Of the gang of playable characters in Borderlands, three are male and one is female, who are all with a fourth man driving the truck. The female is introduced as "The Siren," which is barely a gnat's whisker away from simply calling her "the token girl."
In Bully, each social clique has only a single female member versus about half a dozen male members.
One of the 4 Horsemen in the Darksiders series named Fury is the only female horsemen and she has yet to make her debut in the game, only in the comics. Uriel and Lilith are also the only known female characters on the heaven and hell side respectively.
The campaigns for the first game and it's expansions only have one female character each, who is always an Eldar Farseer. Initially the only female unit is the Howling Banshees, but Dark Crusade adds the Harlequin and Soulstorm adds the Wyches. Soulstorm also tips the balance slightly by introducing the Sisters of Battle, who only have two male units, but they're still vastly outnumbered.
The second game has Idranel on the side of the antagonists (killed off in the first campaign) and Derosa on the side of the protagonists (one of the Mission Control members, who is nowhere to be found in Retribution). The Eldar campaign in Retribution has effectively one female character out of three (there's technically a second female character, but she has no lines), and the Imperial Guard campaign has Adrastia.
In Diablo I, only one of the three (the Rogue) classes was female. The Hellfire expansion added the male monk class by default, plus mildly altered remakes of the Warrior and Rogue that could only be unlocked by futzing with a system file. Diablo II evened the gender balance a bit with three female classes and four male ones. Diablo III removes the problem entirely by allowing the player to be either gender for all classes.
The series has only a few female Kongs: Candy Kong was the first, a vaguely fanservicey monkey who helps the player. Dixie Kong was introduced as Diddy's girlfriend, simultaneously with the grandmotherly Wrinkly Kong, and Tiny Kong was the only female member of Donkey Kong 64's Five-Man Band. Similarly, the Kremlings were always male in the games, although K. Rool's wife is mentioned in passing in Donkey Kong Country 3 Dicie Kongs Double Trouble. It wasn't until Donkey Kong Barrel Blast that females were finally featured on-screen (specifically, Kass and Kalypso).
There are a total of 36 Strength heroes in Dota 2 and out of all them, only 1 hero is female (Legion Commander), whom during the transition from its original source, is genderbent from a male.
Dragon Quest VIII has Jessica, the only female playable character in a group of 4. She may be the Squishy Wizard but she has some of the more powerful weapon attacks. Though she does have some interesting costume changes. She's also the third character you get and the only one who can throw the big blaster spells. There's also Princess Medea, but she isn't playable.
Drakengard: Aside from professionally Damsel in Distress Furiae, the only female character of note is Arioch. Who is a deranged, barren elf who eats children. She isn't even the worst person in the party, which includes a sociopathic mass murderer who routinely kicks his own allies in the head, a senile, racist old man, a pedophile, and a six-year-old boy who dooms the world out of petty spite.
All three entries of the Mother series has had three guys and one girl in the main party (or in MOTHER 3's case, two guys, a girl and a dog), the girl being the psychic powerhouse.
Contrast EverQuest, where female characters seem to outnumber male ones. Both Everquest and Everquest 2's main characters, Firiona Vie and Antonia Bayle respectively, were female. Firiona's nemesis, Lanys Ty'Val, was female as well.
Everybody Edits has the "Female Smiley" out of all of them, though the Summer Girl and Helen of Sparta were introduced later.
Fallout 3 is somewhat better in this regard, having two female recruitable NPCs who are relatively useful. However, they are still in the minority (there are three male companions, as well as a genderless (formerly male) super mutant, a male dog and a robot with a male voice).
Fallout: New Vegas has two recruitable female characters of comparable use with a formerly female nightkin supermutant (which used to be a sweet old granny.) Four of the remaining five are males, among them a ghoul and a cybernetic mutt.
The Fallout Bible mentions Vault 68, populated with 999 men and only one woman, and Vault 69, with 999 women and only one man. It is never mentioned what happened in these vaults, but considering the tone of the games and the other vaults, they probably didn't end well.
The Fatal Fury series introduced its first female fighter with the ninja girl Mai Shiranui in Fatal Fury 2. Blue Mary was introduced in Fatal Fury 3 to balance things out, followed by Li Xiangfei in Real Bout 2 and Tsugumi Sendo in Wild Ambition. Mark of the Wolves only had two female fighters (B. Jenet and Hotaru) out of a roster of 14 characters.
