Top 10 Coolest Mechs in Video Games

Published 6 months ago by This is a list post.

Titanfall Questions - Conclusion The time for Titanfall has finally arrived. While the developers at Respawn Entertainment unleash their multiplayer mix of on-foot action and heavily-mechanized warfare, it's important to remember that they aren't the first team to discover that the chance to pilot a hulking mass of motorized destruction is one most gamers will jump at. Entire tank simulations, online battle arenas and customizable robotic creations have cropped up over the past few decades, but we can't help but think that a few games have managed to focus their attention and give players the chance to not simply pilot a mech into combat, but make one their very own - a character in itself. With that in mind, here is our list of the Top 10 Video Game Mechs.

Mantis

Best Video Game Mechs Mantis Halo 4 First Appeared: Halo 4 (2012) The Halo series managed to blur the lines between player, character, and machinery better than most in recent years. So when 343 Industries was handed the reins to the series with Halo 4, they had some serious standards to live up to. That meant adding a new war machine to the campaign and multiplayer: the mechanized fighter known as 'the Mantis.' Known to its friends as the HRUNTING/YGGDRASIL Mark IX Armor Defense System, this walking weapons platform made more than a splash when it joined the fray. But with the Halo brand of multiplayer action a finely-tuned balancing act, the fact that the Mantis fit from the get-go was impressive. And as it packed as much personality as the Warthog, Ghost, Scorpion and Mongoose, it soon earned its place among them.

Death Egg Robot

Best Video Game Mechs Death Egg Robot Sonic First Appeared: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992) In the grand scheme of video game villains, building a massive mechanized suit to achieve victory over a plucky hero is nothing new. But it takes a special kind of megalomania and ego to not only construct a mech to defeat the hero, but create it in the villain's own image - mustache and all. So when players of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 came face-to-face with the 'Death Egg Robot' (designed to look just like its pilot, Dr. Eggman) it wasn't just the challenging boss fight that had them in stunned silence. The battle that followed was a difficult one, far harder than any that the appearance of the mech would bring with it in future. But it was the sheer arrogance of Eggman that remains burned into our memory.

Strike Suit

Best Video Game Mechs Strike Suit Zero First Appeared: Strike Suit Zero (2013) Utter the word 'mech' to any modern gamer and they're likely to imagine something along the lines of a large suit of armor lumbering onto the battlefield; but the developers of Strike Suit Zero showed nobody ever said a mech had to be tethered to the ground. Shifting the action into space, the team at Born Ready Games twisted most notions about mechs on its head when pilots experienced in space combat unlocked the titular Strike Suit - a jet fighter that could transform into a winged mech when the action got too hectic. Hearkening back to space shooters like Wing Commander or X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter meant that the Strike Suit mixed a new concept with some beloved nostalgia. To this day, we wonder why 'space-fighting mechs- aren't a household term.

Utility Rig

Best Video Game Mechs Rig Lost Planet 3 Appeared in: Lost Planet 3 (2013) The Lost Planet series has long been defined by its trademark Vital Suits, large weatherproofed mechs designed to hand the extreme conditions of the franchise's setting. And while the mechs of Lost Planet 2 may be the most indicative of the series' love of mech combat and teamwork, last year's Lost Planet 3 tried to put players into the boots of a Vital Suit operator like never before. Technically, LP3 is a prequel, meaning the Utility Rig of protagonist Jim Peyton is actually a predecessor to the Vital Suits that would come later. Although Peyton's rig may not have the name or style of the PTX-140 (a.k.a. 'Hardballer'), for instance, the developers made the mech one that players couldn't just see themselves fighting in - but living in, as well.

