Top ten list of female video-game characters you should idolise

Katherine Hannaford Tech 30 Comments

Discussions to the tune of ‘zomg teh jubblies on teh Dead or Alive birds are da hax0r, w00t!’ are as commonplace on the ‘tinternet as rumours about the iPhone release date, so I’m not surprised to discover the latest top ten list of ‘the hottest game babes to date’ doing the rounds of the gaming blogs this week. Is anyone else tired of these inane lists, where every mammary-bulging heroine looks like a carbon copy of the one before her, with taut thighs glistening in sweat at every available opportunity? Whatever happened to having some nice wholesome girl-next-door type characters to idolise, that you can happily play a game featuring the vixen infront of your Dad, and not fear an embarassing pants-tent episode? Together with several other hot-blooded controller-wielding men from the Shiny game blogs, I’ve put together a list of who I think deserves to be on the Shiny Shiny Top Ten List Of Gaming Vixens who aren’t just featured for their 34-24-34 ratio and ability to knock out a vertically-challenged man with a simple quiver of the lady-lumps.

10.) Claire Redfield from Resident Evil – this sassy lass rides a motorbike, has Queen lyrics on the back of her jackets, and even had a brief stint in jail – what’s not to love about her when she oozes so much street cred? She also cares deeply for her brother, going on endless quests to find him in Resident Evil 2.

9.) Yorda from Ico – Ico’s love interest, Yorda is imprisoned by her nasty old mother in a castle, the modern day Rapunzel. She manages to help Ico escape from the castle by opening doors he cannot, and thus wins the protagonist’s heart and ours. As Al from PSPSPS explained, “she takes pity on the freaky horned boy – so perhaps, subconsciously, we nerds like the idea of some tall hot chick hanging out with us despite the fact that we’re hideously deformed and ostracised by society”.

8.) Princess Zelda from The Legend of Zelda series – How can we not admire the Princess when Link is willing to drop everything for her and rescue her in every incarnation of the Zelda franchise? With magical powers and ethereal looks, she’s elegance and modesty in every sense of the word. Plus she has a hot pair of ears!

7.) Kreia from Knights Of The Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
– Unfamiliar to me, this character was mentioned my 90% of the men I questioned in regards to this list. Chris from Xboxer summed it up best with ”she actually made the dark side interesting, better than that whole good vs. evil thing that they’ve got going in most of the Star Wars universe. Also nice to have a slightly nihilistic baddie. Who could control lightsabers with mind powers“. Ahh, so it’s not her atrophied eyes which makes every man fancy her then?

6.) Mia Fey from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Fey in name, fey in nature, as whilst this smoking hot lawyer died in the second game, she still aided Phoenix with his cases from the grave. Reliable and trusting, she was the best mentor Phoenix could’ve hoped for – Ally McBeal who!?

5.) Yuna from Final Fantasy – Another gal who most men recommended, she may resemble a librarian in her first game debut (FFV), but with pins that look good (but not unrealistic, as in Dead or Alive’s case) even with a hotpants-and-side-skirt combo, added to her kind-hearted, humble spirit, it’s no wonder she’s a favourite when deciding on a cosplay outfit!

4.) Samus Aran from Metroid – Seen only in bulky cyborg garb through most of the games, it was natural to assume the bounty hunter was male, so plenty of jaws dropped when she removes her helmet and suit at the end to reveal a killer body and great hair to boot. We like her for her modesty and quietness, plus her willingness to appear in every possible Nintendo collaboration title.

3.) Jade from Beyond Good and Evil – I was tempted to place Jade an number one in the list purely because I enjoyed the game so much, but that’s not the point to this list! This street-smart reporter/journalist earns our respect for being decked head to toe in green, even sporting a peculiar shade of green lipstick that’s ever so difficult to pull off with the aplomb she manages. Her patience with that irritating uncle of hers, Pey’j, and perserverance through the challenges she faces puts her at a healthy number three.

