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Funny To A Point – My Big Fat Greek Overwatch Character Ranking

by Jeff Marchiafava on Dec 16, 2016 at 09:45 AM

As I'm sure you've all noticed while following Funny To A Point over the weeks (you have been, RIGHT?!), I tend to gush about mention Overwatch every now and then (and still more times). It's no secret that I'm a big fan of the game – which is why it seemed a bit dubious that I've devoted entire columns to other games like Call of Duty, Pokémon Go, and Battlefield 1, but not Blizzard's spectacular team hero shooter. I'm aiming to right that wrong today in the biggest way possible: by ranking all 23 Overwatch characters.

As with any ranking, it's important to acknowledge that no matter how definitive a numbered list may seem, it is still just a subjective opinion based on personal experiences. This is especially true for Overwatch, as every character is invaluable (or crap) under the right conditions. As such, I've chosen to rank Overwatch's characters in the fairest way possible: by basing the list solely on which characters I play – and enjoy playing – the most. That said, my years of experience as a Professional Gamer are well documented, which make my subjective opinions far more valuable than the layman gamer. You know what? Let's just call this the objectively definitive ranking of Overwatch characters. Yeah, that feels better, doesn't it?

So, from Ana to Zenyatta, here's my Big Fat Greek Overwatch Ranking.*

#23: Ana
A.K.A. Snoremaster
Here's the thing: I don't like change. I got used to all of Overwatch's original 21 characters, and then Ana came along with her weird new powers (I mean she shoots health into people? What the hell is that?), changing up the gameplay. She scares me, okay? I already have to deal with the threat of actually falling asleep during video games – I don't need it being a threat to my in-game character too. I honestly didn't even know she could kill players until I looked her up on the Overwatch site, and headshotting someone only to see them stagger to their feet five seconds later seems like a raw deal. I have no doubt that Ana is useful in the right hands, but not my hands. #notmyhands
Final Verdict: Zzz/10.

#22: Sombra
A.K.A. Total Hack
But seriously guys, change stinks! The only reason I'm ranking Sombra slightly above Ana is because at least she has a normal gun that fires normal bullets. Her invisibility power is also pretty straightforward, but her hacking abilities confuse me (then again, I can't even figure out Facebook, so maybe chalk this one up to user error). Actually, all of Sombra's abilities look pretty awesome, so I should probably try her out more.
Final Verdict: Not the worst. Barely.

#21: Winston
A.K.A. Wince-a-ton
When I first started Overwatch, I was quick to remark how fun and compelling all of the characters are to play as...except Winston. This surprised me, as by my calculations monkeys are the third greatest thing of all time.** However, despite his size and monkeyness, Winston feels surprisingly weak. His Tesla Cannon is about as effective as piddling on enemies – in fact, gorillas probably pee harder streams than that stupid lightning gun puts out. His Jump Pack and Barrier Projector abilities are okay, but he lacks the powerful melee smashes of Reinhardt unless you power up his ultimate...which involves playing with him long enough to power up his ultimate. You can see the problem.
Final Verdict: Gets points for being a monkey, but not much else.

#20: Lucio
A.K.A. Jet Fart Radio
I really want to hate Lucio – he's a boombox-toting rollerblader, for crying out loud. However, I can't deny how vital he is to a team. His ability to speed and heal your squad to victory makes me willing to overlook his annoying style and annoyinger quips. I even usually end up voting for him on the post-game screen (when I'm not eligible, naturally). He's an excellent team member – and maybe even the best character, all things considered – but not for me. Sound waves as weapons? Unless we're talking about the mystical Brown Note, I'm not interested (but seriously, Blizzard, that's a way cooler ultimate).
Final Verdict: Actually, Jet Fart Radio works here too.

#19: Zenyatta
A.K.A. Robutt
Look, I don't really "do" support. As cool as a nirvana-achieving meditative robot is, the idea of juggling different orbs that modify characters is less appealing than, I don't know, blasting opponents in the face with giant guns. That said, Orb of Destruction kind of looks like a cross between force powers and a hadouken, and I like the way he floats around like he's better than everybody else, so I should give him another chance.
Final Verdict: Definitely a floater.

