If you were to tell anyone that nerd culture has exploded, there would be very few people who would argue with you because as it stands now, the entertainment industry is overly saturated with genres that at one point catered mostly to nerds and geeks. This can be seen everywhere, as there are tons of movies and TV shows now based on comic books and either sci-fi or fantasy novels, and it can also be seen with video games that are now more popular than they have ever been. The video game industry specifically makes billions of dollars every year, and the great thing about games is that they cover all kinds of genres that not only provide some great stories and gameplay, but great and memorable characters as well, characters that tend to get cosplayed.
Cosplay is a combination of the words costume and play and deals with people dressing up as characters from games, comics, movies and anime, and it has gone from a very niche segment of nerd culture to a major aspect of it. There are currently dozens of cosplayers all over the world who have made a career for themselves through their costumes, mainly because they do such a good job with the crafting and because they look amazing while in costume. Most of these cosplayers play video games, which is why they choose to cosplay specific characters from those games, and the end results tend to leave us with our mouths wide open. Hopefully, this list will properly identify 15 of 2017's hottest video games cosplayers.
In the world of gaming, there are several franchises that hold a special place in people's hearts, but none of those franchises have delved into the role-playing genre like the Final Fantasy series. The franchise has in fact been around since 1987, with each official new entry being set in a completely different world with its own set of heroes and villains, and last November, Final Fantasy XV was finally released after being in development for over a decade. Despite not being the best game in the franchise, it was still a solid game, and like its predecessors, it contained some really standout characters, such as Cindy, a female mechanic who was crucial to the story's progression, and who was deliberately s*xualized by the developers. With the game's release, there were tons of Cindy cosplays popping up, including the one done by cosplayer Ani-Mia who managed to make Cindy look even more attractive than she did in the game.
14 Crystal Graziano
It is true that several of the cosplayers on this list are here because of the way that they s*xualize certain characters with their costumes, but there will also be cosplayers who look amazing while showcasing their attention to detail. One of those cosplayers is Crystal Graziano, who has a pretty significant following online and who has made a name for herself by being able to pull off cosplaying in a simple swimsuit, as well as in a very detailed spacesuit from the Mass Effect franchise. In the picture above, we can see Crystal's fabrication skills at work, with a fully-detailed cosplay of Selvaria Bles, a 22-year-old Brigadier General from the Valkyria Chronicles series, where she serves as one of the main antagonists of the first and third game. What makes this cosplay even better is the fact that Crystal can also strike a great pose that makes her look just like the character.
13 Element Cosplay
In 2007, CD Projekt RED released The Witcher, an action role-playing game that takes place in a medieval fantasy world and follows the story of Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter for hire who possesses his own set of supernatural powers. There have since been two Witcher sequels, and it is in the third game that we finally get to see Geralt with his one true love, Yennefer, a sorceress who, in the games, is renowned for her beauty. And it is because of her appearance and personality that so many women have cosplayed as her. Element Cosplay is a native of Montreal, Quebec, and as it turns out, she is a die-hard Witcher fan, a statement that is easily proven based on how detailed the above Yennefer costume is. This is not her only detailed Yennefer cosplay, though. Over the years, she has also produced cosplays based on characters from League of Legends and the aforementioned Final Fantasy XV.
12 Grellka Loli
Most of the cosplayers on this list were born and raised in North America, but as mentioned at the beginning of this article, people all over the world cosplay, including Grellka Loli, who started cosplaying in 2001 and lives in Ukraine. Although she lives in Europe, Grellka has slowly been building up a presence here in North America, and a big reason for that is because she has traveled to conventions all around the world where she went on to win several awards for her cosplays. One of her best costumes is without a doubt featured in the photo above, which is based on the Cynthia character from the Witcher games, a mage who also functioned as a spy. For years now, Grellka has produced one amazing cosplay after another, and based on how highly detailed her Cynthia costume is, those who appreciate craftsmanship and fabrication skills should definitely check out her other work.
