Virtual Butt-Kicking: The Best Female Game Characters

While I love seeing more females pop up in areas that have been dominated mostly by men in the past, there's still some places where female representation is lacking. Even though women's interest in video games is on the rise, female protagonists have remained low. I'm not saying we need more sexually ambiguous characters like Mrs. Pacman (although she was pretty awesome), but it would be nice to see more female roles kicking butt like so many of the male characters.
Instead, as Gameformer.com  points out, it's become a running joke that most female characters in games are seen merely as a sex object. While the male characters may battle it out in full covered in armor from head to toe, the females don something similar to Princess Leia's gold bikini.
Thankfully there have been at least a few characters over the last couple of years that warrant some play time and are much more than a pretty face. If you're looking to kick some virtual butt, give one of these heroine's games a try.


Lara Croft
First appearing in the Tomb Raider series in 1996, British paleontologist Lara Croft is seen as a strong, smart, adventurer who doesn't shy away from anything. She is essentially the female version of Indiana Jones. Similar to Indiana Jones, the games do not revolve around her trying to save a person, rather they focus on her saving an artifact and herself, allowing her to be her own hero.
Since the original game premiered, there have been 12 additional installments to the series, available across all popular consoles, PC, and MAC platforms.
Angelina Jolie played Croft in the live-action film in 2001 and again in the sequel Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life in 2003. The franchise was even made into rides at three of Paramount theme parks.

Elektra
If you're interested in putting more than your pride on the line while playing, there is a game at casino.betfair.com  featuring the Marvel character Elektra. A hotheaded assassin ninja, Elektra is the creation of artist Frank Miller. It was reported on Rollingstone.com  that Elektra is Miller's favorite character that he has created, and that initially she was modeled after bodybuilder Lisa Lyon.
The character was made into a live-action movie in 2005 starring Jennifer Garner. Unfortunately ratings for film were rather low.

Lightning
A reoccurring character appearing first in Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning (Claire Farron) is one of the rare female roles in video games that is sent to save someone in distress. Trying to rescue her sister Serah, and her people in future episodes, this former sergeant in the Guardian Corps is strong, brave, and one hell of a fighter.
Being a woman is nothing more than a side note of Lightning's character. She is notably less sexualized than other heroines in previous games of the franchise. Her personality is also unique, designed to be a more introspective, rather than passionate or emotional. She is driven, not flirty, and although her vulnerabilities do shine through to show her more humane side, they're not portrayed as being overtly "girly" or over-dramatic in any way.

Samus

Samus is the protagonist of the science-fiction action game Metroid. An ex-Galactic Federation soldier turned bounty hunter, the first installment of the series was distributed in 1986.
What makes her character so unique is that players do not realize that she's a girl until the end of the 1986 game, when she removes her helmet. It was assumed by most that they had been playing a male character throughout the game. As 1up.com  reports, the iconic scene is what makes her considered one of the most breakthrough characters in video games. Not only for her heroism, but her looks as well. Nintendo has described her as "an Amazonish 6'3" and 198 pounds," strong, and anything but dainty.

These girls are more than a set of virtual boobs designed to impractically bounce (in opposing directions at times) like the ones Lazygamer.net discusses in Dead or Alive 5. They're fearless and could even be considered good role model characters. I can personally admit that I wouldn't want to face any of them in the ring, and I'm guessing some of their male counterparts would say the same.