Gaming is becoming a more and more popular hobby for modern women, and it’s being proven that gaming is not just for guys anymore! There are so many different genres of video games out there that it’s easy to branch out from stereotypically girly games and find something to fit every woman’s interest. while still maintaining a bit of street cred!
1. The Dragon Age series
A super fantastical role-playing game (RPG), the Dragon Age video game series is what really turned me into a hard-core gamer. There are currently 3 games in the series; Dragon Age: Origins, Dragon Age II, and Dragon Age: Inquisition. For each, you get to create your own character and persona for the game. A beautifully done series featuring mages and dragons, what makes this series so unique is the amount of choices you have as a player. Every decision you make in-game will impact your ending, for better or for worse. This makes the games super re-playable as there are endless different choices to make for different outcomes. There is also a unique romantic aspect to the game as you are able to interact with companion characters, develop relationships with them, and romance them – all while killing demons and casting spells(if you choose to play as a mage)! This is a must-play for anyone who loves a good story as well as any fans of the fantasy genre. Purchase Dragon Age Origins here!
2. Star Wars: The Old Republic
Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), which means you play it online and interact with other players from all over the world! This makes it really fun to play with friends, whether they are in the same room as you or on the other side of the world! If you’re a fan of the Star Wars movies, you will love interacting with this familiar world. You get to choose your side: join either the Galactic Republic or side with the Sith Empire, and the choices you make from there-on-out will impact your morality spectrum, deciding if your character has light or dark tendencies. It’s free to play, just download it, so you can spend hours in the Star Wars world before deciding if you want to purchase a subscription or not. Download and play for free here!
3. Sid Meier’s Civilization V
Sid Meier’s Civilization games are what are known as turn-based strategy games. As the player, you are competing against other AI (artificial intelligence) controlled players to build a civilization. You must become the most powerful civilization by creating units and improving your land, building up your resources such as food supply, and all while maintaining diplomatic relationships with the other civilizations. When you end your turn, the AI players then take their turns while you watch and you must use tactical thinking and strategic planning to stay ahead of them which makes it great for people who enjoy games that require a logical and thoughtful approach. Buy here!
4. Left 4 Dead 2
A first person shooter (FPS) game, in Left 4 Dead 2 it’s you and your team versus the zombies. As a first person shooter, you experience the game through the eyes of one of the protagonists, and the goal is pretty simple: Make your way from Point A to point B, shoot zombies and survive! There are special types of zombies in the game that are each granted different abilities, so you need to have quick reflexes to recognize each type and how to handle them. You can play this game on your own or you can play coop with a few friends; my husband and I enjoy setting up our Local Area Network (LAN) connection and fighting off the hordes of zombies together. This one especially is a great game for beginners as it’s pretty straightforward and easy to get the hang of, but still plenty of fun! Buy here!
5. Hitman series
Hitman is a stealth/assassination series of games; you play as an agent known only as “47” and your goal in each scenario is to take down targets without attracting too much attention to yourself. You will need to take on disguises to blend in with your enemies and complete your assassinations without raising an alarm. While you can complete your goals by slaughtering all enemies in sight instead of taking a stealthy approach, you are awarded with higher rankings, better weapons, and more cash if you manage to employ a more subtle approach in taking down the targets. There are 6 games in the Hitman series(with another one currently in the works), each continuing your story as Agent 47. Purchase the Hitman Collection here!
6. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Distantly related to the Dragon Age series, Skyrim is another fantasy role-playing game. Surprisingly, it actually features more dragons than Dragon Age does! In the world of Skyrim, you design your own character who fills the role of the Dragonborn and is the only person who can truly stop the dragons from destroying the world. The game is also known as an open world game because you can explore freely and there are endless things to discover. Even if you finish the main storylines, the game can never truly be beat as there are always more sidequests to do and new areas to explore. One thing that makes this game so amazing is how flexible it is; you can go from dual-wielding swords to using archery or magic, all with the same character if you wish to! This game gives the player the ultimate freedom and you will never run out of things to do. Purchase here!
7. Defense of the Ancients 2 (DotA)
This multiplayer online battle arena game Defense of the Ancients, more popularly known as DotA, actually started as just a mod for Warcraft III. You get to choose from many pre-made characters that are known as Heroes, and the goal is simple: Take down your opponent’s units and destroy their towers(while defending your own, of course!). Heroes are classified by three characteristics; Strength, Intelligence, and Agility, and each individual hero has 4 abilities that are unique to them. You can play with your friends online (up to 10 players are allowed) or just against computers. Use potions and items to strengthen your Hero and win the game! Games are about an hour each, so even if you don’t want to dedicate countless hours to a game, you can still feel a sense of completion. Download the latest version here!
8. Alice: Madness Returns
Based on the very familiar world of Alice in Wonderland, Alice: Madness Returns is a psychological horror action-adventure game. One of the few games on this list with a female protagonist, you control Alice herself, who suffers emotional and mental trauma as she tries to uncover the truth of her past. Alternating between Wonderland and the real world, as Alice, you must uncover secrets to unlock the memories of your past, defeat twisted enemies (your primary weapon being a butcher’s knife known as the Vorpal Blade), and seek assistance from such familiar characters as the Chesire Cat and the Mad Hatter while learning the truth about the tragedy that happened to Alice’s family. The story keeps you hooked and the graphics are absolutely beautiful in the game’s portrayal of the mad world of Wonderland! Purchase game here!
9. Condemned: Criminal Origins
While this game can fall into the category of a first-person shooter, it’s actually more of a first-person brawler; while there are guns in the game that you can use, melee weapons are far more common. A complaint that I personally have about this game is the story isn’t the most interesting (go for Dragon Age or Alice: Madness Returns for that), but the psychological horror elements give it an interesting aspect. You play as a crime scene investigator who has been framed for murder, and you’re on the hunt to find out who really did it and who framed you. Since it’s entirely in first-person and the scenes are quite often dark and quiet, enemies can sneak up on you out of nowhere and startle you. If you’re the kind of person who likes mysteries, you’ll enjoy this game as you’ll be required to search for evidence to build your case against the mystery killer and prove your own innocence. Buy game here!
10. Grand Theft Auto IV
Here’s a game that is literally about street cred. Grand Theft Auto IV is an action-adventure game with an open world setting. You play the game as Niko Bellic, a European who has followed his cousin, Roman, to Liberty City in pursuit of the American Dream. Upon arrival, you discover that Roman’s life is far less glamorous than you were led to believe. Along with the main story that you will be able to progress by completing missions, there are tons of sidequests and areas to explore and you will find yourself stealing cars, employing violence, and doing many shady things to get what you want. Purchase game here! And if you like it, start on Grand Theft Auto V!
These are just 10 games out of thousands, so start exploring and find out what strikes your fancy! For me, I most enjoy role-playing games where I get to customize a character and make decisions that impact the game. Some prefer strategy games where you have to plan your moves ahead. Others prefer fast-paced first person shooters. Whatever you like, there is something out there to suit your interests so don’t wait any longer, pop in the CD and start gaming!