The 10 Best Armor Upgrades in Video Game History


Whether it’s during a role-playing game, and adventure game, or a simple hack-n-slash, upgrading your character is one of the more fulfilling experiences a gamer can have.  Back in January, we ran down a list of 10 of the most devastating weapons from NES games, but what about the upgrades that improve your defense?  Inflicting greater damage on your foes is always great, but sometimes it’s just as rewarding to be able to incur more damage yourself.  Whereas bullets once resulted in drastic drops in health, an  armor or defensive upgrade can render them as harmless as butterflies.  Keep reading to see the 10 best armor upgrades in video game history.

Erdrick’s Armor – Dragon Warrior


Edrick’s Armor can be found in an abandoned town, and you’ve got to defeat a Knight to obtain it.  In addition to being the strongest armor in the game, Erdrick’s Armor will restore a hit point with every step you take.  Not having to use healing items or spells makes things much, much easier, as just wandering around in circles will heal all wounds.

Blue Ring – The Legend of Zelda


The blue ring – which can be bought – doubles Link’s defensive power, so enemy attacks do just half the damage they used to.  I know that the red ring is more powerful, but you can’t obtain it until the final level, so its worth is pretty limited.  Saving up rupies to buy the blue ring early in the game can make the later dungeons somewhat of a breeze.

Varia Suit – Metroid


The Varia Suit has appeared in many Metroid games, but it first appeared in the original classic for the NES.  Samus’ Varia Suit, in addition to looking cool, greatly reduces enemy damage.  Also, Samus can stand in lava without her health quickly draining away; instead it slowly ticks down.  This is helpful for fighting Ridley,  for if you’ve got the Varia Suit and Wave Beam, you can simply shoot Ridley from below while incurring minimal damage from standing in lava.

T-51b Power Armor – Fallout 3


This armor has the highest damage resistance in the game and can be found in Fort Constantine, after you receive Dave’s Special Key in the Shoot ‘Em in the Head Quest.  It’s not much at first, but once repaired, the T-51b Power Armor makes your character damn near invulnerable.  It will also give your character +1 charisma and +25 Radiation Resistance.

Armor Power – Prototype


Alex can upgrade throughout Prototype, making him more and more deadly as the game progresses.  One of the most helpful upgrades, though, is the Armor Upgrade.  As a shapeshifter, Alex can turn his skin into a protective shield of sorts, making enemy gunfire seems like a bunch of gnats.  You can’t glide while using the Armor, but it makes fighting tanks and helicopters a hell of a lot easier.

Colossus X Armor – Mass Effect


The Colossus X Armor is the strongest armor in Mass Effect, and it’s also the most difficult to obtain.  Manufactured by Kassa Fabrication, the Colossus X Armor (what a cool name, too) turns your character into an absolute tank.  Best of all, the armor can be equipped by humans, Turians, Quarians, and Krogans.

Umbra Armor – Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion


The Umbra Armor is about as powerful as it is cool-looking, which is to say, very.  To obtain the armor, you’ve got to kill Umbra herself, a Bosmer warrior who hangs out around Vindasel.   After hundreds of hours of gameplay, you’re unlikely to find a better armor.

Cassus Fett’s Armor – Knights of the Old Republic


Cassus Fett’s Armor, because of its bulk, isn’t the greatest for characters with high dexterity.  For the heavier, more brutish players, though, Cassus Fett’s Armor is about the best you can obtain.  It gives the wearer a +1 strength, but it’s mad expensive.  Is it worth it?  Probably, yeah – not only is your defense raised quite a bit, but you get to prance around looking like a cool bounty hunter.

Mystile – Final Fantasy VII


There are literally dozens of armor/defensive uppgrades in Final Fantasy VII, but the mystile is the most valuable.  Some people may argue in favor of the ribbon, but I’ll take the mystile and happily dodge both phsycial and magical attacks.  It’s so refreshing to not get hit by magic.

Tanooki Suit – Super Mario Bros. 3


The Tanooki Suit looks awesome, gives Mario the abolity to fly, the ability to take a hit and still stay “big,” and the ability to turn into an invincible stone statue.  Tough to compete with all those features.

Any armor or defensive upgrades you felt should have been on the list?  Let me know in the comments section!

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  1. @ Mr. Yo

    I considered the Mega Max X franchise but didn’t include any upgrades for 2 reasons:

    1) it’s tough to say which upgrade was “the best” (I thought so, at least); and

    2) many of the upgrades simply help you get other items and don’t actually improve your defense.

    Worth mentioning, though.

    Thanks for reading.

  2. @ Chapu

    True, but I consider the mystile as a defensive upgrade. I was using the term “armor” pretty loosely – I included the blue ring, too.

    But yeah, ribbon + mystile = rule

  3. Huh? The Enclave armor from Fallout 2 is should be there instead of the crappy t-51b power armor in Fallout 3. Fallout 3 power armors were really bad compared the the power armor in the old game. The Enclave armor in FO2 gave you 10 str and a crap load of damage resistance. After getting that armor you can pretty much kill everything. In Fallout 3 you do so much work to get the t-51b but the stats are just a wee bit better than normal power armor.

  4. A few I thought I would add, the best in my opinion is the all the different Orbs you could collect in doom if you knew where to go, like the Invincability Orb and all of the other upgrades that you could do to your arbor to be able to run around with the BFG and dominate. Also the Recon armor that is so rare in Halo is concidered a very valuable piece of equipment, better be if you need a producer or VIP to give it to you haha.

  5. TES-O:

    Full Daedric armor (also a heavy set like the ebony) offers 85% damage resistence by itself, with no echantments. Full Ebony is actually only second best.

  6. The FO3 armour should’ve been the bugged Winterized T-51b from Op Anchorage. It never degrades, because it has like a million hitpoints.

    Or the Chinese Stealth suit from the same DLC. Crouch for impenetrable cloak?

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