Mythical beasts

Trico | The Last Guardian

Few video game companions are more crucial, or more cleverly designed than The Last Guardian’s Trico. An outstanding technical and artistic achievement by Gen Design, Trico’s behaviour is almost uncanny, capturing the sometimes fickle yet fun-loving nature of domesticated animals, despite being a cat-dog-bird chimera the size of a double-decker bus.

Your Palico | Monster Hunter: World

Who better to aid intrepid hunters in their quest to bring down goliath lizards than a cutesy troupe of bipedal cat-folk? Your Palico is not just your companion, but indeed a key member of the team: you’ll design every adorable inch of your furry friend and when you’re stomped into the dirt by an angry, oversized iguana, they’ll be there to pick you up.

Red XIII | Final Fantasy VII Remake

Though you won’t meet him until quite late in the game, Red XIII will become a firm favourite before the credits roll. Self-described as a ‘lab-rat dog’, Red XIII is more like a stylised flaming lion with some wicked acrobatic combat chops – the wait to see what’s in store for him in the recently announced Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is a tantalising one.

Ikaros | Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Sharing his name with the legendary figure of Greek mythology who flew too close to the sun, Golden Eagle Ikaros is more than just a travelling companion for main character Kassandra, he’s also her eyes and ears in the sky. Able to scout locations from high above, mark targets and precious items and even attack your enemies. 

Friendly felines

The Stray | Stray

While animals often fill the role of sidekick in video games, BlueTwelve’s unique action-adventure Stray invites you to become the cat yourself: scale the furniture, paw the ground, tip inanimate objects over precarious ledges or just curl up and nap. Even better: you’ll have a sidekick all of your own in the form of a friendly drone!

Morgana | Persona 5 Royal

Okay, so this is a bit of a cheat: Morgana – as you’ll be readily assured upon meeting him – is not, despite all appearances, a cat. That said, pointy ears, tail, feisty personality: Morgana sure comes across as a very believable (if super-stylised) cat. Moreover, like all good kitties, he makes a great companion, boasting some of the best battle put downs in the game.

Dusty | Gravity Rush 2

The elusive Dusty isn’t simply a companion to Gravity Rush’s unlikely superhero Kat – indeed, he seems to be the source of her gravity shifting abilities. Part cat, part cosmos, you’ll need Dusty’s help to save the floating cities of Hekesville and beyond, combining his supernatural abilities with Kat’s unshakeable optimism to defeat the scourge of the Nevi.

Daffodil | Spiritfarer

On her mission to ferry spirits to the hereafter, spirit guide Stella has an ever-faithful companion in Daffodil, an adorable blue-eyed, creamed-coloured kitty, who accompanies her on land and sea. A spirit himself, Daffodil has the unique capacity to change colour over the course of the journey (and you’re free to pick your favourite, once unlocked). He can also be controlled by a second player, in cooperative play.

Courageous canines

D-Dog | Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

What’s cuter than a super-cute pupper? That’s right: a super-cute pupper with an eyepatch. Unofficial mascot of Big Boss’s private military outfit, Diamond Dogs, you’ll meet D-Dog as wandering stray out in the wilds of Afghanistan; take him back to mother base, fit him with some custom tactical gear and he’ll sniff out enemy soldiers from over a mile away. Good boy!

Dog Meat | Fallout 4

The first faithful friend you’ll meet after emerging from the deserted corridors of Vault 111, if you keep him around, Dog Meat will remain loyal until the end. While he might not be able to muster the conversational clout of some of Boston’s other would-be companions, the way he’ll thrown himself at horde of radiated ghouls in your defence speaks volumes.

Cerberus | Hades

The only real downside to a three-headed dog is having more doggo to pet than you have hands to spare. Not to worry: Hades is a roguelike and each time you return from a failed attempt to escape the underworld Cerberus will be waiting, so make sure to check in with him regularly (it has its own rewards), though be warned, he does have a nasty habit of shedding.

Annoying Dog | Undertale

Is it a dog, or is it cheeky developer Toby Fox toying with the player? Known among fans simply as ‘annoying dog’, this eternally happy pooch will appear at various times throughout your playthrough, not so much as faithful friend, but as an arbiter of chaos: hiding in cupboards, barrelling into boss fights and even masquerading as a bomb.

Valiant steeds

Torrent | Elden Ring

Spectral steed of the would-be Elden Lord is certainly an august calling and one that doesn’t come without a good measure of peril. Torrent’s lot is more than mere transit though – many of Elden Ring’s toughest battles will feel near insurmountable without the speed and agility he offers. Just be sure to reward him with a few dried Rowa fruit for his trouble.

Roach | The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Almost as long-suffering and hard-pressed as Witcher Geralt, Roach is an abiding, if slightly clumsy companion in all your journeys through the lands of Velen, Skellige and Toussaint. In the latter, there’s even a mission based around Roach, in which the humble companion finally gets to speak on her own record, much to the shock of the normally unflappable witcher.

Jin's horse | Ghost of Tsushima

From the moment you choose a name for Jin’s handsome steed, your bond with them will be secured. Crucial to your quest of liberating Tsushima from invaders, Jin’s steed not only makes a swift travelling companion, but also an excellent combat partner, an occasional ear for your woes and a rather comfortable bed. 

D-Horse | Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Mounted combat normally brings to mind swords, lances and knights of old – but astride Big Boss’ ‘D-Horse’ you’re more likely to be tossing grenades or firing rocket launchers. Sometimes it’s what comes naturally that matters though: like having D-horse defecate on demand to create a slipping hazard for enemies!