Debut title: Final Fantasy VII
Year released: 1997

Next to Lara Croft and Samus, Tifa Lockhart stands out as one of gaming's most independent and empowered females ever. A member of the eco-terrorist group, AVALANCHE, Tifa enters Final Fantasy VII as the childhood friend of Cloud Strife, as well as a member of the love triangle formed by her, Aeris, and Cloud. Tifa was a feminine foil to the more girlish Aeris, but didn't sacrifice any of her looks to do so. If you're talking about video gaming babes, you better be talking about Tifa.