Ah, pets, just about everybody loves them. Dogs are called ďmanís best friend,Ē and cat people just flat-out love their cats, sometimes going so far as becoming crazy cat ladies. Yes, having a furry companion by your side, one eager to be pet or to play, makes it worth picking up their poop. And, of course, some people prefer pets like fish, ones that just stay in their own space.

But letís be honest: a lot of animals in the gaming world would put Fluffy and Mr. Whiskers to shame. Like fantasy novels, many video games introduce amazing creatures. Some are so well-crafted and lovable that they almost seem real to you: Iím definitely not the only gamer who has ever felt bad for accidentally letting a video game animal get hurt.

Since these creatures can be so interesting, Iíve decided to put together a list of ten species that would be flat-out awesome to own in real life. A variety of factors went into play while making this list. Particularly, I considered how cute the animal is (always a plus with pets) and how useful it would be. Iíve also taken into account safety issues, such as whether or not the pet would be good with children.

Before I begin, let me make three things clear. First, these need to be species, not just a character. For example, I wouldnít put Donkey Kong in here because thereís only one of him. So they must be like real animals insofar as thereís more than one. For that reason, I wonít be putting any legendary Pokémon on the list. Second, I decided to limit it to one species per franchise. If I didnít, then this list would consist almost entirely of Pokémon, and that wouldnít be very interesting. Third, I am only using species that debuted in video games, so donít expect mythical animals like dragons to show up. Those have been in stories long before video games were invented, so putting them on this list just wouldnít feel right.

So, without further ado, hereís the list of awesome video game pets.

The Species: First introduced in the mini-game collection Rayman: Raving Rabbids, these bunny-like creatures received such a positive reception that they went on to star in a number of other games, overshadowing Rayman himself for a while. Although the later games they starred in have received mixed reviews, the Rabbids are definitely amusing characters. Mini-games with them often involve crazy antics, like hurting a Rabbid as badly as you can or even getting inside the mind of one.

As Pets: Are you a party animal? Well, then youíve gotta have some Rabbids at your next shindig. Why? Because as the games constantly remind you, they can dance!! Just imagine a party where everybody gets to see dancing bunnies without the help of illegal substances. Thatís instant fun right there! Not to mention the Rabbids are willing to put up with lots of abuse. One mini-game has you leading a Rabbid into painful things like cactuses and campfires. Yet, it continues to follow your lead, no matter what. So you donít have to worry about your Rabbids turning on you, even if you make some mistakes with them.

Possible Drawbacks: Unfortunately, I canít put the Rabbids much higher on this list because thereís not all that much they can do, as the games tell us. They canít close doors, so youíll probably walk in on one doing its business. They canít vacuum, they canít milk cows, they canít cook eggs... Sure, many pets in the real world canít do these things either, but if youíre looking for a video game pet, you can do better. (Even if they can dance!) Oh, and you'll have to make sure they donít send you back in time with a modified washing machine... Theyíve been known to do that.

The Species: These little characters are the warriors youíll find in the series of turn-based strategy games simply called Worms. In these games, the worms can attack each other with a variety of weapons, ranging from bazookas to homing pigeons and from baseball bats to holy hand grenades. Their humorous animations and voices always make for some amusing antics, particularly when experienced in multiplayer. Even if the games are criticized for recycling lots of content, the worms themselves are still funny characters. (Since they are so different from real worms, I felt comfortable putting them on this list. In real life, I've never seen worms with hands... or firearms.)

As Pets: If thereís a big, vicious dog in your backyard, a burglar will notice it. Heíll take the dog out before trying to break into your home. But would he notice some worms in your backyard? I think not. These worms could catch any would-be intruder off-guard, pelting him with concrete donkeys, old women, and even napalm strikes. Nobody will get by them. Aside from that, they could make for some amusing conversation starters. They have all sorts of different accents, from French to tykes and from gangsters to angry Scots. Putting them in a jar and listening to them talk to one another could make for some real crazy chatter. Thatís a lot better than, say, an ant farm, right?

Possible Drawbacks: Since the worms are so small, youíll have to be very careful with them. Make sure you equip them with jetpacks (which they know how to use) so that, if it ever rains outside, they can find their way into the house. And make darn sure you donít step on them. After all, if you step on one, its comrades might turn on you, and if theyíre all armed, your house might experience Armageddon. Overall, theyíd make good guard dog substitutes, but not exactly good indoor pets, especially for families with rowdy children. And people might not like the fact that theyíd shoot at any birds that try to eat them outside.

The Species: First appearing in Sonic Adventure, these cute little creatures have won the hearts of many Sonic fans. In the Adventure series, you can raise these pets in Chao Gardens. There, you can give them small animals and other items to increase their stats in terms of flying, power, swimming, running, and more. You can then enter them in races (or, in Sonic Adventure 2: Battle, Chao Karate) and win Sonic Emblems. If you want to complete the games 100%, you must raise a few good Chao.

