Women in video games have always been a controversial talking point, whether it’s over the lack of their clothing or just the lack of their presence at all. For a long time, the game plots were centred around muscular, white men, with a mission, a gun and little else. Nowadays however, more creative developers have shelved the damsel in distress act and have introduced a more varied and far more interesting roster of characters, which include some truly badass women.

Here are just five of the best female characters to grace the small screen.

Jill Valentine (Resident Evil)

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The Resident Evil franchise has given rise to many powerful female characters in its time, including Ada Wong, Rebecca Chambers and Claire Redfield. However, it is Jill Valentine who has earned her place on the list, thanks to her fighting spirit, fierce firearm skills and quick-thinking brain. She is the clear fan favourite of the series and truly a force to be reckoned with. You wouldn’t want to bump into her in a dark alley if you were a member of the undead.

Sarah Kerrigan (StarCraft)


Sarah Kerrigan is one of the most dangerous and intimidating women in the history of video games. This powerful telepath was a valuable army asset, with unmatched strength that helped her to overcame torture and brainwashing attempts. When Kerrigan found herself left for dead at the claws of the Zerg swarm, her gifts could not be destroyed by the ‘infection’. Instead, she was assimilated into them, transforming into the ‘Queen of Blades’ who harbours a menacing and deadly thirst for revenge.

Alyx Vance (Half-Life 2)


Set against the backdrop of a desolate world, Alyx Vance manages to bring a sense of personality and warmth to her role as sidekick. She is a breath of fresh air and one of the highlights for Half-Life 2 fans. Not only is she tough, confident and assertive, standing as a leading figure in the Resistance movement in City 17, but she is also characterised so well that she added a touch of humour and real emotion to the most depressing aspects of the game.

Samus Aran (Metroid)


Samus has been an enduring force and one that remains beloved amongst fans. Nintendo’s original femme fatale shook fans when her identity behind that orange Power Suit was discovered. She has since fought her way into our hearts, just as she has fought her way across the galaxy, proving herself as one of the most deadly individuals in the world. Samus is the embodiment of power and shows a true warrior spirit, even when she’s contorting her body into a spine-busting ball.

Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)


Lara Croft is the queen of gaming. From her ground breaking debut back in 1996 to her gritty 2013 reboot, she has always been the prodigal daughter, even giving rise to films, merchandise and online themed slot games at sites such as Platinum Play Casino. She has thrilled and entertained, as well as growing and developing, going from blocky, titillating adventurer to a truly compelling (and more covered up) protagonist. She smashed down the barriers for women in gaming and she did it in flawless style.