The player characters in video games are often on long, lonely journeys. They have tasks that only they can complete, and sometimes the fate of the world rests in their hands. No one should have to face such pressure and difficulty on their own, which is why many games have the player accompanied by a party or set of companions.
The best kind of companion is not always a human one. They can disagree with the player’s actions and foster a feeling of discomfort during the adventure. Dogs do not cause the same problem; Instead, they provide the player character with unconditional, abiding love and assistance.
10 Meeko Just Wants To Help (Skyrim)
Just outside of Hjaalmarch in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, players can find a shaggy gray dog named Meeko. He will lead them to a nearby shack, where his prior owner lies dead. Players can then choose whether or not to make the sweet canine one of their companions.
If the player takes Meeko in as a follower, he will be a stalwart ally. Though he can sometimes be in the way, Meeko is a loyal friend and would be more willing than to sacrifice himself for the player if necessary.
9 The Farm Dog Is A Loving Companion (Stardew Valley)
At the start of Stardew Valley, players can choose one of six pets to join them on their farm. Three of the options are dogs, each with a different build and coloration. Though the dog does not perform any services to the player, they provide company, which is valuable in a farmer’s lonely life.
The player can pet their dog once daily and fill their water bowl to increase the friendship level. When this level reaches a certain point, the player will be greeted with the message, “[Dog name] loves you.”
8 Pep Is A Childhood Friend (Putt-Putt Series)
Many current gamers grew up with the Putt-Putt series of games on CD-ROM. In the first installment of the series, Putt-Putt Joins The ParadePutt-Putt finds Pep lost in a cave and coaxes him out with a bone.
Putt-Putt then asks Pep if he’ll be his pet and join him in the Cartown Pet Parade. From that moment on, they were inseparable, with Pep always riding in Putt-Putt’s front seat for their shared adventures. Anytime the player struggled with a certain puzzle or was stumped on what to do next, Pep was there to impart reassurance via a gentle bark.
7 The Mabari Are Honorable Warriors (Dragon Age Series)
Multiple games from the Dragon Age franchise allow the player to acquire a Mabari war hound to join their party. In Dragon Age: Origins They do so by choosing a high-born background or nursing a sick hound in Ostagar.
In Dragon Age IIone of the perks of The Black Emporium DLC is a Mabari named Dog which the player can summon the same way a ranger would summon animals. The Mabari are fierce fighters and even fiercer friends, imprinting upon their owner and staying with them for life.
6 Dogmeat Is Always There (Fallout 4)
Thought Dogmeat from Fallout 4 is not the first of their name, they are the most personable of the Fallout canine companions. The Sole Survivor can choose to adopt Dogmeat instead of taking on a human companion if they wish, and the dog will stay by their side through thick and thin.
Unlike other companions, Dogmeat does not judge the player’s choices and will love them unconditionally regardless. To give Dogmeat a friendlier personality than prior dogs in the series, the Fallout 4 team based Dogmeat on developer Joel Burgess’ actual dog, River. River also voiced Dogmeat and several other dogs in the game.
5 Polterpup Is Doing His Best (Luigi’s Mansion)
Polterpup is a small dog ghost from Nintendo’s Luigi’s Mansion series. He’s a playful little guy, which leads him to sometimes steal important keys from Luigi and unintentionally impede progress. However, Luigi does eventually warm up to him, and Polterpup is beyond happy to have a friend.
He does his best to help Luigi, showing him to new locations and assisting him when he’s in peril. Polterpup even saves Luigi on several occasions, preventing him from being trapped in a painting, drowning in a flooded room, and taking a hard fall.
4 Cerberus Is A Good Guardian (Hades)
When indie roguelike hit Hades premiered, gamers were delighted to find that they could pet the dog. Cerberus is available in the House at any time and also encounters Zagreus on his adventures a few times. He gives his old collar as a keepsake in exchange for Nectar.
In order to gain Cerberus’ favor, players must pet him 20 times. This is an easy task to accomplish with three adorable heads to look after. This sweet, three-headed puppy loves Zagreus with all his heart and throws a tantrum the first time Zagreus leaves the house.
3 Mira Is An Adorable Mastermind (Silent Hill 2)
The single silliest ending to the beloved horror title Silent Hill 2 is definitely the dog ending. To earn the dog ending, players must take the dog key to the third-floor observation room in the Lakeview Hotel.
There they will find a shiba inu named Mira operating a series of levers and orchestrating the spooky events around town. When the credits roll, an image of Mira looms over the screen while a goofy montage of clips and a song comprised of dog vocalizations playing in the background.
2 Bullet Is The Best Part Of His Game (Blair Witch)
Though gamers were not satisfied with the 2019 Blair Witch game, they did unabashedly love one part of it: Bullet. Bullet is a former police dog who goes along with Ellis, the player character, to search for a missing child in the woods outside Burkittsville.
Bullet helps track the missing child and calms Ellis when his mental and emotional troubles threaten to overwhelm him. Players can send Bullet to help find a path, recall him back, and pet him at any time through his specific menu.
1 Dog Is A Lifelong Ally (Fable II)
In Fable II, the player first meets the dog in their childhood by saving them from a bully. The dog then continues with the player through their entire story.
If the player’s alignment changes, the dog does the same, staying with them no matter what. The dog’s appearance changes if the player becomes evilly aligned, but remains the same if they are good or neutrally aligned. They help with quests and locating helpful items while also connecting the player to the game world emotionally and building on that bond.
NEXT: 5 Games That Let You Pet The Dog (& 5 That Don’t)