Inclusivity is an important issue across the world – and that’s no different with video gaming. Developers, writers and designers are working harder for equal representation with more female lead characters at the forefront of not just indie games but AAA, high-budget games as well.
It doesn’t matter if you own a Sony PlayStation, a Microsoft Xbox, a Nintendo Switch or a PC, there are many strong female figures for you to team up with through epic adventures. In this article, we'll take you through genre, gameplay time and other considerations and recommend our top ten picks for you to order from Amazon, Argos and eBay.
Finding the perfect video game to dedicate the next few weeks of your life to can be a tedious task with a surplus of games up for grabs and multiple factors creating roadblocks along the way. Join us now for our buying guide where we break down some of these obstacles to make sure you find the perfect pick!
You don’t have to be a veteran gamer to figure out which genres excite you and which you find too much of a challenge. You won’t struggle to find yourself a female protagonist leading the line in a vast array of games including aspects of puzzle-solving, intense battling and hair-raising horrors. Here's our breakdown of each.
If you’re a fan of slaughtering endless hordes of mindless enemies, action games will keep your adrenaline high as you work your way through mind-blowing action sequences and incredible battles to gain victory. Adventures games offer you the chance to follow the story by exploring large maps and using lateral thinking to solve challenging puzzles and riddles.
Many incorporate both action and adventure elements to create epics that are made for the masses. These grasp the finer details of the two genres to create some head-scratching, all-guns-blazing adventures for you and your leading woman.
For all the hardcore horror heads out there, you’re in luck, as there’s a list of female-led scary thrillers to keep you on the edge of your seat. Some of these games will have you sneaking around dank corridors, surviving hordes of zombies, fleeing from the grasps of monsters and demons and battling mental health and psychosis.
Horror games put your heart to the test through a narrative-based tale that includes aspects from other gaming genres. These game types are much more linear and follow the story closely, all while having a focal point on the visuals to scary you senseless and keep you on the edge.
What makes open-world games so attractive is the sense of freedom you receive when first entering your chosen realm. Although you are typically given the main quest to follow, you gain a freeing edge of exploration where you can spend time chatting to NPC’s, completing side quests, finding collectables, picking up resources and battling foes.
While drawing from other genres, open-world games do everything on a bigger scale; you feel like you are living and breathing the lands around you with detailed landmarks and locations. These are perfect choices for those who don’t want to be tied down to linear events.
It is safe to say that video games – whether with a female lead or not – are not always appropriate for all audiences with killing, terrifying scares and explicit language being just a few of the adult themes featured across releases. Fortunately, games are well regulated with a PEGI rating which refers to the age at which an individual can legally purchase or rent a game.
Many games fronted by women are action-adventure games featuring themes of violence and are recommended for 16 years plus. That isn’t to say there aren’t ample choices available for younger audiences, however, with indie games and big-budget hits on the market for all ages.
Finishing a game can be a euphoric feeling but it can also leave you at a loss due to relationships you have built with characters in the game. When you fall in love with a game, you are hungry for more content – and game developers are aware of this, working hard to create new levels to extend your journey and start new adventures in a familiar world.
Downloadable Content, or DLC, is exactly what it says on the tin – additional content for download. These usually come at a price, but games will often release a season pass which puts all current and future content in one nice bundle. Be aware that you will need an online connection to download this content, as they are typically sold through your console's online store.
Some games are short, some games are long and some games you never want to end. These are all important things to take into consideration when picking your next big female-fronted quest.
It’s not unusual to be put off games with over 30+ hours of playtime as this is a big responsibility to put on one's shoulders. If this doesn't appeal, there are great female-led games on the market under 15 hours which will have you hooked in the story, backing the character and utterly satisfied with your accomplishments.
Open-world games are typically longer experiences due to the freedom to explore and the associated quests. Other games may follow a linear path or have restricted maps that you unlock after completing the previous one, which may interest people who aren’t ready to delve into hours and hours of gameplay.
Now we've finished with the buying guide, it's time to join the most badass women in gaming on their big adventures. Including everything from the inspirational to the downright scary, the wait is finally over for our top 10 female protagonist games that you can pick up in the UK today.
|Platforms||PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|Play Time||9 hours|
|Platforms||PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Switch, PC|
|Play Time||15 hours|
|Platforms||PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|Play Time||6 hours|
|Genre||Hack and slash, action-adventure|
|PEGI Rating||18 +|
|DLC||Bayonetta 1 included|
|Play Time||11 hours|
|Platforms||PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC|
|Play Time||43 hours|
|Play Time||7 hours|
|Platforms||PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PC|
|Play Time||10 hours|
|Platforms||PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC|
|Play Time||8 hours|
|Play Time||24 hours|
|Genre||RPG, open world|
|Play Time||30 hours|
Horizon Zero Dawn
The Last Of Us: Part II
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
Assassins Creed: Odyssey
Bayonetta 2 (Including Bayonetta 1)
Resident Evil 3 (Remake)
Mirror's Edge: Catalyst
Join a Powerful Woman on Her Journey of Self-Discovery
Two Tales of Revenge in a Bleak Portrait of the Future
Battle Your Inner Demons as You Fight Your Way Deep Into Hell
One of Lara Croft's Darkest Tales
A Refreshing Take on a Previously Male-Fronted Quest
Join a War as a Mighty and Uncomprimising Heroine
A Bewitchingly Intense Hack N Slash
A Remake of a Horror Classic With a Courageous Lead
Save the World From an Other-Worldly Threat
Parkour Across the City in an Off-the-Grid Platformer
|Platforms||PS4, PC||PS4, PS5||PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC||PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PC||PS4||PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC||Nintendo Switch||PS4, Xbox One, PC||PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Switch, PC||PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|Genre||RPG, open world||Action-adventure, horror||Action-adventure||Action-adventure, puzzle||Action-adventure||Open world||Hack and slash, action-adventure||Horror, zombie||Horror, science-fiction||Action-adventure|
|PEGI Rating||16+||18+||16+||18+||16+||18+||18 +||18+||18+||16+|
|DLC||Yes||No||No||Yes||No||Yes||Bayonetta 1 included||No||Yes||No|
|Play Time||30 hours||24 hours||8 hours||10 hours||7 hours||43 hours||11 hours||6 hours||15 hours||9 hours|
Want more guides to the best video games out now? Of course you do! Check out some of our genre-themed picks below. And seeing as you're here looking for inspiring female-led adventures, don't miss our curated article by Ash of @Tomb of Ash where he shares his ten all-time favourite Tomb Raider titles.
We hope that this article has helped you discover your next big adventure with powerful women at the forefront. While this list is representative of some of our favourite games with female protagonists, remember that there are a plethora of choices out there which represent women equally and are just as important in promoting a needed change. So what are you waiting for?
Author: Kieran Davies
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