2.) Carla Valenti from Fahrenheit – the NYPD officer is incredibly committed to her job, to the point of experiencing panic attacks. Wielding a weapon, she is a tough-talking woman who yearns for a private life, instead pouring all her waking hours into her job – the modern careerwoman.

1.) Jill Valentine from Resident Evil – Looking like a revolutionary, or perhaps the fifth member of the Manic Street Preachers in her army-garb, girls want to be her (me included), and guys want to do her. Specialising in bomb disposal, you cannot fault her in any of the games she appears in. Smart, sassy, and not afraid to kick some ass, this is the pin-up girl we should all have on our bedroom walls and lust after.

Now, are you still day-dreaming about Lara Croft’s boobies after reading through that list, eh?

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By Katherine Hannaford | April 11th, 2007

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  • Rach

    Mia Fey dies in the first game but its the second case :P
    She deserved to be higher up!!!

  • Brinstar

    Despite the fact that you created this list in response to other top ten lists which objectify women (okay, they are videogame women), some of the reasons you list for including the women on cite their appearance as reasons they made the top ten.

    Yorda is not Ico’s love interest in the game. There are feelings of caring and concern, but I never got the idea that Ico “loved” Yorda.

    We are supposed to admire Princess Zelda because she is a trophy and in need of saving in almost every single Zelda game? Should women aspire to be won by men?

    Does Samus Aran make this list because she is not only a competent bounty hunter, but because she also has “a killer body and great hair”? Should we idolise her because of those features, too?

    For a top ten list that isn’t purely about appearance and appealing to male fantasies, you sure seem to dwell on those aspects quite a bit (Jill Valentine: “Smart, sassy, and not afraid to kick some ass, this is the pin-up girl we should all have on our bedroom walls and lust after.”).

    Why is Shiny Shiny making a list of videogame women gleaned from suggestions that men made? Why don’t you come up with your own list?

    I think the intentions behind your list are good, but the execution is flawed.

  • Fran

    Brinstar seems to have some extremely and dated views of what women likes and celebrates, including some very basic core about women: most woman loves to look GOOD! Who do you think all those makeup, clothes, hair products out there are marketed for? Of course women adore beautiful woman. It’s so absurd some guy comes to tell women ‘how dare you include and write about “looks” in your consideration’.

    What you failed to realize is that the standard of beauty women looked up to are those who look good for themselves (it’s WOMEN who check out those awesome design 600 bucks pumps or cool vintage dress other women wore), it’s different from the type of ‘babes’ who looks a certain way (all look same, open any issue of Maxim) for male’s fantasy.

    Good eye opening list btw, even though I’m not a hardcore gamer. I can think of some other pretty cool female characters from games like Fire Emblem and Castlevania (GBA and DS is all I play now). There’re just too many unattractive or all-look-same interchangable ‘babes’ in most video games…I think one of many reason I never feel drawn to at those xbox/ps3 consoles are how ugly the designs of the look in general (including most ‘female’ character).

  • Brinstar

    @ Fran:

    1) Fran wrote: “Brinstar seems to have some extremely and dated views of what women likes and celebrates, including some very basic core about women: most woman loves to look GOOD! Who do you think all those makeup, clothes, hair products out there are marketed for? Of course women adore beautiful woman.”

    In what ways are my views about what “women likes and celebrates”, in your words, “dated”? I never said that people don’t like to look good. What I am saying is that there is more to anyone, not just women, than just their appearance, and I think this was the idea behind the list.

    2) Fran wrote: “It’s so absurd some guy comes to tell women ‘how dare you include and write about “looks” in your consideration’.”

    Where did you get the idea that I am a man?

    3) Women are already pressured from all areas of the media to look good, and to be judged only on their looks. Appearances are important, but they aren’t of sole importance.

    From what I understand, this list was created to highlight the fact that these videogame women have MORE THAN LOOKS going for them. Ergo, appearance, in the context of this list was supposedly SECONDARY to capability.

