Overwatch is a few years old at this point, and it features 32 characters, heroes, villains, and unaffiliated alike. That’s a lot of people, all of them with backstory, personality, and unique abilities. It’s a lot to parse, and the meta can change at the drop of a hat.

Do you know what isn’t likely to change? The characters themselves! Even with Overwatch 2 it’s unlikely that, say, Reaper would come around to the good guys’ side, or that Reinhardt will get smaller and less boisterous. And that means we can take Overwatch champions and rank them in terms of how subjectively cool, imaginative, or downright badass they are.

Overwatch characters ranked

32. Soldier: 76

Debut year:2016
Best quote:”Everyone drink up!”

Call of Daddy is alright, but he’s not the most fanciful character in the game. A model soldier in his youth got pumped full of science stuff to make him a supersoldier, wow. He was designed to be easy to use to people used to typical shooters and it shows. There’s more to chomp down on if you dig into his backstory, but if you go by game only…he’s just a grizzled cybersupersoldier dude, they come in boxes of twelve, batteries not included. His visor is pretty slick, though.

Soldier 76

Totally accurate trivia:
  • Can make a mean grilled steak
  • Allegedly he calls his rifle „Vera”
  • Despite their differences he plays poker with Reaper every Saturday

31. Echo

Debut year:2020
Best quote:I’m taking the objective… wondering where everyone else is?

We first laid eyes on echo on McCree’s short, and it turned out that Echo was the Route 66 payload all along. She’s…a robot. A copy-cat robot, to be specific, because as her ultimate she can mimic other heroes. It’s a neat skill, but Echo isn’t particularly interesting on her own. Her chassis is very elegant, but would probably fit in better in a less rag-tag setting. She’s way less generic than Soldier: 76, but if you look like the ending of Spielberg’s A.I. you need a lot more personality.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • When she visited Point Pleasant she was mistaken for Mothman
  • Her Duplicate about as long as Echo’s ability to endure the human condition
  • The Reunion short shows she can be folded for storage when not In use

30. Widowmaker

Debut year:2016
Best quote:”Let’s hope it goes better than the time at the museum.”

Widowmaker is the femme fatal trope, with an additional dose of the “black widow” motif going for her. It’s a strong, effective archetype, sure…but Overwatch has more to offer. She has blue-purple skin, which makes for a distinctive aesthetic, and her backstory has her captured by baddie group Talon and experimented to make her a better assassin, but we’re still in a “playing tropes straight” territory, and that’s not good enough in a game with so many oddballs.



Totally accurate trivia:
  • Contrary to popular suspicion, she really doesn’t like Eiffel 65’s Blue,
  • Even Talon thinks she went over the top with her scope-visor’s design
  • Cold doesn’t bother her

29. Orisa

Debut year:2017
Best quote:”Error 404: Sarcasm module not found”

Now we’re getting into cooler characters. Orisa is an omnic, reconstructed from a decommissioned series of OR15 defence robots. Repaired and given a personality core by girl genius Efi, she’s happy to learn how to be a hero alongside Overwatch. In addition to her upbeat personality, she has a great, rarely seen design, based on a centaur-like frame, a really good choice for a robot using a hefty cannon as the main offensive measure. Being 1 month old she still looks for her own identity, so she’s #29.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • The most common tactic of the OR15 series Omnics was a centaur stampede
  • Like all centaurs, Orisa is fully mobile despite being just 1 month old
  • …but most centaurs aren’t strong enough to handle a cannon, so good job, Orisa!

28. Sigma

Debut year:2019
Best quote:”Doe maar normaal hè, dan doe je al gek genoeg”

Sigma is Overwatch’s version of Marvel supervillain Graviton, with the notable difference of not wearing shoes. Originally a Dutch scientist called Siebren de Kuiper, he got his gravity powers in an experiment gone awry, as it usually happens. Talon “freed” him from containment to use his powers and his scientific expertise for their own evil plans. Sigma would normally be lower on the list, but the get’s the epicness points for the bold choice of eschewing shoes in battle.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • It’s been said that his toes are like cat’s whiskers, detecting gravitational changes around
  • He trains under increased gravity, that’s why he’s so athletically built
  • Badass eyebrows

27. Tracer

Debut year:2016
Best quote:”Should we nip to the pub?”

