15 most badass women in video game history

11 of 16

6. Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII)

Key quote: “This l’Cie curse, it took everything from me. My future. My dreams. I didn’t want to think. So I fought instead. As long as I was fighting, nothing else was real. I was running away.”

Who she is: Claire Farron, better known as Lightning, is the main protagonist and narrator of the Final Fantasy XIII subseries. Claire changed her name to Lightning when she was a teenager after her parents’ deaths to overcome her past. After high school, she joined the Guardian Corps Bodhum Security Regiment and eventually became a sergeant.

Lightning’s sister, Serah, becomes an l’Cie (controlled by the fal’Cie), and it becomes Lightning’s main goal to get her back to normal, using her weapons of choice, gunblades, and signature attacks like Army of One to do it.

Why she’s on the list: Lightning tends to come off as cold and calculated due to her independent and determined behavior. She harnesses her anger from not being able to keep Serah safe and directs it towards her enemies. However, throughout the series, you see Lightning opening her heart and showing her caring and almost motherly side. She discovers that being cold and calculated works for battles, but having a soft side brings her happiness.

Ultimately, she’s smart, dangerous, and fast — just like her name suggests.