The best animal-like races in video games
Animal-like beast races have been a staple of gaming for the past few decades, especially in a variety of different types of RPGs. More often than not, these races are enemies encountered throughout a given title. But it’s not always the case ! Whether it’s a party member or the player character themselves, many friendly or playable anthropomorphic characters are present in a myriad of different games.
But which of these bestial races is the best of the best? Today, we’ve rounded up some of the best animal breeds in the game to see which ones leave the most lasting impressions on players.
8 Taguel – Fire Emblem: Awakening
Although they were only prominent in Fire Emblem: Awakening, the Taguel are still one of the most memorable races in the series. While Taguel can transform into different animals depending on their lineage, the two featured in Awakening transform into giant rabbits. These two are also the last of their kind as an unknown group of humans exterminated the rest. These specific Taguel may not seem so threatening compared to other breeds of beasts, but as anyone who has played Monster Hunter or similar games knows, Giant Rabbits can make formidable opponents. No matter what animal they transform into, Taguel is known to be strong, quick, and exceptionally skilled, making him a valuable addition to any team.
seven Motavians – Phantasy Star series
The Motaves are interesting in that they started out as rodent-like creatures usually encountered as enemies, but over time the Motaves became less rat-like and more like fuzzy birds, looking more like Furbies. with humanoid bodies. The Motaves generally live in villages far from human contact, but some still live among civilizations populated by humans. Although they don’t normally interact much with humans, they are junk scavengers and seek out abandoned human technology. Due to their scavenging habits, they wear heavy clothing such as hooded robes, robes, scarves, and boots, which protect them when rummaging through the junk. It is also a useful item of clothing in general when living in harsher environments. Motaves haven’t been relevant to the series since Phantasy Star IV, but maybe they’ll reappear someday.
6 Primals – Biomutant
All of the playable races in Biomutant are beast-like humanoids with a variety of appearances. The Primal race, however, is particularly striking – hence its presence in promotional images and videos prior to the release of Biomutant. They also appear on the cover art, so players were already familiar with them once the game was released.
Primals start with lower intelligence and melee damage than other races, but are faster and start with a higher critical chance stat. Due to their abilities, they make excellent Dead-Eyes, which focus on using ranged weapons. They also make great Saboteurs, which use dual melee weapons and have a reduced energy cost when dodging. The primals may not be the strongest of the bunch, but they’re still a formidable foe in the world of Biomutant’s “post-apocalyptic kung fu fable.”
5 Lycanthrope – Star Ocean
Contrary to the usual definition, Lycanthropes are a race made up of werewolves and individuals who can transform into various animals when their heart rate has increased enough. Lycanthropes have been around since the first Star Ocean game and hail from a planet known as Roak, although they have a small population and prefer to live in isolation from other races. Similar to other werewolves, it has been said that their affliction can be caused by either a curse or a virus. Interestingly enough, their description in The Last Hope also indicates that their weakness for money is just a superstition. They may have less relevance now, but at least they haven’t disappeared from the show entirely.
4 Rito – The Legend of Zelda series
Far from being the only avian race in video games, Rito is probably one of the best known, having starred in The Wind Waker, Breath of The Wild, Hyrule Warriors, and Age of Calamity. In their first appearance in The Windwaker, they have beaks and talons and gain wings after successfully completing their coming of age ceremony. Rito in Breath of the Wild looks much more like a bird and was born with all of his avian characteristics. Their only human characteristic is the humanoid shape of their body. In The Wind Waker, Rito is said to have evolved from Zora, but both races coexist in Breath of the Wild. It can be confusing, but since the two games are on separate branches of the Zelda timeline, it works quite well.
3 Hrothgar – Final Fantasy 14
The Hrothgar are a large playable leonine race featured in Final Fantasy XIV. There are two different clans of Hrothgar – the Helion and the Lost. They have slightly different backgrounds but no physical differences apart from different toned fur colors. While male Hrothgar are often seen, there are very few females seen despite the race initially revolving around a matriarchal society.
The Hrothgar may seem like a purely beastly race when looking at their beastly physical attributes, but they also created the Gunbreaker class, meaning many are skilled Gunblade wielders as well.
2 Inklings – Splatoon
Inklings have been around since the beginning of the Splatoon series and often appear in promotional materials and other Nintendo games such as Super Mario Maker and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Inklings are humanoid creatures that evolved from squids, were born as squids, and even have a squid form they can still transform into as adults.
Several millennia after the extinction of humanity, the Inklings became the dominant life form on Earth. They eventually developed their own company and engaged in Turf Wars for fun. Their evolution might not have the most detailed origin, but they’re still notable enough to become one of Nintendo’s latest flagship franchises, which is pretty impressive for a bunch of squid kids.
The reptile-like Argonians, also known as the Saxhleel, are a playable race in the Elder Scrolls series since Daggerfall. The Argonians are native to the Black Marsh and have a symbiotic relationship with sentient trees known as the Hist. It has also been suggested that the Hist can help Argonians mature and change their appearance or gender. Due to their ability to breathe underwater, resistance to certain poisons, and immunity to diseases found in Black Marsh, the Argonians are also a force to be reckoned with. They may not be as feared as some other reptilian creatures in Tamriel, but they are still best left untouched.
NEXT: 8 Best RPGs Where You Play As An Animal
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