Tracer’s been Overwatch’s poster hero starting with the original announcement cinematic, and she’s got a pretty cool shtick, too. Due to SCIENCE! she wears a time-anchor which lets her mess around with relative time flow, like restoring her state from a few seconds before. Tracer’s Black Widow’s opposite number: incredibly chipper, energetic, and friendly. She’s cool, but there’s something unsettling in the contrast between her cheerful attitude and her kill barks like “*laughs* Speed kills!”. Creepy.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • She cheats in Laser Tag
  • Orisa took her spot as the youngest ally of Overwatch, Tracer’s born a grudge since then
  • When she Blinks, she appears in the Heroes of the Storm Nexus

26. Mercy

Debut year:2016
Best quote:”There’s no prescription to treat what you have”

When she isn’t a field operative codenamed Mercy, Dr. Angela Ziegler is an incredibly talented scientist who developed a few revolutionary technologies intended to save lives. It culminated in her Caduceus staff and her flying Valkyrie armour. Mercy’s pretty cool for her dedication to preserving life, and she’s exemplifying Overwatch’s international nature in the styling of her equipment: Norse-themed Valkyrie suit, Greek-themed Caduceus staff and blaster used by a Swiss doctor. Perfect mix.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • She keeps her hair natural, because according to her „heroes never dye”
  • Her medical experience is what allows her to make a healthy and undrinkable coffee
  • She studied bioscience with Dr. Vahlen who was later recruited for XCOM

25. Genji

Debut year:2016
Best quote:”You’ve rescued me again, Doctor Ziegler!”

Genbji is a cyber-ninja. He could be considered the very definition of an edgelord, but he’s pretty chill about his whole cyber-situation. Who’s not chill is his brother, Hanzo (we’ll get to him), who has a beef with Genji over the perceived betrayal of the neon ninja’s family, the Shimada clan. Hanzo’s also the reason that Genji needed Mercy to sculpt the cyber body for him, because the altercation left him too close to death for comfort. Cool story aside, a “cyber-ninja” is trying a bit too hard, though.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • Being at peace with his new body, he actively refuses to wear pants
  • While he was partying a lot…somehow, he still had time to study the blade
  • Zenyatta helped him find his inner peace after Mercy fixed his inner pieces

24. Bastion

Debut year:2012
Best quote:”Woo woo woo whee woo whee!”

The Johnny-5 of Overwatch, Bastion was a peacekeeping robot turned frontline unit during the Omnic Ciris, turned a piece of forest decoration for ten years following the Omnic attack on Stuttgart. Bastion lost a lot of original programming, becoming more gentle and curious. Bastion is also a freaking TRANSFORMER, with three distinct forms: a nimble walker, a stationary minigun turret, and a TANK! It’s a good thing Bastion is quite peaceful because it brings a lot of hurt.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • He matches R2D2’s vulgarity, since all his utterances were bleeped out
  • Unlike Widowmaker, he likes bits of Eiffel 65’s „Blue”
  • He is eternally grateful that his bird friend Ganymede isn’t a pigeon

23. Reaper

Debut year:2016
Best quote:”You look ridiculous”

Ah, Reaper, Overwatch’s resident Master Edgelord. There is so much about him that is so, so funny because of how edgy he is. Let’s go over the basics. First, by default he wears all blacks and white, with metallic greys for his armour. His mask looks like an owl skull, which is ominous. His voice is low, growling, and with weird echoes. He doesn’t gleefully shout his lines like “Die! Die! Die!” only because happiness in unknown to him. Oh, and he’s an assassin working with Talon. And he’s cool anyway!