The Final Fantasy series has played with this trope throughout its entries:
Of the six character classes in Final Fantasy I, only the White Mage looks female (and the original White Wizard graphic◊ confirms White mage as a male Bishōnen). It's possible to see all of the characters as androgynous to be female and the remakes give most classes both male and female names.
The original version of Final Fantasy III stars the all-male Onion Knights; the remake for the DS makes one of them a girl.
Notably, every game since Final Fantasy IV has had exactly three female characters in the playable cast, regardless of the total cast size. This is explicitly referred to as the Three Females Rule in Squaresoft fan circles. This even extends to entries that don't follow The Smurfette Principle, like Final Fantasy V (three women, two men) and Final Fantasy X-2 (an all-female party of three). Note that later games have gravitated toward a total playable cast size of 6, thus equalizing the gender balance while still following the rule.
This is obvious in the crossover Dissidia. Terra is the only female on the protagonist side in the main storyline, besides the goddess Cosmos herself, entirely because the roster is composed of only the main characters of each game, and Final Fantasy VI is the only one to have a female lead. Secret fighter Shantotto does get a storyline all to herself. The side of evil is slightly fairer with Ultimecia and The Cloud of Darkness in their ranks, but the latter is questionable since "she" is technically female in physical form only and tends to talk like an old man. It has the same problem that most of the main villains in the series are male. The Dissidia Duodecim additions of Tifa Lockhart, Yuna (who was the original pick to represent her game before settling on Tidus), Prishe and Lightning alleviate this somewhat on the heroes' side, but the cast is still overwhelmingly male.
While Fire Emblem has a diverse cast of genders in most games, some of them have this problem with the villains. General Petrine of Daien is the only woman among the Four Riders, and the only other female villain in the game is Ena, who pulls a Heel–Face Turn after the heroes defeat her at the capital. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones had only Selena on the villains roster and even then Selena remains loyal to her homeland, not being one of the 3 truly evil generals. Fire Emblem (aka Rekka no Ken) was a little more balanced, though it still had more male villains than females and two of the "females" (along with one of the "males") are explicitly genderless.
For the longest time, Chica of the Five Nights at Freddy's fame is the only animatronic officially confirmed to be a female, and even she doesn't have enough Tertiary Sexual Characteristics to the point that some people have mistakenly thought of her as male until others point it out. The World spin-off finally adds another confirmed female: JJ, while Sister Location is set to feature at least two new female animatronics to hopefully completely avert this trope. It should be noted that an animatronic's gender doesn't necessarily connote what gender of the spirits who inhabit them. For example, though Golden Freddy is a male, his laugh is distinctively female.
Anya Stroud is the only female who fought alongside Marcus in Delta Squad in Gears of War 3.
The only women in the entirety of Half-Life are the black-clad assassins who never speak and only appear in two areas. The Fan RemakeBlack Mesa very deliberately added a lot of female scientists to address this imbalance. Also, despite Black Mesa claiming to be an "equal-opportunity employer", all of its employees seen in the original are men, except for the holographic assistant in the tutorial. The cooperative expansion Half-Life: Decay for the PS2 fixed this by having you play as either Gina Cross (who apparently lent her voice and likeness to the holographic assistant) or Colette Green.
In Halo: Combat Evolved Cortana is the only female in the entire game other than the pilot, Foehammer, and some other generic unnamed pilot. Noble Team in Halo: Reach has only one female Spartan, unless you make Noble Six female.
Heavy Rain: Four playable characters, one female—complete with relationship conflicts with another main and sexualized role (which you can undermine later, but still).
Kerbal Space Program starts you off with Jebediah, Bill, Bob, and Valentina. The last one is the only female, and was added quite late in the development process; originally kerbals were a Single Gender Species. Valentina is a female clone of Jebediah, other than a slight stat difference (she's marginally smarter and more courageous), and she's somewhat superfluous because the original 3 males already cover all 3 character classes (Pilot, Engineer, and Scientist). An endless number of randomly-generated astronauts of either gender can be hired, however, so you can adjust the crew's gender ratio if you choose.
Played straight at first in Killer Instinct then interestingly averted later by Word of God: initially Black Orchid was the only female on the original cast of KI but when development started on season 2 of the 2013 game, it was revealed Riptor is and always was a female, meaning the original KI actually had two female fighters.note Of course Riptor being a human-raptor hybrid meant her gender was never really relevant in the first place anyway.
In the Kingdom Hearts games, while there are a small handful of important female NPCs, when it comes to the playable characters, the three main characters are all male, and there's only one female Guest Star Party Member in each game; Ariel of The Little Mermaid in the first one, and Mulan in the sequel. There's also Organization XIII. Out of thirteen members, there is only one female. Another female, Xion, seems to be added in 358/2 Days, but her status ends up rejected in more than one way.
