The Top Five Most Romantic Video Games

In honor of Valentine’s Day, it’s time to pop the champagne, light the candles and throw these games into your favorite video game system. That’s right: video games can have love stories, and while most of them are pretty thin and shallow, some games do a great job conveying that spark. So here are the top five games that will fill up your heart meter.

Princess Peach

5) Super Mario Bros.: Mario and Princess Peach

The relationship between the iconic plumber and his aristocratic lover may seem strange. Why is Peach always baking Mario a cake? How did they meet? What do they have in common? But this is a relationship we have to take at face value. For over 25 years, the Italian stereotype has died, chewed questionable mushrooms and slaughtered a countless number of turtles and goombas all in an effort to save the Mushroom Kingdom’s pretty-in-pink princess. You want to talk about dedication?

 

Final Fantasy 8 Squall and Rinoa4) Final Fantasy VIII: Rinoa and Squall

Squall might not be everyone’s favorite Final Fantasy protagonist, with his too-moody-to-care attitude at the beginning of the game, but when Rinoa is introduced, suddenly the game picks up. This whiney teen with a badass blade begins a memorable transformation. Concepts like SeeD and the Garden, which seem so abstract and cold, fall away as the game shifts its focus on Squall and Rinoa’s relationship. Gamers begin to feel the importance of their mission as they fight to protect love and strike a balance between duty and personal relationships.

 

3) Mass Effect 2: Commander Shepherd and [Your Love Interest Here]

Mass Effect 2 crewThe best part about Bioware games, in my opinion, is the story and flexibility. Excellent character design makes each part of your crew compelling and interesting; however, once the romantic element is thrown in, the relationship becomes even deeper. While it doesn’t have any effect on the game (other than a few achievements/trophies), discovering the romance in Mass Effect 2 makes the game feel so much more real. There was a disproportionate amount of bad press on the sex scenes in Mass Effect 1 and 2; what more news outlets should have focused on was the strong personal bonds your character makes before doing the deed.

 

2)  Red Dead Redemption: John Marston and Abigail Marston

Red Dead Redemption AbigailThe whole motivation behind Red Dead Redemption was John Marston’s love of his wife and family. He wanted to give them the best life possible, and while the game only treats us with a limited view of their relationship near the end of the game, Abigail and John’s relationship is the perfect mix of teasing, loving and tenderness. They know each other’s faults and insecurities, and the influence from their relationship on both of them is apparent, drawing on each other’s strengths. When we finally meet Abigail (after listening to John dismiss every proposition thrown his way by “ladies of ill repute”),  for the first time in the game, the wilderness doesn’t seem so lonely.

 

1)      Ico: Yorda and Ico

Love is hard to express in words. Maybe that’s why Ico has so little dialogue. Regardless of its taciturn nature, Ico tells an amazing story of two people falling in love. It’s a great metaphor for real life relationships, with each character helping out the other so they can overcome their chains and discover happiness. Ico and Yorda’s interaction is so simple—holding hands and the occasional yell—yet powerful that it’s perhaps the most believable relationship in video game history. There are a number of moments in the game that drive the action forward and keep pushing the romance. The perfect pacing makes the memorable ending even more effective.

Ico and Yorda

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