10 Video Game Rats, Ranked By How Chill They Seem

10 Video Game Rats, Ranked By How Chill They Seem
Image: Getty Images (Sanjay Kanojia) / Microsoft / Kotaku

Because I live in New York City, my primary enemy is the rats. I face them daily — they run their greasy bodies around mounds of hot garbage and shit all over my apartment’s welcome mat. But via their appearances in games, I want to work on our relationship, and everyone knows that ranked slideshows are the most ideal way to do that.

If I must constantly face the rats at home, in public, and in my GI tract when they inevitably spit in my mouth while I’m sleeping, I want our interactions to be pleasant. And in my most optimistic moments, I feel that I want our interactions to be not just pleasant, but something I look forward to.

I may not approve of rats’ “lifestyle” (eating baby diapers, killing people with the Black Death), but perhaps I could learn to via their more palatable relative, the personable video game rat.

In an effort to cast rats in a new light for me, I will rank 10 video game rats based on highly scientific criteria: niceness, style, and how unlikely they are to give you an incurable disease. I will give the rats a score out of five for these three categories, and the winning rat will both top the slideshow and become my best friend.

Are you ready? I’m ready.

10. Rat hordes, A Plague Tale: Innocence

Screenshot: Asobo StudioScreenshot: Asobo Studio

Honorable mention:

A Plague Tale allows 5,000 rats to appear on screen at the same time. There is a rat army. The game’s story is all about rats. There are black plague rats, rat hordes, mind controlled rats, rats that eat pigs while they’re still alive — you name the rat, A Plague Tale has it.

I will not be friends with these rats, but I have to give a shout out to their confidence.

9. Frenzied rats, Elden Ring

FromSoftware loves to pad its role-playing games with starving, decaying rats that chomp at you with their yellow mouths. You bleed out and contemplate how you, despite your dedication and your armour, were felled by such a small, shaggy creature. It’s all about the beautiful circle of life, really, until their eyes start glowing orange and looking into them inflicts you with deadly madness. Not all right, Elden Ring’s frenzied rats, you can’t just panic attack people to death. Haven’t you seen all the Instagram infographics about how to destigmatize anxiety?

How nice is this rat? 1/10. This guy’s over here stigmatizing anxiety.

How stylish is this rat? Credit where it’s due, this rat is pretty stylish. Look at those glittering eyes of madness! I see someone has read The Yellow Wallpaper. 3/10

Is this rat free of disease? Absolutely not. 0/10

Best friend score: 1.3. We can do better.

8. Undead rats, Dark Souls

Dark Souls’ undead rats are in every sewer losing chunks of their face and stuff. They are a bit cowardly, but won’t hesitate to chomp on you if need be. Occasionally, they drop humanity, a consumable item that improves your character’s robustness (among other things) and metaphorically links you with the rotting rat. Gross but true.

How nice is this rat? I’m going with a 5/10. Seems context dependent. They’re passive unless you get in their business, and I can empathise with their defensiveness as someone with a hidden cardboard cutout of ex-boybander Niall Horan.

How stylish is this rat? Not very, unfortunately. I know you’re shy and all, undead rat, but at least cover your decaying flesh with a jaunty little boater. 2/10

Is this rat free of disease? Due to the decaying flesh, I am forced to assume that it isn’t. No judgment, rat. 0/10

Best friend score: 2.3

7. Rat genius, League of Legends

Image: Riot GamesImage: Riot Games

The League of Legends champion Twitch is an anthropomorphic assassin rat that poisons opponents with his filthy crossbow. Awesome!

How nice is this rat? Objectively not nice, but I like that he canonically finds his prized possessions in the garbage. He’s doing his part to be sustainable, but could stand to lose the crossbow. 2/10

How stylish is this rat? I love the goggles and the tail rings, but I’m split on the rest of the look. 6/10

Is this rat free of disease? No, he is as filled with dirt and grime as his heart is filled with bitterness. 0/10

Best friend score: 2.6. I could be this rat’s acquaintance.

6. Stinky rats, Hades

Game-wise, I hate these rats. They’re annoying and the larger ones fill roguelike Hades’ dungeons with green, goopy poison. What are they doing? Peeing it out?

How nice is this rat? They’re deliberately peeing poison puddles. How nice do you think they are? Jokes on you, it’s a 3/10.

How stylish is this rat? Putting pee politics aside for a moment, I do enjoy how this rat looks, and I would feel pretty pleased with myself if this rat asked me to go thrifting over the weekend. It looks like it could be a Twitch streamer, but the kind without any assault allegations. Few people can say that, and even fewer rats. 7/10

Is this rat free of disease? No, this rat has a urinary tract infection. We’ve all been there, though. 1/10

Best friend score: 3.6. I’d throw back a couple of frozen margs with this rat.

