1. Solid Snake and Otacon – Metal Gear Series
The Metal Gear series is, at its heart, about war and soldiers, so naturally, it would have a lot of intense, male relationships. But, no friendship in the series, or in gaming for that matter, can match these two. Ever since Metal Gear Solid, these two have waged a guerrilla war on our hearts, and we never stood a chance.
At first glance, they seem like your standard operative with tech support. It’s true that Snake does the fighting and sneaking while Otacon provides intelligence and some super rad technology, but their relationship is so much deeper than that. When Snake first meets Otacon, he saves his life from a cyborg ninja, whom Snake fistfights, and it only gets more intense from there. There are prison breaks, manly tears shed over the beloved women they lost(to be fair, Snake actually killed Otacon’s love interest Sniper Wolf, but nobody seems to have any hard feelings over it, least of all Sniper Wolf), a giant robot fight, and a car chase. It all wraps up with the two of them revealing their first names and driving off into the Alaskan sunset. And that’s just the first game.
A proper synopsis of their exploits would take up a whole article, but I’ll finish by letting you know that the series ends with Snake and Otacon raising a Russian cyborg ninja’s daughter together.
For being proof that love can bloom even on the battlefield, this duo earns the top spot.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – TMNT series
Yes, they were on comics, television, and film first, but they were also on some of the best beat em’ up games in the 90’s, so it counts in my book. These heroes in a half shell are literal bros(and therefore disqualified) who, as baby turtles, stepped into a mysterious ooze and were transformed into sentient humanoids. They were then trained as ninjas by a sentient humanoid rat to fight crime.
That’s pretty weird.
What’s really great about them though is that they have the believable and complex dynamics real brothers tend to have, what with the bickering, one upmanship, and copious amounts of television and pizza when left unsupervised. They also obviously care about each other, and always have their brother’s back when it matters. I don’t think any of this is portrayed in the actual games, but we know it in our hearts.