10 Best Female Protagonists In Gaming

Lara Croft looking at her surroundings in Tomb Raider
Image Credit: Crystal Dynamics.

There are plenty of fantastic characters throughout gaming, with some of them being incredibly empowering women. If you want to know some of the best female gaming protagonists, read this list as we list ten of them! 

10. Lara Croft – Tomb Raider

Close up of Lara Croft's face in Rise of the Tomb Raider
Image Credit: Square Enix.

Lara Croft was one of the first notable female protagonists in gaming, and she is a powerhouse. From scaling mountains to avoiding spike pits, there isn’t anything that Lara can’t do. We first met Lara in 1996 in Tomb Raider. This game was released on Sega MegaDrive and PS1 and went on to form an iconic series that is still loved today.

Lara has evolved through the years; we’ve seen her take on many different appearances. Her most recent one had her dressing appropriately for the weather and mowing down enemies stealthily. 

9. Aloy – Horizon: Zero Dawn

Aloy in Horizon: Zero Dawn
Image Credit: PlayStation PC LLC.

A well-loved game for the PlayStation 4, you get to play as a young woman named Aloy, who was banished by her tribe as a newborn baby. You have to fight for survival through the vast world of Horizon: Zero Dawn and help her on her journey of self-discovery to find out what caused her tribe to remove her all those years ago.

8. Amanda Ripley – Alien: Isolation

Amanda Ripley in Alien: Isolation
Image Credit: SEGA.

Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Ellen Ripley, is a fighter through and through. We see her tackle fear and anger and push through with determination as she is trapped on a ship with Androids gone rogue and a Xenomorph to boot. 

In a deeply terrifying environment, Ripley manages to fight off enemy after enemy while having her supposed allies turn their back on her multiple times, making her journey through Sevastopol and attempting her escape. 

7. Clementine – The Walking Dead

Lee and Clementine in The Walking Dead
Image Credit: Skybound Games.

A young girl alone amid a Zombie apocalypse, you see Clementine come into her own throughout the series. She transforms from a shy, cowering child to a strong, independent teenager who has seen and dealt with far too much at a young age. 

That being said, she is a fighter and has had to do things that no one should do in scenes that will break your heart. Clementine is such a lovable and fantastic protagonist in the series. 

6. Jill Valentine – Resident Evil 3

Jill Valentine in Resident Evil 3 Remake
Image Credit: CAPCOM CO., Ltd.

An iconic character, Jill Valentine, is the protagonist of Resident Evil 3. She has appeared in multiple Resident Evil games, but her personality and strength shine in this game. She is strong-willed and manages to fight through Raccoon City while fighting off Nemesis simultaneously. 

Valentine is a true team player and will support her allies no matter what. Despite temporarily being the villain in Resident Evil 5, she has her redemption arc in the end and comes out stronger than ever on the other side. 

5. Faith Connors – Mirror’s Edge

Faith Connors crouching in Mirror's Edge Catalyst
Image Credit: Electronic Arts.

The protagonist in Mirror’s Edge and Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst, Faith Connors, is put through the wringer. She is a runner and transports items to those hiding away from government officials while dealing with them constantly tracking her down and trying to subdue her.

Her determination throughout the games shines through, and she is always successful in the end. Connors has a very complex storyline, and both Mirror’s Edge and Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst are worth a play.  

4. Heather Mason – Silent Hill 3

Heather Mason in Silent Hill 3 cafe
Image Credit: Konami.

In a truly horrific horror game, Heather Mason is the protagonist of Silent Hill 3. It’s a genuinely beloved franchise, and it’s not hard to see why! With disturbing imagery and complex storylines for the characters that feature, Heather Mason is just a young teenager who was separated from her Dad and is now trying to find her way back. 

Mason is tasked with some truly horrifying challenges as she tries to navigate the horrific environments that are so far removed from her version of reality.

3. Ellie – The Last of Us 2

Ellie (left) in The Last of Us
Image Credit: PlayStation PC LLC.

Ellie features in both The Last of Us games, but she becomes the protagonist in this game. Watch her go through every emotion possible, and help her seek her revenge once and for all. Despite being a strong female character, we also see her sinister side, which can turn players away from siding with her. 

She was a vastly different character in The Last of Us, and by the sequel, she has matured and changed significantly, having gone through many traumatic events to get to where she is now. 

2. Madeline – Celeste

Madeline having a panic atack in Celeste
Image Credit: Maddy Makes Games, Inc.

Madeline is the name of the protagonist in Celeste, and you get to help her on her journey of discovery. This title is incredibly challenging, a game about overcoming anxiety and dealing with an existential crisis, but the story is very moving. 

Madeline is a very complex character, and we get to see her evolve through the story of Celeste, even with the hard-to-pull-off platforming mechanics. 

1. Aurora – Child of Light

Aurora talking to Finn in Child of Light
Image Credit: Ubisoft.

Aurora is a very young girl who is grieving the loss of her mother, and she becomes the hero in this fairy-tale game. This game shows the process of grieving and moving through depression. However, the game takes a beautiful turn as it empowers Aurora and gives her the gift of light that helps her become physically and mentally strong enough to withstand all the hardships thrown at her. 

Child of Light is a beautiful game with a fantastic art style and a great soundtrack to go with it. 

That concludes our list of the top female protagonists in gaming. Who is your favorite female protagonist? 

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Written by Amy Eastland

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