Video games have always been a great means of friends coming closer together. Whether it’s racing karts around with Mario and his pals, or nailing headshots with Chief and the Spartans in Blood Gulch, friendship and video games just work together. “But Jake,” you say, tears in your eyes, “what if I don’t have any friends?” Well not to fret dear reader, because with video games you don’t need real friends. Instead, you can form bonds with some of the coolest fictional people around! This ode to friendship goes out to those characters that remind us what true friendship really is!
5 - Banjo and Kazooie
The doofy bear, Banjo, and the snarky bird in his backpack, Kazooie, are two of gaming’s most beloved icons from the 64-bit era. And at the core of it all is their deeply rooted friendship with each other. Never have two characters in a game worked together so seamlessly that they seem to exist as almost one single entity. Wherever Banjo goes, Kazooie has literally got his back. So naturally when an evil witch kidnaps Banjo’s beloved little sister, he doesn’t even have to ask if Kazooie is on board. We already know she will always be there to help her lovably oafish, furry friend. And Banjo will always fight side-by-side with his favorite feathered companion. Whether it is beating Gruntilda at her own dumb trivia game or, I dunno, racing a triceratops or something. What, you think Mario is the only one that gets to do weird shit outside of his main stories? No! Diddy Kong Racing is rad! MOVING ON!
4 - Garrus and Commander Shepard
You go through a lot of shit as Commander Shepard in the Mass Effect games. But one thing is for certain, you never go through it alone. While you have a team of people, and quite possibly the whole galaxy rooting for you there is only one dude who truly has your back, no matter what. That dude is none other than Garrus Vakarian. Ladies love him and men want o be him. While the ending to Mass Effect 3 has caused many a nerd rage, there is no doubt that the buddy scene where you get in some target practice on the Citadel is one of gaming's greatest friendship moments. The end of existence as we know it is coming, and these two bros just want to have one last chance to rag on each other.
3 - The Wanderer and Dogmeat
Dogs in video games. Sometimes studios try really hard to make a loveable dog in a game and just fall flat. However, sometimes they take their time to really study why it is that we love dogs so much. Bethesda did their leg work, and thus Dogmeat was born. I absolutely love Dogmeat! Sure, maybe his AI isn’t always the best. And maybe sometimes he keeps his master safe from landmines by walking into them headlong. But his spotty AI almost makes him even more lovable. He isn’t an all-powerful sidekick. He is just a doofy pup that loves his master, and isn’t that why we love having dogs? Ya love ‘em, but damn it if they can’t be dumb sometimes.
2 - Sora, Donald, and Goofy
Honestly, how can you make a list of best friends and not mention the three amigos who taught us all that the magic of friendship is truly the best weapon? Luckily we will never have to answer that question, because Sora, Donald, and Goofy come in at number 2. The first Kingdom Hearts game came out when I was 13 and my level of social awkwardness was at an all time high. Not having a terribly high amount of friends myself, the deep and undying friendship between these characters spoke volumes to me. And while one can argue that Sora’s best friends are actually Riku and Kairi, I’d say those people are wrong… so write your own damn article about it!
Sure, Sora spends the whole adventure looking to save his friends, but we only get to hang out with Riku and Kairi for like 3% of the game! The rest of the time we’ve got Donald and Goofy to prop us up when we’re feeling down. Through thick and thin, these three will always be by each others sides. And in the epic battle at Hollow Bastion from the second game, when we all thought the Goofster bit the dust? Don’t tell me you didn’t feel that. Oh… you felt that… GOD DAMN IT! Where are those tissues?
1 - Johnny Gat and the Leader of the Third Street Saints
I love the Saints Row series. No… I don’t think you understand. I LOVE THEM! And one of the things that makes this series so amazing is it’s crazy cast of characters. Shaundi, Pierce, Oleg, Kinzie and the whole Third Street Crew all feel wonderful and unique. But they all pale in comparison to the universe’s ultimate bad-ass: Johnny Gat! And who is the best friend of this warlord of mayhem? YOU! Or in the case of my SR2 character, me if I were actually the star of a blaxploitation film. That’s right, the friendship between your character and Johnny Gat is literally the stuff of legends. You first meet as a couple of newbies to the Saints and eventually take over the gang together. There have never been two friends who support each other as much as these two do. Some of the most amazing scenes in these games stem from this friendship born out of respect for how much ass they can each respectively kick. This is a duo who will literally both go to the ends of the galaxy AND to hell and back to help each other out of a bind. When was the last time you shot Satan in the face for YOUR best friend? The best I can get is sometimes he spots me some change when I want a soda.
Now I know some of the more popular choices weren’t on this list. These were just the five friendships that really impacted my experience in the games I played. My list was much longer before I forced myself into just five. Because this isn’t BuzzFeed and I’m not interested in giving you my "Top 18 Best Friends, Number 4 Will Surprise You!!!" I’d much rather hear what your top 5 are, so leave it down in the comments.