Overwatch has only been out since 2016, but in a few short years, we've already seen the addition of tons of new heroes, maps, and even the Overwatch League, which follows professional Overwatch teams from all over the world. With all this success, it's clear this game has secured its spot as one of the best competitive games out there. One of the reasons this game is so popular is the plethora of characters with rich and varied backgrounds.
In addition to several different hero classes, each character has their own unique ultimate ability that - if timed right - can turn the tide in favor of your team. There may be no bad ults in Overwatch, but there are clearly a few crowd favorites.
Sombra - EMP
Sombra's EMP covers the map in an explosion of purple that destroys all barriers and hacks all enemies caught within. This ultimate can be incredibly frustrating: not only does it hack players, but it also hacks health packs and even Symmetra's turrets. EMP takes a huge portion of the map and turns everything in Sombra's favor.
Zenyatta - Transcendence
Zenyatta's Transcendence renders both Zenyatta and nearby teammates invulnerable to damage. Transcendence is incredibly useful when trying to take an objective from that pesky red team as it encourages players to stick together within its limited radius. Plus, it even has a special voiceline when used with some of Zenyatta's skins, like Nutcracker and Cultist.
Zarya - Graviton Surge
Zarya's Graviton Surge opens a black hole that sucks in and immobilizes nearby enemies. While it's pretty good on its own, Graviton Surge is best when combined with another ultimate, like D.Va's Self-Destruct or Junkrat's RIP-Tire. A well-placed Graviton Surge can even lead to that sweet, sweet team kill.
Junkrat - RIP-Tire
RIP-Tire is a remote controlled tire loaded with explosives Junkrat can drive into the middle of the enemy team. This is a great move when trying to clear the enemy team off a point. RIP-Tire is especially dangerous because it can be heard a lot sooner than it can be seen, causing enemies to run away blindly and potentially into its path.
Mei - Blizzard
With Blizzard, Mei releases Snowball, her drone, who emits a cloud of ice that freezes and damages enemies in a huge radius. This can be one of the most frustrating ultimates in the game, as it renders enemies completely helpless and vulnerable to an icicle to the head. Like many ultimates, it's best when used against enemies clustered around a point or payload.
Reaper - Death Blossom
Don't let its flowery name fool you - Death Blossom features Reaper spinning around as he shoots his dual guns, taking out anyone near him in the process. Although it has quite a few counters, like Ana's Sleep Dart, it's incredibly easy to come from above or Shadow Step into a group of enemies and take them all out.
Lucio - Sound Barrier
Lucio's Sound Barrier gives all nearby teammates a huge shield that drains over time regardless of how much damage it absorbs. Like Lucio himself, Sound Barrier is particularly effective on maps that have a moving payload, like Route: 66 and Eichenwald, since the team is (ideally) gathered around one area and within Sound Barrier's radius.
Genji - Dragonblade
Dragonblade brings forth a katana to strike down enemies. It's one of the more annoying ultimates to be on the receiving end of. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on who's playing Genji), there's a pretty obvious tell before he uses it, which can allow some time to escape before he one-hits you.
D.Va - Self-Destruct
Like the name suggests, D.Va ejects from her MEKA before it explodes, taking out everything around it. Self-Destruct is potentially game-changing since it can clear points and wipe teams in seconds. If you're fortunate enough to have survived the blast, it renders D.Va vulnerable and without her MEKA for a few seconds, so she's an easy kill if you can get to her in time.
Reinhardt - Earthshatter
Reinhardt uses Earthshatter to knock down and stun any enemies in his path. It can be used in a dangerously strong combo when followed by Fire Strike and Charge, which will knock enemies down and then send them flying - if it doesn't kill them first. There's even an achievement for pulling off this difficult combination, accurately named Storm, Earth, and Fire.
Ashe - B.O.B.
With B.O.B., Ashe calls upon her own personal omnic. B.O.B. deploys in front of Ashe and charges forward until it hits either an enemy or part of the map, at which point it becomes a stationary turret. When B.O.B. is on the map, it can receive the same buffs and benefits as an actual hero, like Ana's Nano Boost or Zarya's protective barrier.
