I would be the first to agree that the fairer sex has not always been fairly represented in the video game world. In recent years, it seems the balance between male and female characters has become a little more even, but all too often, and especially in gaming’s earlier days, female characters have simply been depicted as absurdly one-dimensional characters whose only purpose is to give teenage boys something to ogle. It’s no wonder women can find gaming to be an off-putting place — and if gaming wants to be as respected as films, television, and books, it needs to work hard to show that the days of female warriors wearing metal bikinis are behind it.

I believe that, whilst there seems to be an over abundance of male video game characters on the surface, there are also plenty of female video game characters who are every bit as cool, confident, interesting, and bad-ass as the their male counterparts. I think that in the last decade or so gaming has made some hugely progressive strides in equality, and gaming is often right on the forefront these days when it comes to not just gender equality, but also racial equality and same-sex relationships. Just look at the criticism gamers fired at Nintendo when they said there would be no same-sex marriage in the recent life simulator game Tomodachi Life.

With all this in mind, here’s a selection of female video game characters I believe are every bit as awesome as the best male video game characters. When choosing my selection, I had a few criteria in mind. First, they can’t spend the entire game dressed in a skimpy outfit for no practical reason. If I were a woman going up against say, a dragon, I wouldn’t choose to do it in an armour bikini that showed off my perfectly flat stomach.

Second, they don’t make this list just because they’re female. Don’t get me wrong: the early Tomb Raider games were great, but at the end of the day, Lara Croft was really just a rich English woman who spent her free time swiping artefacts and blowing up ancient temples. I imagine the local tribes all run for the hills when they hear that Lara is headed to their remote neck of the woods. Lara isn’t exactly a role model and that’s another important factor here. These ladies don’t need to just kick ass, they need to be fleshed out and have personalities and motives that allow them to kick ass for a reason you can understand and identify with rather than just because they can. These characters are the sort of heroines you’d want your daughter to grow up admiring not just because they’re female or because they’re in a popular game, but because they are awesome, complex characters you’ll remember long after you’ve finished the credits have rolled. So without further ado, here’s this author’s top ten female characters in gaming. (Warning! Here there be spoilers!)

10. Farah – Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

In the early 2000s, Ubisoft decided to totally reboot the Prince of Persia video game series and boy, did they succeed. 2003’s The Sands of Time was one of the best games released that year and one of the best PS2 games of all time. Many more games were released after its success, but we’re going to stick with The Sands of Time because that game featured the mysterious Princess Farah who aided our hero, the Prince, and proved to be an essential ally.

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The Sands of Time put us in the pantaloons of the wall-running Prince. After his father invaded a city and discovered the infamous Sands of Time, the King’s evil Vizier tricked him and the Prince into unleashing the sands, which in turn wrecked the city and transformed everyone it touched into bloodthirsty sand monsters. Realising the part he played in unleashing the ravaging sands, our Prince gained the Dagger of Time, which had the useful ability to rewind time, and embarked on a quest to undo the destruction he helped cause.

Not long into his mission, the Prince encountered Farah, the daughter of the King whose city the Prince and his father not only conquered but unwittingly doomed. Initially and understandably, Farah was hostile towards the Prince, but once she realised they share a common enemy, Farah put her grievances aside and used her knowledge of the city and her keen skills with a bow to aid the Prince and help him take down the Vizier.

The writing team behind The Sands of Time deserved some serious credit. Not only was the game a fantastic action-adventure game, it’s a unique story that revolves around two characters you really come to care about. The story was paced perfectly and the characters dialogue was relatable, as well as humorous. Farah was not a dim-witted damsel in distress who fell for our Prince at first sight; in fact, she pretty much despised our Prince at first and he wasn’t thrilled to be stuck with her, either.

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Another feature that made Farah a great character was the effect she has on the Prince. Initially, the Prince was cocky and over confident from a life of luxury. He often gave little thought to the people around him and many of his actions were based on instinct, despite any warnings his brain might have been sending him. He’s not a bad guy by any means, but his easy life had certainly left him ignorant. Although he seemed to be full of bravado and had an answer for everything, you could tell he’s just a young guy who’s suddenly not feeling as secure as he once did.

