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Top 10 Positively Portrayed Female Game Characters

Let’s face it: female video game characters are not often praised for their mettle. Indeed, you’re far more likely to find lists about the top ten most sexy female video game characters, than those who can kick ass. Countless odes to boob physics aside, I thought I’d attempt to ascertain some of the more positively portrayed female characters in video gaming today, those with substance, who might hold the title of role model, as opposed to the far more frequent walking pair of breasts (naming no names, of course). Without further ado, then, here come the girls.

10

Zelda/Sheik
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Zelda Png

Zelda has come a long way since her first appearance in the series (and, of course, it’s hard to forget the fact that all the games are named after her and not their protagonist, Link). Ocarina of Time saw quite a change of tack for Zelda, who had previously appeared to be somewhat of a typical damsel in distress type. Assuming the apparently male disguise of Sheik (a surviving member of the Sheikah clan) she was completely unrecognizable, helping an otherwise completely oblivious Link. Another disguise of Zelda’s, Tetra, also went against the pretty, pretty princess stereotype, she being a feisty young pirate who, once again, proves invaluable in aiding Link in his adventures.

9

April Ryan
The Longest Journey

April Ryan By Fractal Inversion

Despite first being seen in a dream in her underwear (as low quality as the graphics might have been back then), April is a largely positive and realistically portrayed character, overall. A normal art student suddenly dragged into the fantasy world of Arcadia, her sarcastic observations help pick up the pace of the sometimes slow point and click adventure (although this is a common symptom of most examples of the genre). However, in the The Longest Journey’s sequel Dreamfall, April suddenly becomes almost excessively sullen and moody (I mean, she renames herself Raven, for Mary Sue’s sake), the character losing a good portion of her original likability as a result.


8

Hildegard von Krone
Soul Calibur IV

Hilde1

Hilde is one of the incredibly rare (largely) non-sexualized female characters in the Soul series. Brave, strong and honorable, she goes to great lengths to uphold her family name. The armor she wears is actually practical, and even her alternate outfit – a somewhat less practical dress – is both decent and elegant. Interestingly, director Katsutoshi Sasaki described Hilde as the “most alluring” female character in the game, which I suppose just goes to show that having all the goods on display isn’t the only way to create sex appeal (that, or he got bored with all the breasts).

7

Lara Croft
Tomb Raider

Lara-Croft

I have mixed feelings about Miss Croft. On the one hand, she was, arguably, one of the very first big female heroines. On the other, she soon became highly sexualized, appearing in various states of undress in many contemporary video game magazines, and beyond. That said, Lara was allegedly originally inspired by such characters as Tank Girl, creator Toby Gard having tried to counter the stereotypical image of female characters of the day. Widely seen as the trigger for an increase in female video game protagonists, Lara definitely deserves a place on this list. Strong, intelligent and a force to be reckoned with, you can’t argue with her methods. Additionally, the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot promises the most realistic portrayal of Lara yet; Duke Nukem Forever, eat your heart out.

6

Samus Aran
The Metroid series

20070927 Samus Aran2

The protagonist of the Metroid series was made into a woman as somewhat of an afterthought, developers taking inspiration from Ridley Scott’s 1979 film, Alien. An ex-soldier and bounty hunter, she is almost always seen in a bulky suit of power armor (definitely not a stereotypically sexy outfit), and can easily deal with whatever is thrown at her during the course of the game (power ups permitting). However, starting with the first game, there is a tradition of rewarding players who complete the game with images of a scantily clad Samus, sans suit, which arguably undoes the dignity of her portrayal just a little bit.

5

Commander Shepard
Mass Effect

Shep

Because saving the galaxy is a tough job. While the male incarnation of Shepard is generally used for most Mass Effect promotional materials, many believe that femShep (as she is affectionately known) is far superior. Voiced by veteran voice actress Jennifer Hale, Jane Shepard is just as capable as her male counterpart (let’s face it, even death can’t stop her). While BioWare should probably be praised for striving for some semblance of equality, the fact that the male version of Shepard is almost always favored (and generally considered canon) is perhaps a little disappointing.


4

Jade
Beyond Good & Evil

Bge Jade Screen

Beyond Good & Evil was, sadly, rather neglected following its initial release, and as a result protagonist, Jade, was definitely under appreciated. Taking up a job as a photo journalist in order to help support her guardian, Pey’j’s orphanage, she soon finds herself drawn into a resistance movement, working against a corrupt and deadly military dictatorship. An accomplished martial artist and athlete, there are few things that can stop Jade in her quest for justice (and those that try would probably get a staff to the face).

3

Jennifer Tate
Primal

B0044107 11065310

Voiced by Hudson Leick (Callisto from Xena: Warrior Princess), Jennifer “Jen” Tate is a fighter. Having grown up in a string of foster homes, when the game begins she’s working as a waitress in order to save up money to go to university. However, tragedy strikes when her boyfriend Lewis is kidnapped by a servant of Abaddon, the embodiment of Chaos, and it falls to Jen to save both him and her world as she knows it. Despite being cynical and a little short tempered, Jen ultimately means well. The game’s writing strikes a good balance between stereotypical tough girl and genuine emotion, making Jen not only realistic but also pretty likable (additionally, it makes a change for a girl having to go and save her boyfriend, instead of vice versa).


2

The Boss
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

Screen Shot 2011-05-21 At 9.00.47 Am

The Boss (notable for her unisex name) is a legendary American soldier who is credited with founding (and leading) the Cobra unit, as well as being widely known as “the mother” of the US special forces. Despite allegedly being the game’s antagonist, The Boss had a strength and depth of character not seen in many others, as well as an indomitable sense of honor. Her gender never held her back (even when she was pregnant, she was out on the battlefield), The Boss’s reputation easily preceding her. Indeed, she was a huge influence on a lot of the game’s characters, even after her death, Big Boss stating that killing her – his mentor – made him feel like he had killed a part of himself.

1

Alyx Vance
Half-Life 2

Alyx-Ff8

Strong and independent without shoving it in your face, Alyx is a realistically portrayed and highly capable woman. Skilled at hacking and engineering and easily able to hold her own in a fight, the sequences in Half-Life 2 where you’re accompanied by her are rarely as annoying as those with other co-op companions can be (I won’t name names, or I may not be able to stop). Cheerful, witty and even practically attired, few people wouldn’t want Alyx having their back in Ravenholm (or anywhere else, for that matter). Additionally, Dog (who Alyx herself modded from his original three foot incarnation to the massive behemoth he is today) is one of the more awesome robot characters to appear in recent video games. Playing fetch with a roller mine? Fyeah.



  • Canuovea

    Those I know about I generally agree with.

    Interesting list.

  • Great topic for a list. A few have an air of being praised because they neglect their sexuality and act like men, but otherwise, great selections. The only one I was expecting to see, but didn’t, was Cortana from the Halo series. But I guess 1) she’s not technically a woman since she’s a computer program and 2) she’s more of a supporting role (albeit with a lot of responsibility. Also Commander Miranda Keyes from that series. But, overall, very nice. Great inclusion with Soul Caliber also.

  • HJRO

    Samus

    nuff said

    • d

      did you read it?

