It’s always amazing to see a great pilot in action. Whether it’s a tense dogfight or fancy complex maneuvers, a skilled pilot is a sight to see. It’s even cooler when that pilot is some sort of non-human creature. Whether it’s a cutesy animal or something more stylized and humanoid, these pilots are all interesting characters in their own right, aside from being great pilots. Being a great pilot doesn’t necessarily mean being the most technically proficient, however. As you’ll see some of these entries are great and memorable pilots by virtue of being good characters outside of any piloting skills.

Being a pilot isn’t limited to just planes or flying vehicles, especially in video games. Mech pilots are just as much pilots as anyone flying a plane or driving a land-based vehicle. The term pilot does recall anyone who can fly a plane though, and that’s mostly what the entries on this list will consist of, but that’s not to dismiss the other types of vehicles that fall into that category. Nonetheless, there’s always a novelty to seeing animals or animal-like characters rivaling and surpassing the skills of humans with some of these fantastic machines. Not to mention that these colorful and iconic characters stick in our heads and make a much more whimsical impression than a simple human fighter pilot or even a fictional mech pilot. It’s more than just the novel imagery or watching a character like Falco to do complex loops and rolls to avoid enemy fire, it’s a lot of fun to watch and even more so to play.

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