Farah, on the other hand, was a smart, cautious woman who understood that rushing in wasn’t always the best option. Her words obviously resonated with the Prince and had him reevaluating some of his actions. It’s clear by the end of the game that, after some wise words and a few arguments, Farah’s influence had a lasting effect on the Prince. What made the relationship between the Prince and Farah so great was how believable it is. They’re both young and confident and, rather than being all soppy and stupid, they bantered their way across the ruined city, taking shots at each other and pushing each other’s skills. Farah never let the Prince outdo her and many times, it was only by her help that he was able to get to the next point in their quest.

9. Dr Clark, a.k.a., Para-Medic – Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

No one can dispute the fact that Metal Gear Solid 3 was a fantastic game. It had beautiful graphics, innovative gameplay, and a detailed story filled with memorable characters. One of these characters was a member of Snake’s support team who could be called via the codec to provide information, as well as the opportunity to save the game. Dr Clark, or Para-Medic as she was more commonly known, provided Snake with radio support in aspects that related to medicine and advice on the local flora and fauna that Snake could use to his advantage.

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Para-Medic not only gave us advice on how to stay alive as we explored the jungles of Russia, but she also provided some relief from the often gritty and deep story that Metal Gear Solid 3 told. After saving your game, Para-Medic often talked to Snake about topics unrelated to his mission and would nearly always told him about films he needed to check out and chastised him for his complete lack of awareness when it came to popular culture. Putting these humorous interactions at the end of saving your game was a stroke of genius by the developers. When you saved your game, it was often because you were done playing for the day, after going through the emotional journey that was Metal Gear Solid 3, these funny conversations were a great way to clear your emotional palette and resume your day. They also served to add more detail to the characters and allowed you to learn more about them which really brings them to life. Considering you only interact with your support team via your codec, the developers did a great job at making you care as much about them as you did the characters you physically encountered.

Despite her humour, Para-Medic also knew her facts when it came to Snake’s health and the wildlife he would encounter whilst on his mission. Calling Para-Medic would get her to give Snake advice based on the situation he was currently in and could prove life saving during boss fights. She would give Snake tips on the best way to treat his wounds whether they be burns, broken bones, poison, or gunshot wounds. As well as medical support, Para-Medic also provided Snake with information on the flora and fauna that inhabited the jungle which could be used by Snake to eat, use as medicine, or distract guards with. Upon capturing, let’s say, a Reticulated Python, you can give Para-Medic a call and she’ll give you information regarding the creature, as well as letting you know if it’s worth eating to restore you stamina. You can learn more about any animals or plants you find in the game from Para-Medic and she’ll also give Snake advice on the different climates and locations he finds himself in, whether it be swamplands or the cold mountains.

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Not only did Para-Medic help Snake when it came his health and the nature around him, but her wit and humour also provided Snake with a respite from the intense challenges that faced him at every turn. Her positive can-do attitude was also a great help to us gamers as we made our way through the gritty but fantastic game that was Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.

8. Samantha Byrne – Gears of War 3
The first two Gears of War games were massive testosterone-fueled sausage fests that only allowed players to fight as big burly men. If you wanted to kick ass as the fairer sex, you were out of luck. Fortunately, this changed in Gears of War 3 when Epic games added several new female characters you could shoot down monsters with. One of these women, Private Sam Byrne, also featured heavily in the story missions.

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There were other female characters, such as the love interest, Anya Stroud, but what makes Sam a better character was the fact she was treated more like one of the guys in Delta Squad rather than a love interest for one of the male characters. Sam had been a soldier for a long time and I was glad the writers made her an equally respected Gear rather than some damsel in distress they constantly had to save. She’s every bit as tough and bad-ass as the men and they treated her as such. The camaraderie between her and her squadmates was great and I particularly enjoyed her constant sibling-like bickering with Damon Baird.

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When it all hit the fan and enemies started shooting at you, Sam was every bit as deadly a fighter as Marcus, Dom, or even Cole. In multiplayer. you can choose to play as Sam, and her one-liners as she reacted to various situations made her one of my favourite characters to go into battle with. Curb-stomping an enemy player and having her shout, “Eat shit and die!” was a great way to let your enemy know they just got owned.

7. The Lost Sinner – Dark Souls 2

This one might come as a surprise to some readers, not only because The Lost Sinner was an enemy boss in Dark Souls 2, but also because many of us were far too busy having our asses kicked to realise “he” was actually a “she.” According to what little Dark Souls lore we are sure of, The Lost Sinner was the most infamous inmate of the Sinner’s Rise and was first encountered by the player in a room that seemed to have been specifically designed to keep her locked in. The room was dark and full of chains and, on the other side of the room, sat The Lost Sinner. She was skinny to the point of starving and wore rotting rags and a dark mask that covered her face. Given her appearance, it’s not hard to see why some players didn’t realise she was a woman.

