We’ve all grown up playing our share of video games, and it’s not uncommon to experience a slight video game crush or two — or maybe a dozen or so. Game designers have the luxury and privilege of creating gorgeous women from the ground up, pixel-perfect. We pay homage to these women, artificial as they may be, not just for being so beautiful, but because they have been with us throughout our lives. These are the 25 hottest female video game protagonists; be polite — don’t stare.
Peach (Super Mario Series)
Making her first appearance in 1985, Princess Peach has become as iconic as Nintendo itself. Though she’s always maintained her sweet demeanor, a lot has changed over the last couple of decades concerning her majesty’s looks; she began life as an 8-bit blob in vague female form — now she’s just plain hot. She’s made her way through all the new technologies, and many different outfits, but it’s in the Super Mario Strikers games that we finally get to see Peach show some skin.
Kitana (Mortal Kombat Series)
In the first Mortal Kombat, the only female character available was the rather butch Sonya Blade. Entering the Mortal Kombat saga in its second installment, Kitana was a much-appreciated breath of fresh air for the countless droves of horny teenage boys gathering ’round the local arcades. She may have been cloned and copied in the game, but none of her doppelgangers held the same sway.
Kasumi (Dead or Alive)
First making a splash in 1996′s Dead or Alive, Kasumi has always been overly-cute. While her outfits may change like the weather, her overall cute demeanor hasn’t, and she’s even spent a bit of time as a mermaid in her ending sequence for Dead or Alive 4. While that was a bit revealing, nothing could really compete with the fun to be had when she and her companions showed up, bikini-clad, in Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball.
Firiona Vie (Everquest)
The majestically beautiful Firiona Vie is the long sought-after covergirl to Everquest and its 16 expansions. She made her first appearance on the shelves of game shops across the country in 1999, when the MMO craze was just beginning to heat up. To this day, some of the hottest cosplay girls at conventions opt for Firiona’s look — it’s a classic.
Faith Connor (Mirror’s Edge)
2008 saw an interesting shift in gameplay when Mirror’s Edge made its debut — huds were lost and mirrors suddenly became hyperrealistic. Advances in game-graphics aside, this meant we could enjoy a truly good look at our own character as often as we wanted, and she was hot. Faith Connors made being a runner in a dystopian future look like a good thing — because she looked so good doing it.
Chun Li (Street Fighter II)
Chun Li is possibly the most absolutely loved and best remembered of all characters from the fighting game that birthed all other fighting games, Street Fighter II. She brought a desperately needed feminine presence to a testosterone-drenched atmosphere, and to this day there are gorgeous cosplay girls hitting up convention circuits in her stylings. She was even played by a not so bad looking Ming Na in the 1994 travesty of film by the game’s name, and again just recently by Kristin Kreuk — a much more fitting match.
Farah (Prince of Persia)
The gorgeous Indian princess of the Prince of Persia universe, Princess Farah has an affect on all who see her. Her role in the game is about as steady as her plot-lines, which isn’t saying much, but she is steadfastly beautiful throughout — and that’s what counts. After all, she’s not the main character, so we’re just fine with her being eye candy.
Alyx Vance (Half-Life 2)
Daughter of Dr. Eli Vance and ally to Gordon Freeman, Alyx Vance is the resident hotty of Half-Life 2. She was just a child in the original, but players were pleased to see that the move forward in the timeline was kind to her. Her looks are actually based off real-life actress Jamil Mullen, who is equally good-looking.
Ada Wong (Resident Evil)
Loyalists to Jill Valentine may cry foul, but Ada Wong is the true queen of the Resident Evil series. She’s so hot that film-makers chose her as their foundation when they set out to create the role of Alice, which would be filled quite successfully by our beloved Milla Jovovich. Wong’s been around quite some time now — first appearing in the original 1996 storyline — but she doesn’t actually show off her good looks until the second installment.
Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
It’s true; no list of video game heroines is complete without the awe-inspiring Lara Croft of the venerable Tomb Raider franchise making her appearance. Lara was so well crafted by game designers that she’s never needed a revamp, she’s just fine the way she is, and not even Angelina Jolie can beat her at her own game.
Nariko (Heavenly Sword)
The PS3 brought with it a massive emphasis on graphics-quality and smooth gameplay, and Heavenly Sword is testament to that emphasis. The game’s young, extremely hot, equally mean-looking heroine is Nariko, and she can kill multiple bad guys in a heartbeat while making male players uncomfortable in tighter jeans. Oh, and she likes to use both hands.
Tanya Adams (Command & Conquer)
Back in the old days, Westwood Studios had the bright idea to use live actors for their games’ cut-scenes. Along with some pretty hilariously bad acting, cheap backdrops and worse special effects, we got to see three hot women play the role of Special Agent Tanya Adams, as both quality and funding increased throughout the C&C series tenure. The role was finally given to none other than Jenny McCarthy, which meant that Tanya suddenly became a blonde, which didn’t bother anyone.
