May 27, 2013 09:00 AM EDT | By Mike Andronico
The fighting game genre has evolved significantly from the early days of Karate Champ, as pixelated graphics and two-button control schemes have turned into beautifully rendered characters and deep levels of virtual combat. While today's fighting games all differ significantly in style and execution, they all have one thing on common: Females that can seriously kick some digitized butt. Here are some of our favorite femme fatales from this console generation, and why they're worth mentioning in 2013:
10) Unknown (Tekken Tag Tournament 2): Essentially an evil version of Tekken heroine Jun Kazama, this infamous boss character made her big return as the final baddie at the end of Tekken Tag Tournament 2's arcade mode. This villanous female fighter uses a combination of Jun's attacks and her own special dark power, making her quite the obstacle on higher difficulty. Players can take control of this classic boss character in Tag 2, allowing to inflict the same frustration on their friends that they experienced trying to oust her solo.
9) Kat (Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royale): While not originally a fighting game character at her core, Gravity Rush's Kat is one of the few female brawlers in Sony's free-for-all fighting experience. With her signature black cat by her side, Kat uses her ability to shift gravity to inflict maximum punishment on her opponents.
8) Pyrrha (Soul Calibur V): The fifth installment of the legendary Soul Calibur series marked a brand new generation for the franchise, with a storyline set decades after the events of Soul Calibur V. This called for new faces to represent the franchise, including Pyrrha and Patrokolos, the destined children of Sophitia. Pyrrha serves as both the game's heroine and villaness when she falls to a dark power, and who doesn't love a girl that can do it all?
7) Skarlet (Mortal Kombat): Nothing screams "fan service" like when a developer takes an age-old game glitch and turns it into a key part of their franchise. That's exactly what happened with Mortal Kombat's Skarlet, as the character was originally rumored to be a part of Mortal Kombat II by means of a strange color glitch that modified the character of Kitana. Netherrealm Studios wrote Skarlet into 2011's Mortal Kombat reboot as a DLC character, explaining that she was created by Shao Kahn from the blood of his fallen enemies. Gross, but kind of awesome.
6) Juri (Super Street Fighter 4, Street Fighter X Tekken): No great fighting game should exist without having a skilled Tae Kwon Do fighter, and the Street Fighter franchise lasted a surprisingly long time without representing the martial art. Juri changed all of that when she kicked her way onto the scene in 2010, as she quickly became a fan favorite among both longtime and new Street Fighter players. Beautiful, stylish, and a bit insane, Juri has something to offer to all types of fighting gamers.
5) Harley Quinn (Injustice: Gods Among Us): While this iconic Batman villain has been around since 1992, she just became an official fighting game character when Injustice: Gods Among Us launched last month. While Injustice is packed with powerful females ranging from Wonder Woman to Killer Frost, Harley stands out for being just so lovable, even when she is firing a gun into her opponent's chest. Full of great banter in the game's story mode and loaded with powerful combos, Harley Quinn manages to stand out even when featured among DC's most popular superheroes.
4) Elisabeth Blanctorche (King of Fighters XIII): The King of Fighters franchise might be the least mainstream title on this list, but that doesn't mean that its not full of deadly females. While Elisabeth looks like a humble French fencer at first glance, her powers betray her appearance. Spend a few minutes of fighting her, and you'll be reeling from the beams of light she can create instantly to throw off her opponents. While King of Fighters characters such as Mai might get by on looks, Elisabeth is content to let her power speak for herself.
3) Alisa (Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Street Fighter X Tekken): What's cooler than a bad-ass femme fatale? How about a bad-ass robot femme fatale? Created by Dr. Boskonovich, Alisa joined the franchise for Tekken 6 and instantly turned heads for her ability to... instantly turn her head. This loveable android character plays a key role in the Tekken: Blood Vengeance movie and is also a popular character in the crossover fighter Street Fighter X Tekken.
2) Crimson Viper (Street Fighter 4, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3): Street Fighter 4 made a huge impact on the fighting game scene when it hit consoles in 2009, and Crimson Viper was the first new female fighter that was introduced to fans. Swift and deadly, this secret agent can be seen taking down foes everywhere from the Street Fighter: Ties that Bind film to your local Street Fighter 4 tournament. When she's not beating up the likes of Ryu and Ken, she is taking care of her little girl, bringing new meaning to the term "Multitasking Mom."
1) Morrigan (Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Darkstalkers: Resurrection): While Morrigan is one of the oldest characters on this list, she has enjoyed a special kind of rebirth over the past few years. The face of the cult-favorite Darkstalkers franchise, Morrigan has taken over more living rooms than ever now that Darkstalkers: Resurrection is available digitally on current consoles. She is also one of the key female characters in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and the character has rose to fame recently for racking up tons of tournament wins in the competitive scene, largely thanks to the incredible play of Christopher Gonzalez. A beauty in and out of combat, Morrigan has stood the test of time as one of fighting games' most iconic faces.
While these are some of the deadliest leading ladies in the genre, this list could go on and on thanks to the bevy of current-gen fighting games currently on the market. What are your favorite females to head to battle with?
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