Life can get a little lonely at times. What’s a person to do if they live far from friends and family and their landlord forbids pets? Well, move but until then, video games offer plenty of virtual furry (and not so furry) friends to support your every emotional need.
These best pals will never let you down whether you are saving an entire kingdom, need inspiration for a scientific breakthrough, or simply want to pretend to have that Shiba Inu that your landlord said would be in violation of your lease. With that, let’s look at the first best boi on this list.
10. Shadow – Dead to Rights Series
There are few dogs as loyal to their master as Shadow in Dead to Rights. Found as a puppy chained up in an alley by Jack’s father, Shadow was initially trained to join the police force.
However, due to his background and more aggressive behavior, he was denied from being officially a member but Jack and his dad have continued to bring him along on missions and he has proven himself time and time again.
While Jack is busy getting himself into dangerous situations, Shadow is always there to bail him out by taking out enemies silently or charging in headfirst to take out the enemies quickly. Jack wouldn’t be able to get anywhere without his best pal at his side.
9. Epona – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Another Zelda game, another set of constants and variables. Link has a tendency to find his best horse friend in many of his adventures but Ocarina might be the most heartwarming. As Link is exploring Hyrule as a kid, he will stumble across Lon Lon Ranch where a baby Epona is seen prancing in the fields.
Malon will teach Link Epona’s song here as well. However, in the future, Ingo has taken over and his greed and cruelty are enough to convince you that Epona deserves better. Link breaks Epona out of the Ranch and the two become inseparable while Link is in Hyrule Fields. Where would we be without our trusty steed in those dark times?
8. Bloodwing – Borderlands
The hunter class was my first class in Borderlands and it quickly became my favorite of that iteration of vault hunters. That’s because Mordecai has his pet falcon, Bloodwing who will fly into the air and peck enemies to death in one swoop or deal heavy damage to them.
The two have a close relationship so it’s heartbreaking that in Borderlands 2, Handsome Jack kidnaps Bloodwing and forces her to attack the vault hunters.
Unfortunately, Bloodwing will die at the hands of Handsome Jack’s meddling. Mordecai screams his frustration and sadness, and for those of us who grew up with Bloodwing and Mordecai, it feels like a piece of us has been ripped out too. However, we will always remember her for her constant support on her master’s shoulder.
7. Shoshana – Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
Set Roth likes his experiments, and while he can be a little cruel, he sees a chance to save an animal when he finds a dying cat and a brain-dead monkey.
He put the head of the cat on the monkey, and now the animal lives, while not a normal life, a healthy one. It’s a playful little pal that sort of unsettles Blazkowicz but later turns into the inspiration to save his life after he is decapitated.
The same techniques that were used to save the cat were used to preserve Blazkowicz’s head and ensure that he could be transferred to a new body. It’s a little gross, but the two now share a kinship that no one else in the series currently does. They are survivors.
6. Lamarr the Headcrab – Half-Life 2
Dr. Kleiner has a pet headcrab he calls Lamarr, who has been debeaked so that she can’t jump on anyone’s neck and take over their body. It might not seem like the safest pet, but she seems like she is capable of a little bit of affection, and she brings Kleiner a little bit of relief.
She does however get the group into trouble when she interrupts Gordon’s teleport and sends him way off the mark of where he was intended to go. She might not be the most helpful pet on this list, but her eccentricities make her one that we won’t soon forget. These scientists and their weird pets, I swear.
5. Chao – Sonic Adventure 2: Battle
How could we ever forget about the Chao Garden from Sonic Adventure 2? This little system allowed players to breed and hatch Chaos. These little blue alien-looking creatures might not seem like much at first, but you’ll soon be building an unnecessary attachment to their little faces in no time. Watch them grow, play, and become a hero or villain.
It becomes strangely addictive to come in and check in on your Chaos while you are out saving the world. They will show their appreciation when you are there and sadness when they are neglected for too long. It really can feel like you have your own little pet you need to care for in the Sonic universe.
4. Eevee – Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee
There are hundreds of Pokemon that would make great pets, but there are only a couple that are preselected for the player based on the games. Eevee was the star recently in one of the Let’s Go games, and it made me realize just how far I would go to protect its little face.
I loved having Eevee hang out on my shoulders as we made our way through Kanto. Its constant chimes of appreciation and happiness made my heart melt. Except for that one time when we accidentally ran away from the shiny Snorlax that we had been trying to get for the past hour, and it “brrrd” in contentment.
3. Dogmeat – Fallout 4
Dogmeat is a constant companion in the Fallout games, but few get the same level of “man’s best friend” as Fallout 4. This best boi can be found at the Red Rocket truck stop and will immediately run up to the Sole Survivor. It’s like he was waiting for them this whole time.
Dogmeat can track people through the Commonwealth with just a quick whiff of their personal belongings and will attack enemies who dare to confront their master.
However, he can be temporarily hurt, and seeing him limp on the side of the road can be enough to leave him back at a settlement with Preston Garvey watching over him while you go out trying to make the wasteland a more dog-friendly environment.
2. Cerberus – Hades
As the son of Hades, Zagreus doesn’t have too many open enemies besides those who work directly for his father. He lives a good life, you know, besides being trapped in the Underworld. However, there are few beings that bring as much joy to this respectful man as his good pup Cerberus.
Cerberus will pant excitedly when he sees Zagreus coming by and show this love for the boy by having a tantrum in the lounge area when Zagreus left the house initially.
Cerberus will try his best to keep Zagreus from leaving but can be putty in Zageus’ hands if he brings a Satyr Sack. He isn’t mean, just a little too loving and loyal for his own good.
1. Nintendog – Nintendogs Series
For many of us, our first Nintendog was our first chance at having something close to a real dog. Seeing these little balls of fluff run around their playrooms, pouncing after a thrown frisbee, or taking a quick nap was pure bliss.
You can even bring these little pals into competitions where your training and relationship are put to the real test as they dive through tunnels and balance on seesaws. It’s a showcase of your bond and how much time you spend together.
I felt genuine guilt when I hadn’t taken my little guy for a walk for a weekend because I had been grounded. He had to spend the entire 3-day period playing with a chew toy by himself. It was an absolute travesty that I am still trying to make up for.