It is common knowledge that the heavier your armour, the thicker its plates, the higher it defense will be… If you’re of the male gender, if you’re a woman (on the other hand), it seems skin is the best defence, as the more you show, the more powerful your uterus powers become.
Be it Eastern or Western culture, women continue to get the short end of the stick when it comes to armour and outfits. Boob windows, spandex, and rips that accentuate the feminine form while covering up the nipples and holes. There are some games that have equal representation, with barbarians who wear nothing but loincloths to refined vampires that bear their manscaped chest. Still, more often than not, men's armor makes a whole lot more sense.
Sometimes games just go too far, or merely want to pander to a male audience, even though several studies find that it is almost 50/50 on the gender scale for gamers. For games that clearly have over-the-top armour sets for men, women will have 70% of the armour pieces removed. Or their “sexuality” is put on display to distract their foes, when their personalities hardly match their look. The worst excuse of all is “it’s because of her storyline,” when they created that story, they could have easily made a story where she wasn’t naked.
15 Too Many To Mention – World Of Warcraft
The big cheese, WoW, the biggest MMO to date that still dominates most of the market. Blizzard hit gold with this game, still releasing expansions 12 years on. However, even WoW puts in sexy armour now and then. While it could have been seen as comedic back in the outdate graphical style, WoW included plenty of loincloth and bikini armour sets.
While it can be argued that there are plenty of revealing male armour sets, the representation of women in WoW translates into their trailers and even their movie. Scantily clad lady characters against heavy armoured or pelted up characters of the male variety is a hard sell. It is hard to even shout this game down with the size of its fan base, cosplayers dressing as the half-naked characters and the power of Blizzard.
14 R.Mika – Street Fighter Alpha 3 & 5
Fighting games are known for having plenty of scantily clad ladies, misrepresenting their profession or personality. R.Mika from Street Fighter has become a huge subject of debate recently, and duly so! While she does come from an organization of other similarly dressed women, R.Mika takes center stage. While it could be argued that this type of wear is common in that profession or acting, this is an “actual” fighting game.
Any movement from R.Mika would lead to something slipping. Street Fighter is full of grapplers, throwers, and fast movements, so it is just bound to happen. If that wasn’t bad enough, one of her incarnations have hearts covering her up, while one of her finishers is putting her enemies face between her butt cheeks.
13 Ivy – Soul Calibur
Soul Calibur started off tame like many games back in the good ol days, but even then Ivy wore straps due to her dominatrix design. As the years went on and surgery improved, so did her bust size, becoming much larger than her head in Soul Calibur 4. Her dominatrix design kind of fell to the wayside as she was mostly depicted as a sex object than a strong woman.
Ivy fell victim to even more pandering, as her imagery was used in pin-ups, advertisements, and the obvious rule34 of the internet. Thankfully the developers saw the error of their design, in making a sex object and not a fighter, and changed her outfit and bust size accordingly.
12 Fran – Final Fantasy XII
Now we move onto a franchise that has been pretty good when it comes to women in their games and their outfits. There has been plenty of flesh shown by both genders, while not really going over the top — bar Cindy in the newest release. However, the first to cross that line is Fran, the Sky Pirate, and mechanic from Final Fantasy XII. Housing a silent personality, one that likes to scold and speak straight to the point, her outfit did little to add to her character.
Mostly comprising of straps of armour, Fran wore lacy lingerie and metal plates. To top it off she also wore stilettos. I can understand the dress code if she was a dancer or still living with her kin, but she has spent enough time away and in the skies. She would be incredibly cold in this outfit, along with the problems with repairing airships that comes with exposed skin.
11 Felicia – Darkstalkers
Known mostly for her appearance in Marvel Vs. Capcom, Felicia actually came from a lesser known fighting game by the name of Darkstalkers. In both appearances, Felicia has the same outfit: fur straps that cover her and make lines across her curves. Along with her other catgirls, she had the least amount of clothing (or fur).
It doesn’t help her character, she was raised by a nun who would try to cover her up, and she never really uses her image. Her attitude is normally upbeat, somewhat childish, with dreams of becoming a musical star. Sadly the designers wanted her to be one of those “Disney” musical stars who took a wrong turn.
10 Quiet - Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
We can’t have an article about sexy or bikini armoured ladies without mentioning Quiet, I mean if we didn’t someone else would. We even have an article all about Quiet ruining the game, but this article is mostly focused on her appearance. Falling prey to the whims of a developer wanting to make a character for cosplayers as well as to pander to the male audience. Quiet was burned alive, injected with a parasite or 2 and can now no longer talk or wear full clothing.
Setting aside “she needs to be naked to breath” argument, she constantly flaunts herself at Snake. Starting off with a heated relationship, trying to kill him on two separate occasions, she makes herself an object for the Boss and the player.
9 Rachel – Ninja Gaiden
Another dominatrix woman, yet one whose outfit makes even less sense due to her setting. Rachel is meant to be a fiend hunter, whose main goal in life is to hunt down demons and destroy them. If this is the case, why does she show off so much skim and ditch armour? That sexy outfit won’t affect demons! It would make more sense if she fought against the other characters, but Ryu even helps her fight demons.
