2013 was actually a pretty neat year for women in starring roles in video games.

Big releases with a female protagonist:

Tomb Raider - There were certainly moments in the 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider that felt uncomfortable (and let's not delve into the foot in mouth moments during development), but they actually managed to turn Lara Croft, a personality-free sex symbol (ask me how I feel about the Tomb Raider franchise), into a pretty cool character, and the game was pretty well received.

Remember Me - Another game starring a woman. The game didn't do so hot, and wasn't really well received, but it still earns kudos for that, right? I don't know, I didn't play it.

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Beyond: Two Souls - Beyond: Two Souls is far from a perfect game, and there were even some things about the game's portrayal of Jodie (played by Ellen Page) which bothered me enough that I hesitated to mention it, but it's still a video game (and a pretty major release, at that) which stars a female character who isn't a sex symbol. That's a good step in the right direction, even if it has some similar stumbles to Tomb Raider.

Big releases with a female secondary protagonist:

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Bioshock Infinite - Booker was the main character of Bioshock Infinite, but without doubt, the story was as much or more about Elizabeth as it was him, and the game was, again, really well received.

The Last of Us - Another game where you play as a white dude voiced by Troy Baker, but where the story belongs to a supporting female character too. The Last of Us would not have worked at all without Ellie.

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Fire Emblem: Awakening (spoilers) - Lucina was absolutely the most memorable character from Fire Emblem: Awakening for me. Technically the player avatar is the main character, and Chrom would be the next most major, but Lucina is probably the most important character after that. Imagine Terminator if the Kyle Reese part were given to a woman. ...Uh, and she were going to save her dad instead of the mother of the leader of the revolution. And there were dragons and zombies instead of— All right, maybe it's not so much like Terminator. The point is, in a game where story was second to gameplay, Lucina really stood out to me.

Those are just some examples that come to mind. It's far from perfect, but a lot (in fact the majority) of the best characters in video games released last year were women, many of them in starring roles. That's pretty cool, right?

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...Meanwhile Shin Megami Tensei 4 featured the voice actress of Liara playing a talking pair of boobs. Ah well.

I'm just teasing you SMT4, you were a good game too. Burrough's speech picture was just ridiculous is all.