Best Companions In Video Game History

Who needs real friends when you can have virtual companionship? It's just so much easier to hunt mutants with a digital dog, or fend off cordycep-zombies with a digital daughter-figure. Yes, video game companionship is clearly the way to go, and here's a collection of the best video game buddies you could ask for.

(Note: spoilers ahead.)

Yoshi - Super Mario World

Who needs a horse, when you can ride an anthropomorphic green dinosaur?

Perhaps the most famous sidekick in Nintendo's universe, Yoshi first appeared in the Super Nintendo Entertainment System classic Super Mario World — though the plumber's dinosaur friend existed in the mind of Shigeru Miyamoto since the original Super Mario Bros. Nintendo historians will note, however, that Yoshi's origins really lie in Nintendo Entertainment System title Devil World. Regardless, Yoshi is one mean green eating machine, appearing in virtually every Mario mainline and spin-off game imaginable — sans the technically-limited NES days.

And what a pal Yoshi is! Need a tennis partner? Yoshi fancies a match. Wanna play Formula 1 on a rainbow road? Yoshi'll race you. Wanna hit the links? Yoshi's always down for some golf. Not only has the dinosaur assisted Mario in rescuing Princess Peach numerous times, it's also protected the pudgy plumber since he was a baby. What a guy! Or gal. Or sexless being. Whatever Yoshi is, the dino is one heck of a reliable compadre.

Dogmeat - Fallout series

Video games may allow for relationships with fantastic companions otherwise impossible to befriend in the real world, such as robots, green dinosaurs and advanced artificial intelligence — as we learned in Ex Machina — but it's still hard to beat Man's best friend, digital or otherwise.

Like real-life dogs, Dogmeat is widely considered to be one of the Fallout series' emotional centers. A faithful and loyal German Shepherd, Dogmeat makes trawling through the wastelands all the more bearable, providing much-needed companionship in a lonely world gone wrong. As useful as he is loyal, Dogmeat's keen sense of smell also proves helpful in Fallout's post-apocalyptic hellhole of an open-world. He's also a keen crotch-biter, which comes in handy more often than you might think.

Claptrap - Borderlands series

"Claptrap" is a noun meaning absurd or nonsensical talk or ideas. Claptrap is also a robot companion in Gearbox Software's Borderlands series, who is completely absurd and continually spouts nonsensical talk and ideas. It's all coming together now.

Manufactured by Hyperion, the CL4P-TP all-purpose robot known as Claptrap is quite the package, featuring an enthusiastic personality. Always ready with a joke, funny or otherwise, Claptrap provides some comic relief in a game which really doesn't require any, as well as absurdity in a game that's already about as absurd as they come. He brags about his bravery while displaying extreme cowardice, and has some serious abandonment issues, but most of all, he just never shuts up.

In virtually every respect, Claptrap is an annoying pain in the rear. But, deep down, we all love him for it, as Borderlands just wouldn't be Borderlands without his constant, nonsensical banter. All things considered, he's a pretty solid companion, and we wouldn't take him any other way.

Ellie - The Last of Us

Video game companionship isn't all about robots and dogs and dinosaurs. Humans make great companions, too.

Bearing a striking resemblance to actress Ellen Page — who had nothing to do with The Last of Us, but everything to do with fellow PlayStation-exclusive Beyond: Two Souls — Ellie is your companion throughout the majority of Naughty Dog's masterpiece, and the main motivator for most of the action. As humanity's only hope for a cure to the cordyceps-like infection turning humans into what are essentially zombies, Ellie's safety becomes our responsibility — and a big one, at that. However, the Ashley Johnson-voiced character is more than just a valuable package requiring safe transport. Throughout your journey to find the Fireflies, Ellie becomes your surrogate-daughter, your rescuer, and your friend.

In fact, Ellie is so awesome as a companion that we don't even feel that bad about essentially saying "screw humanity" and going on a killing spree in order to prevent a surgery which would've extracted a cure, but at the cost of Ellie's life. Sometimes, that's just the way it's gotta go. And besides, thanks to Joel's selfishness, we get to play as a grown-up Ellie in The Last of Us Part II, which is worth the brutal price of admission.

Elizabeth - BioShock Infinite

Nobody likes escort missions, especially if they span almost the entire length of the game — except in the case of BioShock Infinite, in which we're charged with the task of looking out for the oh-so-lovely Elizabeth.

The best thing about Elizabeth, aside from her natural charm, is the fact that she's always helping you out. Nobody likes a useless companion, and Elizabeth is anything but. Whether she's finding you some loose change, throwing up a wall for you to duck behind, or hooking you up with just the item you need at just the right time, Elizabeth is always proving to be a true asset in Columbia. She doesn't cramp your style and stick to you like a wet blanket, either — she's not afraid to talk to people, look around for herself, learn, and explore. Elizabeth is so almost faultless that she's one of the rare companions you actually want to look out for.