As Pets: They are freakiní cute! Many people, myself included, love Chao so deeply that they sometimes find themselves neglecting the rest of the Adventure game. If you had one in real life, it would be even better, especially since you wouldnít have to worry about leveling up its stats to get Sonic Emblems. On top of that, itís worth noting that Chao donít really die. Once they hit old age (around five years or so), they just turn into babies again. So no more worrying about dying pets! This is especially nice if you have children in the house: no heartbreak for them. Just remember to include your Chao in your will: itíll be around long after youíre toast.

Possible Drawbacks: In Sonic Adventure 2, every time your Chao is cared for by a heroic character, it becomes more heroic itself: it may even take on an angelic appearance. But if itís cared for by evil characters, it becomes more evil itself: it may even take on a demonic appearance. Chances are, you donít want demons in the house, especially if you have children. So, if you ever need someone to watch over your Chao, make sure theyíre not evil. You know, not a thief, a mad scientist, or an angst-driven hedgehog.

The Species: Since appearing in the strategy role-playing game Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, Prinnies, penguin creatures with peg legs, have practically become the mascots of Nippon Ichi software. In the games, they speak with funny, high-pitched voices, and they end almost all their sentences with ďdoodĒ (or ďsuĒ in the original Japanese). Itís important to note that each Prinny houses the soul of a sinful person who is trying to atone for their past. Once their atonement is complete, the Red Moon will take their soul up to the afterlife, and youíll have to find some replacement penguins.

As Pets: Prinnies are your slaves. The Disgaea character Etna can punch, kick, and throw knives at her Prinnies without getting any backlash. Heck, she even cooks some of her Prinnies. Compared to her, as long as you're at least a little humane, these little dudes will put up with you. So, if you want something done around the house, entrust a Prinny to do it. After all, theyíre trying to atone for their sins. Theyíre good with knives, so they could probably do some woodwork and cooking for your family. Not to mention Etna shows us two other great uses for Prinnies: first off, she uses them to find a lost pair of panties, so no more losing things with these guys around. Plus, she oftentimes sits on them, making for nice, easily movable chairs. Very useful, indeed. Just imagine gaming sessions where, instead of sitting on beanbag chairs, you and your friends sit around on talking penguins. Finally, Prinnies are really darn cute, and you can have conversations with them whenever youíre lonely. Most pets donít talk back to you, do they?

Possible Drawbacks: Youíre definitely going to need a full squad of Prinnies, because theyíre kind of easy to lose. See, if they get thrown... they go kablooey. This could pose safety issues if you have rowdy children in your house. But if youíre a responsible pet owner, well, then you have an explosive ready should you ever need one. Also, you have to keep a close eye on Prinnies: theyíre prone to having drunken parties. (Which might be a plus if youíre a party animal yourself. And if you can get your hands on Prinnies and Rabbids... well, you'll be the coolest kid in the whole neighborhood: I promise you that.)

The Species: When first introduced in Bomberman: The Second Attack for the Nintendo 64, Pommy seemed like a stand-alone character. However, in later Bomberman games, it is revealed that a Pommy is a species of Charabom, a race of creatures much like Pokémon. In The Second Attack, Pommy acts as Bombermanís helper, able to be controlled by a second player. In later games, owning a Pommy gives the player the ability to use remote control bombs or to teleport to different cities.

As Pets: For starters, Pommy are very cute. With their pink cheeks, their little hands, and their little feet, they look a lot like Kirby, which is always a plus. Those big ears always add to the cuteness. Aside from that, Pommy are able to talk (often referring to themselves in the third-person), so they could act as great conversation starters. They are also very loyal: they never left Bombermanís side, even if they got nailed with a bomb. So Iím sure theyíll stick with your household too. Finally, being able to teleport among cities would be pretty nifty: no more long car trips.

Possible Drawbacks: Does anybody in your house like to slip your dog food at the dinner table? Well, be careful that they donít feed your Pommy the wrong stuff. See, in The Second Attack, your Pommy evolves based on whether it eats vegetables, meats, or sweets. Depending on what you feed it, you might end up with something neat, like a Knight Pommy (good for boys) or a Pixie Pommy (good for girls). But be careful: feed it the wrong things, and you might end up with a Shadow Pommy or even a Devil Pommy. Chances are, you donít want a demon in the house, so watch your Pommyís diet carefully.

