Riding Shotgun

Top 10 Best Video Game Sidekicks of All-Time!

Sidekicks are seldom given equal billing with the heroes they support, but this doesn't mean that their actions are any less noteworthy. Although they're not the primary focus of the story, they are largely responsible for the heroes success. The characters on this list play important roles in the games they appear in, but they are typically controlled by the computer or are only featured in a handful of gameplay sections. For what it's worth, characters like Kazooie, Clank, and Daxter (all of whom are mentioned in the titles of their respective games) are given too bright of a spotlight to be considered mere sidekicks. I've also decided against including animal companions in an effort to eliminate redundancy with other lists. This list is being made for anyone who thinks that Chewbacca totally deserved a medal at the end of Star Wars. Sidekicks deserve more respect!



Globox 10
Rayman Series

Rayman's slap-happy friend made his debut in Rayman 2 and the two have been joined at the hip ever since. Globox proves his worth almost immediately by helping Rayman regain his ability to throw his fists. Unfortunately, Globox is easily frightened often flees from battle. Rayman is frequently left to fight their enemies by himself, but this isn't to say that Globox is never helpful. By performing magic dances, Globox can summon small clouds to rain down on dangerous fires and machinery. Even though he can be a little unpredictable at times, Globox has a gentle and sensitive side. He's the father of 650 children, so the fact that he still finds the time to hang out with his best buddy is pretty remarkable in its own right. His role varies from one game to the next, but Globox is basically like a brother to Rayman at this point.


Elika 9
Prince of Persia

The titular "Prince" in the 2008 version of Prince of Persia is just a nameless thief, but Elika is a bonafide princess with magical powers. The Prince meets Elika after a chance encounter, and the pair become inseparable. The Prince displays incredible athleticism during the game, but Elika's abilities prove to be invaluable as well. Her magic ultimately allows the Prince to perform complicated acrobatic feats, and she often performs them in tandem with him. Elika is also able to throw the Prince around like a rag doll and can essentially use him as a makeshift projectile. The most practical application of her magic lets her save the Prince whenever he falls to his apparent death. Elika essentially acts as a perpetual safety net for the entire game, and the Prince almost feels like dead weight at times.


Garrus Vakarian 8
Mass Effect Series

Commander Shepard can recruit many party members in the Mass Effect series, but there are several reasons why Garrus is being mentioned. Firstly, he's arguably the most charismatic character in the entire Mass Effect universe. Secondly, he's one of the most commonly selected characters for the squad, according to in-game statistics. Thirdly, he's one of the few squadmates that appears in all three Mass Effect games. The charming alien sniper also grows and evolves as a character as the series progresses. He's initially introduced as an officer who has grown tired of all the rules and regulations that his job requires. He eventually becomes a feared vigilante known as the Archangel and plays a vital role in protecting the universe from a powerful race of mechanical beings known as Reapers.


Ellie 7
The Last of Us

Ellie could accurately be described as a damsel in distress. After all, the entire point of The Last of Us is for players to escort her across a post-apocalyptic United States. Despite her youth (and her inability to swim), Ellie actually gains power as the game progresses. She's still vulnerable in many ways, but she's also placed in situations where the "damsel in distress" concept is subverted. Ellie helps Joel out during the game by distracting enemies or announcing their location. She'll also attack enemies herself if the situation calls for it, and her skills with knives and guns are well beyond what you'd expect from a 14-year-old girl. When Joel finds himself on the brink of death, Ellie is tasked with ensuring his safety. She hunts for food, leads bandits away from him, and uses her ample survival skills to keep him alive.


