Valentine’s Day Special: The Best and Worse Romances in Games

In this article, I will take a look at some of the best and worse romances ever in videogames. It’s Valentine’s Day, so pucker up and lay one on me. Alternatively, just enjoy reading this romance-focused article.

“Love is a game that two can play and both win by losing their heart.” – Eva Gabor

 Valentine’s Day Special: Best and Worst Romances From Games

Please note that by “best”, I don’t mean they’re perfect together. It’s more that it’s a well-written romance. Some of the picks below focus on aspects of romances such as infidelity, overcoming adversity together etc. First up, Alan Wake.

BEST: Alan Wake and Alice Wake, Alan Wake

In Alan Wake, we’re given a well-written romance. Things aren’t perfect. It’s clear that Alan may never become the husband that Alice needs him to be. He’s obsessed with creativity, he has substance abuse issues and his insomnia threatens to drive a wedge between them. Yet for all of his problems, Alice doesn’t give up on him. Marriage isn’t perfect. It can be challenging to make it work. So this one made the list for a realistic portrayal of marriage and love.

romance valentine's day alan wake

Alan and Alice Wake. It’s not a perfect marriage by any means but then again, what marriage is perfect?

 

WORST: Mario & Princess Peach, Mario Bros (& every other Mario game)

Princess Peach is rubbish. She’s been kidnapped over twenty times – by Bowser, by his associates etc. In more recent years they’ve at least made her a playable character but for a long time, her being kidnapped was all that passed for a story. On the bright side, her existence does mean we got this Family Guy gag in the video below.

BEST: Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher, Uncharted series

You have to hand it to Naughty Dog. They know how to write convincing characters. From the witty banter to the sentimentality, it’s easy to believe in these characters – and in the love they have for each other.

uncharted romance

Nathan and Elena, sitting in a tree, doing what they shouldn’t be! K I S S I N G! It’s a sweet romance.

WORST: Altaïr ibn-La’Ahad and Maria, Assassin’s Creed

Altaïr is broody, unemotional and the dullest lead to grace any Assassin’s Creed game. He doesn’t make for a great romantic lead character but that’s okay – because this isn’t a great romance. The “romance” seemed to be tacked on when Ubisoft realised that in order for Desmond to be his descendant, he’d have to have sex at least once. Cue chasing a cloaked figure. Oh – it’s a woman! We must now have sex atop this tower. And then, Altaïr vanishes. I bet he didn’t even keep up his Child Maintenance payments.

altair maria romance

Oh, you are a female?! In that case, we must have sex now. You will become pregnant and you will never see me again. Have fun raising our child!

BEST: Vincent, Katherine and Catherine, Catherine

This is a story of pressure, infidelity and the fear of breaking someone’s heart. A commitment-phobic Vincent is being pressured by his girlfriend Katherine to commit – to get married and have a baby. Along comes Catherine – fun, wild and available. Is she a demon or a delusion? Will you remain true to Katherine or be tempted to choose Catherine instead? Personally, I tended to opt for Catherine. She seemed a better match for Vincent. Neither Katherine nor Vincent are necessarily terrible people but some people just shouldn’t be together. This game has a lot to say about romance. It’s also got a lot of sheep and it is the most challenging puzzle game I’ve played and one that I still go back to.

catherine Katherine

Will you choose Catherine or Katherine? There is also the option of remaining single if you prefer to.

WORST: Tidus and Yuna, Final Fantasy X

I’ve already covered why Yuna is one of my least favourite RPG characters in the My Top 5 Most Annoying RPG Characters article. To really twist the knife, the romance between Tidus and Yuna is rubbish too. It’s not helped by a cringe-inducing script. There’s so many awkward, unrealistic scenes! In places, the script is so bad that I can almost imagine that it was written by a thirteen year old boy who had no concept of what romance was really about. What? It was actually written by a nine year old boy? Well, in that case…”You’ve done very well! It’s a lovely story! Here – have a gold star.” As Final Fantasy XV was a sausage fest, at least there weren’t as many awkward romance scenes.

tidus yuna romance

Considering how often Tidus and Yuna are in the water in Final Fantasy X, it’s a shame that there weren’t any opportunities to drown them.

BEST: Your avatar and any female character, Persona games

One thing that I love about the Persona games is the Social Link system. It doesn’t always end with romance but when it does, it’s often great. I also like the amount of choice on offer in these games. You’re not forced into a romance with a character that you as a player may not actually like. Also, the characters in the Persona games have realistic problems to face in the real-world. The only thing they’re missing is choices for same sex romances or the option to play as a female character and romance males. That’s one thing that BioWare’s games have over them at least. You can consider the BioWare romances to be honourable mentions.

It would also be nice if other characters made more of a reference to you being in a romance with somebody when you’re committed to them. Still, if you haven’t already played Persona 5, you really should.

persona romance

With so many waifus to choose from, you’ll be spoiled for choice in the Persona games. Some of the romance storylines are lovely.

WORST: Sonic and Princess Elis, Sonic the Hedgehog

2006’s Sonic the Hedgehog is the cute and cuddly face of bestiality, featuring a princess who falls in love with a hedgehog. It’s so bad, it almost makes Mario and Peach seem like Romeo and Juliet by contrast.

sonic elise romance

Are they capable of having children together? I hope not. If so, then that’s going to be one hell of an ugly baby.

What are your favourite and least favourite romances from games? Please comment below and let us know! More importantly, I hope that you have a happy Valentine’s Day.

So, did you like this article? If so, you could read the So…do you want to see my longsword? Sex in games article. Alternatively, you could read the Persona 5 Review: Stole My Heart article instead.

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