  • Charlotte

    I’m not sure that being adept at killing is “substance” or that I would describe many of these as “role models.” More fundamentally, I disagree with the author’s premise. Feminine qualities, like beauty, tenderness and compassion, bring joy to the world and should not be subjugated in the pursuit of “tough” female characters. Should we erase all differences in the expectations of male and female characters? It would certainly add to the fantastic to have female characters regularly defeat male characters in physical combat. Questions of genders roles are complex, and should not be viewed in the isloation of a few female videogame characters while preserving traditional views when it suits womens’ intersts.

    • robinson

      Beauty, tenderness and compassion are not just feminine qualities; men are also capable of these too. While I admit that gender roles are complex, video games usually have extremely crude versions of everyday gender roles. Before Lara Croft any woman in a game was eye candy. Men were tough and women were that thing attached to the end of a pair of breasts. This list perhaps more points out female characters that have become part of the plot and as good a character as the male counterparts – The Boss is tough because Snake is tough, not in an awkward attempt to make up for years of damsels that needed rescuing.

      • Charlotte

        Again I think this attempt to destroy any differences between the genders misguided and inconsistent. These examples are all torn from games predominantly played by boys. In fact, most people who play videogames (not the ones listed) are girls. Why force female characters into roles usually played by men? Because of a sense of injustice if it is not done? That is overly simplistic and treats “substance” as if it is only related to things traditionally done by men. Girls play videogames. Female characters abound. Why do we need a female character to kill as many people as male characters in order for her to be equal? This is an inherently sexist view that sees male values as the only ones that count. For shame.

        • Armin Tamzarian

          Hotdamn, you make quite a bit of sense, especially for a woman!

          All those feminazi’s who keep saying women are equal as men. I have this thing between my legs that already proves they aren’t equal in physique. So why can’t there be more differences? Because that hampers the feminist agenda of trying to make women behave as much as men as possible?

          The most important thing they are a man’s equal is in value. Every human is valued as much, regardless of physical features. Only the inside is what counts.

          • Auburn Tiger

            That was a beautiful, steaming pile of logic right there! It’s something I try to explain to people all the time. There is gender equality in it’s inequality. It’s the same way you wouldn’t want every character in a fighting game to play the same. There’s balance in the differences and it’s a beautiful thing.

          • Nils

            The 1930’s called, they want you to come back home.

          • Ennui

            But the real issue here is sexual objectification, not gender socialisation.

            It is sad that it is nearly impossible to find an appropriately dressed female character that is portrayed as a full and complete human being (or at least is on a par with the male characters in terms of substance).

            Also, do remember that characters that are created to commit acts of violence (soldiers, assassins, etc.) should be looked at as anomalies in terms of their qualities & values. In real life these characters would be an extreme deviation from the social norm which makes the subject of their sex & gender values rather redundant.

          • Gina

            Gotta admit, for a second, I thought you were gonna go off on a streteotypical male rant there, but then you didn’t so, Who, i can wipe my brow. I agree that women and men are different, but two halves of a whole; obviously right? but I’m not excluding gay couples here, because you can’t really control what gender your soulmate is born as, ya know? :)
            The one thing I want to point out about these girls listed is this: they are computer programs, nothing more…but they are hella fun to play as!! I mean, who doesn’t want to be a sexy kick-ass chick who takes no bull shit!?!? I know I DO!!! :P
            But I agree with your last point, its the inside that counts; the one thing to note about the listed protagonists is this: they all have indomitable spirits and continue to fight for their beliefs and causes. I think that is an honorable trait to continue to incorporate for future generations…even if you do have to sell the idea with a bunch of jiggly boobs…. :P

            Come on you guys, they are only games, and as long as people remember that, then there is no harm in it, is there? NO. So there….Ha.

        • Arsnl

          In fact if you check this link you will see that only 43% of gamers are women (http://www.forbes.com/2010/03/25/women-gaming-video-forbes-woman-time-online.html) so most gamers are in fact men.

          And i think that it is misguided to think that women and men don’t have certain common goals. I’m in an engineering school (where only 20%-25% are women) and i can tell you that my female colleagues dont expect the professors to start drawing little butterflies on the blackboard, in the name of beauty, tenderness and compassion. They are very competitive – a male attribute you might call it. They play the game like us guys and they dont expect to be treated differently or they dont have different goals.

          So if a female engineering student acts like a male engineering student, then why would a female assassin or bounty hunter act differently than a male bounty hunter? Its not stomping over differences, its just asking for the same treatment/competences/etc in the same line of work. And no one is forcing them into any role. They do what they love doing, and they do what they’re best at.

          These games also appeal of the demographic of women that like this sort of games. Why should you force women into playing either a male in a FPS or a bunny in games that are played by girls. Why cant they play a female assassin? Why cant a sweaty 40 year old dude play Lara Croft in his basement?

          I think the world to tending to a situation where no specific gender brings “joy to the world”, where no particular gender has supremacy on a certain value or job, where one can act like he or she pleases.

          @AT: “I have this thing between my legs” i think you meant to say “I AM this thing between my legs”. You missed a wonderful occasion to shut up.

          • Armin “certainly not a male genital” Tamzarian

            Hurr durr, I’m Arsnl and I have conclusive proof. Because the few women in my classes like engineering, all women like engineering. Sample size, schmample size. Representative sample? Is that when you try to give a present back but want to try first? Hurr durr.

            Also, I see no problems in defining a man by his gender, but when it happens with a women I get all upset. Hurr durr.

            Anyhow, back to Armin-mode. So you’re one of those idiots who dare to deny that, on average, women have other preferences and points of attention than men?

          • circlefan

            hey wait…

            i just meant to scroll down, cause this topic is not really familiar with me.
            then i saw arsnl’s six-paragraphed comment, and my curiosity is piqued…so i read the preceding ones.

            there was a time that i’m offended of how movies and games portrayed what a woman should be…i then think that our world will be a better place if females in particular will spend less time and energy in the search of beauty. however, being frail is a subtle power. and also toughness does not cancel tenderness and compassion.

            these characters are role models because they present possibilities, that tough women doesnt need to look like barbie nor like wrestlers with barbie heads. a female can portray power even if she is is in a pretty dress, combat suit, armor, or in nothing.

            productivity is a determinant of value. it doesnt matter what a character looks like as long a s it can kick ass.

            p.s. i read listverse for sometime now, and i thought arsnl is (at times) a jerk, but his gender equality comment made me smile, in a good way.

          • Kels

            Agree with Arsnl here… Armin, it’s true not just for engineering students, but for any major. Girl’s wouldn’t last in prestigious universities if it wasn’t (I can assure you, the girl making-out with the professor really wouldn’t work when there are thousands of girls graduating from that school).

            I’m a chick, I like to game. Why should I be expected to play with bunnies when I could be saving the world, or the galaxy in Mass Effect? There are these supposed gender-identities, but where did they come from? They came from a society that was male-dominant, and where we were all brain-washed into believing girls are supposed to be pretty and compassionate and weak-willed, guys are smart and tough and brutal. Well, that’s bull. I like being pretty, but I also love martial arts, parkour, and range-shooting, and I know I could take on 95% of the guys I know easily in any of those physical categories.
            Because, in the end, what’s a more valuable skill: being able to put on eye-liner, or being able to fight to ensure humanities existence? Women aren’t dumb, and we can discern between shallowly-pointless things and things of import. What you guys all call our compassion is our common-sense and preference to be just/peaceful if possible. Plenty of guys have it too, plenty of both genders don’t. So, quit with the assumption, mkay?

