With that in mind, we’ve trawled through our history and stumbled upon a topic so monumental that it would’ve been carless not to submit a recension of it in light of recent events. Thus, while you’d previously have to reach all the way back to issue 77 to find our quintessential compendium of computerised canines, we’ve dug that list in the back garden and now eagerly bring forth within our drooling maw the revised guide to the pinnacle of pixelated pooches. Well, we thought you deserved a treat…
From: Call Of Duty: Ghosts
Riley is a revolution. He’s the first playable dog to grace Activision’s ceaselessly epic Call Of Duty franchise, he has single-handily reignited the industry’s enthusiasm for canine companions and he also single-handedly (pawingly?) prevents terrorists enacting a worldwide nuclear apocalypse. Probably. But he’s also one of the reasons we sought to revisit this list. We’ve only really seen a mere glimpse of Riley in action – jumping through windows and feasting on the fleshy bits that men prefer to keep intact – but we have little reason to doubt that the fate of humanity rests on the furry little shoulders of this pedigree chum.
9. Peter Puppy
From: Earthworm Jim
Having the prestigious honour of being one of the few anthropomorphic mutts making our list, Earthworm Jim’s timid companion bounds around his alien homeworld with carefree abandon. Except, he also turns into a rage-fuelled giant demon-dog that’ll chew Jim up like a squeaky toy. Despite the fact that he turns a little bit Bruce Banner on occasion (you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry, etc.), there are positives. For instance, he’s both civilised enough to wear a shirt (albeit unbuttoned) and not drag his rotten arse along the carpet like his uncouth, less-evolved cousins. Good boy!
From: Fallout 3
This foul-legged scavenger is the irreplaceable (unless you have the Puppies! perk) and loyal companion to the Lone Warrior against the harsh backdrop of the Wasteland. An interesting note fact fan, Dogmeat is modelled after Mel Gibson’s dog in Mad Max 2 – an Australian cattle dog. However, he’s much more useful, mauling enemies, storing items and fetching useful items such as chems, food and ammunition rather than, say, a Frisbee. We’d argue that Dogmeat is perhaps one of the greatest videogame companions of all time, regardless of leg, hair and tail count.
7. Unnamed Dog
From: Duck Hunt
The grand torturer of videogames past often haunts the memories of millions of embittered NES owners in the years since the nameless pooch first mocked their ability to accurately shoot pixelated duck. In the briefest of moments, man’s best friend became man’s greatest enemy. Of course, the greatest tragedy for NES owners was the inability to shoot his smug face whenever he emerged obnoxiously from the grass, however Nintendo saw the good sense to rectify this mistake in the subsequent release of the arcade version.
From: Tales Of Vesperia
How many dogs on this list smoke a pipe? Just one. Replete with massive scar and eye patch, rarely have we come across an animal that exudes such class and elegance. Alas, Repede is rather aloof compared to his brethren on this list, rejecting any well-wishers that simply desire to pet him. He’s not a family pet by any means, but if you’re in the business of employing a badass battle dog that’ll swiftly annihilate enemies, then Repede is unrivalled in both skill and style.
From: Silent Hill 2
The X-Files once posited that ‘The truth is out there’ but sometimes the truth is best left buried like a bone in a garden. At least that’s true for James Sunderland, who can’t quite believe the reality behind his incarceration within Silent Hill after discovering a small little Japanese dog has been responsible for orchestrating the whole horrific ordeal he has just endured. Yes, Mira is a joke ending at the conclusion of Silent Hill 2; however look inside the dark, vacant eyes of this Machiavellian pooch and ask yourself: is this anymore ridiculous that anything else you’ve witnessed in Silent Hill?
From: Mega Man series
Can your dog turn into a jet? No, no it can’t. Mega Man is one for packing an assortment of impressive gadgetry up his sleeve, but his robotic dog, Rush, might just be the most remarkable piece of kit in his possession. Like a rusty representative of the Green Lantern Corps, Rush can transform into just about any vehicle you can imagine, from motorbike one moment to an intergalactic spaceship the next. However, the one thing has remained steadfast among his various interpretations over the years is his loyalty and Mega Man without Rush by his side is a Mega Man not worth knowing.
From: Sam & Max
The laidback and loquacious star of the Sam & Max series, Sam is a private dick packing the keen investigative smarts of Scooby Doo and the steely disposition of Lassie. Of course, Sam would be nothing without long-eared foil Max by his side, and the two’s sparky banter has created one of the most entertaining videogame duos around – not to mention spawning what is surely among the longest-running point-and-click series in the genre. Here’s to you Sam, you crack us up, little buddy.
From: Animal Cross: New Leaf
There’s no hiding the fact that Isabelle is the one who really holds the power over your townsfolk in Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Isabelle rules with an iron fist, keeping your negligent mayor in line, disciplining denizens and genuinely looking adorable in her sweater-vest get-up. She’s an excitable little critter too, always trailing off on tangents during official business, gushing praise on your hapless attempts to be artistic and reinforcing your mayoral decrees with a heel-clicking zeal. Honestly, this peppy pup could rule the world if she’d stop yapping for a moment.
From: PaRappa The Rappa
Considering a large amount of PaRappa The Rapper’s community consists of anthropomorphic food, the biggest surprise is that PaRappa doesn’t embark on some carnivorous rampage. Alas, he’s a rather tranquil canine with little concern for anything other than dropping rhymes and pining for the affections of Sunny Funny. With a tight lyrical flow, it’s a crime that Mr. Rappa has yet to soar to the dizzying heights of Snoop, Bow Wow or even Nate but after a recent appearance thanks to PlayStation All-Stars a comeback just might be on the cards. We’ve got to believe!