Considering there are just as many female gamers as there are male, it can probably get a bit frustrating having to play as yet another overly-macho meat-head in every big release every year. Hell, I personally fit the target audience for these wide releases to a T, and even I'm sick of the overly gruff white dude archetype that acts as the default protagonist in every new franchise. Of course that's not to say there aren't any great women characters in gaming, because the difficulty I had narrowing this list down to a mere 20 proved to me just how many iconic females we do have in the medium. There's been a few questionable portrayals over the years, for sure, but to focus on those would be to ignore the great, relatable nuanced characters that populate many of gaming's greatest experiences. Unfortunately, because this list would be never ending without doing this, I've decided to limit our character picks to one per franchise. If we were to, say, pick out every defining female character from a series like Mass Effect or even Resident Evil, this article would be over 100 entries long. So, while you might disagree with the people I've chosen to represent specific franchises, bare in mind that plenty of blood, sweat and tears went into cutting this list down to 20.