5. Cool rat, Super Mario Bros 2

Screenshot: Basileous Productions / Nintendo / KotakuScreenshot: Basileous Productions / Nintendo / Kotaku

Mouser in the 1988 platformer Super Mario Bros 2 loves throwing bombs, which is incredibly rude and illegal, but I like his sunglasses.

How nice is this rat? Not nice. He routinely carries out acts of terrorism and hides behind those stunningly tapered sunglasses. Unfortunately for him, I see through them. 0/10.

How stylish is this rat? That being said, they are fantastic sunglasses. 7/10

Is this rat free of disease? I don’t have proof, but I think he is. His bubblegum pink accents appear very healthy to me, like a baby’s set of gums. 6/10

Best friend score: 4.0. This is one cool rat, but his addiction to violence must be dealt with.

4. Delicious rats, Vampyr

You can eat the rats in Vampyr, which morally sickens its protagonist and titular vampire, Jonathan. When you lead him to a yummy rat to feed his bloodlust, he repeats a few pained lines of dialogue, saying, “This is despicable,” and, “I cannot believe I’m doing this.” Get over it, Jonny. These are utility rats.

How nice is this rat? It’s nice of the rats to sacrifice their lives, albeit unwillingly. We must honour the rats for this. 10/10

How stylish is this rat? I don’t think the rats are worrying about what they look like when a vampire gargles on their blood, but we can’t fault them for that. 3/10

Is this rat free of disease? Vampyr takes place in 1918, when London was getting torn apart by the Spanish flu and other awesome diseases. These are yucky rats full of worms probably. But man, are they tasty. 0/10

Best friend score: 4.3

3. NYC rat, TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge

Screenshot: Tribute Games Inc. / KotakuScreenshot: Tribute Games Inc. / Kotaku

There are a few rat moments in TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge, but I want to focus on the Rat King boss fight’s stampede of city rats. These rats look thrilled to form one pink-tailed blob and bite you, and just like NYC’s real rats know no greater joy than nesting in my backyard (I’m taking care of it) and eating my tomatoes (I’m taking care of it).

How nice is this rat? I am incredibly triggered by these pixelated rat New Yorkers, but since this slideshow is meant to be about forgiveness and understanding, I will be judicious and give them a 4/10.

How stylish is this rat? Their grey coat is a little lacklustre, but their pink ears and tails make me confident that these rats know themselves as true summers. 6/10

Is this rat free of disease? It’s possible…they look quite healthy. Tentative 5/10.

Best friend score: 5.0. I could learn to love them, as long as they learn to grow their own heirloom tomatoes.

2. Music rats, Mad Rat Dead

Screenshot: Nippon Ichi SoftwareScreenshot: Nippon Ichi Software

The lab rat protagonist in the rhythm game Mad Rat Dead has the ability to rewind time, a sentient heart (as seen in the above image), and a toe-tapping animation. Anyone would be honoured to be this Franken-rat’s friend.

How nice is this rat? This is a PLUR rat, for sure. 8/10

How stylish is this rat? The mustard-coloured gloves, the lightning-shaped golden earring, the gaping hole in its chest…this is a rat with branding. This rat would rock Betsy Johnson’s 2013 spring collection with ease. Good job, rat, you’re America’s next top model. 7/10

Is this rat free of disease? There is undoubtedly a case of necrosis or butt worms going on there. Both very chic, but not ideal. 2/10

Best friend score: 5.6. Let’s go to a D.I.Y. show with this rat.

1. Chef rat, Kingdom Hearts III

Screenshot: Square Enix / KotakuScreenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku

Now we’re getting somewhere. Remy from Disney’s rat chef movie Ratatouille makes an appearance in the action role-playing game Kingdom Hearts III as the “Little Chef.” He guides spiky-haired Sora in making tasty meals for his successful French bistro.

How nice is this rat? This is a passionate rat entrepreneur with an advanced palate. He pulls on Sora’s hair to direct his cooking, but it’s with the gentle steering of a parent or mentor. Little Chef is kind, and likely thrilled about our current summer squash season. 10/10

How stylish is this rat? He could use a signature sneaker or scent or something. But you know these chef-types, always working on their menu instead of on their skincare. Operating a bistro requires its own sense of cultural know-how anyway, so Little Chef can still get a 7/10.

Is this rat free of disease? I don’t think they’d let him own and operate a restaurant if he weren’t, let alone get in the kitchen without a hairnet. 10/10.

Best friend score: 9/10. I can’t believe I’m finally saying this…but…this rat is now my best friend.

What are some of your most prized video game rats? Tell me quickly, before I throw up.

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