The Two Guys and a Girl pattern ensures alot of this, with Kairi, Xion, Ollete and Aqua each being the only girl in a friendship circle filled with males.
The playable characters in both Left 4 Dead and its sequel consist of three men and one woman - neither is The Chick, however, and they are both distinctly different from each other. This is explained as the gene to be resistant to The Virus is recessive and carried on the x-chromosome. Women need two copies of the gene, while men only need one, explaining the genetically sound 3:1 ratio.
Depending on the game, Zelda may be the only important female character in the series. Other games invert the trope, such as Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword. The former two have 3 main protagonists (Link, Zelda and Navi/Midna) while the later has 5 (Link, Zelda, Fi, Impa and Hylia) and Link is the only male of all three groups.
The entire Zora race suffers from this. Most of the notable Zora characters as well as the unnamed NPC's there is usually only one female among a sea of muscular-bodied males.
In Live A Live, most of the characters you control are male, except two: Prehistoric Chapter's Bel, who won't be coming for the Final Chapter, or Kung-Fu Chapter's Li Kuugo, who'll only appear in the Final Chapter if picked as the star pupil (otherwise she got Killed Off for Real).
Mass Effect applies the trope to species, not individuals (on that regard it is largely gender balanced). You never see a female turian or batarian, although female turians are shown in the Mass Effect: Evolution comic. It's difficult to determine the gender of volus and hanar, but all the ones we've met have masculine voices and none have been suggested to be female. One female elcor can be heard, but not seen, in the Blasto 6 commercial. The asari are a mono-gendered species, but they all look and sound very much like human women. BioWare has said this was so they wouldn't have to design separate character models for each race. The lack of Female Turians is finally averted in the Omega DLC for the third game, featuring a female Turian biotic named Nyreen, and later the multiplayer mode added female turians as well.
The Mega Man series, as a whole, does this constantly. There is a grand total of two female characters in the entire original series - Roll, who took until 10 to get a single plot-significant action to her name (and is never playable except as a joke — she's a housekeeping robot), and Mega Man 4's Kalinka, who exists entirely to be kidnapped. As for the villains, they had to be male because of the naming scheme — every Robot Master is called <word> Man. This has changed with the introduction of Splash Woman in 9...then 10 went back to the status quo.
The X series has only a couple, mostly in noncombat roles as well — Iris was Zero's love interest and apparently not a combatant (though she did fight at the end — against him, and she dies by his sword), Alia plays mission control in later games, and a few of the bosses are feminine. X8 changes this slightly, as the three female operators are unlockable as bonus characters, each one emulating one of the main (male) characters to varying degrees of success. Alia isn't all that useful as she lacks X's ability to use different armor parts, but Layer is every bit as powerful (and badass) as Zero, and Palette lacks only Axl's ability to copy enemies (which is mostly used for the purpose of finding items rather than combat).
The Zero series began to turn the tables. The series had Ciel (the most important non-player character), Leviathan (one of the four Guardians, a Quirky Miniboss Squad that evolved), Neige, and many of the bosses and Resistance NPCs are female.
The Battle Network series inherited the same problem as the original, since most of the Navis are based on original series Robot Masters. However, there are lots of female human characters to make up for it.
Rockman Online has four announced characters: X, Zero, Duo, and Cinnamon. Guess which one's the token chick.
Metal Gear follows this trope almost religiously. In the first Solid game Sniper Wolf is the only female FOXHOUND member. In Sons of Liberty Fortune is the only female Dead Cell member. In Snake Eater The Boss is the only female Cobra unit. In Guns of the Patriots Meryl is the only female member in Rat Patrol 01. In Peace Walker, Paz, Amanda and doctor Strangelove are the only female members in the MSF in terms of storyline, although you can recruit more female soldiers into your unit to even the balance. In Rising Mistral is the only female member of the Winds of Destruction.
Despite being the flagship Action Girl of the video game world, Samus Aran of Metroid fame managed to become the Smurfette in her own series in Metroid Prime: Hunters. Six new bounty hunters were introduced, all of them male or ambiguously so. She's also the only Hunter without a unique weapon, unless you count the fact that her missiles home—but this may be due to the tendency of game heroes not to specialize than any smurfiness. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is more fair, as one of the three new hunters is another female.