    This is why I am baffled at the inclusion of Princess Zelda, who does nothing more than wait to be rescued most of the time. If you want to include her, at least make it a point to list her Sheik alter ego rather than Zelda, the Princess who has to be rescued.

    4) I think what you have failed to realise is that beauty is not the ONLY standard that people admire other people for. There is intense pressure on women to look good in the media. Many standards of beauty have been created and exaggerated by the media. And I am the first person to agree that those “babes” in Maxim, as you noted, are male fantasies and far different from competent, capable, and strong women that people idolise.

  • JM

    Sophitia all the way!

  • Weefz

    In addition to what Brinstar said about Zelda…

    What exactly is Yuna featured for? So far you’ve mentioned her old librarian look, her legs and her outfit. Is it her kind-hearted humility that makes her idol-worthy? Humility, of all things! *sigh*

  • Reuss

    You missed Jenn from Primal!

  • Katherine

    Hey Brinstar,

    This list is intended on being a top ten of the hottest female gaming characters we should idolise, however with a different view on the word ‘sexy’. I wanted to create a list that was full of pixels that resemble Penthouse models, so every female character on my list doesn’t subscribe to the Dead or Alive ethos of what is aesthetically-pleasing. I also chose each character for their merit and worth, but yes, their looks are what I chose them on initially.

    Most of the characters I chose myself, but I did consult some of our male gaming writers from our brother-sites, on who they fancied. My gaming knowledge is good, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to miss anyone obvious (for instance, Kreia, who I wouldnt’ve chosen, but every man I spoke to suggested her).


  • Ian

    I’d have mentioned Kate, from Syberia and Syberia 2!

  • kit

    I would like to suggest April Ryan from The Longest Journey by Funcom (which incidentally is an utterly brilliant game if you haven’t had the pleasure of playing it) – she’s very much a normal woman, dealing with extraordinary circumstances.

  • Should I?

    Great concept. Misinformed notion of DoA. Obvious from linking to an image of DoA girls in bikinis.

    Underneath that layer of eye candy, most DoA girl’s background kick the asses of the girls on that list for idolization.

    Not only was Kasumi heavily implied to have won DoA 1 but she held her own against Ryu Hayabusa, world reknowned to be up there in ninja ranking and she had to fill up a major hole filled by rising up to be the leader Ein/Hayate left and even alienating her entire clan by leaving.

    What this translates to is that while Claire and Jill only had to deal with 24/7 enemies during an outbreak, Kasumi was fending off enemies prior to being in the tournament.

    What Samus show of advantage over her enemies with the technology of her armor, Kasumi makes up for being able to use her body to seduce men AND step up to the plate and time and time again prove herself as a competent one on one fighter that similar to Samus if I got the trailer of the 3d metroid correctly, also faced her dark side.

    This is the very reason Ayane goes after her.

    Speaking of Ayane, here’s a girl who has constantly step her game up to become better than Kasumi. Unlike other girls on the list, she’s managed to equal or surpass Kasumi, her half-sister who’s physically superior to her if you judge the physical attributes of both.

    Not only that, she has even managed to become one of the most powerful characters in DoA. I can’t speak for the other installments but besides already using her physical disadvantages to her advantage by implementing a speedy moveset, she can do a long range blast that no other DoA character have done at that point.

    Adding emphasis to fashion, most of her attractiveness comes from how good her outfit matches with her looks similar to Jill and almost everyone on the list only more original.

    Another thing to look out for is that her original outfit is classier than Yuna’s FFX-2 outfit.

    Then there’s Lei-Fang. What can I say? She got saved by a guy and instead of swooning over him like Zelda, it actually pissed her off and she swore herself to fight better and most of all, unlike most tomboyish girls, Lei-Fang’s original outfit actually make her sexy without going out of it’s way to be modified, trendy or slutty.

