The Matrix franchise is such a cultural phenomenon that, after more than twenty years from the first movie’s release in 1999, it’s still such an influential part of popular culture. We’ve seen some great characters in the story, from the movie trilogy (soon to be a tetralogy) to the video games, comics, and anime series.
Here’s a ranked list of the 26 strongest Matrix characters ever. I included characters from the entire Matrix universe, not just the movies. Also, the characters included on the list are both from inside the Matrix and the real, outside world.
26. Dan Davis
Dan Davis is a character that appeared in one of the Animatrix anime series episodes called World Record. I put him on this list because he had shown just how powerful one’s mind could be, even within the Matrix.
Davis was a professional sprinter, completely unaware that he was living within the Matrix. One day, he attempted to break the world record, as the name of the episode suggests, and he ran so fast and pushed himself to such extraordinary limits that he managed to disconnect his link with the Matrix through sheer power of will and effort.
He woke up in one of the pods, seeing what the real world looked like before the machines reinserted him into the Matrix.
25. Spoon Kid
The Spoon Kid has a lot more power in the video games and the Matrix comics, where he can easily use telekinesis (move objects with the power of his mind) and even teleport at will. While he hasn’t shown that kind of power in the movies, he was still a key for Neo to see the Matrix for what it is and unlock his true potential to become the One.
What if you have a spoon, but then you realize there’s no spoon at all? That’s the premise helping Neo realize nothing in the Matrix is real, and nothing is actually there. Spoon Kid is on this list because of his importance for the entire storyline.
While we don’t see Jue’s character in the films, she’s one of the main protagonists of the Animatrix series, namely the episode called Final Flight Of The Osiris. The episode is somewhat of a prequel to The Matrix Reloaded (the second Matrix movie).
From the beginning, Jue shows what an incredible combatant she is, but it’s not until later in the episode that she shows her true power. Apart from jumping easily from building to building, she can throw herself off the roof and use her mind to manipulate the Matrix and make the ground itself cushion her fall. If she can do that, who knows what else Jue could do?
Ghost is well-known as a spectacular gunner both inside and outside of the Matrix. In fact, many believe he is the best one out there. His role in the movies isn’t huge, but he did appear in both The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. He is loyal to Niobe, the captain of a ship called Logos (more on her later on the list).
Ghost is a free mind and a very strong one. Trinity is one of his friends, and although his role in the movies isn’t that big, you can see the full extent of his powers while choosing him as a playable character in the Enter The Matrix video game. You can fight off multiple agents and other malevolent programs, which is not something that many free minds can do.
22. Captain Niobe
As mentioned, Captain Niobe is the leader of the crew on the ship called Logos. Niobe appears in the movies, portrayed by Jada Pinkett Smith, and is shown to be an incredible pilot. I love characters like Niobe that are dangerous both in the Matrix and in the real world.
Outside, she’s a captain and a pilot, but inside, she’s an incredible martial artist and a fighter capable of going at it even against superior agents. Niobe also has a romantic history with Morpheus, which only made the character even more loveable to me, seeing that Morpheus is my favorite character in the entire franchise.
Fans adored Niobe’s characters in the movies, but if you want to see just what the captain is capable of, I suggest you choose her as a playable character in the Enter The Matrix video game.
Persephone is a very old sentient program within the Matrix that serves as The Merovingian’s spouse. However, after you’ve seen a couple of iterations of the Matrix, and virtually nothing ever changes for you, you get bored, even if you’re not a real person (talk about marriage, right?).
Persephone undermines her husband to cause chaos as much as possible, simply because she’s bored and wants chaos and drama. Her loveless “marriage” means nothing to her, so she betrays her husband just to get one kiss from Neo.
Even though we never see Persephone use any kind of awesome powers like fighting or telekinesis, her true power lies in her “age.” She’s been around the Matrix for a long time, so she knows how it works. That also means she knows how to mess it up, which makes Persephone so dangerous, granting her a spot on this list.
The little girl sentient program called Sati is one of the few programs in the Matrix (possibly the only one) that wasn’t created out of necessity or to serve a purpose, but rather out of love. The Merovingian smuggles her into the Matrix after striking a deal with her parents. She’s just a little girl and never shows any kind of power within the Matrix, so why is she on this list?
Potential. Sati ends up spending time with the Oracle (more on her later). After the Matrix gets rebooted and Neo ceases to exist, Sati says to the Oracle that she had created the sunrise for Neo (or to his memory).
It’s unclear if Sati had really done that or not, but if she did, that means she potentially can manipulate the very fabric of the Matrix itself, which is not something a lot of programs can do.
