Video games have tackled the topic of romance for almost as long as they have been around. Whether or not they have completely mastered the ability to show it is up for debate, but as it is Valentine’s, we wanted to share our picks for the best and worst video game romances. These can range from married couples, love interests or just plain creepers that have found their prey, hit the jump to find out. There are some (plenty) disagreements among the staff.
[Best Romance: Shepard and Liara]
Not every relationship could survive a multitude of alien temptations, and Liara’s whole “vulcan mind-meld” thing takes their connection to a whole new level. Despite the fact that Liara is just one of many choices a player can make, she’s clearly the correct one, AND the only character you can romance in all three games.
[Worst Romance: Little Sister and Big Daddy]
Big Daddy ISSUES is more like it! He’s overprotective, and the age gap between these two clearly weighs on their relationship. Rumor has it she’s been spending a little too much time with some guy named Adam! (I’ve got a million of ’em!)
[Best Romance: Nathan and Elena]
Love is a key element in every great adventure game, and none do it better than Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher from the Uncharted series. They may have their fair share of quarrels, but in the end they always realize that they really do love each other and the journeys that they embark on with one another. Nathan may be a womanizer, and Elena might be tired of how much effort and passion he has for treasure hunting, but deep down they are madly in love with each other making them the winners of my greatest couple award.
[Worst Romance: Zangief and Vega]
Zangief and Vega on the other hand make a terrible couple. They’re always bickering, fighting, and throwing one another across the room. Vega even left those deep scars across Zangief’s chest and arms so that he’ll “remember who’s the man of the relationship.” To be honest I’m not sure how Vega could be so cruel, to that big sweetheart.
[Best Romance: Mario and Peach]
The best, or at least most devoted, couple in my eyes is Mario and Peach. Try to think of a time when Peach hasn’t been in trouble and Mario isn’t two steps behind. Mario is the guy that every man should aim to be. He jumps on goombas, dodges the hammer bros., and generally kicks danger in the teeth and takes its name. You might be tempted to ask, “for what?” His love. That’s what.
[Worst Romance: Dragonborn and any Skyrim wife]
Worst couple would have to go to your character in Skyrim, and any wife. This wife is so compliant, and boring, that she can only cook meals and sleep. Sure, sounds great right now, but seriously, how long can that last? What if you come home from a long day of dragon slaying, and just want to have a nice conversation over a cup of tea with your wife. Unfortunately that isn’t an option. You could always have her cook a meal though. Leftovers from yesterday. Of course.
[Best Romance: Link and Zelda (Skyward Sword)]
Currently, my favorite romance that I have ever encountered in a game is also the most recent one that I have experienced: Zelda and Link in Skyward sword. I cannot say enough about these two. Friends since childhood, the two experience a romance that is never fully realized in the game, instead showing the characters’ affection for each other through their (well, her) dialogue, actions, and well-animated facial expressions. This time around, it shows that Zelda and Link care about each other from the very start.
The very best part of their relationship is the playful dynamic that can be easily seen. After winning a flying competition, Link finds himself alone with Zelda high upon a statue. After coyly asking Link if he knows what part of the ceremony comes next, she gets up close to him, looks him in the eyes… then turns the poor guy around and pushes him off the statue, all smiles and giggles. It’s moments like these that make the relationship between the two feel three-dimensional and believable, cementing the two as my favorite romantic pair in a game. Furthermore, much of Link’s motivation throughout the entire game is simply to reunite with his beloved Zelda, a pure and noble sentiment that warms my heart. Did I mention how dang cute the two are together?
While this may be a beautiful dynamic, Link had best watch his back, for there is another character with a keen interest in our green-clad hero, and I’m not talking about Peatrice from the item check.
[Worst Romance: Link and Ghirahim]
Ghirahim has ushered in a revolution in boss design for the Zelda series, marking the first time that Link has been sexually harassed by a baddie. I’m sorry to tell you this sir Demon Lord, but Link is taken, and no amount of flamboyant gestures, sexual harassment, or killer dance moves will change that fact. While your increasingly insane antics have been known to fill my heart with rainbows, you still (despite the contributions of many fan artists on the internet) cannot sway the heart of the fated young man, and for that, you have been given my award for worst (unrequited) video game romance.
[Best Romance: Joker and EDI]
The worst couple in video game history would have to be Mario and Peach. At some point you have to think that Peach is running away on purpose. She’s supposed to be a princess and the only kind of protection she has is an anthropomorphic musroom??? I don’t buy it. Plus there’s this. It’s like an episode of Maury. She doesn’t ever deny that she’s his mother. Shady bitch.