Claptrap 6
Borderlands Series

Claptrap is a general purpose "CL4P-TP" robot that was programmed with an overenthusiastic personality. He'd probably argue against his appearance on this list since he envisions himself as the hero and repeatedly refers to the player as his minion. Claptrap functions as an alert system and informs you when new missions are available, but his real purpose is to provide comic relief. He's relatively useless at first and even lacks the ability to climb stairs, but his sarcastic sense of humor makes him a memorable sidekick. I'd consider ranking him higher if not for the fact that he was reprogrammed to enslave humans and rebranded as the "Interplanetary Ninja Assassin Claptrap." After leading a successful rebellion, Claptrap aims to kill Vault Hunters by "poisoning, setting traps, and spreading catty rumours."


Midna 5
Twilight Princess

Sidekicks in the Zelda universe run the gamut from pretty cool (like the King of Red Lyons) to extremely annoying (I'm looking at you, Fi!) Midna's a rad chick with a sharp tongue who falls firmly in the former category. Her cynical and mischievous personality makes her an entertaining companion, and she's quite helpful too. As a member of a race banished to the "Twilight Realm," Midna offers Link valuable insight about his world and hers. She also aids Link by grabbing enemies, extending energy fields, and creating portals to other dimensions. After being transformed into a wolf, Link would have been completely lost if Midna hadn't decided to team up with him against a greater evil. Of all the companions Link has had over the years, Midna is the closest thing he's had to an equal partner.


Trip 4
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

When Tripitaka is forcefully separated from her village in the wake of a global war, she enlists the help of a wild man named Monkey to escort her back to her friends and family. Trip coerces Monkey into cooperating by fitting him with an electronic slave headband. The device will kill Monkey if he allows Trip to die or if he leaves her proximity, so he has no choice but to protect her. Monkey's strength and athleticism are paramount as they make the dangerous journey, but Trip is with him every step of the way and uses her considerable technical skills to hack security doors, scan for land mines, and distract enemies with holographic decoys. Monkey is the star of Enslaved, but Trip is clearly the brains of the operation. Despite her underhanded tactics, Monkey admires Trip's abilities and even develops romantic feelings for her.


Cortana 3
Halo Series

Cortana is an artificial life form constructed from the cloned brain of a renowned scientist. She has been a part of the Halo franchise since the very beginning and provides Master Chief with tactical and historical information during his missions. Her duties extend well beyond the role of a personal assistant, however. She is very good at planning missions and was specifically designed to infiltrate alien computer systems and decode transmissions. By monitoring communication channels, Cortana is able to direct human survivors that are scattered across the ring. Although she doesn't have a physical form, Cortana often projects herself as a hologram. The fact that she chooses to appear as a booberific young woman highlights Cortana's profound understanding of humans and her ability to make smart decisions. Good call, Cortana!


Elizabeth 2
Bioshock Infinite

Elizabeth spent most of her childhood imprisoned in a tower in the sky, so it was appropriate to list her as one of gaming's most iconic damsels in distress. That being said, she plays a very active role in Bioshock Infinite and is anything but helpless. Unlike the Little Sisters from previous Bioshock games, Elizabeth requires no protection and is perfectly capable of taking care of herself. She aids players during battle by scavenging for ammunition, medical kits, and other supplies. She can also pick locks with her hairpins if the situation calls for it. If that doesn't impress you, her unique psychokinetic powers should. Her uncanny ability to create tears in the space-time continuum is central to the game's plot. In addition to helping out in combat situations, Elizabeth also provides motivation and emotional depth to the game.


Alyx Vance 1
Half-Life Series

Alyx Vance is not overly-attractive, her body is completely average, and she is decidedly more ethnic than typical video game characters. In short, she is a lot less generic than most of the girls you'll find in games. Instead of being defined by her outward appearance, Alyx allows her personality to speak for itself. She's a smart, independent woman with a great sense of humor. Alyx serves as an ally to Gordon Freeman in Half-Life 2 by assisting in combat, opening doors, and removing obstacles. By Episode 2, she's able to formulate plans of her own instead of blindly following the player. Although she's a non-playable character, Alyx Vance has been given an increasingly larger role with each game she's appeared in. Although she's a computer-controlled character, she's often cited as one of the best female protagonists in gaming.

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