11 Meagan Marie
If you are a console gamer, it does not matter whether you are a fan of PlayStation, Nintendo, or Xbox because we can all agree that Xbox kind of sucks when it comes to the amount of console exclusives it has to offer. Xbox may not have a boat load of exclusives, but it does indeed have a few that are truly impeccable, such as the games in the Gears of War franchise which are some of the best games you can play on any console. The series focuses on the conflict between humanity and a reptilian race known as the Locust Horde. And in the original trilogy, we are introduced to Anya Stroud, a lieutenant in the human forces and the main love interest of protagonist Marcus Fenix. Cosplayer Meagan Marie is a fan of both the series and Anya, and she made a stunning cosplay of the character that comes equipped with all the required armor and weaponry, and she provides just as much detail in her other cosplays as well.
10 Danielle Beaulieu
With this entry, we will be talking about cosplayer Danielle Beaulieu who has managed to make a pretty good life for herself through cosplay and prop making, despite the fact that many of you probably have never heard of her. Compared to almost everyone else on this list, the majority of Danielle's cosplays are based on video game characters, specifically from League of Legends and World of Warcraft, but she also happens to be a big fan of the Final Fantasy games. Her best Final Fantasy cosplay has to be of Tidus, the main protagonist from the franchise's 10th installment. She completely nails this look, which includes his signature sword that she herself made from scratch. But if you really want to be impressed by her skills, you should check out her blood elf and Sylvanas cosplays because she manages to truly bring those inhabitants of Azeroth to life.
9 Alodia Gosiengfiao
League of Legends is the most popular and most played online game in the world, but depending on your viewpoint, it is nothing more than a clone/copy of Dota 2, which is another of the world's most popular online games. Mirana is an archer in Dota, who is known for wearing an entirely blue outfit. I mean, even her bow is blue, and she happens to be one of Alodia Gosiengfiao's favorite characters, which is why she went all out on the great cosplay featured above. Alodia is a very talented cosplayer from the Philippines, and she is capable of producing some very fine cosplays whenever she has the time because she also happens to be a bit of a celebrity in her country, as she has appeared in several films and TV shows. But that is not all. She has also had a singing and modelling career.
8 Darshelle Stevens
Since its release last May, Overwatch has become a worldwide hit, and seeing as every single character on its roster possesses very unique weapons, appearances, and backstories, it is no wonder that there are several cosplays based on the game at every convention. One of the more common Overwatch characters being cosplayed is D.Va, a 19-year-old former professional gamer who pilots an advanced mech in order to help protect her Japanese homeland. Excluding the mech, D.Va is fairly simple to cosplay, as you basically just need a skin tight bodysuit, headphones, and a blaster to pull it off, which is what Darshelle Stevens does in the picture above. Darshelle is mostly known for being a photographer for the Filthy Casual brand and for being part of the social media team over at Egonaut Games. And although she is relatively new to the world of cosplay, she has managed to get off to a pretty strong start, thanks to her background in photography.
7 Ireland Reid
Over the decades, there have been numerous fighting games that have come and gone, but there are some that have managed to stand the test of time, like the Mortal Kombat series that is even more popular now than it was when the game first came out in 1992. Mortal Kombat is known for being explicitly violent and for having its female characters fight while wearing some seriously revealing outfits, like Mileena, who is a clone of Kitana, one of the franchise's more iconic characters. Virtually every single person who has ever cosplayed as Mileena has looked amazing, but no one probably exemplified her more than Ireland Reid, who is known for providing some pretty revealing outfits, like when she cosplayed as Pikachu and Black Cat. When she is not cosplaying, though, Ireland works as both a costume designer and fitness model, which explains why she has such a killer figure.
6 Stella Chuu
When it comes to Overwatch, there are really only a handful of characters who can be considered to be the game's mascot, and Mercy is one of them, as her angelic look was one of the more iconic moments of the game's marketing campaign. Mercy might be Overwatch's best healer, but she also happens to have some of the best skins in the game, including the Imp one, which is the skin that Stella Chu chose to cosplay in the photo above. Anyone who plays Overwatch will agree that her cosplay is superb, but what you will be surprised to learn is the fact that Stella does not usually go for this style of cosplay because she tends to specialize in Burlesque interpretations which, as you can imagine, are far more s*xual in nature. Stella has a pretty good fan following mainly because she is a genuinely nice person, but also because she is a bonafide geek who loves everything about the culture.