[Best Romance: Arthur and Princess Prin-Prin]
Arthur and Princess Prin-Prin. If there were a couple that were able to survive anything, it should be Arthur and Princess Prin-Prin. Three times demons interrupted their date and Arthur went forward and conqured hell to get her back. Two times each trip.
Meanwhile, Princess Prin-Prin has to see her beloved go through such turmoil each and every date they have. She has the patience and the belief in Arthur to overcome this hurdle. Seriously, the patience that woman must have to wait for this is incredible. That faith drives Arthur to keep doing what he does best and win in the face of insanity. Well, realistically he dies and dies and dies again until he eventually wins.
[Worst Romance: Nagisa Furukawa and Tomoya Okazaki]
Tomoya is a guy that had his bright future destroyed during a fight with his drunken fool of a father. This ruins him, yet as he comes to face the spring of his youth, he meets Nagisa Furukawa along with a handful of other girls.
Nagisa is a chronically ill girl who needs everyone to help her accomplish her goals. She will become his wife.
Before this, Tomoya befriends a number of girls that are all very accomplished in many different areas, but unfortunately have their own hangups. At any point, these other girls could become a stepping stone for Tomoya to overcome his more delinquent habits. However, Nagisa is his focus.
This focus only leads to heartbreak. Where any of the other relationships in this dating sim could have bore fruit to make Tomoya a better man than he was, he instead focused on protecting somebody that never helped herself. Her involvement in his life pushes him in to the same path of depression Tomoya’s father assumed.
[Best Romance: Link and Zelda]
I can honestly say I don’t find myself shipping much in video games just because I’m so busy hunting dragons, leveling up, or capturing monsters to pay much attention. But the couple I have to say takes all, is the very obvious choice, Link and Zelda. I mean, they’ve had a couple decades worth of games to really build up a great relationship, and needless to say, with Skyward Sword just coming out, a game filled with romantic tension. I ship it. I ship it hard. I patiently await the day until a game is released in which the two finally take the next step .
[Worst Romance: Snow and Serah]
Worst romance in video games is both easier and harder to come up with at the same time. With video games, romance usually isn’t a main focus unless you’re playing a dating sim. So most video game romances are underdeveloped, and I don’t care for a majority of romance story-lines in games. With the exception of Tidus and Yuna which I adore, I will say that most Final Fantasy relations I don’t find my self caring for. I do not think they are the worst couples, just their appeal for me is lacking. Topping the list being Snow and Serah, they were just dull. Serah being in a crystal for most of all of the first game may have had something to do with it, there relationship lacked dynamics.
[Best Romance: Link and The Master Sword]
They say that happiness is a warm gun. Well, there aren’t guns in the world of Zelda (I think), but there are swords, and Link kills a lot of people with the sword, so I’m riding on the idea that it’s the same thing. And a good relationship brings happiness, right? So there.
Doesn’t Skyward Sword have a robot chick who is the Master Sword? I don’t know. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the blade which is not alive.
Everyone’s always talking about how Link and Zelda and Ganon are reincarnated with every game, but I think that the relationship between Link and his sword needs to be discussed. First off, it’s basically the most reliable thing on the planet. Even Link is ridiculously bad at puzzles and fighting and walking and beating the game (read: this view may be slightly affected by my own ability) but his sword can cut things and bad guys (except in Skyward Sword when you are wielding a holy blade but it can’t cut plants unless you hit them in an incredibly specific way) and win the game.
Could Link beat the game without The Master Sword? I doubt it. The Master Sword is reliable and mildly clingy because it just keeps calling him back, but it’s okay, because it somehow gets more beautiful with each passing console generation (read: Look at the Master Sword in the first Zelda game and look at the Master Sword in Skyward Sword. Notice anything different in the graphics?) and can cut bad guys and win the game.
[Worst Romance: Link and Zelda]
Zelda is not a reliable person and she is not trustworthy in any way. In Ocarina of Time, she spies on her father. She is later mysteriously gone but decided to adopt a disguise. She is a liar in Ocarina of Time.
In Twilight Princess, she wears a really cool cloak, but not for the whole game.
