The core of every first person shooter experience almost invariably revolves around some kind of power fantasy. So, it should go without saying that the protagonists of these titles tend to be some of the most ludicrously overpowered one-man armies to have ever been seen in video games at large. It should also go without saying that "who would outgun who" is a frequent topic of heated debate between fandoms.
And, friends, that very debate is precisely what we're setting out to settle today. From super scientist Gordon Freeman to the UNSC's own darling Master Chief, who would walk away from a one on one deathmatch? Check out the ten most insanely powerful first-person shooter protagonists below to find out.
10 Duke Nukem (Duke Nukem Series)
He's rude, he's crude, and his last game really didn't go over so well. But, ignoring that, Duke Nukem definitely earns an honorable mention for being one of the toughest FPS protagonists to have ever fought off an alien invasion singlehandedly.
He may not have had the same run of luck that his contemporaries have had in terms of reboots, but the fact that he routinely stands up to massive alien overlords as a mere man is definitely impressive. However, it's also why he doesn't climb any higher in the rankings. He's a tough dude to kill, that's for sure, but he's far from the toughest.
9 B.J Blazkowicz (Wolfenstein Series)
Grizzled war hero and Nazi slayer extraordinaire B.J Blazkowicz is a nearly unstoppable force unto himself, though he does get held back a bit by his predisposition towards falling into a coma at the least opportune times.
That said, there aren't many characters on this list that can claim to have not only survived an outright beheading but to have walked away from it feeling better than ever. Anyway, all of the Reich's futuristic military tech couldn't stop him, he bamboozled Hitler, and he's been to the moon. That's more than enough accolades to get him here.
8 Gordon Freeman (Half-Life Series)
Never before has a degree in theoretical physics been made to look so deadly. The One Free Man and Black Mesa's resident HR nightmare has definitely earned his spot here, having really put the hours in when it comes to foiling the invasion of a technologically superior alien race. It'd be nice if he ever got the opportunity to finish the job.
While Gordon's got an awful lot going for him, he doesn't climb any higher because he is incredibly reliant on his HEV suit in order to get by. Remember, he was more or less an average Joe with no developed combat skills until one particularly bad day at work.
7 Jake "Nomad" Dunn (Crysis)
First and foremost, Jake Dunn is a member of the United States Delta Force, so it's pretty reasonable to assume that he's one tough cookie even before he climbs into his state of the art nanosuit. After he does, though, most bets are off.
It might make more sense to ask what the nanosuit can't do, considering it can protect the wearer from bullets and shrapnel, augment their strength and agility, or even engage an active camouflage mode that renders them practically invisible. Needless to say, those are all things that come in pretty handy during a scrap.
6 Jack Cooper (Titanfall 2)
The Pilots of the Titanfall universe are warriors entirely beyond your typical soldier. With highly specialized training and equipment beyond the cutting edge of military technology, witnessing a Pilot at full tilt is not something many live to talk about—and that's before they climb into their gigantic, armored Titan mechs.
At that point, nothing's likely to stop them outside of another Titan. But, even without their nearly sentient robotic pals, Pilots are a deadly force capable of altering the entire course of a conflict all on their own.
5 Master Chief (Halo Series)
It's unlikely that anyone went into this list without expecting to see this guy. But John-117—or the Master Chief, as he's more commonly known—is essentially a human tank, and he's pretty handy at operating an actual tank to boot.
Decked out in his MJOLNIR power armor and skilled with a variety of weapons even beyond the UNSC's arsenal, the Chief's a force to be reckoned with and absolutely has to be top of the pack when it comes to characters that don't have abilities extending into the supernatural.
4 Jack (BioShock)
Jack's an unlikely entry, at least at first. His subdued and relatively normal, unarmored, and unassuming appearance might make him a controversial choice over the legion of superhuman tough guys preceding him, but he's got one thing that they don't: plasmids, baby.
He may not have access to the highest grade firearms or be a well-trained super-soldier, but plasmids grant Jack a wealth of abilities. From the ability to shoot lightning from his fingertips to psychic and telekinetic powers, they give him an edge that a lot of the other characters have trouble accounting for.
3 Jackie Estacado (The Darkness)
Jackie Estacado is more or less what happens when you take a cold-blooded mafia hitman and infuse him with a host of unholy powers by way of demonic possession—well, he's exactly what happens, actually. That's a borderline perfect description of him.
In the event that there's any confusion regarding his relatively high placement on this list, his powers include the ability to summon heart-eating demon snakes, the creation of miniaturized black freakin' holes, and a seemingly limitless healing factor. Hopefully, that addresses any potential concerns.
2 Lilith (Borderlands)
At a glance, Lilith is a rough and tumble wasteland chick with a wild set of tattoos, but not a superhuman killing machine with seemingly magical powers, making this a definite case of appearances being more than a little deceiving.
Lilith is a Siren, which is a being of immense power in the Borderlands universe. She can pop in and out of dimensions as she pleases with Phasewalk, and, on one occasion, she even managed to take an entire city along for the ride. Combining her abilities with Borderlands' absurdly powerful selection of weapons, and you have a solid contender for the throne.
1 The Doom Slayer (DOOM 2016)
All of Hell is afraid of him. To put that into context, the most powerful denizens of a dimension that thrives on pure evil and eternal torment couldn't come close to handling this dude on a lazy Sunday. How could he not be here?
He's inhumanly fast, ridiculously strong, and can operate nearly any weapon he gets his hands onto. Heck, his hands are probably his deadliest weapons, and that's all before he climbs into the ancient armored hull of the Praetor suit. The Slayer hasn't yet met a thing that could kill him, and again, the man's literally met hell—as in, the whole thing.