Female characters have always played a crucial role in the history and development of gaming. Whether we are talking about the infamous Lara Croft, the legendary Samus Ran from the Metroid game series or (of course) Zelda, these are all examples of strong heroines who have been able to lead their respective franchises to glory and fame (as well as millions of sales).
However, in the past decade female characters have played a role even more prominent in video games than they used to. So, here is a list of 11 of the coolest female heroines of the past decade:
11. Aveline de Grandpré (Assassin's Creed III: Liberation)
Why she is cool: Aveline is a deadly assassin of French and African heritage, who lived in the area of New Orleans during the middle of the 18th century. She is a character for whom values such as justice, dignity and liberty are of immense importance. Come on now, admit that it is almost impossible to be cooler than a lethal female assassin, who is also a freedom fighter.
10. Jaina Proudmoore (World of Warcraft)
Why she is cool: Jaina is the most powerful, talented and respected human sorceress in Azeroth. With astounding health (279,127,200) and mana (1,637,000) indicators, great power and charming looks she definitely deserves her place on the list.
9. Elika (Prince of Persia)
Why she is cool: The princess of Ahura and servant of Ormazd, god of light and a guardian of the Tree of Life is one of the best (and most underrated) A.I. companions in recent gaming memory. Moreover, she looks absolutely stunning and is more than a skilled acrobat.
8. Clementine (The Walking Dead)
Why she is cool: Clem is an original character, who was specifically designed for The Walking Dead video game series.
A mature, kind and polite girl, she acts as the moral compass of the group and tries her best to maintain the humanity of her companions in a post-apocalyptic world. After losing the people that were the closest to her, Clementine becomes even more hardened, but still bravely overcomes the dangers of the world that she lives in.
7. Anya Stroud (Gears of War Game Series)
Why she is cool: Very few characters are more courageous and skilled in battle than Anya Stroud. The love of Marcus Fenix's life has suffered through the death of her mother and many of her friends, but she has never shied away from even the scariest of battles.
6. Elena Fisher (Uncharted Game Series)
Why she is cool: Elena Fisher has been criticized in the past for her unrealistic combat prowess and abrasive personality. However, she is definitely someone who is equal to (if not better than) any male character. Fisher is an independent, strong and attractive woman who accompanies the series' protagonist Nathan Drake and serves as his sidekick and love interest, while managing to keep up with Drake's total awesomeness.
5. Commander Shepard ( Mass Effect Game Series)
Why she is cool: The female version of Commander Shepard definitely stands her ground against her male counterpart. She is depicted as a strong and bold protagonist who has many masculine traits. Also, her armor is not overly sexualized or revealing, putting an emphasis on her moral values such as heroism, bravery and altruism, rather than her appearance.
4. Alyx Vance (Half-Life 2)
Why she is cool: Alyx has a reputation for being one of the most intelligent and sexiest characters in gaming. It should be said that Gordon Freeman's valiant companion definitely stands up to this reputation by being extremely popular even more than 10 years after Half-Life 2's release.
3. Ellie (The Last of Us)
Why she is cool: Much like Clementine, Ellie is "mature beyond her years" as a result of the circumstances of her environment. An impulsive, violent, but also caring and hardened girl, Ellie has been praised for her unique relationship with the other The Last Of Us protagonist - Joel and also for being an LGBT pioneer in gaming.
2. Faith Connors (Mirror's Edge)
Why she is cool: Faith is one of the most unique and badass video game characters who were ever created. With distinctive looks, unmatched agility, speed, intelligence and tenacity, she puts most female characters to shame.
1. Elizabeth (Bioshock Infinite)
Why she is cool: Who else?! Elizabeth is undoubtedly the greatest A.I. companion in video games since Half-Life 2 's Alyx Vance. In addition, she has hyper-realistic expressions to help players see her from across the battlefield, as well as a two-tone colour scheme and unique silhouette.
Despite her powerful abilities, Elizabeth is a character with whom players can sympathize with and she also adds greater emotional depth to the amazing Bioshock Infinite which makes her the coolest female character of the decade.