Video game characters may pull off incredible feats of bravery and combat, but even fictional, world-saving heroes need to retire from action eventually.
Video game characters live massively adventurous and incredibly dangerous lives. From daring feats of bravery as they take on entire criminal organizations to defeating extra-terrestrial nasties, no challenge is too big to take on. But even fictional characters need a break sometime and no doubt many of them would like to stay home, start families, and live out the rest of their days in comfy slippers.
So, here is Game Rant‘s list of 10 video game characters that need to retire.
Overwatch hero Reinhardt may whizz about the battlefield in his rocket-powered suit of amor while protecting allies with his shield, but under that metal exterior, Reinhardt is one old man.
Aged 61, Reinhardt’s voice lines (such as “respect your elders” and “let’s show these kids how it’s done”) show that he’s proud of his experience. But at the end of the day, it’s not uncommon to hear Reinhardt’s bones creaking during battle, so maybe it’s time for him to hang up his suit of armor for good.
Beloved PlayStation hothead Kratos has spent six God of War games verbally and physically ripping the gods apart in critically-acclaimed fashion.
With the series’ seventh entry, simply titled God of War, it would be a perfect time for the titular badass to take a back seat. The game features Kratos’s son after all, and it would offer a brilliant chance for him to pass the baton and spend the rest of his days relaxing instead.
Since the series began in 1991, macho man Duke Nukem has been the star of over a dozen Duke Nukem video games. This includes Duke Nukem Forever, in which Nukem comes out of retirement to save the women of the world from being kidnapped by aliens.
As if a canon retirement plot didn’t hint enough that it’s time for Duke to take a step back, the abysmal response to Forever’s humor and gameplay surely is. Later this year, Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary Edition World Tour may or may not provide a nice throwback for existing fans, but that may need to be where Nukem’s story ends.
Protagonist of the Splinter Cell games, Sam Fisher, has been covertly taking down bad guys since 2002. While that’s not actually a long time for a video game series to exist, Sam himself was born in 1957, which makes him 59 years old.
And while Fisher can still drop bodies and take out terrorists in a near-undectable manner with the best of them, that doesn’t mean he still needs to. In 2013’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Fisher is the commander of the Fourth Echelon and is backed up by several new characters and returning allies; characters who would be well suited to take over as Fisher inches ever closer to retirement.
A genetically-engineered clone, Hitman protagonist Agent 47 (a 55-year old assassin) has spent most of his life exercising his murder-y talents across all nine of his games. Most recently he’s suited up in the episodic game Hitman which made its debut earlier this year.
At least two more seasons of the episodic title are planned, so perhaps season three could serve as Agent 47’s official retirement – with his replacement being ushered in for season four.
Master Chief (AKA John-117)
Like Kratos and PlayStation, Master Chief has become the face of Xbox and, arguably, the Microsoft-centric line of consoles would not be as popular without Master Chief’s world-saving antics.
But now, it’s finally time for Master Chief to retire. Not only is the character 47 years old as of Halo 5: Guardians, but the 2015 release also features two playable characters, perhaps suggesting that developer 343 Industries is ready to put Master Chief out to pasture for good.
Ryu and Ken
Street Fighter characters and noted BFFs/rivals Ryu and Ken are two of the most iconic video game characters in history, having made their debut with the first game in 1987.
Ryu and Ken are both in their early 50s and yet they are still at it in Street Fighter 5, which released earlier this year. While it’s nice to know the fight is still in them, it’s not as though Capcom has run out of new character ideas and it’s time for them to start thinking about hanging up their iconic karate outfits.
Gears of War protagonist Marcus Fenix has lived a tough life, including saving the world from Locusts and being put in prison. When Marcus features in Gears of War 4, these hardships really show in the scars and lines on his face – not to mention the full head of grey hair (including one mighty beard), too.
Although his son, James Dominic Fenix is taking over as the main playable character, Marcus is still expected to play a big role in GOW 4‘s plot. Here’s hoping that it’s one bombastic, final adventure and after that he’ll finally be able to place his Lancer on the mantle.
Leon S. Kennedy
Resident Evil 2 protagonist Leon S. Kennedy isn’t just a Resi fan favorite – the undead-blasting tough guy is one of the most popular game characters in general. That’s why he has featured (or been mentioned) in nine Resident Evil games overall.
Now aged 39, and having spent most of his life fighting the infected, now would be a good time for him to become a germaphobe. Plus, as Resident Evil 7 won’t feature Leon, it makes good sense for him to retire and let other characters take the lead.
In 2012’s Max Payne 3, the titular character 43 years and working as a security contractor in South America. He’s already retired from the NYPD some time earlier and only winds up in employment because he owes someone a favor.
Moreover, Max is an alcoholic, a drug addict, and he’s had to deal with the murder of his wife and daughter, too. Rockstar needs to leave Max’s story as a trilogy, letting him walk off into the sunset and finally deal with the very serious issues he’s clearly still struggling with.
Which video game characters do you think need to retire? Leave a comment and let us know.