76) Marle (Chrono Trigger)
Shaun: It saddens me that Marle is so far down on this list. Personally, I think Marle is one of the best RPG characters of all-time, and her growth and character arch was one of my favorite aspects of this enduring classic.
Chris: It’s unusual to see a character with three votes end up this far down. Unfortunately, while a few people clearly liked Marle (myself included), it just wasn’t enough support to do the trick. You’re right, though — the journey from spoiled princess to dependable ally was great.
77) Chloe Frazer (Uncharted)
Chris: The love triangle is rarely done well, but it was by far the most interesting part of Uncharted 2. Did Nathan Drake make a mistake in his choice? Your mileage may vary.
Shaun: The answer is no because Elena’s freaking awesome, but Chloe is pretty legit, too.
78) Anya Stroud (Gears of War 3)
Shaun: Offering comm support for Gears of War 1 and 2, it was nice to see Anya slaughter some Locust in Gears of War 3 with the best of them.
Chris: Hell, it was nice just seeing a female character infiltrate the bro-heavy monotony that is Gears of War. I’m not sure what she sees in Marcus, but then again, I’m not sure what anyone sees in Marcus.
79) Rosalina (Mario)
Chris: Rosalina is better than Peach in every imaginable way. There it is. You can either adapt this new way of thinking into your life or accept our differences and move on.
Shaun: I would argue Rosaline is the only real “character” in Mario, outside of a depressingly insecure Luigi and a strangely obsessive Bowser.
80) Silvia (Viewtiful Joe)
Shaun: Silvia is what would happen if Princess Peach had enough crap and joined Mario to kick Goomba ass, but became even more capable of a hero than Mario.
Chris: If your boyfriend spent a little bit too much time enjoying movies, and then you got pulled into a movie and forced to play damsel in distress for a little while, you’d probably jump at the opportunity to get a watch that gave you superpowers and kick some ass too.
81) Yuna (Final Fantasy X)
Chris: A great character with the heart and drive to follow her father’s path to becoming a summoner, even though she knows what happened to him as a result. We are not going to talk about X-2 in this space, however.
Shaun: I kept waiting for Yuna to fall into the same annoying tropes that I expected from a character like her, but she subverted them at every turn and became one of the strongest characters in a game known for its (mostly) strong cast.
82) Hawke (Dragon Age 2)
Shaun: When we first meet up with Commander Shepard, she’s a soldier of some renown but who has not even attained elite status yet. When you boot up Dragon Age 2, Hawke is already a legend and a champion, and we get to see what made her what she is. That’s impressive.
Chris: Another of the characters who might have placed higher if there weren’t both male and female variants to split the vote. Personally, I’d play a female Hawke as well once I get around to diving into Dragon Age.
83) Yukiko Amagi (Persona 4)
Chris: Though Yukiko seems too reserved and quiet to be interesting in the very beginning of the game, she gradually evolves into your most dependable healer and a deceptively sarcastic girl.
Shaun: I love characters with complexity that isn’t readily apparent until you dig deeper. Yukiko is that character.
84) Talim (Soul Calibur)
Shaun: I didn’t realize we had three characters from Soul Calibur on this list, but I can’t complain, because Talim is easily my favorite character in the whole series. Yes yes Kilik, you killed your whole family on accident. Okay Siegfried, you got possessed by the sword and turned evil. Right, Ivy, you’re trying to kill your horrible undead pirate father. Talim? There’s no baggage. She’s just absurdly fast and lithe and fights for peace and justice. That’s it.
Chris: Considering what a jumbled mess the Soul Calibur universe has become, I greatly appreciate a simple, straightforward character like Talim. I also appreciate that she’s still a regular-looking person, unlike atrocities such as Ivy and Taki.
85) Noel Vermillion (BlazBlue)
Chris: Noel leads an often confusing and troubled life, but this we know for sure: She’s a terrible cook. In my limited time with BlazBlue, she was one of my favorite characters to use.
Shaun: With a great design and fun playing style, Noel is one of the more memorable aspects of BlazBlue, which is impressive when you consider what a confusing, mind-numbing mess the story is.
86) Maria Renard (Castlevania)
Shaun: A vampire hunter that rivals Simon Belmont, Maria has shown up in several iterations of Castlevania, and hopefully will continue to do so whenever they decide to resuscitate the brand.
Chris: What were you doing when you were only 12? Fighting vampires? Probably not. Me, I spent most of my time watching cartoons and crying when my family moved and I lost all my friends. I think Maria might be tougher than me.
87) The Empress (Aliens vs. Predator 2)
Chris: So…uh…yeah. I guess it’s neat that the Empress essentially runs a bunch of Xenomorphs, but I don’t know if I see any character development or depth here.
Shaun: But Chris, if we’re judging our list based on which characters would win in a head-to-head fight, it’s hard to go wrong with the ring-leader of the “designed for death” Xenomorphs. If I got to choose to fight the Empress in an abandoned space station or Lara Croft in an old tomb, I’m grabbing my flashlight and fedora.
88) Cybil Bennett (Silent Hill)
Shaun: I’m sorry, if you have face the sort of monstrosities and horrors that the characters in Silent Hill do, you’re automatically on our list. Congratulations. Go to the front of the line and accept your medal.
