Men slobbering over female game characters has run its course. No one needs to read any more about Lara Croft's chest or Chun Li's thighs.
What we do need to read about are the granite-hard pecs, stubbled jaws, smooth skin, and bedroom eyes of the hunkiest studs in the world of video games. These ripped-up broncos have been saving the world and smoldering sexily for years, and it's time to rank them once and for all.
BuzzFeed assembled a crack team consisting of one straight woman, one gay man, one gay woman, and one straight man to evaluate 11 of these testosterone-drenched slabs of man. Only the straight man had significant video game experience. We hope the results surprise and arouse you.
1. Jacob Taylor (Mass Effect 2)
Jess: Wait, wait. Do all video games have ripped, shirtless hunks in them? If so, I might have to move beyond Candy Crush.
Matt: DAMN, GIRL. Jacob is definitely a regulation hottie. Oh, yeah. He knows what effect that mass has.
Sarah: Oh! Wow. Damn. His skin looks super soft and his eyes are dreamy. Sorry, I'm actually a bit speechless.
Joe: This is the body I see for myself when I close my eyes. Is that weird? I'm a confident young man, is I guess what I'm saying.
2. Nathan Drake (Uncharted)
Jess: This is like, standard video game hunk, right? Rugged with lots of manly accessories. Mancessories. I guess I'm into it, except for that '90s belt buckle.
Matt: Nathan looks like the kind of guy who could take me on a rugged hike, protect me from a charging bear, but also totally pull off a cute scarf. That kind of guy. He also has very nice stubble.
Sarah: Beautiful green eyes and a pretty face? Nothing to hate about that at all. Is it weird I think his name is also super hot? "Nathan." *swoon*
Joe: I hope I one day meet a woman who thinks I am 1/100th as roguishly attractive as Drake is in these pictures. She will be my wife and I will try to make her happy every day.
3. Wei Shen (Sleeping Dogs)
Jess: Large clavicle tattoos aren't really my jam, but I'll give him 7/10 otherwise.
Matt: Wei Shen seems like the kind of guy who can defend me with his bare hands. Just like, beat the shit out of someone with his bare-ass hands. Hot.
Sarah: Tattoos are working for you, Wei, yes indeed.
Joe: Wei Shen dresses really well, and that's very important in my book. He's got the whole uptown-downtown thing going and then you throw in those cheekbones? Sold.
4. Snow (Final Fantasy XIII)
Jess: I didn't know there was a video game starring the Olsen twins.
Matt: Snow can GET IT. I mean, he's a total pretty boy. Probably gets his hair bleached. Cares a lot about jewelry selection. I feel like we'd have a lot to talk about.
Sarah: He has some very feminine features going on. Long blond hair, dreamy eyes, a beanie, and necklace!? [Plus a cool name.] Sign me up, Snow!
Joe: You see this long-hair/beanie combo a lot on the L train and I always curse my giant head and un-flowing locks, because it rules. Snow could probably do without the chin pubes, though. That's where I guess I've got him beat.
5. Geralt (The Witcher)
Jess: Bradley Cooper with demon eyes and hair extensions. NOT FEELING IT.
Matt: Geralt is pretty hot, if you're into the whole silver-fox vibe. But, not gonna lie, I would run my fingers through his silvery blond hair once or twice.
Sarah: This guy is straight-up scary, and also a bit past the "older hot guy" category. Maybe I would be into him, if only I weren't so scared of him.
Joe: I have to say, he has really pretty eyes, despite their coloring. He seems wounded, you know, but in a way that I think women respond to?
6. Joel (The Last of Us)
Jess: He looks like George Clooney, and I like that.
Matt: Joel looks like he's seen some things. He can probably tell me a good story. Keep me occupied over dinner. Ya know, just have a good chat.
Sarah: Ah, he looks like a kindly father-figure type. Hence, ZERO attraction happening with him.
Joe: Joel is the kind of guy who seems like he has earned his beard and his army shirt. I respect that, and I'd like to feel what it's like to hug him.
7. John Marston (Red Dead Redemption)
Jess: He looks like he lives in Bushwick and the only thing he's going to be shooting are Instagrams of the bacon Bloody Marys at Sweet Chick.
Matt: Not sure what happened to John's face, but his attempt to grow facial hair over it is pathetic. But, he can handle a wild horse and wield a big gun, so I'll give him a shot.
Sarah: COWBOY! Hooray! He is smoking hot. I bet he has a horse and if so...I'm sold. We can ride off into the sunset and all that cheesy stuff.
Joe: I know Americana is on its way out, but John Marston shaves those little stripes into his beard so he's like 10% hip-hop. That's a tricky balance but I think he nails it. Boyfriend material.
8. Lee (The Walking Dead)
Jess: He looks stressed. Look at his forehead. I want to make him a Bundt cake and put on some tea.
Matt: Lee seems like he would make a good dad. Plus, he's a professor, which makes him pretty hot, if that's your thing. But all the stress he's under is making his face look like a leather couch. We'll talk once he calms down and moisturizes.
Sarah: Does he always look so sad? The facial hair is throwing me off; really not feeling any hotness vibes from you, sir.
Joe: Lee has mastered the "good guy who has gotta do bad stuff" look, and I think responsibility can be a turn-on. We want men, not boys.
9. Dom Santiago (Gears of War)
Jess: OMG his neck is wider than my whole torso!
Matt: Not gonna lie, Dom scares me a little bit. And I don't understand his facial hair. But he has nice muscles. So there's that.
Sarah: Not feeling you at all, Dom, sorry. I can't get past the facial hair to even consider his face. His armor looks entirely uncomfortable... Not sexy.
Joe: Not sure Dom is really my type, but he does remind me of a guy at my gym who screams "I cannot lose" in the mirror, and I'm weirdly fond of that guy.
10. Snake (Metal Gear Solid)
Jess: An eye patch and a robot arm? What other body parts are missing??
Matt: Snake can totally fill out his bodysuit, and he's completely rockin' that bandana. Not so crazy about the eye patch, but his name is Snake, and that is intriguing to me.
Sarah: I like his leather jacket, and I suppose I can look past the eye patch. I bet those scars have some great stories? I wouldn't hate being on his arm.
Joe: If I was out with Snake and a group of dudes and we were trying to meet girls, I'd sort of keep him in the back to try to make me seem a little dangerous by association. He doesn't look like a talker, and there's such a thing as coming on too strong.
11. Kratos (God of War)
Jess: He's so scary. Is he going to kill me? He's going to kill me, right? I think I've gone out with this guy on an OkCupid date before.
Matt: Kratos is a little too swole for my taste. Sure, he's a god and everything. But if I can see the veins popping out of your muscly thighs, you've been going to the gym too much. Sorry, Kratos.
Sarah: I can appreciate some muscle, but not when his face looks so cranky. Also...I'm still scared of him. His one thigh is larger than my entire body.
Joe: Man, if I had pecs like that, I would never, ever, ever, wear my armor. "Oh there's a war on? Nah, I'm straight, bro."
Joe Bernstein is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Bernstein reports on and writes about the gaming industry and web culture.
Contact Joseph Bernstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deputy Editorial Director, BuzzFeed San Francisco
Contact Jessica Misener at email@example.com.
Full-time Beyoncé and writer for BFF at BuzzFeed. His work for BuzzFeed is now (mostly) on Twitter, Tumblr and @YrBFF
Contact Matt Bellassai at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Karlan is the Deputy LGBT Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Sarah Karlan at email@example.com.
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