5 most iconic friendships in video games

A young Nathan Drake bonds with Sully during a flashback in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (Image via Naughty Dog)
A young Nathan Drake bonds with Sully during a flashback in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (Image via Naughty Dog)

Just like in real life, friendships play an important role in video games. There have been some beautiful friendships portrayed in the media, serving as hope and inspiration to the protagonist. Depending on their delivery and execution, friendships can have a long-lasting impact on the audience, and may even bring them to tears.

Over the decades, there have been many types of friendships showcased in video games. However, only a select few have moved the audience to feel something for the characters. This list contains five such iconic friendships from video games.

Note: This article reflects the writer's opinion and may contain spoilers.

5 of the most memorable friendships from video games

1) Ellie and Riley

Ellie and Riley (Image via Naughty Dog)
Ellie and Riley (Image via Naughty Dog)

Most players first meet Ellie in 2013’s The Last of Us from developer Naughty Dog, in which the young girl develops a familial relationship with fellow protagonist Joel. However, a downloadable expansion pack to this game, titled The Last of Us: Left Behind, dives into Ellie’s past.

The main events of this expansion take place three weeks before Ellie meets Joel. She runs into her old friend Riley, and the two head over to an abandoned mall where they get to spend some time just being kids and having fun amidst the ongoing zombie apocalypse. The two share some fun memories together and one cannot help but feel happy for them.

However, some good things are not meant to last, as their activities attract the attention of some zombies. As the two attempt to escape, they get bitten and decide to spend their last moments together. It is only after Riley succumbs to the infection that Ellie realizes that she is still alive and seemingly immune.

2) Chloe and Max

Max and Chloe (Image via Dontnod Entertainment)
Max and Chloe (Image via Dontnod Entertainment)

In all honesty, Max is a terrible friend to Chloe before the events of the first Life is Strange video game. As seen in Life is Strange: Before the storm, Max leaves town to fulfill an obligation while her best friend was grieving the loss of her father.

And yet, if played correctly, Max can redeem herself in Life is Strange. She rekindles her friendship with Joey after their sudden meeting, and things get better from there. Max even uses her time powers to spare Chloe the pain of losing her dad (mostly out of guilt), although the alternate timeline turns out to be much worse.

Despite this, the two are always there for each other, and it is quite clear that they are each other’s comfort blankets. As the game gears up for its final choice, players will have to decide whether to let the entire town of Arcadia Bay be destroyed or let Chloe die at the very beginning of the game.

3) Commander Shepard and Garrus

Shepard and Garrus (Image via BioWare)
Shepard and Garrus (Image via BioWare)

The original Mass Effect video game has several characters in the running for the best fighter. However, no one comes as close as Garrus Vakarian when it comes to being Commander Shepard’s best friend. The Turian sniper wins this round by a significant margin.

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First, there is nothing to dislike about Garrus. Second, he will follow Shepard through whatever path he takes in life, whether it is as a renegade outlaw or a lawful paragon. Garrus is calm, collected, and offers some of the most inspiring advice among Normandy's crewmates.

In the third Mass Effect video game, players can even have a fun shooting competition with him as the two discuss their larger problems and indulge in some budding bromance. That is, of course, if players do not romance him, which is also a great option provided by the developers.

4) Nathan Drake and Sully

Nathan and Sully (Image via Naughty Dog)
Nathan and Sully (Image via Naughty Dog)

Nathan Drake might be the protagonist of Naughty Dog's Uncharted series, but he would be nowhere without his long-time friend and mentor Victor “Sully” Sullivan. The duo were first seen together in Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune in 2007. Though they keep parting ways, they always meet back up in some fashion.

The pair first meet in Columbia, where Sully takes in Nate after he tries and fails to steal the former’s wallet. The two have undertaken several adventures together and have gotten into their fair share of trouble. And yet, they always stand by each other, with Sully seeing Nate almost like a son.

As a testament to this friendship, Sully served as the best man in Nathan and Elena’s wedding, and even shed a few tears on the occasion. Sully and Nate will be seen together once more in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, the final video game in the series featuring Nathan Drake as the protagonist.

5) Geralt and Dandelion

Geralt and Dandelion (Image via CD Projekt Red)
Geralt and Dandelion (Image via CD Projekt Red)

The friendship between Geralt the white-haired Witcher and Dandelion the Bard is a standard feature of the Witcher novels by author Andrzej Sapkowski. Players get to witness this first-hand, however, in the Witcher series of video games by CD PROJEKT RED.

Most recently seen in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, their friendship might seem somewhat odd, as Geralt and Dandelion seem to have little in common. And yet that is far from the truth, as the bard spent most of his early years traveling with the Witcher, and aiding (however insignificantly) in his exploits.

Dandelion is possibly the only human to have known Geralt the longest and is privy to some of his most inconspicuous secrets, such as his love for the sorceress Yennefer and the true identity of his adopted daughter Cirilla. Players witness snippets of their dynamic at certain points in the video game’s story, which entails Geralt putting up with a lot of Dandelion’s antics.

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