Being a sidekick is a solidly 'meh' gig.
It certainly isn't the worst inside the world of video games—that distinction goes to minimum-wage flunkies like Goombas, Foot Soldiers and Glass Joe—but it's also pretty damn far from the best.
Heroes get to enjoy real action—wild missions, plot revelations, rushes of victory, showers of praise—while sidekicks usually only handing out aid here and there or, even worse, bide their time waiting for a call-up. Yeah, heroes are the ones ultimately risking life and limb for big goals, but when all it takes to reincarnate a dead protagonist is the press of a reset button, what's so great about warming the bench?
In the past, sidekicks have made it into the titles of their partners' games (Jak and Daxter,
Ratchet & Clank, Banjo-Kazooie) and even headlined their own adventures (Luigi's Mansion,
Tails' Skypatrol, Yoshi's Island), but by and large, those instances are anomalies. Not every
video game companion is worthy of a spin-off, of course, but a handful sure deserve the
opportunity. Here are 13 characters who fit the criteria.