8 Video Game Side Characters We Should've Played As Instead

Commander Shepard has NOTHING on Garrus.

mass effect garrus

What is any video game without a compelling protagonist you'll want to spend tens or even hundreds of hours with?

No matter how well-written and addictive a game might otherwise be, without an interesting and entertaining lead, they're always going to be missing that one essential piece.

And sometimes it just becomes screamingly obvious that one of the side characters has categorically stolen the show, enough that you wish you were just playing as them instead.

That's absolutely the case with these 8 supporting video game characters, whose charm, loyalty, combat readiness, and overall badassery made them a more appealing proposition than the meat sack we were stuck playing with.

This isn't to say that the protagonists were totally awful in each case, but simply that they were outclassed in every way that a hero can be by one of their NPC pals.

If there were any justice in the world - and there sadly isn't - we would've been sitting pretty with these side characters instead of Generic McHeroFace. And so, on with the list...

8. Barry Burton - Resident Evil

mass effect garrus

The original Resident Evil gave players the choice of stepping into the shoes of either Jill Valentine or the inventorily-challenged man-mountain that is Chris Redfield.

But much as we might like Jill and Chris, they ultimately play a distant second fiddle to the true beating heart of the entire Resident Evil franchise - Barry Bloody Burton.

Barry may be a goofball support character for Jill in the first game, but his penchant for howlingly ridiculous one-liners, healthy appetite for tasty Jill Sandwiches, and all-round Good Guy vibes make him by far its most charming and generally likeable character.

Even with his rep for being quasi-unintentional comic relief, Barry is extremely helpful throughout the game, often showing up at just the right time with his trusty .357 Magnum Colt Python to provide a handy assist against a tough enemy, enough to make you wonder why we're not just playing as this guy all along.

Though Barry did eventually become a canon playable character in Resident Evil: Revelations 2, the fact that he remains an out-of-reach NPC in the original game is just a damn crying shame.

As resourceful and tough as Jill and Chris might be respectively, they're just not Barry, who steals every damn scene he's in.

Seriously, Capcom - a Barry campaign which covered the original Resident Evil from his perspective would sell like the hottest of hotcakes. Get on it.

In this post: 
Mass Effect
Posted On: 

Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.