In honor of the late, great Carrie Fisher and her iconic role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars film franchise, we list the best princesses in video game history.
On December 27th, 2016, the world lost Carrie Fisher, the wonderful actress and writer that brought one of science-fiction's most iconic characters to life. The character Princess Leia is special to a lot of people, as she was depicted as independent and strong at a time when many princesses were meant to be little more than damsels in distress. Princess Leia paved the way for other fictional princesses to break the mold, even in video gaming.
In recognition of Carrie Fisher and her groundbreaking role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, here are the best princesses in video gaming.
5 Kairi (Kingdom Hearts)
Similarly to Princess Leia, Kairi from Kingdom Hearts serves a much greater purpose than just being a love interest or damsel in distress. In fact, Kairi is one of the most important characters in the series, serving as one of the seven Princesses of Heart, alongside other iconic princesses like Snow White and Cinderella. In the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III, fans may even have the chance to see Kairi mingle with characters from Star Wars and Marvel, so there's a chance Kairi could actually meet Princess Leia herself.
4 Kitana (Mortal Kombat)
Princess of Edenia, Kitana is one of the most recognizable characters from the Mortal Kombat franchise. Her popularity has greatly influenced the design of other key Mortal Kombat characters, like Jade and Mileena for instance, both of whom debuted as palette swaps of Kitana. Kitana's popularity persists today, with the fighter appearing in the bulk of Mortal Kombat titles since she was introduced in 1993's Mortal Kombat II, including Mortal Kombat X, where her devastating moveset is on full display.
3 Marle (Chrono Trigger)
Marle, also known as Princess Nadia, is the one who gets the events of Chrono Trigger in motion. Her decision to visit the Millennial Fair on the faithful day Lucca decided to test her teleporter thrusts Chrono Trigger's heroes into an epic time traveling adventure that still stands as one of the best RPGs ever made.
2 Princess Peach (Super Mario Bros.)
Arguably the most famous video game princess of them all is Princess Peach from the Super Mario Bros. franchise. Monarch to the Mushroom Kingdom, Peach has an unfortunate habit of getting kidnapped by the evil Bowser and his goons. But even though she is kidnapped on a regular basis, it's worth noting that Peach also has a history of defending herself, taking on baddies in solo games, and more recently, helping Luigi, Mario, and Toad save the Mushroom Kingdom in the four-player co-op Super Mario 3D World on Wii U.
1 Princess Zelda (The Legend of Zelda)
Link may be the playable character in all The Legend of Zelda games, but it's Hyrule's Princess Zelda that gets top billing in the title of the series. As one of the wielders of the Triforce, Zelda is integral to the franchise's lore, and rarely plays the part of damsel in distress. On the contrary, Zelda is often depicted as a strong character, like when she took on the identity of Sheik in Ocarina of Time to fight off Ganon's forces in the years when Link disappeared. Like Link, each Zelda game offers its own interpretation of the character, but from ghost Zelda to pirate Zelda, all of them are memorable in their own way.
Carrie Fisher may be gone, but her legacy will live on in film, television, books, video games, and more. And with a number of new Star Wars video games in development, fans may be able to revisit Princess Leia sooner rather than later.
Which video game princess is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!