Have you always wanted to get into playing video games, but never felt like the titles that were out there were geared towards your interest? For a long time, much of the global gaming industry has been male-dominated, from the companies that design and create games to the demographics that play them. Over the years, the balance has shifted, and now 48% of gaming audiences identify as female.
While the gaming industry has some catching up to do before it could be considered truly diverse, a number of development companies have stepped up their efforts to create female-friendly games in recent years. More and more games feature well-rounded and realistically drawn female characters in lead or supporting roles, while some have been designed by women for women.
If you want to make 2023 the year that you start playing games online, here are the top five to get started with.
Overwatch, developed by Blizzard Entertainment, is a first-person action game in which teams of six players battle each other for ultimate victory. This game is big within the eSports community and has become a firm favourite with female gamers. Overwatch is great for female players because it offers a refreshing take on the more traditional action games that are centred around male protagonists.
The game itself takes place in a futuristic world where players can choose from a variety of intriguing female and male characters, each with their own unique backstory. These heroes wield impressive weapons and showcase their incredible skills in fast-paced, dynamic, and highly intense battles set in a vibrant and colourful environment.
As the name suggests, online poker is a digital version of the popular card game that’s played online. Gamers anywhere in the world can access online poker with just a screen and a data connection. The game can be played on iGaming platforms like PokerStars, downloaded in different formats from the Steam store, or even played on mobile devices.
What makes playing poker online so great for women is that it’s easy to learn the rules of the game thanks to the numerous resources that are available online. Poker is a challenging, strategic game, making it useful for developing decision-making skills as well as being enjoyable to play.
Portal 2, a game that won Game of The Year in 2011, revolves around the story of a woman named Chell, who is compelled to take part in a sequence of tests by a malicious artificial intelligence entity known as GLaDOS. Players take on the role of Chell, a silent protagonist who can only be seen as her reflection during the game.
Kim Swift, the game’s creator, is a prominent figure in the video game industry, being recognised by Forbes as one of their 2012 ’30 under 30′ picks in the games and apps industry. Kim even provided the voice for GLaDOS. Furthermore, Portal is one of only 14 games chosen by the Museum of Modern Art to be included in their permanent collection.
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate is the ninth instalment in Ubisoft’s series of action-adventure open-world games. Set during London’s Victorian Era, this game requires players to navigate the conflicts that arise during this period and carve out their own niche in society.
Uniquely for this franchise, players can play one of two protagonists, including the female lead, Evie. Together with her brother, Jacob, Evie needs to conquer the criminal underworld of London, engaging in stealth, combat, intrigue, and exciting carriage races. This innovation has made Syndicate a fan favourite, particularly among women gamers, who appreciate the opportunity to play as a female character.
Journey is a game that remains just as popular with gamers today as it was during its 2012 release. This award-winning game was female-led from the start, having been produced by Robin Hunicke and developed by Kellee Santiago’s Thatgamecompany.
In Journey, players control a non-verbal robed character who journeys through a desert towards a distant mountain. As the game progresses, gamers even encounter other gamers who are playing in real-time, but communication between characters is limited to music notes.
The game’s epic musical score was widely praised and was nominated for Best Soundtrack at the 2013 Grammy Awards. It’s also won numerous Game Developer Choice Awards, including Game of the Year, Best Audio and Best Game Design.