#18: Genji
A.K.A. Groanji
It doesn't seem like you can go wrong with a cyborg ninja, and yet I somehow always do. My throwing-star skills are about as good with Genji as they are in real life, and I usually blow the timing on his Deflect ability to a comical degree. The only time I don't completely suck with Genji is in Arcade's mystery matches, when everyone else is as out of their element as I am. That's how ninjas usually operate, right? Coincidentally, I got stuck with Genji in a mystery match just last night and did leagues better than all the other randos I had before him, which I'm taking as evidence that I should play as him more often. Who knows, by next week he might be #1.
Final Verdict: Overwatch's best cyborg ninja.

#17: Tracer
A.K.A. "What the sh-- was that?!"
I get that Tracer is the face of the franchise, and pro Tracer players can literally run laps around me on the battlefield. I wish I could put her higher on the list, but I'm just not that good with her yet, and the fact that I'm not makes me play with her less. It's easy enough to spray enemies with her dual pistol fire, but I still haven't mastered her Blink ability, and I'm more likely to use Recall to warp into a dangerous situation than out of one. So there you have it: Tracer objectively deserves the #17 spot. I'm as disappointed with her performance as you are.
Final Verdict: Fast and Infuriating.

#16: Bastion
A.K.A. Cheatbot 5000
Playing as Bastion is basically cheating: His Sentry mode is devastating and his self-repair ability is ridiculous. He doesn't even deserve a damn ultimate, and yet his Tank mode is OP too. Bastion is the one true choice for campers, giving them cheap and powerful abilities that should land him at the bottom of the list. But here's the thing: They also stick campers with one huge weakness – they need to plant their ass in the ground while firing or healing. Unlike other shooters, this makes them easier to track down and kill. I still feel super cheap when playing as Bastion, so I don't pick him unless the opposing team really deserves it. Which is pretty much all the time.
Final Verdict: The jackass version of Johnny 5.

*It's Greek because I broke a few dishes and yelled a lot while writing it. (back to top)
**Number one and two being pizza and naps...seriously, you have been reading these columns, right? (back to top)

Coming up next: Some Overwatch characters that are actually good!...

#15 Hanzo
A.K.A. Handz-off (sorry)
My skills with a bow don't really justify putting Hanzo this high, but I'll be damned if landing a kill shot from halfway across the map isn't supremely satisfying. I also can't really justify wasting our team's Hanzo pick, so I usually only select him for Arcade mode's wackier variants. Hanzo's Scatter Arrow makes up for my questionable aim (actually it's not a question; it pretty much blows), and Dragonstrike can land anyone a kill or two under the right circumstances. Unless you're an eagle-eyed archer, there are often better team choices, but at least you can't be accused of being unsportsmanlike (see previous entry).
Final Verdict: Hanzokay (double sorry).

#14: Reaper
A.K.A. Creeper
There's a fine line between badass and emo, and Reaper shadow-stepped over it by about a mile. I'm guessing Reaper spends a lot of time buying No Fear t-shirts at Hot Topic when he's not in battle. Or listening to Evanescence. Or writing online comments defending Jared Leto's interpretation of the Joker. Regardless, he's great at cleaning out annoying campers (seriously Bastion, GTFO), and you can't possibly miss with his dual shotguns...unless the enemy is more than two feet away. I don't play Reaper enough – I'm sure I'm overlooking plenty of situations where I could make a big difference with him instead of banging my head against the wall with the same hero. I should play as him more often.
Final Verdict: Two shotguns up.

#13: Roadhog
A.K.A. Actually "Roadhog" is perfect
I love Roadhog – his abilities, aesthetic, and personality all mesh perfectly and make the chunky tank a joy to play as. Roadhog lands this low on the list purely for the fact that he's a pain in the ass to play against. Getting yanked across the map by his hook is almost always an instadeath sentence, and even when it's not he soaks up damage like biscuits soak up gravy that he then eats because he's not a healthy eater (I'm still workshopping this one, to be honest). Like all Overwatch characters, Roadhog has counters that yada, yada, yada. None of it makes him less annoying. I've got a very love-hate relationship going with him, okay?
Final Verdict: Conflicted.