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What terrible crime The Lost Sinner committed to be locked away in darkness was never explicitly stated, but it’s clear that she was deemed dangerous enough to be locked away in the heart of Sinner’s Rise, unable to escape until you unwittingly opened the door to her large cell and granted her a chance for escape. Upon seeing the player, The Lost Sinner will rise up, draw her longsword, and prepare to attack the player. She can’t be that bad, I thought when I first saw her. After all, her hands are tied together. That ought to restrict her skills with a sword, right?

It turned out that, even with her hands cuffed, The Lost Sinner was still without question the best swords(wo)man in the entire game. She was devastatingly fast and relentlessly rained attacks down on you. Your blocks and rolls better be perfect if you’ve any hope of avoiding her blade. Ranged attackers will have an even harder time taking her down, as her speed meant you’re not likely to have time to line up a shot before she’s onto you.

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As a player who liked to use swords in Dark Souls 2, I found The Lost Sinner to be a hugely enjoyable boss. If you can take her down without taking a hit, you’re certainly a skilled warrior. The sheer ferocity of her attacks meant that just one mistake can be the death of you. The Lost Sinner was a tragic but undeniably bad-ass character and despite being an enemy, she certainly gained my respect.

6. Lara Croft – Tomb Raider (2013 reboot)

Ah ha! Got you there, didn’t I? After all my previous talk about how I didn’t much care for Lara Croft, I bet you weren’t expecting her to turn up here, were you? Whilst I may not be a big fan of yesteryear’s Lara Croft, I am in fact a fan of Lara as she appears today after the franchise was rebooted and given a complete overhaul. Lara had always felt a little shallow to me, but upon playing through the 2013 reboot, Tomb Raider, I was really impressed with how fleshed out this new Lara was. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Lara was not just some bad-ass with a gun, but was a far more realistic young woman who was a huge nerd for archaeology and had no interest in gunning down rare animals or blowing up sacred tombs. This time around, Lara was far more relatable and her growth as a character was believable and real.

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After all hell broke loose and Lara and her friends were captured by crazy guys with guns, Lara reacted how many of us would act — by crying, screaming, and generally completely losing her cool. Upon managing to get away, Lara realised that, if she wanted to save herself and her friends, it was up to her. From there, Lara grew from a scared young girl into a survivor. The first time Lara killed someone, she was horrified and disturbed rather than completely okay with it and her reactions to the crazy things that happen throughout the game were more or less the same as ours would be.

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What’s great about Lara’s realistic reactions to intense situations was that it helped us as players relate and care about her. As I played, I wanted her to survive and stay out of harm’s way and every time I accidentally had her leap to her death or got her riddled with bullets, I felt like I’d let her down. When the game was over, Lara really had come a long way since her journey started and I felt okay with letting her go, as I knew she was a much tougher cookie than the young girl I’d met at the beginning. At E3 earlier this year, the sequel to the 2013 reboot was announced and I, for one, can’t wait to embark on more adventures as Lara in Rise of the Tomb Raider.

5. Coco Bandicoot – Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped

Any gamer who was around in the 90s remembers how awesome the Crash Bandicoot games were. For many gamers, the franchise fills them with nostalgia and the lack of recent Crash Bandicoot games has left a notable void in the gaming world. The most famous, and arguably best, Crash game was 1998’s Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped. The game allowed you to spin your way through most levels as the crazy Crash, but some levels required you to play as his tough-as-nails sister, Coco Bandicoot. Coco wasn’t just there for show, either; her levels were among some of my favourites from the game. One level in particular had you racing across the Great Wall of China upon your trusty pet tiger, Pura.

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Although I wanted to pick out more recent female characters in this list, I thought Coco deserved a spot not just because she’s a great female character, but also because she was the first female character I ever played as. If you think games can be misogynistic now, you know how dumb they could be back in gaming’s earlier days. Coco represented a female character who wasn’t just there to be a damsel and in fact, proved that female characters could be every bit as cool as the boys. After Warped, Coco went on to become an iconic character in the Crash franchise and was playable in many of the following games, such as Crash Team Racing, Crash Bash, and Crash: Mind over Mutant.

