A lot has been said about sexism and video games, especially during the past few years. The perception of women in video games has changed and some titles are finally treating women like they deserve. But every now and then, we play a title that treat women as sex subjects that wear little to no items of clothing or princesses who need rescuing. That’s why I decided to work on a list with some of the most misogynistic games ever made. There are dozens (if you not hundreds of games) that fall under this category, so making this list proved to be more difficult that I had anticipated. So if you’re thinking about a game in particular that wasn’t included on this list, feel free to share ideas in the comment section.
10. Dragon Quest VIII
Dragon Quest VIII is one of the best Japanese role-playing games ever made, yet one character in particular was included for the sole purpose of showing her breasts. I played over a hundred hours of this game and the only thing I can remember about Jessica are her boobs and that some of the unlockable costumes showed her as a bunny girl, dancer and so on. By the way, while I was doing research for this article I also remembered that one of her attacks (called “puff puff”) involves showing her cleavage at enemies so that they fall in love with her.
9. Dragon’s Crown
I haven’t played Dragon’s Crown yet, but the game seems like a fantastic 2D action-RPG. So it’s definitely a shame that every single female (and male) character you encounter is anatomically exaggerated. In a sense, the sorceress feels like a competent and capable character. Then again, her outfits are way too revealing and explicit.
I’m currently playing Okami for the purposes of review. I’m really enjoying the game, but there’s something unfortunate about Clover Studios’ highly praised adventure title: one of the main characters (called Issun) keeps making sexist remarks. He refers to women as “busty babes” and when he sees someone with large breasts he refers to them as “melons.” The worst part about it is that this isn’t an accident. Those comments are deliberate and for whatever reason, the writers chose to make Issun a pervert. The rest of the game has everything to be considered a modern masterpiece, but that character and his sexist comments ruins part of what makes Okami such a terrific Zelda-like.
7. Duke Nukem Forever
Duke Nukem Forever feels like an antiquated title, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for some deliberate sexist comments. So what’s the game’s premise? Basically, aliens come to our planet to steal our women. There are sexual references, naked women, breasts attached to walls (which you can slap) and so on. Everything about this game is downright offensive. Some might disagree, but to a certain extent, Duke itself is a stereotypical male character. He’s tall muscular, obsessed with sex and constantly helping woman.
6. Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad
In Onechanbara, you play as a bikini-wearing woman who kills zombies using a katana. In a sense, it feels like this shouldn’t be taken that seriously. After all, there are dozens of exploitation films that have similar premises. But like most titles on this list, Onechambara insists on portraying women as objects. The fact that its visuals, gameplay and story are terrible also doesn’t help.
5. Lollipop Chainsaw
Lollipop Chainsaw’s main character Juliet is an eighteen-year old cheerleader who uses some of the most unconventional weapons and moves to kill the undead. Like Bayonetta, it seems like Juliet is hyper sexualized as a way of criticizing the medium. But it’s hard to tell…
At first, Platinum Games’ Bayonetta felt so extreme and over-the-top that some of the sequences weren’t that uncomfortable. After all, Bayonetta doesn’t “look” like a woman. She’s anatomically disproportionate, since her head is too small, her legs too long and she keeps moving in ways that are simply unnatural. Yet again, the titular character is hyper sexualized to an almost impossible degree. She undresses after every boss fight, she keeps spreading her legs in uncomfortable ways and she constantly poses in a sexually suggestive manner.
3. Tomb Raider
Like it or not, Lara Croft is the sexual icon and when most people think about the character, they immediately associate it with our beloved medium. Every single technological advancement brought new features that were used to make Lara ever more overly sexualized and that’s a shame, because this could have been the character to change the medium.
2. Metroid: Other M
The Metroid franchise has been one of the few video game series to portray a female lead in a non-sexualised way and then Metroid: Other M came out… In Other M, Samus has incredible powers, but it seems like she can’t use those powers unless a man tells her to. She never defies the authority of her former commander, Adam Malkovich.
1. Dead or Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball
Historically, the Dead or Alive series has been one of the most misogynistic franchises ever. For instance, one of Dead or Alive 2’s most popular features was that the game had specific physics related to breasts. Undoubtedly, Dead or Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball’s main draw is that there are women and that they aren’t afraid to show their breasts. The worst part is that Tecmo wanted to disguise that with a volleyball simulator façade on top of all the sexism. Graphically, the game was appealing and the volleyball mechanics weren’t that bad, but those aspects don’t make Extreme Beach Volleyball less exploitative.