They say that behind every great man is a woman, but that saying doesn’t necessarily ring true in the world of video games. Sometimes it’s the opposite.
Sometimes, said woman is standing right beside him. Other times, she stands alone. There are also times we see great women standing right beside each other.
But it hasn’t always been that way. In the not so distant past, there weren’t many female characters who were given kickass roles in video games. Until now the subject of women in video games is still a hot and messy topic.
Whatever your opinion is on the women in video games though, we can all agree we have more than a handful of female characters who are worth looking up to. And we’re hoping there are more to come. So let’s celebrate the women who’ve graced our video game screens and unleashed their fierceness in more ways than one.
Keep in mind that this list could drop some major spoilers.
Lara Croft of Tomb Raider
Lara Croft is an icon amongst female characters in video games. If anything, she is the perfect representation of the ongoing transformation of women’s portrayals in video games.
She started of as a sex symbol - the sexy, charming, busty woman who can totally handle herself in a fight. Remember the time our jaws dropped at her unbelievable pixelated curves in the 90s?
With her reboot she not only underwent an amazing physical transformation, she also showed character depth and vulnerability. We see her emerge from a scared and slightly insecure lady, into a determined fighter and survivor who we really shouldn’t be messing with.
Ellie of The Last of Us
The deuteragonist of Last of Us may be young, but she’s a real fierce fighter.
Sure she’s a teenager, and may not have the same survival instincts as Joel, but she’s incredibly adept and useful in sticky situations. How many times has she saved you the effort of fighting a walker because of her ability to come up close and shank them from behind?
But what’s great about Ellie is that she’s not exactly perfect or one-sided. She’s a force to be reckoned with and she’s strong but she’s still a teenager. She isn’t as hardened as Joel, and she still has a lot of sympathy left for the people who join her. She shines most when we see her conquer against her perfectly reasonable fears and fight back with the ferocity of a threatened tiger.
Chloe and Max of Life is Strange
This teenage dynamic duo shows us what friendship and sacrifice is all about. Their bond is incredibly strong, and no amount of time twisting and trouble making could break it. Despite being separated for years and their distinct differences in hobbies and tastes, Max and Chloe are truly the best of friends.
Max is the shy but brave protector, caring for Chloe and the other young ladies of Blackwall and Arcadia. Chloe on the other hand is the bold rebel who will stop at nothing to find her friend Rachel.
Together, the two unveil a dark secret that will rock Blackwall Academy and their own friendship. But regardless of what you choose as Max, the two will still stick together until the end. And that’s the kind of friendship we all strive to have.
Lady of Devil May Cry 3
It’s difficult to stand out in a video game when the main character is as stylish and as attention-grabbing as Devil May Cry’s Dante. Enter Lady, a woman who doesn’t need even a trace of the demon race in her DNA to command attention and earn respect. What she lacks in demonic powers, she makes up for in strong acrobatic skills, incredible marksmanship, and explosive fierceness. We seriously wouldn’t want her enormous rocket launcher pointed at our direction.
The interesting thing about Lady is that she doesn’t want anything to do with Dante at all for most of the game. Her sights are set on one goal and that is to kill her evil manipulative father for revenge. She only gives Dante her time when she realizes his true intentions. Lady is resourceful, tough, angry, and determined. She’s a firecracker that doesn’t care about her limits at all.
Cassandra and Vivien of Dragon Age: Inquisition
Cassandra and Vivienne are not only skilled fighters, but they’re also tough and ambitious. Cassandra started the Inquisition to deliver justice to the leader she revered, as well as peace to the land. When dirty politics tarnished the name of the Chantry she looked upon herself to change how things were run not because she wanted power, but because she wanted to make sure things would be done right.
Vivienne on the other hand, tired of being looked down upon as a mage and hoping to change the reputation of mages through politics, reworked her position to become a true advisor to the Empress Celene. During the chaos she decided to step out of what could have been a comfortable and safe life, in order to assist the Inquisitor to return things to normal.
The two skilled combatants aid the Inquisitor not only in battle but also in politics. Choose wisely and one of them may even end up as The Divine.
Faith of Mirror’s Edge
We’d like to believe Faith is the ultimate hardcore parkour master. It’s a pleasure to climb heights and jump daringly between buildings in her perspective, and Faith’s realistic characterization makes it easier to immerse ourselves in the game.
Faith is silent, brave, and caring. Despite leaving her family behind and becoming a Runner, Faith never stopped looking after her family. In particular, she cares deeply for her sister Kate. After learning that Kate was framed for murder, Faith fearlessly investigates on her own, determined to reveal and expose the true killers, and save her sister’s life. She’s a sister who will protect you at all costs.
Tifa Lockhart of Final Fantasy VII
There are times when this Final Fantasy lady has been admired more for her looks than her actual character. But we all know Tifa Lockhart is definitely more than just eye-candy. Strong, motherly, and one of the best companions one could ever have, Tifa deserves to be the most iconic female character in the Final Fantasy universe.
This hard-working AVALANCHE member is selfless. Most of the time she focuses on helping everyone in need. She even puts her friend (or more-than-a-friend) Cloud first most of the time. Whether she needs to physically protect someone, or she needs to act as an emotional crutch, Tifa is reliable and is someone you can definitely lean on when the going gets tough.
On a side note, who else is looking forward to see Tifa again in the Final Fantasy VII Remake?
Bayonetta of Bayonetta
At first glance Bayonetta looks like the hypersexualized female version of Dante from Devil May Cry, but she’s actually more than your over-the-top witch vixen. If you try to move past the fact that the game oversexualizes her for fun, you realize that she’s a lot like the busy, and headstrong women of today.
She’s focused on her work, but she doesn’t want to miss an opportunity about discovering herself and who she really is. She knows she’s not the mother type but she does a good job watching over young Cereza. She’s begrudging about the fact that she has to take care of Cereza, but she knows she’s responsible for the kid. She’s also serious when it needs to be. She’s not your typical heroine that’s for sure, and the fact that her personality feels all too real just makes it easier to look past her crazy character design.
That’s it for this list of admirable female characters in video games. No doubt there are a lot more women out there who should be added to this list, so if you know more female characters that deserve praise feel free to share them with us! – Rappler.com