We love video games with flawed heroes and charismatic villains, but you know what we love even more? Those sidekicks that manage to steal the limelight with every single scene they’re in.
Whether they provide the hero with a reason to keep going, accompany them faithfully into the unknown, or stick quietly in the shadows until their moment of unexpected but glorious badassery rolls around, there’s been a whole host of super sidekicks who don’t often get the recognition they deserve.
We’ve pushed 7 of our favourite video game sidekicks into the spotlight, so give them a round of applause – they all deserve it. And beware: there may be spoilers ahead!
Appears in: God of War
When we first met wise old Mímir, we really weren’t sure how long our friendship was going to last. After all, most video game sidekicks usually introduce themselves with fetch quests and the like to get the ball rolling, but Mímir’s first request was for us to, er, cut his head off.
Fortunately, he’s not known as the cleverest man alive for nothing, and Mímir’s reanimated head subsequently survived the entire adventure hanging off Kratos’ belt, giving us advice, making wisecracks, and telling us incredible stories of bravery and peril. Stories may be for the boat, but if Mímir’s the one telling them, we’d be happy to listen to them anywhere.
Appears in: The Last Of Us
Main character Joel may have started out thinking of Ellie as a bit of a liability at first, but she quickly proved how indispensable she could be. It took us no time at all to get emotionally attached to the slightly sulky but sassy and courageous teen, and her combat and archery skills saved our necks more times than we can count.
We even got to play as her for a short but emotional segment in the main game – as well as for a whole standalone prequel.
And then that bit at the end happened (yes, you know exactly which bit we mean). We would have moved mountains to save her and, fortunately, Joel became just as attached to her as we did. Thanks to his brave but morally dubious actions, we’ll be seeing a lot more of Ellie soon in The Last of Us II.
Lieutenant Hank Anderson
Appears in: Detroit: Become Human
Android-hating cop Hank and his love/hate relationship with android protagonist Connor inspired a mountain of memes, and it also happens to be one of our favourite things about Detroit: Become Human.
Hank might be a complete grump with a woeful disregard for the health of his arteries, but his heart of gold and his unfailingly grumpy reactions made him a complete scene-stealer, especially when we messed things up and he had to watch Connor getting splatted in a variety of nasty ways.
Oh, and another point in Hank’s favour? He owns one of the nicest video game dogs we’ve ever seen.
Appears in: The Last Guardian
Starting out as a pretty terrifying threat, the gigantic (but fluffy) Trico gradually became our best friend over time. It’s a friendship born of necessity – without Trico, there’s no way we could find our way through the ruined buildings of the Nest, and without us, there’s no way Trico could escape imprisonment.
Despite being a pro at ignoring our orders, the way that Trico really tries to protect us and falls over sideways after belly rubs makes this mysterious creature easily one of the cutest sidekicks we’ve ever met.
Appears in: Final Fantasy XV
All of Prince Noctis’ royal retinue have their good points, but Royal Chamberlain Ignis is definitely the underappreciated hero of the bunch.
Not only does he have to drive his companions back and forth across the continent for days at a time, he also handles most of the tactical decisions, provides sensible financial advice, and has to deal daily with a twenty-year-old who won’t eat his veggies. And he still manages to pull off consistent five-star cooking with a limited set of ingredients and a camping grill. Now there’s a real hero.
Appears in: Life Is Strange
Free spirit Chloe might not have had supernatural powers, but she really knew how to get stuff done. In fact, she was so good at it, we had to spend quite a lot of time reining her in.
Watching Chloe and Max pick up the pieces of their fractured childhood friendship was both heartbreaking and hilarious. She was a great friend and a complete pain in the neck at the same time, and then she ended up featuring as the main character in a prequel that somehow made us love her even more.
And when that bit happens, who wouldn’t choose Chloe every time?
Appears in: The Pokémon series
Last but certainly not least on our list is a character who actually broke out of a Poké Ball in order to be noticed, and went on to devotedly follow our every move throughout the whole of Pokémon Yellow.
We’re talking (of course) about Pikachu, the rosy-cheeked electric mouse Pokémon who is the epitome of everything a sidekick should be.
Pikachu’s next big appearance is in the upcoming Detective Pikachu movie, and we can’t wait to see even more of the world’s most recognisable Pokémon.
So there you have it – 7 of our favourite video game sidekicks. Have we missed out on any of your favourites?