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5 Overwatch Characters I Come Back to Over and Over Again

The favorite Overwatch characters of a man child who wants pink hair.

Overwatch has taken the gaming community by storm this past year, with both casual and competitive players logging hundreds of hours of gameplay. For myself in particular, it's been a game of several firsts. It's both the first Blizzard game I've truly put time into, and the first multiplayer FPS I can call myself a fan of.  

One of the numerous reasons for this game's success is the assortment of playable characters. Their designs, weapons, personalities, and back stories are all unique, and for the most part, all have a role to serve. And those characters are part of what keeps me coming back. The following aren't necessarily the best characters in the meta game, but rather, my top five personal favorites.  

5. Zarya

   

My cousin, who for several years was absolutely obsessed with Team Fortress 2, was the person who convinced me to get Overwatch. I was planning on trying out all (at the time) 21 playable characters, but he told me that I needed to play Zarya, his main, as soon as I could. She didn't become my favorite, but I did develop a love for the Russian muscle woman.

To be honest, aside from her pink hair, I don't care much for Zarya's main design or any of her skins. And while there's nothing to hate about them, her personality and backstory are pretty bland in my opinion. The real reason I play Zarya is for her weapon, the Graviton Beam.

Being a tank, Zarya can soak up a lot of damage, though not as much as other tanks like Reinhardt and Roadhog. However, Zarya has the ability to let her whole team take more hits. With her giant blaster, she can produce barriers to protect her allies for a few seconds. She is also capable of producing a barrier around herself.

But she isn't just a bulky support. No, every time one of Zarya's barriers gets hit, it powers up her Graviton Beam. On its own, the beam may be very weak, but powered up, it can kill most enemies very quickly and efficiently, with the option to launch grenades instead of firing the beam available.

The effectiveness of her ultimate, Graviton Surge, depends on the scenario. If your beam is fully charged or your whole team is with you, you'll have no problem eliminating the entire team, who've been grouped together and stuck in place. If your on your own and your beam isn't charged though, it's best to save the Surge.

Zarya: Making me want pink hair since May, 2016.

4. Tracer

One of the first things I heard about Overwatch was that the day it came out, thousands of pieces of erotic and NSFW fan art based off the game had already been drawn. My response was, of course: WHY?!

But this wasn't the only moment around the game's release related to female characters that made me smack my face. The other was that one of the victory poses of the game's mascot, Tracer, was deemed by fans to be an example of over sexualiztion. In response, Blizzard changed the pose...to something that really wasn't much better.

Not sexy at all...

This is all old news at this point, but I bring it up for a good reason: I ended up surprised at how great Tracer's character was.

Tracer is sort of the opposite of Zarya for me. I have nothing against her speedy, run-and-gun play style, and her blink and recall abilities are both very cool, but it's the cheery Brit's personality and design which make me love her.

She's happy, caring, upbeat, and in a game full of so-called “heroes”, she's one of the only ones who I feel truly meets the description of a hero. And while after so many hours of gameplay, I've begun to tire of most of the characters' voice lines, I get a big kick every time I hear, "Cheers love! The cavalry's here!"

3. Hanzo

As with most games, I'm not a competitive player. As such, I don't much care if Hanzo is actually one of the worst characters in the game, since I enjoy playing as him so much. The reason I like Hanzo as much as I do is very simple: he's an archer.

I am terrible at archery in real life, but I love the art of it. As such, whenever the opportunity reveals itself for me to play as an archer in a video game, I seize it. Elder Scrolls? I play as an archer. League of Legends? I play as an archer. Titan Souls? I play as an archer...but then again you don't really get a choice there. 

In addition to the archery, there's also Hanzo's super flashy ultimate. The child in me thinks the giant dragon spirits it shoots are cool, but the gamer in me realizes how useless the attack is most of the time. (However, being an enormous man child, I only have one thing to say: RYUGA WAGA TEKI WO KURAU!!! )

2. Genji

As much as I like Hanzo, I prefer his cybernetic brother just a little bit more. 

When it comes to the famous “Pirate vs. Ninja” debate, I firmly side with ninjas. And while the closest thing to a pirate we have in Overwatch right now is a Torbjorn skin, it'd be pretty hard for any new pirate character to be a more dangerous threat than Genji.

When played correctly, Genji serves as a one man army. His shuriken are powerful and have great range. He's fast and can double jump. He can dash across the map, slicing into an enemy. And he can make Bastion players cry themselves to sleep with his deflect ability.

Also, in contrast to his brother, Genji's ultimate, Dragonblade, is one of the most useful in the game. Just have the rest of your team keep the enemy distracted, and you'll be able to flank them and slice them all apart.

So what could be better than a cybernetic ninja with the power of a dragon?

1. D.Va

Only a South Korean gaming champion in a mech suit, of course!

D.Va was one of the first Overwatch characters I really put time into, and it was love at first sight. The main reason D.Va is number one on this list is because I am far superior with her than with any other character. Something about her play style just clicks with me.

While in her mech suit, she serves as an excellent tank, able to take a lot of damage and, at least at close range, is able to dish it back out. However, her most useful ability is her defense matrix. While this ability was useless once upon a time, it now rivals Reinhardt's rectangle of doom in effectiveness as a shield. Her ultimate is also incredible, blowing up anything within the vicinity of where you use it, only a few things being able to block it.

Even once her mech gets destroyed, D.Va can still be very useful. While all she can do at that point is run around, shoot her laser pistol, and wait for her ultimate to charge up so she can get back in her suit, she's pretty fast and her tiny pistol does a surprising amount of damage. Hell, I'd go so far as to say she's a better offensive force out of her suit than in it.

Also, I adore her design. She's cute, I dig that she's got sponsorship all over her suit, and the mech suit has a really cool look. Honestly, my only problem with her design is that she doesn't have pink hair, but that's really a nitpick.

Those were my top five Overwatch characters. I hope that you've enjoyed this list and that you'll tell me who your favorite characters are in the comments.  Now if you'll excuse me, the Halloween Terror event is going on, and I want to get as many exclusive skins as I can.

Published Oct. 18th 2016

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