Valentine’s Day is here. Gamers in relationships get to spend it with their loved ones as they eat chocolate, drink champagne, and possibly participate in some weird role-play. Gamers who are single folk will eat chocolate, possibly watch a sappy rom-com, and drink something stronger than champagne. But, VIDEO GAMES.
Whether or not you’re single or taken, if you look deep inside you’ll probably discover that you’ve had (or have!) a video game character crush. Or ten. I do.
Here are my top ten crush-worthy video game characters, and why I find them so lovable. They’re hot not just for appealing physical traits, but for their personalities as well.
Lumi (Child of Eden)
If you’ve played Child of Eden, you know the characters aren’t flesh and blood, but simple presences. Lumi, however, is different — the songstress is the first human born in space and eventually becomes the soul of the universal internet upon her death. Child of Eden focuses on digital Lumi’s corruption and required cleansing. At the end of each level you destroy a large virus to reveal her face, which features an increasingly large smile as you come closer to saving her. Lumi — with her long flowing black hair and porcelain skin — is a beautiful (virtual) damsel in distress.
Fun fact: Rachel Rhodes plays Lumi in Child of Eden, and is also the lead singer for Genki Rockets, the band Tetsuya Mizuguchi put together for the game.
A Date with Lumi: Lumi is a beautiful woman with a matching beautiful voice. I don’t think I’d take Lumi out for dinner, or a movie. I would do my research far ahead of time to ensure I have VIP tickets to the hottest EDM show in the area. Typically Skills throws a 5,000+ attendee rave in downtown San Francisco specifically for Valentine’s Day, and has always been a favorite of mine. Freed from the viruses, Lumi loves to sing and dance, and I’d have to make sure she’d be able to do just that on our special day.
Lulu (Final Fantasy X)
Lulu is a Final Fantasy X fan favorite — and mine as well. She can be quite the nasty one, but also a loving person when needed. As the story unfolds, you learn that Lulu dealt with a lot of death in her life. After overcoming her fears and troubled past, she does everything she can to be a mother-like figure to Yuna, Rikku, and even Tidus. Unlike some blatantly bitchy characters (*ahem* Paine *ahem*), Lulu is a more well-round character. Lulu’s goth-geisha garb and dark features make her even more appealing.
A date with Lulu: I would fly us to Seattle for our Valentine’s Day date, and make a reservation in the evening at The Pink Door right on the water. The Pink Door is a fantastic restaurant in Seattle that offers dim, romantic lighting, fantastic red wine and food, and most importantly, a burlesque dancing show right above you. The elegant dancers twirl and move around on swings several feet above the tables. It’s one of my favorite places in Seattle.
Adam Jensen (Deus Ex: Human Revolution)
If the leather trench coat, sunglasses, and hair-do don’t turn you on, there is something wrong with you. Adam Jensen is by far the sexiest man of the future world. He fights for what he believes in, and is dark and mysterious to boot. Plus, Jensen walks and talks with a striking confidence that demands your attention. At first, I wasn’t too keen on Jensen’s forced gravelly voice, but it definitely grows on you. It’s deep, but troubled, exposing the daily struggles of being augmented and fighting the Illuminati.
A date with Adam: I feel that taking Adam out for a stroll in the park wouldn’t quite cut it, but be close. Adam is used to technology, and the city. I think a romantic evening in a nice hotel with a balcony overlooking a city like San Francisco or Los Angeles would be nice.
Madison Paige (Heavy Rain)
I’m drawn toward Madison Paige, Heavy Rain‘s badass female journalist who knows how to knuckle up, and ride a motorcycle. Not just some generic Honda crotch rocket, mind you, but a real motorcycle with some power. Madison is a strong-willed woman who will do what’s required to procure information for her stories. Heavy Rain‘s memorable club scene where Madison risks everything — including her life — to get details on the mysterious Origami Killer displays her highly attractive determination.
A date with Madison: Madison likes news, and she likes to get her creative juices flowing. I’d take her on a night tour of the monuments across Washington D.C. so we could both listen in on some interesting conversations, and enjoy the nation’s interesting history.
Ezio Auditore da Firenze (Assassin’s Creed II, Brotherhood, Revelations)
First and foremost, he’s Italian and Italians have a way with words. Ezio is not only fit and well-dressed, but he has a charm with the ladies — a respect, if you will. Ezio’s devotion to Sofia, his love interest in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, is incredibly sexy as it shows that he will always protect his woman. Ubisoft’s demonstrated that romance gets better with age. That applies in real life…right?