Totally accurate trivia:
  • Shouting “Die! Die! Die!” even while playing poker got him banned from every casino in Vegas
  • All his Talon earnings go towards getting more shotguns and he ignores financial advice
  • Even though he cheats in his poker games with Soldier: 76, Morrison keeps winning somehow

22. Baptiste

Debut year:2019
Best quote:”Imagine the worst possible outcome. Now… avoid that”

Baptiste is pretty badass, even though his down-to-earth combat gear makes him an odd one among the bizarre roster of Overwatch. What distinguishes him among super soldiers, cyborgs and pilots of elaborate flying harnesses is that…he’s just a dude. He has some gadgets, and some sweet kicks allowing him to jump really high, but otherwise he’s just a combat medic determined to make up for what he did when he’d worked with Talon. Leaving Talon and surviving to tell the tale? That’s badass.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • He has two types of ammo: one for Talon, and one for everybody else
  • Baptiste can tell Talon operatives where to shove it in three languages
  • Has an ongoing eating competition with D.Va

21. Moira

Debut year:2017
Best quote:”No need to thank me, I only saved your life”

The Irish geneticist Moira O’Deorain has always been to rad for the scientific world at large, even Overwatch was sceptical of her work on gene therapies, and they allowed an armoured gorilla in their ranks. Moira not only has cool biotic powers, but she also has a great style, with shades of David Bowie here and there, which is always cool. Moira was also revealed to be the one responsible for giving Gabriel Reyes the powers every Reaper player loves to use. She gave him the EDGE.



Totally accurate trivia:
  • Everything she does, she does FOR SCIENCE
  • Two pipes of her combat gear pump an energetic drink in case she gets sleepy on a mission
  • She dresses up for the job she wants, not the job she has, and got on Talon Inner Council

20. D.Va

Debut year:2016
Best quote:”Hey Sombra, I hear you are a master of unlocking”

D.Va, of Hana Song as she’s known off-duty, used to be a pro-gamer before being inducted into Korean mech program, as one does. Recruited at 19 to be a pilot fighting against the Omnics attacking her homeland she quickly gained fame and respect, for better or worse. But ultimately… she’s a young adult woman partially responsible for keeping her homeland safe. And she’s not a supersoldier, or a cyborg, she’s just a very good gamer shouldering a huge responsibility. Kudos.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • She can’t beat her dad at Starcraft, because unbeknownst to her: he’s cheating
  • D.Va tops the “Most mechs scrapped per deployment” list
  • She called her mech „rabbit” in honor of Doomguy’s bunny killed by demons

19. Hanzo

Debut year:2016
Best quote:”How predictable! Such an unsophisticated taste”

Hanzo is Genji’s older brother, but unlike his sibling he’s not only isn’t a cyborg, but his bow doesn’t even shoot lasers. In fact, Hanzo is quite devoted to tradition and familial responsibility. Somehow he concluded both of these things were reason enough to kill his misbehaving brother, but Hanzo didn’t deal with it well, abandoning his clan and seeking to restore his honor. At the end of the day, Hanzo’s just a dude with a bow who’s skilled enough to keep up with all the weirdos populating the world.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • Used to wear both sleeves, but then he got cool tats he wanted to show off
  • Entertains no questions about his shins
  • Spends a lot of money on arrows, because retrieving them would dishonour their journey

18. Symmetra

Debut year:2016
Best quote:”Am I supposed to be impressed?”

Symmetra works for the Vishkar Corporation, which immediately puts her at odds with Lucio. Although she was originally an architect using Vishkar’s hard-light technology, her talents and devotion to Vishakr’s mission got her a different job: that of a corporate covert agent and trouble-shooter. Symmetra is really into imposing order upon an innately chaotic reality, which seems futile, but somehow she makes it work, and very elegantly so.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • She lost her arm because she attempted forbidden alchemy as a child. A common mistake
  • Junkrat is the way he is because he tried to understand how Symmetra’s teleporter works
  • In a different life she’d make wicked visualisations for Lucio’s concerts

17. Zenyatta

Debut year:2016
Best quote:’I will not juggle”

Zenyatta’s damn cool. He’s an omnic, which is to say: robot, but after the Omnic crisis him and a number of other omnics experience a spiritual awakening. Now Zenyatta is a full-on philosopher, monk, and shepherd of interpersonal connections. He helped Genji chill out about his whole cyber-deal, which is a significant accomplishement. But don’t be fooled by his calm demeanour, the Omnic monk can mess you up with his discord orbs if it’s necessary.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • He started hovering when he learned about the existence of bugs
  • When he isn’t on a mission, he arranges his orbs to act as a Newton’s cradle
  • On karaoke nights he mostly picks songs known for autotune

16. Junkrat

Debut year:2016
Best quote:”What a bunch of misfits and freaks we got here: I love it!”

