Last Friday, Paramount Pictures finally released Masamune Shirow’s popular Japanese Manga and anime-based video game adapted film version of Ghost in the Shell to various theaters around the globe. In the movie, Scarlett Johansson takes on the lead role of Major, a fierce and unstoppable cyborg counter-cyberterrorist field commander who aims to prevent a familiar enemy from threatening her existence and all relevant AI technology.
In light of this film’s release, I wanted to put together a quick list of 10 fierce female video game characters that are all memorable in their own right. Please note that this list does not account for every single female character of importance and is only meant to highlight a few that I have personally enjoyed over the course of the last several console generations.
Lara Croft – Tomb Raider Series
Lara Croft is the iconic lead female protagonist featured within the Tomb Raider video game and movie franchise. This intelligent archaeologist/adventurer first captivated our hearts when the original Tomb Raider game debuted way back in 1996 and she still remains one of the fiercest heroines in gaming today.
Aloy – Horizon Zero Dawn
Aloy is the lead female protagonist behind Guerrilla Games’ masterful new title Horizon Zero Dawn. As a hunter and archer living within a post-apocalyptic world overrun by robots, Aloy grows to become the true embodiment of strength and bravery as she overcomes the odds to achieve success. Aloy is not only one of the most important female video game characters of 2017, but I would also argue that she has cemented her status as a new PlayStation brand mascot as well.
2B – NieR: Automata
2B aka YoRHa No. 2 Model B is the lead female android featured in NieR: Automata. This is one of this year’s most interesting and unique titles because it deals with themes of life and death amidst a war between robots. 2B is a standout character thanks in part to her graceful combat skills on the battlefield and bold demeanor to defeat any and every enemy at all costs.
Kat – Gravity Rush Series
Kat aka Queen Alua is the gravity manipulating lead female character in the Gravity Rush series. Having started out as a character who lost her memory, Kat quickly comes to grips with her role as a superhero and gains everyone’s acceptance over time. She is a strong representation of what can be achieved when you embrace your gifts and use them to do good in the world.
Aveline de Grandpré – Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation
Aveline de Grandpré is an African-French assassin and the lead female protagonist in Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation. This title deals with the ongoing war between templars and assassins and takes place between 1765 and 1777. Aveline had the honor of being the first lead female assassin in the entire series and this was a standout game when it launched on the Vita way back in 2012.
Liara T’Soni – Mass Effect Series
Liara T’Soni is one of many strong female characters to appear in Bioware’s genre defining Mass Effect series. Known primarily as an expert in Prothean archaeology, this asari has also proven to be more than capable of handling herself on the battlefield. While she only appears on an audio voicemail in Mass Effect: Andromeda, there is no doubt about it that this character is beloved by many and will forever be a staple in the entire franchise.
Clementine – Telltale’s The Walking Dead Series
Clementine is the single best female character in Telltale’s The Walking Dead series of video games. Having started out as a kid in the first season, this innocent and sweet character went on a personal journey towards becoming fearless in a world filled with zombies and vengeful people only out to better their own circumstances. While the verdict is still out on how her story will ultimately play out in The Walking Dead Season 3, there’s no denying that she is one of many notable female video game characters over the last several years.
Chun Li – Street Fighter Series
Chun-Li is the expert martial artist and interpol officer featured prominently throughout Capcom’s Street Fighter series. As she seeks revenge on M. Bison for his role in the death of her father, Chun-Li’s strength and determination has made her a fan favorite. She is not only one of the most popular characters but also one of the best female fighters that the series has to offer.
The Boss aka The Joy – Metal Gear Series
In all my years of gaming, I’ve never come across a female antagonist as cunning and badass as The Boss aka The Joy from Metal Gear Solid 3. Snake Eater. This female soldier and the leader of the Cobra unit turned her back on Naked Snake and engaged in a tense battle before losing. While there are and will be many more female villains out there, The Boss holds a very special place in my heart due to how she was portrayed and her affiliation with Hideo Kojima’s best video game franchise to date.
Ellie – The Last of Us Series
Much like Clementine, Ellie is another character who transformed from an innocent mysterious young female character to a cold and calculating survivor able to fend for herself in an infected world. After being a key part of the narrative within The Last of Us, Ellie is expected to take on an even more violent and vengeful role in the Last of Us Part II. While it’s hard to tell what her state of mind will be at the end of the next game, it’s hard to deny how important this character is to both Naughty Dog and the video game industry as a whole.
This concludes my list of 10 fierce female video game characters. Do you have any other notable female heroes or villains that you would add to this list? Please feel free to let us know in the comments section below.