Video Game Beards
Four mighty fine examples of top drawer facial hair. (L-R) The Order 1886, TimeSplitters 2, Luigi's Mansion and Metal Gear Solid V.Sony / EA / Nintendo / Konami

The Order: 1886 is Sony and Ready At Dawn's gritty and violent new IP about an alternate reality's knights of the realm battling evil people and evil beasties in 19th century London.

Being set in foggy ol' England in the Victorian era means its many leading men are adorned with some marvellous face fuzz. It got us thinking about the mightiest facial hair in video games, so we picked ten of best examples:

Zangief (Street Fighter)

Zangief Street Fighter Beard Hair
The indomitable Zangief from the Street Fighter series.Capcom

Street Fighter's mad Russian is a body hair anomaly. He has a mohawk, shaped and styled chest hair and inexplicably hairy shins for some reason. His beard however is a thing of a beauty. A dense and powerful statement of manhood and Russia's dominance on the fight circuit.

Luigi (Super Mario)

Luigi Death Stare Moustache
Luigi's legendary death stare from last year's Mario Kart 8.Nintendo

Mario's moustache is oddly bubbly, Wario's is jaggedy and evil, Luigi's is big, understated and awesome – just like the man himself. Luigi has been in Mario's shadow for years (until the recent Year of Luigi of course) so he deserves credit for maintaining the finer lip foliage.

LeChuck (Monkey Island)

LeChuck Monkey Island Beard
Monkey Island series villain LeChuck.LucasArts

When it comes to maniacal undead pirates obsessively scouring the oceans for 'true love', LeChuck's beard makes Blackbeard's look like the wispy efforts of a malnourished teen.

Gordon Freeman (Half Life)

Gordon Freeman Half Life Goatee
Half Life's silent protagonist Gordon Freeman in the second game.Valve

Goatees are the reserve of panto villains and the creepiest of creeps in real life, so for a protagonist to pull one off is a testament to that character. Tony Stark aka Iron Man does it with some elaborate styling, assisted by the fact he's played by Robert Downey Jr.

Half Life's Gordon Freeman pulls it off with just a common goatee, but how? It might be because we never actually see the goatee ourselves, or it's because of the quiet dignity he has while battling pan-dimensional alien bastards.

Big Boss (Metal Gear Solid)

Big Boss Metal Gear Solid
Big Boss during Metal Gear Solid 4's ending.Konami

The beards of Big Boss and his clone Solid Snake have been a constant in gaming for nearly two decades. Snakes of all eras have been the prototype for gruff white male video game protagonists ever since, and it's hard to imagine the industry without the originals and their fine jaw furniture.

John Marston (Red Dead Redemption)

John Marston Red Dead Redemption
John Marston channels his inner Eastwood in Red Dead Redemption.Rockstar Games

A brooding man needs a beard, it's in the lone wolf handbook, and John Marston is one of gaming's broodiest badasses. Seeking atonement for his sins by chasing the ghosts of his past, Marsden's tale makes for one of Rockstar's finest games ever, and his beard is a big part of that.

Harry Tipper (TimeSplitters)

Harry Tipper TimeSplitters
Harry Tipper in TimeSplitters 3: Future Perfect.EA

TimeSplitters is a series close to a lot of gamer's hearts, and so is Harry Tipper – one of the Free Radical series' plethora of insane characters who has starred in each game from 2000 to 2005. Tipper is a detective turned spy ripped straight out of the 70s era, and has the 'tache to prove it.

Barret Wallace (Final Fantasy)

Barret Final Fantasy
Barrett artwork from Final Fantasy.Square Enix

Barret Wallace is one of the overlooked stars of Final Fantasy 7. He's the leader of an eco-terrorist group, and while he has a personal vendetta to settle, he also cares for his daughter Marlene. He's a pillar of strength, and that's no better exemplified than by his powerful beard.

Joel (The Last of Us)

The Last of Us Joel
Joel in Naughty Dog classic The Last of Us.Sony

Something about the post-apocalypse seems to make men averse to a clean shave. You'd think a lack of razors would be the reason, but everyone still has guns and knives, so does that really make sense. Does someone still manufacture bullets? I'm losing track of my point... oh yes, Joel's beard is great. It's the hairy interpretation of his gravelly southern drawl.

Captain Price (Call of Duty)

Call of Duty Captian Price
Captain Price getting his priorities straight in Call of Duty 2.Activision

Captain Price is as close as the Call of Duty series has to an icon, which is pretty amazing considering he's a middle-aged British SAS man with an enormous moustache. Originally an officer in the World War 2-set original games, he transcended time itself to appear in the Modern Warfare series when the franchise made its mark on consoles.

The Order 1886 is out on PS4 tomorrow (20 February).