The Most Iconic Moms In Video Games

Cooking Mama

As it stands, video games have a lot catching up to do when it comes to the number of prominent moms in video games compared to the number of dads. That said, it doesn’t mean there aren’t quite a few mothers who are, in fact, mothering, as the internet would say. These are the women who prove that motherhood is not a one-size fits all title–that it doesn’t look like simply being nurturing, over-protecting, and docile. These characters demand you see mothers as people who can be flawed, compassionate, aggressive, sexual, sacrificial, powerful, or all of these things at once.

Some of these mothers might not always know best, but they do know how to leave a lasting impression. And after all, it’s just as important to support women’s wrongs as it is to support women’s rights, right? Right. So from the nurturing to the vampiric, here are some of gaming’s most iconic moms in no particular order. Oh, and some of these might contain spoilers, so be sure to look for a warning before reading ahead.

Bayonetta (Bayonetta series)

Contains spoilers for Bayonetta 3

In an interesting tonal shift, the last two entries of the Bayonetta series–Bayonetta 3 and Bayonetta Origins–both focused on a strange yet refreshing theme: motherhood. While Origins was all about Bayonetta’s relationship with her own mother, Bayonetta 3 revealed that Bayonetta herself is a mother, as her daughter Viola made her action-packed debut. Though some might think it strange for a series known for its hyper-violence and sexuality to address motherhood, that is precisely what makes it work. Bayonetta doesn’t lose any of her edge, sensuality, and cheekiness as she steps into motherhood. Instead she proves that moms can be both sexy and compassionate, and I love that for us.

Ana (Overwatch)

Ana Amari is not just a founding member of Overwatch and one of the world’s deadliest snipers, she’s also the mother of another core Overwatch member: Fareeha Amari aka Pharah. Yet despite their common interest in saving the world, the pair haven’t always seen eye-to-eye. Much like any overprotective parent, Ana didn’t want Fareeha to follow her footsteps and join such a dangerous line of work. As such, Ana began to place some distance between herself and her daughter, hoping it might deter her.

Naturally this didn’t work, and Ana’s distance resulted in her faking her death and essentially abandoning her child, Fareeha found herself resentful towards her mother. After years of zero communication, pair were reunited in Cairo, where Ana gave a heartfelt apology to Fareeha. While Fareeha is still hurt by her mother’s actions, Ana’s apology and request that Fareeha join Overwatch has helped mend the pair’s relationship.

While not a sterling portrayal of motherhood, Ana’s story feels realistic and ultimately touching. Parents are always going to mess us up a little (or a lot), but her being able to apologize and encourage her daughter to pursue her dreams definitely earns her a few good mom points.

Ifalna (Final Fantasy VII)

Contains spoilers for Final Fantasy VII/Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Though Ifalna’s role in Final Fantasy VII is brief, it is also one of the most important and heartbreaking. As the last full-blooded Ancient (or Cetra), Ifalna became of interest to the Shinra Electric Power Company at a young age. However, after lead researcher Professor Garst met Ifalna, he fell in love with her. Garst ultimately chose to resign from his position and moved to be with Ifalna in Icicle Inn area, where they would later raise their daughter, Aerith.

When Aerith was six years old, Shinra’s new head of research, Hojo, decided to visit the family. After murdering Garst, Hojo abducted both Ifalna and Aerith to run experiments on. Ifalna endured Hojo’s abuse for three years before ultimately breaking herself and Aerith free from the research facility. You come to discover she did this because she knew she was close to dying and wanted, more than anything, to ensure her daughter escaped and wasn’t subjected to the same pain.

Ilfalna died on the steps of the Sector Five train station while her daughter yelled for help to no avail. Before passing, Ifalna gave Aerith the white materia, one of the most important relics in Final Fantasy VII.

Nyx (Hades)

As her title “Mother Night” implies, Nyx truly embodies maternal energy. Despite her dark exterior and ties to the Underworld, Nyx is benevolent and spends her days ensuring the land of the dead is safe and operating as it should. Of course she does have help in the form of her children–Thanatos, Hypnos, Charon, Eris, Nemesis, Moros, Momus, The Fates, and probably some other dark, moody, and cool character I am missing–who all hold special roles in the Underworld.