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4. Liara T’Soni – Mass Effect Trilogy

We were first introduced to Liara T’Soni in the first Mass Effect game, where she was an important member of your crew and a potential love interest. Since then, Liara has appeared in every Mass Effect game to date and is one of the most recognizable characters in the franchise. She was a member of the alien race known as the Asari whose average lifespan was around a thousand years. When the player first met Liara, she revealed herself to be “only” one hundred and six, making her young and inexperienced in the eyes of her fellow Asari. Despite her youth, Liara had spent over fifty years studying the galaxy and her incredible knowledge made up for her inexperience.

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The Mass Effect games were well known for being superbly written and, as an RPG, they allowed you to interact and talk with characters as you please. The different dialogue options in the game allowed you to move the conversations wherever you wished them to go. This, along with the superb voice acting and facial animations, meant that the relationships you formed with characters were meaningful and, unless you had a heart of stone, you found yourself genuinely caring about each member of your crew.

When you embarked on missions, you could also choose a couple of squadmates to go with you and knowing they had your back in a fire fight only helped cement your connection with them. Once you were familiar enough with a character, you may have found that romantic options become open to you and following these options could result in a romantic relationship. Almost every crew member could be romanced, including Liara, but regardless of romance, she was still a great character. The fact she appeared in all three Mass Effect games really allowed her character to be fleshed out. In the first game, she was young and inexperienced but eager to learn more about the galaxy. She may not have been a great warrior but her knowledge could be vital and she certainly wasn’t useless when it came to combat.

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Whilst she wasn’t a main character in Mass Effect 2, the DLC, Lair of the Shadow Broker, saw her return and her experiences from the first game were certainly apparent. Liara was more mature and not as naive as she was in the first game. In Mass Effect 3, Liara was back as a member of your crew and played a huge role in helping you save the galaxy. The great thing about the Mass Effect games was that each new installment reads your saves from previous games to see what choices you made. As a result, characters reacted accordingly in each game depending on what your relationship with them was like in the last game. If you romanced Liara since game one, by Mass Effect 3, you and her will have a very close bond. If, on the other hand, you only ever went out of your way to annoy her, she may not have cared much for you.

This level of immersion was what made the franchise so great and why the characters are so loved. In my opinion, though, Liara was not only a great female character but probably the best Mass Effect character. Her knowledge and wisdom made her an indispensable ally and your quest to save the galaxy would have been impossible without her.

3. Bonnie MacFarlane – Red Dead Redemption

Have I ever told you how much I love Red Dead Redemption? It’s one of my favourite games of all time; it’s one of the few games that has ever lived up to my unreasonable expectations and the story was so brilliant that, whenever I replay it, I find myself welling up with manly tears when I reach the end. I could write a book about all the things I loved about Red Dead Redemption, and maybe one day, I will, but for now, let’s talk about Bonnie MacFarlane.

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Just one of the many things that made Redemption one of the best games of all time was its host of colourful, believable, and fantastically voice-acted characters. From the protagonist John Marston to the villain Bill Williamson to the sick treasure hunter Seth, Redemption had every sort of character you’d want in a story about the Wild West. One great character in particular was the tough but honest rancher, Bonnie MacFarlane.

Players first encountered Bonnie early on in the game, when she saved John Marston’s life after he was shot down and left for dead by the outlaws he’s hunting. John woke up to find himself at the Macfarlane ranch, which was run by Bonnie and her father. The ranch acted as a tutorial section, where Bonnie showed you how to do things, like lasso animals, herd cattle, shoot, play gambling mini-games, and generally every skill you’d need to survive in the West. The MacFarlane ranch was also the first safe house, where you can save your game and get some rest after a hard day’s bounty-hunting.

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Set in 1911, Bonnie is a woman living in a world ruled by men — most of whom are corrupt — but Bonnie is not the type to let men tread all over her. Life as a rancher had made her capable, enduring, brave, and loyal — she’s also a seriously good shot with a rifle, too. She’s every bit as good as any male rancher, if not better, and she knew it. Although she’s wary of John at first, the two became close allies and by the end of the game, it’s clear that they had a genuine respect for one another. To many characters in the game, John Marston was nothing but a dying breed whose time had past. Bonnie, however, saw the potential in John and recognized his honest attempt at redemption for the mistakes he hadmade. John, in turn, saw Bonnie as a beacon of hope and decency in a land filled with lawlessness and corruption. Bonnie was a great example of the hard-working American who carved out a living for themselves in America’s early years. I tip my cowboy hat to you, Miss MacFarlane.