Junkrat is a young Australian dude who replaced his leg with a boundless enthusiasm for traps, explosives, and explosive traps. He’s a notorious thief, and his partnership with Roadhog got them both on many wanted lists. Junkrat, or rather Jamison Fawkes, is slightly unhinged, just like every device he cobbled together to use as weapons, and it’s a miracle he hasn’t blown himself up completely so far. Junkrat ability to survive with no shirt, no leg and a bunch of explosives is impressive.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • He claims his hairstyle makes him more aerodynamic
  • Once he used his concussion mine to get a piggyback ride on Roadhog. Once
  • His grenade launcher is a reworked T-shirt cannon, sadly there were no T-shirts included

15. Doomfist

Debut year:2017
Best quote:”You’re impressed! That’s natural”

The current, third, Doomfist is a man called Akande Ogundimu, a man competent enough not only to get by by punching his way through most combat encounters, but also driven and ambitious enough to be one of the head honchos of Talon, Overwatch’s deadliest counterpart. He went alone against Genji, Tracer and Winston once, and although he lost, it’s still badass that he survived the encounter. He literally broke out of prison by putting his first through the wall!


Totally accurate trivia:
  • Once when he popped his knuckles he killed an entire flock of birds flying above
  • His Doomfist was originally intended as a personal-use demolition equipment
  • He was covertly hired to decommission OR15 line of omnics

14. Zarya

Debut year:2016
Best quote:”Just like in training. Visualize, then execute”

In a world of cyborgs and genetic manipulation Zarya is one of the people who can easily keep up just by physical prowess, which in Zarya’s case translates into awesome muscle mass that lets her wield her absurdly heavy vehicle-grade particle cannon like it’s nothing. She has an understandable beef with Omnics, because the war against them affected her entire life and eventually motivated Zarya to enlist with the army. She’s strong, dedicated to her country, and can beat Brigitte in arm-wrestling!



Totally accurate trivia:
  • It’s been theorised that Zarya’s Gravity Well could allow Tracer to Recall to the FUTURE!
  • When it’s raining she turns her particle barrier as an umbrella
  • Her leg protectors are a memento from her brief adventure with hockey, just ask Lucio

13. Roadhog

Debut year:2016
Best quote:”Say “bacon” one more time”

Look at the absolute unit! He’s about the size of Reinhardt, and he doesn’t even have a finely crafted chonky armour. He is this large naturally, and only has his musculature and belly to protect him. And they do, by the way, because Roadhog is plenty tanky. He looks like he was taken straight out of a Mad Max movie, which makes perfect sense, he’s from the Australian outback, had to deal with radiation, and has nothing left to lose. Roadhog is Overwatch’s Lord Humungus, but a bit less messed up.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • When he isn’t chugging hogdrogen, he plugs in lavender air fresheners into his mask
  • He is really into tattoos, but his true love are novelty pins
  • He invented his scrap gun to make other people worry about cleaning up metal bits and bobs

12. Mei

Debut year:2016
Best quote:”Anyone want a popsicle?”

Mei is a Chinese climatologist, who was a part of a research team stationed in Antarctica. Through an unfortunate series of events she was stuck in cryostasis for nine years, and she was the only one of her team who survived. It’s anybody’s guess why a kind and cheerful climatologist with nothing but a home-made ice projector decided to become a frontline fighter of the resurgent overwatch, but somehow she got to be a Damage class. Something must have gone wrong in the cryosleep.



Totally accurate trivia:
  • Every time she freezes someone, she feels a little bit more alive
  • The cryosleep kept her biological age at 31, the state of the world helped her catch up fast
  • Lucio was down with the cold for a week after he faceplanted into Mei’s ice wall

11. Lucio

Debut year:2016
Best quote:”Feel that healing beat!”

