Girls with Guns: Top 10 video game women with serious firepower

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The realm of video games is perhaps one of the best places to find women of all shapes and sizes. One of those shapes and sizes just so happens to involve destroying just about everything that gets their way with serious firepower. There's just something about these gun-toting gals that draw in male and female audiences alike, whether it's the sex-appeal or in some cases a female power-fantasy (something that is severely lacking in the market).

Today we'll be looking at the 10 most powerful girls with guns in the video game universe. To fit the criteria the character must rely on these firearms for the greater portion of combat, and destroy at least one enemy that is twice their size.

With the criteria in check, let's take a look at the Top 10 Video Game Women with Serious Firepower!

Honorable Mention: Chell - Portal

Portal's Chell is quite the intelligent little devil. Navigating through GladOS's puzzles, confronting GladOS with nothing more than the Portal Gun, and destroying Aperture Labs - only to do it all again in Portal 2! If that's not enough of a resume for this gun-toting lady in heels (excuse me... Long-Fall boots) then maybe the fact that she's got the guts to leave Aperture into the open world of the Post-Half-Life series will sell you on that. Remember, she did wake up hundreds - if not thousands - of years after the first game according to this timeline.

While Chell is by far one of the more interesting characters on this list, her Portal Gun barely qualifies under our "firearm" criteria. However, her clever use of GladOS's own rocket launcher and turrets to destroy the evil computer mastermind gives her just enough destructive tendencies to earn her an honorable mention on this list.

#10 Ellie - The Last of Us

Ellie is the female lead in the PlayStation exclusive title The Last of Us. In her battle for survival, Ellie has used a variety of weapons to defeat hordes of fungal-infected zombies. Among her arsenal is a pistol that never runs out of bullets (gameplay mechanic, I know), molotovs, hunting rifles, shotguns, and more. To top it all off? She's only 14 years old!

While this is impressive and all, Ellie only makes this list because she is able to fend off adult-sized humanoid enemies. Having never even fought the larger bloater zombies by herself, Ellie earns herself the spot of #10 on our list.

#9 Claire "Lightning" Farron - Final Fantasy XIII

While Lightning is known for taking down enemies that are larger than her on a daily basis, her skill-set is one of the least explosive in the Final Fantasy franchise. In fact, her exclusive skill - Army of One - is basically nothing more than her slashing and shooting an opponent multiple times despite it sounding like a much more impressive ability.

What's worse is that she is almost always accompanied by a team, and among those team members is Vanille, a spell caster whose basic abilities can at times be more destructive and visually impressive. However, for her ability to fight much larger enemies on a consistent basis (and her gunblade technically being a gun) Lightning earns the #9 spot on this list.

#8 Alyx Vance - Half-Life 2

Alyx is perhaps the first crush of many young gamers. Appearing in Half-Life 2 (and the subsequent episodes), Alyx has fought against the alien Combine in an effort to save humanity. Mixing it up with a skill-set that includes: CQC, pistol and shotgun use, coming back from the dead, and causing dimensional tears alongside Gordon Freeman, Alyx is a force to be reckoned with.

Among Alyx's kill-count are a number of headcrab zombies, antlion guardians, and presumably larger Combine war machines. Paired up with her personal pet-project (I'm really sorry for the puns today, guys), she is the ultimate survivor in the Half-Life universe. Her intelligence, reputation, and general bad-assery earn Alyx Vance the spot of #8 on this list.

#7 Jill Valentine - Resident Evil

Jill Valentine is a force to be reckoned with. A survivor of the S.T.A.R.S. Mansion Incident, Jill has been known to tango with the dangerous T-Type Nemesis bio-organic weapon developed by Umbrella Corps. She has also been known to use just about any weapon from a lowly Beretta pistol to rocket launchers and flamethrowers depending on the situation. Her abilities in combat were only increased as a result of the P30 device attached to her chest in Resident Evil 5.

Jill is certainly one of the more dangerous ladies on our list - both as a life-saving ally, and a life-threatening enemy. However, she is not one of the most destructive. Her abilities for survival and combat earn Jill Valentine the #7 spot on our list.

#6 Lara Croft - Tomb Raider

Lara Croft is by no means superhuman. In fact, Lara is just another explorer in search of treasure and other ancient goodies. However, she often finds herself in situations that are supernatural in nature. In the Tomb Raider series, Lara is known to face off with a number of of mythological creatures such as minotaurs, Japanese oni, Egyptian gods and more! Even when she's not fighting other-worldly creatures, Lara has a habit of running into one too many Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Since she also has a bad habit of destroying more tombs than she raids, Lara earns her spot at #6.

#5 Sgt. Bama "the Hammer" - Heroes of the Storm

What do you do when you are pulled into an otherworldly arena, and forced to do battle against demons, angels, aliens, and magical creatures? If you're Sgt. Bama "the Hammer" Kowalski, blow them to hell with your Crucio-Class Siege Tank, that's what!

While Sgt. Hammer isn't exactly the most impressive gal on our list in terms of enemies killed, she does sport some impressive firepower and destructive capabilities. Just about everyone and everything that gets in the way of her siege tank is dead. This is without mentioning her arsenal including: spider mines, arclite siege cannons, her blunt force gun, and good ol' napalm strikes.

As a result, Sgt. Hammer climbs the ranks and demolishes the previous gun-girls with a #5 standing.

