10 Best Female Game Characters

The Lists Liz Bernstein 2/4/2013 at 12:33AM

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Seemingly targeted toward a predominantly male audience, the video game world is rife with busty, scantily-clad female characters who often receive more attention for their virtual sex appeal than anything else. Here is a list of some of the most memorable female characters that stand out for their brain, brawn, and skill as much as their allure.

10. Alyx Vance
First Game: Half-Life 2 (2004) 
Designed by Dhabih Eng 

A non-playable character in Half-life 2, Alex is a technical whiz that is adept at hacking computers, repairing vehicles and machinery and bypassing locked doors/security systems. She also wields a gun skillfully, which is always a desirable trait in a female companion; in addition, she can survive a fair amount of damage with relative ease. One of the main reasons we like Alyx so much is because she doesn’t have to try so hard. She’s not running around in scantily clad clothing and clearly hasn’t gone on a Fifth Avenue shopping spree; she wears jeans and a brown leather jacket with work boots (sexy, kind of.) In Half-Life 2, her character model was incredibly detailed, including a birthmark on her neck and a small scar above her eyebrow. Alyx has a sort of Rocky Balboa meets Jodie Foster look going on and it works for her.

9. Chun-Li
Street Fighter 
First Game: Street Fighter II 
Designed by Akira "Akiman" Yasuda (Street Fighter II) 

Introduced in Street Fighter II as an undercover Interpol agent on a mission to avenge her father's death, Chun-li was the first ever playable female character in a fighting game. She is the self-proclaimed strongest woman in the world and while that may not hold true, she is well-known for agility and her incredibly muscular legs, as anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of her Lightning Kick attack can attest to (spamming that attack was a personal favorite strategy). She gives a whole new meaning to “thunder thighs,” as her thighs are just as large as fat-boy E-Honda. Unfortunately, there have been two failed attempts to bring Chun-Li to the big screen (I forgive you, Ming-Na Wen, but not you, Kristin Kreuk), but maybe in the future someone will actually create a Street Fighter movie that works. 

8. Jill Valentine
Resident Evil Marvel vs. Capcom 
First Game: Resident Evil (1996) 
Created bt Isao Oishi 

Resident Evil earns props for having a slew of strong, capable female characters to choose from. We went with Jill for several reasons. She was recently recognized by Guinness as the “First Female Player Character in a Survival Horror Game.” Jill is fearless in the face of zombie hordes and there are few things more bad-ass than gunning down zombies. A dynamic mix of brains, beauty,and skill with a gun to boot, she's definitely the girl you want by your side in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Jill Valentine has been voiced by six different voice actors, has appeared in ten different games and been in six different big screen adaptations of Resident Evil, in one form or another. Oh, she’ll give you STARS, alright!

7. Tifa Lockheart
Final Fantasy 
Final Fantasy VII (1997)
Designed by Testuya Nomura 

Of the numerous female characters in the Final Fantasyseries, Tifa stands out in VII as the most bad-ass. The New York Times hailed her as the pin up girl of the “cyber generation.” Don't be fooled by her compassionate, motherly nature either; Tifa Lockheart possesses serious martial arts skills and is tough as nails. When Cloud failed miserably in the rescuing department, she took matters into her own hands and decided she wasn't going to wait on a man to rescue her anymore. Beautiful, intelligent and deadly, Tifa is the total package. Who needs Cloud, anyway? He may have chosen Aerith, but there are plenty of fanboys out there whose hearts Tifa has stolen with her heart of gold (and her DDs).

6. Sonya Blade
Mortal Kombat 
Mortal kombat (1992) 
Created by John Tobias and Ed Boon 

Lieutenant Sonya Blade is a female soldier and a member of the United States Special Forces. Most of her signature moves involve her powerful legs; leg grab, cartwheel, flying kick, bicycle kick; and she also has the ability to stun her opponent by blowing a kiss. Several of Sonya Blade’s fatalities are a more deadly variation of this kiss. Interestingly, she nearly didn't make it into the Mortal Kombat series; she was tacked on last-minute for the sake of adding a female character to an all-male cast. She’s bad-ass because she likes to do things the hard way. Not bad, for a chick that was created as an afterthought. We definitely hope to see more of Sonya Blade in the upcoming Mortal Kombat web-series reboot.

5. Princess Peach
Suoer Mario Bros. (1985) 
Created by Shigeru Miyamoto 

Speaking of damsels in distress, who could forget gaming's most well-known? Also known as Princess Toadstool, she first appeared in Super Mario Brosfor Nintendo. Throughout the series, she was kidnapped by Bowser and forced to rely on our favorite plumber to rescue her. Lacking the overt sex appeal of most other female game characters, she often rewarded Mario's efforts with a chaste kiss on the cheek and, in one instance, a cake. Sigh, poor Mario. In Super Mario Bros 2, she appeared as a playable character with the ability to hover briefly after her jumped.

