A few weeks ago, we talked about the Tomb Raider controversy on the VGU podcast. It seems like many people are up in arms about what looks like attempted rape in the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot for the purpose of making the player feel protective of her. We’ve heard a lot of complaints about how there aren’t enough strong female characters in video games, that they need to be sexualized to be interesting, and that they apparently need to be raped or almost raped in order for a person to care about her. So we put our heads together to bring you a list of six strong female characters who have no need to resort to stripping off their clothes for the player. Be warned! There are spoilers in this list, so proceed with caution.

Top 6 Strong Female Characters


6. Bonnie MacFarlane from Red Dead Redemption

When John Marston goes to Fort Mercer to confront his old gang buddy Bill Williamson, he’s welcomed with a bullet in the side. Fortunately for him, it’s Bonnie MacFarlane who finds him on the side of the road and brings him back to the ranch to be nursed back to health. With five out of six brothers dead from sickness or foolishness, and the last brother a New York banker, Bonnie decided it was her job to do what her brother’s apparently couldn’t and help her father tend the ranch. She’s a tough girl that will help John in a fight if she needs to, and she keeps a pretty good head on her shoulders as well.


5. Aerith Gainsborough from Final Fantasy VII

Aerith is one of the most popular female video game characters of all time. Her story is told over two games, a novella, and a movie, and most of that is after her death (sorry to be the one to break the news to you on that one). Next to Cloud himself, Aerith has some of the most character development of the game’s entire cast. Whether she’s running from the Turks or praying for the ultimate white magic, the last Cetra knows how to handle herself.


4. Elena Fisher from Uncharted

Some might call Elena the “female version of Drake,” but personally, we think she’s way smarter than Nate. As a journalist, Elena goes where the stories go, even if they turn out to lead into dangerous territory. It’s not a problem, however, because Elena always seems to have a plan. She’s busted Drake out of jams and covered his back more times than we can count. It’s no wonder Nate is crazy about her.


3. Tali’Zorah nar Rayya from Mass Effect

The Mass Effect series is vast, with content on consoles, iOS, comics, novels, and an anime in the works. We’re certainly not saying Female Shepard doesn’t deserve to be on this list, but our spotlight is shining on Tali, the young quarian machinist. When Shepard first meets Tali, she’s trying to meet the Shadow Broker with information on Saren, which shows us immediately that she’s got guts. By the end of the series (provided Shepard can keep her alive), Tali becomes the quarian ambassador on the Citadel. She’s a smart girl, who’s seen her fair share of troubles and she stands tall through all of it.


2. Alyx Vance from Half-Life 2

The leading lady of Half-Life 2 is the most important Gordon Freeman encounters. The expert hacker helps him get out of a lot of trouble, always covering his back against the Combine and all kinds of monsters. If it weren’t for Alyx, Gordon would have never gotten the Gravity Gun, and therefore, never would’ve saved the world. Alyx is a smart girl, and without her, Gordon would be nothing. If a third game ever gets released, we can’t wait to see what will happen to her.


1. Faith Connors from Mirror’s Edge

We’ve covered plenty of women who play a supporting role in their titles, but Faith is special because she is actually a playable character. Faith is a runner who always manages to get caught up in some kind of conspiracy. It doesn’t help that she and her twin sister Kate are on opposite sides of the law, but when Kate is framed for murder, Faith does everything in her power to save her sister from going to prison. Faith is a strong character, and we’re still crossing our fingers, hoping we can see another adventure from the brave runner.


Do you think we left anyone out? Let us know in the comments!