Video games are usually all about your adventure and your effect on the world you're trying to save (or in some games, destroy). Rarely do the individuals sitting on the sidelines get much credit. Few people remember Bucky Barnes; it's all about Captain America. So, this is our way of commemorating the best and most memorable sidekicks in video game history. They're the Patrick to our Spongebob, the Mini-Me to our Doctor Evil, the Ben to our Jerry; these are the ten sidekicks we wouldn't have wanted to play the game without.
Barry serves as Alan's friend and literary agent. He's a New Yorker through and through with a mean case of allergies. If you can look past his constant complaining, it's easy to see how much he cares for Alan. He even travels to Bright Falls because he "senses" that Alan Wake needs his help. It's obvious he'll do anything to back up his friend, even when Alan starts spurting nonsense about his experience with the Darkness and losing his wife, Alice. He's also the game's primary source of levity in an otherwise supremely tense experience.
(Knights of the Old Republic)
He's cool, calculating, and can hold his own in a fight. You found him in Tatooine with much of his memory wiped, but once HK47 was booted up and ready to go, you became his master while everyone else became "meatbags." The assassination droid HK47 is less a sidekick and more a companion but his hysterical dialogue regarding humanity grants him a spot on this list. He might not be the easiest robot to get along with and he has the humor of a serial killer, but he ended up becoming one of the most memorable characters in BioWare's Star Wars tale.
This one was a little tough because if you really think about it, The Darkness is your captor, essentially making you its sidekick. But if we're discussing sidekicks, I'm pretty sure The Darkness would have been a far less enjoyable adventure without the crazy powers it imbues you with and the occasional brief conversation Jackie has with it. An honorable mention goes out to the imp-like Darklings that are almost as useful but exponentially cuter (in a bizarre, demonic way). You had to unlock them as the story progressed (as well as finding outfits for them to wear along the way), and they were temporary minions more than anything else, but the Darklings provided a sweeter side to The Darkness. Then you witnessed one of them brutally tearing apart an enemy, and they're back to being mean little creatures.
Dogmeat is the rare companion that's willing to selflessly throw himself into oncoming enemy fire or groups of unsuspecting mutants to protect its master. Dogmeat makes an appearance in each of the Fallout games, though he only makes it to the second if you were able to keep him alive in the first game, and traversing the empty wasteland would've been a far lonelier experience without him panting at our side. They say dogs are a man's best friend, and Dogmeat only proved this saying true.
(Gears of War)
In the first Gears of War, Dominic was the quintessential sidekick. He was Marcus Fenix's friend and fellow soldier, and his story was largely left at that. In the second game, however, we finally got to see a new side to him as he desperately searched for his family that made him a character we could empathize with. Like any good sidekick, he's not all doom and gloom, he's useful in a fight (especially if you're playing with a friend) and he has his own supply of witty one-liners to lighten up an otherwise somber journey. In this fall's Gears of War 3, it looks like Santiago's story will be fleshed out even further as the fight to survive gets more perilous than it's ever been.