn does he rock the hell out of that robot arm.

~Peter Starr

9. Adam Jensen (Deus Ex)

Like others on this list Jensen, was already well accomplished and an all around force to be reconed with well before he was introduced in Human Revolution. Even when he was not augmented, he worked primarily alone to combat the terror attack on Serif Industries. The augmentation that came as results of his fatal wounds only made him more sturdy and capable to get revenge on those who attacked him in the first place. He doesn’t work well with others, but he can when needed. With ability to not only take down enemies in physical combat, but talk them out of rash decisions.

~Melissa Buranen

8. Cayde-6 (Destiny)

One of the things that defines a good commando is the ability to operate alone without support from other soldiers. In the world of Destiny the hunters are the lone wolves among the Guardians of the last human city, and among the hunters Cayde-6 is the most reluctant of leaders. In fact playing through Destiny sometimes even felt lit the slightly worse sequel to a game about Cayde-6; one where they took the cool main characters and made them all NPCs. I’m looking at you, here, Borderlands 2. Ultimately, Cayde-6 is the Lando Calrissian of the Destiny universe; incredibly capable at what he does but just smooth enough to be ever so slightly slimey.

~Stephen Krusel

7. Bill Rizer & Lance Bean (Contra)

Bill Rizer and Lance Bean are by far the the most acrobatic commandos on this list. There is no obstacle, no enemy, no barrier that these combat gymnasts can’t effortlessly somersault over. Who else but Lance and Bill would go in battle in nothing more protective than tank tops and jeans. For those who haven’t played the original Contra from back in the 1980s, this was a time when players needed to imbue game characters with the personality that the games didn’t. For example, in my household growing up Bill was known as a filthy thief because the person who hogged controller 1 was the kind of person who would steal lives when playing co-op, a mechanic the Contra series thankfully abandoned.

~Stephen Krusel

6. Soldier: 76 (Overwatch)

Delving into the story of Overwatch, Soldier: 76 was originally Jack Morrison. A man with a rural upbringing and the son of farmer, Jack was destined to more than the rolling hills of country life. Jack Morrison became the first official commander to the Overwatch task force. He was believed to have died in an explosion, but his body was never recovered from the wreckage. He soon became Soldier 76 and after gaining the Overwatch tech he needed we got the badass gun wielder we know and love today. Soldier 76 is a versatile character. His main weapon is a heavy pulse rifle that, as a bonus, can shoot rockets for greater damage. Then his biotic field can help in healing himself and his squadmates. Lastly, an ultimate that makes it damn near impossible to miss foes.

~Melissa Buranen

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