          • Jackie

            This. ^ Thank you for sharing the example of your female engineering student colleagues.

        • I have to say I somewhat agree and disagree with you here.

          I agree that women shouldn’t be forced to act like men just to be treated as equals – but what about all the women who are that way naturally? As all the men these days with traditionally “feminine” personalities? Should they be forced to act to their respective stereotypes, because you personally find it offensive?

          The thing is, I don’t believe most of these women do “act like men”, because what IS masculine has changed, and is continuing to change.

          You answered your own point when you said “traditionally done by men…”. “traditionally”, tradition is an artificial concept – it doesn’t actuallly exist as a law of nature, or biology, or even physics. Whatever men or women traditionally have done, well, it’s pretty irrelevent.

          My friend who I’m pretty close to is a woman, and she’s constantly coming under fire from – I suspect, people like you – for being too manly, or “acting like a man”. The thing is, she doesn’t, she doesn’t actually act “masculine” at all, she simply doesn’t act “feminine” either, she just is who she is. If anything her personality is genderless, and she hasn’t tried to be like this, and no ones “made” her into this, this is simply who she is.

          I’m a guy, but I’m not very masculine, or “manly”, and I too get the same criticism off people – both men and women. My own father thought I was gay for years, purely because I don’t act the way “traditionally” men do. But I’m not “feminine” really either. I don’t feel comfortable in the company of either women who act like girly girls, or men who act like macho meatheads, all my friends are just people.

          Me and my friends don’t really think of behaviours in terms of gender. To us they’re seperate things, if other people want to associate them together that’s fine, I just don’t see why people like us should come under constant criticism for having a different view.

          Studies have been done into societal behaviours and one thing they all seem to agree on is that in the future androgony will rule, and we can already see this happening with all the “women are becoming more like men” “men are becoming more like women” stories in the news.

          The thing is, where you’ve taken this as a sign of sexism against women, a deliberate and purposeful act that people in society are trying to achieve, many see it as a natural progression, with no will behind it – it’s simply where our evolutions going.

          I’ve read a study on intelligence, where scientists tried to find the definitive answer to higher intelligence in a specific gender, and not only did the results show that neither gender was more intelligent than the other, but that the most intelligent people of either are gender, are generally the ones with neither masculine nor feminine personalities.

          I respect your views and your outlook, but I think you have to accept not everybody sees things the same way. Some people see concepts like “masculinism” and “feminism” as acquired traits, even old-fashioned. To some of us, it’s those behaviours that feel “forced” and adopted.

          As one of my other friends says (and yes, she’s a woman too) “people are people, when it comes to personality and respect, gender should be irrelevent”.People should be able to be who they want to be, not what someone else’s idea of their gender says they should be.

          I’m not saying your wrong, I’m just saying to act like you’re definitively right, that these are the ways people SHOULD be, and to dismiss anyone who feels different as being “misguided” and “inconsistent”, is, in itself, misguided and incosistent.

        • I have to say I somewhat agree and disagree with you here.

          I agree that women shouldn’t be forced to act like men just to be treated as equals – but what about all the women who are that way naturally? As all the men these days with traditionally “feminine” personalities? Should they be forced to act to their respective stereotypes, because you personally find it offensive?

          The thing is, I don’t believe most of these women do “act like men”, because what IS masculine has changed, and is continuing to change.

          You answered your own point when you said “traditionally done by men…”. “traditionally”, tradition is an artificial concept – it doesn’t actuallly exist as a law of nature, or biology, or even physics. Whatever men or women traditionally have done, well, it’s pretty irrelevent.

          My friend who I’m pretty close to is a woman, and she’s constantly coming under fire from – I suspect, people like you – for being too manly, or “acting like a man”. The thing is, she doesn’t, she doesn’t actually act “masculine” at all, she simply doesn’t act “feminine” either, she just is who she is. If anything her personality is genderless, and she hasn’t tried to be like this, and no ones “made” her into this, this is simply who she is.

          I’m a guy, but I’m not very masculine, or “manly”, and I too get the same criticism off people – both men and women. My own father thought I was gay for years, purely because I don’t act the way “traditionally” men do. But I’m not “feminine” really either. I don’t feel comfortable in the company of either women who act like girly girls, or men who act like macho meatheads, all my friends are just people.

          Me and my friends don’t really think of behaviours in terms of gender. To us they’re seperate things, if other people want to associate them together that’s fine, I just don’t see why people like us should come under constant criticism for having a different view.

          Studies have been done into societal behaviours and one thing they all seem to agree on is that in the future androgony will rule, and we can already see this happening with all the “women are becoming more like men” “men are becoming more like women” stories in the news.

          The thing is, where you’ve taken this as a sign of sexism against women, a deliberate and purposeful act that people in society are trying to achieve, many see it as a natural progression, with no will behind it – it’s simply where our evolutions going.

          I’ve read a study on intelligence, where scientists tried to find the definitive answer to higher intelligence in a specific gender, and not only did the results show that neither gender was more intelligent than the other, but that the most intelligent people of either are gender, are generally the ones with neither masculine nor feminine personalities.

          I respect your views and your outlook, but I think you have to accept not everybody sees things the same way. Some people see concepts like “masculinism” and “feminism” as acquired traits, even old-fashioned. To some of us, it’s those behaviours that feel “forced” and adopted.

          As one of my other friends says (and yes, she’s a woman too) “people are people, when it comes to personality and respect, gender should be irrelevent”.People should be able to be who they want to be, not what someone else’s idea of their gender says they should be.

          I’m not saying your wrong, I’m just saying to act like you’re definitively right, that these are the ways people SHOULD be, and to dismiss anyone who feels different as being “misguided” and “inconsistent”, is, in itself, misguided and incosistent.

        • An Unusual Visitor

          I think part of the idea of feminism, or any equality between the genders, is that the difference between individuals is often much greater than any difference caused by one’s gender. Difference is fine, it’s CLASSIFICATION that’s the problem.

        • Bryan Russel

          Because they’re video games and video games involve conflict more often than not. It’s not so much that female characters have to do “male” things in order to be empowered so much as non-violent games being unpopular with gamers outside the niche casual market.

          Also implying that toughness is a characteristic reserved for males is pretty damn sexist in itself.

    • g

      You’re going to have to point out to me where any of these characters is presented as a “role model”.

      • Charlotte

        If you read the first paragraph of this article, you will see the author believes they could be role models.

    • Joe

      Charlotte, play Metal Gear Solid 3 then tell me the Boss does not have substance.

    • Derflkj

      Oh please, keep your neoconservative bullsh*t to yourself. I don’t care what your 1880s mentality has to say about how it’s so awesome for women to do nothing but have babies and serve their husbands, who as men, are clearly superior to them.

      Not everyone lives 1000 years in the past like you do. Not every female is or wants to be a girly girl. Women can be strong and capable without being butch or manly or as.e.xual (your censor sucks, btw). You are no less feminine just because you don’t want to put flowers in your hair or leave all the hard, dirty jobs to the musclebound macho men.

      Females in games are woefully underrepresented. Developers apparently are STILL under the impression that no one but horny, misogynist males play games, since EVERY female character, even the good ones, must be beautiful and have ginormous boobs underneath her skintight shirt.