4. Princess Zelda
The Legend of Zelda 
The Legend of Zelda (1986) 
Created by Shigeru Miyamoto 

Appearing in almost every game in the Zelda series, Princess Zelda has many different (yet similar) incarnations. Usually, she plays the damsel in distress when she is kidnapped by Ganon and requires Link to rescue her. However, unlike Peach, she is far from helpless. As the keeper of the triforce of wisdom, she displays varied powers of her own and often aids Link in his heroic quest; most notably in Ocarina of Time when she poses as Sheik, a male Sheikah. Princess Zelda uses her disguise to both hide from Ganondorf and teach Link teleportation songs on the Ocarina. 

3. Joanna Dark
Perfect Dark 
Perfect Dark


This secret-agent, who made her first appearance in Perfect Dark for N64, wins points for being one of the only female leads in a first person shooter (not to mention the awesome orange hair). Jo was born with spinal damage that requires experimental treatments and rendered her unable to walk until the age of five. This doesn't seem to have hindered her abilities though, as she travelled the world and learned to fight from her bounty hunter father. She was then recruited by the Carrington Institute for espionage and earned the nickname “Perfect Dark” for her flawless performance during training (and possibly because of the skintight, cleavage-baring black jumpsuit). Joanna Dark was created by video game designer Martin Hollis, who used Dana Scully from The X-Files and Nikita for a reference.

2. Lara Croft

Tomb Raider series 
Tomb Raider (1996) 
Created by Core Design 


No list of female game characters would be complete without Tomb Raider's Lara Croft. This pistol-toting heroine abandons her sheltered, aristocratic life in favor of exploring and adventuring, traveling the world in search of ancient artifacts. Gaming's number one sex symbol is also credited with redefining gender roles in video games and opening the door for future female main characters (though Lara Croft is still widely acknowledged as the hottest). She also earned several Guinness World Records, including “Most Successful Video Game Heroine” and “Most Recognizable Female Character in a Video Game.” Now that's an impressive resume. We'll see Lara again in 2013's Tomb Raider, in slightly more realistic proportions.

1. Samus Aran

Metroid (1986) 
Created by Makoto Kano 

The protagonist of Nintendo's sci-fi series Metroid is listed at number one due to the fact that she seems to be the only female video game character who doesn't exist solely for the purpose of serving as eye candy. In fact, throughout most of the game, you might not even realize she's a chick (although, underneath the Power Suit, she is, admittedly hot). Also, she is one of the original femme fatales of videogames. This warrior-turned-bounty hunter is equipped with a space suit that features a cannon, beams and missiles, as well as the Morph Ball ability, which enables Samus to collapse into a sphere and squeeze through tight spaces. She’s a woman with a full arsenal at her disposal, so to think twice before crossing her. She can still kick ass without the suit, though and look good doing it.

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Cammy White best poser

Most of these are not even really characters, they have no lines, personality traits or motivations. Nintendo games are good because of the gameplay, not the characters or writing. Characters like Princess Peach should be criticised as being the worst type of female character you can have in a game. The one game in which Samus has a personality it was widely criticised for bad writing.

I'm glad you didn't put Chell in there because the same thing applies to her. They're just shells. At least Alyx has a personality and emotional connection to the players. These things usually turn into lists of favourite games that happen to have a female character in them.

FFVII is one of my favourite games and I wouldn't put Tifa in there, she's one of the weakest characters in the game. FFVII is good because of the interactive depth, good villains, and memorable plotting and setting. If you must choose a female from FF, Lightning & Yuna are much more significant though I don't particularly like them.

Most of the best female characters I can think of are side characters from RPGs and openworld games. Like Abigail Marston, Liara T'soni or Seth Balmore. But they still have much more depth to them than Princess Peach. And then there's Madison Paige who is the most significant female character in a writing-focused game that I can think of and should be number 1.

Agreed! I never understood the appeal, and always wondered why they added her

eh, most of these characters remind me of how shallow game writing can be. Sonya, Chun-li, Lara, Alyx, Peach, Joanna, and Jill don't really have that much depth to them, Samus spent most of her career as a silent player avatar, and Zelda is a completely different character in every Zelda game. The only one I could say is a GOOD character is Tifa as she actually has depth, struggles, insecurities, complex relationships, and also hides a few secrets. If you went for ICONIC this list could work better, but to go with actual character depth and the whole thing falls apart

Jill Valentine has tons of depth. She's a tough role model for female gamers instead of just TnA, although she has tna clearly. She founded BSAA. #businessowner lol. C'mon mannnn.....

she's a generic tough chick, nothing more. She might get points for the BSAA, but keep in mind that seems to be a point more reserved for Chris than her

Always our "The Hottest Queen Chun-Li"="春麗" wins against loser poor cammy!


Chun-Li's upside down helicopter spinning kick >>>>> Cammy's entire existence.

Anyway, it's clear that Queen Chun-Li is better than that worthless army recruit

Cammy in all ways.

Beautiful women's adoration,world chunli cosplay championship,attracts many

people's attention.

Chunli is so called the strongest woman in the world

Chun-li represents the illest image of a woman.

Strength,smarts,beauty and the ability to kick a guy's ass if need be.