19. Cain (& The Vampires)
Before the Matrix iteration that we see in the movie trilogy, two iterations failed miserably. The first one was Paradise, where everything was perfect and harmonious. However, the limited human minds couldn’t comprehend such a place, driving them insane, so the machines tried another approach – the Nightmare.
In that iteration of the Matrix, there were ghosts, aliens, werewolves – and vampires. Of course, that iteration of the Matrix failed, too. But, some of the creatures survived, and Cain is one of them.
He’s a vampire program that serves as a henchman for the Merovingian, and he has all the powers that a cliche vampire would have – super speed, strength, big fangs, flight, etc. We never got to see him use his vampiric powers in the movies, as Neo quickly demolishes him in combat, but it’s cool that he even survived to get to the third iteration of the Matrix alive.
He’s not the only vampire program that ever existed, though. Many others appear in the video games and the comics – most notably, Vlad. Yeah, Dracula is in the Matrix, too.
18. Abel (& The Werewolves)
In the Bible, Cain and Abel are brothers. The former is the first murderer ever, while the latter is the first murder victim ever. However, in the Matrix, they are merely programs, like almost everybody else. Cain is a vampire, while Abel is – you guessed it – a werewolf.
Like Cain, Abel is one of the creatures/programs from the Nightmare Matrix, saved by the Merovingian and brought to the third iteration. It’s incredibly hard to kill a program such as Abel – but Persephone killed him eventually.
She had to use codes encased in a silver bullet to destroy Abel, but the fact that he persevered for such a long time tells you how strong he was.
17. The Sentinels
The Sentinels aren’t a part of the Matrix but rather the machine-like creatures in the real world, serving the will of the Deus Ex Machina (more on that later). They serve the same purpose in the real world as the agents serve inside the Matrix.
They look like giant, mechanic spider/squid creatures that have incredible physical power, along with the ability to glide through the air at incredible speeds seamlessly. They can slice through steel like it’s nothing, drop bombs, and much more, but the worst part is that you can’t hide from them. They can detect signals from miles away.
The only reason why Sentinels aren’t higher on this list is their major weakness – one strong EMP pulse, and they just shut down immediately.
You probably expected the guy that introduced Neo to the Matrix to be a bit higher on this list, but Morpheus himself isn’t as strong as some other characters. That doesn’t mean he’s weak, though. Morpheus has great skills both inside and outside of the Matrix. However, his true strength lies in his power to motivate people and fight for what is right.
He liberated many from the ignorance that is the Matrix, and he was the mentor to the One. His leadership skills are unmatched, as he can fight with the best of them if the situation requires brutal strength, or he can get out of a sticky situation diplomatically.
In the end, his love, compassion, and willingness to sacrifice for the greater good are where his powers lie. Those are also the reasons why fans love Morpheus so much. If it weren’t for him, the One would probably never wake up.
15. The Trainman
When I put this list together, I couldn’t quite figure out where to put the Trainman. If you consider only his realm, the Trainman would be right at the top of the list. However, you have to take everything into account – the Matrix, the real world, and the realm in between.
That realm in between, called the Mobil Avenue (an anagram for limbo), is where the Trainman rules. You might remember him as the weird, homeless-looking guy that sits on the train alone. Well, that entire realm is the Trainman’s creation. He is somewhat of a god in Mobil Avenue, an omnipotent being that can do whatever he wants while there.
The Merovingian used Mobil Av. and the Trainman to smuggle many things in and out of the Matrix. Even Neo is completely powerless when he encounters the Trainman in his realm. But, although he’s omnipotent there, the Trainman isn’t nearly as powerful outside of Mobil Avenue, which is why he eventually landed only at #15 on this list.
14. The Assassin
The Assassin doesn’t appear in the movies, but the character has a big role in an MMORPG game called The Matrix Online. In the game, the Assassin is a wild guy wielding two pistols while wearing a weird white mask and a top-to-bottom coat. While he appears as a humanoid figure, the coat hides a huge swarm of flies creating the Assassin’s body.
That makes him impervious to physical damage, and you can only kill him if you use an insecticide with kill codes on him. In the online game, the Assassin even kills Morpheus and has his own henchmen. Before his mercenary days, he was a waste recycling program – hence, the flies.
I love the character, and it gave me some weird nightmares, but the fact that he only appears in the MMORPG means I just can’t put him higher on the list.
13. The General
Another character appearing in the online game, the General, is an incredibly powerful being operating from the real world in Stalingrad. The General is actually the Sentinel responsible for the attack on Zion in the third Matrix movie – The Matrix Revolutions.
In the game, The General broadcasted pirate signals into the Matrix from his base in Stalingrad, intending to disrupt the peace between the machines and the humans that had been achieved after Neo sacrificed himself and The Matrix Revolutions ended.
