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the last of us 1

The 7 best friendships in video gaming history

Did you know that 30 July was International Friends Day? In light of this discovery, we’ve rounded up a list of the best buddy duos in video games.

From endearing friendships built through hardship to unbreakable bonds formed over years of troublemaking, we can only ever hope to be as tight as the friends featured on this list.

Commander Shepard and Garrus Vakarian | Mass Effect Trilogy

Few gaming friendships can rival the unbreakable bond between Commander Shepard and Garrus Vakarian. Forged over the course of three sprawling Mass Effect titles, this duo’s friendship has taken them through thick and thin, and in Mass Effect terms, that’s a saying a whole damn lot.

From saving the world from a life-threatening alien invasion to unravelling the secrets behind the fabric of our very existence, Shepard and Garrus set the benchmark for true friendship. Regardless of race, gender, or species, they have each other’s back, undeniably making them on of the most memorable bonds in gaming.

Alan Wake and Barry Wheeler | Alan Wake

On paper, Alan Wake and Barry Wheeler are nothing more than professional acquaintances. Alan is a famous author and Barry a big-shot literary agent (even though he probably hasn’t read a book in his life).

In terms of personality, they are complete polar opposites. Alan is introverted and reserved while Barry is so fervently boisterous that you can hear him coming from a mile off, often leading to them clashing heads.

But when the world around them starts turning into a literal nightmare and their forced to put their differences aside, the two soon discover they have a lot more in common than previously thought and by the end of it all they become one of the most unlikely yet believable and touching bromances in gaming.

Max and Chloe | Life is Strange

Max and Chloe

The Life is Strange series is known for its deep exploration of the bonds between people. But of all the noteworthy friendships explored throughout the franchise, none have plucked the strings of our hearts more eloquently than the original series’ BFFs, Max and Chloe.

After years of lost contact, the two teens effortlessly rekindle their friendship like they were the same kids playing pirate in the garden so many years ago. Even after all the hardships, dangers and anguish life has put between them, their friendship remains so strong it shakes the very foundations of space and time.

Joel and Ellie | The Last of Us

Joel and Ellie is certainly one of the more unlikely friendships in video games, especially since they were born decades apart. Their story begins as a reluctant bond born out of necessity and one that takes quite some time to catch on.

Joel finds it hard to open up to Ellie as she painfully reminds him of his late daughter, while Ellie reacts to Joel’s seemingly cold and aloof behaviour with a relentlessly stubborn attitude (a trait Joel also shares).

But it’s for these very same reasons that the two eventually discover they are, in many ways, one in the same and over the course of the game their questionable bond becomes one of the most endearing friendship in the history of video games.

Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth | BioShock Infinite

Much like Joel and Ellie, the relationship between Booker and Elizabeth is one that starts out of necessity.

Booker is tasked with rescuing Elizabeth from the floating city of Columbia, turning them into prey for the airborne city’s radical factions.

At first, Elizabeth finds it hard to trust Booker while he is annoyed to be playing babysitter. But as the two are forced to stay together to achieve a common goal, an unlikely friendship start growing between them and eventually Booker is willing to sacrifice it all for Elizabeth, with her later calling him her “only friend”.

Watching the relationship grow between this improbably pair is one my favourite experiences in gaming.

Nathan Drake and Victor Sullivan | Uncharted

Nathan and Sully

Nate and Sully’s friendship has to be one of the most entertaining and memorable friendships in gaming.

Since Nathan’s childhood, the two have been cooking up schemes and causing trouble together, with their relationship bouncing between partners in crime and a touching father and son dynamic. Years later, the two are still inseparable, running and gunning their way through a multitude of crazy but unforgettable adventures.

The Boss and Johnny Gat | Saints Row

Boss and Gat

If you’re looking for an over-the-top bat-shit crazy pair of buddies then look no further than Saint’s Row’s The Boss and Johnny Gat.

The two first met as new recruits of the titular Saint’s Row gang where they immediately hit it off and end up blasting through the ranks and eventually even taking over the gang. But that’s just the start.

Over the course of the Saints Row series, this duo causes all kinds of mayhem together and, when the comes, they’re willing to battle their way through galaxy and even Hell to save each other. These two have each other’s back NO MATTER WHAT.

If that isn’t a friendship to strive for then I don’t know what is.

So what’s your favourite friendship in video games? Let us know in the comments below.

Author Bio

Wiehahn Diederichs: Columnist
Capetonian freelance writer and photographer. Wiehahn is a lover of stories in all their forms, and has been an avid gamer since he took his first breath. If he is not working or gaming, he either pours his creative energy into his passion for music or plays foosball in some... More