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The Walking Dead The Final Season 3-min

The Strongest Female Video Game Characters

Doin’ it for the ladies

Lara Croft Rise of the Tomb Raider 1-min

Some might argue that there aren’t enough strong female characters in video games.

While they may be outnumbered by handsome gruff men ready to take care of business, however, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty of kick-ass “girl power” to go around.

We’ve put together a mighty list of the strongest female video game characters. Over the years they’ve battled aliens, demons and evil corporations, and possibly even saved the world a few times. Needless to say, we wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of any of these badass ladies!

Zarya (Overwatch)

Zarya Overwatch

Hailing from the ever-popular Overwatch, Zarya is a fairly new character in the world of video games. Zarya, whose full name is Aleksandra Zaryanova, was born in a Siberian village right in the middle of a war. After the conflict was over, her home was in ruins and she swore to always protect her family and friends should such a thing ever happen again. After years of bodybuilding, Zarya grew extremely powerful (an understatement, to be sure.) Then, when her home was forced into war again, she rushed to protect them.

Zarya’s spot on this list needs no justification. Nothing says “powerhouse” like a woman who can easily lift a particle cannon above her pink-pixie-cut-laden head. With a harsh childhood that prepared her for war, Zarya is the true definition of a woman who can take care of herself. She fits well alongside her fellow Overwatch heroes who almost made this list. Looking at you Mercy, Pharah, Tracer and Mei.

Mira (Telltale’s Game of Thrones)

Mira Game of Thrones

If you’re not familiar with the Game of Thrones world, what rock have you been living under? But all you need to know is that it’s brutal, and Telltale’s Game of Thrones series is no exception. It also has heaps of strong female characters, including Mira Forrester.

Mira spends her time as one of the protagonists in Telltale’s Game of Thrones in a place we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemies: King’s Landing. It takes one brave woman to survive in the cutthroat political world she finds herself in as one of Margery Tyrell’s Handmaidens, and an even stronger one to look Cersei in the eye and live to tell the tale.

What gives Mira her spot on this list is her unwavering strength and perseverance. Living in King’s Landing, as many of you probably know, is not the easiest, especially when your family is at home fighting a war without you. Throughout her story Mira does things that no one else would, like asking Margery to help her family, politically word-jousting with Cersei, and even betraying her friends, just to protect her family. She is one of the strongest and well-written female characters in video games in our opinion.

Bayonetta (Bayonetta)

Strong Female game Protagonists

Athletic, intelligent and oozing confidence, Bayonetta is a strong lady that takes no nonsense. Oh, and she’s also a witch capable of creating all manner of beastly creatures with her hair.

Armed with her four guns named Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, Bayonetta – whose real name is Cereza, by the way – likes to shoot first and ask questions later, regardless of whether her foe is angel or demon. Overtly sexualised, she isn’t afraid to use her feminine charm to toy with both her friends and enemies in order to get the upper hand or simply just for amusement. All in all, despite looking like a librarian, this is one woman you don’t want to mess with.

Fiona (Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands)

Tales from the Borderlands 3-min

The Borderlands world is full of powerful female characters. There’s Lilith, for instance, who’s also on this list, as well as Maya, Madd Moxxi, Tiny Tina, and Athena. Telltale Games definitely didn’t lose the trend when they created Tales from the Borderlands. Main characters Fiona and Sasha are two women with enough gumption for ten. Fiona wins a spot on our list, though, because despite not having crazy abilities like the vault hunters in the main Borderlands games, she still manages to fight alongside them as if she belongs.

Fiona is known for being a con artist, but as the player gets to know her they are able to see that she’s also pretty great at shooting, cracking jokes, and overall being pretty adaptive to any situation. We don’t know anyone else who could go from being a kickass Pandoran con-artist, to just one of the psychos, to a tour guide on Helios in no time flat. She’s able to make plans and adapt pretty quickly in her favour, which makes her a really valuable team member.

