Coloccini believes Barton's legacy is the support he offered him as the club's new captain this summer.
Barton was overlooked for the captaincy in July when previous skipper and his big pal Kevin Nolan left for West Ham .
The former Deprotivo La Coruna stopper admits the St. James' Park dressing room is a different place without the strongly-opinionated Barton.
He said: "It's different. I think a lot of players have a different style. Some are more quiet and some are like Joey with a strong spirit.
"He was a good team-mate. Sometimes you need players like that, with character.
"The players want to win and in difficult times, he showed his character and that was good.
"Sometimes, when we didn't have good times at the club - like relegation - we needed players like him.''