Robots and videogames, a match made in heaven. At least I think so, and sure hope you do too – in fact I'd bet good money that you do, since there's so many examples of awesome androids in games. They make good enemies (exploding in showers of sparks and bolts), sidekicks (with loads of cool gadgets) and player characters alike, and they're always super cool to boot. Here are just five of my faves from across the years!
The titular hero of the Ratchet and Clank series – well, half of the titular heroes – and the star of his own spin-off game, Clank is so much more than a robotic sidekick. Even if he does spend most of his time strapped to the back of his furry friend Ratchet.
The diminutive 'droid broke out of captivity on a robot factory in deep space, hooking up with his similarly rebellious buddy and aiding him with any number of cool gadgets and gizmos.
Across the fifteen-or-so games in the series so far – spanning every console Sony have put out since the Playstation 2 – Clank has provided players with everything from a jetpack to a fully-fledge spaceship to a hulking rock 'em sock 'em boxing robot.
All of which are cool on their own, but all wrapped up in one little backpack-sized Clank? Now that secures you a place on our list of coolest robots in videogames.
The mechanical hero of point-and-click adventure Machinarium hasn't quite the wild capabilities of Clank, but he makes up for it with charm and pluck. Named for the Czech artist who invented the word 'robot', Josef is a class rust bucket, a miniature tin man.
What he lacks in aesthetics Josef makes up for with his inventiveness, as players guide him through some increasingly fiendish puzzles across a gorgeous hand-drawn world. There's no dialogue in Machinarium, just the thoughts and speech of the characters expressed in comic book word balloons and cute sound effects.
Josef is the DIY punk automaton of adventure games, which for our money is more than enough to make him one of the coolest videogame robots.
Image Credit: Amanita design
3. Mega Man
This classic Capcom series of platformers feature not just one but dozens of the coolest robots I've ever seen in videogames – there's the star of the show, Mega Man (or Rockman in Japan; the music rather than the mineral), but he also has a cadre of mechanical pals and faces off against a league of villainous Robot Masters.
So not only is there the streets ahead Mega Man, in his baby blue armour and arm that fires rockets, but along the way he teams up with the lightsabre-wielding Zero and his android dog Rush, and defeats the likes of Electric Man, Bomb Man and Pharaoh Man.
And if that wasn't enough, Mega Man picks up all his enemies powers as he goes on, which means he's literally cooler than all those aforementioned supporting characters combined! I am still not sure what Pharaoh Man's powers were, though...
4. Cait Sith
If there's two things the internet loves, it's robots and cats. This Final Fantasy VII party member brings to the two together in predictably awesome fashion, a robot kitty who rides upon a giant stuffed toy he magically brought to life.
I don't need to say more than that, do I? Remote control android cat, who can talk, and walk on his hind legs, and gets carted around by an adorable, huge moogle? Well, he has a crown and a cape too, so he's working that whole royal angle.
Even when it turns out to Cait was nothing more than a spy for the bad guys, controlled like a puppet, it was hard to get mad at him. Just like you forgive a real kitty a multitude of sins, Cait was just too cute. Sorry, cool. Robot cats=cool.
There have been plenty of brilliant robots on this list so far, but have any of them offered you cake? Or serenaded you with a beautiful song upon its demise? No, they did not. Those are just two of the qualities that make GlaDOS (that's short for Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System), the nefarious robot AI that puts you through heck in the Portal games, so great.
I am willing to overlook a little backstabbing with Cait Sith, but for GLaDOS – who actively tries to kill you as you venture through the abandoned Aperture Science labs – to not only be forgiven for her discretions but end up with our respect, you know she's gotta be something special.
Cakes and songs are just the tip of the iceberg. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the immense charm she expresses as she leads you into death traps, the wit and self-awareness of an AI that's become murderously self-aware, the way she came across as HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey with a sense of humour. GLaDOS, as one of the coolest robots in videogames, we salute you. I am not even joking. I am being so sincere right now.