It’s an important occasion today, as it’s the International Women’s Day, so here’s 10 female characters in gaming that deserve to be praised and respected. And don’t forget, just because it’s an important day today doesn’t mean you can disrespect women tomorrow, yeah? Good.
10. Carmen Sandiego
Seriously, has anyone found her yet? Though considered a villain, you chase the title character through the educational series and learn some important things about math, english, geography and more. Where’s Wally (Waldo) she aint!
9. Lara Croft
Ordinarily, Lara would be higher up this list. But despite the recent reboot that added a little more realism to her character, there’s still that overhanging shadow of two meh feature films and her skin tight clothing past. Thankfully, the next edition of her adventures on Xbox One will continue to cement her legacy as a true hero and will hopefully continue her evolution into an emotionally driven and important character and not just a sex symbol.
8. Commander Shepard
If, like me, you decided to play as the female version of Shepard, you got a true representation of what it’s like to be a kick ass Commander in the middle of a galactic war. Though you could change her appearance to suit your style, the red haired Shepard that appears on the flip side of the Mass Effect 3 cover became the primary version and the one that many look up to.
Master Chief would be nothing without Cortana, and despite recent events putting her life at risk, she continues to be the reason why Chief carries on. Cortana has evolved from a voice in your head to a fully fledged A.I. character with a complex story and a powerful motive. Halo just wouldn’t be the same without her, and I’m sure many fans would agree with that statement. What plans 343 Industries has for her will be revealed in time, with Halo 5 due out later this year.
6. Princess Peach
Let’s ignore the typical ‘princess in another castle’ issue and concentrate on what Princess Peach ‘actually’ is, and that’s a Princess who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty (Super Smash Bros.) or save the title characters at a moments notice (Super Princess Peach). Plus, she’s aided Mario and Luigi on multiple occasions as well, most recently in Super Mario 3D World. So despite Bowser’s best attempts, Princess Peach keeps on kicking … ass.
5. Samus Aran
Though Samus has dropped a little down the list because of a few recent problems with Nintendo’s understanding of the character (handing her to Team Ninja wasn’t a smart move, some would say, and the body hugging suit has overshadowed her abilities as a Bounty Hunter), Samus is and always will be one of the first true female hero’s that no-one saw coming. Hopefully she can return form soon.
4. Abigail “Fetch” Walker
Caught in a web of super powers and government control, plus having to overcome a drug habit, Fetch from Infamous: Second Son came good in the end to be a valuable ally to Delsin Rowe and a powerful being all her own. Her amazing neon powers are second to none, as she can snipe from a mile away, run at super speed and climb buildings in seconds, among many of her abilities. She also received her own spin-off game, First Light, which is well worth looking into if you’re an Infamous fan. Hopefully we get to see more of Fetch in the future.
Protecting an orphanage is a primary reason why Jade is such an important character, as her motives are squarely on the side of right. What hurts the most is that the Beyond Good & Evil sequel is still supposedly in the works but we’re largely in the dark as to if and when we’ll ever see it. If we’re lucky, this coming E3 might reveal some surprises, but that’s what we’ve been saying for the past four years now. Come back Jade!
The Last of Us is considered a masterpiece, but more importantly it’s primary characters are the driving force behind its success. Ellie left a lasting memory on many a players heart, as we watched a relationship form and grow despite the monsters that did their best to ruin everything for us. The Last of Us will hopefully continue in some way or form in the future, but no matter what, Ellie will never be forgotten.
If there’s one character who’s made even more of an impact on us than Ellie, it’s Clementine. This young girl not only managed to hide from the zombies in order to be rescued, but went on to be the primary character of The Walking Dead video game series, a testament to her survival skills and her ability to pull at your heart strings. You do everything to protect her in the first game, only to become her in the second, which makes what happens (which I won’t spoil here) all the more riveting and enjoyable. Clementine, we salute you as the best female character in video games.
Other Notable Female Characters: Rosalina (Super Mario Galaxy), GLaDOS and Chell (Portal), Jill Valentine (Resident Evil), Alyx Vance (Half-Life 2), Joanna Dark (Perfect Dark), Faith (Mirror’s Edge), Aurora (Child of Light).