A Date with Ezio: This one is kinda tough. I’d probably let Ezio take the wheel on this one. He’s very romantic, and I can lack in that category. Better leave it to the expert.
Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
No, I’m not talking about the big-boobed, blow-up-doll-like, Lara Croft. I’m talking about the new Lara Croft. She’s fresh out of the academy, young, naïve, and discovers an inner strength that enables her to survive a harsh island environment filled with dangerous people. She also uses a bow-and-arrow — Rambo-style — as opposed to dual-wielding desert eagles. Hot. Despite that, Lara Croft is far more vulnerable and relatable this time around, and her new humanity is endearing.
A Date with Lara: Um, hello! This one is obvious. Albeit the crew from Top Gear got kicked out of Tierra del Fuego, but loading a Land Rover with weeks of supplies and traveling through Patagonia would be the best way to show Lara my appreciation for her, her hobbies, and our love. If you love Lara and want to understand her better, may as well put yourself in her shoes.
Billy Coen (Resident Evil 0)
When I was roughly thirteen years old, my best friend Rachael and I would replay the first hour of the game just to watch Billy’s big muscles. He’s no meathead, though. Billy Coen is an ex-Marine who, as you learn later in the game, has a good heart. If Rebecca — the STARS Bravo team medic — finds herself in a sticky situation, he’s quick to protect her. Resident Evil 0‘s final scene — where Rebecca frees our hero from facing the consequences of the murder he was wrongly committed for– sees Billy removing his dog tags and placing them around her neck. This made my heart melt.
A Date with Billy: Billy is an ex-Marine and a total badass. I’d schedule a trip to the shooting range, followed by a romantic picnic at the top of a nice mountain trail. Shooting and hiking may not be completely romantic, but Billy really isn’t either.
Commander Ryden J. Shepard (Mass Effect series)
Yeah, that’s right. My favorite Commander Shepard is the one I used to make the decisions I would execute in real life, completely disregarding Paragon and Renegade scales and going with my gut. I think everyone can agree that it’s sexy to picture yourself saving the universe. Being able to take charge of each situation and chose who you want to be with — whether it’s a scaled lizard man, a blue tentacle-head girl, or a bird-like creature — is incredibly hot.
A Date with Shepard: Seeings as how I used my own Shepard for this, let’s say I wasn’t Commander Shepard, and I was her lover. I’d go for a hot night of dancing and drinking at Afterlife, followed by some sweet love making on the Normandy.
Kaidan Alenko (Mass Effect series)
As a squad member, Kaiden Alenko’s not the strongest by any means. He’s not the hottest man in the video game world, either. Kaidan’s worth radiates from his personality. Kaidan’s beliefs and opinions are incredibly strong, but he’s a dedicated and dependable friend and/or lover. For example, Kaidan tells you in a ME3 lunch scene that he’ll always be at your side even if you chose to start a relationship with someone else (in the event you had something with him in the past). That’s true friendship. That’s true love.
A Date with Kaidan: This one is also tough. Kaidan is very sweet, and very romantic. I’d reserve the nicest suite at the Post Ranch Inn right off the coast of the Big Sur in California, overlooking the ocean. We’d dine in, and spend the night cuddling and making loveeeee.
Nathan Drake (Uncharted series)
There is no video game character sexier than Nathan fricken’ Drake. His boy-next-door look and smirk make me weak in the knees every time. Not to mention that he’s the only man who can legitimately pull off the half-tuck; anyone who attempts to tuck their shirt halfway under their belt buckle simply looks like a douche. Nathan’s quirky, somewhat inappropriate behavior and spontaneous nature makes him that more attractive. His love for Elena is incredibly loyal, and beyond genuine, and this is why he is the sexiest video game character ever created.
A Date with Nathan: If we didn’t start our adventure of finding Atlantis, what else could we do?
Honorable mention: Bayonetta (Bayonetta & Bayonetta 2)
It just makes me really, really sad that Bayonetta is way out of my league. I love you, Bayonetta. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go back to weeping in a corner.
A Date with Bay: She’d never say yes. She will never notice me. One can only fantasize.