With the new Tomb Raider game and movie recently released I thought it would be a good time to take a look at some of the leading female characters. The one thing I found out as I pondered over this list is that we are finally starting to get more leading roles for females in video games. I am not saying there hasn’t been any so don’t even go there but what I am saying is that while coming up with this list it made me realize that we are trending in the right direction. Keep in mind this is MY top 5 list and you are welcome to add any to the list in the comment section.
Amanda Ripley: Alien Isolation
The daughter of Ellen Ripley (the lead character in the Alien franchise) follows in her mother’s footsteps as she joins a search team to locate her whereabouts. During the search she finds her way to a space station that of course is being tormented by a Xenomorph. This is the setting for one of the most intense and scary survival games of all time. Ripley doesn’t just have to worry about an evil alien chasing her around the station she also must deal with the remaining crew members. These people do not know how to handle a crisis situation. To make matters worse even the androids turn on everyone at one point during the game. She might not be a well-known character but she is certainly a bad ass like her mother. Who else could fight off crazed crew members, rogue androids all while being stalked by a Xenomorph? Nobody that’s who.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
How could I not put the beautiful archaeologist on the list, I wouldn’t feel right if I left her off. The character first introduced in Tomb Raider (1996) was THE Nathan Drake before he came along and just as skillful if not more. I will not argue which is better. She has been known for being crazy athletic and versatile in combat. Not only is she a physical threat with her skills and beauty but also incredibly intelligent. For a character that has spent so much time cave diving and tomb dwelling she has managed to stay in the spotlight for a long time. Lara Croft didn’t just spawn multiple video games oh no, she also received numerous movie releases that started with Angelina Jolie in 2001. Let’s face facts here, anyone that is voiced by Minnie Driver in an animated series is top notch, well in my opinion.
In a game that I thought could contend for GOTY (2017) we got a stellar emotional story. Senua cursed by hallucinations must travel to Helheim in order to save her lovers soul. It is one of the darkest journey’s I have ever been a part of when it comes to games. Senua battles her demons in a fragile state throughout the game but is not only stronger mentally but also physically stronger than any character I can remember. The game is definitely centered on her mental illness and how she must find a way to combat her own mind. Fighting off hordes of Vikings and deadly creatures whether it be real or of her own creation is done in a brilliant way. Even with her curse, Senua has the intelligence to solve some of the most difficult puzzles I have ever seen. This journey that I felt I was privileged to take with her not only blew me away with the combat but also brought me to tears on several occasions. Her will and desire to save the one she loves is truly a prime example of the human spirit.
Aloy: Horizon Zero Dawn
Here we have the GOTY (2017) in my humble opinion, HZD. Aloy is an outcast along with her guardian Rost and while he does his best to protect her from dangers, her curiosity leads her to a device called “The Focus” and man does it open up a can of worms. Known as the “Machine Hunter,” Aloy is now destined to discover the mysteries behind the fall of civilization and why the machines are attacking them. The great thing about this character is that she thrives against all odds. Aloy doesn’t settle when things are going in a bad direction. No, she steadies her aim and attacks the situation. This is no joke, she started from the bottom and climbed her way to the top, literally. Not only can she scale huge mountains but she can also climb giant machines and override them. She has a set of skills that allow her to take on hordes of bad guys or a herd of raptor like machines. What she accomplishes in this game on her own is honestly mind boggling. Aloy is Lara Croft, Nathan Drake and Sarah Connor all in one. Simply put, she is a bad ass and no amount of giant machines can stop her from finding out the truth so much so she should be getting a sequel sometime soon. If you play HZD, Aloy will take you on an emotional journey filled with incredible combat and a story that will leave you breathless at times.
Samus Aran: Metroid
Not what you were thinking? Yeah neither was any of us who played Metroid back in 1986 on Nintendo. In this science fiction game Samus is the master of combat and adventure. While Samus does get help with her power suit she is alone on her adventures and is put to the test by some of the toughest obstacles ever created. Samus is a galactic bounty hunter and is the best of the best but what puts her at the top for me is the fact that she was one of the first females to take on the lead character. Even though we didn’t know this through the first game (which makes it even greater) you do know with the sequels it has spawned. The title character fights plenty of bad guys with an array of attacks and set the stage in my opinion for the female adventurers in gaming. She is like the god mother of gaming if you will and who else can morph into a damn ball the way she can? The last boss fight in Metroid and that ending will forever have a tight grip on my heart. Being the game I have beat the most in my lifetime I would be doing her an injustice not putting Samus at the top of my list. I am still patiently waiting for the movie that has been rumored about for years.
Regina: Dino Crisis
Aya Brea: Parasite Eve
Claire Redfield: Resident Evil 2
Elle: The Last of Us
Tell us what you think of the list? Who would you add? Let us know in the comments below.