      I don’t think 13 year old boys really need the extra incentive to play video games, and for the legions of females who do play them, it would be really nice to not be constantly subjected to male fantasy objects when you’re trying to do something fun.

      Even if the woman is not a damsel in distress, she’s nearly always scantily clad or might as well be. Even if she’s smart, she must be gorgeous and a D-cup.

      There are plenty of ugly, scarred, messed up male characters, but god forbid there ever be an even slightly unattractive girl character. Apparently a female character must always be attractive, since that appears to be the only incentive a male player might have to play the game, since otherwise, playing a female character would threaten his se.xual identity and maleness, despite the fact that female gamers do this ALL THE TIME.

      It would be nice if developers would actually acknowledge that there are females who play games out there, and there are plenty of them. Maybe we don’t want to see slutty girl characters who are valued only, or at least mostly, for their looks. Maybe we don’t condone the implication that females are only valuable for their se.xual attractiveness. Maybe we don’t condone the implication that male players should be afraid to play female characters, since it’s both ridiculous and extraordinarily sexist. Maybe you could even throw in a half-naked GUY once in a while, but I won’t hold my breath.

      • same

        se.xist that is. God, the censor on this site is ridiculous and incredibly stupid. Why have you STILL not fixed it?

    • Redhead Metalhead

      “Should we erase all differences in the expectations of male and female characters?”

      Of course, because not everyone fits within these expectations.

    • I don’t see this as “women acting like men”. These are videogames, most character based videogames involve fighting or killing enemies, any character the player controls is likely to be fighting or killing other characters – whether they’re male or female.

      The fact is, the stereotypical view that things like aggression, violence, murder are “masuculine”, and things like careing, tenderness and emotions are “feminine” is simply outdated, and ultimately, quite naive.

      There are literally millions of examples of these traits applying to both genders equally. it’s simply a hangover concept from the days men were always the breadwinner, and a woman’s duty was to raise the children and look after the home.

      The differences aren’t being “destroyed”, they’re disintegrating naturally, as a result of both men and women pulling themselves out of this archaic, mysogynistic way of thinking. But I digress.

      I’m a guy, and I have no feeling for the big-breasted, ridiculously “sexy”, 2 dimensional female characters in video games. I don’t like them on any level, and to me they’re not sexy at all. they do nothing for me. Characters like the ones in this list (apart from Lara Croft…) to me are much more engaging, and I don’t mean because they’re “girls kicking ass”, i mean because I genuinely like their personalities, they’re aspiring to any male fantasy, and that’s why I like them. You might think it’s sexist to think that way, but honestly I think it’s sexist to say “a woman is only a woman if she’s kind, compassionate, caring and emotional, and into girly things with a girly personality” because honestly, reality just isn’t like that.

      I want to add though I’m surprised Heather Mason from Silent Hill 3 isn’t in this list, if anyone wants to see a genuinely realistic, un-sexist portrayal of a female protagonist in a game, that’s the one to go for. (and in it, she’s only “fighting” creatures because she has no choice, she is simply a normal teenage girl who finds herself fighting for her life, not trying to “be” anything).

      • *** should read “they’re NOT aspiring to any male fantasy…”

    • I don’t see this as “women acting like men”. These are videogames, most character based videogames involve fighting or killing enemies, any character the player controls is likely to be fighting or killing other characters – whether they’re male or female.

      The fact is, the stereotypical view that things like aggression, violence, murder are “masuculine”, and things like careing, tenderness and emotions are “feminine” is simply outdated, and ultimately, quite naive.

      There are literally millions of examples of these traits applying to both genders equally. it’s simply a hangover concept from the days men were always the breadwinner, and a woman’s duty was to raise the children and look after the home.

      The differences aren’t being “destroyed”, they’re disintegrating naturally, as a result of both men and women pulling themselves out of this archaic, mysogynistic way of thinking. But I digress.

      I’m a guy, and I have no feeling for the big-breasted, ridiculously “*****y”, 2 dimensional female characters in video games. I don’t like them on any level, and to me they’re not *****y at all. they do nothing for me. Characters like the ones in this list (apart from Lara Croft…) to me are much more engaging, and I don’t mean because they’re “girls kicking ass”, i mean because I genuinely like their personalities, they’re not aspiring to any male fantasy, and that’s why I like them. You might think it’s *****ist to think that way, but honestly I think it’s *****ist to say “a woman is only a woman if she’s kind, compassionate, caring and emotional, and into girly things with a girly personality” because honestly, reality just isn’t like that.

      I want to add though I’m surprised Heather Mason from Silent Hill 3 isn’t in this list, if anyone wants to see a genuinely realistic, un-*****ist portrayal of a female protagonist in a game, that’s the one to go for. (and in it, she’s only “fighting” creatures because she has no choice, she is simply a normal teenage girl who finds herself fighting for her life, not trying to “be” anything).

  • Alex

    What about the main character from Portal 1 and 2. She should have at least been a bonus.

    • Ian

      As I read the list I got to about #4, and realised that sadly she wouldn’t make it. I agree she should make it as a bonus purely on driving the story.

    • Nils

      Oh yeah I can’t believe Chell’s missing.
      She should have definitely been #1.

  • Aidin, CPH

    I can think of a couple of Tekken characters that could make the list as well. A Christie or even the black sheep Kunimitsu.

  • Armin Tamzarian

    Yeah, they’re still a bunch of walking boobs. Don’t you wonder why you’ve never seen a female lead in a video game who doesn’t look like she just came down from a catwalk? Probably because most gamers don’t give a damn about character, but do care about boobs.

    Also, character-wise these women aren’t realistic either. If they were, they would spend like a quarter of the game curled up on the couch, eating a tub of Haagen-Dasz and watching reruns of ‘Sex and the City’, while screaming irrationally at anyone who comes close.

    Although it could be that their menstrual cycle has come to a screeching halt because of their apparent bulimia.

    • IMS

      After reading your comments I must conclude you’ve never met a real woman, much less used that small “difference between your legs” with one. And yeah, I meant small.

      • Armin Tamzarian

        Yeah, I’ve never met a woman, that’s how I know they don’t all look like those women described above. We’ve got enough anorexic and bulimic girls out there already, and now this list says the positive examples still look like Lara Croft.

        And apparently you agree with that. Way to go.

        Also, very brave of you to speculate about the size of my penis. You must be ugly, otherwise you would’ve seen it.

        • Chobiyasha

          Well, to be fair, the author did say she was a bit uncertain about Croft and that her main reason for choosing her was because she paved the way for more female leads and the reboot has a more realistic image of her, not the oversized boobs and barbie waist.

  • Maelini

    I actually agree with a lot of these but I would have definitely included Heather from Silent Hill 3.

  • Maelini

    Oh and Ellie from Dead Space 2!

  • oouchan

    What a great idea for a list. Positive female influences. Can’t argue with that.

    Neat list.

  • James___UK

    You used the Alyx picture of her from the cinematic mod?! XD

  • Lifeschool

    This is a good list and also some great games too. My top ten would also include:

    6. Claire Redfield – Resident Evil
    http://img3.lln.crunchyroll.com/i/spire1/99619e3e

    5. Aries – FFVII
    http://mmomfg.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/arie

    4. Rinoa – FFVIII
    http://mmomfg.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/rino

    3. Kairi – Kingdom Hearts
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_hIfZla1VWGI/SlKum5aXo2I

    2. Regina – Dino Crisis
    http://www.videogamesblogger.com/wp-content/uploa

    1. Aya Brea – Parasite Eve
    http://cdn.gossipgamers.com/wp-content/uploads/20

    • Ni99a

      Regina=Win

  • Charles

    While I applaud your mention of Jen (not many people know her or realise her strength as a female character), I find your choice of Alyx’s pictuer somewhat bad. This version of Alyx seems to be targeted towards pubescent males, with enormous breasts compared to Valves original Alyx. The “real” Alyx perfectly fits the title of the list, whereas this one has all the qualities of “walking breasts”.

