Playable female character

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Games with a playable female character are noteworthy because, although women make up roughly 50% of the world's population, games which feature playable female characters make up far less. Those few games that do feature a playable female character often have her as a single female in an otherwise all-male cast, or change the character portrait and swap an "M" with an "F" in a status box. Since having a playable female character is a novel concept, I have made a category for it on my Wiki. Most gaming databases have lists for female protagonists, but my site expands the category to any playable female character, even if she's a side-kick or other minor playable character. Games which feature a playable female character often also have a strong female character, though not always.

The first game I ever remember playing where a playable female character was a notable experience for me was King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella around 1989. Although I had played games like Ms. Pac-Man before, the fact that she was female was totally irrelevant to the game, so I never really considered it to be important. At first, I didn't like the idea of having to play a princess in a game because I wanted to live out my boyish fantasies of being a strong heroic knight, however, as I matured and my tasted in fiction became more nuanced, I began to really appreciate games which feature playable female characters. I'm pleased to see that percentage has been increasing over the years, but there is still a long way to go before playable women appear in a tenth of the games being made, let alone half.


These are games that are important to me which feature a playable female character. For all games, see the category.

Title Released Notes
Borderlands 2009-10-20 One of the playable classes is Lilith the siren.
Borderlands 2 2012-09-18 One of the playable classes is Maya the siren.
Diablo 1996-12-31 The rogue class is female.
Diddy Kong Racing 1997-11-21 Pipsy is the only female kart racer.
Final Fantasy VI 1994-04-02 Playable female characters include Terra, Celes, and Relm.
Gauntlet 1985-??-?? The Valkyrie is female.
Golden Axe 1989-05-?? Tyris Flare.
Gone Home 2013-08-15 The game's protagonist Katie.
Her Story 2015-06-23 The game's protagonist is female.
King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella 1988-??-?? The protagonist Rosella.
Left 4 Dead 2008-11-17 One of the survivors is Zoey.
Left 4 Dead 2 2009-11-17 One of the survivors is Rochelle.
Mario Kart 64 1996-12-14 Princess Peach is the only female kart racer.
Metroid series 1986-08-06 The bounty hunter Samus Aran is a woman.
Portal series 2007-10-10 The protagonist Chell.
Secret of Mana 1993-08-06 Primm.
Super Mario Bros. 2 1988-10-?? Princess Peach.
Ultima series 1981-??-?? Almost all of the Ultima titles allow you to play a female character, and later titles even alter the player's graphics.


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