Nyx is also a mother figure to Hades’ protagonist, Zagreus. Throughout the game, Nyx offers unlimited counsel and kindness to Zagreus, as well as defends him against his father’s abuse. She also assists him on his quest to find his mother by giving him the Mirror of Night and contacting the Olympian gods to ensure they grant him boons throughout his voyage to the surface. Sure, we come to find out she has her own reasons for this, but they are not malicious and her kindness towards Zagreus is genuine.

Dina (The Last of Us Part II)

Contains spoilers for The Last of Us Part II

Throughout the entirety of The Last of Us Part II, Dina acts as a voice of kindness and reason–a sharp contrast to the emotionally charged and revenge-hungry Ellie. Yet the two find comfort and love in one another, and ultimately decide they will raise Dina’s unborn child with her ex together.

Once her child, JJ, is born, Dina becomes committed to giving him a calm and good life even in the midst of all the violence in the world and her strained relationship with Ellie. However, once Ellie sets off to chase after revenge yet again, Dina decides to pack up their home and leave with JJ. While this makes for a heartbreaking final scene, Dina deserves a lot of respect for the painful choice she made to protect JJ after enduring months of Ellie’s bloodlust and its repercussions.

Elena Fisher (Uncharted series)

Contains spoilers for Uncharted: A Thief’s End

Though we don’t get to see much of Elena’s parenting, as we only see her and Nate’s daughter Cassie during a flash-forward at the end of A Thief’s End, Elena has always exuded patience and compassion. This works out well for her partner-turned-husband Nathan Drake, who constantly tests the limits of both.

What I ultimately love about Elena and her version of motherhood is that she avoids the box that many fictional mothers are placed into. As an investigative reporter, Elena still retains a love of travel and adventure, and pursues her own interests while also being a caring and attentive mother to Cassie. She is not solely resigned to being yet another overly protective mother who makes things less fun, but is treated with respect and as more of an equal partner to Nathan.

Mad Moxxi (Borderlands series)

No, Moxxi is not solely on here because she is a “mommy,” though we’re not denying she absolutely is. But in addition to being a babe, Moxxi is also the mother of both Scooter and Ellie–strange, right?

Turns out, Moxxi is a former member of the Hodunk clan but left with her children after discovering Ellie was slated to become the clan wife. She then raised the two as a single mother, hosting fights and bartending to house and feed her family. It’s also mentioned that Moxxi taught her children about machinery, which explains why Ellie and Scooter are both mechanics.

Freya (God of War series)

Contains spoilers for God of War/God of War: Ragnarok

Though Freya spends a fair chunk of time as God of War protagonist Kratos’ enemy, there’s no denying she is also a loving mother whose grievances with Kratos are understandable. After helping Kratos throughout God of War, Freya witnesses him kill her son, Baldur. And while Kratos ultimately did this to protect Freya from her son, she cannot overlook the fact that he is ultimately responsible for her son’s death.

After years of relentless attacks, Freya ultimately forgives Kratos, although admits she will always be angry with him. Yet despite their differences, she works alongside the Spartan to take down her former partner, Odin, and restore Asgard to its former glory.

Your Mom (Pokemon series)

No, this is not just here as a “your mom” joke, I promise. The truth is Pokemon moms kind of rule as a collective. Sure, their parenting might be a bit questionable–I for one can’t imagine letting my kid leave the house to have animal fights with adults the second he turns 11–but you can’t deny their random acts of kindness are sweet. From giving you berries and sneakers, healing your Pokemon, and helping you build your savings, your mom is always looking out for her sweet little Pokemon trainer.

The Boss (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater)

Can love bloom on the battlefield? Depends on who you’re asking. But do you know what can happen on a battlefield? Having a baby. This is precisely what happened to The Boss, whose snake-shaped caesarean scar serves as a reminder of the child that was ultimately taken from her by The Philosophers and would go on to become Revolver Ocelot.

Yet more importantly, The Boss also served as a mother figure to another legendary soldier: Naked Snake. It’s said that she taught him (and many others) everything they knew about combat, earning her the title “Mother of Special Forces.” Throughout the entirely of Snake Eater, the Boss exemplifies benevolence and self-sacrifice, making her a pretty damn good mother in our book.