  • Yardy
  • zion

    What about Jill Valentine?

  • Avid list reader, rare commenter:
    I liked the list concept but not often is a listverse list so biased. The author is quite sexist and blatant stereotypical feminist. Beauty is a defineatly applicable to this list, just as it is regarding any male game protagonist. Since when has physical beauty not been a positive? As I’m sure with any list narrowing it down to only 10 is difficult, however there were positive females before Lara croft. The Ultima series had Katrina and Gwenno, not to mention you could choose your sex to be a female avatar lead. This is early 80s here. Also least we (try) to forget princess toadstool. Regardless good list concept and decent choices.

    • Blatantstereotypicalfeminist

      I know, right? Physical beauty is definitely a positive for female characters, I mean I find it inspirational that they carry on even though their backache-inducing breasts are hanging out.

      I’m also glad to see that we’re so strong and so empowered these days that we don’t even need to wear protective garments on the battlefield. Gosh, makes you proud to be a woman.

      (I think that I meant to say that there is no problem with having attractive female characters, but that there is no need for such marked sexual objectification)

  • Ni99a

    I dont know. I personally prefer The Boss for No 1. I once saw a MGS wallpaper that has a quote: “What country deserves this much loyalty?” . I think that should apply to The Boss.

    Despite what she did for her country she was betrayed by her country however she never disobeyed her orders.

    How much in video games or even movie can you see an unsexualized, strong and patriotic character?

    • Armin Tamzarian

      Watch an American film. They have a special word for unpatriotic people: villains.

      • Ni99a

        Huh?

  • sean4712

    chell

  • Elemarth

    Great idea for a list! I like hearing about strong female characters in a genre where that isn’t common.

  • bigski

    whatever….

  • Pensri

    Where’s Elena Fisher? :

    • mrpuzzled

      Agreed! She was one of the first names I thought I’d see on the list!!

  • Suzan

    Very interesting list. Some others that I think should be mentioned are Chell from Portal, Heather from Silent Hill 3, Rydia from Final Fantasy IV, Kumatora from Mother 3… I’m sure there are many others I’m forgetting. But all-in-all, a good read.

  • Kit

    Very good list. I love were you placed Jade. I actually know who that character is and i’m a very big fan. Can’t wait for the second game no matter how long they take.

  • ashleysweet

    ohh i like this list!!! i agree with all of these (of course i only knew a few) but laura croft is known for her sexuality more than her badassness. (come on, she was freaking played by angelina jolie for god sakes!!!)

    but i think a good character who should have appeared on here was “vikki” from portal runner. now she is pretty basass, even if she is nothing but a doll.

  • cassie

    Great list! One teensy correction: Tetra was not a disguise for Zelda, Tetra didn’t know she was the incarnation of the famous princess.

    • Auburn Tiger

      Thank you! I was wondering if anyone else caught that. I miss that game…

  • Metalwrath

    Although she’s ultimately the main villain (because she was “infested”), Sarah Kerrigan from the Starcraft series is a great female character.

    *SPOLER NEXT* : In the end of Starcraft II she is “cured” from Zerg infection so I guess we can expect her to be once again part of the good guys in the future games.

  • Auburn Tiger

    On a marginally related note: a story.

    My mom: “Oh hey, Thomas. Why don’t you loan your little cousin your N64 and gamecube games? You have an Xbox now anyway.”
    Me: “Good idea! No childhood is complete without Ocarina of Time, Windwaker, Mario Kart, etc.”

    Now enter my cousin.
    Me: “Here ya go little cuz. Have fun and just give ’em back whenever you’re done.”
    JP (little cousin): “Ok!”

    Months pass.
    Me: “Hey JP! How’d you like those games?”
    JP: (completely focussing on his new PSP) They were ok, I guess.
    Me: “Oh. Ok. Well, just give ’em back whenever.”

    Overheard conversation.
    My uncle: “Yeah, JP sold all of his old games and bought a PSP. He got a lot of money for those! He’s got like $50 left over!”
    My mom: “Wow! That’s a lot of money! Thomas should think about selling his old games!”

    It’s not even about the money.
    I WANT MY ZELDA BACK

    • Lifeschool

      For a moment there I thought your cuz had sold YOUR games just to get a pathetic outdated PSP. If he didn’t, then get em back asap – kids much learn not to take the pi.ss. If he has sold them, get some bendy willow wood and practice performing lashes; I think about 50 should do. Kids=selfish=flogging=respect :)

      • Auburn Tiger

        Make no mistake. HE DID. This all happened after the PSP had been out for about a year. The worst part is that about 9 months later, the PSP was replaced by a DS.

        • Woyzeck

          Kick him in the balls.

        • Lifeschool

          Yeah, or I would have at least smashed that PSP to bits in front of him – with a large hammer. If he didn’t cry, I’d start on his fingers next. Thieving disrespectful bastard. I once stoll £1 for my mums purse and she called the damn police in – had me in front of the headmaster at school, and threatened to make sure I had a criminal record for life. You could say I’m tainted toward theft.

          • Auburn Tiger

            Eh, I just put it behind me. Sure, it was a really really dick move, but he’s still my favorite cousin. He’s like a brother to me. He gets that trait from his parents, but that’s another story entirely. If he weren’t family this story would be different. My immediate family operates on a forgive and forget basis. I obviously still remember this, but that’s because I (sadly) still miss my Legend of Zelda. Oh, and also my Super Smash Bros.

  • Joanna

    I enjoyed this list :P

  • Adam

    your too obsessed with half life…

  • Zen

    how bout cortana from halo

    • Icex

      It’s just an AI… Not a woman and not even human

  • Logan

    What about chrono’s mom from chrono trigger? She is the one that gives him money and loves him… HUH?!

  • MiSaNtHrOpE

    These are all excellent choices.

  • Lady Camisado

    It was AWESOME seeing Jen from Primal on here! She’s always been one of my favorite video game characters of all time.

    • Jordan

      Google docs and presentations work in Hebrew and Arabic, but some snedutts lose formatting when they send it to themselves and then open it and use it for the presentation. SueBy send it to themselves do you mean, save the Google doc/presentation as a file and open in Powerpoint or Keynote or view on another computer? I could see formatting loss if they attempted to view on a computer that did not have Arabic or Hebrew fonts/editing enabled Alex

  • ancientromanhamsterowner

    Let’s face it: you are out of ideas for topics. Wtf, “Positively Portrayed Female Game Characters”?! What next? “Top ten hamster owners who believe their hamsters are actually reincarnations of ancient Romans”?…

  • Joe

    What about Faith from Mirror’s Edge? She was definitely one of the strongest female leads in any game I’ve played.

    • Name-o

      Sure, Faith deserves a spot in the list of great female VG characters, but top ten? It’s kinda hard to just choose ten with so many good characters (just look through the comments and you can see there are many more). I personally enjoy playing as Faith, but she has a little less personality than the other mentions on the list.

