Few sources of media inspire cosplay more than video games. And few video game companies inspire more than Nintendo. As one of the oldest and most successful game companies on the planet, Nintendo has given gamers countless original characters to play with. Mario, Luigi, Samus, Donkey Kong, the list goes on and cosplayers love to portray them at conventions. That includes the various very attractive lady characters that cosplayers enjoy bringing to life.
Another facet are the “gender-bender” costumes as ladies play some of the male heroes, as well. Some outfits can be, frankly, lame but others are incredibly well done. A few may push the limits in capturing the spirit of the character, but sometimes the simple ones are better. Here are 20 Nintendo heroes cosplayed by women to showcase the inventive drive that makes the costumes stand out wonderfully.
20 Link Flying High
Anyone can pull of a female version of The Legend of Zelda’s heroic lead. Leave it to Jessica Nigri to up the ante. Her Link costume is a perfect recreation of the heroic outfit, simple but effective with the pointed ears and long blonde hair. Jessica then has friend Lindsay Elyse join her as Navi in a gorgeous fairy costume. The two were a terrific pair to check out, bringing these characters to lovely life.
19 Yummy Yoshi
The funny dinosaur has been a hit with fans ever since he popped up in Super Mario World. Whether he’s aiding Mario, taking part in a Kart race, or even starring in his own games, Yoshi stands out with his wicked tongue and fun humor. Antonella Arpa gives a hot edge, but looks fun with the Yoshi headpiece and somehow her red hair works with the green suit to make this a better take on the childish character.
This Pokémon has been a popular character ever since the first feature length film. The quirky creature can be tougher than it seems and is a natural for cosplayers to emulate. This is a gorgeous take on it with the costumer going all out designing the tail to stick out nicely. The coloring is perfect and the wig with ponytails matches it to make this a very stunning look to catch.
17 Lively Luigi
While Mario gets the press, Luigi is just as important to many fans. Several Mario games have showcased Luigi’s great jumping abilities and he fits well in Super Smash Bros. and other spin-offs. Valeria does a good job on a gender-flipped Luigi with the overalls still there and mixed with a dress. There’s still the green gloves, the floppy hat, and she also has an expression to fit the sometimes scared but always fun younger brother.
16 Catch Em All
It’s been two decades, but Pokemon shows no sign of slowing down. If anything, the video game franchise is hotter than ever and the anime still gets attention too. Plenty of cosplayers have taken on main character Ash Ketchum yet Britany Angelus stands out. Not only does she look hot in the outfit but captures Ash’s nice attitude with the cap, the right buttons on the jacket and a Pikachu on her shoulder. It’s a look anyone would want to catch.
15 Lady Little Mac
Punch-Out has been through a lot of variations, but fans simply love the original take. Playing as Little Mac fighting his way up the ranks to face Mike Tyson was a huge achievement for original NES fans. Leaping Lizard puts a spin on a female Mac, keeping to those classic green trunks with a black tank top and the right short haircut. The huge green gloves help as Lizard looks set to get into the ring and take on all comers.
14 Crazy Like A Fox
While the first Star Fox game was good, it was on the N64 that the series became a huge hit. Since then, fans have loved the antics of Fox McCloud and his squad of space pilots protecting the galaxy from evil. SophieRiis does a magnificent job copying Fox’s look with the fur head and even the special headset. The rest of the flight suit looks good too with how it fits and a fake tail. One can almost see Sophie in the cockpit and ready to fly.
13 Lady With A Whip
Originally a cheap arcade port, Castlevania has become an NES mainstay. Every single generation of consoles has boasted a version of a Belmont on the quest to stop Dracula. The big twist to Lord of Shadow was revealing how hero Gabriel Belmont became Dracula. Tracy Hines captures the early version of the character brilliantly in this intricate armor complete with metal gloves and chain whip. Even the makeup is well done to hint at Gabriel’s inner darkness that turns this hero into the ultimate villain.
12 Mega Maid
Every NES fan can agree that few game series have caused as many broken controllers as Mega Man. Yes, they’re fun to play, but can also be a nightmare when it comes to difficulty. Yet fans keep coming back for more of the tough armored figure tangling with an army of evil robots. This cosplayer perfectly replicates the classic Mega Man look with the sleek blue suit, large boots, the huge hand cannon and the bulky helmet. To add to the fun, she has her friend following as Dr. Light.
