In 1988, Nintendo released Super Mario Bros. 2 for the NES. In the first-edition manual for the North American release of the game, Birdo is referred to as a male who believes that he is a female and would rather be called “Birdetta”, making her the first transgender character for Nintendo. In the game, Birdo’s name was also mistakenly switched with another Super Mario Bros. 2 enemy, Ostro, both in the manual and in the end credits.
In 1989, Westwood Studios released Circuit’s Edge for the DOS. The science fiction role playing game, based on a novel by George Alec Effinger, includes a transgender woman.
In 1993, Sierra Online’s Police Quest: Open Season features a gay bar. In this game, the player is a police officer trying to track down the murderer of his police partner. His quest leads him to discover that his partner had a double life as a cross-dresser at a West Hollywood transgender bar.
In Square’s 1999 title Final Fantasy VIII, an unnamed minor character can be encountered in a bar; during conversation, there is strong implication the character is transgender. The player character Squall Leonhart is given the option to ask if she is really a woman. If Squall asks this the character becomes paranoid and wonders how he knew. In the French version the antagonist Adel is described as being intersex, with other characters using both pronouns to refer to them.
In the 2006 title Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3, there is an unnamed female student NPC who has an intense lesbian crush on Mitsuru Kirijo, one of the main female characters. This crush goes as far as her having romantic fantasies about her as well as threatening the main character with revenge (if she’s lying) after she tells her that she has pictures of her in a bathing suit. During “Operation Babe Hunt” one of the NPCs ‘beautiful woman’ that Junpei, Akihiko and the main character attempt to hit on is revealed to be a trans woman.
Nintendo-published in 2006 Baten Kaitos Origins for the Nintendo GameCube features a transgender character, of sorts. One of the three main characters, Guillo, speaks simultaneously with the voice of both a man and a woman and is gender neutral throughout the entire storyline. Even though Guillo is a ‘puppet’, Guillo has a very masculine personality, yet also is clad in high heels and has breasts. Guillo is also part of a bitter love “quadrangle” for Sagi, the main character, between Guillo, Milly, and Lolo.
The 2006 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories features transsexual adult film director Reni Wassulmaier. Reni was born female and by the time of the game’s events, he already had three sex changes and is male. The objective for one mission, titled “So Long Schlong”, is to take Reni to the hospital for his fourth sex change. Reni Wassulmaier previously featured in the 2005 sequel Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, set 14 years after the events of Vice City Stories, as a radio DJ. In between songs, she drops hints about previously being male.
The 2008 game Saints Row 2 and the 2011 game Saints Row: The Third, the female protagonist character has hints of bisexuality and that she has a sexual attraction to both Shaundi and Kinzie Kensington. The games also allow you to play as a transgender and transsexual character.
In the 2013 visual novel game This Is Where I Want To Die by Marcel Weyers, the protagonist is revealed to be a homosexual man who is attacked by two homophobic people, whilst out with his boyfriend. The message of the game is stopping homophobia. In the 2014 visual novel To Kill A Black Swan by Weyers, which was created for the 2014 Indie Game Development Contest and which is loosely based on To Kill a Mockingbird, a detective investigates in the murder of a transgender woman.
Undertale includes a romance between royal guard Undyne and scientist Alphys, two female characters. There are also two male minor characters who, depending on the player’s choices, can start a romance. The game also has a TV host robot named Mettaton, who is a transgender man, and 3 nonbinary characters; Frisk, the 8th Fallen human, Chara, the 1st human to fall into the Underground, and Napstablook, the sad ghost who the player meets in the Ruins and later see in Waterfall.
Read Only Memories features a gay couple (Majid and Gus) as well as a lesbian cop who previously dated the player’s sister (Lexi). There is also a genderfluid character (TOMCAT), a non-binary character (Katelyn), a bearded non-binary woman (Sympathy), and two trans women (Melody and Nina). The game was made by the creators of GaymerX and features overarching themes that deal with discrimination, transhumanism, and the evolution of LGBTQ communities.
In Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Jacob Frye, one of the game’s two protagonists, is bisexual. Maxwell Roth, one of the main assassination targets, also has romantic feelings for Jacob and refers to him as “darling” and “dear” sometimes.  The game also has a minor character named Ned Wynert, who is transgender.
Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear, an expansion pack for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition released in March, includes a transgender woman named Mizhena, who explains to the main character that she picked her strange name after transitioning. The character was met with significant criticism from fans, and Beamdog, the company that developed the game, announced they would be expanding the character’s story a week after the expansion pack released, saying in part, “In retrospect, it would have been better served if we had introduced a transgender character with more development.”