Dorkly readers / people who hate reading but come here anyway / people who aren't that into videogames but just like to engage in any kind of internet democratic process, your voices have been heard. Almost 1.5 million votes were tallied (you can check out the results here), and we have below the best sidekicks videogames have to offer. So sit back, relax, and prepare to get angry as hell when you realize your favorite Mass Effect squad mate was left off the list. These are the 25 greatest videogame sidekicks of all-time (according to you).
25. Rush (Mega Man series)
Dog has always been man's best friend but Rush is so much more than that (also, in his case it's "Robot Boy's Best Friend"). Not only is Rush a lovable, loyal canine, he's also an everchanging array of transportation tools for Mega Man to get over wide canyons, atop high ledges, and across seas of metal spikes without any promise of Beggin Strips (or whatever fake bacon treat dogs like to chew on these days). Sure, he only sticks around for short bursts, but when he's there, you don't know how you ever got by without him. Plus, he never poops on the rug or needs to be walked. That's the mark of a great sidekick.
24. Navi (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
"HEY! LISTEN!" WE'RE ALL LISTENING, NAVI. LINK LITERALLY NEVER SAYS A WORD, WHY DO YOU THINK HE WOULDN'T BE LISTENING?
Whew. Okay. Sure, Navi was occasionally annoying, but ultimately the little fairy was a helpful and necessary sidekick. It was Navi that provided the Z-targeting system that made Link's transition into the 3rd dimension work so well. It was Navi that came to Link's aid when Ganondorf transformed into Ganon and knocked the Master Sword past the ring of fire (which Link totally could've traversed if he'd only put on the Goron Tunic, but I digress). And, most importantly, it was Navi that stuck by Link while he was held in a time vortex for 7 years. That's right Navi stood by a comatose kid while an elderly sage held his body prisoner for nearly a decade. That's true loyalty. So, Navi has earned your attention might as well listen to her.
23. Tali'Zorah nar Rayya (Mass Effect series)
Along with one other non-human squad member (who may or may not be on this list), Tali is available as a sidekick to Commander Shepard in every game of the Mass Effect series. And despite her incredibly weak immune system, deficiency of fingers, and general anxiousness, she's one of the most dedicated and useful sidekicks the galaxy's most-resurrectedest commander has ever known. She's a technical wiz, gets along well with pretty much everyone, and is even willing to risk deathly infection by doin' the horizontal tango (aka "Space Sex") with the Commander (if you sufficiently woo her, that is. Otherwise, her attentions go towards everyone's favorite half-faced turian, who may or may not be on this list). If there's ever been a greater geth-hatin', face-hidin', confusingly-named sidekick, we don't wanna know about 'em.
22. Otacon (Metal Gear Solid)
As someone who's chosen name is literally just combining "Otaku" and "Convetion", it's no surprise that Otacon's beloved by the internet. But beyond his cred as "coolest nerd in a videogame", he's a great sidekick helpful, informative, and can hold it together pretty well (when he's not pissing his pants, that is), especially given his convoluted family history. Plus, without him, there would be no REX, and we'd have missed out on a lot of Hideo Kojima's manic fever dreams known as the Metal Gear Solid series.
21. Knuckles (Sonic the Hedgehog series)
Knuckles, one of the many way-too-appropriately-named characters in the Sonic line-up, didn't begin as an ally to everyone's favorite blue hedgehog. But Knuckles went from foil to sidekick faster than uh, a real fast thing (Ed: try to think of something fast and put that in later). So much so that the following game was titled "Sonic & Knuckles," and having the game allowed you to insert Knuckles through the fabric of time-space and into Sonic 2. The red, strong-fisted, giant emerald-lovin' echidna would go on to be one of the primary Sonic allies throughout the series, punching and gliding his way into our hearts.