Ana - Nano Boost
Ana'a Nano Boost ultimate powers up a teammate so they can deal more and take less damage. Nano Boost works best when used before a teammate unleashes their own ultimate ability, like Soldier: 76's Tactical Visor; however, it doesn't give any boost to damage not coming directly from the hero, so boosting Torbjorn's turret or Junkrat's RIP-Tire will have no effect.
McCree - Deadeye
For Deadeye, McCree takes aim with his pistol and shoots all enemies in his line of sight. Depending on how long he aims, it may be an instant kill. This works best from up above; because McCree wants to have as many enemies in his field of view as possible, having the high ground allows him to lock onto the maximum amount of possible targets.
Moira - Coalescence
Coalescence allows Moira to shoot a beam of pure energy from her hands, healing friendly players and dealing damage to enemies. It can pass through barriers, which makes it useful for taking out shielded enemies like Zarya or Reinhardt. Additionally, it increases Moira's movement speed, making it easy to chase down enemies.
Soldier: 76 - Tactical Visor
Soldier: 76 uses his Tactical Visor to shoot any target in his sights with perfect accuracy. It's best used from far away or slightly hidden. If the opposing team can't figure out where Soldier: 76's barrage is coming from, the rest of Soldier: 76's team can swoop in and bring them down or take the objective while the enemy is distracted.
Hanzo - Dragonstrike
Hanzo's Dragonstrike launches two energy dragons that deal damage to all enemies they touch. They have a pretty large hitbox and are useful when trying to take out an enemy team that's camped out on the point or in a bottleneck. Dragonstrike acts like a battering ram that opens the way for Hanzo's team to rush in.
Orisa - Supercharger
Orisa's Supercharger increases the damage output of all heroes within its 25-meter radius by 50%. It's a powerful ultimate that can give your team the boost it needs to take the game. The Supercharger can be placed on a moving payload for supercharging on the go, but be careful, it only has 200 HP and can be destroyed by the other team.
Wrecking Ball - Minefield
Wrecking Ball's Minefield covers a large area in mines that each hit the enemy for 130 damage when activated. Minefield is best used aggressively, as a way to take over a large zone - just make sure your team is backing you up for the most successful push.
Pharah - Barrage
Pharah's Barrage allows her to hover in the air as she shoots a seemingly endless rain of missiles at her enemies. This is great when taking the other team by surprise, as it leaves little time to react; however, Pharah is stationary in the air for the duration of Barrage, making her easy prey for a well-aimed shot.
Bastion - Configuration: Tank
Bastion transforms into a tank and shoots missiles at its enemies. Configuration: Tank is best used in conjunction with Bastion's team, as it is pretty easy to shut down when alone. However, working with its team allows it to inflict major damage and have the others do any cleaning up. Plus, it features an adorable doo-doo-da-doo-doo-doo cavalry call jingle.
Brigitte - Rally
Brigitte's Rally ultimate inspires nearby teammates who receive up to 100 extra armor. Because Brigitte is best played as a bodyguard-type hero to powerful but vulnerable heroes like Ana or Zenyatta, Rally is a great way to ensure every teammate is covered.
Torbjorn - Molten Core
Torbjorn's Molten Core creates pools of liquid slag that cause major damage and can keep enemies from entering certain areas. While a drastic change from his previous Molten Core abilities, the current Molten Core can cover a lot of ground and keep enemies from entering the objective point, which is hugely beneficial to a team that just can't shake the enemies from the point.
Mercy - Valkyrie
Mercy's ultimate might be the most changed feature in the game. What was once a mass-resurrection is now Valkyrie, a powerful move that allows Mercy to fly and enhances all her abilities. It's a great tool during a make-or-break push, as she can dart from teammate to teammate, providing them with her life-saving healing beam. Plus, when using Valkyrie, Mercy can resurrect her teammates without being interrupted by taking damage.
Baptiste - Amplification Matrix
Baptiste's Amplification Matrix ultimate increases the effectiveness of any damage or healing projectiles that pass through it. It can stack with Mercy's damage boost for a whopping 230% boost to damage.
Roadhog - Whole Hog
Roadhog's Whole Hog unleashes a rapid-fire series of shotgun blasts, dealing damage to enemies while sending them flying. It has such a strong push that it's difficult to escape it once Roadhog's locked on. When playing on a map like Ilios with huge holes and pits all over the place, it's great for getting some environmental kills, as it's easy to shoot your enemies into the depths below.