Romance sells. It’s a fact – whether it’s a television show, movie, video game or book, everyone loves a relationship. It doesn’t matter if it’s canonical or a fanfic ship, some characters in games just exude that romantic, intimate bond. Gaming romances are everywhere, in almost every game that boasts some kind of story.
Of course, this doesn’t have to be a traditional romance. There have been plenty of instances when a character has become… unnaturally attached… to a particular weapon, or vehicle. Let’s recall a particular gruff cowboy in a semi-recent title who practically whispers sweet nothings to his horse…
So, let’s explore my top five gaming relationships! As always, these are my personal top five and do not represent the views of Grown Gaming as a whole! Don’t start complaining that I’ve missed out some Final Fantasy couple, or something. I’m afraid they’re not my cup of tea.
Without further ado!
Beware of spoilers!
1. Commander Shepard and… Well, everyone?
We’ll bang, okay?
Whether you’re Femshep or Menshep, you have the uncanny ability of making everyone weak at the knees. They can be a Turian, Quarian or Human – it’s not relevant. If Shep sets their sights on a romantic partner, you best believe they’ll be in each other’s arms before long.
Fans of the Mass Effect franchise are violently protective of their chosen gaming romances and will defend them to the bitter end. Nobody else is good enough for their space-faring superhero. At least some of these intimate partnerships are – for the most part – caring and genuine.
2. Geralt and Yennefer (not Triss!)
No, this isn’t Henry Cavill’s Geralt. This is the games, pure and simple.
Every time I’ve played the Witcher, I’ve gravitated towards Yenn. I mean, maybe not monogamously, but she’s the number one squeeze, right? There are things that cannot be replicated with another woman (sorcerer, whatever). I’m talking about the unicorn incident, yes.
Triss is a fine woman in her own way, but I don’t think she’s the right… calibre for our Witcher hero extraordinaire. Geralt needs the super-serious personality of Yenn to keep him under control. Their connection is almost literally magical and fated. It’s for that reason that their gaming romance makes my list!
3. John and Abigail Marston
We’ve seen a fair chunk of John and Abigail’s relationship, owing to their appearance in two lengthy iterations of Red Dead. They’re an old West couple, bound together by sheer survival more than anything. It’s a love-hate relationship, but I’d like to say there’s more of the former than the latter.
The majority of their bonding revolves around their son, Jack. However, John obviously loves his wife deeply, despite his brash and apparent indifference toward them. In Red Dead Redemption, John will turn New Austin upside down to be reunited with his kidnapped family. In RDR2 – for the most part – his main goal is the safety and freedom of his wife and child.
Now, that’s a true family man. In fact, John also made the cut in our Top Five Family Fighters article, published in October!
4. Johnathan and River Wyles
I just… I need a moment.
Okay, I’m good.
To The Moon was a beautiful game – one of the most touching titles I’ve ever played. It’s dramatically simple (being created entirely in RPG Maker) but incredibly enjoyable. It isn’t voiced, but has a seriously powerful soundtrack.
However, it’s in the story – and the characters – that the undying romance truly lies.
I don’t want to spoil the story at all, you simply have to experience this to understand what I’m saying. Johnny and River have one of the most heart-breaking stories in gaming history. Yes, I’m serious. You’ll fall in love with their love, and will be reaching for the tissues at the end of the game.
Oh, damn – here I go!
5. Max Caulfield and Chloe Price
It’s no secret that Life is Strange makes my top ten. It’s easily one of the most powerful titles I’ve played in recent years. I know that for some, that makes me look insane.
Yes, let’s think literally… It’s teenage drama, cliche and cheesy in places. Although, it’s so much more under the surface. It’s a heart-wrenching journey of love, loss, struggle and shock. The community that supports LiS is vehement about the relationships the game portrays.
Max and Chloe share an incredibly powerful bond, right from the opening chapter. The entire story hinges on their relationship and whether the player chooses to deeply pursue the romance or not, it will still be present.
This bond is what makes the ending scenes all that harder to bear!
Max and Chloe definitely deserve a place on my list of greatest gaming romances!
Ezio and Sofia
Let’s be frank – Ezio Auditore was a womaniser. He sprinted through women faster than he did the streets of Italy, or Constantinople. However, Sofia was the one for him. When his twilight years were approaching, he settled with his love in Tuscany, and had two children.
In Assassin’s Creed: Embers, we see a touching example of this late-in-life love and witness the final moments of the great Auditore assassin. In a sombre short animated movie, the viewer is taken through the last hours of Ezio’s life, in which his wife is by his side.
Mario and Princess Peach
Oh fine, here you go! I mean, I’ve technically never played a Mario title in my life, but sometimes you need to please the fans, right? I’m sorry, Nintendo gaming romances aren’t my strong suit.
Your Princess is in another castle. Something, something.