Gustaff

Best Video Game Mechs Tron Bonne Gustaff Appeared In: Marvel vs Capcom 3 (2011) She may have begun her life as an antagonist in Mega Man Legends, but Tron Bonne proved enough of a hit with fans to make her something of a star for publisher Capcom. As the daughter of the brilliant (and devious) Bonne family, Tron puts her mechanical expertise to use in the production of her many Servbots, and, in the case of Marvel vs Capcom 3, head-to-head fighting. Piloting one of her many mechanized war machines - Gustaff, in this case - Tron Bonne showed a precision and intuition commanding a metal exoskeleton that had players wondering if they were really the ones guiding her actions, or simply letting her do what she did best. Her attacks were brutal, but her plucky personality made her and her mech an instant fan-favorite.

Jehuty

Best Video Game Mechs Jehuty Zone of the Enders First Appeared: Zone of the Enders (2001) While technically referred to as an 'Orbital Frame,' the most iconic creation of the Zone of the Enders series, Jehuty, is a must for this list. Not only because the first game led to a fictional universe of its own, but that the mech remains one of the most potent and powerful that video games have produced. Equipped with wing-like thrusters, energy shield, a retractable energy blade and cannons, Jehuty is packing all the firepower a mech fan could hope for. But add in its ability to simulate teleportation, and the complicated and dramatic storylines between Jehuty and its 'brother' Anubis, and you've got a mech that is a main character on its own.

Mobile Combat Armor

Best Video Game Mechs Shogo MCA First Appeared: Shogo: Mobile Armor Division (1998) Something of a hidden gem, Shogo: Mobile Armor Division no doubt paved the way for many of the other mech-based games on our list. For starters, the game (like Titanfall) allowed players to experience first-person combat both on foot, and behind the controls of an enormous suit of Mobile Combat Armor. Instead of attempting to lure in simulation fans, the developers at Monolith decided to cast aside the idea of piloting the MCA through complex controls, and simply allowed players to wield its weaponry the exact same way as they did on foot. The graphics may be from a different era, but Monolith's love of mechs persisted, mainly due to the ease of use that Shogo offered.

Vertical Tank

Best Video Game Mechs Vertical Tanks Steel Battalion First Appeared: Steel Battalion (2002) While some developers were going out of their way to make piloting a video game mech less complicated, the developers of Steel Battalion took a different approach. Not only would piloting one of the game's 'Vertical Tanks' (VT's for short) be a serious simulation, but entirely new controllers would be created to make the experience as immersive as possible. The game actually offered a variety of VT's from which to choose, but the controls and commitment to simulation carried across all of them. Requiring players to eject to avoid perma-death, start the machine from a standstill before each mission, and control each feature down to the windshield wipers, Steel Battalion remains a truly unique installment in mech gaming.

Metal Gear REX

Best Video Game Mechs Metal Gear Solid REX First Appeared: Metal Gear Solid (1998) The Metal Gear monstrosities that gave their video game series its name were well-established before audiences ever heard the name 'Solid Snake,' but a brand new prototype of the bipedal mechs was concocted for the franchise's leap to 3D stealth action. in Metal Gear Solid, players came face to face with the Metal Gear REX: a walking tank that packed more firepower than any before. The mech's potential didn't end with Solid Snake's victory, as the REX would continue to appear in future series installments. Packing an arsenal of rotary cannons and missiles - and reinforced legs that its predecessors sure could have used - the Metal Gear REX was (almost) the top of the Metal Gear food chain.

Timber Wolf

Best Video Game Mechs Timber Wolf Mechwarrior Appeared In: MechWarrior series The MechWarrior series has hosted some of the most beloved and influential mech designs that the genre has seen, but none is more memorable than the Timber Wolf. Far outperforming its 'siblings' the Marauder (MAD) and Catapult (CAT) series, the clan-originated Timber Wolf got its nickname - Mad Cat - when Inner Sphere computers first failed to determine which mech it was looking upon. Protected by twelve tons of armor, and loaded with a blend of energy and projectile weaponry for both long and short range, the Timber Wolf is as close as the series gets to a versatile killing machine. The straightforwardness of its design - a cockpit on legs, surrounded by ordnance - has led to the mech's silhouette representing not just a balanced attack, but the franchise as a whole.

