Over the past twenty years, I’ve seen a lot of girls in video games. From rescuing the beautiful Princess Zelda to finding out that the badass guy in Metroid was really a chick the whole time. There is one thing that every video game girl has in common: sexiness. Developers know that players want to rescue the sexy princess. Finding out that Samus is a girl would have been entirely disappointing if she turned out to look like Queen Brahne. Lately, there has been a huge increase in focus on female protagonists, and it got me thinking… who is the sexiest video game girl? Oh come on, you’ve had that thought, too. Of course, I couldn’t choose just one, so without further ado, here are the ten sexiest girls in gaming.

Samus Aran (Metroid Series)

We’ve already mentioned Samus, but let’s be honest, she’s a classic. Not only does she look incredible in that skin-tight suit of highly-advanced armor while still managing to be flexible enough to curl up into a ball, Samus Aran single-handedly took down an entire alien race. Multiple times. She’s also recognized as being the first playable female character in a mainstream video game, according to the most recent Gamer’s Edition of the Guinness World Records. She’s not, however, the only girl handy with a gun.

Joanna Dark (Perfect Dark)

Joanna Dark has been absent from the gaming world for over seven years now, but there’s no denying that she is remembered by all. Being the first female protagonist in a first-person shooter, she proved that she had just as much talent with a gun as any James Bond wannabe, perhaps more. It wasn’t until Perfect Dark Zero that we got a real sense of Joanna’s character, but at this point, she’s mostly known for being a sexy gun-toting redhead that’s just as dangerous as she is beautiful.

Faith Connors (Mirror’s Edge)

Mirror’s Edge never really got the attention it deserved, and as a consequence, the lead heroine Faith is barely remembered by the gaming community. Aside from being a rebel fighting against the injustice of a corrupt government, she is everything that a sexy video game character should be. Her appeal comes not from an outrageously sculpted body or skimpy outfits, but from her cleverness, strength, and athleticism. What’s not to love?

Every Girl from the Dead or Alive Series

It’s pretty safe to say that Dead or Alive hasn’t been a worthwhile series in years. What started as a top-notch fighting franchise has turned into a joke about video game girls. After all, it spawned its own spin-off series, Dead or Alive: Extreme Beach Volleyball, which was as much about volleyball as Grand Theft Auto IV is about bowling. Sure, it’s in the game, but the real focus was on gaining cash to buy skimpier outfits for the characters. Dead or Alive is all about the female fighters looking as sexy as possible, and in many regards, it succeeds.

Tifa Lockhart (Final Fantasy VII)

Every fan of Final Fantasy VII is troubled by the death of Aerith. It was a sad moment that has arguably become the most emotional moment in video game history. I, on the other hand, welcomed it, hoping that it would open Cloud’s eyes to his childhood friend Tifa. How Cloud ever managed to drop the ball on that one, we’ll never know, but Tifa is, perhaps, the sexiest Final Fantasy character to date (though Lightning comes in at a close second). Take one look at her and you’ll immediately see two big reasons why; her fighting ability and her heart of gold. Wait, what were you thinking?

Catherine (Catherine)

It’s hard to make a “Sexiest Video Game Girls” list without including Catherine, considering the entire game that she is in is all about, well… how sexy she is. You play a man who gets a bit scared when his girlfriend starts talking about commitment, and he ends up having an affair with the mysterious and super-sexy Catherine. Of course, you aren’t the first man to do so, and those that have also fallen for her seductive nature are trapped in a nightmarish world full of the most dangerous staircases ever built. Did I mention they all appear as sheep, symbolizing the effect she has on men? Catherine’s sole purpose is to turn into every man’s perfect fantasy in order to tempt them, meaning that she will always be the sexiest woman to every man.

Liara T’Soni (Mass Effect)

Admit it, when you first found out that you could develop relationships with the crew of the Normandy, you set your eyes on Liara. So what if she was completely blue? It only accented her big, blue eyes that never failed to capture Commander Shepard’s attention. She’s incredibly intelligent, which is always a sexy attribute, but has a bit of naivety and shyness that keeps her from having a “holier than thou” attitude. As a gamer, we all knew what we wanted to see. And if you played your cards right, it could happen.

Bayonetta (Bayonetta)

Black high heels that also happen to be pistols. Skin-tight outfits. A cocky, sarcastic attitude. There is very little that needs to be said about just how mesmerizing Bayonetta really is. Though her use of her own hair as clothing may be a bit weird, when she really gets into the heat of battle, there are few words to describe the stunning presentation of her athleticism. Not to mention that fact that she barely manages to stay covered because she’s also using her hair as a weapon. Female demon hunters are few and far between, which brings us to our next girl:

Juliet Starling (Lollipop Chainsaw)

Look at the image above. Examine it for a bit. Juliet Starling is so sexy that she has everyone drooling and clamoring over one another just to get their hands on her. Yeah, I suppose it could be the constant hunger for human flesh, but does Juliet look scared? No. You know why? Because after she’s finished posing for the camera, she’s going to use her rainbow powers to slaughter every one of those zombies with a massive chainsaw decorated with diamonds and hearts. Yes, you read that correctly. Juliet is a different breed of zombie killer, abandoning the trench-coat, mercenary stereotype to fight a group of demonic musicians while looking amazing in her San Romero Knights cheerleader outfit. Or a bikini. Or a maid costume. Or a bunny suit. The list goes on and on. Her attitude never drops below “perky,” and she is a welcome addition to zombie hunters everywhere.

Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)

I’m not talking about classic Lara. Sure, for a long time, Lara Croft was the epitome of a sexy video game girl, but as the series went on, her figure became more and more exaggerated, eventually crossing the line into ridiculousness and absurdity. No, we’re talking about the new Lara Croft, a born survivor with a sexy British accent who takes a beating that even John McClane couldn’t walk off. Seriously. She survives an intense shipwreck only to be kidnapped, stabbed, burned, thrown down several mountains, caught in an unimaginable amount of explosions, all while fending off cultists and ancient supernatural forces. And she manages to look damn good while doing it. She gets off to a rocky start, but by the end of her latest adventure, it’s hard not to fall in love with a strong girl who’s killing her enemies with explosive arrows while yelling the “proper English” equivalent of “come at me, bro.”

There you have it, the ten sexiest girls in video games. Female protagonists are becoming much more common in gaming, and there are already a few interesting ones waiting for their chance to shine this year. Their sexiness is no longer measured on looks alone, but on their personalities and their actions. Okay, so the revealing outfits never fail to impress, but gaming has come a long way over the past few years. Feel free to let us know what other Girls in Video Games you think should make the list or be a close runner up in the comment section below!