First appeared in: Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic (2003)
Set some 4,000 years before the events of George Lucas' canon saga, BioWare's XBox/PC RPG epic Knights Of The Old Republic is arguably the best Star Wars prequel to date (Genddy Tartakovsky's Clone Wars 'toons come a close second). Among its many charms (dual-wield lightsabers! Go Sith!) is its smart characterisation, particularly among the rag-tag crew your character gathers around him/her.
Toadsworth is an elderly Toad and Princess Peach's longtime steward, first appearing in Super Mario Sunshine, when he comes along with Princess Peach and Mario to Isle Delfino. He makes a brief appearance in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga at the beginning (where he presents Mario and Luigi with a suitcase) and end of the game; and he accompanies Princess Peach on her trip to Rogueport during Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, keeping Princess Peach very close to him, but ends up losing her. In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, he is with Mario and Luigi when Princess Peach takes an experimental trip back in time. He is also included in Super Princess Peach where he gives Peach a parasol named Perry in the cinema and is seen as a lead guitarist of the band called Peach Hit Five in the music room. He also appeared in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, where he was inhaled by Bowser.
First appeared in: Grim Fandango (1998)
Picture the scene: LucasArts' Tim Schafer is pitching his latest point and click adventure game after the successes of Full Throttle and The Monkey Island Series. "It's a puzzle game based in a sort of Mexican purgatory where it's the Day of the Dead and everyone wants to get on a gold train to go to the Ninth Underworld. And it's a film noir. And almost everyone's a skeleton. Sound good?"
Bonkers though it may seem on paper, Grim Fandango is universally regarded as being among the greatest games ever made, and that's in no small part down to one Mr Manny Calavera, your host in the Land Of The Dead, your Humphrey Bogart in this undead Casablanca. Suave, passionate, boney, and capable of solving increasingly tricksy puzzles (occasionally involving beavers) Manny is the man.His speed demon driver, Glottis, deserves a mention for being so big and orange and crazy and all, but for representing just how iconic, beautiful and bizarre Grim Fandango was, Manny wins by a non-existent nose
Sam & Max
First appeared in: Sam &; Max Hit the Road (1993)You don't see enough anthropomorphic animals in gaming these days. Nintendo and Sega used to rattle off hedgehogs and gorillas with giddy aplomb, but there's a marked lack of talking badgers and bandicoots these days. Still, among the entire talking menagerie there's something special about Sam & Max. Maybe it's the well-crafted dialogue, voice acting, and total insanity of it all, or it could be just because we're suckers for dogs wearing hats, and rabbits driving cars. Either/or really.
Rare for this list in being a partnership instead of just one character, we'd have liked to have separated them, but what with Max being a bonkers "hyperkinetic rabbity thing" we got scared and kept them together. They're like Rodney and Del Boy, Bogart and Bacall, Mario and Mushrooms. Practically inseparable, and we wouldn't have it any other way.