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.
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.
GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disc Operating System) is the feminine artificial intelligence that acts as your guide through the Aperture Science's Enrichment Centre in Valve's superbly inventive Portal. Spurring the main character on with the promise of cake, GLaDOS initially takes the form of a benevolent overseer - albeit one that makes slightly anomalous and threatening remarks. It's not until she demands the incineration of your much cherished Companion Cube that the player begins to suspect that the screws in this demented AI are quite literally coming loose.
Yet, for all of her malicious HAL-like conduct, as she begins to lose control of your portal-jumping ways, her increasingly demented, robotic taunts - and often, by her own admission, lies - become a constant highlight, with some of the psychotic asides being nothing less than comedy gold. While she appears to have been destroyed at the game's climax, the inspired end-credit song "I'm still alive" bodes well for her triumphant return in Portal 2.
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.