He nearly succeeds many times, which makes him so powerful – influencing the Matrix so much from the outside world.
12. The Twins
Ugh. I hated these guys in the movies, and I hated them in the games – but no one can deny that the Twins are incredibly powerful programs within the Matrix. They serve as the henchmen for the Merovingian, and they have no name. They are just referred to as the Twins.
The two bodyguards were rumored to be agents in former Matrix versions, saved by the Merovingian to serve as his “army” of henchmen, just like Cain and Abel. However, their powers and skills tower over both the vampire and the werewolf.
While they aren’t physically powerful, they are great martial artists and love using razors as their weapon of choice. But, the Twins have a spectacular power making them so powerful – they can phase shift through objects in the Matrix, including walls, doors, projectiles, etc.
That means they are invulnerable to physical damage – even if they get hurt, the Twins can instantly restore and heal themselves. It is believed that their phase-shifting is a glitch that happened when the Merovingian brought them to the new Matrix, but there’s a big chance that it was by design.
That 360-degrees crane kick that Trinity pulls out in the first Matrix movie remains one of the most iconic action scenes not just from the Matrix but action film in general (apart from Neo dodging bullets like MJ). Trinity is Neo’s primary love interest and one of the strongest free minds out there.
She’s prolific in combat both inside and outside of the Matrix, and she helps guide Neo through his path to becoming the One. Trinity is one of the few free minds who managed to kill an Agent and even got resurrected after death in the Matrix through the sheer power of Neo’s love towards her.
She eventually dies in the real world, but her sacrifice was crucial for ending everything. In all honesty, I disliked Trinity’s character from the start. She just seemed too robotic and unnatural to me from the start.
Still, there’s no denying that Trinity was one of the strongest Matrix characters ever with her awesome fighting, driving, and even piloting skills.
10. Agent Brown & Agent Jones
Agents are somewhat of Matrix police, dealing with any discrepancies within – like, free minds roaming around causing nothing but trouble. There’s no point separating Agents Brown & Jones on this list, as they are two of the same kind – the same version of an Agent.
They are unfathomably strong and fast sentient programs (virtually capable of anything within the Matrix). Although Brown and Jones are separate personas, they share the same powers and skills and have somewhat a hive mind, just like their leader, Agent Smith (who later gets separated from that hive mind).
These guys are incredibly strong, but some strong free minds managed to beat them at their own game. That’s when the Agents received an upgrade to their program.
9. Agents Jackson, Johnson, and Thompson
In the first Matrix movie, we see Neo doing quick work out of Agent Smith. The Agent programs were supposed to be unbeatable in the Matrix. That’s when the machines realized that they needed an upgrade.
So, instead of Agents Jones & Brown, we get Agents Jackson, Johnson, and Thompson in The Matrix Reloaded sequel. They look the same – gentlemen in fine suits and oddly unfitting sunglasses hiding their ruthless, merciless killer instincts inside.
However, they have been upgraded solely to be better equipped for fighting the One. They are even stronger and faster than Brown & Jones (yeah, it’s possible), and virtually nobody but the One could defeat them in the Matrix.
8. The Keymaker
Sometimes, strength and power aren’t all about brute force and fighting. Especially in a digital, virtual world like the Matrix, where you can literally download superhuman powers – that is, if you have access to the keys to unlock those powers.
That is what makes the Keymaker one of the strongest, most powerful characters in the entire Matrix universe. He makes all the keys, meaning he can open every door and access anything to do everything he wants, including knowledge, skills, powers, or simply unlocking doors in the Matrix that have previously been locked.
Like many others on this list, the Keymaker is a conscious program. That incredible power to create any key he wants is so important that the Merovingian keeps him incarcerated, trapped in his chambers (don’t ask me how you can lock up somebody who can simply make a key to get out).
If there weren’t for the Keymaker, Neo would never be able to return to the Source to meet the Architect and learn what his purpose and potential in the Matrix really are.
7. The Merovingian
Finally, after mentioning him so many times already on this list – the Merovingian is an old, powerful program that made it his mission to get as much knowledge as possible – which is ultimately what makes you powerful in a digital world such as The Matrix.
He deals with information first but smuggles a plethora of other things in and out of the Matrix, usually with the help of Mobil Avenue and the Trainman. Do you want to know just how powerful the Merovingian is and how he could save some of the programs from the previous Matrix iterations, like Cain, Abel, or the Twins?
Well, he wasn’t just a part of the Matrix back then – he WAS the Matrix. The Merovingian was the entire operating system on which the previous Matrix ran, so he was able to pull out subordinate programs and carry them over to the new Matrix. He’s extraordinary when it comes to manipulating others and rarely gets his hands dirty – having his henchmen do the dirty work.