The Species: The first-person shooter series TimeSplitters is known for its wide variety of characters to choose from in multiplayer mode. From a gingerbread man to an Aztec warrior, theyíve got all their bases covered. But if youíre pet shopping, you need look no further than the Cyborg Chimp. Itís not a coincidence that it looks like RoboCop: in addition to being cute, itís one heck of a shot. Most monkeys just use poop as a projectile, but these little chimps can use everything from rocket launchers to frickin' 12-gauges.

As Pets: Forget guard dogs: those are so last millennium. Put a gun-equipped Cyborg Chimp in your backyard, and I promise you that your family will never have to worry about another theft. Or if you want to go the softy route, Iím sure boys would love playing with a cute little robotic primate. Unlike the Worms, theyíre great indoor pets as well as good guards. Finally, the chimps have one bonus feature: a compartment on their metallic frame can house some items. Although the chimps prefer sticking bananas in the compartment, you can stick anything you want in thereóyouíve got yourself a convenient, mobile carrying case.

Possible Drawbacks: Gun control laws are complicated, so there would probably be a lot of hoops to jump through for your chimp to get its gun. But once thatís taken care of, youíre basically set. Itís a cyborg, so you just need to make sure itís programmed well so that it never decides to turn on you. Yes, make sure you run an antivirus scan every so often: malware in a chimp holding a gun would be bad. Otherwise, youíre in control.

The Species: Found in various Harvest Moon games, farming simulations, the player can befriend these little elf-like creatures, who will then provide assistance on the farm. Despite their small sizes, Harvest Sprites can water the plants, take care of the animals, and more. Best of all, they donít ask for pay, though you do have to give them a few gifts to keep them happy.

As Pets: Okay, like the Prinny Squad, you probably wouldnít treat the sprites like lovable petsómore like slave labor. But if blind people can use their pet dogs to lead them around, then surely you can use your pets to your advantage too. No more doing tedious chores like laundry and dishwashing: the sprites will do it all for you. Want a beautiful garden, but donít want to put any effort into it? Just make the sprites do everything! Need to leave your kids alone for a while, but donít want to hire a babysitter? The sprites will take care of them! Ever run out of Christmas decorations? Well, dress the sprites correctly, and theyíll look like Santaís elves in no time. Yes, they are helpful little creatures.

Possible Drawbacks: Good news: the sprites are capable of talking to you, so if they have any questions about the chores youíre giving them, they can ask you. Bad news: in some of the games, they speak in Pig Latin, which can be ardhay otay omprehendcay. To get them out of this habit, you really need to bond with them. Also, you have to give them gifts on a regular basis, or they might get lazy with their work or even abandon you. Plus, they arenít exactly the toughest creatures around, so keep them away from big dogs or other things that might try to eat them.

The Species: Moogles are animals found in many of the Final Fantasy games. Although their appearances can vary greatly, they are usually small, fuzzy, and have bat-like wings. Sometimes, their ears are quite large, and sometimes, their eyes are closed, making them look very mole-like. The animals sometimes take on minor cameo roles, but other Moogles (such as Montblanc) are central characters in the stories.

As Pets: To begin with, Moogles are almost always cute, so they would be fun pets for the kids to play with. They are usually friendly and make good conversation, so they would be pleasant to have around the house. And depending on what type of Moogle you get, it can help you in a variety of ways. If you get one from Final Fantasy XII, for instance, itíll be able to help you with mechanics and engineering. Yes, if theyíre able to construct airships, then surely they could help you if an appliance of yours breaks down. (And if you happen to have the materials necessary for building an airship lying around... even better!) They would probably be smarter than Harvest Sprites, making them even more useful.

If theyíre more like the ones in the Final Fantasy Tactics series, then they can take on a variety of roles. You can raise a little Robin Hood by turning a Moogle into a thief. You can have it put on shows by becoming a juggler. You can have it cast helpful spells as a mage. Yes, you can put your matches away: just have the Moogles use fire spells. These spells, of course, would make your Moogle yet another viable option for replacing your guard dogs. No burglar I know of has ever been prepared to take a Thundaga spell.

Possible Drawbacks: Since Moogles are usually smart creatures, donít expect them to follow you blindly. Unlike most pets, they would have little problem walking out on you if you ever mistreat them. So make sure youíre keeping your Moogle nice and happy: it wonít take slave labor like a Prinny will. And if they get very angry, well, donít be shocked if they use Firaga on your house. So make sure that you and everyone in your household are responsible pet owners before getting a Moogle. Oh, and make sure youíre not easily annoyed by hearing them say ďkupoĒ all the time.

The Species: First introduced in Super Mario World as a power-up of sorts, the Yoshi species has gone on to become some of the most beloved Nintendo characters out there. They have starred in their own games, most famously Yoshiís Island for the Super Nintendo. Although itís easy to start thinking of Yoshi as a singular character, keep in mind that the green one in all the spin-off games and such isnít the only one out there. As youíll find in Yoshiís Island, Super Mario RPG, and other games, plenty of other Yoshis exist, taking on a variety of colors.

