Despite coming out 10+ years ago, Mass Effect 2 is still being heavily discussed by fans today.
This is because the game had some of the best characters, storytelling, and world-building in RPG history. Nothing showed off these traits better than the game's loyalty missions. It was during these missions, where you got a closer look at your squadmates and their personal lives.
Every squadmate had a loyalty quest, and they all ranged from okay to amazing. For this list, we have ranked all twelve (including DLC) of them from worst to best.
12 Zaeed: The Price Of Revenge
The best thing about Zaeed's DLC loyalty mission is that your choices alter the way it plays out. Whether the Mercenary kills his target or not is based on your actions. Although, the story of Zaeed attempting to get revenge on his former business partner isn't anywhere near as compelling as some others on this list.
If it had some really awesome combat sections or set pieces, it could've landed higher on the list, but it doesn't.
11 Garrus: Eye For An Eye
Garrus is charming, cool, and one-of-a-kind, yet his loyalty mission doesn't share those qualities. Much like Zaeed, Garrus's mission takes the form of a basic revenge plot where you affect the outcome. At least this mission involves the scumbag Harkin getting some comeuppance, which is always welcome.
Combat-wise, the mission doesn't do anything revolutionary either. Although there is a close-range battle against two heavy mechs, that presents a nice challenge.
10 Miranda: The Prodigal
Throughout most of Mass Effect 2, Miranda seems very cold, not caring for much beyond doing her duty. That is what makes her loyalty mission interesting, as you get to see another side of her while she attempts to stop her evil father from getting a hold of her genetic twin. For once, she isn't the ultra-professional Cerberus cheerleader; she is just a woman who's concerned for her sister's safety.
Why this mission doesn't get a higher spot on the list is because while the story is good, it still doesn't quite match some of the higher entries.
9 Thane: Sins Of The Father
Thane's mission stands out because it involves no combat. Instead, you have to follow a Turian politician who's being hunted by Thane's son Kolyat, to stop the young man from taking a life.
The highlight of the mission actually comes before all that, when you get to interrogate a man for information. There are multiple ways the interrogation can play out, and it's a unique scene for a Mass Effect game. Alongside the interrogation, the touching reunion of Thane and Kolyat and the subsequent mending of their relationship makes up for the lack of gunplay.
8 Mordin: Old Blood
The story surrounding this mission seems one of the more basic ones at first, as Mordin simply wants your help rescuing Maelen, his former protege. Yet, once you find Maelen, it turns out he is voluntarily helping the Krogan find a cure for the Genophage. This is when you get the option of whether to keep or destroy the scientist's data on the genetic mutation. It's a substantial decision for a loyalty quest since it affects some of the events in Mass Effect 3.
In addition to that, the mission includes multiples fights with some tough Krogan, which adds a welcome layer of difficulty to proceedings.
7 Jacob: The Gift Of Greatness
Thankfully, Jacob's loyalty mission is a lot more interesting than he is. The quest involves investigating a distress signal that came from a ship Jacob's father is serving on, that went missing ten years prior.
While there, you discover the heinous acts that Jacob's dad committed. He gave women to the officers like pets, had his mechs target the crew members that tried to mutiny, and kept the ship's food for himself and other officers (forcing the crew to eat toxic alternatives). The way the mystery of what happened unravels is brilliant. And having only minimal combat helps the pace of that mystery.
6 Samara: The Ardat-Yakshi
Ardat-Yakshis are Asari who are born with a genetic condition that makes anyone they mate with have a brain hemorrhage. In Samara's loyalty mission, you hunt one down who is using her condition as a weapon. The target in question is Samara's daughter, Morinth.
To catch her, you need to lure her into a trap by acting as her potential prey. This requires flirting with her so that she invites you to her place, where Samara can launch an ambush. It's a clever and unique mission that tests your seduction techniques and not your combat skills.
5 Kasumi: Stealing Memory
Kasumi's DLC loyalty mission has the advantage of being significantly longer than most. However, its opening party section is the main reason it's so high on this list. This is because you and master thief Kasumi get to engage in a mini heist to open Donovon Hock's (the host) vault and steal a graybox back. It's an entertaining section of the game, that is enhanced by funny dialogue, from both Shepard and Kasumi.
In addition to the heist, the mission involves a solid boss battle against Hock. Also, it features one of the saddest moments in the game, when Kasumi finds a message from her now-deceased partner in the graybox.
4 Grunt: Rite Of Passage
For most loyalty missions, it is their stories that make them exceptional and memorable, that is not the case for this one. The main focus of Grunt's loyalty mission is combat, as you join the Krogan during his Rite Of Passage.
To complete the Rite, you have to survive battles against varren, klixen, and a Thresher Maw. It is a load of fun. And the way the Krogans build up the importance of the Rite beforehand makes the whole thing feel monumental. As a bonus after the Rite, you get to take on a Krogan Battlemaster, which is another enjoyable fight.
3 Jack: Subject Zero
Jack is one of the most interesting characters in the series. Initially, she seems like a cruel psycho, but when you get to know her, you realize why she is that way. You learn the most about her during her loyalty mission.
In the mission, you travel back to the now-abandoned Cerberus facility where she was raised. During the visit, Jack tells you about all the abuse and torment she suffered there, all while learning she wasn't the only one who had it bad. There's not much combat to speak off in the quest, but it doesn't need it. It's an emotional yet captivating mission that helps you understand a complicated character.
2 Legion: A House Divided
This loyalty mission doesn't just show you a new side to a squadmate; it gives you a new perspective on an entire species. The objective of the mission is to infiltrate a Heretic station and destroy the virus housed there. While at the station, Legion gives you some fascinating insight on the Geth and their split from the Heretics. And its the first time you get to see the Geth as anything but a perpetual enemy. At the end of the quest, Legion forces you to choose between destroying the Heretics or rewriting them in one of the hardest decisions in the series.
The mission also includes some fun strategy-based combat, including a tower defense-like sequence where you use turrets (controlled by Legion) to help defend your position from waves of Heretics.
1 Tali: Treason
Tali's mission surrounds a trial, as the Quarian is accused of treason. The trial gives you an intriguing look at Quarian's laws and politics in a way that Mass Effect has never done before. The moments outside the trial are equally compelling as you learn that it was actually Tali's father that was at fault, not his daughter. However, you only find this out after his death, and seeing Tali discover his body is heartbreaking.
Then you have to decide whether or not you want to prove Tali's innocence by incriminating her father, which goes against her wishes. Political intrigue, emotional moments, and difficult choices, this quest has everything you could want in a Mass Effect mission.