Someone who is hard to kill, tough as nails, and is generally above awesome.
There are many badass characters in games, but none are grittier than the cigar or cigarette-wielding kind. These guys and gals run up against impossible odds and blast through. Not only without breaking a sweat, but without letting their choice of tobacco-filled stick burn out or break.
Why not tell me your favourite smoking badass in the comments below?
Game Series: BioShock
Character: Dr. Brigid Tenenbaum
Being born into a Jewish family is never going to be good news when the Nazis roll around. Tenenbaum was captured and sent to Auschwitz, the worst of the concentration camps. But as you may be able to guess, she survived. And she was only 16.
She was not only able to endure, but she flourished. She learned that the Germans were experimenting on prisoners, and would correct any German scientist who got their science wrong.
After this, she turned her full attention to science -- specifically genetics. She went on to create both ADAM and the Little Sisters, she calling them her little ones. She later saved several Little Sisters from Rapture without splicing herself, she didn't use a single plasmid.
This earns Tenenbaum the mark of badassery -- not only physically, but academically as well.
Game Series: Duke Nukem
Character: Duke Nukem
The Duke chews bubble gum, and kicks arse, but is always out of bubble gum -- he really needs to stock up more often.
Even though Duke Nukem: Forever (DNF) was a lackluster game, that didn't stop The King from being a major pain in the alien butt, in both DNF and all other games.
He kills The Cycloid Emperor in several games, without thinking twice. He even survives a nuclear explosion, a dam blowing up in his face, and many other 'accidents' that would atomize anyone else.
On top of all of that, he is constantly spurting out one-liners, from the ever popular "I'm gonna get medieval on your asses!" to "That's gonna leave a mark!" And then the famous "it's time to kick ass and chew bubblegum...and I'm all outta gum."
Duke loves 3 things in life; babes, bullets, and bombs. That's what makes him a badass.
"Hail to the king baby."
Game Series: Metal Gear Solid
Character: Big Boss
Big Boss was the founder of five different special forces units and his very own mercenary state. On top of this, he's had nine different code names -- because when you are this amazing, people don't want to simply call you by your real name. Big Boss has also spent most of his career using only one eye.
Even after taking a piece of shrapnel in the face and losing his left arm, he simply lived with it. He got a new robotic arm, and later got the shrapnel removed. He has been constantly fighting for whole life -- roughly 55 years, as he lived till the age of 79.
If I could pick one person to sneak into Fort Knox with only a toothpick, I would pick Big Boss. He can fight hand-to-hand, shoot, and be as silent as a mouse. He was so badass they cloned him... 3 times!
Game Series: Halo
Character: Sgt. Avery Johnson
Sgt. Johnson is the toughest sumbitch you will ever meet.
He has survived multiple Covenant glassings -- including the first one, where he saved a whole bunch of farmers on Harvest. (Which coincidently is where PFC. Jenkins is from.) The whole team that Johnson speaks to at the beginning of Halo: CE is made of militia he was training on Harvest.
Johnson is so rock solid that he turns ordinary farmers into the some of the most battle-hardened warriors, without them even fighting beforehand.
He was picked to be in the first Spartan program, codenamed ORION (later known as SPARTAN-I). For this, only the best were picked, and he wasn't even 30 years old at the time.
Johnson is so much of a badass that he got infected by the Flood, and even that couldn't stop him. I'm still angry at the light bulb!