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1. MILES MORALES & GANKE LEE - Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Best friend of Miles, Ganke Lee makes a successful transition from comic book to video game in the new stand-alone expansion, Spider-Man: Miles Morales. The real 'man in the chair' (No offense, Ned), Ganke has always been Miles's bestie and keeper of his greatest secret: that of being the Ultimate Spider-Man. Throughout the game, Ganke is always in your ear or at your side, making sure your two lives don't get scrambled together. This is what a best friend does.
2. BOOKER & ELIZABETH - Bioshock Infinite
This is by far the most complicated of the friendships on this list. Sent to floating sky-city, Columbia to rescue Elizabeth, the duo's adventure is full of ups and downs, faith and mistrust, and harrowing revelations. While Booker's violence and questionable choices frighten Elizabeth, causing her to separate from him on occasion, the two eventually find their rhythm and help each other to escape both Columbia and their sad fates. They also discover that they are father and daughter. Spoiler alert.
3. MARIO & YOSHI - Super Mario Series
What's there to say about this classic duo? Anyone who's willing to chauffeur his friend's large, plumber butt around for hours on end is a friend indeed. And, of course, they've ridden into battle together on countless occasions, helping each other to defeat evil and save the day! Although, Mario's the only one who ever seems to get any princess love at the end.
4. CLAPTRAP & WHOEVER - Borderlands Series
Claptrap is annoying. Let's get that out of the way right off the bat. But, he's annoying in a kind of loveable, dog with fleas and a superiority complex sort of way. Whichever Borderlands game you play, and whichever Vault Hunter you choose, Claptrap is right there from the get-go, giving you guidance and tutelage to help you through your journey. And you know when he calls you "minion," what he's really saying is "best friend." Possibly.
5. SONIC & TAILS - Sonic the Hedgehog Series
Tails has been a true partner and friend to Sonic since the second game in the series. He's brave, he always helps get Sonic out of jams, and he can fly using his butt! What more do you need from a friend while adventuring? And unlike some other besties on this list, Tails' popularity grew to such lengths that he got a couple of his very own spin-off games.
6. JAK & DAXTER - Jak and Daxter Series
Jak and Daxter became friends long before they became heroes. In fact, Daxter was a human 15-year-old, same as Jak, before they snuck off on their first adventure, and Daxter fell into a dark eco silo, whatever that is. Since then, they haven't left each others' sides, fighting the forces of evil in the name of cool brooding and emo haircuts. These two are inseparable. At least until Daxter finds a way to become human again, and gets a girlfriend.
7. TOEJAM & EARL - Toejam & Earl Series
Kudos to you if you remember this obscure oddity from the early days of video game consoles. Before there were Jak and Daxter and Ratchet and Clank and Joe and Shmoe, there were Toejam and Earl, who premiered on the Sega Genesis. Two alien rappers from the planet Funkotron, who crash-land on a bizarre planet called Earth, their mission is to find the pieces of their ship while dealing with the bizarre denizens of the world. During the adventure, they always make time to chill with one another (Even hitting the hot tub, if you can find it). The game spawned two substandard sequels, but the original will always pave the way for buddy games in the future.
8. FENIX & DOM - Gears of War Series
Gears of War was one of the great exclusive titles that helped put the original Xbox on the map. Since its inception, protagonist Marcus Fenix and teammate Dominic Santiago have been inseparable. Battling the underground Locust Horde on their home planet of Sera, Fenix and Dom have been brothers in arms through a slew of games. Dom sacrificed his life during the Lambent Pandemic to save Fenix and his love interest, Anya. In commemoration, Fenix gave his resulting son, James Fenix, the middle name of Dominic. It's difficult to beat friendship like that.
9. RATCHET & CLANK - Ratchet and Clank Series
Ratchet and Clank are just a more well-conceptualized version of Jak and Daxter. And more fun too, with all of the crazy weapons and tools at their disposal. Ratchet, being a male feline lombax (?), and Clank being his amicable robot buddy, the two have been all over the universe, stopping bad guys from doing bad things. Their new adventure, designed for the PS5, Rift Apart, will take the duo to a whole new dimension. Even Han and Chewy never accomplished that.
10. ELLIE & RILEY - The Last of Us: Left Behind
Before Ellie and Joel became... whatever it is they became (you know what I'm talking about if you've played the sequel), Ellie had a BFF named Riley. We got to explore this relationship in the DLC, Left Behind. The story follows the young ladies as they explore a mall in post-apocalyptic Boston, where emotions and dangers manifest strongly throughout. The obvious chemistry the two have is cemented even before the game begins. It only grows stronger, until Ellie's nature as a lesbian is revealed by a first kiss between the two. Unfortunately, in the end, both protagonists are bitten by the infected. And if you've played any of the games, you know that only one can, and will, survive.
11. CAL & BD-1 - Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Arguably better than the new movie trilogy, this game furthers the Star Wars canon perfectly. BD-1 is to Cal (a Jedi Knight rediscovering his powers) as BB-8 is to Rey and R2-D2 is to Luke. Except that he's tiny, and can accompany Cal anywhere he needs to go. BD-1 provides all forms of intergalactic knowledge and support (in the form of health re-ups). To say that Cal would have failed in his mission without his little buddy is a huge understatement.
12. NATHAN DRAKE & SULLY - Uncharted Series
Nathan Drake, Lara Croft in male form, isn't quite the archeological master and logistical expert (not to mention stolen items fence) his female compatriot is. Most of his skills just go into being a bad-ass and solving puzzles. As such, Nathan relies on Sully to plan his missions and watch his back. Sully, an older, seasoned criminal at the time, met Nathan when he was just a teenager living on the streets. He saw potential in the boy and raised him as a son. Since then, the two have shared adventures, jail time, and have become family. Despite his criminal background, Sully has never once betrayed Nathan. In a dark world, that counts for a whole lot.
13. MASTER CHIEF & CORTANA - Halo Series
Master Chief and Cortana - talk about baggage. One's a human that arguably never takes his armor off, and one's his AI companion / best friend/love interest. Where can this go in reality? It doesn't matter. Because they only find comfort in one another's company, and they care about each other more than either of them can say. They're always there to pick one another up off the ground, and to celebrate their victories. So, whether their love is ever 'consummated' is beside the point. Get your head out of the gutter.
14. SAM & MAX - Sam & Max Hit the Road
Here's another title from the days of old when Lucasarts PC adventure games ruled the charts. But, of course, Sam & Max's relationship started way before their first game. The Freelance Police began their misadventures back in 1987 when their comic book series debuted. But it was really their first Lucasarts venture that skyrocketed their popularity to... decent proportions. The point is, these two anthropomorphic creatures haven't left each others' sides in over thirty years, even through their Telltale Games series. It's best summed up by Sam's final words at the end of Hit the Road: "You crack me up, little buddy."
15. MAX & CHLOE - Life is Strange
Well, here's a game that you either love or hate. Understandable, as it can be slow, as some graphic adventures tend to be, and there's little to no fighting. But what it lacks in action set-pieces, it makes up for in a fantastically well-told story with exceptional character development. Two of those characters are Max (the player) and Chloe, her best friend since childhood. The two reconnect after Max attends art school near her hometown, and things progress from there (especially after Max reveals to Chloe that she has time-manipulating powers.) The two BFFs spend the game adventuring and watching each others' backs. There are even romantic undertones spread throughout. But how strong their friendship is, really depends on Max's final decision of the game: save Chloe, or save the entire town of Arcadia Bay. If you choose the former, you might go to Hell, but hey, a sauna is always better with company.