5. Fable II Dog (Fable II)
Owner: The Hero
You find Fable’s canine companion in similar circumstances to your own. Hunting coins as an orphan in Bowerstone, you save a dog from bullies. From there, he’s your loyal sidekick as you journey through Albion. With an olfactory ability that borders on a superpower, your dog will guide you to dig-spots across the country. Although you might question the sense of hero that’d use a dug up condom. You can use skill books to level-up the abilities of your dog, able to teach him tricks. The two of you make a pretty good double act for the townsfolk. He’s maybe one of the most loyal entries on this list – when the villain of the game goes to shoot you, your faithful friend jumps in front of the speeding bullet. Fortunately, he’s included in the “Bring back my family” wish in the Spire. Aww.
4. Mabari (Dragon Age: Origins)
Owner: The Warden
This dog can probably lay claim to the best pedigree on our list. The mabari hound is considered the dog of Ferelden, with the natives often referred to by other nations as “dog-lords”. Anyone who knows mabaris knows that’s no insult. The dog is said to be “clever enough to speak, and wise enough to know not to.” In Origins, the mabari is a fully-fledged companion: think of it as a tank on four paws and better teeth than Alistair. It’s able to be levelled in a similar way to your human companions and you can even find collars and war paint to make it a more effective killing machine. Sadly, its role was reduced in the second outing in the series – it was hidden as a special ability rather than a companion. The mabari earns its spot as one of the best canine companions through its fearsome loyalty and even fiercer claws.
3. D-Dog (Metal Gear Solid V: TPP)
Owner: Big Boss
Making his debut in Metal Gear Solid V, the half dog, half wolf breed, D-Dog (also known as DD) is undoubtedly the coolest new dog companion we’ve seen in this generation of gaming. Born in 1984 (which already makes him more of an 80’s child than Taylor Swift), D-Dog is found by Big Boss during a mission as a stranded puppy who’d lost the use of his right eye. Of course, Snake being the softie that he is, brings him along to mother base where he grows up and eventually becomes ready for combat alongside Big Boss, the greatest living soldier that ever lived. Just how helpful is D-Dog in battle? Well, you can choose as companions an amazing sniper with supernatural abilities, and a robot you can ride and arm with turrets and missiles. Yet, DD is still more helpful in battle than them. His ability to spot all enemies in your field is unmatched, and he can quietly take out a target at your command by running up to them while holding a knife in its mouth, before stealthily slitting their throats. Can your dog do that? I thought not.
2. Dogmeat (Fallout Series)
Owner: The Vault Dweller
Who would have thought that the mutt in Junktown would be ranking as one of the top 10 canine companions? Dogmeat’s come far since he followed The Vault Dweller into the Wasteland and the hearts of legions of players. He’s become one of the most popular and enduring features of the series: appearing as an easter egg in Fallout 2, he returned properly in Fallout 3 – the new Dogmeat said to be a descendant of the original. Loyal in a way that no human companion could be, it’s not hard to see why he became such a well-loved part of the franchise. It didn’t hurt that he could cause a fair bit of damage too. Rex held the side up in New Vegas, but Dogmeat once again came bounding back onto our screens with the latest in the series: Fallout 4. With a fresh look, the new Dogmeat is an adorable Alsatian. He can even do tricks! Can you resist that face?