"Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power." - Lao Tzu. Now that's a bar right there, ain't it? And in terms of gaming, our minds immediately go to a long list of iconic characters that have mastered extraordinary abilities. And in doing so, their levels of power have reached astounding levels that are awesome to wield as a player. On the other hand, it's usually a frightening undertaking when that power is attached to some of gaming's most vicious antagonists. The topic of absolute power applies to the individuals we've decided to place on this list that hail from the likes of God of War, Final Fantasy, and more. These are the 20 strongest video game characters of all time.
The 20 Strongest Video Game Characters
‘God of War’
Kratos has us shaken to our very core! Seeing as how he's responsible for offing the entire Greek pantheon and has done some real damage to the Norse gods' lineup, it's easy to see why he's been mentioned as one of the first picks on this list. Kratos' first run as a revenge-fueled warrior that destroyed everything in their path led to the death of grand figures such as Hades, Hercules, the almighty Zeus, and even more godly figures. Even in his calmer state as a father, Kratos continues to be an unstoppable machine that's bludgeoned mythical Norse gods with ease - his unparalleled has resulted in the brutal deaths of Baldur, Heimdall, the all-powerful Valkyrie Queen, etc. Simply put, Kratos' godly might is a problem and a half.
‘Devil May Cry’
Another one of the strongest video game characters of all time is the half-human/half-demon slick talker and sword swinger known as Dante. The man has come back from the brink of death countless times and fought back with scary levels of absolute force thanks to his demon-infused abilities. In his regular form, Dante is capable of combining the expert use of armed melee weapons and ranged tools to pick apart everyone in his way. And once he embraces his "Devil Trigger" form, Dante becomes even more of a force to be reckoned with. Now we love his twin brother Vergil. But facts are facts - Dante has embarrassed him on two occasions and put tons of other demonic foes to bed with relative ease.
Do yourself a favor - if you have or can get your hands on a PS3 or Xbox 360, go ahead and cop that underrated Capcom gem called Asura's Wrath. Asura takes the part of the pissed-off protagonist who takes the fight to his former squad, the Eight Guardian Generals. Their shocking betrayal puts him on a path of vengeance and the way he delivers his version of payback is insane. Asura's unbridled anger results in him picking up & tossing giant evil elephants, holding back a planet-sized finger, and pulling off even more feats that must be seen-played to be believed. When that man Asura goes full "Berserker Mode," all bets are off - whoever's on the other side of him is totally getting bodied.
Seeing this man glide past you and decimate M. Bison in mere seconds during your arcade run in Super Street Fighter II Turbo shocked the hell out of you back in the day, right? That mindblowing moment solidified Akuma's status as one of Street Fighter's most fearsome foes. Akuma hasn't just thrown hands and feet with his fellow "World Warriors," though - he's also squared up with Marvel's biggest heroes & villains (he and Wolverine got major beef!). Plus he's even tried fighting to the death against the many martial artists contained within Tekken, The King of Fighters, and more. With him embracing the terrifying power of the "Satsui no Hado," Akuma's insurmountable power has become recognizable by all.
Bayonetta has a hilarious habit of taunting the largest angels and demons she's ever come across. She talks the most ish to the types of beasts that would have any sane person running for the hills. This mega-powerful "Umbra Witch" doesn't have any fear in her heart. Her high levels of confidence are well warranted - Bayonetta can wield all sorts of blades, hammers, pistols, and all types of other melee/ranged weapons to devastate her otherworldly foes. Her power truly reaches another plateau when she summons "Infernals" to do her bidding and tear her enemies apart. Bayonetta's magical mastery is nothing to play with.
6. Master Chief
Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 has such an aura of badassery that makes Covenant Grunts run in fear. As the frontman for the Halo series, Master Chief has reached iconic status thanks to his heroic feats during his interplanetary campaigns. With his trusty Battle Rifle in hand and other weapons such as the Energy Sword and Rocket Launcher at the ready, this big green guy has decimated the "Covenant," the "Flood," the "Banished," and the "Prometheans." The United Nations Space Command has always been entrusted with protecting the last remnants of humanity - with Master Chief by their side, that ongoing mission has been a success.
7. Doomguy/Doom Slayer
The armies of Hell just can't seem to keep this guy down. Doomguy/Doom Slayer is a one-man wrecking machine that is recognized by gamers far and wide as one of the strongest video game characters ever made. His 90s run is legendary and his return to the rebooted era of DOOM has improved his stature even more among gamers young and old. The dude is just a total death dealer that blows all sorts of demons apart with his signature firearms, which include the Super Shotgun, Chaingun, and ultra-devastating BFG 9000. Across so many DOOM series entries, this gun-toting savior to the human race has made a habit out of ripping and tearing apart every demon that wishes to subjugate his people.
8. Al'Diabolos, the Lord of Terror
"And perhaps the worst of the three…he who is the essence of terror…the lord Diablo." - Tyrael. Anyone and everyone that's ever spent their time perusing through the dark dungeons in the Diablo games knows who this big brute is. Every entry in the long-running action RPG franchise has focused on the overwhelming power Al'Diabolos, the Lord of Terror wields. Even among the other formidable "Great Evils," this massive demonic force stands out as the one that has most Diablo players shaken the most. The forces of Heaven always have a problem putting this big guy down whenever they clash with the armies of Hell.
9. Kazuya Mishima
Nothing can put this guy down! The man fell into a ditch, came back, found himself thrown into a volcano, and made his shocking return once again! Kazuya Mishima is fueled by hate and revenge due to the despicable actions of his father Heihachi Mishima. His mastery of Mishima-ryu Karate is scary enough on its own. But his Devil powers push him over the top as one of the strongest video game characters to make his debut in a fighting game. Kazuya has been and always will be the most recognizable fighter from Tekken. Whenever he lands that sick "Demon Uppercut," massive amounts of damage are sure to follow.
