Personally I believe that female lead characters in video games are underrated. While some companies believe that games with female leads would not sell well, there are many examples of excellent games with very intriguing women running the show. Let’s take a look at the top 5 leading ladies:
Arguably the original female protagonist. Ms. Pac-man was first released in 1982 and has became one of the world’s most popular arcade games. Although basically the only thing that differentiates her from her male counterpart is some lipstick and a bow, you can’t deny that Ms. Pac-Man started the female protagonist trend. The biggest question of all is why not just name her Pac-Woman?
An Operative for the Carrington Institute, Joanna Dark is essentially the female James Bond. Given the code name “Perfect Dark”, she first appeared in the N64 first person shooter with the same name. Perfect Dark on the N64 was a huge success, arguably the best first person shooter on the console behind Goldeneye. Although her Gameboy Color and Xbox 360 titles didn’t have the same success, Joanna Dark is one of the coolest female protagonists.
A member of the U.S. Special police force S.T.A.R.S., Jill Valentine has appeared as the main protagonist in such games as Resident Evil, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, and Resident Evil: Revelations. From handguns to grenade launchers, there is not any weapon Jill can’t handle when it comes to taking out zombies in Raccoon City.
She’s got the brains, the beauty, and the English accent, but there is no doubting that Lara Croft is tough as nails. Appearing in over 10 Tomb Raider titles since 1996, Lara is probably the most recognizable female protagonists. Recently getting revamped by Square Enix, if the Tomb Raider reboot has taught us anything it is that Lara Croft can survive ANYTHING.
Since her 1986 debut, Samus has been the star of one of Nintendo’s most successful series, Metroid. An intergalactic bounty hunter equipped with a power suit, arm cannon, and missiles, Samus has been one of the most successful female protagonists for a quarter of a century. Some casual gamers may not even realize that Samus is a woman. Her reveal at the end of the first Metroid game was one of the biggest plot twists in videogame history.