The remaster of Final Fantasy VIII is hitting consoles on September 3, and with it comes the return of one of gaming’s all-time greatest dogs: Angelo. The pup, who was featured heavily in the 1999 classic, is getting a graphical update, just like all the other characters in the title, and Square Enix set us up with an exclusive glimpse at the remastered model of the game’s fuzzy friend (seen above).
From Star Fox to Fallout, there is no shortage of canines in video games. To honor Angelo’s return—and to celebrate International Dog Day (which is a real holiday)—we rounded up the best good boys and good girls in gaming history and narrowed them down to 15 of our favorite pups, with one big rule: NO WOLVES! Sorry, Zelda: Twilight Princess fans.
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Flint’s trusty pet. The sweetest doggo there is. While Mother 3 unfortunately hasn’t had more fan translations for western audiences—please bring it to Switch, Nintendo—just look at this good boy. Whether you’ve played Mother 3 or not, your heart can’t resist melting at Boney’s bit-filled face. He’s brave and strong and by your party’s side and ready to fight, and he also wears cute hats. —C.S.
14. Shiba Inu
Silent Hill 2
This game is 18 years old, but for the few of you out there whose fingers are already on fire, here’s a spoiler alert. In Silent Hill 2, if you play the game in an incredibly specific way, you unlock the secret ending to top all secret endings: You find out this cute little Shiba Inu was behind all the horrors you just experienced. He’s not evil, just a dog with a computer and a headset. You’re then treated to a ridiculous song and credit sequence that’s unequaled when it comes to confusing secret endings. —C.S.
PaRappa the Rapper
“I gotta believe.” PaRappa, the obnoxious rapping dog from his titular series, had some major rhythm and riffs, and he is a PlayStation icon through and through for his wacky games. Being one of two musical dogs in gaming, he had to secure his spot on this list. —C.S.
12. Bill Grey
Star Fox 64
Bill! The anthropomorphic bulldog’s appearance in Star Fox 64 was among the game’s greatest moments, truly an iconic entrance in Nintendo history. Like all the animals in Star Fox, Bill didn’t really exhibit any qualities of the species he happened to be, but for his heroism and laid-back attitude, our boy deserves some recognition. —D.N.
In a game centered around isolation, loneliness, and survival, there’s no better companion then Dogmeat. Dogmeat both helps the player through the game and brings a certain humanity to the barren wasteland of Fallout. He is one of the few reliable and trusted allies in the Fallout series, and definitely the cutest. —C.S.
This game has a knack for making spooky cute. From Gooigi to E. Gadd, the Luigi’s Mansion-verse is filled with lovable ghouls and ghosts, but none compare to the adorable, and brilliantly named, Polterpup. He’s a sweet, attention-loving ghost dog who looks to be returning for Luigi’s Mansion 3, coming this Halloween. —C.S.
Super Mario Maker
This mischievous little pup may seem like a new canine to gaming, but he’s actually been around for years now, making his debut all the way back in 1992 in the cult hit Mario Paint. Undodog may cause horrific destruction in Super Mario Maker 2, single-handedly ruining Peach’s castle by accident, but we love him anyway. He’s a good boy. —D.N.
Metal Gear V
A grizzled, eye patch-wearing dog that kicks major ass, Metal Gear V gives you the joy of seeing this pooch grow from pup to prowler. The fact that this doggo is a full-fledged action hero more than earns him his mantle. —C.S.
6. Isabelle and K.K. Slider
Okay, a two-for-one is kind of cheating. There are a lot of good boys and girls in Animal Crossing, so narrowing it down to two was nearly impossible anyway. There’s Isabelle, the trusty, organized assistant who constantly makes sure you’re on the straight and narrow. And there’s K.K. the rock star; I’m sure playing guitar with paws is no easy feat. It’d be impossible to choose just one of them to stay, so here we are. —C.S.
5. Greater Dog
Undertale is home to so many great dogs, our favorite being the Greater Dog. The pup is armored to the core and appears to be a highly skilled soldier, if he wasn’t so damn affectionate and playful. —C.S.
5. Duck Hunt Dog
The OG good boy of gaming. While he was kind of an asshole and made fun of you when you missed those damn ducks, we still love the Duck Hunt dog. Plus, his new Smash render is adorable, so he’s far less menacing. —C.S.
No list of gamer dogs would be complete without Mega Man’s trusty buddy. He teleports, he has a spring-loaded torso, and he’s always there when Mega Man needs him. We don’t discriminate against robot dogs here at Esquire. Rush is as good as they come. —D.N.
Honestly, Growlithe is the best Pokémon (fight me). Growlithe and Arcanine are the sweetest little fire pups one could hope for. A main staple and a common Pokémon in the series, Growlithe is as adorable as he is fierce. —C.S.
Final Fantasy VIII
Yes, we do have the scoop on the new Angelo renders from the upcoming Final Fantasy VIII remaster, seen here. Her (yes, her) full name is Sant’ Angelo di Roma, and she is Rinoa’s trusty canine. She’s an absolute fan favorite and said to have been designed based on one of the game dev’s real dogs. If you haven’t played FF8 yet, definitely give it a try when the remastered version launches September 3. —C.S.
1. Golden Retriever
Ah, Nintendogs. An era of Nintendo that was as embarrassing as it was bizarre. The game garnered a sizeable fanbase on the DS, allowing players to point and click their way through the lovely experience of virtual pet-raising. The golden retriever was the posterboy of the title so, of course, we’re giving him the top spot. Wasn’t life much better when our biggest responsibilities involved throwing Frisbees to 3D dogs on a chunky two-screen Game Boy? —D.N.
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