Nobody wants to save the world alone. Having a buddy at your side makes all the difference, doubly so when your wingman is a character who can carry a scene on his or her own. The five people, aliens, robots, rodents and pigs on this list are the best companions we've seen in the last decade of gaming.

5. Daxter (Jak & Daxter series)

Sometimes you have to give props for execution, even if it's in service to a trope we've all seen a million times. Daxter is a tough-talking wiseguy whose mouth is constantly writing checks his behind can't cash. He's also a unwaveringly loyal, devoted companion to Jak through thick and thin – and a good thing, too, because Daxter carries about 90 percent of the duo's personality in his furry little hide. Much of what elevates the series above the huge herd of 3D platformers of its time is the story. In turn, the story depends heavily both on Daxter's antics to keep things fresh and his emotional reactions to the sometimes-bleak situations in which he and Jak find themselves. Without Daxter, Jak may as well have been Blinx the Time Sweeper.

Next up: Pigs and robots!