A Visual History Of Attractive Video Game Characters: The '90s

By the end of the '90s, the 16-bit era ended and 3D took over. With the PlayStation and 3D graphics cards out there allowing for new possibilities, narrative and gameplay, the '90s produced some of the most attractive characters in video game history.

Well-known mascots and protagonists made their transitions to 3D, other, yet to be famous ones made their low polygon debut. In the second part of our series — showing the most attractive females and males in video games — we explore the '90s.

But let's not rush forward. Games in the first half of the decade featured primarily improved 2D graphics, creating some really detailed and memorable characters.

Chun Li, Ryu, Ken and Guile in Street Fighter II (1991)

Bubble Bath Babes (1991)

Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat (1992)

Mai Shiranui in the Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters series (1992)

Leather Goddesses of Phobos 2 (1992)

Spellcasting 301: Spring Break (1992)

Night Trap (1992)

Time Gal (1993)

Morrigan Aensland in Darkstalkers (1994)

Samus Aran in Super Metroid (1994)

Voyeur (1994)

Tanya in Command & Conquer: Red Alert (1996)

Leisure Suit Larry 5-7 (1991-1996)

Princess Rosella in King's Quest VII (1997)

Elaine Marley in Monkey Island 1-3 (1990-1997)

Nico and George in Broken Sword I-II (1996-1997)

Although the PlayStation was already out in 1994 in Japan, the real 3D breakthrough happened two years later with the release of Core Design's Tomb Raider. Can't say that these early 3D character models were perfect compared to the beautiful 2D ones, but it they made strides as the years went on.

Kazuya, Michelle and Anna in Tekken (1994)

Princess Peach in Super Mario 64 (1996)

Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield in Resident Evil (1996)

Duke in Duke Nukem 3D (1996)

Lara Croft in Tomb Raider (1996)

James Bond in Goldeneye 007 (1997)

Tifa, Cloud and Aeris in Final Fantasy VII (1997)

Aya Brea in Parasite Eve (1998)

Elexis Sinclaire in Sin (1998)

Red Lotus in Deathtrap Dungeon (1998)

Solid Snakeand Meryl in Metal Gear Solid (1998)

Heishiro Mitsurugi in SoulCalibur (1998)

The Hunter in Quake III Arena (1999)

Squall and Rinoa in Final Fantasy VIII (1999)

Compared to the '80s the '90s introduced a vast amount of attractive characters. Our list is just the tip of the iceberg, so make sure to leave your picks and favourites in the comments!

Sources: eVoluci0n, cubex55, Joao Carlos, stormypetrel, Darius320, Broken Sword Wiki, szemigi, Fernito, Fighters Generation, Quake Wiki


    Never forget Quake 3's Lucy.

    I don't get why this article is ok, maybe its not because there are men in it. All the complaints about the over-imagined ladies in Dragon's Crown, everyone forgets the males. The over-muscular dwarf, the over-shiny knight in shining armor and lets not forget Team Edward.

    Plenty of boob action above, also Ken and Duke, but 90% boob. Why must everyone complain about boob in games from 2013? It sold plenty of cigarettes in its time, no-one complained then. Plenty of girls out there flaunt them just fine because they like the attraction, and thats ok.

    before i scrolled down i expected to see alyx from half-life and nathan drake. no dice

      i obviously didn't see the "90s" bit. also really sums up how women were LARGELY represented in gaming in the 90s. great to see how games like dragons crown and bucking the trend.

        I was going to say the same about Cate Archer from NOLF, but yeah...released 2000. I would consider it as one game that changed the tone somewhat from '90 to '00, though.

    Quiet a few I disagree with. Nonetheless pretty interesting list you got for here.

    Lara would have been the biggest of the 90s... literally

    No Sarah Bryant? No Pai Chan?

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