Aya Brea (Parasite Eve)

Strong Female game Protagonists

As a rookie NYPD officer it would be understandable for Aya Brea to crack when thrust into conflict with Eve, a being created by sentient Mitochondria hell-bent on conquering Earth. Finding herself immune to Eve’s powers, however, Aya takes it upon herself to see the task through to the very end with minimal support.

Well-trained and intelligent, Aya quickly adapts to the horrific events that are unfolding, taking her newfound powers in her stride to make the best of a bad situation. What’s even more impressive is that once the imminent threat is quelled, Aya continues to combat the Mitochondria, joining a newly formed branch of the FBI called the Mitochondrian Investigation and Suppression Team.

Alyx Vance (Half-Life)

Alyx Vance

Alyx Vance grew up in the dormitories of the Black Mesa Research facility with her mother and father. A few years after escaping Black Mesa she started working with The Resistance against The Combine, the all-powerful inter-dimensional organisation enslaving people in Half-Life 2.

Alyx is one of the most memorable characters in Half-Life 2 simply because of how much she helps the protagonist Gordon Freeman throughout with her endless skills and wit. In fact, when they first meet, Alyx saves Gordon from a group of Civil Protection workers. A damsel she is not. She’s an intelligent hacker, is rarely without a good joke up her sleeve, and would happily challenge anyone to a how-far-can-you-kick-this-headcrab contest. She’s a valuable character that deserves more time in the spotlight if Half-Life 3 does ever actually happen.

Cate Archer (No One Lives Forever)

Strong Female game Protagonists

Like a female James Bond with a touch of Austin Powers, Cate Archer is a headstrong, humorous and highly capable Agent out to thwart terrorist group H.A.R.M.’s plans.

Previously a professional thief before being caught and employed by UNITY, a British based counter-terrorism organisation that operates around the globe, Cate had a troubled upbringing due to her mum dying shortly after birth and her dad committing suicide when she was only 14. Whilst she initially finds working for UNITY a dull affair with her talents going to waste, she soon finds herself hot on the heels of a field agent killing assassin, enabling to prove her worth as one of UNITY’s most proficient assets.

Faith Connors (Mirror’s Edge)

Strong Female game Protagonists

As a Runner, Faith’s job is to transport items for revolutionary groups trying to keep under the radar of a totalitarian government. Getting caught would have grave consequences, so it’s a good job that Faith is one of the best in the business.

Entangled in a web of conspiracy when her sister is framed for the murder of a mayoral candidate, Faith must use her speed, grace and stamina to navigate the environment with ease if she wishes to escape the clutches of the law and discover the truth. Whilst it would be easy for Faith to shoot her adversaries, immediately halting their pursuit, she prefers to disarm and engage them in hand to hand combat if necessary. This, combined with her death defying parkour moves proves that she has balls of steel.

Lilith (Borderlands)

Lilith Borderlands

Lilith is one of only six “sirens” – what women with her extraordinary powers are called. Maya from Borderlands 2 is another of the six, as well as Angel from both the original Borderlands and its sequel. Lilith’s fantastic ability is to blink from one place to the next in seconds, though it looks like she’s running as fast as lighting. And as you get further into the game, she can even use fire, electricity, or acid to make her awesome ability even cooler.

In Borderlands 2, Lilith’s powers grow even more with the help of Eridium, a rock found on the planet Pandora. Eridium makes it so Lilith is able to not only teleport herself but other people, and even the huge city of Sanctuary.

Lilith earns her spot on this list for her dry humour and unique abilities. Also, the crazy psychos even think that she’s a god for a while and worship her. Who else can put accidental god on their resume? Lilith is a fantastically written character who definitely kicks butt while also being a bit of an awkward turtle at times, making her pretty relatable as well.

Samus Aran (Metroid)

Strong Female game Protagonists

Orphaned, genetically enhanced and then trained as a warrior, you can’t say that Samus Aran had a typical upbringing.

An ex-soldier of the Galactic Federation, Samus Aran now works as a bounty hunter taking on missions from them while hunting down Space Pirates and the parasitic Metroids. Clad in a powered armour suit and armed with lasers and missiles, she is a veritable force to be reckoned with, combining strength, agility and firepower. She still has a large heart though, taking in a Metroid hatchling after it imprints on her.

