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In video games today, it’s all too common that the female characters are created with the purpose of being eye candy for players, and not created to be real women who gamers can look up to. However, a lot of developers have taken notice of this and created memorable female characters that all women can look up to. Here are a few of my favorites.

Elena Fisher
Uncharted series

Everyone loves “last year’s model.” Elena Fisher, Nathan Drake’s love interest in the Uncharted series, can hold her own. She progresses from a broadcast journalist who hosts her own show in Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, to an investigative journalist and foreign correspondent in Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. Elena is a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man. Seriously, though–Elena is a great character because she’s not just tagging alongside Drake waiting for him to kill all the bad guys; she can handle herself well.

Madison Paige
Heavy Rain

A brave journalist is always impressive. Madison Paige, one of the four playable characters in Heavy Rain, will go to great lengths to get a story. Unfortunately, she suffers from insomnia and horrible nightmares, and the only place she can find peace at is motels. The reason I like Madison so much is because she isn’t perfect; she’s a real human being with real issues. She has weaknesses, but her strengths overcome them. And, she rides a motorcycle, which makes her that much more awesome.

Bonnie MacFarlane
Red Dead Redemption

Any time a female character in a game is perceived as equal to her male counterparts, I am pleased. Bonnie MacFarlane is one of the few female game characters who isn’t sexed up to make gamers happy. She helps her father run their ranch in Hennigan’s Stead, and has been working on the farm her whole life. She can certainly do a “man’s job,” and she looks good doing it. Bonnie doesn’t take anyone’s crap, and that’s one of my favorite things about her.

Lara Croft (2013 version)
Tomb Raider series

We have seen Lara in many forms throughout the years. Having discovered the Tomb Raider series late, the first time I controlled Lara was in the 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider. I instantly fell in the love with her character. She is tough, yet sensitive. People love her because she’s attractive, but she isn’t trying too hard (not in the 2013 installment, anyway).

The Last of Us

Ellie is probably my all-time favorite character in any video game. She is one of the main characters in Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic title , The Last of Us. Even though she doesn’t always have a weapon, she helps out Joel, the main character, by throwing bricks and bottles at enemies, and sometimes even by knifing them in the back. She would do anything to survive, and she would never let anything happen to Joel. Although she is only 14, the world she was born into has made her wise beyond her years.

Who are some of your favorite female video game characters? Let me know in the comments below!