When they consistently get in your way, conspire to get you killed, or make you cringe by constantly repeating the same phrase over and over again, companion characters can be maddening. done right, though, companions can be the hook that pulls you into a game's world, just like this lot…  


ESCORT MISSIONS ARE almost always horrific. The fact that escorting Ashley through Resident Evil 4’s dangerous, freak-infested world doesn’t elicit those trademark frustrations is not insignificant. Sure, she’s not the best ‘character’on our list, but when you’ve played as many terrible escort missions as we have, having a companion that to give one example has the good sense to duck when they’re in your crosshairs, is a godsend.


WHAT IS IT that makes Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’s Captain Price such a great character ? Perhaps it’s his gruff, no-nonsense demeanor, his maverick attitude, the sense that he’s seen it all, or the finest moustache in videogames. Whatever it is (it’s the moustache), Captain Price is a man that you’d follow to the end. His aura is only enhanced when you step into his shoes in All Ghilled Up perhaps the most iconic mission in the series.

08 - YORDA

WHEN YOU’RE TALKING about great companion characters, it’s impossible to overlook Ico’s Yorda. Ico isn’t just a game that happens to have a companion character, it’s agame that’s built around that very concept,a game in which the relationship between the player and Yorda is fundamental. The‘boy saves girl’ formula is unquestionably atired one, but there’s a soul to this game that means it just about gets away with it.


THERE’S AN ARGUMENT that she’s too often a tool used to tell Booker’s story, but that doesn’t change the fact that Infinite’s Elizabeth is a likeable, well drawn character that you’ll miss when absent. Elizabeth becomes a little anonymous during combat, but we’d take that over a companion that has to be babysat, lest they constantly get themselves killed. When she throws a health pack your way, you’ll be glad that she’s got your back. 


WE’RE NOT LOSING our minds; Solid Snake was a companion character. In Metal Gear Solid 2, Snake disguises himself as Iroquois Pliskin, saving Raiden from Vamp before offering him help and advice via Codec. If the realisation that Pliskin is THE Solid Snake isn’t enough for you, how about the experience of battling through Arsenal Gear with the legend at your side, cleaning house like the veteran that he is ? He’s pretty good…


NOT CONTENT WITH just being one of the great videogame villains, GLADOS also stakes a claim as one of the best companion characters for her role in Portal 2. After being usurped by Wheatley and ending up strapped to a potato, GLADOS forms an unlikely alliance with the player. Her dry brand of humour, backhanded putdowns and the odd slow clap win her a place in our list by virtue of the fact that she makes us laugh.


FROM A COMPANION character that needs to be carefully watched, to one who is perfectly capable of looking after herself  Half-Life 2’s Alyx Vance. In fact, Alyx isn’t only able to watch her own hide, she’s frequently to be found saving Gordon Freeman’s skin, too. That’s what’s great about Alyx she’s tough and intelligent. We’re always glad to have her fighting be our side when we’re surrounded by headcrabs and zombies, though Alyx isn’t just a great fighter. She’s a companion with personality, one that feels like a real person that exists outside her relationship with the protagonist a compliment that can be paid to too few videogame characters.


OF ALL THE characters that the player can recruit in the Mass Effect series, it’s Garrus who seems to be most universally loved. How can you not like the guy ? He’s got principles and he’ll do what ever it takes to stick to them, even if it means self sacrifice. As a companion, he’s loyal, someone you can trust to get the job done, someone that always shows the utmost commitment. As acharacter, he’s what the kids call a‘cool cucumber’, though, at the same time, he’s not someone you’d want to anger. In battle, he’s powerful and fearless. In short, Garrus is bloody brilliant, and every Mass Effect player’s best friend.


DON’T YOU DARE suggest that Dogmeat doesn't deserve his position on this list because he is ‘just a dog’. Okay, so you can’t have a conversation with him, but that doesn't prevent people forming strong relationships with their four legged friends in this terrible place called ‘reality’ . Dogmeat provides company on those long treks across Fallout 3’s wasteland, will throw himself into combat without hesitation and will even head off to scavenge items for his master. Perhaps the main reason he’s one of the greatest companions on this list is that if he dies, Dogmeat’s gone for good. You’ll do everything you can to make sure that doesn't happen.

01 - ELLIE

HANDS DOWN THE best companion character is The Last Of Us’s Ellie.
From a mechanical perspective, Ellie doesn’t screw things up for the player in combat and will provide the occasional assist. Naughty Dog has a knack for creating believable characters, whether that be through great dialogue, a small character flourish, an understanding of when things are best left unsaid, or in this case, a combination of all of the above. Ellie is as you’d imagine a teenage girl who’d been forced to survive in a brutal world and there’s real tragedy drawn from her disconnection to pre apocalypse American culture, her longing to live a life that she barely understands.

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