Gaming’s Top Ten Hottest Dads

[Originally published June 19, 2016]

In honor of the holiday, I thought I’d pay my respects to gaming’s great fathers by subjectively listing them according to their physical appearance.

Eat your heart out, Kotaku.

10. Mike Haggar – Final Fight

I’m kicking things off with this beaut of a beefcake. This broad-shouldered brawler. This built daddy baller. Mayor Mike Haggar – the classic hot dad. Everyone likes a man with power, especially when they look like this. You could spend days pouring over each sinewy crevasse. He’s got pectorals the size of my head, and from the neck up, he’s allllllll sweetheart. Sensitive, caring brown eyes. That perfectly quaffed ’du – complete with Superman’s cutie curl. That mustache? That mustache. His cheekbones are so defined that pixilation does nothing to obfuscate their perfection. Mike Haggar – hot dad extraordinaire.

9. Barry Burton – Resident Evil

Okay. I know what you’re thinking. Tom, why is Barry Burton ranked higher than Hotness Haggar? Don’t get me wrong, Barry’s a hottie wit a bottie, but the Hotter Haggar should surely hold a higher ranking. Can you actually hear what I’m thinking? 7. 43. 18. I had starburst for breakfast. Jimmy Hoffa’s body is buried in… Wow. That was spooky right? To see your exact, word-for-word thoughts appear before your very eyes? Listen, I’m not saying I’m telepathic.

But I’m also not saying I’m not telepathic.

Barry ranks higher on this list because he just looks more like a dad. Have you ever seen a dad that looked like Mike Haggar? No. No you haven’t. He is, sadly, a work of fiction. Barry, on the other hand, is dad incarnate. Everydad looks like Barry Burton. Your dad? Looks like Barry. My dad? Looks like Barry. Your dad’s dad? Definitely looks like Barry. Barry is a hero to dad and human alike, and that’s what’s so damn hot about him. He’s an everydad – the hero we need and deserve.

Bonus Barry:

8. Octodad – Octodad: Dadliest Catch

Nobody suspects a thing.

Just like how nobody suspected he’d make this list, or that he’d beat out Mike and Barry. That’s right folks, Octodad is a Hot Dad, and it’s time we talked about it. This is no longer a list of hot gaming dads, it’s Salon’s latest thinkpiece: “Why Octodad is a Hot Dad (And Why You Should Care).” Besides, some people are into this sort of thing, and – hey – I’m not here to judge. I’m just here to write about hot dads. I think it’s pretty clear that this sexy cephalopod has more than made the cut. He’s obviously a competent man of romance – not to mention a fantastic lover. He’s got a beautiful wife, and two wonderful children. You think that happened by accident? No way, no how. When it comes to romance, this octopus knows what’sup. Plus, he looks pretty cute in a suit. Show some love for Octodad, y’all.

7. Chuck Greene – Dead Rising

Here we have a little bit of a chocolate/vanilla situation going on. Whichever flavor of Chuck you prefer, you’ve made a good choice. You can go with Young Chuck, and – hey – I feel you. He’s got that scruffy, 5 o’clock shadow going on, leaving a clear view to that hot-hot-hot tamale chin. He’s a sporty, young badboy, and I can get behind that.

Then you’ve got Old Chuck. It’s a bit like True Detective’s Rustin Cohle. When he was young, he was clean, muscular, kept-together. Now that he’s old, he’s got that wide-eyed world-weary hotness. The kind that only comes with age – and just a little bit of trauma. He’s grown out his facial hair, and it’s goofy – but it also totally works. He’s a full-on black-leather mutton-chop man, and I’ll be god-damned if that’s not a good look.

So take your pick. When hot dads are involved, you can never choose wrong.

6. Hector – Fire Emblem

Listen, I’m gonna come clean with you all – I’ve never played a Fire Emblem game. I don’t know that much about them. What I do know, however, is that they’ve got dads in them, and I can work with that. Fear not, anime lovers, I’ve got you covered. I can’t tell you a lot about the man pictured above, but I can tell you that he is a dad named Hector. I can also tell you that he is – most assuredly – hot. Look at that stance. Look at that axe. Look at that tastefully color coordinated armor. Hector is one of those rare, once-in-a-lifetime dads. That’s right, folks, I’m talking about a swag dad.

Swag Dad (n): A dad possessing an extraordinary eye for the purchase and wearing of swag.

Swag Dads are like precious gems. They should be recognized, preserved, and admired for millennia. For every Swag Dad, there are 4.6 million regular dads (citation: The Department of All the Dads). That we gamers have been blessed with a digital archive of a Swag Dad is a miracle that we should be eternally grateful for. Hoo boy, is it hot in here, or is it just Hector?

Answer: it’s just Hector.

5. Kratos – God of War

Another dad, another choose-your-own-adventure round. Young Kratos is a man with more sharp angles than one of H.P. Lovecraft’s sunken cities. Look at that bod – Kratos’ figure is an adventure waiting to happen. That being said, he’s got bit of a temper, which is an understandable turn off. Lucky for us, no more will we be scared away from Kratos’ stunning physique. The merciful gods have bestowed upon us an even sweeter, even hotter, even dad-er Hot Dad Kratos. Like a fine wine, he is. He’s rocking a salt-and-pepper beard, some leather – and you know how I feel about Hot Dads in leather – and an alluringly restrained temperament. This is a dad who’s grown – both in form and character – and if that’s not hot, then I don’t know what is.

4. Liam Neeson – Fallout 3

The year is 2008. The world has come together in perfect, unbreakable union to declare Liam Neeson the Hottest Celebrity Dad. The United Nations awards him a gold-gilded grill in his honor, free with a lifetime subscription to Omaha Steaks. Then, Bethesda does the unthinkable. They decide to improve on Hot Dad perfection. Like Kanye West turning the Mona Lisa into a hit record, they digitize Liam Neeson – trapping him forever inside of Fallout 3. It’s a shame that his corporeal form had to be destroyed for them to accurately capture his essence, but I think we can all agree it was worth it in the end. Godspeed, Liam. We’ll always love you, and we’ll always, always, always appreciate how Hot of a Dad you are.

3. Big Boss – Metal Gear Solid

Here we are – the Baddest Dad of the Bunch. A lot of these dads show a clear appreciation for leather, but none of them work it quite like Big Boss. He’s a charmer, this one. He’s so charismatic that you don’t even really care that he treats his kids like garbage trash. Lucky for him – this isn’t a list about quality caretaking. All you can do is gaze into that one captivating eye, and wonder what it would feel like to touch his beard. You look at the horn and you think, yeah, I could make that work. He’s the best of the best of the best when it comes to both international espionage and lookin’ fine, so here he is, clockin’ in at number three.

Also, that robot arm’s got potential. I’m just saying.

2. Joel – The Last of Us

This man is the full package. He’s got perfect facial hair. A down-home country-boy accent. A mysterious and conflicted persona. Musicians have written countless songs about their spouses leaving them for everybody’s favorite hot dad – Joel. They’re not even angry, to be honest. They recognize how hot this man is that they’re not even mad when their partners leave them. It’d be like hating a lion for hunting, a bird for singing, or a dude getting way way way way way too into his dumb list about super fine video game dads. It’s just in their nature, just as it’s in Joel’s nature to be a spottieottiedopalicious, oh-so-rugged-so-delicious Hot Hot Dad. He is the glorious vanguard of Dad Hotness – his prowess unwavering and unchallenged.

1. Bowser

Because hey – we’ve all thought about it.

Thanks for reading. Have a happy Father’s Day, and remember –

The hottest dad?

Is you.

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