      Just my opinion…

  • Noah

    Sister Hammer?
    That’s a bitch you wouldn’t look at sideways.
    Ever.

  • tdp

    These ads on the pictures are really fucking annoying.

  • nathan

    Samus will always be the best and original female video game character.
    Nuff said…
    But good list anyway

  • FlameHorse

    I feel…so nerdy that I know some of these. Knew Alyx would be #1, and LOVE HER!!!

  • Shay

    Where is faith Connors from mirrors edge!!!!??

  • Macabre

    Any of the girls in the final fantasy series would do.

  • RS

    Commander John Shephard is a man, and don’t you EVER forget that. They only created her as a woman to please the female fanbase. And where is Lightning from Final Fantasy 13 or ANY of the female characters from ANY of the final fantasies?

    You seem to enjoy video games and yet it doesn’t seem like you’ve played one of the best game franchises on the planet: the Final Fantasy series.

    • ConstableDubs

      FemShep’s voice actor is leagues better than male Shepard. The male voice actor has no emotion in his voice. Jennifer Hale does, and is far superior. Just the voice actor makes FemShep worth playing.

    • RS

      I personally thought that’s what made him a [email protected] You make him sound like he was a robot. He just had an “I’m not taking your sh**” attitude. I loved seeing John Shephard kick @ss. I can’t see a woman saving the universe especially when the way you’re saving it is by using brute force. Besides, the actor they used for John Shephard’s model (Mark Vanderloo) looks EXACTLY like him IRL. It’s nice playing a character who looks just like the person it was modeled after. Makes it seem like the story is a bit more believable. Look up Mark Vanderloo in google images and you’ll see what I’m talking about – facial hair and all.

      • RubsHisBeard

        Well, you’re a perfect example of how influencial media is in gender basing roles in characters.

        Men are always the ones saving the day. That is why you cannot see a woman saving the universe. It’s a foreign concept to your predisposed image of a hero, which sadly indicates your inability to think abrstractedly.

        The fact that you mention female characters from Final Fantasy shows you base one’s worth mention on sexualized traits. FemShep is not cannon because, “I can’t see a woman saving the universe especially when the way you’re saving it is by using brute force.” Yet, the sexualized female characters of final fantasy are mentionable? Maybe if FemShep dressed more sexually, finally you’d accept her as a representation of Mass Effect’s hero.

        • RS

          Though they are both fantasy games, Final Fantasy seems MUCH MORE unrealistic than Mass Effect does.

          The female characters in the Final Fantasy games all used magic, that’s why it’s easier to see a heroine in those games.

          Then again, it’s just my opinion, just like you have stated yours.

          • Nils

            Because magic is a natural, realistic trait of women?
            Wat.

          • Gina

            Well, haven’t you ever heard of feminine wiles? Or Female Intuition? What the hell do you think that is, science? Not only that, but only one man was reported a witch during the salem witch trials so can you really expect the guys to be magical? No, I think not. :P
            Nah, I tease, I just wanted to point out the redundancy of your comment…did it work?…no, I’m not convinced… :P
            (I’m being light-hearted and silly, if you take it the wrong way, I will attack you for it, so do yourself a favor, and LAUGH; :) that’s better! :P)
            Although the reason most females are magically inclined is simply because of our overall “nature” (this does not include all women, because I have met women who were the toughtest men I ever met and I know a man who is the sweetest gentlest woman you could ever met, and he is one hell of a mother too!! (he’s my brother-in-law, it’s an inside joke that my sister is the man and he is the woman; if you knew them, you’d agree!! :P). As we are all aware, most of the time, whether it be a game or real life, men are more inclined to melee combat rather, but women don’t tend to get in each other’s faces, instead we find a way to silently destroy our enemies life…spreading lies and seeds of discomfort and distrust among all…like magic it begins….see?

            So that is why women are mostly magicians, and men are warriors. It is just the basic nature of our genders, but it does not categorize EVERYONE and there are always exceptions to every statement made (my friends and I spent the whole day discussing that one, so please don’t argue with me, I know all the arguments!! :P)
            Although, if you think about it, their are some games where the men are magical and the women are just…well, they are usually nothing but npc’s or maybe friends of the main character (like Kingdom Hearts…I would’ve preferred to play as Kairi, but I was stuck as Sora…but he looked like a girl anyways, so it worked for me!!! :P)

            I think that this should be my final word, because in light of the things I have said, I don’t want to stir up “trouble” any more than I have….I just know how people are…even though I have stated my intentions to be silly and make you guys realize that you shouldn’t put so much energy into trying to make another feel stupid for their comments, instead of trying to add to it (I am SO tired of that in forums and stuff, people just don’t want to get along, do they?) Well, I do, so that is why I am making a point to let you folks know that I am not actually making fun of you as it would seem, but just trying to be a little reminder that you shouldn’t take things so seriously, afterall, its just a game!!! :P

            I’m just a little yellow umbrella in a crowd of black; I’m going to be a Maude in this life, not a Harold.

    • James

      I always play as a female Shepard because to be honest I’d rather be looking at the back side of a Lycra clad women for 20hrs of gameplay! :)

  • I would be enclined to say the girls of Chrono Trigger/Chrono Cross too. Or Lenneth Valkyrie in Valkyrie Profile.

  • ouiareborg

    ANOTHER video-game list…pathetic(Like so many here).

    • RS

      Pipe down, chump.

  • doc2beer

    Zafina from Tekken 6?????????

  • chan

    where’s Ms.Pacman?

  • Wow, I had the biggest crush on Sheik for Ocarina of time for the longest time.

    http://www.privacy-online.us.tc

  • Chris

    What about Tifa of Final Fantasy 7?

  • jjj

    Change the picture of Alyx!

  • Name

    No Tifa or Lighting or any kick ass Female from the Final Fantasy series? :(

  • Daniel

    I’m sorry, but I cannot agree that Alyx deserves the number one spot over The Boss. The Boss is the end all, be all of positively portrayed female characters just because of her depth, and the fact that she influenced the entire cannon of the Metal Gear Solid series. That’s all…

  • Dan

    I find it telling that most of these have a caveat: “well she does often end up scantily clad” or “the promotional material shows the male version not the female version”

    The one exception I can think of is totally absent: the Knights of the Old Republic series from bioware. There’s no fanservice about their tough, competent female characters, from the sequel’s tough bounty hunter (easily the match of her Wookie nemesis) to Bastilla Shan: the only comtemporary user of the amazingly powerful ability of battle meditation.

    Even the bad guys got in on the act, showcasing the only female sith lords in the Star Wars universe.

    Their femininity is undeniable but it’s not the centerpeice of their character: they’re treated with equal dignity and backstory to the male characters, so much so people never even think of them when making these lists. And after all isn’t that the goal? To make it no longer a big deal just because a girl is portrayed positively?

  • CompanionCube

    AWW HELL NAH, What about Chell from Portal and Portal 2?

    • Icex

      FPS character who don’t even talk is not qualified to be a top ten. That is like saying Gordon Freeman is a Funniest and Most Warm male game character …

  • Andi

    Don’t usually comment on Listverse posts, but I see a lot of people praising Lara Croft as the first female protagonist in a game. Lara Croft was NOT the first female protagonist in an action-adventure game.

