Cosplay is the act of dressing in costumes as a specific character. It started out as a hobbies for fans, but not it has become its own industry with professional photoshoots and costume designers. The best thing about cosplay is that you can be whoever you want from any fandom you want. An added bonus is you don’t even have to follow the rules of who you are cosplaying as. For example, are you a female but want to be Snake from Metal Gear, but in pirate form? Sure, why not. Are you vertically challenged but want to be a Space Marine from Warhammer 40,000? With a little research and work, you definitely can, and no one will stop you.
Anyone can throw on a robe and call it cosplay … but it takes hours upon hours of dedication to do a fierce cosplay. Girl gamers have always gotten heat for their male-centered interest in video games. And it is not until recently that female characters in the video game world are becoming diverse. This means better options for gamer girls to cosplay. It takes a strong, dedication and passionate fan to pull off an awesome cosplay, and these girls have done it!
15 LARA CROFT, TOMB RAIDER
A tank top and cargo pants are the base of this cosplay outfit as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, but it is the attitude that brings it to completion, and Lilia Lemoine does. Lara Croft’s strong sense of independence should be every girl’s aspiration. Not only is the reboot video game franchise beautiful in scenery, it is also fun to play. This reboot outfit of Lara is a lot less revealing than the original games and a lot more practical.
In the game, Lara Croft is an explorer, life-saver and cult escapist, who wouldn’t want to cosplay as her? Lilia’s cosplay is based off the reboot Tomb Raider video game that was released in 2013. The creators decided to tell the origins story of Lara again instead of a sequel of Tomb Raider: Underworld in 2008, which we think worked out well.
14 D. VA, OVERWATCH
Overwatch has broadened girl’s options at cosplaying. Because of Overwatch, over 10 new female heroes of all different styles have been introduced into the video game world. No tiny “armored” bikinis top look at here! Now you can cosplay while sitting in a whole machine-robot thing (mech), and still look cute. That’s what Hanakima did.
Va’s role is a tank in the game. She has a mech that can blast fusion cannons or launch into the air. And if you desire, D. Va can eject from mech and have it explode, damaging any nearby enemies. Once it is destroyed, a new one can be summoned to continue in battle. So over all, this is an awesome character to play, but an even more awesome character to cosplay.
13 WITCH DOCTOR, DIABLO III
The Witch Doctor is one of the newest characters to the Diablo franchise and first debuts in Diablo III. You have the choice of male or female characters when you play. And, obviously, it is more fierce to be a female Witch Doctor than any other class in the game!
12 PRINCESS KITANA, MORTAL KOMBAT
As a 10,000 year old princess, Kitana is looking pretty good. Cynthia Cos did an excellent job as Princess Kitana and her steel fans look deadly as hell. Part of the appeal of cosplay is being able to be someone else. A princess from another realm who has a steel fan, bo staff and flying blade, as well as the ability to do something called an Eagle Claw, sounds like a fierce character to cosplay for any woman to take on.
Princess Kitana was introduced to Mortal Kombat II in 1993 and has been a regular character since then. She is the princess of Edenia, and is apart of the good team. She has an evil twin (or clone) and her main nemesis is Mileena.
11 KIORA, MAGIC THE GATHERING
Adding photoshop touches to a cosplay photoshoot is never a bad idea. The cosplayer IchiCosplayArt looks stunning as Kiora from Magic the Gathering in a lustrus forest. On her DeviantArt page, she mentions that she made the head piece herself. As cosplay becomes more popular, more companies are starting to sell outfits and other accessories in stores. Until recently, a lot of pieces for costumes weren’t available to buy in stores. You had to buy them from online stores like Etsy, or make them yourself.
Just because it is a card game, doesn’t mean you can’t cosplay them. Magic the Gathering is a trading card game that can also be played online. Kiora is a merfolk planeswalker. All the characters have their own backstories. The gist of Kiora’s is her home has been destroyed and she aims at strengthening her connection to the ocean’s magic.
10 ZARYA, OVERWATCH
Zarya from Overwatch is on this list because where else can you play or cosplay as a weightlifting athlete that turned it all down to serve a country in dire need? CloudCosplay is dressing as one of the strongest women in the Overwatch world and we think she did a pretty amazing job at it.
Zarya’s role in Overwatch is a tank class which means she can absorb the most amount of damaga ena should be on the frontline of any push towards the goal or while on defense and defending the point. Her weapon is a particle cannon that includes an explosive charge and energy beam. As a tank, she also has a particle barrier that can create a personal barrier from attacks and also a one for a teammate.
9 AVACYN, MAGIC THE GATHERING
Avacyn is an Angel from the trading card game Magic the Gathering. In her backstory, her main purpose is to maintain balance on the plane Innistrad. She was created by Sorin Markov, a vampire planeswalker. Along the way, she became corrupt and Avacyn, the Purifier is who Bloodthirsty Beauty is cosplaying as.