#12: Reinhardt
A.K.A Reinhard-on
Let me start this entry with an apology: Reinhardt should be higher on the list – like at-the-top higher. The only reason he's not is because I never used to play as him. Someone always chooses Reinhardt, and I'm more than happy to let that someone be anyone but me. After all, lumbering around the map with a big-ass shield isn't quite as fun as standing just behind that big-ass shield and shooting other characters. However, some recent matches in Arcade mode have forced me to play as the big guy, and I had a blast. Now that I think about it, it's almost as if Blizzard designed Arcade mode specifically to get players to try characters they never pick and all in love with them. It seems like it's working too, because I should definitely play as him more often!
Final Verdict: He's a big dude with a hammer. 'Nuff said?

#11: Symmetra
A.K.A. Sin-metro? (I don't even know anymore.)
See, I do play support sometimes! It's just that when I do, I pick the least popular support character. But Symmetra gets a bum rap – especially after her recent balance tweaks. Her small army of laser-spewing drones can cook even the beefiest characters to a well-done crisp, and a well-placed teleporter can be the difference between a decisive victory or crushing defeat – not to mention it can save you from a lot of boring walking (seriously, when are we getting these in real life?). Blizzard has recently buffed virtually every aspect of Symmetra, and will probably do so again if people don't start playing her more often, so sooner or later I'll be justified for putting her so high on this list.
Final Verdict: Underappreciated

#10: Widowmaker
A.K.A. Smurfette
Why the hell is Widowmaker blue? And also, why the hell would you want to play as a sniper in Overwatch? I figured out the answer to the second question at least, and it only took about five minutes. Her two-in-one sniper/assault rifle makes her a formidable foe at closer ranges, and her grappling hook lets her get out of the main avenues of play (not to mention the fact that grappling hooks are just super cool). Additionally, her Venom Mines keep ambushers at bay with poisonous stink gas*** and her Infra-Sight gives your team x-ray vision, which helps you feel like less of a heel if you're not racking up headshots. Just an all-around great collection of abilities.
Final Verdict: But seriously, why is she blue? 

#9: Junkrat
A.K.A. Junkpants
Junkrat was one of the first characters I really got into, and I'm still a big fan – turns out being able to blindly lob unlimited grenades into chokepoints from yards away is as satisfying as it is easy. His bear trap and remote mine are also (mostly) danger-free ways to harass enemies, not to mention the fact that he drops a handful of half-cooked grenades upon death. Geez, now that I think about it, Junkrat is kind of a jackass. Does that mean I'm a jackass? Wait, don't answer that.
Final Verdict: Revelatory.

#8: Torbjorn
A.K.A. Dopey
Turns out there's a character in Overwatch that's even cheaper than Bastion but gets half the grief. Sure, the crap Overwatch's mechanical punching bag suffers is wholly deserved, but at least Bastion still has to aim at people. Torbjorn's turrets mow down players all by themselves – you just have to play handyman every now and then and throw out armor packs to stay on your team's good side (as long as they don't notice you use half of them yourself). Is Torbjorn cheap? You bet. However, I also love how wildly different he plays from everyone else, and he's a great choice for anyone who want to contribute to the team but can't aim a gun to save their life.
Final Verdict: 80% turret, 20% dwarf.

***I'm just now realizing that nothing explicitly suggests that the fumes Widowmaker's venom mines emit stink. However, they're green, they're gas, and it makes opponents keeling over even funnier, so I'm going to continue making my assumption. (back to top)

Coming Up Next: The seven objectively best characters in Overwatch that surely no one will disagree with...

#7: D.Va
A.K.A. Pro-troll
I'm not going to lie: Half of D.Va's appeal is kicking other players' asses as a bubbly gamer girl. Like Clash Royale's King, her cheery emotes serve as a sophisticated troll – and if you're the kind of gamer who would be upset at the thought of losing to a girl (much less a fictional one), then you deserve the grief anyway. And D.Va really doles out the grief. Her giant mech packs all the right abilities, including endless fusion fire (reloading is so overrated) and an auto-eject capability that ensures a last chance opportunity to off your opponent after they should have offed you. Not to mention her self-destruct ultimate, which nukes her own mech just to take out the opposing team. I'm telling ya: the perfect troll.
Final Verdict: D.vlightful (sorry again).

