Dogs: Man’s best friend. Loyal, loving and undoubtedly likeable. This is certainly true in the real world, but what about in the virtual world of gaming? The following canines show us that dogs are as equally amazing in video games as well as in real life. Let the celebrations begin:
8. Dogmeat – Fallout Series
He might not have the most appealing name, but boy does Dogmeat make our hearts melt with his wide eyes and German Shepherd looks.
Not only does he give us a glimmer of happiness in the quite depressing surroundings of a nuclear apocalyptic wasteland, but ol’ Dogmeat can come in quite handy when warding off the various enemies and creatures that the Sole Survivor will encounter on their journey.
It’s not just Fallout 4 he has popped up in, although the wide-eyed pooch is arguably at his peak in the game, but Dogmeat has appeared in various incarnations across the series (being a Cattle Dog in Fallout 3), and his loveable nature has been omnipresent throughout.
Hopefully Dogmeat will continue to be a companion in future Fallout releases – otherwise there will be outrage!
7. D-Dog – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Big Boss’ first encounter with this gruff canine was a bit of a weird one to say the least. As you touch down for a mission, you hear the unmistakable yap of a dog pup, so what does Snake do? Well, Fulton balloon it up to Mother Base of course!
Throughout the ensuing visits to Mother Base you will see DD grow and eventually he will be able to be taken on field missions as a fully-fledged companion, seeking out plants and marking enemies on the map. Oh how they grow up!
Not too much is known regarding D-Dog’s background (it is presumed he is an orphan) and even his breed, but what we do know is that he has a cool eyepatch and he is a great help to us throughout Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. And that is more than enough to make it onto this list.
6. Riley – Call of Duty: Ghosts
There isn’t much going for COD: Ghosts to make it a standout offering in the extensive franchise, but what it does have is an adorable yet deadly dog in the form of German Shepherd, Riley.
If you did play the decent campaign behind Ghosts then you will be more than familiar with this useful canine unit, used regularly by fellow members of the Ghosts squadron for recon and surveillance as well as ripping out a few throats if necessary – and in our games this was MORE than necessary!
But unlike many of the dogs on this list there was an element of actually controlling Riley, where the player uses his fashionable backpack to control the mutt in a Go-Pro type deal. This ensures that Riley is not just a cute extra to the game, but a necessary tool to utilise throughout the campaign of COD: Ghosts.
We are crossing our fingers for more dogs in the next Call of Duty titles, and the recent foray into wars of the past could prove hopeful.
5. Dog – Fable II & Fable III
What are collies known for? Chasing stuff and ending the lives of our enemies, of course!
Well, maybe not the latter, but these are both things that your dog will be doing as you venture through Albion doing Fable-stuff. Alike to the game’s protagonist, there are two sides to your trusty companion, the happy go lucky ball chasing side, and the merciless fighting side which sees blood flying as the dog finishes downed enemies.
You can be sure any opportunity to unlock new tricks was snapped up by us too, but probably the thing we did the most with the pooch was to use him for digging up spots that he had sniffed out, seizing treasure and keys to take on our adventure.
With the added bonus of being able to name the little guy, and the bond was cemented in history as one of the strongest between man and his best friend in gaming. If the rumours are true, and if we will soon be playing a new Fable game, then we better being seeing some animals of the barking, furry variety.
4. Wolves – Minecraft
They might not be the most realistic of dogs you will see on an Xbox, but somehow a couple of cubic shapes and a nice bark is enough for us to seek out a wolf and tame it immediately.
In their initial wolf state, attacking one of these mobs (if for some reason you would) will result in a nearby pack bearing down on you with devilish red eyes and an aggressive growl, but give a couple of bones to a wolf and it will go into a docile mood complete with a red collar and a sit command.
It’s funny what a bone or two can do, as in Minecraft a tamed wolf will be perfectly trained for staying or following you – however one glance at a sheep and it will be gone in a heartbeat.
3. Chop – GTA V
Franklin of GTA V fame might be a criminal, bank heister and mass murderer, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a soft side. Enter Chop, Franklin’s black and brown Rottweiler companion who you will see a couple of times in GTA V.
Not only is Chop just a pet to have a bit of lighthearted fun with, but if Franklin is attacked then his Rottweiler power will kick in and he will fight back. This does mean he can get shot and will die, but don’t worry as he will always respawn back at Franklin’s house. GTA V may be a dark game, but it can’t get dark enough to completely kill off a dog. Furthermore, Chop can be switched to in order to find Hidden Packages in the game, as well as locate certain people.
Chop won us over as a lovable yet useful dog to use in GTA V. More dogs please, Rockstar! Red Dead Redemption 2, perhaps?
2. Boomer – Far Cry 5
Yes, Far Cry 5 is not out yet, but that doesn’t give us an excuse not to take its main canine into account. Boomer is not just a Fangs for Hire, as the gameplay trailers suggest, but a dog that Far Cry fans have already fallen in love with prior to the game’s release.
Much like the numerous tameable beasts that filled the caveman world of Far Cry Primal, Boomer can be told to take down certain enemies, freeing up some room for the player to dispose of other baddies. Not only this, but if you aren’t in combat he will spot and tag enemies for you, as well as deliver the weapons of your fallen foes to your feet – undoubtedly the darkest of all fetch games you could play with your pet.
We could have Nick and his bombing seaplane, or Grace and her sniper – but we all know who we really want to take with us on our quest to save Hope County from the evil cult of The Project at Eden’s Gate.
1. Snoopy – The Peanuts Movie: Snoopy’s Grand Adventure
We simply couldn’t have a list of best dogs without including the classic canine, Snoopy. Whilst he may be known mainly for his role in Peanuts comic strips of decades gone by, the fact that he starred in his own video game on Xbox One makes him eligible for this list.
The iconic beagle hit our Xbox’s back in 2008 with Snoopy Flying Ace, but the most recent 2015 Grand Adventure is what we remember of the lil’ guy, and whilst the game won’t go down as a stone cold classic it was nice to see the dog get a well-deserved outing.
The game itself utilised Snoopy’s gift of spinning his floppy ears to glide around the level adding to how you jumped across platforms and stomped on the heads of enemies in a platforming format. Storywise, you explored the dog’s vivid imagination when playing a nice game of hide and seek with the rest of the Peanuts gang, collecting hundreds of jelly beans – because why not?!
It may be quite doubtful, but it would be nice to see somebody take on the mantle of Snoopy (and the rest of the Peanuts gang, for that matter) to make a fully-fledged game for what is arguably an underrated classic cartoon character.
So, there we have it. Eight all round good boys who we really couldn’t do without across some of Xbox’s best games. Who is your favourite – and have we missed any that should have made the list? Let us know in the comments below and on all the usual social media channels.