The only female character in Modern Warfare is your fellow Cobra pilot "Deadly" in the first game. Mostly justified by being a military game; while women are no longer barred from joining in a lot of places, real life militaries are still heavily male dominated.
Let's see, Mortal Kombat... For the first game, the creators realized they didn't have any female fighters in their roster, so they changed the character of male Kurtis Stryker into female Sonya Blade (Stryker would become a fighter after all in the third game). This made her the only female out of 7 playable characters and 10 fighters overall. Later games have made sure to include female playable characters from the start, with the ratio male:female about 5:1. As for the various factions and species, most of the time there are more (known) male characters than females, the exceptions being the saurians (1:1 or 1:2), the demons (2:5), and the vampires (0:1 or 1:1). Interestingly in case of the vampires, initially there were supposed to be a female and male vampire introduced in Deadly Alliance, but the male was dropped because of time constraints.
Nezumi Man has Wave Nezumi, the only female boss of the eight. Kind of a coincidence then that her powers are the same element as Splash Woman's.
In One Piece Mansion, Raspberry is described as being the only female in Syndicate 5.
Panel de Pon inverts this to the point of World of Action Girls, with the only (confirmed) male character being Sanatos, the Big Bad. The sequel released in Nintendo Puzzle Collection does add a few more male characters to the cast, most notably Kain, although the gender balance still leans heavily female.
Inevitably, given the source material's propensity for this trope, the Western reskin Tetris Attack plays the trope straight, with Naval Piranha being the only confirmed female character.
Overall, the major Pokémon characters tend to lean in favor of males; only in Diamond and Pearl was a female Champion introduced, and it took until Black and White to introduce a female Pokémon Professor, and even then she got majorly sidetracked by a male professor as her father. In spite of this, the Gym Leaders and the Elite Four are normally reasonably balanced and the player has been able to play as a boy or a girl since Crystal, with the developers having planned to implement female player characters since the beginning. Ruby/Sapphire, Black/White, and X/Y also have female rivals. The followinggames have both included female Champions, though, as well as at least 2 female supporting NPCs. All starter pokemon on the other hand, always have only a 1/8 chance of being female.
In Rage, Elizabeth is the only known female Resistance member.
Most Resident Evil games avert this, but while Resident Evil has two major female characters, they are the sole female members of their respective STARS teams (Jill for Alpha team, Rebecca for Bravo team). Weirdly, in early games, there are almost never any female zombies (the first game only had male zombies, while the second and third games had only one female zombie model among a slew of male models); this is averted by the time Resident Evil 0 rolls around, and the Gamecube/Wii remake of RE1 added Lisa Trevor.
Rachel Parker in the Resistance series is the only female recurring survivor.
In Robopon, in the first game, Miss Amron is the only female Legend out of seven. (Kamat may or may not be a girl). This is averted with the Elite 8: All of its members are girls.
In Scribblenauts Unlimited, Maxwell has many, many siblings you can unlock and play as. All but one of them are brothers, and the one sister is the Damsel in Distress.
Sengoku Basara spinoff fighting only had Oichi as the only "true" playable female character of the sausage fighting fest. The rest of the girls are delegated to backup.
In the first Shin Megami Tensei, all of the Seraphim (Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel) were presumably male, but the second game reveals Gabriel is a girl, and all subsequent SMT and Persona games featuring Gabriel retain this.
In the Sly Cooper games, there will often be one female villain per-game (the second game has two villains, one of whom is the Big Bad). The Cooper Gang itself started off as an all-male trio, then became a group of seven in the third game, with Penelope as the only female. In Thieves in Time, Penelope pulls a Face–Heel Turn, resulting in the Cooper Gang being all-male again.
Sonic the Hedgehog was never character-heavy in its early games, but no female character was even seen until Amy Rose, who looked like a little pink Sonic in a dress. More characters have been introduced as the cast has expanded, but the majority have been male. Of the Deadly Six in Sonic: Lost World, only one (Zeena, the green one) is female.
Spyro the Dragon had no important female characters at first. Then along came Bianca and Elora, with the first being a sort of villain and the other just a love interest, then Sheila, a female kangaroo. Even in the Legend of Spyro series, Cynder is the only important female character, with no others present. Largely continues into Skylanders; out of 80 total Skylanders through 3 games, there are only 14 female characters. Only one of the 8 Giant Skylanders is female, none of the Swap Force Skylanders is female, and it wasn't until the third game that a female Fire Skylander was added. At least the Swap Force case has a reason due to the LEGO Body Parts mechanic; mixing males and females would be... awkward.
