Female gamers have been on the rise since the beginning of the 21st century and this is a trend that we hope will continue. In what used to be and still is (though not as prevalently as before) a male-dominated space, women are slowly but steadily erasing the ‘Girls don’t like playing video games’ stereotype for more than a decade now with a more than 40% rise in female gamers.
So we have finally arrived here, a safe space for girls to explore their own gaming potential through some brilliant games with not just empowering themes but also exceptional gameplay and storylines. It’s important to realize that games are not inherently gender-specific. Whether you’re a girl or a boy, you can play any game that you feel drawn towards. As long as you have a console and are willing to learn how to use a controller, you can beat the feeling of intimidation and experience the thrill of exploring a world that’s not your own.
Before we dive into the list, remember that just like everything else, there is no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to gaming as well. So yes, there might be games that you’re absolutely into and there will be ones, that despite critical acclaim, may not be your cup of tea. Games, both that appeal to you and don’t, are worth giving a try at least once because you really never know what might click for you in the end. Let’s go!
Fantasy/Adventure Games For Girls
Horizon Zero Dawn
An open-world action RPG (Role-Playing Game) developed by GuerrillaGames creators, this post-post-apocalyptic (as Guerrilla Games coins it) game is set around the story of Aloy, an outcast who lives with her adopted father.
You will live her journey and play her character through a beautiful world that changes and morphs into radically different scenes through its city architecture and wild landscape that represent different tribes and cultures. Boss battles, explorations, mechanical monsters, and a race against time to save the world from its own wretched past make Horizon Zero Dawn a game worth playing.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a cross between a PuzzleWalk and a brutal action-adventure. Following a Viking attack on her home that leaves her lover dead, Senua descends into the Norse underworld of Helheim to reclaim Dillion’s soul from Hela herself.
Heartbreak is painful and so is dealing with one’s personal trauma. But there’s something resonant about the way Sinua battles through her own issues and works through her own despair which girls will undoubtedly relate to.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
In Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, your task is to basically guide two brothers on a fantasy journey in which you must solve puzzles, explore different worlds, and fight battles. One of the major benefits of gaming is that you can literally put yourself in someone else’s shoes and explore a different perspective. A relationship between brothers is a beautiful thing and while you inherently cannot experience it, there is the next best way.
The Last of Us
The second installment of Last of Us created such shockwaves across the gaming community that many are yet to get over it. But Last of Us stands firmly entrenched as one of the most heartwarming games ever.
In a treacherous adventure as Joel and (sometimes) Elle, you will journey across the post-pandemic United States in an attempt to reach the Fireflies in the hope of developing a cure. To date, this father-daughter game is legendary and we bet that you will find yourself invested in this game for reasons that go beyond gameplay and plot.
Far Cry 4
Why not Far Cry 3? Because for one thing, it has too many adult themes and while Vaz is our all-time favorite villain, Kyrat is the game setting that we will never get over. As Ajay Ghale, the American son of Kyrati freedom fighters who returns to his Himalayan birthplace to scatter his mother’s ashes, you will inadvertently get embroiled in his parents’ revolution, making your way through the magnificent landscape of Kyrat. Far Cry 4 is a definite must-play.
Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
Lara Croft is a legendary heroine in the gaming world and for good reason. In Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, Lara finds herself in tough situations after getting shipwrecked on a mysterious island.
Tension and intrigue are the most dominant themes throughout the game and you will not be able to put down your controller once you start. The Definitive Edition is the most polished and graphically rich of all the Tomb Raider games and you will have a truly immersive experience with this one.
Narrative Adventure Games For Girls
Developed by Fullbright, Tacoma is a Sci-Fi narrative adventure set aboard a high-tech space station well into an advanced future. You, as Amy Ferrier, have been sent to investigate and recover omnipresent AI, Odin for Venturis, the corporation that owns Tacoma. As you go about your mission, you’ll explore every detail of how the station’s crew lived and worked, piecing together and solving the clues to events that led to the disaster in the ship.
