We already covered the best cats in video games, now it’s man’s best friend’s turn with this fun list discussing the 10 best good boys in video games.
No. 10: Chop – Grand Theft Auto 5
The world of Grand Theft Auto is violent and ruthless. You can rob a store, kill random pedestrians, infiltrate army bases to steal their aircraft, and play fetch with your dog in the park. Chop is Lamar Davis’ dog and, whilst playing as Franklin, you can interact with Chop and take him with you on missions. He can sniff out people and mission objectives whilst also working as an attack dog to defend Franklin or disarm enemies. Though be wary when taking him for a walk as his fidgety AI sometimes causes him to attack random pedestrians, fall into a swimming pool or get hit by a car.
No. 9: PaRappa Rappa – PaRappa the Rapper Series
The titular character of a series of rhythm games, ‘Parappa’ is a play on Japanese words meaning ‘paper-thin,’ which accurately describes the 2D characters in the game. This cool pooch started rapping in his own games in 1997 and was so popular he even had his own anime series in 2001. Although he encounters various obstacles throughout his journeys, he always pulls through with his catchphrase “I gotta believe!”
No. 8: Barbas – Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
You probably thought you were hearing things when a voice called to you whilst you were casually trotting about near Falkreath. Turns out you have not gone mad and the dog is the talking companion of the Daedric Prince, Clavicus Vile. Barbas is a shape shifter who prefers the appearance of a dog and, although he has been featured in previous Elder Scrolls titles before this, Skyrim is the first one where he directly interacts with you and joins you on your quest.
Clavicus Vile is a trickster known as the Prince of Bargains, but Barbas is a good boy and just wants to find his master after they have had an argument. At the end of the quest the Dragonborn can choose whether to kill Barbas for a fancy axe, or return him to his master for Vile’s Daedric artefact. After spending some time with the lovable hound only the most heartless would pick the first option.
No. 7: DD – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Otherwise known as D-Dog or Diamond Dog, Venom Snake first meets this loyal companion as an abandoned one-eyed puppy who Ocelot will then train to become a member of the Diamond Dogs. As the game goes on, Snake will return to Mother Base and each time DD will be bigger and more obedient until he is eventually qualified to join Snake on his travels. The then eye-patch wearing canine will become valuable company, sniffing out, attacking and distracting enemies. And if he wasn’t already cool enough, he can even be equipped with a knife or stun baton.
No. 6: K.K Slider – Animal Crossing Series
Speaking of cool dogs, how much cooler can you get than a guitar-playing dog? K.K Slider has appeared in every Animal Crossing game to date and despite there being many dogs in town, this one stands out with his musical talent. He will rock out at a specific location at a specific time every day, playing his guitar and singing (howling) various tunes. He will take requests and, in some installments, sell or give you a recording of the song to play at home. If that’s not enough he even gets technical with some DJ skills in Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Watch out Ed Sheeran, K.K Slider is coming for you!
No. 5: Dogmeat – Fallout Series
Dogmeat has had various incarnations throughout the Fallout series, first appearing in Fallout. He has since been the main character’s vital companion when travelling the lonely wasteland. In Fallout 3 he is upgraded to a glorified handbag and will carry your items for you when you have reached maximum inventory space. In Fallout 4 he takes on an important role in the main storyline of finding the Sole Survivor’s son and is even handier in battle with his ability to pin enemies down to the floor for you. So whether he’s carrying 500 tin cans or tearing the throats out of your enemies, there’s no denying that everyone dropped everything and went running to his aid when you heard his injured cries. He also looks very cute in a red bandanna and goggles.
No. 4: Koromaru – Persona 3
The inspiration for this playable character is just as upsetting as Koromaru’s own back story. He’s based off Hachikou, a famous dog in Japan who used to wait at a train station every evening so he could greet his owner as he finished work. Long after his master’s death, Hachikou still waited at the train station, hoping to see him hop off one of the trains. Koromaru’s own master was killed in a car accident and, like Hachikou, he would stay at his master’s shrine – even risking his life to defend it. Overall this is a very good boy.
No. 3: Riley – Call of Duty: Ghosts
Riley captured the hearts of many Call of Duty fans when the full-fledged Ghosts squadron member appeared in trailers for the then latest Call of Duty. He’s even named after the fan favorite character from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Simon “Ghost” Riley. Riley will sniff out explosives and even take out helicopters. His combat vest comes with a built-in camera, which means the player can control him in certain missions. But what puts Riley so high up on this list is his unbending loyalty after he’s seriously injured protecting the player during a mission.
No.2: The Dog – Fable II
Similar to Dogmeat, you will meet The Dog very early on in Fable II, and he can be your companion for the majority of it. His main purpose is to help the Hero with treasure hunting as he can uncover buried treasure whilst also warning you when trouble is about. The Hero will grow a very strong bond with The Dog, even to the point where its appearance changes depending on how good or evil the player is. You can play ball with him and teach him tricks to earn money. But what makes The Dog so important to Fable II is his selfless sacrifice to save the Hero’s life, which broke many a player's heart back in 2008. Although, he can be brought back in the DLC or later on in the game—albeit at the cost of human lives, but who cares when you can have your best friend back?
No.1: Sif, The Great Gray Wolf – Dark Souls
So she may be a wolf, but she still deserves a spot on this list. If you haven’t got the tissues out already, now is the time to do so as Sif’s tragic back story will make any player feel guilty for killing her. Sif is unique on this list as she is not a friend or playable character but actually an enemy. She was the companion of Knight Artorias, but they were overwhelmed by enemies during a mission to save Oolacile from Manus and the Abyss. Artorias then sacrificed himself, becoming corrupted by the Abyss in order to save Sif. In the DLC you will find Sif as a puppy, still protected by Artorias’ protective shield. After releasing her she will then join you in killing Manus.
In the events of Dark Souls, a now fully grown Sif protects Artorias’ grave, wielding his greatsword. If you have completed the DLC before this moment, she will recognize you in a special cut scene but whimper as she is forced to kill you to protect the grave. And if you didn’t feel guilty enough, she will even show visible signs of struggling the lower her health gets until she’s limping and her attacks are much slower. I’m not crying, you are.
GameLuster’s Tuesday 10 highlights memorable, light-hearted facets of video games or the industry at large. The No. 1 is a hill no one should die on, but it’s a hill that should be admired from afar.