A listicle about female video game characters, yet you’re a bloke? What do you know, eh? Who says I’m a bloke? Alright, you got me there – I am, but can I not appreciate some wicked characters in games of recent years? Does every sentence have to end as a question?

This feature isn’t to appease anyone or get female votes – I just noted that some of my favourite games feature women at the helm, so I thought that was enough of a bite to write something other than a review. 

Forget about an ‘of all-time’ list; don’t get upset if a game you like isn’t listed, nor get upset that Lara Croft or that character from BloodRayne features. This is my opinion. Also, I don’t do requests. “What about the best male characters list?”. Easy: Duke Nukem.

You can hit me up with any recommendations via the contact form.

How These Amazing Female Video Game Characters Won Over My Heart (And Other Parts)

This Bed We Made – Sophie Roy

This Bed We Made Game Review - Snoopy
Snoopy. Source: Screen capture

In no particular order other than a recent review game, This Bed We Made’s Sophie – a standout for 2023. They don’t pack heat, wild arcane skills, or balance a piano on their big toe. Sophie is ‘normal’. Don’t look that term up; it doesn’t exist.

Her nuances are superb; a character too deep in the rabbit hole, but curiosity gives them the strength to keep pulling at the thread. Victoria Diamond, the voice actor for Sophie, was perfectly cast. 

The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow – Thomasina Bateman

The Excavation of Hob's Barrow Review
Source: Steam

Scandalous: a point and click adventure is already listed? When it’s of the calibre of this folk horror by Cloak and Dagger Games, you can’t blame me. It was high on my most-anticipated games and delivered with finesse.

Voiced by the superb Samantha Béart (who’ll feature again on this list), Thomasina Bateman is a stoic protagonist juggling a challenging objective with personal interest while dealing with narrow-minded townsfolk who’ve never seen a woman in trousers before. 

Lake – Meredith Weiss

Lake PC Preview - Abbey Road
Abbey Road (ish). Source: Steam

The second of my female character crushes (after Sophie), Meredith Weiss could read Python to me. No, not from The Life of Brian script, but the programming language. 

Listening to her talk with the people of P.O. is more likely to relax you than those CBD drops you just took before your latte. Her ‘finding herself’ story of taking control of her life is so wholesome, and while her father does a great job, she’s the real star of Lake.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Quiet
Source: PR

Say what you will: Quiet features here for gameplay reasons, not her attire. I have the internet – I don’t need to get off on video game characters wearing a bikini top as protective clothing in a combat environment.

Ignore the sexualised appearance as Quiet carried Snake through that game. They got the job done with minimum fuss and paid attention to the Sun Tzu seminar in college. When she left the game, I, too, exited it.

Cabernet – Liza

Cabernet demo
Source: Steam

“You can’t list a character for a game that isn’t even out yet!”. Sure, I can. My list, my rules. That’s the benefit of running your own site, as you don’t have to adhere to everybody else’s taste and do what everyone else is doing.

This is Samantha Béart’s second cameo on the list, but she’s not taking the credit as I’ve only played the demo. No, the ‘behind the scenes’ element of Liza appeals more: a newly-turned vampire that has to juggle morals and high society and not be tempted by all these cool new tricks. Where do I sign up? The same as everyone else: wishilist it!

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Yennefer of Vengerberg

The Witcher 3
Source: PR

Ok, you got me: third video game crush. The sorceress who arrived on the Venger Bus appealed based on her appearance – yes, I admit it. Shame on me. Without experiencing the other games, I had no idea how formidable she was.

The youngest member of the Council of Wizards, a royal advisor, mother and protector to Ciri, Yennefer was an absolute powerhouse and could keep the old grey fox in check. As the creator (not THE creator) said, “I created a female character who refuses to be a fantasy stereotype”. Well said.

Honourable Mentions

I haven’t listed Baldur’s Gate 3 – it has enough attention! The same applies to Resident Evil and Jill Valentine, as I’m unfamiliar with them. Then again, Claire Redfield was fantastic in Code Veronica

Resident Evil: Code Veronica – Claire Redfield

Resident Evil Code Veronica
Source: PR

Besides Resident Evil 2 (the original), Code Veronica was my favourite from the series. I bought this on release date back on the Dreamcast and regretted getting rid of it. I tried other versions but bought three more Dreamcasts over the past couple of years and additional copies of the game.

Enough about the game: Claire was unassuming yet resourceful. She didn’t come in gung-ho with quips like, “I ain’t got time to bleed”, but she could handle some nasties from the T-virus gang with finesse. Yeah… how did I initially miss her?

Street Fighter 2 – Chun Li

Chun Li
Source: PR

I’m sorry, but nobody has been able to hold their own better than Chun Li. In a tournament dominated by men, they’ve lasted the whole duration while overpowered beasts that can generate electricity take a sideline, or people like Sonya Blade from Mortal Kombat who let the young ‘uns take the flak. 

Final Fantasy VII – Tifa Lockhart

Press image for Final Fantasy VII Remake
Just a bit of makeup and some gel here…

Undoubtedly one of the best JRPGs ever, Final Fantasy VII was my first proper introduction to the genre in the days of the first PlayStation. Tifa didn’t feature much in my party back then with her stupid gloves, but the remake changed it.

You could argue that her dimensions encouraged that, but not at all. She’s an absolute badass, and I’d rather have her in my team than Barret. There, I said it. The tank was at my side at every possible opportunity in the first game; however, once I learned Tifa’s potential, I let her protect Cloud and his hair, fearing him breaking a nail. A proper bruiser.

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey – Kassandra

AC Odyssey
Source: PR

Kassandra broke the mould for the female protagonist when she took on any contender in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. Given the choice to pick her or her brother, I opted for Kassandra on a whim and didn’t regret it.

I’ve read reviews where people say she lacked character and charm, though after playing with her brother… Dave, was it? I made the right choice the first time. Sure, both characters’ origins are interchangeable, though she was a game-changer – at the very least, for the drudgery that the AC series was becoming until that point (Black Flag excluded).

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – Elena Fisher

Uncharted Legacy of Thieves Collection - Bruh
Bruh. Source: PR

One of my favourite games EVER, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End has one of the best voice casts in a video game. This is, of course, helped by the excellent writing and character development.

Pushing the set pieces to one side, our characters have plenty of opportunity for dialogue, and while Nate and Sam’s conversations are excellent, the interaction between Nate and Elena is wonderful. Yes, wonderful. My first playthrough was entirely with headphones, and it was one of the most memorable moments in gaming for me – especially the jungle scenes with the pair. Nate couldn’t have done it without Elena.

Finish Her!

Claire Redfield was a distraction. Let’s end this feature now, as few people read these anyway. It was more of an exercise to do something different and divert me from having another cup of coffee or custard cream. 

As stated, many female protagonists will be missing from this list, from big names to dinky little indies. If you want to see that kind of list, look at another site, as I can only give my preferences. I’m still holding out for recommendations. Hint hint.

Vices temporarily averted, I’m off to the kitchen once more.