It is unclear what Seraph’s purpose was before this iteration of the Matrix, where Neo is the One. It is rumored that Seraph was the One in one of the previous versions of the Matrix, which would explain how he could fight Neo one-on-one and hold his ground so well.
We know for certain that Seraph was alive in one of the previous versions of the Matrix and that the Merovingian brought him to this new version. Once he realized what the Merovingian was planning, he turned on him and joined the Oracle, becoming her bodyguard.
Other theories suggest that his name comes from his previous life in the Paradise Matrix, where he was an actual angel. Or, moreover, a powerful celestial being, known as the Seraphim. In short, a Seraphim is a very powerful angel that served a similar law-enforcing purpose as the Agents in the new Matrix version.
5. Agent Smith
The Agent above Agents, Smith, is Neo’s arch-nemesis in the Matrix and the one who gives the One the most trouble. Some theories say that Smith is the One, not Neo, but we’ll leave that theory as only a theory.
What isn’t a theory, but a fact that separates Agent Smith from other Agents is that he was able to separate himself from their hive-mind and clone himself with no limits, ultimately threatening the stability of the entire Matrix.
Moreover, near the end of The Matrix Revolutions, Smith wasn’t even an Agent anymore, but a being/program so powerful he could assimilate other incredibly powerful beings in the Matrix, such as the Oracle and even Neo himself. Smith also managed to get one of his clones out in the real world after taking over the body of a guy named Bane.
If Deus Ex Machina is the thing to beat in the real world, then Smith is the thing to beat in the Matrix.
4. The Architect
The Architect’s name speaks for itself, as well as his power. He created the virtual world. Every program, being, or event that happens, and even the coded fabric of the Matrix – everything exists following his wishes. Yes, he even orchestrated the entire resistance and the rebellion of humans.
He also created all the previous versions of the Matrix (the third, however, with the help of the Oracle). The programs act according to his will, and the Architect is incredibly potent in reading patterns and codes of behavior in humans and his beloved programs.
However, his biggest weakness was his ego. The Architect believed he was unbeatable, as he can predict anything and everything, but he was proven otherwise when Agent Smith’s program went rogue and started wreaking havoc on the Matrix.
Had the Architect anticipated or predicted this outcome, many events that transpired could have been prevented and avoided. If only bosses weren’t that arrogant, am I right?
3. The Oracle
Don’t let the cookie-baking, weak granny front fool you – the Oracle is one of the most powerful (if not the most powerful) programs in existence. She is the God within the Matrix, created to help the machines understand human behavior and needs better. Well, the Oracle understands human behavior a bit too well for the machine’s good.
Rarely does the Oracle explicitly say to the humans what they have to do to achieve what they want. Instead, she guides them and subtly influences their decisions to get them to do what is necessary – she even lies to Neo and Morpheus not to deceive them but rather to get them to do what they have to do.
The machines didn’t count on the Oracle understanding humans THAT well. So well that she chose to go into Exile and assist them in taking down the machines. Despite not having the fighting skills like Neo nor the God-like creation skills like the Architect – if there weren’t for Granny Oracle, the Resistance would fail before it even started.
2. Deus Ex Machina
The number one villain on this list, the creature responsible for the Matrix, the center of the Machine City in the now-ruined real world – is Deus Ex Machina.
Deus Ex Machina is the source of it all – the one that created even the Architect. It looks like a giant human head, while it’s actually a machine made out of thousands of smaller machines, creating the ultimate hive mind from which the machines and the Matrix itself stems.
The end goal of the One is not to defeat the Architect or Agent Smith, but rather to confront Deus Ex Machina and offer it the ultimate truce between the humans and the machines. He does so in the end, as the creature simply wipes out Neo and Smith’s avatars completely out of existence, ending the war and restoring the Matrix in harmony.
1. The One (Neo)
You probably expected Neo to be on top of the list. However, he’s not here because he can fly, dodge bullets, or fight like nobody else in the Matrix. Hell, he’s not even here because of all the incredible superhuman powers he possesses within the Matrix, like manipulating the laws of physics, resurrecting the dead, and stopping projectiles mid-air.
His true powers lie in his ability to finally break the horrible cycle that had been going on for centuries. You see, all the things that happened in the Matrix – the control, the waking up of the free minds, the resistance – it had all already happened numerous times.
However, Neo was the One that broke that cycle and finally ended the constant battle. His actions inspired others to join the fight, and ultimately, those actions didn’t lead to the cycle being repeated. Instead, he confronted the Deus Ex Machina and achieved the ultimate peace between the humans and the machines by sacrificing himself.