Relationships between video game characters have been around since the days of video arcades, but when you stop and think about it, so few of them have been worth a damn.

Creating meaningful relationships between two or more fictional characters is a challenge in any medium. With video games, a medium where the focus has not traditionally been on narrative, it can prove to be an even greater challenge. In the earlier days of video games, character relationships were often just a means to an end (think Mario and Princess Peach) or as a way to introduce cooperative gameplay into the equation (Billy and Jimmy Lee, Sonic and Tails, etc..). Because video games are limited by the constraints of technology, meaningful relationships were near impossible to do right back then.

However, as the medium continues to advance, narrative has become a much more important focus for game developers. With this, we have seen more memorable and meaningful character relationships start to appear in video games. While they are still somewhat scarce in comparison to the sheer number of games that release each year, the games that do this right really stand out. Some relationships are brand new bonds that grab hold of our hearts, while others are relationships that have been with us for many years that have finally been able to evolve to a new level, given the eroding barriers that technology once imposed. Here are 10 video game relationships that matter.

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This article was first posted on March 26, 2013