This week on Q, Screenboy Jesse Wente argued that gaming is increasingly a realm that's attracting female players...and that means more female characters in the actual games, as well. Here are his picks.
JESSE'S TOP TEN FEMALE VIDEO GAME CHARACTERS
1/ Samus Aran (Metroid Prime series) - one of gaming's best twists was discovering that the alien-blasting hero of the game was a woman all along
2/ Lara Croft (Tomb Raider series)- biggest game heroine despite the lackluster recent games
3/ Zelda (Legend of Zelda series) - Link's true love, who has the bad habit of disappearing for stretches
4/ Faith (Mirrorÿs Edge) - awesome game with a better proportioned and sympathetic heroine - an instant classic
5/ Chun Li (Street Fighter) - always lost to her during epic arcade battles - kicked-butt as good as any of the male fighters in the legendary arcade classic
6/ Princess Peach (Mario series) - Mario's main squeeze who has a habit of getting into trouble
7/ Alyk Vance (Half-Life 2) - smart and good with a gun, just what you need in a dystopian future with giant monsters
8/ Jade (Beyond Good and Evil) - plucky journalist in one of the most underrated video games of all time
9/ Cortana (Halo series) - yes, she's just a halographic projection, but Master Chief loves her anyway
10/ Jill Valentine (Resident Evil series) - a zombie blasting mainstay in one of gamings greatest franchises - can't wait until part 5 next year!