In March’s Loot Gaming crate, we’re featuring some of the best and most iconic video game SIDEKICKS around – what better way to celebrate that than to talk about five of our favorite video game sidekicks ever?
A great video game is usually defined by its story, its gameplay, and its main protagonist – but sometimes the best and most likable characters are the sidekicks that always have our hero’s back. They may not always get the credit they deserve, so for this week’s Friday Five we’re shouting out to five of our favorite video game sidekicks!
Luigi, Mario Bros:
I mean, look… How in the hell can you do a piece about sidekicks and not include one of the most iconic sidekicks of all time? While Mario tends to get most of the credit as the main protagonist in the Mario Bros. franchise, it’s important to remember that he probably couldn’t do it with his brother Luigi. While it’s his standalone Luigi’s Mansion spinoff that may have given him a bit more visibility, it’s his presence in everything and anything Mario Bros. related, from games to movies, to TV, and back again, that has made Luigi the quintessential “Player 2”. He was one of the first sidekicks ever featured prominently in video game history, and he absolutely is one of the greatest of all time.
Dogmeat, Fallout series:
It’s not just war that never changes when it comes to the Fallout franchise, it’s also its furry canine companion, Dogmeat! Dogmeat is one of a very small number of characters to be featured in every single Fallout game, and is, in fact, the only playable character in each of those games – which, ya know, makes sense since these games are all set hundreds of years apart! Dogmeat is almost always my go-to companion, not only because of his magical ability to carry a whole bunch of stuff, or due to his never-back-down attitude, but because you can use Dogmeat AND the Lone Wanderer perk (pro tip for all you folks out there wanting to get a head start on things in Fallout 4!). The only downside to Dogmeat? Well, that never-back-down attitude is also one of his greatest weaknesses, as my sneaky play styles tend to get messed up when my furry friend jumps into the fray and blows up some tripmines… Oops!
Tails, Sonic the Hedgehog:
Much like Luigi, Miles “Tails” Prower is, in my mind, easily the second most iconic and most well-known video game sidekick of all time. The Sega Genesis counterpart to the taller Mario brother, Tails started off his video game career as just a supportive background character in the original Sonic the Hedgehog, but when Sonic the Hedgehog 2 rolled around, Sega introduced a really rad co-op mode that allowed a second player to join Sonic as Tails. Whether it’s in a co-op mode, in the cartoons, or as a background character, Tails has always been a loyal and supportive sidekick to the speedy Sonic, and he will be for years to come!
Barret, Final Fantasy VII:
Man, there are SO many entries to this list that could come from any of the number of Final Fantasy games. I could have gone with Tifa or Aeris from FFVII, Vivi from FFIX, or Auron from FFX. But I went with the easy choice (in my mind), which is the foul-mouthed leader of Avalanche that joined forces with Cloud and their ragtag group of world-savers in Final Fantasy VII. Despite seeming to be a real unpleasant dude, and seemingly not giving a &#$% about what Cloud and the rest of the group did (throwback to those classic PS1 censorship days!), Barret had a soft spot in his heart due to a tumultuous backstory, and due to wanting to do anything and everything in his power to protect his daughter. Barret stuck with the crew to the very end, and has since been featured in a myriad of FF7 related content, including Advent Children, and will be Cloud’s sidekick yet again in the FFVII remake, whenever the hell it ends up finally releasing…
Garrus, Mass Effect Trilogy:
Not only is he hands down the coolest sidekick in Mass Effect, but he’s also the only one available to you in each of the three games as a companion squad member to Commander Shepard. I mean, not only did this guy take a literal rocket to the face for the cause, but he does it all with a smile on his face (well, sort of, not really sure exactly what a smile would look like on that face…). All kidding aside, Garrus is easily the raddest sidekick in the Mass Effect series, which is one with quite a few sidekick options to choose from. I know he never left my squad once I had the ability to recruit him, and I can safely say that I’m surely not the only one!