It is no coincidence that a lot of video games are going to be released around February. After all, there are only two kinds of gamers come Valentine’s Day; those who will play solo, and those who are lucky enough to have a player number 2. If you do belong in the former, fret not, you need not be alone. There are plenty of video games with romance options just for you.
Thursday (Feb. 14) will either be the loneliest time of the month… or the most exciting. However, if you are a gamer, or just love playing video games, you’ll more likely to be oblivious to all the cringey pick-up lines happening outdoors during Valentine’s Day, especially if you have your own video game love.
So, no real-life date? No worries, we have compiled the best video games with romance options for you. These are not just your usual cheap virtual romance either with tacked on grinding pixels and awkward animations. They also involve fully-fleshed out romantic paths and characters. Here’s 20 of them so you can have fun playing solo on Valentines, because to hell with social norms:
20. Doki Doki Literature Club
We do feel like we need to warn you, only half of Doki Doki Literature Club is a dating sim. The other half is… well, it’s pure unbridled psychological trauma hiding within a video game. The game will quickly spiral into a psychological horror as soon as you get comfortable with the romance-able anime characters. However, you ought to try it anyway just to see how well your mental fortitude holds up. It’s a unique horror game in the guise of a dating sim.
19. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
An oldie but goodie this one, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has a romance and girlfriend system that somehow remains unmatched to this day even by the newer Grand Theft Auto games. Turns out Los Santos in the ’90s was a prime opportunity for the protagonist CJ to find some love in whether in the ghettos or in the countryside. You can choose between six girlfriends in this game which you must date and have fun with in order-- and don’t you dare juggle between them all; they’ll find out eventually, like in most games with romance options.
18. Final Fantasy VII
Speaking of games with romance options classics, Final Fantasy VII is up there with GTA: San Andreas. It’s romance options, while limited, are still compelling and nostalgic enough for the players. As Cloud, the players can actually choose between his childhood friend, Tifa or the warm and caring Aerith. You can do this by carefully selecting your dialogue choices. It takes some effort to pick Tifa though as if the game wants Cloud to end up with Aerith. Knowing how Aerith fares in the game, it’s probably better to go with Tifa.
17. Fallout 4
Amidst all the rust, debris, and nuclear fallout, a lone and beautiful flower can bloom in the wasteland if you nurture it with love. That’s right, even though the whole damn setting is not exactly a conducive place for love, Fallout 4 still gives you that option. You can romance and date your companions-- some of them and even receive bonuses or perks when you’re out adventuring with them. Do note that there is no marriage though; all the priests and churches got blown up in the nuclear war.
Catherine is an odd hybrid between a dating sim and a puzzle game but it works and does so pretty damn well. You play as a young man named Vincent who’s already taken with his girlfriend named Katherine. Then, another girl named Catherine comes along (yes, same name) and now Vincent must choose whether to ditch Katherine for the new Catherine. Of course, you must help Vincent… or he’ll go insane from the pressure between Katherine and Catherine.
15. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey (2018 -- PC, PS4, XB1)
Set in a mythological ancient Greece where everyone’s gender and sexual preference changes as often as Zeus lies with someone in beast form. That only means tons of choices and characters to court and have PG-13 romance with… sadly. Still, there’s plenty of love to be had in this Greek tragedy of a game. This is a first for the franchise and they might actually continue their trend of games with romance options.
14. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire (2018 -- PC, PS4, XB1, Switch)
One of the best roleplaying games (RPGs) to date, meaning also one of the best RPGs with romance. The setting and premise is also a prime backdrop for a romantic game; you chase a rogue rampaging god through an archipelago aboard your own ship. Did we also mention that you are the captain? Everyone wants to sleep with the captain, no matter their race-- EVERYONE.
13. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (2003 -- PC, Xbox, Android, iOS)
Ever wanted to play out your forbidden Anakin x Padme fantasies minus the terrible acting from Hayden Christensen? Well, thank the force for this game and its sequel. It lets you be a Jedi (or Sith) and still have a romantic partner in-game… just don’t tell the Jedi council, those guys are stuck up monks. Give this award-winning classic a try if you can stomach the vastly outdated graphics.
12. Fire Emblem: Awakening (2012 -- Nintendo 3DS)
It’s a Japanese RPG, hence romance (to a certain extent) is a given. You might find the virtual romance in this game quite unconventional. You have to build it up by placing certain characters alongside each other on the battlefield so their bonds will strengthen. Suffice to say, love can and will bloom in the battlefield.