5 Meg Turney
Mortal Kombat is indeed one of the top fighting games in the world, but there is another franchise that is arguably just as popular–the Street Fighter series–which has sold over 37 million copies worldwide since 1987. Unlike Mortal Kombat, the Street Fighter games are not excessively gory, but they both do feature female fighters who sometimes wear very little clothing, like Cammy, a member of the British Special Forces who is mainly known for wearing a green thong leotard. In Street Fighter 5, though, Cammy has a blue outfit, as seen in the cosplay above by Meg Turney who has been cosplaying much more frequently since leaving Rooster Teeth. But people may also know her from her days over at SourceFed. If you check out her other work, specifically her recent Tracer cosplay, I guarantee you that you will immediately become a fan, so much so that you might also follow her YouTube channel.
4 Yaya Han
Regardless of what people might think or say, cosplay is in fact a type of art form, and like all other forms of art, there are certain individuals who excel so much so that they are considered to be legends within the community. Anyone who follows cosplay has undoubtedly heard of Yaya Han, who started cosplaying as a pastime back in 1999. But even at the very beginning, it was apparent that she possessed an incredible amount of skill. Over the past two decades, Han has been able to transform her former pastime into a thriving business where she offers a variety of prints and costume accessories for sale, and she has managed to become so renowned, thanks to her impeccable attention to detail and astonishing craftsmanship. The picture above is just one example of Yaya's prowess, as she perfectly recreated the look of the Nohr Princess from the popular Fire Emblem series.
3 Giada Robin
With this entry we have Giada Robin, our third international cosplayer. This Italian beauty burst on to the cosplay scene a couple of years ago, thanks to her cosplay of the character Nico Robin from the popular anime One Piece. In truth, her Nico Robin cosplay is both her most popular and most worn mainly because she literally looks like a spitting image of the character, but she also happens to be a big fan of the Pokemon franchise. Above is just one example of her affinity for the Japanese monsters, as she looks absolutely stunning while cosplaying the legendary Suicune, and she looks equally as amazing while cosplaying as Vaporeon and Lugia, both of which feature her wearing less clothing than you would expect. When she is not cosplaying, Gia can be found modeling or on the gaming site G2A, and she also has her own YouTube channel where she vlogs about cosplay and conventions.
2 Kinpatsu Cosplay
Every month, there are roughly 67 million different people playing League of Legends, which is why it is the most popular online game in the world, with the simple premise of beating the enemy team. There are currently over 130 League champions; all of whom have very unique looks, which is why literally every single convention in the world has multiple people cosplaying as certain champions. Of all the professional cosplayers, though, no one has produced more detailed and visibly stunning League cosplays than South African cosplayer Kinpatsu Cosplay. In the picture above, Kinpastsu is modelling her new Xayah cosplay, and it is actually quite eerie just how much she looks like her, and she has nearly a dozen more League cosplays that are just as good. She does not only cosplay League champions, though, as she has also done stellar jobs with Pokemon and several characters from both World of Warcraft and Overwatch.
1 Jessica Nigri
If Yaya Han is considered to be a legend within the world of cosplay, then the same can be said about Jessica Nigri, a blond bombshell who is quite possibly the most popular cosplayer on the entire planet. Nigri was born in New Zealand but has lived most of her life in Arizona, and her life drastically changed in 2009 after she was photographed wearing a very sexy Pikachu cosplay. Since then, Nigri has gone on to also become a model, a popular YouTuber, and a voice actress, and if you ever get a chance to meet her at a convention, you will see firsthand that she is truly one of the nicest people you will ever meet. Nigri has cosplayed dozens of different video game characters, such as Roadhog from Overwatch, which shows that she can even make an obese man with a hook look hot. Aside from being attractive, Nigri can do more than just show off her assets because she is capable of producing some great work, as evidenced by her Deathwing, Sindragosa, and Reinhardt cosplays.