Zero Suit Samus (Metroid)
Making her debut in 1986, Samus Aran not only became one of the original game icons of an entire era, but she was also an unwitting pioneer in the role of women in gaming. She was originally a he, but designers were enamored with Sigourney Weaver’s character, Ellen Ripley, in the then very fresh Alien franchise. They chose to make her female in like representation, but it’s not readily apparent throughout the game. The final reveal in the end of the game is well-worth the wait, even in 8-bit.
Yuna (Final Fantasy X)
Going from classy, prim, and beautiful in Final Fantasy X to a little more scantily-clad and just plain hot in X-2, Yuna makes an impression no matter what she’s wearing. The character was meant to be a soft, lovable, calm sort — and she was — but she was also lusted after almost immediately by all who saw her. Unfortunately, kimonos of the type and quality that Yuna wore in X are a bit too expensive for most cosplay girls to effectively mimic. Lucky for us, the X-2 version not only shows more skin, but is easier to emulate in real life.
Talim (Soul Caliber)
There is and always will be fierce debate over the women of Soul Caliber, but a judgment call had to be made and Talim came out on top. Why? Because she’s just plain girlier than the rest. She’s the shortest character in the bunch, for starters, and her diminutive size lends to more playful qualities. They all wear glorified lingerie for “armor” in the game, so what she wears doesn’t matter nearly as much as what’s bouncing around underneath it all — and that’s quite nice too.
Joanna Dark (Perfect Dark)
The year 2000 saw a Goldeneye clone by the name of Perfect Dark hit Nintendo 64 consoles across the country, and the world met Joanna Dark. Even with the N64′s advanced technology of the time, Joanna wouldn’t be seen in her full splendor until 2005, when she made her debut a second time — in tasty 720p. Microsoft went to some trouble to make sure the world knew she was back and in hi-def, they even got her featured on the cover of FHM.
Zelda (The Legend of Zelda)
Millions of young boys grew up in the ’80s having felt the warmth accompanying the divine act of questing on behalf of Princess Zelda. As time’s progressed, so has technology and so has the Legend of Zelda. Zelda’s also grown older and more beautiful over the years, almost as though she were keeping in step with her original audience from 1986.
Xenosaga not only brought Nietzsche to the gaming industry, it brought KOS-MOS to the impressionable young minds of the countless, presumably nerdy, boys who flocked to the game upon its release. Never before had such a perfect, deadly, blue-haired android been so wonderfully rendered and let loose in a game environment. The games are fantastic, but her presence on the cover of the game packaging is likely responsible for no less than half of all sales.
Fran (Final Fantasy XII)
Fran is something special — not in that she’s a gorgeous video game character, or even that she’s magical or deadly. She’s special in that she’s basically a magical, bow-wielding, tall, slender, perfectly model-like mechanic with bunny-ears, olive-toned skin and platinum hair. She’s a picture of Playboy perfection in a Final Fantasy world, and that’s enough for us.
Shanoa (Castelvania: Order of Ecclesia)
The Castlevania series has always been known for its dark themes, poetic drama and harsh plot-lines, but Order of Ecclesia really steps things up a notch when it introduces Shanoa. This girl gives a whole new meaning to goth, and she does it in style.
Gloria (Devil May Cry)
The already formidably hot Trish, well-established in the Devil May Cry series as she was, became roughly three times hotter when she got a makeover and posed as Gloria in the fourth installment of the franchise. Gloria, wearing all the right things, is nothing short of stunning, and players often find themselves wasting time positioning the camera just to get a better look.
The ’90s was certainly blessed when Darkstalkers hit store shelves, as Morrigan, a ridiculously over-the-top-sexy succubus played a main role throughout the story. The bat-like wings coming out the side of her head are a bit weird, but they don’t seem to detract from her overall appeal — not one bit.
Zoey (Left For Dead)
Following in the footsteps of countless zombie-thrillers and Resident Evil-type games alike, Left For Dead added a twist when it made cooperative play a main focus of the experience. Another main focus: Zoey. The character was so attractive to horny nerds everywhere, that some of them decided to cook up a nudity mod for her — which really begs the question — does the carpet match the drapes?
Tifa Lockhart (Final Fantasy VII)
With legs longer than the human anatomy allows, Tifa Lockhart bounced into Final Fantasy VII, and our hearts, in 1997. The world was never the same again, and not just because FFVII wound up being one of the greatest games ever, but because of young Tifa and her friends. While the debate will rage on for millennia over whether or not Aeris was actually extremely hot, underneath all those clothes, one thing’s for certain now; Tifa was, and she didn’t hide any of it.
Her full name is November Annabella Terra, and she’s a bit of a mystery. Nova was born (fully grown and very hot) during Blizzard’s initial push to release a first-person shooter, with her as the main heroine. That project never came to fruition, but Nova lives on, making strange, (aptly) ghostly appearances at random. Now the general consensus is that she’s going to make her debut in the highly-anticipated StarCraft II. We can only hope, because the guys that Blizzard hires for artistic renderings have been extremely generous with young Nova, and we’re all dying to meet her.
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