If you’ve got a best friend then you know all about what being part of an awesome duo is like. It’s the same for video game duos, too. From Mario and Luigi to Banjo and Kazooie and everyone in between, there are so many wonderful pairs of video game BFFs that we just had to show our appreciation for them.
Whether besties, partners-in-crime, baes or just plain ol’ good pals, here are 10 of the best video game duos that we can’t help but love.
This article was first published in 2020.
1. Mario and Luigi
There’s nothing quite like brotherly love – and that’s what Mario and Luigi are all about.
These brothers from the same mother have spent their days together playing sports, having parties, racing their friends and all other kinds of amazing feats. Sure, they occasionally go off on their own to hunt ghosts or get their PHD, but overall these two brosephs stick together like glue on paper.
2. Banjo and Kazooie
The great thing about Banjo and Kazooie is that there simply isn’t one without the other. You don’t hear anyone say, “Man, I love Banjo,” or “That Kazooie is great.” It’s both, or it’s neither.
Part of what makes them such a wonderful team is the way that they’re able to efficiently work together. Kazooie flaps about and Banjo rolls and punches and flails like the good bear he is. Watching them work together as a team has been one of the great pleasures of my life. Who knew that bears and birds made such great friends?
3. Sonic and Tails
When Sonic sped onto our games consoles some 30 years ago, players were infatuated with him. A little blue hedgehog that just had to go fast; what more could you ask for?
But along with Sonic comes his good friend Tails – and they’re rarely seen without one another. Especially when they’re racing or performing in the Olympics, competing in a high-speed kart race or one of the other myriad of crazy things they do together. Just a hedgehog and his BFF fox, together forever.
4. Nana and Popo
Nana and Popo, otherwise known as the “ice climbers”, live in a world of ice. With a cold breeze waking them up each morning and a quiet chill engulfing them as they lay down to sleep, they grin and bare it, continuing to be cutest little eskimos you ever did see.
Nana and Popo love each other so much that they’re rarely seen separated. Some people think maybe they’re conjoined twins or maybe they’re part frozen, stuck together with ice. Either way, they make for a wicked team.
5. Joel and Ellie
One of the more tragic duos on this list, Joel and Ellie were brought together by fate. They didn’t like each other at first, but by the end, after all the zombie killing and emotional turmoil, they’re like father and daughter. If your daughter was the one person on the planet who could possibly save the entire Earth from destruction, that is, and you happen to be the person transporting her around the US in order to help with the whole “saving the Earth from destruction” thing.
What? You’re saying your dad wouldn’t do that for you? Mine would.
6. Kratos and Atreus
Ah, Kratos and Atreus. Father and son. Big and little. Dad and BOYYYYY.
Players got to see the relationship between these two really blossom in 2018’s God of War. Not only did they bond by hacking apart horrific monsters, but they travelled across Midgard together to spread the ashes of Kratos’ wife and mother to Atreus, Faye. Carrying around a bag with dead person powder really helps them connect with each other in a way that they never had. It’s a beautiful tale of family and love.
I’m not crying, you’re crying.
7. Lee and Clementine
Lee and Clementine from Telltale’s The Walking Dead are another accidental duo. Lee stumbles upon Clementine up in her family’s treehouse and from that moment on, they’re inseparable.
Lee teaches Clementine as much as he can about surviving in a cruel world where there could be zombies, or worse, waiting around any corner. It’s a lovely moment when the players get to see how Lee’s teachings stick with Clementine as she grows up in future seasons.
8. Drake and Sully
There are plenty of famous father and son duos in video games or otherwise and, though Sully and Drake from the Uncharted series aren’t actually father and son, they sure act like it.
Seeing as Sully has been watching over Drake since he was a kid, there have been plenty of times when the duo have done some awesome work. Chasing after treasure and fighting off dozens of guys is easy with these two around. Add the likes of Elena or Chloe, two of their favourite ladies, and you’ve got some unstoppable dudes.
9. Chris and Jill
We’ve made it clear in the past that we think Chris and Jill would make a really good couple. Not just “partners” like Chris seems to claim over and over again in Resident Evil 5. The fact that Capcom is denying us as gamers the satisfaction of seeing these two, who have been through hell and back, finally getting together is just cruel.
Either way, let’s face it, no one is quite as good at killing zombies as Chris and Jill are when they’re together. Plus, they’ve got some serious history.
10. Professor Layton and Luke
If there’s one thing that people know about the Professor Layton series, it’s that there’s a lot of puzzles. The fact that Professor Hershel Layton was able to find a young man who was interested in following him around all day, solving the hundreds of puzzles that people ask him to solve daily, is a miracle in and of itself. And Luke does it without complaining.
Okay, he does complain a bit. Especially since Professor Layton always seems to have solved the mystery ages before they reach the end of the game and there Luke is, just dangling by a thread, wondering if he’ll ever get to go back to the hotel and rest his poor, aching feet.
Hang on a second – isn’t it illegal to force minors do to physical labour? Not the mention that fact that on one of their last adventures he spoilers ALMOST DIES.
Aw, well. Their father/son dynamic is just adorable and we gamers eat that shit up.