The question on which female character had the greatest impact in the gaming industry is a tough one to answer. In fact, some might argue that its a rather vague question considering the fact that so many female protagonists helped revolutionize different genres of gaming. When it comes down to old school action adventure games during the 80’s & 90’s the Metroid series is one of the few that comes to mind. When the original Metroid game was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in the mid 80’s it seemed like such a big deal during the time. When it came down to action adventure games during the 80’s and even the early 90’s female protagonists were not common in many video games. In terms of popularity and sales Metroid is considered to be very successful in gaming industry and continues improve with age.
When it comes down to female characters within fighting genre of gaming one of most popular names that instantly comes to mind is Chun-Li. She was the only female character in Street Fighter II and arugably the most popular fighter in the entire series. After Street Fighter II: World Warrior was released in 1991 the gaming world had begun to see more female fighting characters as the decade progressed. After the Street Fighter II became popular we got to see the emergence of fighters such as Cammy White, Karin Kanzuki and Sakura Kasugano within the series. In Mortal Kombat we got female characters that could arguably rival Chun-Li in popularity such as Sonya Blade, Kitana and Milenna. During the mid to late 90’s the gender ratio was slowly starting to change and some would probably attribute it to Chun-Li’s role as being the first very popular female character in the fighting genre of gaming.
In the action adventure genre of the gaming Lara Croft was another popular female protagonist who made her debut in the mid 90’s on the Sony PlayStation home console. While the Metroid series contains more elements of science fiction Tomb Raider feels closer to being non-fictional as a action adventure game. Lara Croft is an archaeologist and a treasure hunter who has been featured in several games and movies. When it comes down to the gaming world Lara Croft is arguably the most popular fictional character to make to the big screen. Since the inception of the Tomb Raider series the Lara Croft character has been voiced by six different actresses and has remained to be one of the most significant video game characters of our time. A majority of the Tomb Raider games are classics making it difficult to choose which one was the best overall. But in terms of sales the Tomb Raider title released in 2013 was the best selling title for the series overall.
When it comes down to influential female characters in the role playing genre of gaming one of the many titles people think about is Final Fantasy X-2. When this game was first released in the early 00’s the idea of having a female trio consisting known as the Gullwings as the main protagonists felt special. Having three female characters who were both tough and charismatic was something that really turned heads during the second part of Final Fantasy X. While being accompanied by her friends Rikku & Paine many saw Yuna as a strong leader and a solid character that Square Enix could easily build a story around in Final Fantasy X-2.
While some people might argue that Tifa Lockheart from FFVII was more popular than the Gullwings or even Lightning from FFXIII for the most part they would be politically correct. Final Fantasy VII is considered to be the most popular game in the series and saying that Tifa Lockheart paved the way for the likes of Lighting or the Gullwings would be a huge understatement. Overall, there have been many female characters in many different genres of gaming who have made a significant impact within the gaming industry. While Samus Aran and Lara Croft are the main characters of their own respective series its difficult to say who had a greater impact on the gaming industry as a whole.