Lucio is a Brazillian DJ-turned-freedom fighter, which is a wild career progression already. He grew up in Rio de Janeiro favela, where he tried to lift people’s spirits with music. He has a beef with the Vishakr corporation (Symmetra’s employer, btw), because they tried to establish themselves in his city and use the residents as cheap labour force. Lucio stole from them the sonic tech his father developed, and has been fighting for the people ever since, with a smile on his face and a song in his heart.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • Has no appreciation for classics, a pint of contention between him and Reinhardt
  • Thanks to the tech he uses, Lucio’s quite light on his feet
  • Wears headphones because he knows what intense sound can do to a human

10. Pharah

Debut year:2016
Best quote:”After action report: unstoppable”

Fareeha ‘Pharah’ Amari is the second generation of Overwatch, as a daughter of Ana Amari, a former Overwatch second-in-command. Pharah wanted to join Overwatch ever since she’d been a child, her mother was against. When Ana was KIA and Overwatch bit the dust, Fareeha joined Egyptian army, and then a private security firm, which gave her the iconic flying armoured suit equipped with more rockets than anyone would ever need. She’s capable, honourable, a has a rocket-powered suit. Awesome.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • Her suit makes it hard to answer the classic questions „Is it a plane? Is it a bird?”
  • As an act of defiance against her mother she picked a rocket launcher over a sniper rifle
  • On New Year’s Eve she replaces her barrage rockets with fireworks

9. Ashe

Debut year:2018
Best quote:”Nice to spend some time in the clubhouse”

Ashe is a notorious bandit who comes from a wealthy family. Acting out as a response to her negligent parents she turned to crime to feel the thrill or living on the edge. At some point in her youth she met Jesse McCree, still a free-acting rapscallion back then, and with two other folk they formed the Deadlock Gang, which is still running. Ashe’s leadership made Deadlocks the most famous gang in the American Southwest, and she was even got other gangs to stay out of her way. Also: she has style.



Totally accurate trivia:
  • She uses dynamite out of spite because McCree used grenades in their recent fight
  • When off-duty B.O.B. replaces his arm cannons with drink mixers
  • Once she tried to stop her hovercycle by firing her coach gun. She decided it was a bad idea

8. Torbjörn

Debut year:2016
Best quote:”Don’t get caught with your beard in the letter box”

Although he’s not a dwarf, and would loudly disagree with anyone calling him that…there’s no denying Torbjörn looks and acts the part. He’s short, acts all grumpy (although he a big softie), and has a thing for mechanics that borders of obsession. Even among the weirdos of Overwatch he stands out, and contrasts exceptionally well with the goliath that is Reinhardt. He’s also the father of Brigitte, and a family man in general, with a long-running friendship with Mercy. Torbjörn is pretty damn cool.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • Torbjörn once hid in Reinhardt’s armour when the German knight wanted to chat with him
  • He’d never admit to it, but he hitched a ride on Bastion’s back soon after they met
  • He actively refuses to buy his kids and grandkids Christmas presents, makes them all himself

7. Sombra

Debut year:2016
Best quote:”So many targets, so little time”

Sombra’s modus operandi is causing chaos and disruption so she can dig for hidden data without being bothered. She is good enough to have earned the ire of many people across many countries, and the interest of a dark conspiracy she accidentally uncovered and had to hide from it behind the moniker “Sombra”. She works with Talon, but also chases her own goal, making “friends” around the world. She also has a computer cybernetically grafted into her body, so it’s better to stay on her good side.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • She tried to investigate Junkrat, but his internet presence was too abstract to her
  • Meets with Baptiste every few months to catch up over drinks in Calaveras
  • She developed her EMP because Overwatch vs. Talon battles were keeping her up at night

6. Reinhardt

Debut year:2016
Best quote:”You should enjoy the classics, like Hasselhoff!”