Morrigan (Dragon Age)

Strong Female game Protagonists

Thrust upon your party as you begin your adventures in Ferelden, Morrigan is a sultry, cynical woman that is not afraid of speaking her mind.

Being a powerful witch, she isn’t afraid of much and has no respect for authority figures or social norms, although that could also be attributed to the fact that she was born and raised in the wilds. She’s also very objective driven, seeing no benefit in engaging in activities or people that do not directly help with the task at hand. To further cement her strength, she seeks to break the cycle that sees her demonic mother give birth to children only to take over their bodies when she approaches death, granting her everlasting life.

Claire Redfield (Resident Evil)

Claire Resident Evil

The Resident Evil series has consistently been giving us strong female video game characters before it was cool. Claire Redfield is one of them, who first appeared in the brilliant Resident Evil 2. It’s because of the Resident Evil: Code Veronica X intro where she has a long chase scene with Umbrella operatives that ends with her running away from a helicopter that she’s on this list, though.

Claire is sister to former S.T.A.R.S. and current B.S.A.A. member Chris Redfield, one of the protagonists of Resident Evil 1, 5, and 6. In Code Veronica X she’s on the search for Chris who went missing after the Raccoon City incident (the incident that released all the zombies into Raccoon City).

Not only does Claire survive Raccoon City, along with Leon Kennedy, but she also manages to get away from tons of Umbrella operatives armed with guns and a helicopter. Sure, she eventually gets caught, otherwise there wouldn’t be a game, but she deserves her spot on this list for being full of surprises. We’re pretty sure she’s had no formal training in martial arts or weapons of any type being just a normal college student off the streets, so she does extremely well to survive the zombie apocalypse.

FemShep (Mass Effect)

Strong Female game Protagonists

When the whole universe comes under attack from the mysterious Reapers, a sentient synthetic-machine race that are intent on wiping out all organic life, it’s Commander Shepherd that first mobilises its defence.

As the first human Citadel Council Spectre, Shepherd is an elite agent able to deal with situations in any way she deems necessary, although this status lapses after she dies and is subsequently rebuilt by an organisation named Cerberus. Not one to let death hold her back, Shepherd uses her strength, charisma and leadership skills to build a diverse and dependable crew, travelling through the Galaxy in order to put a stop to the Reapers once and for all.

Jill Valentine (Resident Evil)

Jill Valentine Resi

Jill Valentine is featured as the protagonist in Resident Evil 1 and 3, and also as a side character in Resident Evil 5. In Resident Evil 1, she is all alone for the majority of the game, in a mansion full of zombies, monsters and traps threatening to kill her constantly. Though she deserves a spot on this list just for dealing with Barry “you were almost a Jill sandwich” Burton throughout the game.

It’s Resident Evil 3 where she really proves her worth, though. She survives an entire city filled with zombies, and also a horrifying monster programmed to killed all S.T.A.R.S. members. The ugly Nemesis follows her around, lamenting his hatred of “STAAARRRSSS” the majority of the game.

Jill isn’t playable in Resident Evil 5, but still plays a pivotal role. Chris Redfield discovers that Albert Wesker (the fabulously hair-gelled baddie in many of the games) has brainwashed Jill and is using her as a weapon. Jill kicks ass as a brainwashed spider crazy chick, and after such a traumatic event, still manages to toss Chris the classic Resident Evil rocket launcher that kills Wesker once and for all. And who doesn’t love a girl who can pull off all-over spandex?

Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)

Strong Female game Protagonists

First in 1997 and then again in the Tomb Raider reboot in 2012, we met Lara Croft – a spunky young woman with an insatiable taste for adventure. Determined to follow in her father’s footsteps and uncover secrets of civilisations past, archaeologist Lara is willing to put herself through all kinds of ordeals to get what she wants.