Elizabeth raised the bar for likable — if not lovable — video game companions, and few have been able to match her loveliness since.

Otacon - Metal Gear series

It may be fun to play as tactical badass Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid, but Snake would be nothing if not for the raddest nerd in video game history: Otacon.

Hal Emmerich, who goes by the alias Otacon, is one of the best companions in video game history because he's a lot like the average gamer. He's a not-particularly-tough computer geek, he loves anime, and he knows how to remotely control a walking tank equipped with nuclear weapons, if needed. (Okay, so maybe that last thing doesn't totally ring true.) Even if these traits don't apply to you, there's no denying that Otacon's a hell of a lot more similar to Joe or Jane Gamer than perpetual badass and master of espionage Snake, with his chiseled jaw and gruff smoker's voice. Not buying it? Just ask yourself, what would you do if a cyborg ninja started fronting on you? Wet yourself, that's what.

HK-47 - Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic series

If you're out to find a vicious Jedi hunter and all around cold-blooded killer, HK-47 is definitely the droid you're looking for.

Originally a Sith-built droid and successful assassin for Darth Revan, HK-47 proves his worth as a valuable companion not only in combat, but in conversation. Probably the most quotable character in the Knights of the Old Republic series, HK-47 comes programmed with that dry, droid-like sense of humor we're accustomed to seeing, rivaling that of the newest droid in town, Rogue One's K-2SO, if K-2SO was bloodthirsty and into the dark side. HK-47 finds Gonk droids inferior, loves learning how to lie, betray and harm innocents, and continually refers to humans as "meatbags."

All in all, HK-47's one droid we love questing through space with, as he's equally well-equipped for both battle and stand-up comedy.

Victor Sullivan - Uncharted series

If you're a PlayStation fan, you already know this undeniable truth: George Clooney may be a handsome, middle-aged ladies man, but he ain't got nothin' on Victor Sullivan.

Always there with a quip, a complaint or a lewd story about his sexual exploits, the silver fox known as Sully all but makes the Uncharted series. Sure, playing as Drake is great, but the games wouldn't be anything near what they are if you didn't have Victor Sullivan, your pal and father-figure, helping you mastermind treasure-hunting schemes, fill bad guys full of lead, complain about his aching back, and yell "Draaaake!" every time you fall down a ravine to your untimely death. Even when he's not accompanying you directly, he always seems to bail you out of trouble by showing up with a stolen getaway boat, yacht, or helicopter.

One thing's for sure: if you're ever fleeing crumbling ruins with supernatural beasts at your back, you'd better hope Sully's waiting for you at the end of the tunnel.

Rush - Mega Man series

Dogs are great. But if you're a robot boy hell-bent on defeating the evil, well-oiled armies of Dr. Wily — a robot dog is even better.

Rush, Mega Man's faithful, transforming robot dog, first appeared in Mega Man 3, and has since appeared in virtually every successive Mega Man game to-date. Not only is Rush awesome simply because all dogs are awesome, your red canine companion is ultra-helpful, turning into a springy coil, smooth-riding hoverboard, and crucial submarine, whenever you require his assistance. And you thought your Yorkshire Terrier was cool for playing dead, rolling over, and mangling stuffed animals.

Cortana - Halo series

As far as companions go in the Microsoft gaming universe, none even come close in both fame and notoriety to the Halo series' artificial-intelligence construct, Cortana.

Cortana is so important to the Halo series, Xbox, and Microsoft as a whole, the company decided to name its digital assistant and Siri-competitor after Master Chief's, uh, digital assistant. Though only a virtual clone of Dr. Catherine Halsey's brain, you can't help but form a relationship with Cortana. Your heart is broken, however, when Cortana dies in Halo 4 and is broken again when she returns in Halo 5, only to betray you. Why Cortana? Whyyyyy?

You still can't help but love her, though, and remember the good times.

Epona - The Legend of Zelda series

Horses are proud and noble beasts — and few are as majestic as Link's recurring steed, Epona.

You first meet the beautiful animal in Ocarina of Time, as a baby foal at Lon Lon Ranch, where you spend many a lazy afternoon relaxing in the sunshine. Though baby Epona initially wants nothing to do with Link, she eventually warms up to the pointy-eared Hyrulian after he learns Epona's Song for the ceramic wind pipe, and a lifelong friendship is born. Epona has since appeared in Majora's Mask, The Minish Cap, Twilight Princess and Breath of the Wild, helping us traverse fantastic landscapes in legendary quests.

Sure there are other famous video game horses, such as the Roach from the Witcher series, Agro from Shadow of the Colossus, or your nag in Red Dead Redemption — but Epona was really the first video game horse gamers ever fell in love with. And unlike some of the aforementioned horses, Epona always seems to come when we call upon her. She never spawns on top of a roof, or in a drainage ditch.

We're looking at you, Roach.