#4 November "Nova" Terra -Heroes of the Storm

Another member of the Blizzard's universes, November "Nova" Terra is among the most lethal. Imagine this: your job as a government assassin is not only to take out notorious criminals like the terrorist "Jim Raynor", but also to take out the unruly Protoss, and colossal enemies like the Zerg Ultralisk. Sounds like a difficult job, right? Not for Nova.

 As a Ghost operative, the Dominion Army is Nova's weapon. Her ability to call down nuclear missiles, Battlecruiser Yamato Cannons, and siege tank strikes puts her authority and destructive capabilities well beyond those of her predecessor, Sarah Kerrigan (when she was still a ghost that is). She also has the benefit of having a permanent cloaking generator, something that is only granted to the highest-ranking Ghost operatives.

That not enough to convince you? Well how about this: she is the only Terran Ghost known to mind control her opponents. That means no one is safe from her reign of terror.

With this stellar set of abilities, Nova Terra gets a well-deserved #4 slot on this list. Now if only she could get her own game...

#3 Commander Shepard - Mass Effect

Commander Shepard is perhaps one of the most powerful - and empowering - females on this list. Not only can she look as realistic, unrealistic, beautiful or... homely... as you want. She can also be as flirtatious or as dangerous as you want. But we're not here for her social life. Instead, we're here for the weapons of mass effect (get it?) that are at Shepard's disposal.

In example, Shepard is capable of using a number of weapons types ranging from space pistols, to shotguns, assault rifles, and snipers. However, it's Mass Effect 2 in particular that Shepard carries around the most heat. Weapons like the M-920 Cain nuclear launcher or the M-490 Blackstorm are literally weapons of mass destruction. This puts her above Nova Terra since she can pretty much launch a miniature nuclear bomb at any time.

While this is great and all, Shepard herself is not exclusively a woman, nor is she a character of her own. Since players have to decide what kind of woman (or man) Shepard is, she gets placed at #3 on this list.

But hey, for any fanboys or girls she certainly earns my #1 spot as the most fun at parties though, especially when Wrex and Grunt are around.

#2 Cereza/Bayonetta - Bayonetta

This sultry, sexy, and over-the-top gun-slinging babe is perhaps one of the most controversially discussed females in gaming. Why? Because even feminists can't seem to decide if she's a derogatory or empowering character.

While I'll leave that debate to someone else, I will say that Bayonetta certainly earns a #2 spot on this list. Having saved the world from apocalyptic destruction on more than one account, our little "Cherry" is one of the most lethal women in this list. With the powers of Hell at her disposal, Bayonetta has taken on - not one - but two gods, multiple archangels, several archdemons, and Rodin (basically Satan himself) in her short career.

Bayonetta's arsenal is nothing to scoff at either. If you thought dual-wielding guns was impressive, Bayonetta quad-wields a series of swords, pistols, flamethrowers, and rocket launchers. On top of that she has the ability to summon archdemons at will. While she is technically the hero of her series, she tends to be just as destructive as her opponents. Bayonetta has destroyed planes, airfields, skyscrapers, towns, cities, and more without much effort at all.

But there's always a bigger fish. That leaves us with the #1 gun-gal on our list...

#1 Samus Aran - Metroid

Some of you might be unimpressed by the Metroid protagonist taking the #1 spot, but hear me out because Samus Aran just might be the most dangerous gun-girl on this list. In fact, her abilities not only rival, but surpass Bayonetta's in combat, and here's why.

Unlike Bayonetta, Samus's weaponry has no drawbacks. Should Bayonetta die, her soul is forfeit. While this doesn't matter too much, there is one thing that does: Samus's suit never tries to kill her. In Bayonetta 2, Bayonetta's own demon summoning tries to kill her. Had Jeanne not stepped in the way, Bayonetta would be having a nice date with the devil as her soul gets eaten by demons. Samus? No such problem.

Okay, so maybe that's not fair, but lets look at their weapons. Samus has Power Bombs and the Hyper Beam. Both weapons are capable of penetrating walls, armor, and killing just about everything except for Samus. Even if we take the Hyper Beam out of the equation, Samus's Ice-Plasma-Wave-Long Beam of doom is enough to take out Bayonetta's demons. How do we know this? Because both demons and angels in Bayonetta bleed, and if there's anything that Metroid fans know it's that if it bleeds, Samus can kill it.

If that's not enough of a hard sell for the toughest critics, consider this: Samus has a tendency to not destroy temples or cities. No... Samus destroys planets. Over her career Samus has completely destroyed several planets, namely: Zebes, SR-388, and Phaaze. She also technically destroys Dark Aether if you want to count that too.

Tack on Samus's numerous suit upgrades, energy tanks, and weapons and you have one of the most over-powered heroines in the history of gaming. With such a track record, Samus Aran gets the honor of the #1 spot on this list.

That's all folks!

This is the end of my Top 10 Girls with Guns list. It's great to know that there's such a diverse set of women in video games that are able to stand among the guys in the big-leagues in terms of firepower, but I'm sure everyone can think of their own favorite gun-gals.

This is where I turn it to you! What other gun-totting girls in gaming can you come up with? Where would you place them on the list? Do you disagree with any of my claims or placements? Leave your opinions and ideas in the comments section below!

Published Aug. 27th 2015

Featured Columnist

Author, GameSkinny columnist, and part-time childhood destroyer. David W. Fisher (otherwise known as RR-sama) is a no B.S. reviewer and journalist who will ensure that you get as close to the facts as humanly possible!

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