The 17 Most Iconic Female Video Game Characters

Here’s a list of the BEST female video game characters throughout gaming history!

female video game characters list

Have you ever noticed how some of the most memorable and inspiring characters in video games are women?

These powerful video game characters broke barriers and made significant impacts on the gaming industry.

Most importantly, it allowed us gaming girls to play a video game as someone of our own gender, for once!

Best Female Video Game Characters:

1. Lara Croft

First Appearance: Tomb Raider (1996)

Why She’s Iconic: As one of the first female protagonists in video games, she broke the mold with her intelligence & athleticism, combined with her stunning looks! Lara Croft proves that you can be both beauty and brains.

2. Samus Aran

First Appearance: Metroid (1986)

Why She’s Iconic: Samus Aran was another one of the first female protagonists in the gaming world, challenging gender stereotypes. Her reveal as a woman at the end of the first Metroid game was a landmark moment in gaming history.

3. Ellie

First Appearance: The Last of Us (2013)

Why She’s Iconic: Ellie’s journey from a vulnerable teenager to a complex and resilient survivor in a post-apocalyptic world has been both heart-wrenching and inspiring, making her one of the most beloved characters in modern gaming.

4. Aloy

First Appearance: Horizon Zero Dawn (2017)

Why She’s Iconic: Having a female lead in a major video game with the strong female character cliche was considered a “risk” so Aloy’s character was written to be more well-rounded and interesting. She’s sarcastic and blunt making her a lovable and memorable character for many.

5. Chun-Li

First Appearance: Street Fighter II (1991)

Why She’s Iconic: As the first female fighter in the Street Fighter series, Chun-Li broke new ground for female representation in fighting games. Her lightning-fast kicks and nearly unstoppable fighting spirit have made her a fan favorite.

6. Jill Valentine

First Appearance: Resident Evil (1996)

Why She’s Iconic: The character of Jill Valentine is independent, highly skilled with explosives, and incredibly brave. The game creators made a point of making her just as compelling to play as her male counterparts.

7. Princess Peach

First Appearance: Super Mario Bros 2 (1988)*

Why She’s Iconic: Princess Peach is one of the most well-known female video game characters EVER. Although she is often portrayed as a damsel in distress, she is a powerful, playable character in many games.

When I was younger, I always wanted to play as her or Daisy when playing Mario Kart. It was nice to have the representation of a girl character. I never saw her as just the “damsel in distress.” Even now, as a grown adult, I’d proudly dress up as Peach for Halloween!

*as a playable character

8. Faith Connors

First Appearance: Mirror’s Edge (2008)

Why She’s Iconic: Faith Connors stands out for her unique role as a ‘runner’ in a dystopian city, combining parkour skills with a strong conviction to fight for freedom and justice against a totalitarian regime. She was created to appeal to both male and female players by appearing athletic and edgy without the over-sexualization often seen with female characters.


First Appearance: Portal (2007)

Why She’s Iconic: GLaDOS, the malevolent AI from the Portal series, is one of gaming’s most memorable antagonists. Her chillingly calm demeanor, dark humor, and complex character development have made her an iconic villain.

I read a comment that described GLaDOS as “the queen of insulting people in a delicate manner” and I would say that’s pretty accurate!

10. Clementine

First Appearance: The Walking Dead (2012)

Why She’s Iconic: Clementine’s evolution from a vulnerable child to a resilient survivor and protector in a zombie apocalypse is compelling and emotionally charged, earning her a special place in the narrative-driven game genre. I often hear people say that she is the best video game character of all time! What do you think?

11. Bayonetta

First Appearance: Bayonetta (2009)

Why She’s Iconic: Instead of trying to downplay attractiveness to become a more “respected” female character, Bayonetta does the opposite. She embraces it and uses her sexuality as a powerful weapon. She is an icon of confidence and being unapologetically feminine!

12. Tifa Lockhart

First Appearance: Final Fantasy VII (1997)

Why She’s Iconic: Tifa Lockhart is one of the most beloved characters in the Final Fantasy series. She is not only beautiful but well-rounded and has serious character depth. Fans often talk about how she is incredibly relatable and how important she is to the game’s story.

13. Princess Zelda

First Appearance: The Legend of Zelda (1986)

Why She’s Iconic: Next to Princess Peach, Zelda is probably one of the most recognizable female video game characters. In older titles, she was often seen as the “princess in peril,” but in newer games, she has finally been made into a more well-developed and integral character (which she deserved all along!)

14. Aerith Gainsborough

First Appearance: Final Fantasy VII (1997)

Why She’s Iconic: Aerith is crucial to the Final Fantasy storyline. Her kind heart, spiritual strength, and tragic fate made her story one of the most memorable and emotional moments in video game history.

15. Kassandra

First Appearance: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (2018)

Why She’s Iconic: Kassandra gives players the choice to lead the game’s story as a strong, charismatic female lead. Her independence, combat skills, and complex moral decisions have made her a standout character in the Assassin’s Creed series and a favorite among fans who appreciate strong narrative-driven characters.

16. Tracer

tracer from overwatch

First Appearance: Overwatch (2016)

Why She’s Iconic: Tracer, with her cheerful demeanor, iconic “Cheers, love!” catchphrase, and time-bending abilities, quickly became the face of Overwatch. She’s notable not just for her gameplay mechanics but also for being one of the first mainstream video game characters openly represented as LGBTQ+, making her a symbol of inclusivity in gaming!

17. Ciri

First Appearance: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015)

Why She’s Iconic: Even though you don’t get to play as Ciri much throughout The Witcher 3, her character still makes a big impact because of her backstory, unique abilities, and incredible power. She’s also a highly relatable character who is full of self-doubt but has a mischievous, playful personality.

This post showed all of the Best Female Video Game Characters.

Who is your favorite female video game character? Personally, I absolutely love Kassandra from Assassin’s Creed and Ciri from The Witcher.

Is there anyone else that you think I should add to this list?

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