Reinhardt is a modern-day German knight, grown to a huge size on currywurst and David Hasselhoff’s music. An absolute unit, he’s taller than even Roadhog, and cuts a more athletic figure even at 61. And top all that he’s kept on adventuring a righting wrongs even after Overwatch pushed him out into retirement. Reinhardt is boisterous to a fault, and his stories tend to me mere flights of fancy, but he honourable, reliable, wears a massive armour, and carries a massive jet-powered hammer


Totally accurate trivia:
  • His Crusader armour has a custom secret container for snacks
  • He talks so loud because he’s blasting music at full volume inside his helmet
  • All his stories are true, but are obfuscated by a worldwide conspiracy

5. McCree

Debut year:2016
Best quote:”Well, it’s high noon somewhere in the world”

Jesse McCree is just damn cool. First off, he’s an extremely proficient gunslinger. His style takes inspiration from the Man with No Name from Sergio Leone’s westerns. He worked with pre-Reaper Gabriel Reyes in the Overwatch covert ops team, but in the past few year he’s been a gunslinger for hire and justice. And he has a cybernetic arm, which seems to be a running theme in Overwatch. He’s also pretty chill and smooth these days, with a nice Southern drawl going on. He’s just damn cool.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • A evidenced by his „Someone call the undertaker” line, he loves American wrestling
  • He lost his arm because he insisted on arm-wrestling Torbjörn. They don’t want to talk about it
  • Refuses to explain why he wears spurs despite never riding a horse

4. Brigitte

Debut year:2018
Best quote:”That wasn’t the plan”

Brigitte is Torbjörn daughter, and she has inherited a lot form him, especially the mechanical aptitude and being too stubborn for her own good. She also grew up listening to Reinhardt’s stories, and decided to join him on his adventures, protecting his back and providing the old knight with medkits and sorely needed repairs. Brigitte wants to have an active part in making the world a better place, and to help her friends and godfather on his errant knight journeys. She also hits like a ton of bricks.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • Much to Torbjörn’s disappointment she picked up Reinhardt’s music tastes
  • She installed a GPS transmitter in Reinhardt’s armour, because he keeps rushing off
  • Want to use her flail as a grappling hook, but there’s no structure that can endure the impact

3. Winston

Debut year:2016
Best quote:”Now you are the endangered species”

Winston is a huge, genetically engineered gorilla scientist wielding a devastating Tesla cannon and using a jump-pack to get around faster. Is this not enough? Okay. He played an instrumental role in bringing Overwatch back together, is happy to help other improve their already highly advanced gear, and despite his friendly and rambling personality he went fist-to-fist with Doomfist and emerged victorious. And, lets reiterate, it’s a huge, super-intelligent armoured gorilla with a lightning gun.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • When he sent the recall signal, most of recipients left him in “Read”
  • Wears armour so that he doesn’t need to worry about combing and brushing
  • At this point little remains of the original glasses of his mentor

2. Ana

Debut year:2016
Best quote:”I wasn’t cut out for retirement anyways”

Ana is an Overwatch veteran, one of the old guard. She once was Jack “Soldier: 76” Morrison’s second in command, but after a Widowmaker shot her right in the cybernetic eye, Ana was believed to be dead for years, amnesiac because of the damage sustained. She is in her sixties like Reinhardt, but unlike the German knight she has only her training and rifle to rely on, and she does so with aplomb. Ana just a hell of a badass fighter, using a biotic rifle to heal and eliminate as necessary.


Totally accurate trivia:
  • Didn’t want Pharah to join Overwatch because they have terrible retirement policies
  • For a few months she constantly confused healing and damaging darts for her rifle
  • The first time she nanoboosted herself she was up for a week and crime went down 60%

1. Wrecking Ball

Debut year:2018
Best quote:”The hamster is pleased”

Hammond is a larger-than-usual, intelligent hamster using a big robot to move around and fight, and a soundboard to communicate with people. He comes from the same lunar research colony that Winston does, and they used to be good friends, too. In a game full of weirdoes of all shapes and sizes, Hammond manages not only to be the most outlandish character idea, but can easily keep up with everyone else just on their strength of their engineering skills. That tiny hamster is pretty badass.

Wrecking Ball overwatch

Totally accurate trivia:
  • Intends to steal the shield tech of other heroes and build a giant pinball table for himself
  • After leaving Junkertown he worked in demolition for a while, didn’t even need a crane
  • Wants Lucio to help him make a musical soundboard for the mech

Time’s up

Our totally objective ranking of Overwatch characters is done, and if there’s one thing to take away from it, it’s that all of them are the best Overwatch characters, but some are cooler and more interesting than others. Placement might change depending on what Overwatch 2 brings to characterisation, but until then, it’s pretty much set. What is your own ranking? Who’s your favourte?