The Best Female Movie Characters from Video Games


Video games have long been an important aspect of popular culture and have been in influence for many movie characters. These films have featured some inspiring strong female characters who originates in some of our favorite video games. The following list examines some of these characters in both their game and film versions.

Sonya Blade from Mortal Kombat

A publicity photo of Bridgette Wilson as Sonya Blade from the 1995 film Mortal Kombat. Source:
Bridgette Wilson plays one of the well-known movie characters, Sonya Blade from the 1995 film Mortal Kombat. Source:

Lieutenant Sonya Blade character is inspired by American martial artist Cynthia Rothrock. A commanding officer of the United States Special Forces. Sonya debuted in the original Mortal Kombat fighting game released in 1992, she was actually a late addition following a decision that the game would be improved with a female character.

One of the original seven playable characters in the Mortal Kombat franchise, her goal in most of the games is to pursue and capture the villain Kano and eliminate Black Dragon, his criminal syndicate.  Sonya Blade is from Austin, Texas and is a second-generation United States Special Forces officer, following in the footsteps of her father. In later games she works closely with her comrade Jax Briggs and her daughter Cassie Cage. In the game Sonya’s signature fatality is the “kiss of death” where she blows a kiss which burns her defeated opponents alive, turning them into a charred skeleton.

In the first Mortal Kombat film, Sonya is portrayed by actor Bridgette Wilson. In the film she is in pursuit of Kano leading her to Shang Tsung’s boat where she meets Liu Kang and Johnny Cage. The three of them are chosen by Raiden to represent Earthrealm in the Mortal Kombat tournament. The character also appears in the animated film Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins, the animated TV series Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm and in the second feature film Mortal Kombat: Annihilation where she is played by actor Sandra Hess.

Jill Valentine from Resident Evil Series

Jill Valentine appears in the film series second film where she is played by Sienna Guillory. Source:
Jill Valentine appears in the film series second film where she is played by Sienna Guillory. Source:

Jill Valentine is an American counter-terrorism officer who appears as a protagonist in game and firm franchise. Along with her partner Chris Redfield, Jill fights the Umbrella Corporation, a pharmaceutical company whose bio-terrorism creates zombies.

Jill was first introduced as one of two playable characters in the survival horror game Resident Evil released way back in 1996. The game’s plot follows Jill and Chris who are members of Special Tactics and Rescue Service (S.T.A.R.S). Their mission is to investigate the disappearances of their team members in the outskirts of Raccoon City.

The first Resident Evil film (2002) does not actually feature the character of Jill. Instead she makes her first film appearance in the second film Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004). Actor Sienna Guillory plays her in the film, the viral outbreak has reached the surface, and all exists to and from Raccoon City have been blocked off. Jill and her partner Peyton Wells are among the people trapped within the city. Jill is considered as one of the most iconic video game characters of all time, with a clear focus on her ability as a soldier rather than her sex appeal which was more common in games developed at the time.

Chun-Li from Street Fighter II

American actor Ming-Na Wen plays Chun-Li in the 1994 film. Source: Bing
American actor Ming-Na Wen plays Chun-Li in the 1994 film. Source: Bing

Chun-Li is a Chinese expert martial artist and Interpol officer who seeks revenge for the death of her father at the hands Shadaloo crime syndicate leader M Bison. Credited with an engaging backstory Chun-Li is considered a trailblazer for female characters in video games.

The movie character is notable for being the first playable female fighter of any fighting game franchise, making her first appearance in Street Fighter II: The World Warrior but in 1991. Arcade players and later console users embraced this woman warrior and since then, Chun-Li has become one of the series most popular characters featuring prominently in Street Fighter related media.

The Street Fighter movie was released in 1994 and starred American actor Ming-Na Wen as Chun-Li. In the film Chun-Li is a news reporter who along with her crew, a former sumo wrestler E Honda and boxer Balrog, set out to seek revenge against warlords Sagat and Bison. The character has also appeared in multiple anime, comic book productions, and a very poorly received film called Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. Dispite a bad film appearance the character remains adored by fans across the world and for many gamers she was the first female playable character they experienced.

Lara Croft from Tomb Raider

The theatrical release poster from the 2001 film starring Angelina Jolie. Source: IGN India
The theatrical release poster from the 2001 film starring Angelina Jolie. Source: IGN India

Lara Croft is the number one most recognizable film character based on a video game in this list. Lara is the protagonist in the brilliant Tomb Raider franchise, which has been highly successfully both gaming and cinema. Lara is English archaeologist who is both athletic, intelligent, and resourceful. She travels around the world discovering lost tombs and ruins.

Lara first appeared in first Tomb Raider action adventure game in 1996. In the first game she is in search of the three mysterious Scion artifacts spread across the world. Tomb Raider was massively popular upon it’s releases and has been credited as serving as a template for many 3D action video games. The original series had several flourishing squeals and was completely rebooted in 2013 for a new generation. The rebooted game serves as an origin story for Lara who is forced after becoming shipwrecked on mysterious island to battle for her own survival. The reboot depicts Lara as more vulnerable and is more realistic grounded compared to the original series.

In 2001 Lara Croft: Tomb Raider was released staring Angelina Jolie. While the film received some negative reviews, it was the highest grossing film on its opening weekend and Angelina Jolie’s performance was praised. A sequel titled Lara Croft: Tomb Raider the Cradle of Life was released in 2003. The film series like the games were also rebooted and in 2018 the film Tomb Raider which is loosely based on the 2013 game was released. This film starred Alicia Vikander. The film received mixed reviews from critics but was credited like the rebooted games as having a more realistic take on the franchise. Lara is a significant game character in popular culture. She holds six Guinness World Records and has strong fans following, making her the best film character to originally appear in a video game.

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