January 27, 2023

Eureka News

All the News All the Time

A 2022 retrospective of the very best pets in video games

The products discussed here have been independently selected by our editors. GameSpot may receive a portion of the revenue if you purchase something featured on our site.

I decided to do a retrospective of notable video game pets in 2022 because, honestly, I adopted a real one this year. A simple motivation and a simple, no-fuss article to put together – right? But during the brainstorming, really existential questions about what counts as a pet in a video game began to manifest.

Don’t pets have to have a utilitarian purpose and be purely aesthetic animal-like creatures that players can feed and pet occasionally? Probably not. If they are also tied to a game mechanic, can they be considered pets? For sure. Do they have to be a traditionally domesticated animal – as opposed to a mechanical or even ghostly existence – to be considered a pet? Perhaps?

How much intelligence should they have? Because if they’re too smart, then they’re like a normal NPC or a party member, right? Do you have to scoop their poop like in Tamagotchi so they can register as pets? I feel like that last point is really essential to pet ownership.

With all those questions in mind, the net is pretty wide here – a nod to the hazy line between traditional real-world notions of pets, mechanics, and independent sentient characters. From Elden Rings torrent to pet management sims, there’s a bit of everything here.