    Then there’s Tina. All of the girls rely on a certain relative or helper to achieve their goals. Well, not this gal! She even fights against her powerful dad and ends up beating him in the original tournament and again, she knows how to use her sexuality to defend herself against Zack.

    As if that’s not enough, she actually uses alot of slams for a moderate built girl proving that you don’t have to be large to be a heavy hitter and is also one of the first women/men wrestlers to do so in a videogame. Compare her moveset to Nina’s moveset from Tekken or Sarah from VF or even the girls in Soul Calibur and you’ll see what I mean.

    Now for those non-combatants praiser, look no further than Helena. Zelda? Pfff…Daddy’s girl. Jade, Samus Aran and Mia Fey? They work for the woman and guess what?

    Helena IS the woman in DoA and notice how calculated her movement is while in that dress and unlike the rest of the cast, she actually suffered a major trauma at a young age by losing her mother. Can someone really say that for the above women?

  • Camilla

    What’s up with using an ugly fanart of Yorda instead of game footage or official art? Or at least a nice-looking fanart.

  • Camilla

    What’s up with using and ugly fanart of Yorda instead of game footage or original art? Or at least a nice-looking fanart.

  • scott

    i’m really surprised alyx isn’t included here!

  • theGimp

    umm Yuna’s debut appearance was FFX!

  • LowRes

    No Chun li? I just know that her boyfriend get the Spinning Bird Kick every time he hesitate too long when she ask him again or her thighs are too thick. Still she’s pretty awesome and kicks every bodies ass. I say Yuna out – urgh, I hate her with a passion – Chun li in.

  • steve


  • Ed

    For all the Zelda haters, here’s another Nintendo staple that has evolved from trophy-object to “do-it-herself” sass – Princess Peach. She used to be the reason Mario would go nuts burning thru each dungeon but now she’s even the star of her own official Nintendo game on the Nintendo DS. All Princess Zelda had was a crappy CD-i game that was just lincensed by the gaming giant. Also where is Cortana from Halo – she practically leads the whole missions for the fighters. Love having Jade on the list – she is my dream videogame girl.

  • zS

    this list was a complete and utter fail.

  • Alias

    What about Cate Archer from the hit series “No one lives forever”? She’s way better then any Resident Evil chick.

  • Sahary

    nice try, but flawed =( . There are some good comments, and I gotta admit that even though it was a nice try, you failed at your purpose. Video game women should be admired by the content of the game and the way they are portraid in such games (i.e. she doesn’t have to be homely to be considered a good example) It is the context in which they are portraid, not their looks that ruin their image.

  • Robespierre

    Might I suggest the inclusion of Margaret, Diana and Jennifer from Rule of Rose? If only more games had RoR’s literary cred and featured dissonant modernist strings in the soundtrack.

  • Robespierre

    (By the way, the dissonant strings have everything to do with female characters’ role-model-worthiness and so does the dialogue. How modest we’d all be if we could return to the 1930s — free corsets and bathing machines for all!)

    Still, there’s something to be said for a feeble orphanage untouchable who, through the course of a game, becomes a gun totin’ mermaid assassin. May all geeks and nerds ascend to tuff-waif status.

  • Loki

    Altogether, a fascinating list, although I am less than happy about the liberal application of appearance as a judge. One thing, though: I think that Zelda may well deserve to be on that list. Maybe not as much as some others, but she IS actually highly competent. Don’t believe me? Just play Twilight Princess.

  • Paul

    um.. i may be a guy.. so i know i this list really isn’t my business but.. where are Rayne (BloodRayne) and (probably the best) Bastila Shan from the firs Knights of the Old Republic???

  • johnny

    where the fuck is isabella IVY valentine?she should be there for all she is she deserves it more than a lot of them!

  • Johnny

    where is Isabella IVY Valentine?with all she is she deserves to be up there more than em all.

  • marina jauregui

    i want princess zelda on!

  • nathan

    hey shiny
    lara croft is amazin, leave her alone
    but valentine is good 2

  • Ritanshu

    Check this!!