11 Water Wonder
Fire Emblem has given cosplayers plenty of material to work with thanks to its bevy of magical ladies. Azura is a great choice with fans enjoying to dress up as the water-wielding dancer. Calssara outdoes them all with how she pulls the look off. The outfit itself is perfect in its mix of blue and white with the blue hair. The setting is what makes it stand out as it truly appears as if Azura is controlling the waves around her. It adds up to one astounding view of this magical character.
10 Pretty As A Peach
You can’t throw a rock at a cosplay convention without hitting a version of the iconic princess. Yet some cosplayers can still astound with how far they can go. Robots and Roses spent hours putting together this incredibly detailed (and very heavy) dress and lavishly worked on every detail. That’s not including the perfectly done hairstyle. The result is a look perfectly fitting the royal character to the point any other Peach cosplayer must bow down.
9 High Flying Falcon
The F-Zero series has long been popular with racing game fans for its futuristic setting and unique vehicles. Captain Falcon has been a mainstay of the series and fans adored being able to play as him in Super Smash Bros. Red Flare takes on the outfit, doing a spin on the mini-skirt but otherwise it’s almost perfect. The helmet covers her eyes in dark shades, the huge eagle emblem right and she gets the correct mix of colors for the gloves. All she needs is a hover-car and she’s ready to go.
8 Bad Bayonetta
While originally released on multiple platforms, Bayonetta has really come to prominence as a Nintendo heroine. Its success is thanks to the striking look of the title character which as instantly made her a cosplay favorite. Here, Oniksiya Sofinikum replicates that look perfectly. From the glasses to the high ponytailed hair with slips of red ribbon to the right shades of the leather, it’s mind-boggling how great it all comes together. The result is one great version of a bad lady.
7 Cosmic Rosalina
It used to be that Peach was the top princess of the Mario series. Then Super Mario Galaxy introduced Rosalina and fans fell in love with this cosmic protector. Bec-Cos Wonderland brings her to life with his lovely look, her dress seeming to capture a “cosmic” quality quite well. It amps up the heat a bit yet still looks great to maintain her powerful presence. The star backdrop helps but the costume alone is truly out of this world.
6 Natural Zelda
Layze Michelle has been hailed by cosplay fans for her terrific takes on Princess Zelda. She goes all out replicating looks of the character from every single Zelda game. This version is the Hyrule Warriors take and it’s just astounding. It truly looks like some sort of otherworldly character with the intricate outfit mixed with armor, the elegant crown and the wand in one hand. This may be the best of all of Michelle’s Zelda looks and a regal cosplay.
5 Diddy And Tiny Kong
Even since its debut in 1994, Donkey Kong Country has been loved by fans of challenging platform games. The breakout was Diddy Kong who would join with the bigger Donkey for these adventures. Later games brought in new sidekick, Tiny Kong. This pair has a fun vibe with Diddy in a tight brown suit with a large tail while Tiny is in a good suit herself with the backpack and cap. You can almost see them tossing barrels at any moment.
4 Not The Pits
He’s not as famous as other Nintendo characters but Pit still has his fans. Kid Icarus remains a gem of the early NES period and Pit has managed a comeback in a few games. This cosplayer does a great job replicating the character with the nice outfit that mixes classic Greek mythology with a modern edge. The wings are beautiful, but not too large, showcasing the form nicely. Even the hair is the right mix of color and spikes so this nails the target nicely.
3 Kute Kirby
Kirby can be a tricky cosplay to pull off. A lot of cosplayers go for the classic look of the walking ball of fluff that can look cute. Blancalilam does a nice version that has a feminine quality yet still retains the essence of the character. The pink coloring fits as does the long hair and nice skirt with boots. The addition of the star wand also aids and thus this is a nice take on a fun character.
2 Serious Samus
Anyone who played the original Metroid in 1987 remembers how it felt to beat the game and then discover that Samus Aran, this incredible tough bounty hunter, was a woman. Since then, many cosplayers have preferred Samus in her blue suit, but Talaaya Cosplay spent five years crafting this incredible recreation of Samus’ orange armor. It captures every curve so perfectly that it looks like it stepped right out of the game screen and blows any other Samus cosplay out of the sky.
1 Super Cruz
To promote New Super Mario Bros 2., Nintendo called upon another famous pair of siblings. Penelope Cruz and her sister, Monica, were shown playing against each other on the 3DS. Monica won and thus Penelope had to dress up as Mario in public. The sight of the Oscar winner in the outfit and a bad attempt at the voice was hysterical. Of course, given it’s Cruz, there’s no way she can look anything less than gorgeous as Nintendo’s flagship character.