Starcraft had exactly one named female character: Sarah Kerrigan, who is betrayed but rapidly becomes the queen bitch of the universe as the Queen of the Zerg. The expansion set added the Protoss matriarch Raszagal (the only female Protoss for the next ten years). Starcraft II expands the universe a bit, including adding supporting female human characters, but with Raszagal dead, the role of "only female Protoss" is inherited by Executor Selendis, who will is the protagonist of the second expansion set. Starcraft: Ghost's main character was to be a female Ghost, not unlike Kerrigan.
The Star Fox games follow the principle. The original game, and its remake, Star Fox 64, featured an all male membership in the title team (bad jokes about Slippy's Ambiguous Gender notwithstanding) and only one female character period—sometime ally Katt, who assisted you in Zoness and Sector Z. It wasn't until Star Fox Assault that the team gained a permanent female member: Krystal from Star Fox Adventures. The unreleasedStar Fox 2, however, would have added two female characters to the roster - Genki Girl Fay and Action Girl Miyu. And in Command, there are a solid 4 females: Krystal, Kat, and newcomers Lucy (Peppy's daughter) and Amanda, Slippy's female love interest. There is even an all-girl mission. Unfortunately Star Fox Zero reboots the series, and Kat is back to being the only female in the Lylat System.
Both Star Wars: Battlefront I and II feature at least four factions and have as much as three female characters, the generic Rebel Sniper class (which is excluded in a few maps), Princess Leia, and Aayla Secura, the latter two both hero class characters limited to appear in as much as four maps (if you count Hero Assault). If you own the Xbox version there is Asajj Ventress hero character from the DLC.
The first iteration of Street Fighter II had only one female warrior out of twelve fighters, Chun-Li. (She is often called the First Lady of Fighting Games by fans, as she was the first female of the genre, period. One of Chun-Li's win quotes in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, which has a roughly even male/female mix, makes fun of this: "I remember when I was the only girl on the roster.") This gradually changed through the course of the series with the introduction of Cammy in Super Street Fighter II; Rose, Sakura, R. Mika, Karin, Juni and Juli in the Street Fighter Alpha series; Ibuki, Elena, and Makoto in the Street Fighter III series; and Crimson Viper and Juri in the Street Fighter IV series.
The cast of crossover characters from Final Fight initially featured four characters, all male, but this changed with the addition of Maki (from Final Fight 2) in the portable versions of Alpha 3.
The Super Mario Bros. games' only recurring female character was Princess Peach, who was usually a Damsel in Distress. This changed as Princess Daisy and Birdo became full-fledged main characters and with the introductions of Toadette, a feminized Toad, and Rosalina, both of which were somewhat less stereotypical than Peach. The ratio still heavily favors males.
The first two Mario Party games had Peach as the sole playable female character. This was changed in Mario Party 3 when Daisy was added to the cast.
On the villain side, the first evil female was the single girl of the Koopalings, Wendy O. Koopa. Captain Syrup showed up later as Wario's nemesis, and some stage bosses were female (Naval Piranha). Lately the villainous ladies have become more numerous with Cackletta, the Shadow Queen, Princess Shroob and Elder Princess Shroob, Mimi, the Shadow Sirens, and Robirdo.
Out of 13 new characters in Super Smash Bros. Melee, three new females were introduced (Peach, Zelda and Nana). One of whom (Nana) teamed with a male character as the Ice Climbers. Super Smash Bros. Brawl didn't add any females to the cast, though it did make the gender of Samus and Sheik more visible.
The Wii U and 3DS iteration subvert this trope: There are more female characters then ever before, but due to the sheer cast size, they're still outnumbered by male characters. While Nana was removed, Sheik and Zero Suit Samus were made separate characters, the Wii Fit Trainer is female by default, there's the option to play as female Villagers, female Robin or Wendy, Miis can also be female (with the official artwork for the Mii Gunner being represented by a female Mii) and finally, Rosalina, Palutena and Lucina were added. That makes it roughly 13 female characters in all, bigger then the first game's entire roster. The final DLC characters introduced to Smash (female Corrin and Bayonetta, the Smash Ballot winner) increases that number to 15 out of 58 fighters, over a quarter.
Three crossovers which come to mind that have larger amounts of females than others are Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, Pocket Fighter/Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix, and Cross Edge.
Most Super Robot Wars games allow the player to choose between an equal number of male or female original characters. While this doesn't quite help the ratio among the licensed games, it makes for a more or less even mix among characters in the Original Generation series.