Bloodthirsty Beauty has been cosplaying for five years now. She makes her own outfits and props for all her cosplaying needs. You can tell from her photos she puts in a lot of hard work making her cosplays, which always come out beautiful and fierce when she is done making them. The fantasy genre of cosplay comes with otherworldly outfits that, when done right, are fantastical and this one here is no exception.
8 ALOY, HORIZON ZERO DAWN
Horizon Zero Dawn is an action role-playing game. You play as Aloy in a post-apocalyptic future where dinosaur machines dominate civilization. The game starts with Aloy when she is a child and learning her hardships of being an outcast. But those hardships of not belonging or knowing who her parents are made her stronger and train harder.
7 SYLVANAS WINDRUNNER, HEROES OF THE STORM
Sylvanas Windrunner, Queen of the Forsaken, The Dark Lady, The Banshee Queen … sounds like Daenerys Targaryen’s many names. The cosplayer is Swansel and the photograph is from BigWhiteBazooka, a photography company that specializes in cosplay photography and they've teamed up for a beautiful shot of an equally beautiful cosplay of Sylvanas Windrunner.
The blue and gold armor of this Sylvanas is from one of her skins in Heroes of the Storm, which is a multiplayer battle arena game played online from the world-famous gaming company, Blizzard Entertainment. But she originally started as a ranger from World of Warcraft. As a massively multiplayer online RGP, there are tons of options to choose from to cosplay, as well as different skins to choose from as well.
6 LIARA T'SONI, MASS EFFECT
Dr. Liara T’Soni is from Bioware and EA's super popular space opera action-RPG game, Mass Effect. She is a main character of the storyline and is part of the Asari race that inhabits the beautifully strange world of Mass Effect. She is important to the storyline because she is a scientist who spent most of her life studying Prothean culture, technology and its eventual extinction.
The cosplay was done by Chrix Design. This cosplayer believes in making all her outfits and props from household items or things that are easily obtainable all on her own. She also has a YouTube channel where she shows how she makes her outfits and props. These tutorials can be helpful to any cosplayer who believes in making everything themselves.
5 DIANA, LEAGUE OF LEGENDS
Diana can be played on League of Legends, one of the most popular multiplayer online battle arena games to ever come out. She can also be cosplayed, like Calypsen Cosplay is doing here. This is the classic version of Diana and Calypsen won first place for her cosplay at League of Legends Hall of Games in 2014. Calypsen is from a city in Poland called Poznan and also a nominee for CosplayInfinity award of the year for 2017.
League of Legends is also an online battle arena game from Riot Games. Diana, Scorn of Moon is a fighter and a mage in the game. She has a Moonsilver Blade, as shown in the photo, to use as a melee weapon and for her many special abilities.
4 SISTER OF BATTLE, WARHAMMER 40,000
Also known as Adepta Sororitas and Daughters of the Emperor in Warhammer 40K. Pholi Cosplay is doing her own version of a Sister of Battle from the tabletop roleplaying game. Warhammer 40,000 has been played on dining rooms tables across America since 1987. These sisters were brought up to go through fire and the depths of destruction for the Emperor in this dystopian science fiction fantasy universe.
In a tabletop role playing game, you have a lot more freedom than playing a video game. RPGs have been around for so long because many people enjoying the concept of becoming a totally different person in a made-up world. The dungeon master, DM, can create whatever world they want and the characters to go with it, within the rulebook boundaries of the lore, of course.
3 TYRANDE WHISPERWIND, WORLD OF WARCRAFT
It should come as no surprise that the World of Warcraft gaming franchise has spawned so many great looking cosplays, considering the outstanding design of the world. Tyrande is another female character from the massively popular online game World of Warcraft. This particular cosplay is done by Narga and Aoki Cosplay. Narga and Aoki are partners that create their own cosplays out of Russia. Narga is posing as Tyrande and looking powerful as the awesome night elf leader.
Tyrande in World of Warcraft is known as a passionate and caring leader. The cosplayer does a great job representing those features in the photo. In World of Warcraft, Tyrande is part of the alliance and has different status in the versions of World of Warcraft. She has classes of huntress, healer and priest.
2 DESMOND MILES, ASSASSIN'S CREED
Assassin’s Creed is an action-adventure video game series. Many who play enjoy it because of its stealth features. In the game you play Desmond Miles who comes from a bloodline of assassins. Yaya Han decided to do her own version of Desmond from Assassin’s Creed, and we actually prefer it better than the game’s. In the photo she looks ready to sneak up on her enemies and kill them with her bare hands or slice their throat with her sword.
Yaya Han has been cosplaying for quite some time now and has built a vast portfolio and fanbase. Not only is she a cosplayer, she is also a costume designer and entertainer. She has made over 300 cosplay outfits so far and is based in Atlanta, Georgia.
1 SARAH KERRIGAN, STARCRAFT
Sarah Kerrigan can be played on Heroes of the Storm as well, as a melee assassin hero. Sarah wasn’t always a sexy, flying-dragon-like creature. She became the Queen of Blades when she was betrayed by her allies and transformed by zerg. But thanks to that betrayal, we have fierce cosplay opportunities as Queen of Blades.