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."
Borderlands 2 is the same, right down to the lone woman being introduced "as The Siren" (though a different one), but one of the two DLC characters, the Mechromancer, is also female, bringing it up to Two Girls to a Team.
Then Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! averts it right out of the gate, with an even 50/50 split (two men, two women) for the starting characters, and an equally even split for the DLC. (And, really, one could argue that there's only one man outside of the DLC, since the other "male" character is Claptrap).
Dragon Age II describes the existence of the Forbidden Ones, four ancient demons who first taught blood magic to humans. Of the quartet, only the Undying Xebenkeck is identified as female.
Throughout the entire franchise, the heroes battle demons of all shapes and sizes, but only one kind - desire demons - is explicitly female in appearance.
Dragon Quest II introduced the Princess of Moonbrooke as the only female in a group of three and the first female playable character in the Dragon Quest series after the original game only had a single playable character, who was male. As an establishment of series tradition, she is the party's dedicated magic user.
Dragon Quest VIII has Jessica as the only female combatant and party member in a group of four in the original version of the game. Notably, it is the only other game in the series besides II with only one woman in the party as most of the games either had several female party members or allowed the player to create female characters. The 3DS version of the game added the thief Red as a second female party member.
Dragon Quest XI: In the game's backstory, the original Luminary Erdwin had three companions, his party being modeled after the type of group a player can make in Dragon Quest III. Serenica is the only female companion of Erdwin and is the group's sage.
Gyldygga is the only female member of Mordegon's Spectral Sentinels.
When Zhenji, Sun Shangxiang, Yueying, and Wang Yuanji each debuted, they were also the only female character in their faction (Wei, Wu, Shu, and Jin, respectively). It is eventually averted in the long run, although it is noteworthy that it took nearly a decade before Zhenji stopped becoming the only girl in Wei (the others merely needed 2-4 years).
Although she is not factional, Diaochan was also the only female character not affiliated with the Three Kingdoms until Zhurong was introduced in 3.
Ensemble Stars! has Anzu as the only female student in her school's performance department. Apparently it runs in the family, as her brother from Ensemble Girls! served as The One Guy in a recently-integrated all girls' school.
Fallout allows you to choose your character's gender, but of the four recruitable NPCs only one is female, allowing you to choose if the principle is in effect or averted.
Fallout 2 increases the number of recruitable characters; eight males, four dogs, a robot...and one female human. There is a Dummied Out second female companion who can be restored via modding, though.
Fallout 3 goes for diversity over numbers; three male humans, a genderless (formerly male) super mutant, a dog, a robot, and twofemale humans! Later games continue this tradition.
Fatal Fury: The first game lacked any female fighters. In the second game, Fatal Fury 2, eight new fighters were introduced, including the first female fighter in the series; the kunoichi Mai Shiranui. By the third game, it's established that female characters are introduced every game, but due to rotating some of the female characters out of the games as well, it doesn't guarantee that a given work in the multimedia franchise will have more than one female.
The original version of Final Fantasy III stars the all-male Onion Knights; the remake for the DS makes one of them a girl.
Every single-player game since Final Fantasy IV has a rule to avert the Smurfette Principle. Exactly three female characters in the playable cast, regardless of the total cast size. This even extends to entries of small cast sizes, like Final Fantasy V (three women, two men) and Final Fantasy X-2 (an all-female party of three). Because later games have gravitated toward a total playable cast size of 6, Gender-Equal Ensemble is in effect.
It is possible to have this trope in Final Fantasy VII. Tifa can end up being the only female party member by the end of the game if the player does not recruit Yuffie.
Final Fantasy XIII keeps the rule with the three female characters, the spin-off/sequels greatly reduce the cast size.
Final Fantasy XV breaks the established rule by going back to an all-male cast, with occasional female guest characters.
For the longest time, Chica of the Five Nights at Freddy's fame is the only animatronic officially confirmed to be a female. The principle is averted as World adds another confirmed female (JJ) and Sister Location adds a number of new female animatronics.
Fazbear and Friends keeps up the trend with both the humans and the animatronics - Chica is the only female 'bot, while Ashley is the only female human.
Gate Of Doom, known in Japan as Dark Seal, has three male heroes (Knight, Bard, Ninja) and one female (Wizard).
The original has three male (Warrior, Wizard, Elf), one female (Valkyrie) characters.
Sequel Gauntlet Legends averts by making a Gender-Equal Ensemble; the androgynous-looking elf is a female elven Archer.
Seven Sorrows goes back to the original four characters.
The only women in the entirety of Half-Life are the black-clad assassins who never speak and only appear in two areas. 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.
Halo 4 Spartan Ops: Fireteam Majestic begins with Tedra Grant (female) as part of the original Majestic line-up, along with Anthony, Carlo, Paul, and Gabriel (males). Naiya Ray is introduced in Halo: Escalation.
Kerbal Space Program added a fourth playable character quite late in the development process; originally the kerbals were a Single-Gender Species. This can be seen as Invoking the Smurfette Principle because Valentina is a female clone of Jebediah, other than a slight stat difference (she's marginally smarter and more courageous), she's superfluous because the original 3 males already cover all 3 character classes (Pilot, Engineer, and Scientist). However, the game provides a method for the player to avert the Principle with an endless number of randomly-generated astronauts of either gender can be hired to adjust the crew's gender ratio as you choose.
Killer Instinct features eleven fighters. 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 that 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 there's still only one female in a group of ten humans.
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, Mulan of Mulan in KHII, and Rapunzel of Tangled in KHIIInote however, Rapunzel leaves permanently upon reaching the festival, because her main weapon is her hair, and it's cut at the end.
