With the recent release of the Tomb Raider revamp, gaming has once again proven that it knows how to create strong women. Of course, while she is easily the most successful, Lara Croft is not the only woman to show just how ridiculously awesome women in gaming can be. So, in order to prove just how un-awesome guys like Kratos and Marcus Fenix are in comparison, here the 10 most kickass ladies in the history of gaming.
1. Lara Croft - Tomb Raider
Conclusive evidence that games do not always need to revolve around bulky males, Lara Croft is a legit tomb-raiding badass. Her beauty was toned down in the most recent incarnation, which makes a statement about how gorgeous women aren’t taken seriously in our culture, but Lara Croft is still a true legend and the premier relic hunter (sorry, Indy).
2. Chun Li - Street Fighter
Street Fighter could have easily ended with Ryu, Ken and their Hadoukens; the one to change that was Chun Li, the series’ first female. With blinding fast kicks and fearlessness when facing ridiculously larger opponents, this undercover Interpol agent brought the feminine touch to fighting games … and then proceeded to kill with it.
3. Samus Aran – Metroid
Intergalactic warrior? Check. A ridiculously cool set of armor with semi-transparent helmet? Check. More weapons than an average platoon of soldiers? Check. Essentially, everything Master Chief had in Halo, Samus Aran had years before. And she doesn’t even need a computer program to guide her before she goes out and kills like no other.
4. Master Lishao Tao – Shenmue
Our protagonist, a gifted martial artist from Japan, must have felt pretty confident that he could take down the ancient criminal syndicate known as the Chiyoumen. Of course, that was before he failed to even touch Master Lishao Tao in a sparring session. When she did decide to attack him, the master used a pressure point to demonstrate how she could have killed him in less than five seconds; yeah, she’s that good.
5. Ada Wong - Resident Evil
She’s fought cults and zombies and trained killers and evil millionaires. In short, there really isn’t anything Special Agent Ada Wong isn’t capable of surviving. Her loyalties are never quite clear but one thing is certain: stand in her way and it doesn’t matter who you are, you’re already dead.
6. GLaDOS – Portal
She gave you your Aperture Science Portal Handheld device, tried to help you finish all your exams and even arranged for a birthday party with cake; you responded by attempting to destroy her. Of course she was going to mad and try to kill you. Sure, she’s just a computer, but she has feelings too. And don’t hold her attempts to kill you against her; as GLaDOS says, “Your entire life has been a mathematical error ... a mathematical error I'm about to correct.” And yes, she means it; just ask her battle turrets.
7. Morrigan – Dragon Age
She is a feared witch, has all the wit in the world and kind of looks like Lizbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; what more could you ask for in a travel companion? As the most vicious spell-caster in the history of the empire, Morrigan is a good friend and a deadly foe; just ask any of the mortal that dare cross her path. Oh, wait, you can’t ask them because they’re dead.
8. Rubi - Wet
Voiced by Eliza Dushku, Rubi has essentially been thrown into a world that has as much violence as a 1970’s martial arts movie. However, before you start to feel bad for her, understand that Rubi has a sword, two guns and more acrobatic moves than a Ninja. In just a couple of seconds, the entire screen devolves into a frenzy of blood and bones, at which point we realize that it is not Rubi but her opponents that we need to feel sorry for.
9. Bonnie MacFarlane - Red Dead Redemption
Few women can rock a dress and a gun while driving a horse carriage and scaring off bandits; for Bonnie MacFarlane, that’s just a slow Saturday morning. If you need any more proof of how tough she is, after she’s nearly hanged, Ms. MacFarlane just says, “If you think I'm going to lower myself by making a joke about being 'all tied up' - you've got another thing comin’.”
10. Lightning - Final Fantasy
In a series dominated largely by egregious shows of women either crying or being relegated to “healing” roles, Lightning is a breath of fresh air; a sword-wielding, army-leading, blood-shedding breath of fresh air. It says something about the iconic series that it took 13 complete installments for a female character to truly be the leader but after looking at how ridiculously awesome Lightning is, it was well worth the wait.
Of course, this is merely a condensed list that can go on for pages and there are many more ladies in gaming that could easily knock that moustache off Mario’s face so be sure to share your favorites in the comments below.