Top 10 Coolest Video Game Armors

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Video Game Armor Mass Effect Look to any major video game franchise character these days, and you're likely to find one thing: the adventures and hardships they endure are lethal to the average human being. While we'd wager most video game heroes are exceptional in most aspects, some of their invincibility must be credited to the armor they usually wear into combat. Whether their second skin is simply strong, bestowed with superpowers or an artificial intelligence, or just pleasing to the eye, a video game hero's armor is likely to become every bit as famous as their name. There are endless suits to choose from, but here's our list of The 10 Coolest Video Game Armors.

Daedric Armor, 'Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim'

Best Video Game Armor Skyrim Daedric It might seem ridiculous to select just a single suit of armor from those available to either purchase or craft in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, since players were free to assemble their own suits based on whatever criteria they chose - style, strength, magical properties, or weight. But if you take the intimidation factor, value, physical attributes, and time taken to unlock it, the Daedric Armor is hard to top. Named for the mystical inhabitants of Oblivion that occasionally cross over into the game's world, the Daedric Armor is about as demonic as a Dragonborn can get. With its sharpened spikes and hellish glow, dragons may simply surrender once laying eyes on this rig.

T-51b Power Armor, 'Fallout'

Best Video Game Armor Fallout T51b As the real world marches more and more toward advanced, mechanized armor on the battlefield, we keep hoping that something along the lines of the T-51b Power Armor will be created. The iconic set of armor used in marketing the Fallout series was standard issue for American infantry prior to the Great War, found in several games. We'll admit that the TX-28 MicroFusion pack used to power the armor's hydraulics isn't exactly the safest option, but then, this is a series whose premise is based on irresponsible use of nuclear technology. Unlike most entries on our list, both the T-51b and its predecessor, the T-45d power armor are seen multiple times, worn in number by members of the Brotherhood of Steel and the Enclave. Normally that might harm the armor's novelty factor, but even with the extra training required to operate it, nothing beat the stares when entering a room.

Hammer Suit, 'Super Mario Bros.'

Video Game Armor Mario Hammer Bros Suit Any fan of the Super Mario Bros. series knows that the titular siblings have more than a passing interest in extensive wardrobes. When it comes to special suits, power-ups, or unique abilities, they are the undisputed experts. But rarely can the term 'armor' be applied to Mario or Luigi's bonus clothing - except in the case of the Hammer Suit. First appearing in Super Mario Bros. 3, the suit turns either Mario or Luigi into their Hammer variants, modeled after the Koopa enemies known as 'Hammer Bros.'. With a fireproof shell, an indestructible helmet and a set of hammers to hurl at enemies, the Hammer Suit shows Mario in a whole new light. With extra style points awarded for the black color scheme, we can't help but love one of the few mental images of Mario heading into battle sporting actual armor instead of overalls.

Augmented Reaction Suit, 'Vanquish'

Best Video Game Armor Vanquish ARS It could be said about many of the armors on our list that the suit itself is the hero's greatest weapon; but in the case of Vanquish, the sentiment is a literal one. Instead of building futuristic guns, DARPA invested in the Augmented Reaction Suit (ARS) to turn an everyday soldier into a walking tank. Besides heightening the users strength, endurance, mobility and speed (negating any need for developing a "supersoldier serum"), the suit's BLADE system puts an entire arsenal at the user's disposal. Able to scan any battlefield weapon and essentially recreate it out of the suit's own parts. Assault Rifles can switch to Sniper Rifles, to Rocket Launchers and back again at the press of a button. That special ability alone offers a deadlier suit than simple body armor, but its ability to slow down time makes it one of the most underrated armors on our list.

Powered Combat Suit, 'StarCraft'

Best Video Game Armor StarCraft CMC Suit The image of a hulking, gritty space marine wearing hulking armor has become something of a stereotype in the video game industry - right up there with a wall-running, cloaked assassin -  but there are few more influential or iconic as the Confederate Marine Corps Powered Combat Suit. The mark of any true Terran soldier in the world of StarCraft, the armor could make a monster out of even a modest-sized man. Virtually impervious to small arms fire, and capable of automatically applying tourniquets to wounded limbs, the CMC Combat Suit was designed from the ground up for the kind of odds-defying and savage battles that the Zerg, Protoss, or other human beings would bring about. Over the course of the series the suit itself has evolved, but regardless of the color or model of "Hardskin," it's nearly impossible for any StarCraft fan to picture Jim Raynor, Tychus Findlay, or many other characters without it.