There's also Organization XIII. Out of thirteen official members, there is only one female, that being Larxene. This is mainly because Xion is not considered an official member, and while she identifies as female, and Roxas and Axel (and later Riku and Sora) see her as an 11-year-old girl, Xemnas and Xigbar see her as a early-teen boy, and Saix sees her as a faceless puppet.
The creators originally planned on making Marluxia female as well, but changed their minds from the Unfortunate Implications of having two females plot against a male-majority organization, and are foiled by other males (namely Sora and Axel).
Out of the six player characters in the franchise, Aqua is the only one to be female. On the other hand, the multiplayer mode for Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days allows for Larxene and Xion to be playable.
Left 4 Dead and its sequel justify their decision to use only three men and one woman as playable characters: 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.
The Square Enix (before the merger; from Squaresoft in this case) RPG Live A Live lets you play as seven different protagonists during different periods of time, and all of them are male. Once you play all of the scenarios, all of the protagonists will come together to fight the Big Bad for the final chapter. In the Ancient China chapter, you initially play as an old martial arts master, and he spends a good portion of the story trying to find a worthy pupil who can pass the style of Kung-fu he has mastered. He passes away at the end of his story, and it's his pupil who goes on to the final chapter. You can still avert this trope by picking Yu Juan or Sammo Hakka, but picking Li Kuugo as his successor will make her the sole female hero to appear in the final chapter.
In Metal Gear Solid V, the player can recruit generic female soldiers, and there are audio tapes and flashbacks featuring important female Posthumous Characters, but it's really only Quiet who is important, onscreen and alive. This is part of the reason the Male Gaze elements of her design were controversial - Metal Gear has always had hyper-sexy female characters, but it wasn't usual for them to be the only woman.
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. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption is more gender-balanced, as one of the three new hunters is another female.
Out of the dozens of characters in Modern Warfare, the only female character 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 be re-added 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 additional female playable characters from the start.
All three games in the MOTHER series have a playable party consisting of three male characters and one female character.
Nezumi Man has Wave Nezumi, the only female boss of the eight.
In One Piece Mansion, Raspberry gets the descriptor of "The only female in Syndicate 5".
In Pokémon Gold and Silver, as well as third version Crystal, and remakes HeartGold and SoulSilver, Karen is the only female Elite Four member. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl also has only one female Elite Four member in Bertha, but that is countered by Cynthia being the first female Champion in the franchise.
Resident Evil 2 gender inverts this with four playable characters: Claire, a female college student; Sherry, a little girl; Ada, a young woman looking for her reporter boyfriend; and Leon, a rookie cop thrown into a Zombie Apocalypse on his first day on the job.
Robopon: In the first game, Miss Amron is the only female Legend out of seven.
In Scribblenauts Unlimited, Maxwell has many, many siblings you can unlock and play as. Most of them are brothers, but there is one sister.
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 works within the multimedia franchise featuring Gabriel retain their revealed genders.
StarCraft: Brood War, the expansion set to the first game, added Protoss matriarch Raszagal (the only female Protoss).
Starcraft II expands the universe a bit, including adding supporting female human characters, but with Raszagal dead, the role of "only female Protoss" is Executor Selendis. But averted in Legacy of the Void with the inclusion of Raszagal's daughter, Vorazun.
Super Mario Bros.: The game series tends to avert the principle due to lack of cast, but some entries qualify;
During Super Mario Bros. 2, Toad (male) and Princess Peach (female) were added to Mario and Luigi (both male) as playable characters. The Divergent Character Evolution of the Mario cast would inspire later games to include Princess Peach as a playable character.
The Mario Party games began with a cast of six playable characters, with Princess Peach as the sole playable female character. This was changed in Mario Party 3 when Daisy was added to the cast.
When the Koopalings were introduced in Super Mario Bros. 3, Wendy O. Koopa was the only one of the seven siblings to be female.
To avert the principle, Super Smash Bros. Melee, introduced three new females; Peach from the Super Mario Bros. multimedia franchise, Zelda and her alter ego Sheik from the The Legend of Zelda games, and Nana from the game Ice Climber.
Brawl only introduced one new woman in Samus's Zero Suit form.
The fourth game split Samus and Zelda into their two separate characters, cut Nana, and introduced Rosalina, Palutena, Lucina, and Bayonetta. The Wii Fit Trainer, the Villager, Robin, Corrin, and the Mii Fighters can be either gender; the default Trainer is female, while the default Villager, Robin, and Corrin are male. Finally, Wendy Koopa is an alternate costume for Bowser Jr. Of the genderless characters, Jigglypuff remains the only one that fans consider to be femalenote supported by the fact that most of its alternate skins have it wear traditionally feminine headgear, such as a flower, and a ribbon tied in a bow while the rest are all seen as male.
Ultimate, as of this time of writing, brought the Ice Climbers (and, as such, Nana) back, and also added Daisy and Isabelle as new fighters. Additionally, it's now possible to play as a female Pikachunote which has a heart-shaped tail and Pokémon Trainer, while the generic female Mii Gunner is unlocked as a character through the World of Light. A case could also be made for Dark Samus as a female character, being partially comprised from Samus' DNA, and being gendered as such in their official blog post. As for DLC fighters, Kazooie shows up alongside Banjo as usual, but while Terry Bogard has been confirmed for a future update, it's unknown if his female form from SNK Heroines would be available as an alternative in the same manner as certain other fighters.
South Park: The Fractured but Whole has eleven male party members and only one female, Call Girl AKA Wendy. The player can make it Two Girls to a Team instead if they choose to have the New Kid identify as female, but even then only Call Girl ever actually finds out the New Kid is a girl. The Casa Bonita DLC adds the goth chick Henrietta as a party member, bumping the female roster to a potential three.
Warcraft games: 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).