This outfit made another appearance in Rachel's introduction into Dead or Alive, jiggle physics and all. Again, in a world full of fighting, her bits are sure to fall out. Along with plenty of demons spewing fire or slashing away and people using guns, she could do with better protection. But I guess her lack of armour or padding leads to why Ninja Gaiden games can be brutal difficulty wise.
8 Lucretia – Kingdom Under Fire
Old games weren’t often known for their outrageous sexuality or scantily clad ladies — only when developers saw the power of boob marketing did they force it into their games. However, one old franchise hopped onto the train which died out regardless, Kingdom Under Fire. Continuing the idea that dark elves are sexy, dancers, or merely have no understanding of war clothing, Lucretia had spikes covering her nipples and scantily clad elves following her.
While this would be more appropriate if the fighters stayed in the desert, but they travel across vast plains during their conquest. Taking away the fact they literally wear no armour, the weather will be a much bigger issue for them. There are some topless men in the series, barbarians and the like, but the women wear even less clothing with their asses in clear view from their marches.
7 Castanic Light Armour – TERA
Finally, we have arrived at sex object central, the MMO genre. Spawning thousands of cosplays. What better way to armour up our females then give them 2 spiked plates to cover themselves with ... maybe we can throw in some pauldrons.
The worst thing about this armour is that there are so many variations, along with other armour sets present in Tera. You will constantly see armour with spikes, straps, or tiny circles covering their chest. It would be fine if the male counterparts were the same, but most of the time they have much more armour on their sets. There are some that show off abs and chest, but where is my male butt?
6 Shahdee – Prince Of Persia: Warrior Within
We're kicking our list off with an older title: the edgy Prince of Persia game. Shahdee's intro to the series has her raiding the ship of our Prince, which is full of sand monsters ready to gut the man who controls time. The camera then pans to show us Shahdee, giving us a good few seconds to stare at her butt, the music stops as she sways her hips from side to side. Flirting with her men she goes to the edge of the boat “kill him.”
Why on earth is she dressed this way? She is literally there to kill the Prince not seduce him! Shahdee was supposedly made in the image of the Empress of Time, still, she doesn’t really look all that similar. For a game centred on combat and parkour, Shahdee is not fit for either.
5 Mileena – Mortal Kombat
Now, this character has had her ups and downs, from her initial debut to a runaway princess. Combining the DNA of Kitana and that of Tarkatan, Shang Tsung made Mileena in such a way that she would be an amazing assassin or replacement. This all got thrown away when her outfit got more and more revealing, especially when there was a gallery image for her in Deception where she was topless, holding her Sai to cover her nipples.
She has covered up somewhat in recent games, but thhave has been too many times in the past where she just basically wore rags of cloth in a game where several people use sharp weapons. The sexiness was also hardly ever utilized, as Kombat ensues on first sight like a Pokémon game.
4 Kirin Armour – Monster Hunter
A victim of the audience right here, the Kirin Armour from Monster Hunter had some good equality between its male and female variant. However, the extra piece of skin is indicative of this entire phenomenon. Yet another game that features minimal clothing that is full of movement and fighting.
Set aside all the other armour sets in Monster Hunter, Kirin definitely stands out, with little protection offered by the armor. There are some other sets in the game where females get the short end of the stick when it comes to coverage; where women are put into Bikini armour instead of their male counterparts getting full-plate.
3 Ayumi - X-Blades
A game that never gets a true sequel will always have questions asked about the why, but when your box art features your protagonist, in their string thong and ass to the buyer, you don’t need to ask many questions. Thankfully Ayumi of X-Blades wears practical shoes, but that is the only practical thing about her design. A thong with less material than a piece of string, bra, and straps are haphazardly thrown around her body
The game itself did horribly, reaching a 6/10 for its highest rating, citing poor story and gameplay. The developer was clearly banking on their sexy character to pull them through the sludge that was their game. A spiritual successor was made with Blades of Time, but even that failed to garner any significant attention.
2 Forsworn Armour – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
You would think living in the north, a place full of cold winds and snow, would warrant a woolly or fur cover outfit. After retreating to the hills, from losing their lands, the Forsworn of Skyrim took on a more leather and skull like approach to their attire. Taking on a barbarian look is all well and good, but it seems most of their furs went to the men, just looking at them side-by-side can tell you how fairly the women are treated.
Displaying chest, legs and midriff, the women of the Forsworn have neither protection from the cold or arrow fire. There are a few other sets of clothing that are revealing, among some that are coded in but not used, but the Forsworn makes the least amount of sense. In a land full of bandits, animals and passing military you’ll want to protect yourself as much as you can.
1 Almost Every MMO Out There (Scarlet Blade)
To finish up our list we'll end with a basic compilation. You’ll see this heavily with games like Scarlet Blade that got shutdown recently, Azera, Vindictus and many more.
What is so sad is that some of these games feature some good mechanics, but too much time was spent on big busts, jiggle physics, and finding the least amount of material for clothing for their women. Some of them feature all-female casts or men who are heavily armoured which are a stark difference to the women. Obviously, these games are big and need a variety of armor options, but when so many of them lean that way, you know there is a problem.