Happy Valentine’s Day! Or, Happy Forever Alone Day! Or, Happy “All the Single Ladies (all the single ladies) Day! However you choose to celebrate, there is plenty of chocolate to go around. With Valentine’s Day there comes lots of love, pink, and romance. I’m sure anyone reading this can immediately think of their top few favorite romantic movies to watch, or love songs and other forms of entertainment, but what about games? Video games allow us to escape into other worlds, become other people and fulfill our wildest fantasies…whatever that may be.
Below I, along with the wonderful Electro Jade, have compiled a host of games that we feel have some of the best romances in all of gaming. However, aren’t you curious to see how males and females view this holiday differently, specifically when it comes to games? If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m kind of a cynic when it comes to this stuff, but Jennie feels a bit differently. We both take entirely different approaches to analyzing the games, so we hope you appreciate both styles. My picks are in blue, hers are in pink!
Also, if you’re feeling extra romantic today, go ahead to our friends at GamesRadar and make sure you check out their Valentine’s Day articles as well! They did their own list of gaming romances here, as well as some awesome game-themed Valentine’s cards!
Braid has become a prized possession in the indie game industry - for good reason too! Not only does Braid feature amazing gameplay, and a beautiful soundtrack, but it also presents an incredibly romantic tale. The gamer is taken on a trip with Tim, a preppy main character, who finds himself in a surprising story featuring a monster, a princess, and the willingness to make things right again. Tim’s determination to help his princess in distress ultimately makes this a great romantic game. The gamer can easily sympathize with Tim’s ambition. Not only is this romance heartfelt, but as the story unfolds, the romance becomes incredibly unique.
Super Mario series
This is one of the best examples of going above and beyond for a woman without any real gratitude in return. Ladies, wonder why we always say the nice guy finishes last? How many times has Mario slaughtered entire ecosystems of wildlife and battled humanoid turtle dinosaurs, just for the chance to hold Princess Peach’s hand? I’ve lost track personally, but that plumber is seriously obsessed.
Also, it kind of makes you wonder…does Peach even feel the same way? I mean, doesn’t she upgrade her security after each kidnapping, or at least try to avoid capture? If I were a gambling man, I’d totally bet that she secretly likes getting kidnapped by Bowser just to indulge in that dangerous side. Girls be crazy.
Great romance doesn’t have to be right. Catherine has become an infamous video game for its focus on infidelity. The game revolves around Vincent who is later forced to decide between his long-term girlfriend of five years and his new-found lover Catherine. Although monogamous relationships reign supreme in the hearts of romantics, Catherine’s charming allure makes Vincent’s love scandal so well worth it. The lustrous romance between the two easily becomes a guilty pleasure for the gamer. Pick this game up if you’re looking for video game romance of the sultry kind (also if you’ve always wanted to play with cute little sheep).
The Legend of Zelda series
I don’t know if maybe Shigeru Miyamoto was expressing some pent-up aggression for being in the friend-zone in his younger years, but Link feels a lot of Mario’s pain. However, it tends to get mixed up quite a bit more in the Zelda series. Sometimes she’s been kidnapped, or put to sleep, or forced into hiding, or banished to another realm – whatever the case maybe, she typically has something to do with the plot. The games are named after her, aren’t they?
Which brings me to my next point – Link is such a selfless hero, he doesn’t even need to have his name in the title of his own adventure. I don’t know if it’s naivety or true heroism, but Link is one loyal guy. By forest, fire, water or air, Link will always save Zelda, don’t you despair!
The Uncharted series
In comparison to the other video game romances, Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher exude a romance in the most realistic light. Throughout the Uncharted series, the gamer follows the subplot love story of Nathan and Elena. The couple’s interactions include emotional confrontations, heartening reunions, and some of the greatest team work sequences in a video game (kudos to Naughty Dog for making Elena an awesome female character).
Moreover, the couple seldom displays physical affection towards each other, yet still successfully win the hearts of gamers everywhere. If that doesn’t say something, then I don’t know what will. Elena and Drake are great individuals, and together they create the perfect romance.
Final Fantasy X
This game surely makes it into almost anyone’s list for best gaming romances, so I doubt you’re surprised to see it land here as well. Not only is it one of the best turn-based RPGs ever crafted by human hands, it’s an extremely emotional journey right up to the twist-ending conclusion.
The entire game is like one giant Lifetime movie full of the greatest hits of iconic romance scenes. Wonderful music as they gaze longingly into one another’s eyes? Check. Epic battles against evil as they fight side-by-side? Check. Sexy swimming scenes where they romantically embrace each other? CHECK!
Surprisingly, a game revolving around the depths of hell has the ability to be incredibly romantic. Our hero, Dante, takes on the world below to save his wife, Beatrice, from Lucifer. Limbo babies and crazy nipples ensue, but that’s another story.
The extent of horror Dante endures throughout his journey only proves how much he loves Beatrice. The romance between the two lovers is apparent, and Dante’s ambition to save his wife only strengthens the impression. If you’re looking for a game that exudes unconditional love among the scariest of settings, this game will be sinfully your cup of tea.
Mass Effect Series
Alien sex. I shouldn’t really need to say anything else, but I will anyways. Mass Effect is a great series not just because of the epic story, exhilarating combat and wonderful universe that Bioware created, but mostly because of the characters that populate it. Playing through that series brought up emotions in me that I didn’t know games could.
Many-a-debate has been had over which character is the best romantic option. Did you save Ashley or Kaiden? Did you stay faithful to your romance from the first game, or was Miranda too much of a temptation? What about Liara, or Tali? Were you a female or male in the game? So much room for sexual activities!
Final Fantasy XIII
The story of Serah and her fiancé, Snow, is one for the hopeless romantics, folks. Similar to Dante, Snow is determined to save his damsel in distress. Although Serah’s beta-female personality is the most cringe-worthy thing to ever exist, it’s undeniable how much she is loved by Snow.
What makes this romance so great is how different both individuals are compared to one another. Snow, a hot-headed, courageous man, with Serah, a quiet, mature young girl, is enough to raise a lot of gamers’ eyebrows. But perhaps the attraction between the two is meant to display an image of love’s unlimited possibilities. After all, every couple is unique and wonderful.
Shadow of the Colossus
This is probably the least expected of my picks, but this cult-classic is one of the best games from last generation. The narrative is very cryptic and subtle, but it’s a story about true love if I ever saw one. Wander goes and conquers living, breathing mountains to try and bring back his love – at what cost?
I won’t spoil anything here, but let’s just say that your character’s intentions may not match up well with the consequences they produce. Shadow of the Colossus is emotional, beautiful and gripping all the way through, even if it doesn’t last very long. Wait…did I just describe the game or Editor-in-Chief Richard Bailey’s Saturday nights? Yes. I did.
So, how did you like our picks? Agree, disagree, or just don't care? Let us know in the comments below!