While video games have continued to tackle more mature themes and concepts over the years, motherhood is still something that seems to be rarely explored in gaming. So it’s refreshing when a video game or series features a character that’s not just a mom, but a mom whose motherhood plays an integral role in their story and the game.
In recognition of Mother’s Day, we have named the 15 most memorable video game moms. Not all of these moms can be considered “good” parents, but all of them, even the evil ones, have stood out as the most memorable moms in gaming history.
Please note that this article will have some spoilers.
1. Ana (Overwatch)
Healer-sniper Ana is one of the founding members of the titular Overwatch group in Overwatch. She is a seasoned combat veteran with remarkable healing abilities, but her lifelong duty as a soldier strained her relationship with her daughter, Pharah. Ana’s relationship with her daughter soured further when she lost a duel with Widowmaker and let Pharah think that she was dead. Since Ana deceived her own daughter for years, it’s understandable that the two have struggled to properly patch things up since.
2. Clementine (The Walking Dead)
Clementine is not a biological mother, but she is certainly an adoptive one. In Telltale’s The Walking Dead video games, Clementine finds herself taking care of a baby named AJ, whose father dies before he’s born and whose mother, Rebecca, dies shortly after his birth. Even though Clementine herself is a child when AJ is born, she has to grow up quickly to serve as his de facto mother, taking care of AJ in the zombie apocalypse like Lee did for her in The Walking Dead‘s first season.
3. Flemeth (Dragon Age)
Morrigan is often listed as one of the best Dragon Age companions, but if it wasn’t for her mother, Morrigan wouldn’t exist at all. Morrigan’s mother is the shapeshifting Flemeth, also known as the Witch of the Wilds, who has given birth to and raised a number of witches over her long lifespan.
4. Freya (God of War)
Say what you want about Freya from the 2018 God of War game, but no one can accuse her of not loving her son. In fact, Freya casts a spell of immortality on her son Baldur in an ill-fated attempt to stop the prophecy of his death from coming true. Freya loves Baldur right to the end, even after he attempts to strangle her, and is devastated when Kratos kills him to save her life.
5. Jenova (Final Fantasy 7)
Jenova is a mysterious alien life-form whose cells are used to warp Final Fantasy 7 villain Sephiroth into the ultimate soldier. Jenova herself serves as a boss fight on more than one occasion over the course of Final Fantasy 7, but the role that “she” played in creating Sephiroth is what makes her one of gaming’s most memorable “moms.” She’s not a conventional mom by any stretch of the imagination, but willingly or not, she helped create one of gaming’s most notorious villains.
6. Joyce (Life is Strange)
Not all of the moms on this list could be considered “good” moms, but Joyce Life is Strange is very much deserving of that label. The relationship between Joyce and her daughter Chloe is strained by Chloe’s drug use and behavior problems, as well as the death of Chloe’s father. Despite these hardships, Joyce is shown to have an undying love for her daughter, and a strong will to take care of her family in the face of tragedy.
7. Kangaskhan (Pokemon)
Kangaskhan, aka the “Parent Pokemon,” is largely defined by its role as a mother. Kangaskhan carries its young in its pouch, and it will protect its child at all costs. We see numerous examples of Kangaskhan going to great lengths to keep its child safe in the Pokemon anime, video games, and manga, and we also see Kangaskhan’s motherly instincts on display in other ways as well. For example, there is an episode of the Pokemon anime, “An EGG-sighting Adventure,” where a Kangaskhan protects a Phanpy egg.
8. Mom (Pokemon)
One of the most consistent elements of the core Pokemon games is the player character’s mom. In every main series Pokemon game to date, players start their Pokemon adventure by saying goodbye to their mom, but their mom will still help them when they come home to visit. The player character’s mom will sometimes send players helpful items in the mail, and she will often heal Pokemon back to full health, though the specifics of her role varies from game to game.
9. Mother Penguin (Super Mario 64)
In the Cool, Cool Mountain level of Super Mario 64, Mario will come across a heartbreaking sight. A mother penguin has lost her daughter, and she needs Mario’s help to find her. Demented players may have had more fun throwing the baby penguin off a cliff, but those with a kind heart will be rewarded with a valuable Power Star after bringing her home. Not only is the mother penguin’s love for her daughter evident by her happiness when her child is returned to her, but it’s also clear when she angrily chases after Mario if he tries to take her daughter away again.
10. Ness’s Mom (Earthbound)
Like the player character’s mom from Pokemon, Ness’s mom in Earthbound provides a benefit to the player. Ness and his friends can visit his mom to replenish their health, but it’s worth visiting her for other reasons as well. Like most kids, Ness will grow homesick if he doesn’t visit with his mom regularly, and this can actually have a negative impact on his battle performance. Earthbound may very well be one of the only video games where spending time with your mom is a central gameplay mechanic, and so Ness’s mom definitely deserves a place on this list. It’s also worth mentioning that, in Japan, Earthbound is called Mother.
11. Rosalina (Super Mario Galaxy)
Those who bother to watch the storybook cut-scenes in Super Mario Galaxy will learn a lot more about Rosalina’s past, namely how her own mother is dead. Following her mother’s death, Rosalina dedicates her life to being an adoptive mother herself, adopting Lumas and raising them as her own children on the Comet Observatory.
12. Samantha (Street Fighter)
Blanka‘s green skin and monstrous appearance give him a face only a mother could love, so it’s lucky that his mother Samantha came back into his life. In Blanka’s ending in Street Fighter 2, Samantha recognizes him as her long-lost son, as he’s still wearing the anklet that she bought him as a child, and their reunion has to be one of the most heartwarming scenes in fighting game history.
13. Sims Moms (The Sims)
Sims moms are as loving as the player character wills them to be. A Sims mom may be the most devoted mother in the world, or she may leave her child to cry indefinitely, getting them removed from the home by child services. What makes Sims mothers especially memorable in video gaming, though, is that in some games, they can actually give birth to non-human babies. Under certain conditions, Sims can be abducted and give birth to full-blown alien children.
14. Sonya Blade (Mortal Kombat)
Sonya Blade was the sole female playable character in the original Mortal Kombat, and she has persisted as one of the franchise’s most popular characters ever since. In Mortal Kombat X, Sonya Blade was given more depth by becoming a mother, having a baby with Johnny Cage who would grow up to be Cassie Cage. In Mortal Kombat 11‘s story mode, we see just how much Sonya cares for her daughter, as she sacrifices herself to save Cassie’s life early in the game.
15. The Boss (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater)
The Boss may not be the “best” mother in the world, but she’s definitely one of the deadliest. The biological mother of Revolver Ocelot, The Boss also played a key role in mentoring Naked Snake, one of the most recognizable video game characters of all time. Without The Boss and her sacrifice in Metal Gear Solid 3, the events of the rest of the Metal Gear Solid franchise may not have taken place, making The Boss one of the most important characters in the entire series.