Kratos - The man is a Spartan, he is one of the fiercest warriors of all time, and he even gets down with menage-a-trois in his games. That's badass. Not to mention the fact that he single-handedly vanquishes a colossal Hydra, multiple cyclops', minotaurs, ogres, gorgons, sirens and a whole slew of other beasts. His Tuesday afternoon list of things to kill before dinner reads like a who's who of Greek mythology, and oh yeah, he destroys Ares and takes his throne, only after dying and subsequently fighting his way OUT of the underworld. Besides all that, he's just MEAN, and will rip an innocent peasant in half WITH HIS BARE HANDS simply for some health orbs. I would certainly sh*t my pants if Kratos was mad at me.
Duke Nukem - "It's time to kick ass and chew bubble gum...and I'm all outta gum." Of all the characters in all video games, Duke Nukem may very well have the coolest collection of one-liners out there. Besides that obvious fact, he wanders around killing aliens with kick-ass weapons, all while wearing sunglasses and a red wife-beater. The king of sh*t-talking takes his badass level through the roof when he takes a dump on an enemy's FACE. "Hail to the King, baby!"
Ryu Hayabusa - I once saw Ryu cut off the heads of FIVE men in a single lunging slice....I could stop there, but then I'd be neglecting the fact that he's so agile that he can damn near fly, is a master of all manner of weaponry, and knows MAGIC. Besides all this, in his most recent adventure, alone, he eradicates three dragons, multiple tanks and helicopters, four giant worms of varying elemental infusion, a giant ice beast, two tentacle monsters, two...Almas...the evil warlord, Doku (twice), and one of the most insane final bosses in gaming. He decapitates about thirty dozen ninjas along the way...
Dante - Dante is flashy and defiant, and will kick a group of enemies' asses while eating a slice of pizza. He rocks both a gun and a sword at the same time, and uses both like a pro. He is a demon hunter who is half-demon himself, and he is well-know for taking on grotesque monsters of gigantic proportions. Not only does he sport trend-setting, Gothic duds, but he also named his one-man business "Devil May Cry." If that's not badass, then what is?
Agent 47 - He is a professional assassin, he walks around in a suit, he wears black gloves, and he's bald. He even has a barcode tattooed on the back of his neck, plainly visible as he sneaks up on and chokes the life out of armed soldier after armed soldier. He rarely utters a word, but his actions more than speak for themselves. What would normally be classified as serial murder is all in a day's work for Agent 47, and he does it with no questions, no hesitation, and no remorse...and he's good at it.
Sephiroth - It's almost obligatory that I include the most famous Final Fantasy bad guy ever. The fact of the matter, though, is that he's deserving of the honor. From the music that accompanies his every appearance, to his 86-foot katana, to his sinister...hair, he is badass through and through. He kills a fully-developed playable party member halfway through the game...who DOES that? What an *sshole! Besides, the whole stop-Cloud-in-mid-air-as-he-falls-like-a-falcon-from-10-stories-up-at-200-miles-per-hour-all -while-remaining-ridiculously-calm-and-cool-and-at-the-same-time-sprouting-a-10-foot-sword-out-of-nowhere move could earn him a spot here by itself.
Garcian Smith - Although Garcian is certifiably insane and suffers from severe psychological torment, that doesn't stop him from being one very bad man. He won't hesitate to fire the 6th bullet in a game of Russian Roulette, and carries an attache case full of weapons wherever he goes. A killer from the time he was a child, he has grown into a mountain of an assassin. He has no apparent emotion left, and even whistles tunes to himself while he works.
James Earl Cash - This guy is one of the rawest video game characters there is. He has already been incarcerated for murder when he finds himself playing the lead role in a sick game of slaughter. He has to kill in order to survive, and he does so in only the most brutal fashion. Using anything from a plastic bag to a shotgun, James Earl Cash manages to obliterate his enemies, one by one. He never shows any mercy, and always makes a mess...
Prince of Persia - From happy-go-lucky, acrobatic Prince to psychotic killing machine, the Prince of Persia has evolved into a sure candidate for today's list. He can navigate just about ANY terrain, dual wields ultra-stylish swords, and can CONTROL TIME. That's pretty badass. Besides, how many other guys routinely slide head-first down 3-story ropes, only to wrap a bladed chain around unsuspecting guards' throats?
Snake - I think Snake's badass-ness boils down to his gritty voice and war-hardened nature. He doesn't take crap from anyone, and would most likely beat up his own grandmother if she messed with him. He repeatedly embarks on solo operations to dismantle huge militant organizations, requesting no backup and acquiring everything he needs along he way. He is a master of weaponry, hand-to-hand combat, stealth, and military philosophy, and is so tough that he won't hesitate to stitch and splint his own wounds, then continue the mission. Plus, he eats critters off the forest floor, and always talks like he's got a pair.