Before we get to it, no, I’m not counting folks like Luigi as sidekicks. As much as I love the green suspendered fella, I consider him more of an alternate than a sidekick. He’s a player two, not a player one pal.

So, here we go, five sidekicks set down in no particular order and ready for you to make a mockery of.

Rush – Mega Man

The red robotic dog with the ability to change into a multitude of useful contraptions. Rush, like the rest of the sidekicks on this list so far, can give Mega Man the power of flight. He can also do things like provide a spring for jumping to higher places. Plus, this canine could just beam in and out of any given situation on command; we’ll call that one of the more epic powers in gaming.

Kazooie – Banjo-Kazooie

This bird-brained cohort provides some of the most enjoyable moments in both Banjo-Kazooie quests for the Nintendo 64. She can make you fly, given enough red feathers, and she’s capable of firing eggs at enemies in the distance. Banjo wears her as a backpack and uses her for things like extended jumps–hey, I feel like we’ve said this before about someone else.

Tails – Sonic & Tails

Okay, so Tails may be nearly worthless. His programming sits right on the cusp of completely terrible in the Genesis title that saw his birth. Despite that, though, there were gamers out there that could make great use of his unlimited lives, his power of flight and his ability to hit enemies. I remember several times where Tails actually accidentally beat Robotnik for me.

That’s right, I said “Robotnik.”

Navi – The Legend of Zelda

Navi is the most annoying gaming assistant ever. Sure, she helps you target on things and she’s constantly there to “hey, listen!” some tips for you about enemies or situations. But when you’re hunting for heart pieces and she’s constantly screaming about how Saria’s been waiting in the Lost Woods for hours on end, you want to murder her.

Still, as much as I hated her back then, to skip her entirely would be a mistake. I’m sure someone loves you, Navi, but it’s not me.

Clank – Ratchet & Clank

While Clank arguably doesn’t have any fun playable gaming sections until the most recent A Crack in Time, this sidekick makes the cut for his usefulness in the games and the plot points he provides. Ratchet wears him as a backpack and uses him for things like extended jumps, but Clank’s also there to make sure Ratchet knows what he’s doing and where he’s going at all times.

As far as sidekicks go in the realm of story and character, Clank’s my favorite. I may be in the minority here, but I find his wit balances perfectly with Ratchet’s, and that makes him a character I like to hear from constantly.

Who are some of your favorite gaming sidekicks?