Climbing up cliff faces with no safety harness? No problem. Wrestling with wolves? Sure, why not! Single-handedly taking out a horde of armed criminals? Easy peasy. Lara Croft is far from your average woman, and nothing is too hard-going for this intrepid adventurer.

Amanda Ripley (Alien Isolation)

Strong Female game Protagonists

With Amanda Ripley just 10 years old when her mum Ellen disappeared, she had to be strong. Now working as an engineer for Weyland-Yutani, she jumps at the chance to seek some closure when she hears that the flight recorder from the Nostromo, her mother’s last known location, has been recovered.

Arriving on the Anesidora where the flight recorder is currently being held, it is instantly clear that something isn’t quite right and Amanda is quickly ensnared in a battle for her life. With the ship’s androids turned hostile and an overbearing alien creature hunting her down, Amanda has to use stealth, cunning and sometimes extreme force in order to survive. Given the strength, speed and sheer ferociousness of the alien, that’s no easy task.

Ada Wong (Resident Evil)

Ada Wong Resi

Ada Wong is the very definition of a strong female video game character. She’s a “I don’t care what you think, I’m hot and could choke you out in under 10 seconds and don’t even have to take my heels off” kind of woman.

In Resident Evil 2, Ada survives a near-death experience towards the end of the game. And in Resident Evil 4 she manages to betray the Umbrella Corporation without them even figuring it out until she shoots Albert Wesker in the face to help Leon. Even in Resident Evil 6, where Leon plays the damsel in distress on more than one occasion, Ada comes to the rescue.

Ada is beautiful, powerful, clever and genuinely one of the best characters of the Resident Evil series. Even if her good guy/bad guy status has a fickle tendency to flip flop with her mood.

Ellie (The Last of Us)

Strong Female Protagonists

She might only be young, but don’t let that fool you: The Last of Us‘ Ellie can certainly pack a mighty punch.

Born after the outbreak of deadly Cordyceps, Ellie’s not exactly had a normal childhood, growing up in safe zones in a world destroyed by a parasitic virus. Obviously, to survive in such an environment, you’ve got to be tough – and Ellie certainly is.

Taken under Joel’s wing as he tries to take her to safety, Ellie comes into her own, showing off her impressive firearm and survival skills coupled with her unwavering braveness in the face of constant danger. Let’s not also forget that Ellie also holds the key to the survival of the human race – and is willing to sacrifice herself for the sake of the world. You can’t get much stronger than that, can you?

Clementine (Telltale’s The Walking Dead)

Walking Dead 3 2

As the star of Telltale’s The Walking Dead video game series, Clementine has had to work her way up to be the brave, zombie-killing woman that she is today. And she earned her powerhouse title through her strength of character, not strength of muscle. Though that isn’t to say that she can’t hold her own with a weapon. She’s got better aim than a lot of the adults she encounters.

One of Clementine’s standout moments is in the first episode of season 2, where she stumbles upon a group of survivors who are convinced that she’s been bitten by a walker. Locking her away in their shed overnight in case she turns, little did they know that she’s freaking awesome and would manage to not only escape, but also sneak into their house, collect things to dress her wound, and then sneak back into the shed. It’s at that point that she is attacked by a walker. After she dispatches it, she utters the line “still not bitten”, which is one of the most powerful lines of the entire season.

Yup, Clementine is definitely one of the most strongest women in video games.

Ciri (The Witcher)

Witcher 3 2-min

Ciri is a playable character in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, but she’s also featured in the other Witcher games as well. As an infant, Ciri was suddenly without her parents when they were lost at sea, and from then on she was cared for by her grandmother. She soon became the protagonist Geralt’s adoptive daughter, and he trained her to fight at a very young age.

The reason that Ciri is on this list is not only because of her fantastic skills, but because of how much she really cares about people. At the end of The Witcher 3, Ciri has to make a very difficult decision to help herself or to help the many. The choice she makes is selfless and shows just how strong she is. Ciri represents all the beautiful qualities of every woman on this list. She’s strong, powerful, caring, funny, adaptive, and many other things, making her quite possibly the strongest female character ever put in a video game.

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