It’s unbelievable how sometimes animals are more believable and likable than humans, and this holds particularly true for videogames. We don’t know about you, guys, but we never really felt close to nameless marine #1 of the Call of Duty series. We had more of a connection with the several animals that appear throughout different series, which we can collaborate with and straight up have an adventure.
Gamers that feel like us, and can’t relate to most nameless human protagonists in video games might enjoy this list. Get ready for some anthropomorphism and cuteness with The 10 Coolest Animals In Video Game history.
1- Yoshi (Mario Series)
The one and only Yoshi! We would have received death threats if we hadn’t opened the list with him. Yoshi debuted in Super Mario World on the SNES in the early 90s, and has since then become a regular, appearing in Mario Kart and other spin-offs, and in many “main games” such as Super Mario Bros Wii or Super Mario Galaxy. The green dinosaur is extremely charming and beloved by fans, and always helps Mario with a set of skills that usually involves eating something in order to perform something. Yoshi has been seen having some sort of relationship with Birdo, who used to be a transvestite/trans-gender purple dinosaur, so we can only assume he’s pretty chill and non-prejudiced. Extra points for him!
Best games: Super Mario World, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Mario Kart 7
2- Crash Bandicoot
Crash is the star of the Crash Bandicoot series, first introduced on the PSOne in 1996. This adventure with an Eastern Barred Bandicoot as a main character was Naughty Dog and Sony’s answer to what was being called the best 3d platforming game yet: Super Mario 64. People fell in love with Crash’s animation, although not so much with his voice, and he has since then starred in more than 18 games, made by different companies. Current owners of the rights to his game, Activision, have mentioned they’d love to bring him back. We hope in a glorious game and not an afterthought!
Best games: Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2, Crash Bandicoot 3
3- Sonic The Hedgehog
Sega’s very own mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog, is one of the coolest animals ever. At one point in history (throughout the 90s), Sonic was Sega’s answer to Mario once they realized Alex Kidd didn’t have as much potential. Since then, Sonic and Sega have seen up and lows, and many games beloved by fans all over the world. Sonic and his sidekicks (Tails, Knuckles, Blaze, and many, many more) are by now icons of gaming in their own right, famous for the tight gameplay, ferocious speed and fun platforming.
Best games: Sonic 2, Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic Generations
4- Banjo & Kazooie (Banjo Kazooie)
Another N64 gem, Banjo Kazooie starred the bear Banjo and his friend, the bird Kazooie (a “Red-Crested Breegull”). The player had to control both (the bird was usually in Banjo’s back, only helping with certain abilities) in order to stop the witch Gruntilda’s various evil schemes. The animals collaborate, combining their unique skills in order to sort out the many platforming obstacles in a game packed with action.
Best games: Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
5- PaRappa (PaRappa the Rapper)
PaRappa the Rapper starred a series of rhythm games before Guitar Hero was even in planning stages. It’s considered one of the first of its kind, and although easy, is remembered for its unique aesthetic and cute lead character. In the game, we see PaRappa trying to win the heart of Sunny Funny. In order to do this, PaRappa starts training at a Kung-Fu Dojo and other stunts that make the story progress until the grand-finale in Club Fun.
Best games: PaRappa The Rapper, PaRappa The Rapper 2, UmJammer Lammy (a spiritual successor)
Link’s faithful steed is another character that fans would have pointed out we missed if we didn’t include it. Epona appeared for the first time in Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and has ever since been with Link in most of the games that came afterwards. Sure, Epona might not be as well known as other characters in the game, but the image of his master, Link, riding on its back is already getting ingrained in a lot of gamers mind. Too bad she’s nowhere to be seen in Skyward Sword!
Best games: Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time, Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
7- Charmander, Bulbasaur & Squirtle (Pokémon Series)
Nostalgia aside, there’s something undeniably great about the 3 starters of the very first Pokémon games. People still can’t get over them, and whenever a new game comes out, the starters always get compared to them, and people keep mentioning how “the original 151 were cooler”. While we don’t necessarily agree with that (Pokémon like Digglet or Magnemite are pretty bad, really), we’d love to be able to play a new game where we had these starters again. Also, their evolutions are drastic, and each one more awesome-looking than the previous one. Leveling up in an RPG hardly ever felt this rewarding.
Best games: Pokémon Red, Pokémon Blue, Pokémon Yellow (players can also find them in the Heartgold, and Soulsilver remakes)
8- Daxter (Jak & Daxter series)
The second main character of the Jak & Daxter series is Daxter, Jak’s best friend who got turned into an ottsel (an animal half otter, half weasel). The character proved to be so popular that he has even starred his own game, called simply Daxter. Other than that, he’s been helping Jak throughout several games as one of the funniest and most kickass sidekicks in video game history.
Best games: Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, Jak 3, Jak & Daxter: The Lost Frontier
9- Chocobos & Moogles (Final Fantasy Series)
The mascots of the Final Fantasy series were meant to be here from the start. Who can argue with the inclusion of the huge birds Chocobos, that carry riders throughout the games’ huge fantasy worlds, or the cute Moggles, with varying roles in each game, but always hilarious. Chocobos debuted in FFII, on the NES, and have been around ever since helping the player avoid monsters and even starring their own spin-off games, while the Moogles appeared for the first time in the SNES title, Final Fantasy V, as forest dwelling creatures (similar to Ewoks), and then evolved to what we see in current games.
Best games: Even though they star their own spin-off games, one can’t argue with the originals. We recommend Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy IX, and Final Fantasy XII for lots of Chocobos and Moggles.
10- Sam & Max (Sam & Max Series)
Sam & Max come from a different age, when LucasArts point and click games still ruled the world, and thanks to the Telltale team are still alive in an environment that’s pretty hostile to games of this type. The keys to their success, though, are their unique charm, funny interactions, smart puzzles, and hilarious, bizarre storylines. Sam, the dog, takes the lead while Max, the extremely violent rabbit is one of the greatest sidekicks of all time. Together, they work as detectives and solve the weirdest cases, those that no one else would take.
Best games: Sam & Max: Hit The Road, Sam & Max Beyond Time And Space, Sam & Max: The Devil’s Playhouse.