06. LOUIS DENONNO
An ex-con with a heart of gold
Hotel Dusk's surly detective Kyle Hyde is at his best at his most grumpy, so the arrival of ex-pickpocket DeNonno is a masterstroke. By the end they've forged an unlikely alliance, with DeNonno's clumsy attempts to woo the ethereal Mila adding a note of levity to the compelling mystery.
Persia's princess is a match for her male counterpart
Far more than just the simple damsel in distress of the original games, The Sands Of Time's Princess Farah emerges as a fully-formed character. Her romance with the prince feels natural and unforced, and she's an important piece of many environmental puzzles. You'll need to look after her on occasion, but it never feels like a chore. Much of that is down to how well she's integrated into the game's story and systems, making her one of the most likeable NPCs ever.
Skyward Sword's bully turns out to be a hero
An hour into Link's most recent adventure you'll have this red-haired berk pegged as nothing more than an irritant; an oafish dolt who has a Chilfos in Eldin's chance of usurping the pointy-eared protagonist in Zelda's affections. What follows is one of the series' greatest character arcs, as he turns from zero to hero, helping Link defeat The Imprisoned and saving the princess's life. He jokingly talks up his role at the close of the game, suggesting the story be titled The Legend Of Groose. Now there's a game we'd like to see.
09. ISAAC WASHINGTON
He's had it with these melon farming zombies
Responsible for more swears than your average football racism trial, detective Washington proves a hilariously profane foil to the rather more reserved G. Using the delightful phrase ['muddy funster' - Ed] in every chapter, his unrelenting barrage of f-bombs helped House Of The Dead Overkill earn an official Guinness World Record for the most curse words ever spoken in a videogame.
10. TELLY VISION
Robo-love for a coward
One half of one of gaming's most underrated double acts, Telly offers useful tips throughout Chibi-Robo. But what really makes him so adorable is the wonderful blend of humour and pathos he brings with his karaoke interludes, regularly attempting to practice singing his self-penned song Teriyaki Blues only to be rudely interrupted, usually by a falling pan. So the moment he finally gets to croon the entire ballad - sporting a cardboard tuxedo - is an oddly touching one.