Chris: I’m not even sure inclusion in our fantastic list is enough. Are there coupons for free foot rubs and sunshine? Can we find a way to make that work? Hell, that’s probably not enough either. Silent Hill is the worst.
89) Estellise Sidos Heurassein (Tales of Vesperia)
Chris: Though she’s saddled with a few all-too-familiar tropes (she’s the sheltered princess who’s never seen the ocean!) and treated like crap in the final third of the game (thanks, Alexei!), I still liked Estelle. She also helps Yuri stay grounded, which is important.
Shaun: A counterpart to one of ATB’s best male heroes, Yuri Lowell, Estelle has to deal with a bunch of BS in Vesperia, but perseveres nonetheless.
90) Chie Satonaka (Persona 4)
Shaun: Not my favorite character in the Persona 4 bunch, but her fierce determination and ability to kick things to the moon amuses me greatly.
Chris: Yeah, Galactic Punt goes a long way. So does a nearly insane obsession with steak, so much so that a video series parodied her love of it, and then Persona 4 Golden put that in as an actual reference. Not in my top three, but I think that speaks to how good most of the female characters in P4 are.
91) Flora Reinhold (Professor Layton)
Chris: If you spent most of your life with robots and had the chance to head out on an adventure with Professor Layton instead, I’m pretty sure you would choose exactly the same path.
Shaun: Flora quickly became my favorite character in this series, easily beating out the one-note gentleman scholar Layton and his annoying boy sidekick Luke.
92) Xianghua (Soul Calibur)
Shaun: My second favorite fem in Soul Calibur, Xianghua is arguably one of the canonical “heroes” of Soul Calibur, having earned the titular blade herself despite her upbeat, quirky personality.
Chris: Xianghua might be a little too happy-go-lucky for some people’s tastes, but I thought she was fine. The fact that she and Kilik get together eventually is pretty cool, except for the fact that Soul Calibur (like a LOT of things in the series) went and ruined it later.
93) Leliana (Dragon Age)
Chris: Once I finally take the plunge and play through Dragon Age, I think Leliana will be my Warden’s best companion. I always appreciate having a strong archer to back up my character’s melee abilities.
Shaun: Easily the most interesting companion in Dragon Age, Leliana always stood out to me due to the dichotomy of her inspiring, optimistic outlook and tragic past. On the flip side, if my cereal gets soggy it ruins my day.
94) Ashley Williams (Mass Effect)
Shaun: Strangely racist and annoying poetic, Mass Effect 3 completely saves this character by making her more capable, more mature, and refreshingly introspective about how sucky she used to be.
Chris: It also made her more attractive. And while I’d like to say something less shallow than that, I wasn’t a huge fan of Ashley’s character, so I had to go with something.
95) MOM (World of Goo)
Chris: An endearing search engine with eyelashes? I suppose we’re going to have to ask the question if this truly counts as female (and it’s going to happen again in our top 10), but I’m strangely okay with it.
Shaun: I’ll let it slide. If HK-47 is a guy, then MOM can be a lady.
96) Li-Ming (Diablo 3)
Shaun: Like all the great characters defined by disobedience and free-thought (Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Pan from Pan’s Labyrinth), Li-Ming proves that you can do what you want as long as you can kick the requisite ass to back it up.
Chris: Li-Ming straddles a dangerous line that Shaun mentioned — your character can be sarcastic and annoyingly astute, but only if you actually have some skill to go along with it. She’s on the right side of the line, though.
97) Lady Calista (The Last Story)
Chris: Calista is Princess Jasmine in video game form. Disguising her identity with a hooded cloak and escaping through the city streets with a ruffian? Check. The difference is that Calista doesn’t need saving — she actually bails out the main character at one point and holds her own in combat with ease.
Shaun: It’s too bad she doesn’t also have a pet tiger, or she had a shot of making it higher on our list.
98) Jade (Beyond Good and Evil)
Shaun: One of the first great, strongly written female protags in gaming, Jade relied on her determination and exceptional photo abilities to save the day instead of a huge rack and scant clothing. It was a trend that was too late in getting here but has thankfully started to catch on.
Chris: You almost wonder if Jade was too precocious, and if that hurt Beyond Good and Evil commercially as a whole. Were we prepared for self-sufficient, normal-proportioned women as lead characters in 2003? I don’t think so — at least not enough of us.
99) Sophitia Alexandra (Soul Calibur)
Chris: Sophitia was fun when she was just trying to destroy the Soul Edge and protect her children. Then the series made her sacrifice everything for stupid reasons, and…well, she was still fun in combat?
Shaun: Perhaps the most relatable character in a series of increasingly absurd ones, Sophitia stands out for the simplicity of both her fighting style and her intentions.
100) Snow White (The Wolf Among Us)
Shaun: Shockingly complex and surprisingly compelling, The Wolf Among Us offers us a look at a much different, much better Snow White than the wet blanket we’re used to. Disney: take notes. Then go back in time and make her better.
Chris: Haven’t had a chance to jump into The Wolf Among Us yet (there’s Walking Dead season 2 to consider, after all). Still, everything I’ve heard about Snow White has been amazing.