Written by Rick Warren / Gfn2112
While many games focus on only one protagonist, there are some that split players' attention between two key characters. Whether it's an AI partner that tosses you items or a guiding voice that helps along the way, the games in question make a pair the focus of their story as opposed to one character. These are my five favorite video game duos.
5.) Jak and Daxter
These two characters were the stars of a great trilogy (and some average spinoffs). With Jak being a silent protagonist in the first game, it was up to the charismatic Daxter to keep things entertaining. He absolutely succeeded, and with two sequels, Jak got his chance to become an interesting character, too. The Dark Jak plot in Jak 2 and his backstory in Jak 3 made him interesting, even if Daxter remained the better of the two. Over the PlayStation 2 generation, Naughty Dog helped develop this pair into some of the most iconic PlayStation mascots ever. They're a duo worthy of this spot.
Up next... more PlayStation mascots!
4.) Ratchet and Clank
I prefer the Ratchet and Clank games over the Jak and Daxter series, largely due to the gameplay. The huge variety of weapons and enemies always kept things fun, as did the different locations. Yet, that's not why Ratchet and Clank are higher on the list. They're here because I like them better as characters. Clank filled the sidekick role well (just like Daxter), but unlike Jak, Ratchet was always awesome. He didn't need multiple games to become likable. Instead, those sequels were spent making him more likable. The Ratchet and Clank Future series proves this, as the games have a legitimately great story that is packed with character development.
It's time to make a jump to the Xbox side of things as we approach spot #3...
3.) Master Chief and Cortana
The Halo series is popular for its fun campaigns and tremendous multiplayer, yet what makes the series iconic is its protagonist: Master Chief. Any fan of Halo is a fan of this character, and any fan of Master Chief is a fan of his AI partner, Cortana. This duo's relationship has been explored in novels, comics, and of course, the games. They each have their share of cool moments, and the dialogue between the two ranges from fun to sad. While I hate the direction 343 went with Cortana in Halo 5, it can't erase the legacy of these two heroes. They're always going to be a major part of what makes Halo my favorite Xbox exclusive series.
In the second spot, two characters with infinite variations...
2.) Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth Comstock
If you've played Bioshock Infinite, you know how great the relationship between these two characters is (if you haven't, you should stop whatever you're doing and fix that mistake). From Elizabeth singing while Booker plays the guitar, to their perfectly-acted fight, every moment between these two is golden. The way their story intertwines is brilliant, along with the different versions of them shown in the main game and Burial at Sea. What makes them extra special, though, is that they both do things in-game. While Booker is controlled by the player and has all the shooting, Elizabeth is extremely useful to have around. Whether she's reviving you or giving you money/ammo, her presence matters. Infinite never had moments that felt like an escort mission, because Elizabeth was both extremely interesting and extremely useful as a character.
In the top spot... why even bother, it's obviously Joel and Ellie.
1.) Joel and Ellie
As much as I love every set of characters in this Top 5, I'd be lying if I said that any of them came close to the stars of The Last of Us. Joel and Ellie are equals, in every sense of the word. Players control both characters, and both get an equal amount of attention in the story. The giraffe sequence, Joel telling Ellie she's not his daughter, and Joel's final choice all depend on their relationship. That relationship is worked into the story both directly and indirectly, with scenes like Joel teaching Ellie how to shoot a gun and optional conversations (even missable things like Ellie's joke book are important when it comes to building their bond). Ellie and Joel would have been great characters on their own, but they became some of the best characters because of their time together. They're not just my favorite gaming duo; they are the reason The Last of Us is my favorite game of all time.
That's all, folks! Check back next week for my top five gaming antagonists, and remember to share your favorite video game duo in the comments below.