L was a complex character. He was a genius, capable of logically solving the most complex of problems. However, the very thing that made him special had also alienated him from everyone and everything. He only had Watari, but like a father, he could never truly comprehend him, only support and love him. In Light, he found an equal, both in intellect and personality. Sadly, by the time he found him, their paths had completely diverted. In a way, it was his downfall. But it also make him likeable. Unlike Near, he was human. He had faults, hopes, and fears. Near may have won the game, but as he pointed out, individually, he could never surpass L. That's why needed he Mello. That's why he won.