Gaming is still, in a broad sense, a boys club. Most of the characters are men, especially main protagonists, and occasionally some females are there mostly just to fill up space, give the main character motivation, and give the players something to look at and fantasize about. Just look at most MMOs from Asia.
Fortunately, there is still a number of quality female characters in the video games universe. There have been flashes of brilliance, so determining the best female video game characters wasn't an easy job. Until we get a new Furiosa-type heroine to challenge the classics, these 10 women are the queens of the video games world.
Sonya Blade (Mortal Kombat)
"If anybody's gonna kill Kahn, it's going to be me."
Even though she looked like one of those '80s fitness enthusiasts doing exercises for five minutes in morning shows, Sonya Blade immediately caught our eyes, and the faith we had in her paid off as she became one of the most badass characters in a pretty badass universe of Mortal Kombat. Although her beginnings were humble, and she was only created in 1992 because the developers thought the game needed a female character, general Sonya Blade is one of the oldest female characters that stood the test of time. And out of respect and love we have for Sonya, we never choose Kano when playing Mortal Kombat.
Special Agent Tanya (Red Alert 2)
“No fear, Tanya's here!“
This is one for the older crowd as the portrayal of our favorite special agent in Red Alert 3 couldn't come close to the Kari Samantha Wührer's representation of a dual Colt M1911 pistols-wielding brunette. Cutscene live acting has surely contributed to the stamp she left in our minds, but also the numerous times she saved us from nuclear annihilation by detonating the silos with her C4 with only a few seconds left on the timer. And also the fact that she wore only a sports bra even when fighting in snow-covered Russia.
Jaina Proudmoore (Warcraft III/World of Warcraft)
“All I ever wanted was to study.”
For the only person that regrets her childhood crush more than Sansa Stark, Jaina Proudmoore has really come on top, and we had faith in her since we first met her in Warcraft III Reign of Chaos. So did the developers as they said that the game scenarios were derived from the desire to let this highborn sorceress fully develop, the pawns were moved aside for the queen to the all the real work. Arthas's downfall didn't hinder Jaina's success as she became the most powerful human sorceress alive, and the leader of the Kirin Tor. It was like seeing your daughter graduate.
Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
“Climbing again. Great.”
The list is not done in order of importance or greatness, but if it had, there is absolutely no doubt that the British beauty would be in the first spot, miles ahead of the competition. Whether the discipline is longevity, significance, diffusion, pop culture breakthrough, badassery, or even wealth, there is no doubt, Lara Croft has made a firm legacy through 11 video games and two movies starring one of the greatest female movies stars of that time—Angelina Jolie. We love Lara in all her shapes, right from the moment she came on the scene and became a square shaped sex symbol.
Princess Kitana (Mortal Kombat)
“You wish to die first? So be it.”
With the number of great female fighters in Mortal Kombat we couldn't stop at one, and if Sonya Blade is representing Earth, Princess Kitana is ruling and representing Edenia. She was brought up as a loyal stepdaughter of Shao Kahn but then transitioned into one of his biggest enemies in the quest of freeing her realm of Edenia. Kitana is royalty, but she knows how to fight and mostly uses her steel fans in battles, but is pretty good at hand-to-hand combat as well. The portrayal of Kitana in the Mortal Kombat movies was actually pretty good. It served justice to this fighter and leader, and also, for a 10,000-year-old woman, she doesn't look that bad.
“I should have been a pole dancer!”
Eccentric Bayonetta was under a lot of scrutiny for her obvious sexualization, but that's sort of the point. A coquettish and mysterious Umbra Witch, Bayonetta has a sharp tongue, which is part of her charm. She might it not be for everyone, but this glasses wearing heroine is a breath of fresh air and a truly unique character. That 500-year nap really did wonders for her by the way, and if anyone knows what shampoo she is using, leave it in the comments. I too would like to smash my opponents with just my hair.
Alyx Vance (Half-Life)
"Aren't you going to speak up for me, Gordon?"
The girl next door of video games heroines, and probably, for that reason, the most believable and likable female characters, even though she is living in a post-apocalyptic world of Half-Life. Smart, emotional, uniquely beautiful, and capable, Alyx seems like someone that should be a lead character herself. Alyx brings life and a joy to the dark world of Gordon Freeman, and is an essential part of one of the most popular game series ever, so when she gets [Spoiler Alert] killed in Episode Two player gets a message "Alyx is killed. How can we continue without her?”. And we truly can't.
Sarah Kerrigan (Starcraft)
“Clean, simple, devious. I like it.”
Sarah Kerrigan is in a way Arthas Menethil of the Starcraft universe, as she starts out as a badass Terran Ghost, but gets captured by the Zerg and gets transformed into demonic Queen of Blades. The number of Kerrigan fans is probably similar to the number of Zerg minions she commands in the Swarm. Kerrigan has been critically praised for her believability and general character depth, and the fact that she is considered one of the best game villains can just cement her place in this list, as with her we get both ends of the good/bad spectrum.
Lightning (Final Fantasy)
“Find your own road to hell!”
The Final Fantasy series isn't lacking important female characters and in that hard competition Lightning is without a doubt the best of them all. She is not only there as a girl who needs protection, she can take care of herself and do it in style too as she gracefully moves while swinging that huge sword of hers, without losing any speed while wielding it. Not only is Lightning the first female protagonist in a decades-old franchise, she is quite cool, collected, tranquil and puts her family first, trying to protect them. Claire Farron, as is her real name, is stylistically most different from all the other females on this list, but it's not only her look that sticks, it's her sharp tongue too.
Chun-Li (Street Fighter)
"I am the strongest woman in the world!"
Beating Sonya Blade by a year, Chun-Li is the first female fighter in a fighting game, and the game is, of course, the legendary Street Fighter. Even if you haven't played the game, you definitely know the outfit of this warrior whose name means "beautiful". This is by itself enough to be on this list, but besides her longevity, Chun-Li is one of the main characters of Street Fighter besides Ryu and Ken, and we definitely love her confidence. For those who doubt her popularity, we suggest a trip to San Diego's Comic-Con and counting the number of girls with ox horns haircuts, wearing blue Chinese dresses.
Did we miss some of your favorite female video game characters? Tell us who we skipped in the comments.