2. Ellie – The Last of Us

The Last of Us was arguably the best game of the last generation and, as a PlayStation exclusive, it was the perfect swansong for the PS3. Developed by Naughty Dog, the same folks who brought us the swashbuckling Uncharted games, The Last of Us proved that Naughty Dog were capable of creating a game that not only featured excellent gameplay and beautiful graphics but also delivered a heartbreaking story filled with characters we won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Set in a post-apocalyptic America, The Last of Us told the story of Joel, a middle-aged man haunted by the loss of his daughter, as he and a young girl he’s been charged with protecting called Ellie traveled across the United States.

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Ellie was born and raised well after the apocalypse hit and has never known what society was like before it all collapsed. This had made Ellie into a true survivor and what she lacked in experience and strength she more than made up for in courage, loyalty, resolve, and intelligence. Joel suffered some serious losses, but Ellie endured her fair share of pain, too. Her mother died within a day of giving birth to her and as a result, she had little stability — it’s implied she had also lost friends since. Although Joel and Ellie were distant towards one another at first, their journey and hardships formed a bond between the two as close as a father and daughter. What’s fascinating about the relationship was that neither one of them wanted to get close, since they were both so scared of the pain that came with losing someone.

Despite lacking Joel’s size and strength, Ellie fought tooth-and-nail when it hit the fan and more than once, she saved me from a game over when she hurled a rock at an infected about to rip my throat out or provided covering fire when I was pinned down by hunters. Naughty Dog had me caring a lot about Joel and Ellie fairly soon into the start of their journey, but one chapter in the game really expanded Ellie as a character and gave you a deeper insight into the pain she hadendured and the will that kept her going. Those who have played The Last of Us will know I’m of course talking about the chapter, Winter.

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The chapter began after Joel had taken a serious wound to the abdomen and was on death’s door. Ellie had been taking care of Joel as best she could, but things weren’t looking good. Leaving Joel in an abandoned house, she entered a snowy forest in an attempt to hunt some deer. This chapter was great, not only because it focused more on Ellie, but because it allowed us to play as her, too. Naughty Dog had never said she’d be a playable character, so it was a nice change of pace.

When playing as Ellie, you could look in her backpack and inspect some of the items she carries around with her. One item include a letter her mother wrote to her before she passed away, which delivered a serious sucker punch to the player. In terms of story, the Winter section was probably the darkest and most intense part and the fact it’s all happening around a teenage girl only made it more terrifying. The chapter put Ellie right through the grinder, but it’s to Naughty Dog’s credit that she believably handled the situation whilst at the same time demonstrating what a tough survivor she was. Even when things seemed impossible, Ellie showed guts, bravery, resourcefulness and determination and that is rarely seen in even the most iconic of “tough guys.”

1. The Boss – Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

Before writing this article, I did a bit of research regarding the topic, read some other writers’ lists, and talked to people online about who they would consider when presenting the greatest female video game characters. You know what surprised me? The majority of people made no mention of Metal Gear Solid 3‘s The Boss. Okay, she was only featured in one Metal Gear, but what a memorable character she was. She mentored the most iconic character in the series, taught him everything he knew, and allowed her world to be destroyed because she was loyal to her mission and was a true patriot.

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The Boss, also known as The Joy and The Mother of Special Forces, was quite possibly the greatest soldier in the Metal Gear Solid universe. She was the spark that ignited the entire story behind the Metal Gear franchise and her legacy had left lasting impressions upon many characters in the franchise. Born in 1922, The Boss was groomed from birth to be a legendary soldier. She was one of the founding members of the SAS and during World War 2, she played a huge role in turning the war to the Allies’ favour by completing many high-risk missions. In the Metal Gear universe, the SAS motto — “Who dares wins” — was a tribute to The Boss.

During this time, The Boss formed a unit known as The Cobras, who each held the code name of the emotion they carried into battle. The Boss was The Joy and, along with The Pain, The Fear, The End, The Fury, and her lover, The Sorrow, she participated in countless missions. Despite being pregnant with The Sorrow’s child, The Boss led a mission with The Cobras during the D-Day landing in Normandy. She took a bullet and was forced to give birth on the battlefield; the Caesarean section left a large snake-like scar across her torso and shortly afterwards, her child was taken from her.

