Women in gaming have come a long way since the 1980s. Back in the early days of gaming, women were such a rare sight, that in order to see one you would have to beat a game in under 2 hours just to get a glimpse of a girl. Thankfully, the current generation of gaming has a stronger presence of women, and this list is going to count down the best of the best. Now when we say strongest, we aren’t referring to characters that can lift a lot of weight, but instead are referring to the women who are strong characters in general. So to make it on this list the girl has got to be more than just a character thrown into a game for sex appeal, instead there has to be some real substance to the character (Sorry Lara Croft!). So without further ado, let’s start the list!
10: Anya Stroud (Gears Of War Series)
In a game that is surrounded by testosterone and XY chromosomes, Anya is a refreshing reminder of femininity. Not only does Anya manage to stand toe to toe against the hulking juggernaut team of locusts, but she also manages to do so while fighting just as well as all of the men on her own team. Anya is a great example of a female character that is strong yet doesn’t have to rely on sex appeal to stand out in a game.
9: Samus Aran (Metroid Series)
Samus Aran was the first female in gaming to truly shake the mold of character archetypes. Before Samus, the only women in gaming were the princesses and damsels in distress that you had to go and rescue. Samus proved that a woman can be just as tough as a guy and didn’t have to beat the player over the head with the fact that she was a female. Currently, it seems that the writers have devolved Samus into more of a stereotype of a woman, but the fact remains that Samus was one of the first characters that showed what women can truly do.
8: Chell (Portal Series)
Despite never saying a word, Chell has managed to leave a huge impression on the gaming community. Chell is another example of a girl in gaming whose gender is more or less obscured for the whole game. Nevertheless, Chell manages to progress through all of her trials due to her tenacity and intellect. Portal 2 only furthered the background of Chell, showing among other hidden things, that Chell had a father that worked for Aperture science. The fact that Chell manages to take down the evil Glados, have a cool backstory, and do even more without ever opening her mouth makes her one dynamite character!
7: Jill Valentine (Resident Evil series)
Jill manages to fight off zombies, rouge agents, and the advances of members of the Umbrella team all in the same game. Jill was a member of the elite group, STARS, which had to deal with the zombie outbreak of Raccoon City. Jill also had to contend with giant beasts like Nemesis, who put the rest of the zombie outbreak to shame. Ms. Valentine is adept with lockpicks, firearms, and is even smart enough to solve all of the puzzles that the Umbrella Corporation left behind. Against all odds, Jill never flinches and manages to stay strong and escape the zombie menace, which more than earns her a spot on this list.
6: Joanna Dark (Perfect Dark Series)
Joanna Dark is kind of like the female James Bond of gaming, and in more ways that one. Perfect Dark was the company Rare’s follow up to its super successful James Bond game “Goldeneye.” Joanna Dark’s mission in Perfect Dark is to infiltrate several hidden bases, such as Area 51. After Joanna finds the presence of aliens, the plot takes a crazy twist and Joanna ends up having to kill a clone of the President of the United States! Though the sequel to Perfect Dark wasn’t that great, it still provided audiences with the ever awesome Joanna Dark, whose father ends up dying in one of her missions. Even after all of this craziness, Joanna manages to keep her cool and stay awesome, which earns her the 6 spot on this list.
5: Chun Li (Street Fighter Series)
In the same vein as some of the women before her on this list, Chun Li was both one of the first major female characters in gaming, and also stood out as a women surrounded by a cast of men. Chun Li is a tough police officer out for revenge for the death of her father, yet still manages to giggle like a school girl after she has beaten you senseless. Chun Li plays just as well as the other male characters she fights against, and also helped pave the way for future female playable characters. The great thing about Chun Li is that many people underestimated her ability when Street Fighter II came out, which helped many a Chun Li player kick some major butt. Chun Li’s thunder thighs and pugilistic attitude score her the number 5 spot.
4: Tifa Lockheart (Final Fantasy VII)
Tifa is one of those characters that people recognize even if they haven’t played Final Fantasy VII. Tifa stood out in Final Fantasy VII do to her over abundant…femininity… and her brawler fighting style. But even though Tifa is certainly a sex symbol in gaming, there is more to her than meets the eye. Tifa has quite the backstory, revolving around her father and the Shinra company. Tifa takes control of her own fate and manages to fight off anyone who would try to stop her. The player witnesses the many levels of Tifa, as she falls in love with Cloud, who is in love with Aeris. Though Tifa has a vulnerable side, it still doesn’t stop her from slaughtering all sorts of monsters, which is part of the reason why she is so awesome. Tifa is without a doubt strong in both senses of the word, and it is easy to see why she is a fan favorite.
3: FemShep (Mass Effect Series)
When playing Mass Effect, the player has a choice to make Commander Shepard either Male or Female. Though the game doesn’t completely change with the sex chosen, playing as a Female (otherwise known as FemShep) provides an interesting game. The way Shepard responds to things is completely up to the player, which was a gameplay option that had been vaguely tested before Mass Effect, but never done as well as it was done in Mass Effect. FemShep can be strong and loving, or cold and hateful, all depending on the players choices. Yet, no matter what the player chooses FemShep manages to come off completely strong and completely badass. All of this and more earns FemShep her spot at number 3.
2: The Boss (Metal Gear Solid 3)
The Boss was one of the first characters in gaming that was able to truly drop jaws due to the way she was written. There was nothing outwardly sexy about The Boss, and throughout the game The Boss only gives the player reasons to hate her; yet at the end of the game the player will find it extremely difficult to take the boss’ life. This is because the Boss is extraordinarily written, so that even though she is one of the primary villains in the game the player will feel sympathy for the Boss. But if the player actually shows any sympathy to the Boss they are going to be met with a prompt butt kicking, as she is also one of the most difficult enemies to fight in the entire game. The fact that the Boss will make a tear come to your eye and then proceed to kick your butt nets her the number 2 spot.
1: Alyx Vance (Half Life 2 Series)
There is nothing inherently special about Alyx Vance, and yet that it was makes her so special. Alyx seems like a girl you could run into on the street, yet throughout the game Alyx proves that she is truly one in a million. She fends off various aliens and guards, repairs dilapidated technology, and all the while comes off as completely charming and stunning. There is so much to Alyx’s character that there is no way to list it all here, but a cursory glance at her would tell you that she is the daughter of a scientist, a skilled hacker, proficient with firearms, possesses a multi-purpose tool that can bypass security systems; and all that’s just scratching her surface. Alyx not only is a great character, but she is a great representation of all women. Alyx manages to leave a huge impression without having to have superhuman powers, or a superhuman body, which is why she is without a doubt the strongest female character in gaming.
Article from Gamersyndrome.com