    When I was growing up in the late 80s, my favorite game was Kings Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella. It was the only opportunity in an adventure game that I could play a girl–like me! A girl tasked with saving her father’s life. Sure, Rosella was a beautiful princess, but she took on the role of a peasant girl. She uses her skills, not her boobs, or her position of power to save him.

  • Bbren

    WHERE’s CORTANA!!!!

  • You Forgot ______

    Where’s Mrs. Pacman?

  • Gabe

    Elena Fisher from Uncharted? Hello…

  • won

    Paragon femshep?

  • Boss

    The Boss>Alyx

    The Boss can basically beat up the entire list at once where as alyx hangs onto the coattails of freeman tbh

  • Wilkeh

    That’s not Alyx Vance. That’s some sort of custom mod skin for her. Get the proper image for her please! :D

  • Qoheleth

    I can’t believe you didn’t include the T tetromino from Tetris. Really, she’s the most useful of all the tetrominoes, fitting neatly into almost any configuration.

  • NedNoodle

    You guys are nerds.

  • Phoenix

    I know that Borderlands is more of a recent game, but I love playing as Lilith the Siren!! She kicks ass with her gun skills and elemental weapons. She also doesn’t need to “flaunt the goods” and is pretty much fully clothed. Being a female myself, I think that she is awesome in the respect that she holds her own with the male characters, but she’s also very alluring! I know she probably couldn’t make the list, cuz she’s one of 4 playable characters and not the MAIN character, but I thought I’d at least mention her!

    P.S. My husband uses Mordecai the Hunter when we play co-op and he’s awesome too! Seems like those two really work well together!

    • Icex

      She got no personality at all…. This not Top Ten Most Awesome Girls In game

  • bibblybobJenkings

    Commander Shepard is a man, not a woman. It is wrong to do it any other way!

  • This might be a bit too old-school for most people on here,

    but D’arci Stern from the game Urban Chaos was more than a

    little, butt kickin, name takin’, gum chewin’, role modelin’.

  • Felipe

    Where’s JILL VALENTINE?

    She defeats Nemesis A LOT of times in RE3, I think this is enough reason to put her on the list.

  • Pat

    How does this list not have Jill Valentine? Madness.

  • Joker

    Does’nt anyone think Melena from Mortal Kombat should be on here :P

  • James

    Chell from Portal!

  • Zeke

    Really? When I attend anime/gaming conventions I see at least two Yunas and two Tifas, but barely any of these characters listed.

    • Alebon

      FFX-2 kind of ruined it for Yuna. Scantily-clad pop-stars isn’t exactly what I would call a positive image for female protagonists.

  • limput1

    what about Aerith or Tifa in Final Fantasy?

    • Alebon

      lol pheonix down?

      Also, you know what doesn’t help with your martial arts form? Gigantic breasts. Just saying, that was kind of fan service.

  • Le Puppy

    The Boss is my absolute favorite of all time. I mean she sets standards not only for women but for all people.

  • Dreanna

    It does seem as if you have a bit of a problem with sex. You obviously ascribe to the belief that sexuality=exploitation. Has it not ever occured to you that some of us women dress up sexy and wearing revealing clothes doesn’t make us victims? Please, tell me. Why should you get more respect in blue jeans and a t-shirt then I do in a mini skirt? The clothes you are wearing bear absolutely no impact on your mental or physical capabilities.

    • Princess Peach

      Sexuality not not always equal exploitation, but in this case it does equal objectification.
      It also perpetuates the rather offensive notion that the entire of the male demographic if victim to sexual desire.

      Ask yourself:
      – Who creates these characters?
      – Are consumers being encouraged to view female characters as sexual commodities (see the end of the Samus Aran section)?
      – Why are female characters often given fewer protective garments than male characters? (this would surely bear an impact upon their physical capabilities during battle, no?)
      – Clothing aside, why are the bodies of female characters often exaggerated?
      – Why are the majority of female characters presented in this manner?
      – Are female characters given the same substance as male characters?

      Sexuality can be empowering, yes, but something is very wrong if an entire industry cannot create more than a handful of female characters that have not been hyper-sexualised.

  • Juri Han

    Biased, I know; but I’d also cite my namesake Juri from Super Street Fighter 4 as a strong female character. True, she’s a villain, but a villain who’s stronger than a lot of her male counterparts and is unapologetically evil and only out for number one.

  • Alebon

    Chell.

    Why was Chell not on this list?

    With outfits being so emphasized in this list, well, she wears a jumpsuit. She completely debunks the hold violent video games have on the industry, and instead she uses her mind to completely outwit a psychopathic robot overlord.

    Chell needs to be right under Alyx on this list. Sorry, but Valve just gets it right.

    P.S. Samus is only “scantily clad” in her NES game(s?), where I’m pretty sure the only way to identify her as a woman with such low-tech graphics was to put her in a bikini. Yeah, there’s Zero Suit, and yeah, there’s Other M (but that doesn’t count in my book, that game should just be forgotten), but she seriously deserved a higher spot on this list considering just how many times she’s saved the galaxy.

  • Jason

    Mirrors Edge? Faith?

  • Dylan

    Bonnie McFarlane. That’s all.

  • Dylan

    Bonnie McFarlane (Red Dead Redemption). She was 12 on Game Informers “Top 20 Most Influential Game Characters of All Time”. Higher than all of these except Alyx from Half Life 2. They said she was “written with a sort of moderation not usually seen in videogames these days”. I couldn’t agree more. That Says a whole lot about someone who is only present for 1/3 of a game.

  • Brademmerson

    I might be crazy, but I’m pretty sure Alyx doesn’t go with you into Ravenholm. 99% sure.

  • kateydidnt

    Don’t forget Chell! You don’t see her very well as you are her, but she is the protagonist of Portal 1 and 2.

  • dueq

    Damn no one mentioned yuna…

  • Jenna

    ZELDA. Lol. I do think it’s fine that the female characters of video games are pretty. In fact, I like it when they’re feminine and pretty. It makes me feel good to be a girl when girls like that can still fight and be strong characters. (Like Zelda.) What I DON’T like is when they are given gigantic boobs and skimpy outfits. Like most of the Soul Caliber girls. I was looking for cheats for that game, and one of the tips was in the profile viewing thing, it told you how you could spin a female character around so you could watch her boobs jiggle… -.- Seriously? You can tell those games are made by men. (I’m not saying all men are like that, but it’s definitley not made by women.) Sure, there’s tons of female characters that are have a strong personality and are hot, but OH NOOO, they can’t be like that without huge boobs, fish nets, high heels, and a long slit up the side of their dress…

  • winchester24

    The Fire Emblem series seems to have an equal-sex opportunity. The male and female characters are pretty much equal. Some classes tend to go one way or the other but I’d say they do a pretty good job. Also, everyone wears cloths and no one has unnaturally large chests except Ike.

  • Nick

    Where is Elena Fischer?

  • Anon

    This isn’t the kitchen. Shame on you silly women.

  • p

    That’s… not Alyx Vance. Good freaking job. Not sure how you managed to flub that one.

  • OpinionatedMongoose

    Just yay for the TLJ mention.

  • georgiana

    son fabulosos todos no se ke elegir un besso

  • Taylor

    I love Lara Croft. I think she is a positive role model because she is so adventurous &daring.

