10 More Great Games for Female Gamers

10 More Great Games for Female Gamers

The “10 Great Games for Women” article we posted some time ago here on Game Theory went over like a brick on Jupiter, and perhaps rightfully so. Though the purpose of the list was not to suggest that female gamers don’t enjoy shooters and other genres that are typically perceived as “Manly!”, the exclusion of the genre in our list of examples didn’t help our case.

Moreover, it’s sort of impossible to define a “girl’s game,” except for insulting schlock that stars Barbie and her pals. Good games know no boundaries. A “woman’s game” can be her boyfriend’s favorite game, her niece’s favorite game, her husband’s favorite game, her mom’s favorite game, her dad’s favorite game, or her cat’s favorite game.

Where things get tricky, however, is the fact that more “aggressive” games aren’t often marketed towards females, and therefore get overlooked by the womanly demographic. So we’ve put together another list (“oh dear God, no!!”) of 10 games that should not be missed by female gamers–or anyone else of any gender or orientation.

All we ask is that you don’t hold anything against our previous ten picks. They are still wonderful games.

Braid (XBLA, PSN, PC, Mac, Linux) — Braid is an artful platforming game that’s thick with puzzles. The gameplay revolves primarily around messing with time (not recommended in real life), making for a very unique gaming experience. The title is widely available on consoles and computers, and enjoys a lot of attention via Steam’s Humble Indie Bundle.

Fallout 3 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC) — Do you like open-ended action RPGs? Do you like gigantic, irradiated roaches (sure you do)? Do you like crunching over ash-strewn rubble wearing a Sheriff’s duster and hat that you stole from the dead body of the last good man in a lawless world? Fallout 3 calls out to you.

Star Control II / The Ur-Quan Masters (PC, Mac, Linux) – Star Control II, also called The Ur-Quan Masters, is pretty much the best space exploration/combat title in existence, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a filthy lying Dynarri. Best of all, the game is free to download and works on even the clunkiest PC’s–but if you feel like going on a treasure hunt, try rooting out the rare 3DO version of the game!

BioShock (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Mac) — BioShock is a first-person shooter that’s notable for its unique setting: An undersea city called Rapture that’s born out of an Ayn Randian nightmare and crawling with sub-human inhabitants. Don’t taunt the wildlife (primarily little girls), or you’ll get a cannonball-sized fist to the face courtesy of Rapture’s guardians, the Big Daddies. BioShock is noteworthy for letting the player slowly piece together Rapture’s ill fate via journals and audio tapes. Selectable difficulty settings make the game accessible for anyone who’s new to the FPS genre, and challenging enough for anyone who’s itching for a fight.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (Nintendo 3DS) — A new take on an old classic. Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D is a very pretty remake of the action-adventure classic, and everyone should try it at least once. If you’ve already tried it on the N64 or Virtual Console, heck, play it again. There’s no such thing as too much Zelda.

Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC) — One of the best action role-playing games in recent memory, Mass Effect 2 links up with the original Mass Effect for added gameplay depth. If this is your first outing with the series, though, fear not: You and Commander Shepard will surely become the best of friends, regardless.

Final Fantasy IV (Various consoles/handhelds) — If you’re looking to re-kindle your love affair with Japanese RPGs, Final Fantasy IV is a good go-to game. The story and gameplay mechanics are basic, uncomplicated, and will take you back to a simpler time when the most gasp-inducing plot twists dealt with treacherous brothers. Final Fantasy IV has been released across multiple platforms (including the Wii’s Virtual Console, where it exists as Final Fantasy II), and the recently released Final Fantasy IV: Complete Collection for the PSP comes recommended. Its high-res sprite artwork is lovely to look at, and the auto-battle feature makes level grinding a breeze.

Limbo (XBLA, PSN, Steam) — Limbo is a platforming game with a generous splash of puzzle-solving. The game is well-known for its shadowy black-and-grey visuals, its grim, ghostly setting, and the most horrific spider you’ll ever see on this side of your shower curtain.

Tiny Tower (iOS) — Tiny Tower is a building/management game that’s taking iOS platforms by storm. You must keep the building well-stocked, and manage the little dudes (“Bitizens” ) who live within. Best of all, the game is free to download! How can you possibly go wrong (Hint: You can’t)?

Shadow of the Colossus (PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3) — At first glance, Shadow of the Colossus might seem like an odd throwback of a suggestion due to its age (its initial release was in 2005). However, age only makes this challenging adventure/combat game all the more awe-inspiring. Team Ico will be bringing forth the game’s sequel, The Last Guardian, soon enough, so now’s the time to start training. A high-definition version of Shadow of the Colossus–and its prequel, Ico–will be coming to the PlayStation 3 later in 2011.

About Nadia Oxford
Nadia is a freelance writer living in Toronto. She played her first game at four, decided games were awesome, and has maintained her position since. She writes for 1UP.com, Slide to Play, GamePro and other publications, and is About.com’s Guide to the Nintendo DS.

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