Unexpected video game horses, ranked
Red Dead Redemption 2 may have been delayed until spring 2018, but we’re not prepared to give up thinking about horse adventures just yet. Sure, the new screenshots that Rockstar Games released were a consolation, but they were also severely lacking in one of the best parts of the game: the horses.
Video game horses have galloped through our imaginations for endless hours. Not just regular old horses, either. We’ve enjoyed unique, bizarre, unexpected horses — horses that would never make it to the cover of the Horse & Rider magazine.
That ain’t right. These horses deserve a moment in the spotlight. So we’re giving them that moment.
Here are 15 unexpected horses in video games, ranked:
15. Undead horse
(Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare DLC)
When the zombie apocalypse comes a-knocking in Red Dead Redemption’s Undead Nightmare DLC, mankind’s favorite rideable animal turns horribly hellish. The undead horse may be actively rotting away, but it’s still just as trusty as ever.
Nothing about the character designs of the alien fighters in the Genesis’ 1991 fighting game, Fighting Masters, is expected. Flamer, or Equus, is one such unexpected, anthropomorphic horse alien.
13. Queen Chrysalis
(My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Guardians of Harmony)
These aren’t your dad’s ponies. Queen Chrysalis is a shape-shifting pony who uses her power for evil and feeds on pony love. A truly despicable being. In the My Little Pony game, Guardians of Harmony, you have to fight past her hordes of underlings and defeat her.
12. Fake horses
(Final Furlong 2)
It’s always cool when an arcade racing game makes you feel like you’re in the driver’s seat. But Final Furlong 2 takes it to the next level with it’s fake-horse-body-seat to really immerse you in the horse racing action.
Horstachios are sentient horses that are filled with candy, despite their diet of apples, carrots, and hay. The only way to get one is if you already have a ponocky — a sentient pony filled with candy. Whether horstachios can support the weight of a full grown human has yet to be tested.
10. Miscellaneous horses
(Japan World Cup)
Horses in Japan World Cup are like snowflakes — each one is unique. Sit back and watch as the insane spectrum of horses race around a track and you bet on which one is going to come out on top. Will it be the horse with the afro? The horse on skis? The horse that’s actually a gorilla?
9. Executioner’s Chariot
(Dark Souls 2)
Like many bosses in the Dark Souls series, the Executioner’s Chariot comes out of nowhere and is terrifyingly dangerous and relentless. Two giant skeletal horses whip around a circular arena with the singular goal of destroying everything in their path and you have to do your best to kill them. They’re also the only horses in Dark Souls 2, which makes them extra special.
8. Butt Stallion
Though this horse initially makes her appearance as the butt of one of Handsome Jack’s jokes (see what we did there?), she shows up again as part of Tiny Tina’s DLC. And once you’ve finished the final mission, the diamond-bodied horse will poop out loot for you, too.
7. Nicolas Cage Horse
(The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask mod)
This The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask texture mod replaces all sorts of things in the game with none other than Nicolas’ Cage’s smiling face. One such replacement is Epona’s face, and it is both creepy and wonderful.
6. Empress Rainbow Dash “The Glorious” of the Roman Empire
(Crusader Kings II)
A fun Crusader Kings II patch added a horse named Glitterhoof to the game to act as one of your councillors. Glitterhoof was never intended to have more power than that, but a player found an exploit to spawn more horses, eventually making one named Rainbow Dash rise to power, ruling over a sizeable kingdom in her horsey glory.
5. Horse’s head
One mission in The Godfather game plays out an iconic scene from the film. Not only do you sneak around to the stables to wait around while your partner Rocco cuts this poor horse’s head off, but you have to slink back around to deliver it to movie producer Jack Woltz’s bed. The Corleones don’t mess around.
4. Tommy Wiseau horse
(The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim mod)
We’re not sure why this mod that stretches out human skin over a horse frame in a way that resembles Tommy Wiseau exists, and we’re not sure we’re happy about it either. But the Crimes Against Nature Skyrim mod is certainly…striking.
(Shadow of the Colossus)
Most video game horse lists will cite Agro as a noteworthy addition, and for good reason. She’s one of the best horses you could find to ride with you into battle. But since this is a list of unexpected horses, we decided to throw you a slight curveball and call out the fourth colossus boss: Phaedra, who pretty much just kinda looks like a horse.
2 . Poonikins
(Grand Theft Auto IV mod)
If Niko from Grand Theft Auto IV was a horse, it would go a little something like this. Poonikins is violent, has a questionable grip on physics, and is too large for most cars. That doesn’t stop Poonikins from making a name for himself in Liberty City, though.
(My Horse Prince)
There is no horse more unexpected than Yuuma from My Horse Prince. Yuuma appears to the protagonist as a horse with an impeccably handsome face — a face so handsome that you almost want to date him. And you do. It’s equally horrifying and charming.