Conclusion

Titanfall Questions - Player Count There are certainly many more video game mechs to mention, especially for those players so dedicated to customizing and balancing that they uncovered the 'perfect' mech and loadout. We welcome all to share their favorites in the comments, and which video game mechs carved out the most beloved places in your heart - whether through personality or sheer force. _____ Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
TAGS: Halo 4, Lost Planet 3, MechWarrior, MechWarrior Online, Metal Gear Solid, Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Steel Battalion, Strike Suit Zero, titanfall, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Zone of the Enders

14 Comments

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  1. No Temjin, no White Glint? All this list proves is that the Japanese are far, far better at mech design than the west.

    • Neither of those were in our own top 10.

      • Yes, I noticed with these two eyes I magically have.

        • You must have been given them by the same elder titan as I did, or at least someone in his family, was his name “roon”?

          I had to out wrestle his thunder wolf to get mine, pretty hard when you did not have eyes at the time.

  2. Not a bad list but you forgot about the unlimited number of mechs from the Armored Core series. Still one of the best mechs games to date in my opinion.

    • Nah, we did’t forget – just didn’t make our own top 10

  3. But Armored Core was sooo awesome. :( I would have probably switched Steel Battalion’s VTs with the mechs from Armored Core. As someone who owns steel battalion I can honestly say the game was pretty underwhelming. Sure there was a ton of features to each mech but as far as the combat went, they weren’t really powerful machines. Even the best ones felt slow and would topple from a few good hits. Armored Core on the other hand had tons of crazy weapons, energy blades and shields so you could fight it out like mecha-knights or something and the customization was off the charts. Mobility was another thing, there was that super boost overcharge move and the ability to slide around on the ground or even get tank treads. How did that not make the list?!

    The mechs from killzone 2 would have been nice to see as well, I liked how they felt when you sprinted. Very heavy and weighty. A good selection of firepower for a smaller unit that let one man turn the tide of a battle. I guess sorta like the mantis from halo but with a bit more weight behind it. Overall I like most of the choices you guys picked!

  4. I have one friend who if he saw this list would have lost his mind if the Madcat wasn’t on it XD

  5. Aw I was hoping for at least one ZOIDS even though the games were crappy.

  6. Good list, Mad Cat is where it belongs. That silhouette is the defining picture (in my mind) of perfection being reached for (but not quite grasped) by a game design for a war machine. I have to admit that of all of the other games listed the only other one I thought worthy to make it was the VT’s from Steel Battalion. The Mantis is awesome, no mistake, but its to agile, and that really sums up my gripe against all mech games that do not bow to the limitations of gravity or mass, the experience of mech combat is tied to the difficulty of rapid movement. Patience and determination of the correct course of action are the winning or losing factor, and when that aspect of it is lost, its not a true “mech” game to me.

  7. You forgot the Warlord-class Battle Titan (Warhammer 40,000). Its cameo in Space Marine just doesn’t do it justice, so look it up before you put it into your revised list.

  8. why pick mad cat over atlas?

  9. Mad Cat because of that impressive exterior, it just screams of conflicting priorities, weight limits against speed combined with firepower but with the desire for longevity, its the best designers battleground for “more of good, less of bad!” and the outcome is a crazy design that barely knows what to do with itself. The Atlas is more tame in its balance. You can get into more trouble than you can handle in a Mad Cat, so its in my mind a better machine.

  10. I am not one to complain or even comment at all usually, but this list is, well, poor. Leaving out any mention of the Armored Core series is incomprehensible on its own, but combine that with a lack of mention for the Front Mission series and it is borderline negligent. Also Robotech VF series mechs are THE defining mecha for many.
    I respect this list as your own opinions I just can not comprehend including Gustaff over say the Omega Boost mech.

    On the positive side I have to say I was thrilled to see SHOGO mentioned. I had forgotten about that.

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