11. Persona 5 (2016 -- PS4, PS3)
Another long-standing Japanese RPG, you know the drill. There are at least nine romance-able characters here and they are all fair anime creatures. You probably know what their personalities will be like if you love anime, you dirty weeaboo, you. The best part is, it all takes place in a fictional high school campus on steroids.
10. Divinity Original Sin 2 (2017 -- PC, PS4, XB1)
An isometric RPG similar to Pillars of Eternity. This one has better graphics, turn-based combat, and goofier writing. It also does the romance part arguably better thanks to the voice acting and graphics. All playable companions are romance-able, that includes a psycho she-elf, a possessed bard, a bisexual rogue, your typical dwarf, an entitled lizard prince, and an undead who loves to bone. It’s a fantasy representation of Amsterdam.
9. Dream Daddy (2017 -- PC, PS4)
A fully-fledged dating sim, this one. No fantasy adventure or high school superpowers. Just pure dating fun where you get to play as a single dad who goes on a vacation to an island with his daughter. Only, the said island is full of other homosexual dad stereotypes who are single and ready to mingle. Oh daddy, why?
8. The Witcher 3 (2015 -- PC, PS4, XB1)
Slaying monsters while being an antisocial mutant is hard enough. Even Geralt of Rivia needs somebody to love. In this case (especially in the 3rd game) he is stuck with two REALLY hard choices; a younger redhead cutie, or a cold mature brunette? Both are 11/10 and both have betrayed him in the past too, but he needs to pick one, so help him pick his
poison potion, will you? Expansions also add more romantic options. The Witcher 3 is arguably the most well-animated virtual romance in this list.
7. House Party (2017 -- PC)
Parties can get messy and smelly and everyone is drunk, depending on the type. So why not just practice or do them virtually? House Party lets you do just that minus the consequences, be it herpes the morning after or failed dates/hookups. Actually, scratch the latter, the game still lets you fail your hookup attempt, but at least the rewards are somewhat satisfying… and graphic, you’ve been warned.
6. Hatoful Boyfriend (2011 -- PC, PS4, PSVita, Android, iOS)
Have you ever woken up during one Valentine’s Day thinking you want to date birds exclusively? Or at least try? Us neither. However, life is too short to not experience some virtual romance with a birb. So Hatoful boyfriend was created as a dating sim where you date all sorts of talented and smart birds, courtesy of our favorite country, Japan. Go get ’em lovebirds.
5. Mass Effect 3 (2012 -- PC, PS3, X360, Wii U)
Ever wondered what Star Trek’s Kirk would look like if he was a bisexual sex addict who sees a sexual opportunity for every alien he meets, dangerous or otherwise? Mass Effect’s Commander Shepard has that covered. Though it’s a lot more vanilla than it seems, all the romance-able aliens in Mass Effect are humanoid. Regardless, the romance part in this game is almost like fan service for all sci-fi mainstays. Amsterdam in space, this one.
4. Dragon Age: Origins (2009 -- PC, PS3, XB1, X360)
From the same guys who made the Mass Effect franchise and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. However, it takes place in a fantasy setting. If you want to play it for the romance, the first game does it with flying colors. You have to do sidequests to fetch gifts for them and raise their bond meter to pursue a romantic liaison with them; they also get jealous. It’s like real life, but with dungeons… and dragons.
3. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011 -- PC, PS4, PS3, XB1, X360, Switch)
Skyrim is a harsh land full of harsh people and harsh temperatures, oh, and apocalyptic dragons too. However, that does not stop you from finding love there. After all, we all need the warmth of a lover while adventuring. Thankfully, Skyrim lets you do that. You might find the courtship rituals of the Nords too straightforward, probably even bland since they want marriage right away. Nothing a few mods can’t fix.
2. Stardew Valley (2016 -- PC, PS4, XB1, Switch, Android, iOS)
Nothing is more perfect than having your own farm in a small town filled with beautiful people with beautiful personalities… half of whom can be romanced. Even if that’s not your thing, you’ll surely fall in love with the valley itself. You can even marry the characters in this game and work hard to find the appropriate gifts for them. All this while tending to your farm, or exploring caves, or fishing, or building stuff, or attending festivals, or fighting aliens with a sword, etc. Whew.
1. Sims 4 (2014 -- PC, PS4, XB1)
When it comes to games with romance options, nothing beats being able to recreate your real-life in a virtual space. The Sims series (most notably Sims 4) gives you that chance. It is perhaps the most complete romantic experience out of all the games in this list. Nothing is impossible in Sims when it comes to virtual romance (with the right mods), except maybe understanding whatever gibberish comes out of their mouths as a hilarious substitute for English.
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