#6: Mei
A.K.A. Ice Queen
I love Mei. Not enough to not be completely creeped out by all the pervy fan art of her on the internet, but I'm a big fan nonetheless. Beneath the nerdy scientist exterior lies a stone-cold killer who will freeze you, stare you dead in the eyes, and then blast an icicle straight in your dome like a straight-up gangster. Her Ice Wall and Cryo-Freeze abilities are also extremely useful, and few characters feature a more unified aesthetic. Mei's offensive abilities are underpowered compared to other characters (seriously, just stand still while I freeze you, please!), But she's one of my mains for a reason.
Final Verdict: She's...cool (seriously, I promise I'll stop).

#5: Soldier 76
A.K.A. Gus
Ask anyone whose opinion matters, and they'll tell you that Soldier 76 only has one drawback: He makes you feel extremely lame for choosing him. After all, in a game full of zany characters, who wants to be the typical FPS soldier dude? But that doesn't stop Soldier 76 from being really good. His pulse rifle is more dependable than most primary weapons, his Helix Rockets make short work of enemies, and his healing Biotic Field can be a huge help (especially when you plant that sucker right on top of the payload). I always rack up kills when I play as Soldier 76, and my teams perform better – more importantly, I always have a ton of fun. And yet I inevitably end up switching to someone else because he feels like a boring choice. Man, I've got problems.
Final Verdict: 76 (on a non-video game scale where 50 is actually average).

#4: Zarya
A.K.A. White Russian
Zarya is criminally overlooked, and I'm pretty sure I'm not just saying that because I had one really good match with her a long time ago. The very fact that she's ignored means many players don't know how to counter her – they keep desperately pumping rounds into her Particle Barrier (I realize that sounds dirty, but I promise it's not), which only makes her Particle Cannon more deadly. Her Projected Barrier also allows you to remotely shield a teammate without getting into the fight yourself, and her Graviton Surge ultimate sucks opponents in to one convenient location to lob plasma grenades at. You know what? On second thought, you shouldn't check her out or learn anything else about her. Stick with Bastion instead.
Final Verdict: Seriously, forget I said anything.

#3: Pharah
A.K.A. The Rocketeer
Pharah really likes rockets. She's got concussive rockets that knock players around like ragdolls. She's got jump jets that blast her into the air and across gaps (or halfway across gaps when I'm playing). She's got hover rockets that let her...hover. She's got endless clusters of mini-rockets whose "aiming" requires narrowing down your target to a 160-degree field of view. Am I forgetting anything? Oh yeah, she's got normal rockets too. When I'm playing as Pharah, I'm my own biggest threat. Can you get Play of the Game by blowing yourself up?
Final Verdict: I love rockets. Pharah loves rockets. I love Pharah. Q.E.D.

#2: McCree
A.K.A. Dud-eye
There are a lot of other characters that I'm more effective with than McCree. I can't really meet the accuracy demands of his six-shooter (an 18- or 24-shooter, maybe), and I frequently forget about his ammo-replenishing Combat Roll for matches at a time. But that doesn't diminish the satisfaction of pulling off a faraway headshot or unloading an entire cylinder into an enemy in the blink of an eye. Being able to stop an enemy in their tracks with McCree's Flashbang is also super helpful – I can totally shoot an immobile target that isn't firing back! Also, the dude has a robot hand for some reason! How cool is that?! Guys, I think I just want to be a cowboy...
Final Verdict: Yippee-ki-yay/10.

#1: Mercy
A.K.A. My Hero!
Fun fact: I don't play Mercy. In fact, I don't know that I've ever played her. I'm familiar with all of her abilities, but I can't remember using them myself. Even during the ridiculously broken Weekly Brawl where you could only pick Mercy or Pharah, I obviously went with Pharah (again, rockets!). However, I'm breaking my own ranking criteria and giving credit where credit is due. Mercy is the quintessential healer – she doesn't have any offensive powers to distract her from aiding her team (I refuse to believe her Caduceus Blaster does actual damage, and you can't convince me otherwise). Overwatch has plenty of other healers, but Mercy's resurrect ability puts her in a class of her own – any character that can wave a wand and magically erase my latest embarrassing death is priceless in my book. A good Mercy can literally keep your whole team alive for an entire match. So to all the selfless Mercy players out there: Thanks, and keep up the great work!
Final Verdict: Don't believe the lie It's way better to receive than to give.

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