My favorite RPGs are the ones where I get to bring companions with me. BioWare games are known for that, but Skyrim is another game where I had somebody rolling with me into combat — and even Geralt in The Witcher sometimes gets some help.
The key to a good party is having a unique set of combat skills that complement my own. I like to think that if I were in a video game, I’d be a stealthy mage, so I need tanks and rogues with me — or the equivalent. But a good party is equally about having people who work well together, with personalities that make the journey more interesting.
From all the RPGs I’ve played, these are the characters I would want in my permanent RPG party — like, if I could have one in real life. Or if I were transported into a video game. Something like that. =)
Thane (Mass Effect)
Thane from Mass Effect is my Commander Shepard’s bestie in Mass Effect 2. A drell assassin, he wouldn’t interrupt my stealth. Plus, he’s a lot cooler under pressure than I am, which could be a great aid if I freak out during a mission. He’s also soft-spoken, wise, and surprisingly compassionate for a killer. Conversations with him are always meaningful and insightful.
Aveline (Dragon Age 2)
Aveline would be my tank. She’s one of those characters who is just so amazing and badass, she’s almost iconic to me. A warrior who destroys with a sword and shield, she’s the most loyal friend you can ask for. Her occasional insecurities — especially regarding personal relationships — make her a great pal and well-rounded person to have around.
Her toughness and strong morals make her an excellent leader, so I’d like having her around for advice, too. She’s one of the characters in the Dragon Age series I really look up to.
HK-47 (Knights of the Old Republic)
I guess I’m a sucker for assassins, because this droid assassin from Knights of the Old Republic also makes my list! He’s subtle in combat and sarcastic in personality. I wouldn’t even mind his constant complaining and calling everybody “meatbags.” I like to think that even if he doesn’t immediately get along with everyone else in my party, they’ll come to enjoy having him on board, at least.
If you’ve never hung out with Marcurio in Skyrim, you should get on that. He’s a mage for hire at the Bee & Barb in Riften, and he is pretty much the most badass companion around (well, outside of the invincible ones). Because he’s such a strong mage character, I’d probably place him as a more offensive fighter, shooting lightning at enemies while I focus on crowd control and healing. His pretentious snark will be another asset to a team that’s already a little full of itself.
I’ll admit there are about a dozen other characters I’d love to include on this list, but these will be my top choices for today… =)