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The Game Informer Editors Choose Their Favorite Overwatch Characters

by Kyle Hilliard on Jun 01, 2016 at 04:00 PM

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We've all been playing a lot of Overwatch here at Game Informer. It's safe to say we're fans (head here for our review), but do you know which characters we're fans of?

Below you will find a handful of Game Informer editors' favorite Overwatch characters and why they consider them to be their favorite. Let us know who your favorites are in the comments below and we will be happy to explain why our favorites are actually better.

Mike Futter – Symmetra
I traditionally enjoy playing support, so Mercy is an easy go-to for me. But last night I decided to give Symmetra a try. She isn’t great for every mode, but if you find yourself playing defense, she’s a monster.

Her turrets inspire creative thinking, because they are so vulnerable once detected. They’re fragile, so you’ll want to find clever places to plant them. My favorite video shows off what a friend calls Symmetra’s car wash.

Kyle Hilliard – Genji
Upon announcement and at the start of the open beta, I was fairly certain Tracer would be my go-to. She looks awesome and I heard comparisons between her and the Scout in Team Fortress 2 – a character I’ve always enjoyed playing. During the beta I played a few rounds with her, but she didn’t click for me. I am excited to give her more time, but out of the gate, I was eager to put her aside for other characters after dying a few too many times.

After dabbling with Bastion and having a few good rounds with Widowmaker, I decided to give Genji a try after sitting in on our Pro Tacktics Test Chamber video where we spent a few rounds with him. I’m actually not in love with his design as he looks pretty generic, but I love having a double jump. I love it almost as much as I love walking right up to a Bastion turret while deflecting their bullets and destroying them.

A lot of people are playing Bastion now during the honeymoon period of Overwatch because he’s a great starter character and he can do some real damage. In voice chat (and online) people are getting frustrated with his power, which makes it all the more satisfying to just walk up to him and blow him up as your team cheers. Genji is also a very strong melee character, which I enjoy. I am an up-close-and-personal kind of player when it comes to shooters.

As the game moves on and people move away from using Bastion, I may have less use for Genji, but right now, he’s my favorite.

Brian Shea – Widowmaker
When I first started playing Overwatch, I went for easy-to-use characters like Bastion, Soldier: 76, and Reaper. I didn't care much for Soldier: 76 after a while, and Bastion and Reaper stuck pretty well, but my favorite has emerged as Widowmaker. This surprised me since I've never been a sniper in multiplayer shooters, but I like the way she can climb to places many other characters can't reach thanks to her grappling hook, and even handle herself up-close since her sniper rifle doubles as a pulse rifle. I also like the team benefits of her Infra-sight ultimate.

Wade Wojcik – Soldier: 76
In a game where the player shifts perspective between multiple characters, I’m the kind of guy who likes to stick with the first one I’m given. In Warcraft 3 the Orcs were my favorite because I had to start the game as Thrall. This game is no different. The Overwatch tutorial begins with Soldier: 76, and he is a well-rounded killing machine. As a fan of all things FPS it’s perfect for my play style, and I think the aim-bot super move is simply brilliant.

Jeff Cork – Mercy
I tend to gravitate toward support classes whenever possible, and I love how many different options I have in that area with Overwatch. During my time with the game, one hero has risen above the rest: Mercy. First, I love providing a direct benefit to my teammates by either providing heals or damage buffs. It's her ability to raise fallen teammates that makes her truly stand apart for me. And while I have killed a couple of enemies with her offensive weapon, it's so puny (at least for me), that I'm rarely – if ever – tempted to try and make a lone-wolf run of it.

Ben Hanson – Pharah
People never look up.

Jeff Marchiafava – Pharah
Picking a single favorite hero in Overwatch is virtually impossible, but I know who I’ve spent the most time playing as so far, and that’s Pharah. I first fell in love with this winged asskicker in the open beta, and she has become my “comfort food” for Overwatch – any time my team is taking a shellacking, I know I can always fall back on Pharah and her trusty rocket-launcher. Imagine my surprise when, on the first night after launch, I realized I had been playing her all wrong! Basically, taking on enemies from the ground is a huge disadvantage for Pharah – instead, by combining her jump jet and hover jets, you can float above your enemy for a surprisingly long time and rain down death on them. There’s nothing more satisfying than launching up above a shielded Reinhardt and blasting him with impunity, or using her concussive blast to knock him down the well in Ilios.

For more of our picks, head to page two.

Javy Gwaltney – Tracer
I was not sold on Tracer when I first saw her in the Blizzard's trailers and various promo materials for the game. Sure, she's peppy and fun but her accent and constant cheeriness was a little grating. I finally decided to give her a shot and she's basically been my main ever since. She's fast and her submachine gun pistols pack quite a punch. Plus that ability of hers to go back in time by a few seconds, restoring her health and ammo as well as shifting her to the position she was during that time, is so cool. All of Overwatch's characters are pretty rad but Tracer's agility and ability to dance circles around her opponents makes her my favorite.