Resource Integration Gear, 'Dead Space'

Best Video Game Armor Dead Space RIG They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and Dead Space proves that the statement is just as true with video games. Starting with hero Isaac Clarke, a systems engineer for a deep space mining corporation - essentially a roughneck who just happens to enjoy a great view while metalworking. But even if it wasn't in his job description, he had the tools and clothing needed to do battle with Hell itself. Clarke's standard-issue Resource Integration Gear (RIG) was designed to afford engineers protection and improved strength. It may not have been designed for combat, but the RIG's spine-mounted, color-coded health indicator, wrist-mounted holographic projectors, and ability to be worn in hard vacuum make it tailor-made for a video game action hero. A variety of RIGs have been introduced, but gamers never forget their first.

Hazard Environment Suit, 'Half-Life'

Best Video Game Armor Half Life HEV Suit It's hard to know if the authorities at the Black Mesa Research Facility realized that when they outfitted their scientists with Hazardous Environment (HEV) Suits, they were essentially preparing them for inter-dimensional war, but on behalf of all fans of the Half-Life series, we're glad they did. And the HEV Suit of theoretical physicist Gordon Freeman has seen more action than most. It's possible Black Mesa may have assumed that scientists would lack the aggression or athletic prowess to make the most of the suit's on-board morphine injectors to endure superhuman trauma, ability to travel to another dimension, not to mention take the full force of attacks from the villainous Combine. All we can say is that we admire their decision to go with as bold a color as orange. It may be a bit 'shouty' compared to our other favorites, but it's a classic nonetheless.

Nanosuit, 'Crysis'

Best Video Game Armor Crysis Nanosuit A strong case could be made that the Crynet Nanosuit worn by the heroes of the Crysis series is, without a doubt, one of the coolest looking armors that video games have produced. The perfect blend of feasible technology and monstrous appearance, the Nanosuit (also known as a Nano-Muscle Suit) was designed with one purpose: to make human beings as powerful and deadly as the alien menace known as 'Ceph.' Once fans get past the stunning exterior, it becomes clear that the true beauty of the suit is its versatility. The artificial muscle fibers spread throughout the suit (not just for show) are capable of taking on new properties depending on the wearer's preferred mode of attack. As multi-purpose an armor set as one can hope for, even if it did originate from alien tech.

Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor, 'Halo'

Best Video Game Armor Halo Mjolnir It's a safe bet that no suit of video game armor is more widely recognizable in modern culture than of the Master Chief. It's changed quite a bit over the years - from the MJOLNIR Mark IV seen in Halo: Combat Evolved to the GEN2 versions seen in Halo 4 - but has largely retained its iconic silhouette and coloring. The armored plating, intimidating helmet and energy shielding make the suit any soldier's dream, but its ability to house an AI make it a dream come true. In hindsight, players (and the Chief) were lucky that it was an AI as friendly as Cortana chosen to fuse with the wearer's brain, as the MJOLNIR blurs the line between armor and wearer like few others. The suit's potency in combat ensured that it would carve out its place in the armor hall of fame, but the fact that gamers have never seen Master Chief out of it means the armor essentially is John-117.

Power Suit, 'Metroid'

Best Video Game Armor Metroid These days, everyone and their dog knows that any space bounty hunter is useless without a set of armor, but when Nintendo got around to unveiling Samus Aran, the star of their classic Metroid series, they decided to play it safe, and give the heroine equipment that would ensure her legacy. Raised by the mysterious and ancient alien race known as the Chozo, Samus entered the profession of bounty hunting with an organic, cybernetic suit of Power Armor whose add-ons are limited only by the user's imagination. The strangest feature: the suit can't be removed unless Samus wills it, and has been known to disappear and reappear into thin air. Cutting down on storage space is a bonus, but the suit's many variations have kept the series surprisingly fresh through multiple spin-offs and sequels. But the variety of deadly and memorable weapons the suit makes possible are the stuff that childhood gaming wonder is made of.


Best Video Game Armors There you have it: Game Rant's 10 Coolest Video Game Armors. But the armor a hero wears will only be as beloved as the hero which wears them, so every gamer is sure to have their favorites. Which video game armors are the most iconic or treasured to you? Was it due to the looks, the function, or the hero inside of it? Leave us your thoughts in the comments. _____ Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

TAGS: Crysis, Dead Space, Fallout, Half Life, Halo, Metroid, Skyrim, Starcraft, Super Mario Bros., Vanquish