Some would say horror games first hit arcades in the early 1970s upon the release of a game called Killer Shark, a game which required the player to simply shoot and kill a huge shark, whilst others would argue that the first official horror game was released in the 1980s and titled Haunted House, a game where players must find objects in a dark room. Either way, it’s safe to say that the horror video game genre has taken the world by storm, especially as of lately, since its introduction over 40 years ago.

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In fact, some of the most influential video games over the last decade have fell into this category. Not only have these games proven to have great health benefits, and are generally a lot of fun, but they’ve also helped to paint women in a much less sexist light than media had in the past. No longer were female characters strategically placed for the male eye, nor to be the damsels in distress the heroic male rescued – they became the very protagonist that saved the day. On that note, here are the most badass female characters in horror game history.



8 Meg (Dead By Daylight)

meg thomas dbd

Meg Thomas was one of four original Dead By Daylight survivors and arguably one of the most likely to survive an actual one on one with a killer outside the realm. Before being sacrificed to The Entity, Meg was a high school rebel encouraged to channel her energy into sport; she ended up becoming a prime athlete and high-endurance runner.

Whilst Meg isn’t as strong as the killer, or other survivors either for that matter, what she has in sheer stamina and athletic ability is unmatched. With that fact, combined with her few incredible perks (Quick and Quiet, Sprint Burst and Adrenaline), there is no doubt that she’d be able to escape any killer in a real life situation, and that’s exactly what makes her so badass.

7 Ada Wong (Resident Evil)

ada wong resident evil remake

Ada Wong radiates badass energy – she’s independent, athletic and confident. She’s a seasoned federal agent who is career-oriented; she’s able to separate from her feelings and isn’t afraid to come off cold if it means getting the job done.

Her storyline with Leon in Resident Evil 2 only helps to exude her mysterious, cool and collected nature, especially since Leon is, in some ways, her complete opposite. She plays the role of the typical femme fatale, and that’s precisely what makes her so great.

6 Sam (Until Dawn)

Sam from Until Dawn

If Until Dawn was a movie, Sam would be the final girl. Not only is she extremely likable and sympathetic, something that other members of the group certainly lack, she has all the necessary skills to ensure her survival: intelligence, athletic ability and quick-thinking. In fact, when the player takes control of Sam in the final moments of the game, her decisions are what determines who survives – it is her that could potentially save everyone.

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She’s also arguably one of the easiest characters to keep alive, only proving further that she is sole survivor material. All in all, she’s the whole package and an all-round badass (bonus points for being played by Scream legend, Hayden Panettiere).

5 Kaitlyn (The Quarry)

Kaitlyn In The Quarry

Her one-liners and sheer bravery is enough to deem this lovable character as badass, but that isn’t all. Like Sam, Kaitlyn isn’t just extremely likable, although her quick-wit makes her hilarious, she also radiates survivability, making her an ideal horror character. She’s a natural leader who often takes control of the group in incredibly scary and life-threatening moments, all whilst remaining calm and collected.

Kaitlyn is an expert marksman who also knows how to use a tourniquet – perhaps two of the most useful, vital skills to have in any dangerous supernatural situation. She exudes cool girl energy and is, in summary, the one character that anyone would want beside them in any real life horror-like scenario.

4 Claire Redfield (Resident Evil)

Claire leading Sherry Birkin in Resident Evil II

Claire Redfield is yet another strong and influential female within the Resident Evil franchise, introduced in the second installment of the series. Claire was trained by her brother, Chris, hand-to-hand combat and weapons handling at a young age and, despite her inexperience compared to those she fights beside, she always proves to be a tough opponent.

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She was just a college student during the events of Resident Evil 2 – not an officer or part of the military, she was just a teenager, yet still able to hold her own beside Leon in a city full of flesh-eating zombies. Not to mention, she was brave enough to not only look for her brother during the initial outbreak but also rescue a child she stumbled across and making it her mission to ensure her safety, often putting her own life in danger in the process. Her pure selflessness alone makes her a hero and absolute badass.

3 Ellie (The Last Of Us)

Ellie grimacing in The Last of Us Part II

Ellie Williams is, quite literally, a born survivor; born and raised in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. In the original game, Ellie is just 14 years old but still manages to prove herself to be a worthy fighter – its evident that she doesn’t lack the skills nor knowledge needed to survive. From a young age, Ellie is presented as a brave, strong and confident female character and this badass persona is only made more clear within her encounter with David.

Of course, fans know that both her inner and outer strength only greatens in the sequel to the game, The Last Of Us: Part 2, where she is just 19 years old. In the case there is a third installment of the franchise with an older, adult Ellie, there is no doubt she’d be in the running for perhaps the most badass female character of all time – especially since she’s spent her entire life dedicated to survival; she can only get stronger.

2 Heather Mason (Silent Hill)

Heather Mason from Silent Hill 3

Heather Mason is the main protagonist of Silent Hill 3, adopted daughter of Harry Mason, the original survivor of the Silent Hill franchise and, of course, a character reborn from the souls of Alessa Gillespie and Cheryl Mason. Heather is the target of a cult who want to use her body to rebirth God; her father is murdered, and she is sucked into the Otherworld – a nightmarish astral plane. Despite everything she goes through during the events of Silent Hill 3 she remains calm and collected, focused on stopping the cult and making her escape.

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Whilst she is just an average teenage girl, at times she’s seemingly invulnerable – in fact, she is able to single-handedly kill the partially-formed God. Perhaps Heather’s most badass moment in the entire game is when she kicks a defeated God in the face several times out of pure rage and pent-up emotion. This incredible character was praised by a number of critics, and for good reason – she is one of the most influential and ground-breaking female characters in gaming history.

1 Jill Valentine (Resident Evil)

Jill Valentine - Resident Evil

Resident Evil is full of powerful, brave and all-round badass female characters but Jill takes the number one spot; her fearless, selfless and determined attitude makes her one of the most iconic, kick-ass females in video game history. Jill has been a great example of a strong female character from the very beginning, even within her lore: before the events of the original Resident Evil game, Jill was not only a member of the US Army, she was also one of the few women in the Delta Force, ultimately leading to her employment in S.T.A.R.S, an elite section of the RPD.

Not only do players get to see Jill defeat one genetically-engineered super-creature, but two, including relentless bioweapon Nemesis, one of Resident Evil’s most powerful bosses, single-handedly. She was the first playable female character in a survival horror game and has earned her title as both a fan-favorite Resident Evil character and generally one of the best video game heroines of all time.

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