50 Most Iconic Video Game Characters of the 21st Century

From a blocky hero beloved by millions to the most memorable monsters and heroes modern games have to offer

Lightning
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Lightning from 'Final Fantasy XIII'41/50

41. Lightning

Final Fantasy VI had Terra, Final Fantasy XII had Ashe, but not until Final Fantasy XIII – fully 22 years after the fabled series’ inception – did Square Enix truly commit to a female protagonist. About time! An official fan vote in 2014 named her the series’ greatest ever female character, perhaps because she’s not that fantastical after all: a down-to-earth (if ethereally pretty) anybody, who just happens to have a steely streak of defiance, and can turn on the bad-assery when required.

Iconic Moment: In Final Fantasy XIII, Lightning summons Odin during battle. He turns into a giant, sky galloping horse – think a killer My Little Pony – and Lightning uses him to charge at her enemies.

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