Men have many interesting (and quite disturbing) facets to their personalities, but for some alien reason, we are only able to portray one of these characteristics at a time. For example, many men can be both sexual deviants and highly educated, strong jawed role models, but none of them will be both at the same time. Find me a man that's teaching his son a valuable lesson about real estate while taking a whipping from two women in domino masks; it just isn't done.
And that's why we, as men, often look to role models for both guidance and approval. And while the realm of video games has no shortage of male characters - most of them trying desperately to be badasses - there are only a select few that can truly be listed amongst the manliest of men, showcasing different aspects of our complex (but often misunderstood) emotions.
Essentially taking his cue from Tony Montana, GTA: Vice City's Tommy Vercetti, voiced by alpha-male Ray Liotta, accents the male's need for stimulation of his surroundings. Tommy encases himself in fine florescent clothing, cocaine, slutty women, crime, and power, just as all wanna be alpha-males wish to be. While he's not exactly a model citizen, he is truly a standup guy amongst the criminal fraternity. Tommy's willingness to speak his mind also shows his confidence, a key factor in the male gaining all of the aforementioned luxuries he wishes to gain in his lifetime.
9. Simon Belmont
Simon Belmont is, as far as I'm concerned, the only member of the Belmont clan that was free of the drama of the Castlevania saga to do what needed to be done. Manly men do not get themselves wrapped up in theatrical personal dramas, no matter who is involved, Dracula or not. This is the same part of the brain that prevent men from enjoying soap operas. Holding his chin (and whips/chains/axes) high, Simon plowed through Dracula's elaborately constructed castle in a mere six levels defeating everyone from the Grim Reaper to Medusa until he could get his hands on ol' Vlad. Simon gets the job done, and gets it done his way.
He may look a bit of a pansey in that getup, but I promise you won't be caught staring. That whip will smarten you up something fierce, but in the end you'll learn a valuable lesson; he's a disciplinarian too. Simon Belmont is the medieval equivelent of Atticus Finch, but with more child abuse.
8. Dash Rendar
While Han Solo is certainly the manliest man in the Star Wars galaxy, Dash Rendar is the only one who has lived out more of his existence in pixels than on celluloid. Dash is a mercenary by trade, but unlike most men of this profession, he is modest and honorable. In fact, he's so modest that he even fakes his own death at the end of Shadows of the Empire, destroying the Skyhook and becoming an Alliance hero (which also makes him honorable), but not reaping any of the reward. What a martyr, and without even actually dying! He's f*cking smart too! Representing a man's desire to have his cake and eat it too, Dash is a treasure to the male society.
7. Captain Blasto
Do you remember this game? If not, I don't blame you. It's so damn hard that most of us have blocked it from our memories, but Captain Blasto, voiced by the late, great, manly man Phil Hartman, remains as a beefy, square jawed Aryan superhero man of men. From Captain Blasto, we can identify that mental astuteness that drives the ladies wild and drives us to cement our places in society amongst the elite. Plus, in a fourth dimensional sort of way, completing this game proves your manhood in a more traditional sense: the do-it-yourself macho douche part of you would just love to brag to all of your too-timid-to-challenge-you friends about your success.
6. Solid Snake
Snake is both cunning and gruff, claiming a resourcefulness short of maybe only MacGuyver, and a voice that would make your grandmother wet. And really, what else does a man need to do to impress?
I spoke of badasses earlier, and how often being a badass does not automatically translate to being an idol amongst your male peers. In the case of Jack, he is one of the few exceptions. He's a chain smoking son of a gun, with a retractable chainsaw hand that slices bitches like there's no tomorrow. Perhaps because, well, in Madworld, there probably isn't a tomorrow. That's where the respect for what Jack does comes into play. Here is a man, in a dystopia of the worst kind, willing to play a game for some moolah. That's manly motivation.
4. Duke Nukem
Though many men on this list are known worlds over for their wit, that is true for no one more than Duke Nukem. In fact, though he clearly has an emulative workout regimen of drinking Slimfast, pumping steroids and (more than likely) snorting coke, his most manly accomplishments come from his on-the-fly spewing of such superb one liners as "Now you see me, now you're dead" and "I always said if there was a way to go, it'd have something to do with women, whips and oil." In addition, Duke is the most sexually experienced manly man on this list. Judging by the amount of big breasted floozies all up on him at any given time, I can only surmise that Duke knows things about a woman's body that no other man dare ponder. Duke Nukem represents the man's need to ejaculate, both physically and verbally, and I think that we could all learn a thing or two from him about doing both of these things in perfect harmony.
Mr. John Madden is representative of the side of a man that is the most cliche; the homoerotic, obscure (and ultimately meaningless) fact-spewing persona of a male human that revels in slouching on a couch, cupping one's genitals, and watching grown men rub on each other. The rubbing can come in many forms (football, wrestling, etc), but in video games, the Lord of this domain is Madden's pigskin. With ass-patting and jock straps abounding, Madden shows us that there is nothing more manly than a man that is comfortable in his own sexuality. Comfortable enough to shower together, swat each other with towels while giggling, and again, pat one another's asses in glorifying recognition of a job well done.
Bond is the side of the male that reminds us no matter how hard we may practice, those of us not born with the skill of charm have no choice but to idolize him. Remarkably, he is able to combine Duke Nukem's sex drive with Solid Snake's resourcefulness, making him one of the most high class pieces of man meat on God's green Earth. He is a Queen's gentlemen, who would die for his country, making him a patriot as well. Though he may potentially carry one more more STDs, this only adds to his greatness as it shows his dedication and ability to survive -and more often than not, thrive - in any situation, including syphilis.
From: Super Mario Bros.
Mario would be king of the men should all men someday suffer a corporate restructuring into some sort of testosterone driven heirarchy. Mario is the manliest of all men because he is simply everyman. He is not rich, nor particularly good looking or charming - in fact, his spoken dialog is downright annoying. He does however, rock the overalls and a sweet porno-stache, which I think all men have done from time to time. Rather than relying on stealing property, peddling drugs, playing football or killing, Mario chose to work with his hands and become a plumber, working amongst the common people within the Mushroom Kingdom. So common, in fact, he's always up for a quick board game, round of baseball, or tennis match.
When an evil bastard stole his girlfriend, he stood against adversity and united with his goofy but well-intentioned older brother to save her. In a nutshell, though Mario is merely "average" in comparison to the rest of the manly men on this list, his willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty, along with his constant avoidance of letting his social status weigh him down, has made him supremely beyond average. Mario is truly a representation of the potential that lie dormant within all of us.