Melissa has been gaming for 15 years and met her husband while playing Xbox. She plays a variety of FPS, RTS, arcade, and sandbox games.
Let's Talk About Video Games
Though a large portion of gamers are of the female persuasion, the stereotypical "gamer" is often envisioned as an adolescent male. I speak from experience—I’m a hardcore gamer who's been playing for over a decade, and I'm a woman (last time I checked).
Despite the number of female gamers in the world, developers have yet to tailor their games with them in mind. Some progress has been made by the introduction of female protagonist characters in certain male-dominated titles, but it simply isn't enough.
Female-Friendly Xbox 360 Games
There is a wide selection of games for both the Xbox 360 console and the Xbox Kinect device that girls and women alike will enjoy. So if you are looking for your next obsession, just pick up one of these and get playing!
|Classic Xbox 360||Xbox 360 Kinect|
Classic Xbox 360 Games
The following games utilize the classic Xbox 360 system and controller. The Xbox 360 has undergone several upgrades since its release in 2005, but these games have aged well and are considered as high-quality as ever.
Role-Playing Games (RPGs)
Recent statistics have shown that “girl gamers” prefer Role-Playing Games over typical male-centered, First-Person Shooters like Modern Warfare 3 or Battlefield 3. The social interaction that is paramount to RPGs has a certain appeal to women.
RPGs for Women
- Fable: In these games, you can roleplay as a female character, which makes it easier for women to commit to a character. My husband loves this series, too!
- Mass Effect: These games may appeal to female sci-fi fans. They offer decision-based gameplay.
- Assassin’s Creed: The graphics are beautiful in these games. In Assassin's Creed Liberation, Syndicate, and China, you can choose to play as a female character if you wish. It doesn't make a difference to the story.
- Tomb Raider: Not all of us look like Angelina Jolie, but it IS a fantasy role-playing game, so I understand the appeal!
- LEGO: These are surprisingly fun and addicting games! The puzzles are mentally challenging and the graphics are well-done in the classic LEGO-style.
First-Person Shooters (FPS)
The First-Person Shooter is a whole genre that women tend to avoid. The games are often seen as being unnecessarily violent.
Some may find the whole concept of first-person shooters repulsive. I think these people may not fully understand where the pleasure of shooting our opponents come from. (It’s not the shooting or killing of the other character that we enjoy!)
The fun of First-Person Shooters is similar to chess. You’re fighting a one-on-one battle. You're not trying to "kill" your opponent; you're trying to outmaneuver them.
FPS for Women
- Call of Duty: I know several women who enjoy playing this series—many of whom play better than their male companions. I think that limiting women to "girls only" games deprives them of quality titles that can be extremely fun and gratifying.
- Halo: My husband says he’s run into quite a few women who play this game. It is very similar to Call of Duty, but the story mode contains sci-fi elements and the available weapons are more high-tech.
There is a whole slew of arcade-style games that are suitable for anyone—hardcore gamer or not. They are perfect for testing your brain and having fun with the family.
Arcade Games for Girls
- Archer Maclean's Mercury: This is an addictive puzzle game. It’s essentially a game of mazes and music. The background and board pulsate to the music, as does your little glob of mercury.
- Puddle: It is similar to Mercury, but a bit more difficult. It isn't accompanied by music. My daughter loves Mercury, but Puddle is just too frustrating for her (she’s 5).
- Crash Course: If you like insane obstacle courses, then this game is for you!
- Brain Challenge: Level-up your brainpower by playing this game. The puzzles are fun and become more challenging as you advance.
- MicroBot: You play as a nanobot sent into a body to defend it against intruders. There are lots of puzzles to solve in this one, and as you progress, you can trick out your nanobot with accessories!
Xbox 360 Kinect Games
The Kinect device responds to vocal commands and relies on a motion sensor to track movements. It may appeal to many women because it doesn't have the typical “gamer” stigma that controller-based video games have. For those who have never played a video game before, a device that doesn't rely on a bunch of buttons can be much less intimidating.
There are quite a few games for the Kinect that appeal to women of all ages, but most are catered towards a younger audience. The Kinect device is perfect for combining physical exercise and fun.
Sports Games for Women and Girls
- Kinect Sports: Kinect Sports has volleyball, soccer, ping pong, track, and bowling. Not only can these games be played by girls, but the whole family can join in as well. This healthy bonding activity is pretty appealing to a mom (or at least this one).
- Your Shape Fitness Evolved: It is a great investment if you want to get in shape, learn self-defense, or utilize a UFC personal trainer in the privacy of your own home. This is an MMA-based fitness game that not only teaches you how to defend yourself but also allows you to get out quite a bit of aggression!
For younger girls and early teens, there are quite a few choices as well. Simulation games allow your little ones to be creative and construct their own virtual reality.
Simulation Games for Girls
- Kinectimals: This is my daughter's favorite game. It allows you to adopt a pet tiger, panther, or other feline and travel around an imaginary world.