Andy McNamara – Reinhardt
I’m not sure if he is my favorite (because I like a LOT of the characters in this game and have yet to find one I completely dislike), but Reinhardt has my most play time. I like the synergy in groups, and I tend to get to call out targets and manage the battlefield when we play as a group which I enjoy quite a bit. Outside a group I like for tanking with a bit more offensive power. On the healer front Mercy is probably my favorite, but Lucio is no joke. His ultimate can win a game, and while it took a bit to get used to I enjoy playing him a lot (even with the silly roller blades). On offense I like Junkrat and Pharah, but I’ve been putting in a lot of time trying to “git gud” with Tracer (I’m not there yet). When I get a chance (and yes, I know he is a bit cheap), I love to play Torbjorn (and I like to repeat his name Hodor-style while I play), and there is nothing quite like a great defense playing as Bastion. I like to dabble with Widowmaker and Hanzo from time to time, and I spend almost all my time complaining about Mei, perhaps the most annoying character in the game (one of these days I need to master her so I can annoy others as well).

Elise Favis – Widowmaker
Widowmaker is by far my favorite character, in both play style and tone. I was originally fascinated with her when I watched her backstory tale in Overwatch's animated short, Alive. While she can be easily taken down in close-range combat, she’s incredibly powerful from afar with her sniper rifle, and can take down foes with one shot. If the other team has someone playing Widowmaker as well, it can become a showdown between the two of us, as we try to hunt the other down first. Her lines in French are ominous, which I love, such as: “Un rendez-vous avec la mort,” which means “A meeting with death."

Matt Bertz – Pharah
I’ve only spent a handful of hours in Overwatch at this point, but I’ve really gravitated toward Pharah thus far. Armed with a rocket launcher and jump jets, she is a highly mobile and powerful option on the battlefield. Her ability to hover and boost quickly into and out of danger reminds me of the glory days of Tribes, and the rocket launchers felt like a natural transition option coming off spending so much time in Doom multiplayer. Anyone who played classic shooters like these or Unreal Tournament should feel right at home with Pharah.

Andrew Reiner – Himself
Running with reckless abandon toward an opposing team is never a good idea, unless you are Genji. In the hands of the right player (me), Genji can stand his own against anyone. His passive abilities allow for impressive mobility, and enemies need to roll the dice when confronting him. Open fire and Genji (me) will send the hail of fire back at you. Overthink your actions and Genji (me) will cut you down with a katana. And if you think you have numbers on your side, I (Genji) will unleash a devastating dragon attack to cut you all down. I am Genji. I kick ass.

Daniel Tack – Bastion
While I've definitely branched out a bit, Bastion remains my favorite fortress. From the early beginnings, playing him as a straight up turret in a corner to getting the hang of becoming an extremely dangerous displacing beast, the bird-booping bot holds a special place in my heart. People have started to learn to not charge him head on, making my life a little more challenging, which is great, and gives me an opportunity to change characters more often to adapt. I still love finding new ways to use Bastion creatively, like creating a mobile death machine on Volskaya Industries on top of the moving platforms or taking a ride with a Reinhardt on any escort mission. I know there's some dislike for tough to crack compositions like a Reinhardt, Mercy, and Bastion all on the cart, but that's a three person stack so it sort of assumes your team will also need three people to break it up. Or a Junkrat. I'm also really enjoying branching off into Reaper and Roadhog. There's so much to explore and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface.

Matt Miller – Zenyatta
Zenyatta is a challenging character to master, and I’m definitely not taking full advantage of his capabilities just yet. But his multi-purpose role on a team, along with aesthetics that feel dramatically different from most shooter characters, make him my early favorite. While the Omnic monk is listed as a support character, he’s also a potent offensive force all on his own. When his powers are combined with a smart team, he can be devastating. His basic orb attack has very good range, and is fast-firing enough that you can effectively hold a narrow route against enemy attackers. By charging up his orbs, he can easily take out stationary targets like an encamped Bastion. But the really fun part of this hero is his orbs of harmony and discord. Harmony orbs allow you to heal your teammates, but you need to be constantly conscious of changing up the target, since it only works on a single ally. Similarly, putting an orb of discord on an enemy can absolutely crush them, since it makes them vulnerable not only to your attacks, but your allies’ attacks as well. Finally, when used appropriately, the Transcendance ultimate can help your team hold a point for those crucial final seconds when the whole enemy arrives. Zenyatta requires that you constantly readjust your focus between healing, damage-dealing, and debuffing enemies, but when you nail the rhythm it’s exhilarating. Plus, what’s not to like about a floating robotic supermonk?