The gaming world is rapidly changing partly to accommodate the huge increase of gaming female selecting video games as their primary hobby, this allows for a wider representation players, as the characters and games before were centered mostly around the likes of men. Still there have always been female characters who are interesting, emotional, fun and strong, here is a list that brings you what I believe are some of the most varied and finest examples of women in gaming to this day.
10. Lara Croft – Tomb Raider
Yes she’s hot. No she’s not a bimbo. This is a totally serious, totally British, Indiana Jones inspired Archeologist, who plays by her own rules and decides her own fate. Since her first appearance Lara distinguished herself from other action heroes by being super acrobatic, traversing obstacles and still keeping the femme fatale look intact. She battles wolves, dinosaurs, mercenaries, tigers, centaurs and humongous monsters with little more than two pistols and sometimes with bow and arrow skills so deadly, she can put entire armies to shame.
9. Chun Li – Street Fighter
Chun Li is one of the most popular female characters in all of gaming and for good reason, she’s a strong street fighter and undercover international cop in a quest to kick Bison to death and avenge her father’s death. Since her debut the fighting community has rightfully bestowed this Chinese beauty the honorable title of being the “First Lady of Gaming”.
8. Cortana - Halo
Who hasn’t wished for its very own Cortana AI? Think about it, she’s super smart, gives the best advice, good with computers and totally loyal. She’s a friend till the end kind of girl, the only downside? She’s so smart she only lasts for about 7 years, she literally thinks herself out of commission. There was only room for one Artificial Intelligence in this list and Cortana made the cut, after all this hot piece of data proved crucial to the survival of mankind, can’t really imagine Master Chief saving the galaxy with GLADOS behind him can you?
7. Sorceress – Dragon’s Crown
The controversial Sorceress from last year’s fantastically fun Beat em up is in this list not only because of her fighting skills and ability to resurrect the dead, but also because she will be the spokeswoman for all the hot bimbos out there, including Morrigan, the DOA girls, Eve from Soul Calibur, etc.
Yes, she is a sexual object of desire and hot as a hell but that’s what one may value about her, of course her design is terribly disproportionate and some argue it looks like drawn by a 14 year old boy, targeting exactly that kind of demographic and offending women the all around the world probably taking an over the top Japanese design way too seriously. I for one celebrate her sexual (if maybe eccentric) design, as it reminds us that this particular media is still free to create characters anyway we want them and that’s the way I like it.
6. Kerrigan - Starcraft
Does this queen of blades have a hard life or what? Accidentally killing family with psychic powers, brutally trained from childhood, fighting her whole life against oppression, captured and consumed by the Zerg, forced to fight her ex-bf, all to end up being considered the bad guy to many. She deserves her place on this list if only to give her a break. She’s twisted, because her life is full of hardships and betrayal, and she’s ambitious if nothing else, at one point her objective was to enslave all life in the galaxy under her command and thought, that’s pretty badass. In the end she makes the right choices for mankind and while one may question her methods, it’s clear she still has a human heart underneath it all.
5. Bayonetta - Bayonetta
Bayonetta is the sassy action heroine who will snap at you for calling her a babe. She’s quite the definition of the word “Crazy”, both her fighting style and outfit are unique and creative, she fights with pistols, swords and rocket launchers attached to each limb, that’s four times the firepower, and occasionally uses her hair (which is also her clothes?) to punish the varied demons she fights.
She’s got power, skills and a severe attitude all matching her sexy accent perfectly, her game is filled with innuendo and she usually teases the player a lot but never taking it to the extreme, this is a classy witch after all. The highly anticipated sequel will be coming soon exclusively to Nintendo’s Wii U, so if you wanted an excuse to buy a new system, I’d say Bayonetta is more than enough to justify it.
4. Alyx Vance – Half Life 2
Probably the smartest on the list, this scientist-hacker-shooter is one of the leaders of the resistance. A good friend (and possibly love interest) to Gordon Freeman, and most importantly, the most likable character in the series, it’s amazing the level of affection the player may develop with this girl. Half Life 2 was pioneer in technologies such as facial animation and it’s most evident when Alyx is on screen.
Admittedly she has a bit of a masculine side, but also feminine emotions and expressions, she probably is as tridimensional as a female character can get while running and fighting against the alien almighty combine. Now if only they’d release Half Life 3 so we can get more of that sweet Alyx Vance action.
3. Elizabeth – Bioshock Infinite
It’s not that easy to describe Elizabeth in a few words, because she is way more tridimensional than many girls on this list, she’s naïve but confident, trapped but doesn’t really realize it, she loves adventure and dancing on the beach. Part of the charm is the wonder with which she sees the world around her, being trapped in a tower all her life she really has missed on all the beauty of the sky city of Columbia. She is the axis of the story, a confused heroin who would actually stand her ground if put against any male or female hero, mainly because she has the ability to manipulate reality itself, a power so big it has all sorts of heavy temporal and spatial implications that’d make Stephen Hawking’s head spin.
2. Samus - Metroid
Interstellar Bounty Hunter Samus Aran has faced countless enemies in over 10 incredibly successful games all by herself; she has stopped entire space mafia-pirates from taking over an entire system, she survived her home and family’s destruction at age 3 and has defeated her space pterodactyl nemesis in every other game, she is the very definition of a strong independent woman that doesn’t need no man *snaps finger*, now if we could all just forget that Other M ever existed.
1. Zelda – The Legend of Zelda
Of course it’s Zelda, you wanted Peach? Expected the strongest and most independent woman to make the top? Well no, for good or bad, gaming as we know it was born with the Damsel in Distress trope and Zelda proves there are ways to make it right, while Peach for example just gets captured for the sole reason of being a princess, Zelda is usually taken for being a legitimate threat to Gannon, or Evil itself, she usually knows her politics and her way around, sometimes she has fighting skills, knows her bow and arrow, telepathy, at the very least is capable enough to help Link rescue her, she even holds the triforce of wisdom, sadly though, in Hyrule, wisdom doesn’t seem to be enough to overcome Power (the one Gannon holds), one needs the Courage part too most times if one wants to stand a chance.
But actually, Zelda isn’t here because of her particular set of skills, she isn’t even the same character each game, she is at the top of the list because of what she represents in and out of the world of video games, granted, she is a Damsel in Distress, waiting for the valiant man to save her, but she turns out to be way more of an excuse to finish the quest, she IS the quest, her name is actually on the cover, the sense of rush to finally set her free to rule the kingdom, the anger one feels when she gets kidnapped, the sweet melodies are taught to us by her are experiences that can’t really be replaced. Feels as though modern tendencies want to switch her triforce from wisdom to strength or maybe independence, while I don’t mind the muscly independent woman concept, I do value the female characters who are actually feminine, she is a motivation, an inspiration of beauty and wisdom for girls all around the world, and that is what makes her the best woman in gaming today.
So there they are, finest and bravest examples of females the gaming world has to offer, hopefully this list makes justice to all the wonderful fictional female characters out there, I know I left out a lot of popular ones like Aeris from Final Fantasy VII, or Faith from Mirrors Edge. So feel free to mention in the comments about all the favorites I missed.