The spirit of Dragon Age games lies not in its epic world-saving quest or high fantasy elements but rather, in its companions. Hence, whenever a new Dragon Age game gets released, the most important question usually boils down to "how are the companions?" It has been this way ever since Bioware basked in its upstart glory as an RPG make during their Baldur's Gate days.

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They used all the lessons they learned from D&D-based titles to create a stellar cast in Dragon Age: Origins. To this day, there are many fans of the franchise that swear by Origins' characters as the best and most memorable. Several of them being brought back for sequels is proof enough. There are only so many ways you can save the world, after all— the real adventure is the friends you meet along the way.

9 Dog

Clos up of Dog in Dragon Age: Origins

Dog's a unique companion as there's no other Dragon Age game that allows you to bring a good boy to battle. This Mabari war hound is an automatic member of the party and has a more endearing backstory if the Warden or player character is of the human race.

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If not, then you still get to have this monster mutt later on. In terms of combat usefulness, Dog is quite a beast. He doesn't get conventional armor or weapons, meaning his stats are somewhat bloated to compensate for that. Moreover, Dog defaults as a warrior— pretty useful if you're in need of a tank. Beyond that, there's not much interaction to be had with Dog. Most of his social shenanigans involve gifting Morrigan with dead animals.

8 Wynne

Dragon age origins wynne fighting demons in mage tower

As far as wallflower companions go, Wynne is probably the most notable one in Dragon Age: Origins. She doesn't particularly stand out due to the rather bland character design and the fact that she's soft-spoken. It also doesn't help that she gives off the impression that she's likely past her prime.

Compared to other companions, Wynne doesn't really have some glaring internal conflicts that give her personality a nuance or a certain peculiarity. That's too bad since she's a highly functional individual on the battlefield especially with all her healing and defensive spells.

7 Oghren

Oghren by a candle.

Speaking of characters with heavy internal conflicts, almost to the point of intrusiveness, Oghren is a handful. This brash and stereotypical fantasy dwarf joined your party while leaving behind a host of problems in his previous social circles - problems that eventually creep up to him and involve the party.

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To make matters worse for his reputation, Oghren is an alcoholic. This trait ruined his noble background and made him a laughing stock, even among dwarves on the surface. Still, you can't really ask for a better berserker dwarf. There was only one way Oghren knew how to deal with his failures and misfortunes, and that is to bury an axe in an enemy's skull. It just so happens that he's quite good at making enemies.

6 Sten

Dragon Age Sten in cage

Anyone here looking for standout companions ought not to ignore Sten. That in itself is difficult because he's a seven-foot-tall Qunari frontliner, born and bred to be a vanguard in every combat. As physically imposing as he is, you would think that he'd be as rowdy and as impulsive as Oghren but Sten is more complex than that.

He's a quiet, stoic, and disciplined giant who - by most military standards - would have made for a perfect soldier. He's so devoted to his way of life that even the name he gives is more of a rank than his actual name. There's a certain warmth and honesty bout him that makes him reliable as both a combatant and a friend of the Warden.

5 Shale

Overhead view of Shale waking up in Dragon Age: Origins

While on the topic of reliability, Shale is one companion that has that in spades. This golem is a nod to the construct or machine companions of previous Bioware games, most notably HK-47 from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Personality-wise, Shale is similar to HK-47 albeit with less murderous tendencies or psychosis.

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Initially, her whole being is a mystery, and finding out her past or how she came to be a mechanical creature is one of the most interesting companion quests in the game. Meanwhile, she has some of the most quirky combat skills and spells in the game and can make every encounter more dynamic.

4 Zevran

dragon age zevran close up looking up

Dragon Age is a fantasy title with elves and dwarfs. Oghren was the mandatory dwarf companion, and so Zevran is the elf companion. In contrast to Oghren being a stereotypical dwarf, however, Zevran is anything but a stereotype of an elf. Since most elves are segregated slaves in Dragon Age, Zevran had a turbulent upbringing.

He was a slave who eventually became an outlaw and was trained in covert arts and other shady dealings. Zevran being a street smart elven rogue is already enough to make him stand out in a fantasy world, but the way he talks and provides experienced insight, as well as witty banter, is the icing on the cake.

3 Leliana

Leliana with her arrows equipped in the party's camp

Leliana is another character with a similar background as Zevran - except she hides it well. Under that seemingly innocent face, you wouldn't expect a former expert assassin. Well, to be more precise, she's a bard who has dabbled in espionage and other state matters that require dirty work.

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That's all in her past now. Leliana has since joined the Chantry and is a devout sister of the religious organization in Dragon Age: Origins. Being one of the major romantic options and someone who competes directly with Morrigan, Leliana is also one of the strongest characters in the game personality-wise. She can even match Morrigan in an exchange of wits in one of the most intriguing arguments of any RPG ever.

2 Alistair

Close up image of a human man wearing armour and carrying a sword.

The opening moments of Dragon Age: Origins are grim and almost depressing. Truth be told, it would have been an unbearable sulk-fest if it wasn't for Alistair's presence. This odd and quirky Grey Warden is the most humorous misfit in the game, though by no means does that make him an incompetent companion. He makes a good party tank.

What you'll remember Alistair for, however, is the dialogue with him. His almost childish demeanor, combined with the optimistic fool, makes Alistair an automatic inclusion in a party if only to hear some of his banter.

1 Morrigan

Close up on a human woman's face in a video game, with raven black hair carrying a staff.

There we go - one of the most bittersweet characters in the game, Morrigan. She joins the party soon after you and Alistair regroup and her entrance was almost dream-like.

She's not only crucial to the plot but also someone who can save the Grey Warden, meaning her role is more than that of a romantic option. As a fantasy character, there aren't many who can compare to Morrigan's aura. She's a goth witch who, beneath the sinister gaze, remains somewhat human and relatable - so there's no denying her charm even if she keeps pushing people away.

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