Favourite Female Game Characters

by News Reporter

Our Favourite Female Game Characters

Although girl gamers are coming into their own and being taken seriously as a market for games in recent times, games made by a male dominated industry for men with their heroic male characters rescuing the weak and scantily clad female characters are still in the majority at the moment. Despite this there are, and have been at occasional instances throughout the video game era, strong female leading characters created and to celebrate these characters we review our favourite female game leads here.

• Lara Croft
The original strong female lead has been around for nearly 20 years and is still going strong! She first appeared in Tomb Raider on the PS1, Sega Saturn and on PC and has boosted a further 12 games, as well as two movies, numerous comics, a number of webisodes and an online slot game Tomb Raider: Secret of the Sword. Her origins and back story have changed considerably over the last 18 years of her life, but she is essentially the same strong character. She utilises dual pistols as well as her hands and feet in battle as she, especially in her earlier titles, travels the world in search of rare objects and mythical artefacts similar, in a way, to Indiana Jones. Lara Croft has been described as a catalyst for more female leads in video games following her 1996 debut, as well as bringing 'Girl Power' to video games and it's hard to argue with the lady that makes number one on our list.

• Jill Valentine
Jill is another strong female lead that blasted onto our consoles in 1996 as she, alongside Chris Redfield, was one of the main protagonists in the original Resident Evil game on the Playstation, Sega Saturn and PC. She has appeared in many of the Resident Evil games, which alone are responsible for return of zombies and everything zombie in recent times, including Resident Evil 3, The Umbrella Chronicles, 5 and Revelations. She was, however, absent from the second game in favour of another strong female character in Claire Redfield, sister of Chris.
Jill is a half French, half Japanese explosives expert who previously worked with Delta Force who was designed to make her "beautiful for everybody" to appeal to both male and female gamers, with females proposed to see Jill as a tough role model. She is one of the most recognisable characters from Resident Evil and has been described as the "best super heroine this side of Lara Croft".

• Commander Shepard
Although you have the option to select the gender of your Commander Shepard character in the three Mass Effect games, for us it is always the female version that is our choice. The female Shepard character, affectionately known as FemShep in certain quarters, seems to be a distant second to the male version of the character with reports showing that just 18% of gamers choose her, yet support for her is high. Tom Francis, a writer for PC Gaming, wanted to see FemShep on the box of Mass Effect 3 as one the 15 things he wanted to see for the game and she got this, sort of. If you reverse the box art for Mass Effect 3 you can have FemShep adorning your game, as we do, but in our opinion, it's scant reward for such a loved character.

• Samus Aran
The oldest of all our top female characters Samus Aran has been on our consoles since the 1986 release Metroid. The game came out 28 years ago on the NES and Samus is a six foot nine inch, 180 pound intergalatic bounty hunter before she puts on her powered armour suit. There have been nine Metroid games with Samus the main protagonist in all of these and she makes our list for topping the 2007 Game Informer 'Greatest Twist in Video Games' poll as it shocked all who finished the original NES game to see that she was a female! Check out here real size here. That alone makes her one of the greatest female game characters of all time.

Who are your favourites?