10. Lui Kang
Lui Kang made his grand debut in the Mortal Kombat games and has continually maintained his position as the series' foremost savior. Earthrealm's greatest warrior and champion always seems to find a way to get to the final stages of numerous Mortal Kombat tournaments. Even when he got bodied by Shang Tsung and Quan Chi, Kang made his haunting return as a martial-arts zombie that was still super hard to put down. Due to the events of Mortal Kombat 11, Kang has evolved to become the almighty "Fire God" and risen to new levels of outlandish power. We think Earthrealm will forever be in good hands.
'Final Fantasy VII'
Any man that's able to wield that insanely long Masamune sword with ease gotta be a problem for anyone that tries to test him. For the entirety of Final Fantasy VII, Sephiroth has given Cloud Strife and the gang all sorts of problems across three separate discs. Once he found out about his true origins, he went nuts and vowed to take revenge on the company that "created" him and the planet that wronged his "mother." Even though he gets marked at the end of the game, Sephiroth still manages to do massive damage to the planet he once resided on. Sephiroth's strength is terrifying - his sword swings can only be rivaled by Cloud's and his other forms define his might as FF7's ultimate final boss.
12. Calamity Ganon
'The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild'
Ganondorf has always stressed out Link, Zelda, and the denizens of Hyrule Kingdom. In Breath of the Wild, he took an entirely new menacing form that's his most powerful to date. Calamity Ganon is the reason why the world in Breath of the Wild is in the dire state it's in when you begin your grand adventure - his presence led to the "Great Calamity" event that takes place 10,000 years before Link vows to eliminate him. In his "Windblight" and "Calamity" forms, he's a massive threat. But once he switches it up and changes into "Dark Beast Ganon," true fear enveloped every player that clashed with him.
Pokémon Sword & Shield and Pokémon Legends: Arceus have both made it abundantly clear who the most dominant Pocket Monster of all time is. As one of the strongest video game characters, Arceus commands everyone's attention as it's known as "the first Pokémon born before the universe even existed." The abilities Arceus can use to quickly KO its foes include the likes of "Earth Power," "Hyper Beam," and the catastrophic "Judgment." Arceus is the OG of all OGs in the world of Pokémon.
Darksiders' "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" include a collection of world-ending threats that are not to be trifled with. War, Fury, and Strife are all daunting in their own right. But it's Death in the actual flesh that's the most powerful and chosen leader of his stable. In Darksiders II, players get the chance to see what he's capable of. And by the time you've mastered all of his abilities, you'll come to recognize his top spot among his death-dealing brethren. His dual-sided Scythe, an arsenal of "Wrath Powers," and "Reaper Form" transformation showcase every cataclysmic part of his arsenal.
15. Kaim Argonar
Kaim Argonar is freaking immortal! That one statement by itself should convince you all of why he's been given a spot on this list of the strongest video game characters. Anyone that's capable of wiping out an entire army has to be considered video game royalty when it comes to power-level superiority. Kaim's centuries-long lifetime has turned him into a killing machine and sees him rightfully take the main protagonist spot in the super slept-on Xbox 360 JRPG, Lost Oddysey.
‘Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance’
The version of Raiden that debuted in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty is big trash! Having to endure his gameplay sections while listening to him argue with his wife over Codec and doing naked cartwheels was & still is not all that great. But when he popped back up in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots to battle with Vamp, Raiden got the makeover of a lifetime. And once that version of Raiden came through in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, his power levels went through the roof. His Cyborg ninja upgrades afford him maximum mobility and mastery over several melee weapons. Raiden makes his way through Revengeance hacking and slashing at everything that even blinks at him wrong.
17. Alex Mercer
If you played the very first Prototype, we figure most of you looked at inFAMOUS' Cole MacGrath and went "Alex Mercer would body this dude!" And we feel the exact same way! Mercer's shapeshifting body makes him a walking weapon that could demolish an entire nation if he wanted to. Playing as Mercer was and still is so much fun since his body can create weapons out of his limbs, absorb other people & take on their likeness, and can utilize all types of firearms with ease. And when that man takes control of a tank? The high levels of devastation continue!
Earthbound presents a warm and cuddly exterior that taps into the childlike wonder that young SNES gamers embraced. Imagine their shock and awe when they ran into the game's final boss, Giygas. As the true "Embodiment of Evil" and the "Universal Cosmic Destroyer," Giygas' reach extends beyond the otherworldly beings he employs to see his mission through. Its influence even negatively affects humans and animals, which makes Giygas such a distressing figure. And just look at this thing! Giygas is horror and immense power personified.
Let's get back to the realm of fighting games for this next pick on our lineup of the strongest video game characters. The half-god marvel that made his debut in Killer Instinct 2 is one of those fighting game bosses that makes everyone paranoid when it's time to fight him. The version of this demonic bruiser that pops up in the 2013 Killer Instinct reboot is even more of an authoritative force. The fact that he can summon his minions and simultaneously beat the breaks off you is so wild. Trying to take him down in the reboots' "Shadow Lords" mode is one of those impossible feats that we still haven't conquered, sadly...
STOP LAUGHING! Kirby will always get a nod from his fans as one of the strongest video game characters. And if you don't know why, then allow us to inform you about what Kirby is capable of. The pink puffer can suck and swallow damn near anything to acquire its ability to do some major damage. It's even crazier to take note of what Kirby can do in Kirby and the Forgotten Land - it can suck up a car and even a towering vending machine without any trouble! Kirby scares the hell out of us since it can defeat the most dangerous enemies across "Dream Land" and beyond without breaking much of a sweat.