From a dog who will rip out a man's throat at your command, to a self-sacrificing horse, to a dinosaur that can literally swallow your enemies whole, here's a list that shows not only the greatest domesticated animals in video game history, but how integral and important they are to all of gaming in general.
Pets are truly part of the family. We've compiled the names of some of the best virtual pets and video game animals around to thank them for their help in defeating (gaming) enemies. Here are the pets that deserve a spot in the video game hall of fame.
Epona is your Link's horse and companion in the Legend of Zelda.
Ever since Ocarina of Time, we've known her as the horse who helps Link in the battle for good, no matter how long the journey.
Ever loyal, she only allows Link into her saddle. Link meeting her was kismet.
Fueled more by how much, as gamers, we've all been through with her at this point, she makes the list because she gives one of the most iconic video game characters in gaming history a thorough, loyal, and ever-growing companion.
Also, she has a song. So unlike whistling or just calling out their name, the fact that she has a song that will make her come whenever you need her is amazing. It creates a bond, a unique communication that you don't usually see in most video game relationships.
What's the one thing you need most in the Wasteland? Nope, it's not power armor, it's a trusty canine companion. That would be Dogmeat, the dog who has been stealing gamers' hearts and Fallout games since the original way back in 1997.
There have been a few different Dogmeats. In Fallout 3 he looks like an Australian Blue Heeler, while in Fallout 4, he's definitely a German Shepherd. His breed might change, but one thing that stays the same is Dogmeat's loyalty and pure-heartedness. He's the embodiment of man's best friend.
He'll help you out in a fight (or just get in the damn way) and act as your moral center in a hellish post-apocalyptic world where you'll be tempted to do unwholesome things. No matter what you do, though, Dogmeat will stick by your side.
Yoshi is the ultimate in gaming pets. He's at the top of the list for a reason: We've known him the longest, and he's seen us through more games than anyone else on this list. Yoshi is the first taste we got of the blooming Nintendo universe when we all brought home our Super Nintendos and popped in the included game Super Mario World.
Not only was Mario in multiple dimensions, and not only were some set pieces translucent, but we had a friend. A friend we could play with at the same time (Luigi doesn't count though, as the Mario Bros. seem to roll solo when they're on missions most of the time for some reason).
This new friend was not only a domesticated dinosaur that we just happen to run into, but he could swallow our enemies. He could provide us with a powerful stomp and would let us ride him seemingly forever. Yoshi would also swallow the power-ups we have and breathe fire, or even fly.
Through dozens of Nintendo games, Yoshi's not only moved on to be the most popular and successful pet in the history of video games, he's become the most iconic; I mean, the guy has his own island.
Aside from his own games, Yoshi's also gone on to be some of the best playable characters in various Nintendo games. He kicks some serious butt in Smash Bros. and is one of the most easily maneuverable players in any Mario Kart game.
Yoshi's been through quite a lot with us and has provided Mario with his equivalent of a mighty steed. A mighty steed that is a loyal friend, can eat enemies, and is a dinosaur.
A Chocobo is a fictional bird found in the Final Fantasy series. They can either look absolutely awesome, like they do here, or unbelievably cute and kind of annoyingly chibi-like they are in the Chocobo rap series. I like my Chocobos to look like overgrown chickens, not so much like Sanrio pencil holder decorations, but that's just me.
The Chocobo serves as an easily domesticated animal in the Final Fantasy series that you can ride around. They're mainly transportation, but as you know in such big-world games, that's actually an enormous asset. They're kind of like the cars you steal in the GTA games, only they make sounds and are great.
Check out the Rap of the Chocobo.