The 10 Most Powerful Female Video Game Characters Source:

It’s generally assumed that the majority of those who play video games are male, when in reality it’s women who hold a slight edge in gaming population numbers. Unfortunately, the games industry seems to largely ignore these statistics, which is part of the reason why female main characters are few and far between unless they are shown as sex symbols.

However, throughout the history of video games, there have been some completely bad ass female characters that are beloved by all gamers, male and female alike. This article will take a look at ten such figures as we count down the most powerful female video game characters.

10. Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII)

If you are a fan of the Final Fantasy series, you know what an absolute boss this woman is. Hell, even if you are a casual video game fan aware of the series, you’ve probably heard of Lightning. She was the first female character in the series who wasn’t branded as “girly”, but instead was branded as a beautiful, yet strong and powerful, main character. She has a very “cold” demeanor throughout the Final Fantasy XIII series, which is a far cry from the normally bubbly and boisterous female characters that normally appear in video games. Source:

9. Joanna Dark (Perfect Dark)

Joanna Dark is the title character and lead protagonist in the video game series Perfect Dark She is a special operative with the fictional Carrington Institute. She was given the code name “Perfect Dark” because of her perfect test scores while becoming an operative. Joanna is a very skilled marksman, expert pilot and driver, and also very capable in hand-to-hand combat. She has also appeared in comics, novels, and even had her own action figure line. Think of her as essentially the female version of James Bond. Source:

8. Faith Connors (Mirror’s Edge)

Faith Connors is the protagonist and main playable character in the Mirrors Edge video game. In the game, she is presented as a “runner”, who is responsible for transporting items and materials to various revolutionary groups hiding from an oppressive government. Her design was intended to appeal to both male and female players, which we’d say was a success. She is one of the only characters in video games that actually seems more powerful without a weapon then when she has one (as evidenced by the first game’s lackluster combat system). She received great reviews from critics for the fact that she was non-sexualized, and still managed to appeal to a male video game audience. Source:

7. Ellie (The Last of Us)

Ellie is perhaps the most impressive character on this list. She is one of the main characters in the popular post-apocalyptic game The Last of Us. The thing that differentiates her from everyone else on this list is the fact that she is a child. However, unlike most children that appear in video games, she is not reliant on another character and doesn’t play the role of a victim. Throughout the game, we learn she has been through a ton of emotional trauma and hard times, which makes her strength and resilience even more impressive. Firttingly, the character won several different year-end awards from a number of different outlets. Source:

6. Elena Fisher (Uncharted)

Elena Fisher is one of the main characters in the extremely popular video game series, Uncharted. Not only is she a powerful and strong woman, she’s simply an incredible woman by any standard. Elena is a journalist who is witty, amusing, intelligent, and also extremely brave, as she’s able to keep up with anything that main protagonist Nathan Drake does. She manages to maintain her composure and keep battling forward through some extremely tough situations that would make most people run for mommy. She has received a ton of praise for the fact that she appears as an equal to the men in the games and not just as a stereotypical attractive love interest for the main character. Source:

5. Alyx Vance (Half-Life)

The fact that Alyx Vance makes this list as an unplayable character is a true testament to her power. Alyx appears as a prominent side character in the popular 2004 release, Half Life 2. She is special on this list for the fact that she is constantly rated as one of the sexiest female characters, while also being respected among gamers for her strength and intelligence. This is proof that just because a female character is sexy, doesn’t mean they can’t also be a fully-formed, well-written character too. Source:

4. Sarah Kerrigan (Starcraft)

Sarah Kerrigan, also known as the Queen of Blades, is a fictional character in the ultra-popular StarCraft series. She is a Terran ghost, which is a psychic trained both physically and mentally as an expert espionage agent and assassin. She is one of the biggest antagonists in the StarCraft series. She has been praised by critics for her realism and depth as a character. In fact, Kerrigan has been rated one of the greatest gaming villains of all time and also the most evil woman in gaming. She is concrete proof that woman can be just as tough as men, and in her case, even more so. Source:

3. Chun-Li (Street Fighter)

Chun-Li is one of the original female badasses in the video game world. She has appeared throughout the Street Fighter series ever since her debut in 1991. She was also the first female character in the entire series, which is a huge deal. She is often noted as a trailblazer for female characters in video games, as she helped set the foundation for many of the more modern women who appear on this list. In fact, she is so loved by fans and critics alike that she also happens to be one of the most Street Fighter characters, which is impressive considering it’s a series that is littered with them. Source:

2. Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)

Come on, you knew she would have to make an appearance on this list. Lara Croft is an archaeologist/adventurer who appears as the main playable character and protagonist of the Tomb Raider series. She is not only beautiful, intelligent, and athletic, but also just supremely cool throughout the franchise. Her popularity might be higher than anyone else on this list, as she not only holds six Guinness World Records, but was also among the first video game characters to have been successfully adapted to film. Many people would think she belongs at number one on this list — and we definitely considered it — but only one woman can hold the top spot. Source:

1. Samus Aran (Metroid)

Coming in at the number one spot is none other than Samus Aran. Now, if you’re anything like us, when you first played as Samus in a video game, you had absolutely no clue that the character was female. Aran is a bounty hunter that appeared in the Metroid series and also in numerous other spinoff series such as Super Smash Bros. Introduced in 1986, she is one of the original pioneers for powerful female video game characters and her power is still evident nearly 30 years later. The fact that she is not revealed to be a woman until the end of the original Metroid game is still one of the most unexpected moments in video game history. Source:


Kale Havervold

Kale Havervold has been writing about video games, movies, tv and more for Goliath since 2015.