Zelda is captured or made to be chased after at some point in every single Zelda game. It is not an interesting anymore. It is a punch line. This madness needs to stop. She needs to get a bodyguard who isn’t some wood elf or farm boy or flying ace. She needs an actual bodyguard at this point. It is obscene that a member of the royal family is left unguarded all of the time. Does no one look back through the Hylian history books and notice that every single Zelda has been placed into some kind of peril? Does no one see some sort of pattern? Maybe everyone goes “this time- THIS TIME- we can relax and no one will go after her.”
This makes her effectively the most high-maintenance girlfriend on the face of the planet. In Skyward Sword, she almost kisses Link a few times in the beginning but doesn’t. He won a tournament so he could get alone time with her! And then she pushes him off of a tower for fun. when she already pushed him off of the floating island for fun!
Zelda is an incredibly abusive and high-maintenance girlfriend and for that reason I believe she is one of the worst girlfriends ever. Why Link doesn’t just go after Saria, I will never know.
[Best Romance: Samus and Adam Malkovich]
I thought it was the only plot handled decently (not great) by Metroid: Other M and subsequent reveal that Adam was part of her ship. It seemed like a classic story of spunky rookie and hardened veteran but in reality….that’s exactly how it is actually. Still no one can say that the moment Adam sacrifices himself (for some reason?) in Other M wasn’t at least an adequate moment in the game, arguably the best? I mean Samus does go back for his helmet and he’s got a pet name for her and he turns into a kickass paternal ship. Hahaha get it? Ship? Well that’s enough out of me on this subject.
[Worst Romance: Leon Kennedy and Ada Wong]
If I were to give my opinion on the worst couple in video games then I guess I’d have to say Leon Kennedy and Ada Wong. Surely this battle hardened couple that had love blossom on the battlefield would be a worthy candidate for best couple! I certainly thought so and thus my research for evidence as to how they’re best started. There were plenty of evidence to boot but the reason they land in worst couple territory is because of the continuous repetition and commonplace of this phrase: “Let’s not forget all the ass-staring”. It was then it dawned on me. Leon just likes Ada’s butt. I mean to be fair a lot of people do but the weird recurrence of “Leon looks at Ada’s butt like all the time!” was surely evidence that maybe this couple isn’t as meaningful as once though.
[Best Romance: Alyx and Gordon]
I will keep the Alyx Creep Train rollin’ and go with Alyx & Gordon. It’s not deliberate that they are a couple, but the connection is definitely implied a few times throughout the game and it’s expansions. Plus, since you play as Gordon and he’s a silent protagonist, you can basically insert yourself into him (lol) and it’s like YOU have that relationship with Alyx.
That didn’t sound creepy or sad or anything. Not at all. Anyway, have a nice Valentine’s Day everybody! I’m gonna go be lonely and weird somewhere else now.
[Worst Romance: Pac Man and Ms. Pac Man]
Look at Ms. Pac Man. Now take off the bow. Now remove the makeup and shoes. What do you have now? A naked Ms. Pac Man? If only! What you actually have is just Pac Man. What I’m getting at is Pac Man is dating “Ms.” Pac Man, who is actually just Pac Man in drag. The Pac Man universe is strange.
[Best Romance: Zidane and Princess Garnet]
Let’s get this straight, readers, I play Final Fantasy VIII and IX at least twice a year, every year. This is because besides the fact that both are excellent games that remind me of the times when Squaresoft was alive and well, they are both romance heavy. And I love me some video game romance, baby. I ended up choosing Zidane and Garnet for best romance despite Squall and Rinoa’s being great too though. It was tough, but I simply can’t resist how amazing it is that a thief planned to steal a princess and coincidentally she wanted to run away. He saved her and she changed him. And I know Zidane is a badass lovable pervert that didn’t need changing, but that’s not what she changed. She showed him how to love. Not to mention they saved the world together. And despite her playing a damsel in distress at first, she proved her bad bitch side once she cut her hair and decided not to take anyone’s shit anymore. Excuse me as I start my annual play through now.
[Worst Romance: Nathan and Elena]
Look, I said I loved romance in video games, alright? For Uncharted 1 and 2, I adored Nathan and Elena. I wanted them to get together and thought they were a new peak in video game romance that Zidane and Garnet had set for me. But then Uncharted 3 came along and they broke up yet again. They can’t seem to sustain a stable relationship with each other for longer than 2 years. They need to learn when to let go. I mean, they got engaged and still couldn’t stay together. Enough is enough, they’re both hot enough to find someone else quick. I don’t see being with someone for awhile and then breaking it off and then being almost killed to realize once again that you wanna be with them romantic. They’re just thrill freaks.