Toriel (Undertale)

Toriel, affectionately referred to by many as Goat Mom, is an extremely maternal figure whose protective instincts–and your response to them–ultimately set the entire tone for your entire experience in Undertale. As the former Queen of the Monsters, her mission at the start of the game is to protect you from entering the Underground, as it’s the domain of her ex-husband, Asgore, whom she left after witnessing his willingness to kill human children. However, if you act in a more aggressive fashion, she’ll eventually confess that her goal is to protect the Underground from you. Either way, she is largely a benevolent figure and a good Goat Mom.

Mother Brain (Metroid series)

Though Mother Brain is a reoccurring villain in the Metroid series first and foremost, you can’t deny she is also a sort of mother-figure–it’s literally in her name. Created by the Chozo to oversee their colony on Zebes, Mother Brain can (initially) be viewed as a parental figure hellbent on protecting her “children.”

She is also the one who, in a sense, created Metroid protagonist Samus. After the Chozo find a young and weak Samus, Mother Brain reluctantly agrees to their request for her to give the child body adaptations that will allow her to live on Zebes. Mother Brain is there for all of Samus’ training, offering plenty of condescending and unkind remarks the whole time, before ultimately betraying the Chozo to chase her own ambitions of galactic conquest. Sure, she’s not a very good mother, but she’s a mother nevertheless.

Elmyra Gainsborough (Final Fantasy VII)

Contains spoilers for Final Fantasy VII/Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

After finding Aerith grieving over her mother’s body (and noticing Shinra personnel eying the young girl), Elmyra quickly made the life-changing choice to bring Aerith back home and raise as her own. It’s a decision that likely saved Aerith’s life–as well as ensured she would have a somewhat normal upbringing despite of all the trauma she had already endured. It also reflects Elmyra’s exceptionally kind heart.

We later discover that part of the reason Elmyra does this is because she always wanted to have a child with her former partner, who she now presumes was killed in the war against Wutai. Elmyra reveals that she went to the train station daily in hopes that he would return, which is precisely what she was doing when she witnessed Aerith losing her mother. To her, Aerith was a chance at family, and she quickly grew to love her as if she were her very own.

When the Turks came searching for Aerith and her knowledge of the Cetra, Elmyra was the one who cut them a deal, telling them she would learn from Aerith where The Promised Land was and report back to Shinra so long as they left her alone.

Lady Dimitrescu (Resident Evil Village)

Lady Alcina Dimitrescu is not just a 9’6″ bombshell who set the internet ablaze when she was first revealed–she is also a mother to three daughters, Bela, Cassandra, and Daniela Dimitrescu. While the trio aren’t biologically related to Alcina, she was quick to take them in after they survived Mother Miranda’s experiments. However, it should be mentioned that she is also part of the reason they were experimented on, as all three of them were servants in her palace prior. Nevertheless, Alcina cares for them and provides them with plenty of villagers to eat up.

Cooking Mama (Cooking Mama series)

Out of all the moms on this list, Cooking Mama is absolutely the one with the least questionable parenting style. I suppose it helps that she hasn’t murdered anyone (well, aside from and isn’t lying about her sordid past.

Instead, Cooking Mama is nurturing, patient, comforting, and enthusiastic about her children becoming self-sufficient and skilled–all fantastic traits for a parent to have. I tend to think of her similarly to how I used to think about some of my middle-school friends’ cool moms. You know the ones–always whipping up some sort of incredible after-school snack and hearing out your school woes that your actual parents just don’t “get.” Anyways, shout out to Cooking Mama.

Opal Devine (Open Roads)

Much like her daughter Tess, Opal Devine is multifaceted, intelligent, creative, and sometimes a bit reckless, all of which makes her a fantastic depiction of a mother.

Throughout Open Roads’ story (and despite playing as Tess), Opal feels like a very equal character. She is not treated purely as this source of conflict in Tess’ life, but is instead a whole person with complex emotions and desires. The way Opal manages to navigate her own feelings towards her ex, daughter, and late mother, while also nurturing her teenage daughter in a way that feels authentic, makes her a very sympathetic and interesting character, as well as one of video games’ best mothers.

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