As Pets: Some kids ride to school on bikes. Others just walk. Others take a smelly bus. Oh, but you (or, if youíre a parent, your kids) can go to school in style. Ride on a Yoshi, and the girls will be eager to pet it, so youíll get some good opportunities to ďmingle.Ē Or if you have a long way to travel, you can just let Yoshi drive your car and chauffeur you there. Hey, it can drive in Mario Kart, so why not?

And letís remember something: Yoshis are easy to breed, easier than any other pet on this list. Even if it doesnít have a partner, a Yoshi can slurp something up (e.g. a pesky squirrel in your yard) and turn it into an egg. Rather than toss the eggs at enemies, try taking care of them until you get yourself some Yoshi babies. If you raise enough, you can start a petting zoo and make millions!

Besides, Yoshis are totally cute, so Iím sure your family would love having one around the house. If not, somethingís wrong with your family: go find a new one.

Possible Drawbacks: None that I can foresee. It might cost a lot to feed your Yoshi, but the petting zoo cash should more than pay for that. Yoshis are very willing to put up with abuse, so you donít have to worry about them getting angry. After all, in Super Mario World, Mario always bonked his scaly steed on the head to make him stick his tongue out. Not once did the Yoshis question that. Plus, Yoshiís Island shows that theyíre good with babies, even ones with super annoying cries. So families should have no problem with a pet Yoshi in their house, even if they have rowdy children.

The Species: Alakazam is a psychic Pokémon found in the first set of Pokémon games, Red, Blue, and Yellow. Getting it can be tough since it evolves from Abra, a little Pokémon that wants to teleport away before you can catch it, but itís worth the effort. Unless youíre a huge Hypno fan, Alakazam is the best non-legendary psychic Pokémon available in the first set of games.

As Pets: If you have an Alakazam as your pet, the possibilities are almost endless! First off, since it has an IQ of over 5,000 according to the Pokédex, it can remember everything that it has experienced from birth. No more losing things around the house: your Alakazam will remember wherever they were. And Iím sure you could train it to do your math homework.

But letís look into this a little more closely: what four moves should we teach Alakazam? Well, first, Iíd start with Psychic. Want to fly in your car? Just have Alakazam use Psychic on it to move it, like telekinesis. Someone getting on your nerves? Just have Alakazam stop them in their tracks with the move. (Alakazam canít learn hypnosis, but being able to control someoneís body with Psychic makes up for that.)

Next, Iíd give it Future Sight. In the games, itís used to foresee an attack, but Iím sure it could be used to foresee other things. Like whether or not a relationship of yours will last. And what the lottery numbers for tomorrow are going to be. (By the way, Iím sure you could teach your Alakazam to write in English to communicate with you.)

After that, Iíd give it Rain Dance (yes, it can learn that move). I would then travel around the world, using Alakazam to bring rain to desolate areas. Iím sure I could make some money that way, or maybe even get some tribes to worship us. Does anybody worship your pet right now? I bet not!

Finally, Iíd teach it Teleport. Trapped somewhere? In a rush? Just teleport to your destination.

Another bonus: if Alakazam is fine spending most of its life crammed in a Poké Ball or fighting, then you donít have to worry about it getting mad at you. Itíll always obey you.

Possible Drawbacks: If you have a real Alakazam, I suggest you keep it a secret from the government. They might not like you having all this power to yourself. Thereís another drawback, too: even if you had multiple Alakazams, breeding would be tough, since the newborn Abras would be tempted to just teleport away. Not to mention youíd need to strike a trade-then-trade-back deal with somebody to evolve a Kadabra into an Alakazam. And that could get a little risky. So, you might have to settle for one healthy AlakazamóIím sure itíll outlive you anyway.

Iím sure many Pokémon fans will believe I shouldíve picked a different one: after all, there are over six-hundred I could have put here. However, I believe a psychic Pokémon would be the best type to own, and I think Alakazam is one of the coolest non-legendary psychic types out there. Feel free to disagree.

Oh, and some of you might be saying, ďWhy not pick Ditto? It can transform into any Pokémon!Ē Well, in the games anyway, it needs to be in front of another Pokémon to transform into it. So it wouldnít be much good without other Pokémon under your belt... or on your belt, I guess.

So, thereís the list. Clearly, the extent to which the pet could make itself useful was very important to me as I decided the order in which the species should appear. Although having cute video game pets would be nice, having ones capable of performing fantastic feats would be even better.

If, on the off chance, you actually do encounter one of these creatures in the wild, be sure to capture themóyouíll be glad you did. But remember that all pets deserve to be loved... even if youíre using them for profit.

List by Tails 64 (03/23/2012)

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