Top 5 African American Female Video Game Characters

African American females are now filling more roles in video games. See which ones made the top five.

With the rise of role-playing games (RPGs) that allow custom character creation, it's easy to make a character of any skin color. However, nothing can replace the permanent status of game characters that are intentionally created a certain way to give stability and finesse to a game's story plot or campaign. African-American characters are on the rise in video game culture, and that's a beautiful thing. Here are the African-American female video game characters who have made an impact in video games both over-the-years and recently.

1. Aveline de Grandpre - Assassin's Creed III: Liberation

Aveline is the leading lady of her own segment of a very popular game series. She's a beautiful, skilled Creole (French and African mixed heritage) woman who hates witnessing injustice, especially when it comes to slaves.

According to the in-depth trailer from the game's official website, Aveline's mother was thrown into slavery when Aveline was little. Since that time, Aveline has seen too much wrong-doing to just idly sit by and watch. The Spanish try to take over her hometown, but she swears her allegiance to the Assassin Brotherhood and plans to take them down herself - a noble cause for a noble woman.

2. Marlene - The Last of Us

She's the leader of the anti-military group, the Fireflies, and she knows Ellie very well. She seeks to use Ellie to create a cure for the plague that has wiped out the human race, but fails to tell Joel and Ellie how that would be possible at the start of the game.

Although she's a non-playable character (NPC) in-game, she's a strong woman who leads the resistance. Her ideals greatly influence Ellie and thus she drives the plot of the game event though she is only seen on-screen a few times. Although her group falls under the military's backlash, her undying devotion to finding a cure for the infection is noteworthy. She had good intentions to save the world and amazingly found and held on to the right resources to do so until the end of the game. She definitely added to the emotional influence of the game as well.

3. Sheva Alomar - Resident Evil 5

She's an agent from the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (B.S.A.A.) and hails from West Africa, according to an informational video on She's tough, she has great mêlée attacks and she's Chris Redfield's partner in-game. Together, they unravel the mystery behind a global bio-organic weapon operation that goes well beyond the Umbrella Corporation.

She runs and fights alongside Chris with confidence and style. She's calm under pressure in the cutscenes, quick to react in case Chris is in trouble and holds a significant leading and supporting role throughout the game. One of the few times she shows emotion is when she receives word that she and Chris have to continue with an outrageously dangerous themselves.

4. Rochelle - Left for Dead 2

She's not exactly a "femme fatale" among a group of three guys, but don't take her lightly either. According to the official Left for Dead 2 website, Rochelle was a "low-level associate producer" before the zombie apocalypse went down. Now, she's busy surviving to move up in the broadcast journalism ranks if everything goes back to normal.

Rochelle is fast and efficient with weapons when it comes to killing the undead. She knows how to work as a team player and handles herself well among a group of guys, which makes her a top character.

5. Tanya - Mortal Kombat series

She's a brutal woman who knows how to rip apart guys like Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Johnny Cage. She comes off as a seductive, harmless woman who loves yellow, but she's the real "femme fatale" of this list. She's had merciless fatalities and has gone through an interesting series of transformations over the course of her Mortal Kombat life only to end in tragedy. Maybe she'll make a cameo appearance in Mortal Kombat X or even be a playable character! After all, Liu Kang did come back as a zombie.

Tanya's deadly fatalities from Mortal Kombat Gold include a "kiss of death" that causes the recipient's limbs to twist and break before the entire mangled body explodes. She's the last person you'd want to kiss or fight against, but she'd be the first person you'd want fighting for your team, which makes her a perfect candidate for this list.

African-American women are rising in the ranks through video games, but still need a bigger presence in story plots and campaigns in general. Aveline, Marlene, Sheva, Rochelle, and Tanya are all perfect examples of how African-American women appear in video games past and present. Hopefully, African-American female characters will continue to keep a presence in future video games to come. They're symbols of strength, perseverance, and courage, and those characteristics are what great game characters are made of.


I'm a wife, a mother, a video game enthusiast, a lover of video game journalism and music journalism, and overall just a big kid on the inside! Writing is my life!

Published May. 4th 2015
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Featured Correspondent
    Would Vivienne from Dragon Age: Inquisition belong on this list?
    I think that Sheva should be swapped out, just because the game was terrible, yes she is a badass, but is just bland in the game.
  • That guy_6913
    Tanya reeeeally belongs at #1.
    1. She was pretty much the ground breaker for black women in video games.
    2. She probably has the greatest character depth of any of the 5 mentioned.
    3. She's not a walking stereotype.
    4. Let's face it. It's a 94% probability that she could probably crush the other four in one fight. This is a woman who, as you stated, can go toe to toe with demons, mystical versions of the Shaolin and GODS. It's really no contest.
  • Sarah Smile_1631
    Love the article because little is said about black women in video games .

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