Team Fortress 2: The only obvious woman in the game is "The Administrator", aka the angry voice that screams at you during rounds. Admittedly, the Pyro may be female (or genderless, for all we know), and the comics also have the character Ms. Pauling, but if you look just at the game, it follows this trope.
Time Crisis series has one featured female among the multiple male casts per game in order:
1: Rachel Macpherson
2: Christy Ryan
3: Alicia Winston
4: Elizabeth Conway
5: Catherine Ricci
Crisis Zone: Mellisa Kessler
Torchlight has the same gender ratio as Diablo I (not surprising, considering the similarity between the two games and many of the same developers). Also like Diablo, the lone female happens to be the physical ranged damage dealer.
Several of the Ultima games have a less-than-favorable ratio. While the eight "Companions of the Avatar" had a 4:4 ratio, the females generally had worse stats. (By design in Katrina's case, as Shepherds by design aren't supposed to excel.) The trio of Iolo, Dupre and Shamino (all male) also kept gaining prominence over other characters as the game went on. The eighth and ninth games even disallowed playing as a female main character!
Warcraft: Orcs and Humans had a half-orc, half-human (who was later retconned into half-Draenei) girl, Garona Halforcen, present in one mission, but no-one else.
In Warcraft II, no generic humanoid units were female, and neither were any individual hero units until the Expansion PackBeyond The Dark Portal introduced a lot more of them, and exactly one was female: Alleria Windrunner. In a weirder example, exactly one building unit was basically a female character (whereas others were of course genderless): the Dragon Roost consisted mostly of Alexstrasza the Dragon Queen, chained down to act as an egg factory.
Out of all the 12 heroes available in the initial third Warcraft, only one is female (Priestess of the Moon). The expansion averts this by adding three more female heroes (Warden, Dark Ranger, and Naga Sea Witch).
The Orc gender balance was also acknowledged in World of Warcraft in that the orcs actually were sexist. Despite being every bit as aggressive and strong as the men, women were denied combat roles. Thrall changed that between WC3 and WoW. (Then again, if you look at the "old" clans on Draenor in the Warlords of Draenor expansion, most of them do have female warriors, though at least the Bleeding Hollow don't.)
Wild ARMs 1 and 3 both follow this trope. Each of the two games has one playable female character (teamed up with two or three males), though Cecilia and Virginia are each portrayed as the one calling the shots. Wild ARMs: Alter Code F, a remake of the first game, alleviated the gender issue by adding Calamity Jane and Ema to balance the cast (Zet, a guy, is also recruitable).
Wolfenstein 3D has one single female in both series, who is a boss that looks almost exactly like her brother and has a low voice.
Four main playable characters in The World Ends with You, and you can count how many of them are female on the single hand of a blind butcher.
Citrine is the only female URTV shown in the Xenosaga trilogy, even though she stated there are 8 others like her.
Many early computer games would let the players choose their gender (as well as, often, other attributes like name, race and age) at the start of the game (unless you were a Featureless Protagonist, of course). As the amount of assets (graphics, voice acting, and sometimes even onscreen actors) needed to portray player characters increased, many studios discreetly dumped this feature. Modern games that let you choose a gender offer varying amounts of plot and gameplay branching as a result of the choice.
Gate of Doom, known in Japan as Dark Seal, has three male heroes (Knight, Bard, Ninja) and one female (Wizard). The Wizard is a Hot Witch who shoots pillars of flame and wears a costume that hides one leg and exposes the other.
Gauntlet has three male (Warrior, Wizard, Elf), one female (Valkyrie). Sequel Gauntlet Legends averts this by changing the androgynous-looking elf to a female elven Archer. Dark Legacy falls back in when adding four more characters to the existing four: three male (Dwarf, Knight, Jester) and one female (Sorceress). As well, the breasts on all the women became about twice the size of their heads. Seven Sorrows then goes back to the original four characters. Get Medieval, a Spiritual Successor by Monolith Productions, kept a 2:2 ratio by turning the Wizard into a naughty sorceress whose every line was a Double Entendre. (Okay, some were even single ones...)
Both Left 4 Dead games have one female in a group of three males. In the sequel, the two groups meet so it's two girls with six guys. Most of the NPCs in the games are male, including the special infected until the Spitter and the female version of the Boomer were introduced in the sequel. The common infected, however, are both male and female.
On a related note, many other fighting games fall victim to the same problem, but not because they're drawing from other canons. It is rare to find more than a few female characters available to play out of an otherwise large collection. Generally, the female characters are also notably weaker than the male characters. This is parodied in VG Cats — here.