Cats: You either love them or you’re wrong. The furry creatures have been our beloved companions for centuries, so they have a natural home in video games–both anthropomorphic and more realistic versions. There have been so many cats in video games over the years that narrowing our dozens of possible cats down just 10 of the best was not an easy task, but GameSpot was uniquely qualified because we have a lot of cats. So, you know… you’re welcome.
These are the best video game cats of all time, a list that does not include Bubsy.
Your actual cat (Mario Kart Live)
Has your cat ever been turned into a video game character? If you’ve played Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit and own a cat, then you can almost certainly answer “yes.” Mario Kart Live turns your own home into a Mario Kart course, with virtual items and checkpoints alongside the physical objects and real RC vehicles speeding on the floor. As cats are famous for going wherever the hell they please, your cat has undoubtedly made an appearance in your game. In fact, they are probably the most dangerous hazard there is in Mario Kart now. But they’re still a cuddly little baby who we love very much. Yes we do, yes we do!
Blinx (Blinx: the Time Sweeper)
When the original Xbox was first finding its footing in the marketplace, Microsoft seemed to think it needed a cute character like Mario, Sonic, or Crash Bandicoot to be the face of the brand. It decided that character could be Blinx the Time Sweeper, a clever little kitty with a powerful vacuum cleaner and time-manipulation abilities. Blinx wasn’t exactly a great game, with a frustrating camera and pretty bland world-building, but its gameplay loop was very satisfying, and there’s no denying that Blinx is a cute little fella. Just look at those whiskers and that little DreamWorks-like sneer he’s doing on the box cover. He knows he’s cool.
Stray is brand new, and we’re already sure the little fellow is one of the best cats in video game history. After all, he’s the star of one of the only games where you get to play as a cat–not an anthropomorphic cat-like creature–but a little furry cat. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where robots are in complete control, it’s a cold and dangerous place for a cat, but this kitty doesn’t seem too worried. Via a combination of clever puzzle-solving and stealth, he’s able to survive in the future and prove that cats are among the world’s most formidable creatures.
Palico (Monster Hunter World)
Monster Hunter World is the most successful game in Capcom’s history, and there’s an obvious reason for that: cats. These adorable creatures are larger than traditional housecats and walk on just two legs, but we’re willing to let that slide because of how helpful and cute they are. Even if you are playing Monster Hunter World alone, you can count on your furry feline friend to help you out in tough situations, giving you the edge you need to take down some of the game’s deadliest monsters. Sure, we feel a little bit having them fight monsters, but they have several extra lives, right?
Dusty (Gravity Rush)
A great video game cat doesn’t need to be some larger-than-life character, and Dusty from Gravity Rush is the perfect example. A supernatural being capable of giving protagonist Kat (yes, the human is named Kat) the ability to shift the flow of gravity and soar through the air, Dusty is the only reason Gravity Rush is possible. Sure, it’s Kat who gets the credit and the glory, but without that little guy, she’d be forced to run around her floating city like everyone else. Now, if only someone could convince Sony that Dusty needs another chance at glory so we can finally get Gravity Rush 3.
Alvina (Dark Souls)
Cats have been part of the Souls series, in one form or another, for a long time–including a picture of an actual cat as a UI icon. The supreme feline being in the games, however, has to be Dark Souls’ Alvina, an absolute unit who looks like what would happen if you gave the Chesire Cat from Alice in Wonderland way too much caffeine and a bunch of whey protein. Alvina can be found in the original Dark Souls lounging on a giant windowsill, because of course she’s an honest-to-goodness cat.
Cat Bowser (Super Mario 3D World)
Sure, Mario and friends in their little kitty suits were very cute in Super Mario 3D World, but things went to an entirely new level when Bowser joined in on the fun. Bowser as a cat, complete with whiskers and ears, is impossible not to love, and this big “Meowser” remains a sizable threat for our plumber hero. Nintendo also smartly held back his introduction until the very end of the game, acting as the perfect icing on an already whimsical and tasty cake.
Judd and Li’l Judd (Splatoon)
Judd and his son (or clone), Li’l Judd, serve only one real purpose in Splatoon 2: showing you who won the game. Despite such a tiny role, they are undeniably the best part of the game, with their cute little faces distracting you from actually seeing which team got the most ink coverage. It’s a little creepy that Li’l Judd is apparently a clone rather than an actual child of Judd, but we aren’t going to ask too many questions about how reproduction has changed in the wake of the apocalypse.
Cat (A Little to the Left)
One of the only things cats love more than cuddling and chasing laser pointers is knocking stuff off tables when there is no reason anything needs to be knocked off. This works as a gameplay mechanic in the upcoming A Little to the Left, which sees you organize your home in extra-satisfying ways. But you are not always free to just place items where you want, as a little kitty paw will often appear on the edge of the screen and scramble up all your hard work. We don’t know exactly why the cat decided it needs to do this, but it’s impossible to stay upset.
Red XIII (Final Fantasy VII)
Is Final Fantasy VII’s Red XIII a cat? There was some debate among the GameSpot team, but of any animal that actually exists, Red XIII looks the most like a lion, and for that reason, Red XIII is a cat. The product of experimentation and an eventual ally of Cloud and company, he’s a valiant warrior and a loyal friend. He’s also, as we’ve established, still a cat, which means that if one of those Shinra soldiers were to just scratch him behind his ears or toss a can of tuna on the ground, it would spell big trouble for their heroic mission.
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