Whether they’re sneaking around the soot-stained streets of Victorian London or battling ticked-off Xenomorphs, gaming is filled with strong women who frequently defy stereotypes.
We wanted to recognise some of our favourite warriors, free-runners, and intergalactic bounty hunters who have defied the odds over the years. So here’s a rundown of 15 of the greatest heroines in gaming!
Last seen in Rise of the Tomb Raider
One of the biggest stars in video games, Lara has become an enduring icon over the years thanks to her daring adventures and resourceful attitude. We’ve not looked at a pickaxe in the same way since her 2013 reboot…
Last seen in Metroid: Samus Returns
Samus Aran is one of the very first female video game protagonists and one of the most revered. A bounty hunter who can disintegrate anyone who gets on the wrong side of her Arm Cannon, she boasts a ferocious focus on getting the job done. Her series is so influential, there’s even a term (the ‘Metroidvania’) for games inspired by it.
Last seen in Resident Evil Revelations
Resident Evil is a horror phenomenon and Jill Valentine is a big part of the reason why. She’s been there from the beginning, fighting all manner of T-Virus riddled monsters and zombies across the series. And anyone who can hang around Barry Burton that long is a hero in our books.
Last seen in Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
Without this legendary warrior, there would be no Metal Gear saga. After all, she was the mentor of Naked Snake, who went on to become Big Boss (star of Metal Gear Solid V). What’s more, she is one of the best antagonists in the whole Metal Gear series. The Boss is a complicated warrior who would do anything to avoid nuclear war, even if it meant going down in history as a traitor.
Last seen in Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
A free-runner in a lovely looking but dystopian future, Faith Connors relies purely on her acrobatic skills to avoid the military police that keep the city of Glass under their rule. We’d probably sprain ourselves trying to get up to a roof of a bungalow, so we have nothing but respect for Faith’s abilities.
Last seen in Dishonored 2
Emily might be the Empress of the Isles, the world in which Dishonored takes place, but she’s not a mere figurehead. Instead, she’s an astounding assassin whose powers are underestimated by her enemies at their peril. We always say, don’t pick a fight with the person who can transform into a murderous shadow.
Last seen in Portal 2
Most employees at Aperture Science have been killed by mad AI GLaDOS, but Portal’s Chell is clearly made of sterner stuff. She may be silent, but she frequently gets the last laugh against the devilish computers that try to torture her throughout the series with fiendish puzzles.
Last seen in Horizon Zero Dawn
Star of one of last year’s biggest games, Aloy proved to be a fantastic hero due to her inquisitive nature and take-no-prisoners attitude. Whether it’s battling an army of robotic dinosaurs or discovering her ancestry, she’s become an instant PlayStation icon. We hope we see plenty more of her in the future.
Last seen in Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
The Frye siblings are a classic double act. Evie is the brains, her brother Jacob the brawn. But Evie stands out because of her cunning – when it comes to taking down Templars in London, her wits only matched by her ruthlessness.
Last seen in Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
While Nathan Drake might be the leading man in the Uncharted series, Chloe Frazer has been stealing scenes from him since her introduction in Uncharted 2. She even replaced him as the main star in The Lost Legacy, proving she’s every bit as charismatic (and handy with a firearm) as Drake.
Last seen in BioShock: The Collection
Elizabeth might seem like the typical damsel in distress, but Bioshock Infinite quickly turns her into the star of the show. Whether it’s helping you in combat by making extra weapons appear or just having a merry jig down at Columbia’s beach, it’s Elizabeth that turns her game into an unforgettable classic.
Last seen in Alien: Isolation
Ellen Ripley’s daughter proves she’s just as adapt as her mother when it comes to avoiding Xenomorphs. Using her engineering skills, she crafts all sort of makeshift devices to lure the Alien away from hunting her. We’d probably have accepted our fate the second we saw the rubbery beast step out of the shadows.
Last seen in The Last of Us Remastered
Ellie might only be 14, but she’s the heart of Naughty Dog’s bleak world. As capable with a bow and arrow as she is with a terribly punny joke, Ellie’s mixture of vulnerability andangst make her one of the best characters gaming, and one we can’t wait to see more of in The Last of Us Part II.
Last seen in Street Fighter V
When it comes to pummeling people, few are as adept at it as Chun-Li. On a mission of vengeance against M. Bison (the blighter murdered her father), Chun-Li’s a formidable opponent thanks to her powerful Spinning Bird Kick and ability to boot fighters high into the air. That’ll learn them.
Last seen in Life Is Strange: Before The Storm
In many ways, Chloe is your average rebellious teenager, but that’s exactly what makes her so empathetic. Hanging around with her reminds us of young friendships spent listening to music, going to parties, and using hella bad slang. Her relatability makes her the polar opposite of the usual video game heroine and she’s all the better for it.
Want to play some more games starring strong women? Check out our specially curated collection of kick-ass heroines at GAME.co.uk.