    So what if her bust-line is big & she wears shorts . I don’t see a woman who is just eye-candy; I see a woman totally in control of her sexuality &who she is . I’m tired of people automatically thinking that if a girl/woman has curves, she must be loose, a man-eater, or lives to for the enjoyment of men in general .

  • krentz

    OBJECTION! Where the hell was Lenneth Valkyrie in this list? I doth protest!

  • Misc

    This list is kind of predictable because developers can always make positive and realistic characters whenever they want to. But will people actually like them? Not really. Most people thinking Alyx Vance is an annoying broad who doesn’t keep her mouth shut. Always talking to much and so on. Characters that can stand the test of time are the best.

  • Triptrip

    I got excited when I saw female Shepard! XD And I think Jill Valentine and/ or Claire Redfield should be on here. Awesome list

  • indianninja

    Hmmm… This seems to be getting into a war of “I am the man and I rock.Let girls be girls and know their place” and ” Girls can do what man can do”

    First of all, I am a man. And I know that the testosterone makes us more aggressive and bulky than a female and both men and women have so nice different viscera and other parts that are made for each other and themselves as well….but that ends there.

    The life is larger than the privates.A person may become fit for a job/or mission, or worthless, masterful or a legend ,depending on various factors complex interplay. *****ality is one of them, and serving sometimes big (like the job of a pole dancer) and sometimes no role (like the job of a photogrpher)

    Bottom line of the para *****ality matters for some aspects but not all and never is the sole factor.

    That is why a character must be judged by multi dimensional approach.

    This is the real life scenario.

    Now the games.

    Games can be a quick shoot/slash/beat them up with no character building and hence anything with a body, head two hand and two legs with or without tail can pass. Even a single eye may do( like orb from quake 3 arena)

    Example quake 3 arena.

    The contrast can be found in games that build characters …the whole games tells a story and a personality of the character is formed…like in metal gear solid.Most characters in that game had a well developed ,deep personality.

    The dress….. it depends on the type of game. Dead or alive as per I know(never played it) is mostly a ***y type game. A samurai armour or knight full armour would have ruined it.While in ONI , if konoko would wear bikinis , it would harm her character development.As she would then be a misfit for the scenario, her work as a cop etc.

    BY THE WAY, SHE SHOULD HAVE BEEN MENTIONED IN THIS LIST.And also Madeline Taylor from sof2.

    However, apart from dress, other things matter as well.The attitude , and the portrayal of character should match in a game.

    if the game is a light one and to be played to be enjoyed for gameplay only, then character dev is unnecessary and anything, eyecandycan be passed

    ( while I agree to the fact that MOST eyecandies are meant for men till now).

    but if the game demands to be memorable, deep (like metal gear solid series) CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT IS A MUST.

    If solid snake kept on dirty joking like duke nukem then metal gear solid atmosphere would be ruined and IT WOUND NOT FIT WITH SNAKE. While they perfectly match with Duke.

    • Redhead Metalhead

      Testosterone and estrogen don’t affect aggressiveness and such. They simply affect the sex drive and secondary sex characteristics such as hair growth and voice. The affect is simply biological and has loose connections (if any at all, because it’s variable) when it comes to personality traits.

  • Serah

    I’m disappointed at the lack of Lightning, the main character of FFXIII not being on this list. You talk about role models in your opening, the woman raised her sister at the age of 15 after her parents died, got a job in the military and was able to save enough money to send said sister off to college. Then later on she’s able to toughen up an emotionally crippled teen who had just lost his mother. And if that’s not enough, she’s incredibly amazing in combat (the strongest in the game and even the series I would argue (yes Fang has a higher strength stat but she doesn’t do anything in cutscenes whereas Lightning does)) and eventually saves the world. If that’s not a role model than I don’t know what is. Way more of one than Hilde, Samus, Zelda and Lara, that’s for sure.

  • Danby

    That picture doesn’t look anything like alex. Looks like one of those shitty mod packages that is trying to sex her up. I actually like alyx as the girl next door. Fun observation. Jade from beyond good and evil and Alyx look almost exactly the same.

  • Ralph12345

    Cate Archer, No One Lives Forever is one you missed.

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  • Redhead Metalhead

    I think it’s safe to say now that Samus probably no longer really belongs on the list. She was portrayed positively, but she has slowly devolved from her former self, and Other M pretty much dropped the ball altogether.

  • demeterschild

    Where is Chell from Portal?!?! She’s got to be one of the best female game protagonists I’ve ever seen! Not to mention fem!Hawke from Dragon Age 2 or any of the female options from Dragon Age Origins!

  • Chris Qu

    This is a fairly solid list, though I somewhat disagree with the order. The only really jarring thing, for me, is that I don’t see Chun-Li on the list. How could she not make it?

    I came up with a list as well, if anyone wants to check it out:

    http://chrisqu.hubpages.com/hub/The-Greatest-Girls-of-Gaming

  • MorbidDeath

    Hey! Where is Zoey from Left 4 Dead? She’s pretty hot and tough chick as well.

  • Cody

    No Nakoruru? she is the most virginal and mdoest fighting game character ever

  • Mel

    Ms. Pacman? I don’t really see how tacking a bow onto Pacman creates any sort of character, let alone a positively portrayed one.

  • afs

    Where is HEAVY METAL chick ?

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  • Kai

    If you find enough characters to make a second list, I think you really shoudl include Chel!

  • ANL

    i remember when my dad brought home the very first tomb raider game..for my sisters and i. i was amazed and became obsessed with that game….now lara croft is highly sexualized and looks more like a barbie doll than a female indiana jones and the games suck now…they are too easy…giving hints and all that stupid crap. that game headed south once it switched ownership.

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  • Jack

    Nice list, but I believe you are missing Brigid Tenenbaum from Bioshock. She’s intelligent, strong willed, determined, and is shown to be attractive, but not potrayed as sexy.

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  • Kenny

    The ultimate female character is someone who is more complex than fitting into any ‘role.’ They should follow /some/ stereotypes, but also reject some. That’s how humans really work. Females, of course, have the time when they went to feel pretty – everyone feels that every once in a while, especially females because they have so much media pressure. (Guys do the same thing, except with muscles – they want to feel ‘muscular’ or ‘strong’) But they also don’t want to think being pretty is the only thing that matters when the world is about to die out. They should have a flexible personality that CHANGES. Stereotypes will never produce a character who seems real. Sex might sell some copies, but a real character that people can relate with, boy or girl, sells even more. Most of the games above are all pretty great games, in my opinion, because they have characters you can connect with.
    So no, you shouldn’t just have a butch tough girl – that’s also a stereotype. You need a character who accepts and rejects different stereotypes at different times; that’s human nature.

  • downloadfailed

    Not a bad list, except that picture of Alyx is incorrect. What you have there is (ironically) a sexed-up fake factory re-skin of Alyx. It KIND OF looks like her, but the face is wrong and she doesn’t show that much cleavage in any of the HL2s and her hair is never in her face.
    I love HL2. Don’t judge me.

  • zgillet

    That’s not Alyx Vance…

  • Leviathan

    There are quite a few more female characters that could be on the list! You could probably create a new list altogether…

  • Rafael

    Great list! But Heather from Silent Hill 3 and Claire Redfield from Resident Evil 2 could be there too. They are both strong and sensible. And alluring :)

  • Anonymous

    I don’t see Chell on here.