- Fantastic Pets: This game is similar to Kinectimals, but the animals in Fantastic Pets can be customized. The player can add parts to their pets and change their skin texture, color, eyes, etc. However, these options have to be unlocked by playing games with your “pet” and competing in contests.
- Disneyland Adventures: In this game, you explore the park while completing tasks for characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. There are side adventures as well. My daughter had a blast with the Peter Pan adventure, and as she flew through the skies collecting coins, she got to exercise at the same time. It’s a win-win!
Personal Opinion: A Way to "Kinect"
I have to admit, I am a bit biased when it comes to video games. I think they are a great way to connect and communicate in relationships. My husband and I met playing Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow on the original Xbox, and gaming is still a very large part of our life.
Gaming can sometimes be therapeutic in a marriage. The competition between husband and wife (or whatever your partnership happens to be) can keep the spark in a relationship because you have fun together, and playing as a team helps build camaraderie. You also learn quite a bit about your significant other this way. You may never know a person completely, but working with someone as a team will get you pretty close.
© 2012 Melissa Flagg COA OSC
Sarah Forester from Australia on February 07, 2014:
Fable gets my vote, it's a game that me and my husband originally bonded over so it gives me plenty of fond memories.
electricocomics on February 03, 2014:
FPS games being helpful is very true indeed. Since playing Halo, I've had better situational awareness, reflex time, hand eye coordination and I work better as a team to achieve a goal. I am more of a slayer game type guy but I will hop into objective any time and be even more beneficial to my team than in slayer. It also developed for me an online code of honor and in turn refined by real life one. (Notably absolutely no tea-bagging, rubbing a kill in someone else's face, shooting opponents bodies, etc. Instead just move on. Not only do any of these offences make you look like a jerk, it also has an impact on the game. The 2 minutes you take to insult someone are 2 minutes you could use to help your team, cover them, get an objective, etc.
Melissa Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on April 09, 2012:
I'll have to get that for Sam, I think she might enjoy creating levels like that!
Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on April 09, 2012:
I quizzed my son about Little Big Planet. It's basically a game where you can create levels that other people can play. So I supposed it is educational in that it helps foster creativity and logical thinking.
Melissa Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on April 05, 2012:
I hear that Magician! I love the first person shooters! But the girly type games still have their appeal. I was playing black ops quite a bit prior to the release of Modern Warfare 3!
Kay B from Tampa, FL on April 05, 2012:
Great article! As a young (18) female myself, I can say that the idea of females and gaming is definitely skewered. Most gamers around my age who are female enjoy games like Gears of War, Black Ops (especially!) and Resident Evil, etc. etc. However, we always have a soft spot for more colorful and child-esque games. Best of both worlds, I say ;)
Melissa Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on April 02, 2012:
Ya Little Big Planet sounds like an oxymoron to me, so I'm not sure the game itself would make sense. Is there anything educational in it? Or is it purely entertainment?
Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on April 01, 2012:
My son plays Little Big Planet on his PSP. I don't get it myself but it keeps him entertained.
Melissa Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on March 31, 2012:
I haven't heard of Little Big Planet, but I'll have to look into it! Thanks for mentioning it, and I'm glad you enjoyed my hub!
Melissa Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on March 31, 2012:
Thank you Phoenix! It's interesting that you bring up the chess point Imade. When I wrote that it took me about an hour of staring at the page and watching my husband play COD MW3 trying to figure out why we love shooting stuff so much. I kept feeling like a closet psycho because I kept thinking to myself, "OMG I enjoy shooting people!" My husband then said, "no you don't, it's more like chess." Then I had that glorious A-HA! moment.
The same thing happens to my hubsand and I when we play games together, as long as we're not playing against each other, we're completely in sync. Although, playing against each other is a ton of fun, it does usually lead to a small disagreement lol. It's still fun though.
I may actually have to update this hub in a few weeks. I just saw an advertisement for a new role playing game that surprised me. Witcher 2 is coming out in April and it looks AWESOME to me, and like I said I'm a shooter girl! I might get turned to a role player yet! lol
Thanks for sharing my hub! I wonder if your daughter and I have played COD together unknowingly?! lol
scottflovin18 from Fresno, CA on March 31, 2012:
Little Big Planet is also another game that is really fun and does not really have a gender bias to it at all. It's welcome for everyone. Great article though, enjoyed the read.
Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on March 31, 2012:
My daughter is a massive fan of video games. Especially if she gets to blow things up. She's mad about the Mass Effect franchise and is also addicted to Elder Scrolls Skyrim. She had also dabbled with Assassin's Creed. She can't change her character to female so she doesn't play Creed that much.
I'm not much of a 1st shooter game person myself. Every now and then when the jeans start getting a little snug, I'll do the Kinect fitness thing but RPGs and life simulation is more my thing. As such, the chess aspect of 1st shooter never occurred to me. Interesting point.
You're spot on about spouses/partners working together. I watch my daughter and her boyfriend play COD online and they are so focused they actually forget to fuss at each other. lol
Well done. Voted up, useful and interesting. Socially shared.
Joan King on March 30, 2012:
Very good information.Iwill try some of these games.