Games are for everyone, no matter your sex, gender identity, color, creed, sexual orientation, age, or disability status. This has always been the case, but games haven’t always been the most representative medium around, and not everyone has always felt welcomed in the community. Thankfully, this is slowly changing thanks to the efforts of game creators and, of course, the fans themselves.
While there is still a long way to go to reach an entirely inclusive games industry, strides have certainly been made in recent years, with a huge number of games now featuring non-male protagonists, LGBTQ+ relationships, BIPOC, and neurodivergent characters. Today, we’re looking to celebrate these steps in the right direction by listing some games that have helped the industry move towards greater inclusivity.
To highlight some of our favorite inclusive games, we’ve teamed up with G2A.COM, an online storefront that allows gamers to pick up PC game keys for significantly below their RRP. So join us to discover some brilliant games, and maybe pick up some great deals along the way.
Bioware’s seminal space RPG, Mass Effect, first launched in 2007, setting a new standard for science fiction storytelling in games. While certain aspects of the game feel dated by today’s standards, it allows players to not only choose from a male or female protagonist, but also to pursue romance options with characters of the same or opposite gender. Affectionately dubbed ‘FemShep’ by fans, the female version of the game’s main character, Commander Shepherd, is often regarded as the game’s ‘true’ protagonist. There’s never been a better time to jump in and explore the far reaches of space in Mass Effect.
Night in the Woods
It’s hard to find games fronted by ordinary, everyday people, and, while Night in the Woods‘ cast is made up of animals, the inhabitants of its quaint world are certainly down-to-earth. In this gentle adventure game, you play as Mae, a college dropout who returns to her hometown to discover strange mysteries cropping up everywhere. As the endearing characters navigate through their young adulthood, you’ll find relatable stories dealing with mental health issues in a delicate and respectful manner, while still offering a rich gaming experience. If you want to dive into this adorable adventure yourself, pick up a copy from G2A.COM.
The Last of Us
Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic masterpiece, The Last of Us, features some of the most well-realized female characters in the history of the medium in Ellie, Riley, Tess, and Marlene. Each of these multifaceted characters deals with their own internal struggles throughout the harrowing storyline and have fully fleshed-out story arcs that certainly pass the Bechdel Test. While the LGBTQ+ themes are kept subtle in the first game, the sequel brings these relationships to the forefront and even touches upon transphobia and other forms of discrimination. It’s tough going, but the emotional journey you’ll experience is unmatched in the medium, making this a must-play game even in 2023.
A Blind Legend
Billed as the first-ever action-adventure game without video, A Blind Legend places players in the role of Edward Blake, a blind knight. This immersive sensory experience is totally audio-based, challenging players to use only the sounds provided by the game’s binaural 3D audio to complete their adventure. The game invites sighted players to experience what it’s like to rely on their sense of hearing for survival, and offers blind or visually impaired people a totally accessible experience like no other available in gaming.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns
Marvel properties have always been a reliable venue for diversity and Firaxis’ turn-based action RPG, Marvel’s Midnight Suns, is no exception. The game features a diverse roster of heroes including Blade, Captain Marvel, Magik, Scarlet Witch, and Wolverine, to name a few. You can mix and match which heroes appear on your team, and even create your own to fight alongside these comic-book icons.
Far Cry series
Following criticism of Far Cry 3’s ‘white savior’ narrative, Ubisoft’s open-world shooter series has taken some significant steps towards diversity in the past few years, with a customizable main character in Far Cry 5, dual female BIPOC main characters in Far Cry: New Dawn, and the choice of a male or female protagonist in Far Cry 6’s Dani Rojas. Following the trajectory laid down by Ubisoft’s other tentpole franchise, Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry facilitates diversity through player choice, allowing gamers to choose the avatar that resonates most with them.
While CD Projekt Red’s expansive action RPG, Cyberpunk 2077, initially also faced criticism for certain elements of its trans representation, many would agree that the full game offers more diverse options in its character creator than most. Players are free to explore non-binary gender options, and pursue non-heterosexual relationships as they please.
All of the games listed are available right now on G2A.COM. Pick up some of the best games the industry has to offer for hugely discounted prices.