This game is a must-play for girls who love solving mysteries and have a keen investigative mind but is, of course, is recommended for just about anyone looking for a great Sci-Fi game. With its eerie effect and gradual unraveling, get ready for some intense moments as a gamer.
What Remains of Edith Finch
What Remains of Edith Finch is a series of narrative minigames about a cursed family in Washington state, developed by Giant Sparrow. The premise of the game is set around the lives and deaths of each member of the family. From childhood scenes video recordings, this game is heavily focused on narrating a painful albeit beautiful story.
Each vignette ends tragically, but offers a compelling sketch of a person and a time, spanning across a century of family history. The cathartic value of games like these cannot be quantified and no matter the age of the player, there is something deep and insightful to be experienced through What Remains of Edith Finch.
A Case of Distrust
Developer Serenity Forge’s A Case of Distrust is a narrative mystery game set in1924 San Francisco. Your character, private investigator Phyllis Cadence Malone will investigate underground speakeasies, billiard halls, classic barber shops, etc to collect evidence and catch suspects. This game is worth exploring for themes like sexism and racism that Indie developers like Serenity Forge are not afraid to explore in a noir-style setting with a powerful heroine who is not afraid to break conventions and pursue justice.
Casual/Irreverant/Cute Games for Girls
A Multi-Player Online Battle Arena game, Overwatch comes with minimal (kind of irreverent) storyline and a straightforward concept: Two teams face off against each other in different maps and game modes.
Unlike most FPS games, Overwatch is not gritty and dark, in fact, it’s so colorful and fantastic that you will thoroughly enjoy planning your strategy and even find yourself coming back for more.
Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight
Really catchy music and beginner-friendly controller moves make Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight a great rhythm game. Silly banter, cute concept, and irreverent themes make this game a chill play that keeps things light and super engaging at the same time. Plus, there’s it’s incredibly satisfying when you nail a perfect score.
The Sims 4
Creating your own character along with a complimentary virtual life is a major creativity booster. As much as simulation games like The Sims 4 are set far apart from reality, things can get super real when you have to manage the finances of your Sim and make crucial life decisions for him/her, even if it’s for a game.
But the chance to create something and cultivate it in a virtual world is an interesting experience. So even if you’ve just heard the name of the game in passing and chosen to ignore it, we recommend that you at least give it a try.
Indie game studios are producing such unique and interesting games that it shouldn’t come as a surprise when Lienzo, released Mulaka, a 3D action-adventure game based on the rich indigenous culture of the Tarahumara. The game explores the rich breathtaking landscapes of Mexico and is a cultural treat as it attempts to bring indigenous folklore to life.
You won’t hear a single word and yet a thousand emotions are experienced in this casual adventure game. A variety of landscapes and your literal travel through them (in different conditions) makes this game a very therapeutic experience. It doesn’t matter how well you can game for this one, just venture on this journey, and once it’s over you’ll only want more.
Episodic Graphic Adventure Games For Firls
Life is Strange
If there is a game that captures the struggles of adolescence, it’s this one. Developer Dontnod’s Life is Strange is about a shy teenage girl named Max Caulfied who suddenly develops time-reversal powers and struggles to use them responsibly.
But as the saying goes, with great powers comes great responsibility and in this case, you as Max will have to make some tough decisions throughout the game. The game is ideal for beginners who are comfortable with some emotional upheaval and looking for a seriously deep experience.
Whether you’re a gamer dad hoping to show your little girl the wonders of gaming or just a curious parent who wants to indulge your daughter’s curiosity, we hope you found a game on this list that, even if it may not be conventional, meets the precedent you want to set for her and empowers her to grow and thrive in this world.
To all the girls who came here either from curiosity or simply stumbled upon this article, try a game out, and gauge how you feel about it. It’s worth experiencing at least once and it could even be your calling. Happy Gaming!