The last statistic I saw stated that 40% of gamers are female, so I think it’s safe to say that women are really making our way into the gaming world. Here is a list I put together of who I think are the most influential women in games and why. These women have inspired me, and countless others, to get out there and game like a pro. These ladies are strong, smart, badass, and pretty to boot. Enjoy.

5. Anya Stroud (Gears of War series):
Anya Stroud was a Communications Officer turned full on Gear. She is strong and even at the worst of times seems to find the light side of things. Living in the shadow of her mother may have been hard for Anya but she never let it take her down, and she kept fighting to make her own name in COG. She may even seem like a side character compared to the main characters, but let’s be honest: Marcus would be totally lost without Anya – in more ways than one.
4. Elena Fisher (Uncharted series):
Elena Fisher is the female lead in the Uncharted series, and plays quite a large role throughout the games. Elena is a journalist who meets Nathan Drake while doing a story, and even after he tries to ditch  her she is persistent and stays on his trail. She is his anchor of sorts and it seems like no matter what, he can’t get things done without her around. She is a strong willed character who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty to get what she wants.
3. Jill Valentine (Resident Evil series):
When I first played Resident Evil and realized I could play as either Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine, I obviously picked the girl because lets be honest, she was super cool. Jill was one of the first females to prove that girls can kill zombies just as good as guys can. She has appeared various times throughout the Resident Evil series, and has been the main character in a game or two. The Resident Evil games wouldn’t be the same without her, and there would also be a lot more zombies if she wasn’t around.
2. FemShep (Mass Effect series):
Now at first, I was a little weary about adding a character to this list that is from an RPG where you can pick whether or not you play as a male or female, and since both of them are the same as far as dialog goes. But I felt the need to add FemShep specifically, and even put her towards the top of the list, because of the large fan following she has. Jennifer Hale has brought FemShep to life, without her brilliant voice acting, the female Commander Shepard would have been just as dull as the male Commander Shepard. Men and women alike choose to play as the curvier Shepard for various reasons, but we all love her as a character.
1. Lara Croft (Tomb Raider series):
There is a reason why I chose “LadyCroft3” as my handle. Lara Croft is an exceptional character. She has proven that you don’t need to be a bikini modelling stripper to be taken seriously. She is strong, both mentally and physically, and she is independent. Both are great qualities for a woman to have, especially one with as much media exposure as Ms. Croft. Growing up, I always looked up to her for her personality and ability to basically just get shit done without seducing every guy along the way. For me, she is the most influential woman in gaming.