Any good hero out there will tell you that it is far easier to work with a sidekick than without. Batman has Robin, Han Solo has Chewie, and The Doctor has a new sidekick/companion every few seasons. But who are the best sidekicks that help us get through the toughest moments in games?

Cortana – Halo

Cortana Halo

Cortana is basically the sole reason that the universe remains alive. Directing Master Chief around the galaxy in the war against the Covenant, our favourite AI decrypts enemy communications, cracks jokes and offers advice. As the story progresses through the games, their relationship evolves into something unique and precious.

Luigi – Mario

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Originally just a pallette-swapped version Mario, Luigi is his brother-in-arms and the most loyal follower out there. Princess Peach has been getting kidnapped for more than a few decades now, and Luigi is always there to follow his brother into the battlefield to help out.

This endless support from Mario’s dedicated sidekick was so strong that Luigi even starred in his own game series. Nevertheless, ‘Green Mario’ will continue to back up his iconic brother through thick and thin.

Dogmeat – Fallout

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Already known on Fandom for being a top dog, Dogmeat is the quintessential canine companion. Dogmeat has been by your side since the first Fallout game and will always carry the heavy stuff. That said, the Fallout 4 Dogmeat has been seen doing some fairly stupid things like running down a hallway of laser mines. We love him but wish he was just a tad smarter.

Lydia – Skyrim

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Skyrim might have many more followers, and Lydia might be far from the best, but our favourite housecarl holds a special place in our hearts. Usually, the first follower that you come across, Lydia willingly lugs dragon bones across the country for you or simply protects your humble house if you choose to go it alone. Many Dragonborn feel so strongly towards the sidekick that they marry her in the game.

Tifa Lockheart – Final Fantasy VII

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While being one of the more overwhelmingly strong characters in all of Final Fantasy, Tifa is also empathetic and emotionally shy. Tifa joined AVALANCHE to get revenge on Shinra for the destruction of Neibelheim. In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Tifa shows herself to be capable of defeating the Sephiroth Remnant, Loz. While some focus more on her stereotyped physique, many players underestimate her abilities. However, she is a faithful sidekick and a powerful character to play.

Garrus Vakarian – Mass Effect

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In all of the Mass Effect Universe, there isn’t a character more like a grizzled teddy bear than Garrus. Originally part of the organisation that polices the Citadel, centre of galactic civilisation, C-Sec, Garrus launched an investigation into Spectre Saren. With the law tying his hands and Shepard also on the hunt, Garrus readily signed up. Ruthless in a firefight but gentle with victims, Garrus is one of only two characters that can join Shepard in all three games (the other being Tali’Zorah).

Otacon – Metal Gear Solid

Otacon in Metal Gear Solid game

Otacon, real name Hal Emmerich, doesn’t exactly have the best introduction ever — cowering in the corner with wet pants. Coupled with a name that combines “Otaku” and “Convention” this character didn’t show a lot of promise in the beginning. However, Otacon does a magnificent show of rallying himself, assisting Snake in challenges and mourning the loss of Sniper Wolf. Without Otacon, there would be no Metal Gear games.

Navi – The Legend of Zelda

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“Hey, listen!” and try to restrain your rage while you do. Navi may be the most annoying thing ever, but this is a true and loyal companion. Who was it that helped Link when Ganondorf morphed into Ganon and threw the Master Sword through the ring of fire? Who stood by Link as he was stuck in a time vortex for seven years? Navi might be annoying, but she will stick by you through thick and thin.

Tails – Sonic the Hedgehog

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Since his first appearance in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Miles “Tails” Prower has been standing by Sonic’s side through many ups and downs. Tails is the quintessential sidekick, always one step behind Sonic in his battles against Eggman. Plus, he’s usually there to grab Sonic when he’s about to fall. Even as Tails got some solo levels in later games, the adorable fox was almost always there to help Sonic whenever he needed help with killer robots or finding a chilli dog.

Honourable Mentions

Claptrap – Borderlands

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CL4-TP or ‘Claptrap’ isn’t quite a sidekick. Starring in the Borderlands series, Claptrap is more of a guide and friendly voice on the shoulder. His brand of humour and that of the other claptrap units is a highlight in the Borderlands games. The only reason that Claptrap made it to the honourable mentions is that he might not be a direct sidekick, but he helps out players and is even a playable character in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.

Companion Cube – Portal

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Much like Claptrap, the Companion Cube is only here on a technicality. Our favourite little box helps us a lot in Portal and Portal 2. GLaDOS even hints that companion cubes are sentient, but I digress. These tiny cubes provide invaluable assistance in solving the mind-bending puzzles that fill both games. If they had done even one thing spontaneously, they would definitely have made the list.

Graham Host
Graham Host is a member of the Fan Contributor program. In his spare time, he enjoys the works of Terry Pratchett, DC Comics and a wide assortment of video games. Under no circumstances should he be fed after midnight. Contactable only via Twitter or trained carrier pigeon.