The Cobras disbanded at the end of World War 2 and The Boss went on to assist in the atomic bomb tests in the Nevada desert, where she became infertile due to the radiation exposure. Around this time, she encountered a young man named John, whom she spent a decade with, training him and developing a close quarters fighting style called CQC. The Boss and John became extremely close, but she was forced to abandon him after being assigned a top-secret mission in Russia. She was later the first American to be sent into space during an experiment to see how well the human body could cope under such conditions. The flight was initially successful, but upon re-entry, her rocket crashed into the ocean and she sustained severe wounds. Although she survived, the whole event was covered up and no one would ever know she was the first American in space.

As The Boss recovered from her injuries, the Russians successfully sent their own man into space and took credit for being the first nation to send a human into orbit. As a result, the government resented her for her “failure” and she was sent to Russia to eliminate an American spy who had defected. The Sorrow was sent by the Soviets to stop her and here, they were forced to decide who would have to die, as they both knew that their child would be killed if they both survived. The Sorrow told The Boss to kill him, which she reluctantly did. Shortly afterwards, she was contacted by a former SAS comrade, Major Zero, who invited her to establish the CIA special missions unit, FOX.

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So began the series of events depicted in Snake Eater. She was assigned to act as a spy and gain the trust of the brutal Volgin in order to find out where he was hiding a huge sum of money known as The Philosopher’s Legacy. In order to gain his trust, The Boss recaptured a Russian scientist who had escaped from Volgin, made it appear to everyone that she had defected to the Soviet Union, and gave Volgin two portable nuclear warheads. Once she had located the Philosopher’s Legacy, she was to bring the information back to the CIA. Then, something happened that no one could have predicted: Volgin used one of the portable nuclear warheads to destroy a Russian base being used by his enemies. The warheads were of American design and so, America had to prove their innocence in the attack in order to prevent the Cold War from going nuclear. The CIA then came up with a plan called Operation Snake Eater, which involved The Boss being killed by her most loyal apprentice, John, a.k.a., Naked Snake.

Snake was unaware that The Boss was actually innocent of her supposed defection and as he embarked on his mission, she subtly aided Snake’s mission whilst at the same time appearing to be the villain and maintaining Volgin’s trust. As Snake defeated The Cobras, who had reformed to help The Boss, she eventually met him in a large field for her final stand. Before the battle commenced, she reminded Snake of his duties as a soldier and told him about her life leading up to that point, though she still didn’t tell him that she was secretly just following orders from the CIA. After Snake defeated her, she handed him a microfilm containing The Philosopher’s Legacy and then told him to kill her and complete his mission.

The only person that she told the truth of her mission to was the spy Eva, who helped Snake on his mission. Eva then left Snake a tape recording that explained the truth of the matter, that The Boss had sacrificed herself to save the world from a nuclear war and that she had never betrayed America. The Boss was a true patriot who sacrificed everything for her country, but history would remember her as a war criminal who almost ignited the Cold War. She was buried in an unmarked soldier’s grave where only Snake would go to pay his respects.

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The legacy of The Boss was what gives Snake the belief that soldiers should be united and allowed to fight for what they believe in rather than the whims of their government. This idea was what led him to form Militaires Sans Frontières (Soldiers Without Borders). Despite being given the code name Big Boss after defeating The Boss, it took years before Snake considered himself worthy of the title and killing his mentor haunted him for the rest of his life.

I believe The Boss deserves the number one spot on this list not only because she’s a bad-ass when it comes to action, but also because she posses a stoicism and fortitude not seen in any other video game character I can think of, male or female. The Boss stayed true to her mission, despite the overwhelming pressure that would crush most people. She sacrificed everything for a higher cause, despite being betrayed by the country she was helping. Her ideals on war and soldiering were noble and her dream of a better world for those who live on the battlefield was one that carries on decades after her death. I can’t think of a single video game character who could match The Boss in either her wisdom or her combat skills. The Boss may not just be the best female video game character, but perhaps one of the best video game characters of all time.

So there we go, ten female game characters that kick ass. I think this list proves that there are plenty of female game characters for women to look up to. Still not convinced? There are still plenty of great characters that didn’t make my personal top ten, but are still much loved. I’m sure I will get plenty of messages telling me what a fool I am to have forgotten characters like Samus from the Metroid series, Jade from Beyond Good and Evil, Catwoman from Arkham City, Yorda from Ico, Fetch from Infamous: Second Son, Miranda from Mass Effect 2, Elena from Uncharted — you get the idea!

Written by Thom Edwards