Valentine’s Day can either be a wonderful excuse to do something extra for your significant other or a stark reminder of loneliness. In the gaming space, there are plenty of good reasons to fire up a console or load up a PC game on Valentine’s Day. We talked it over a bit and collected a short list of some of the best games to check out today, both for couples and singles.
Fire Emblem Fates/Awakening
A trend that started in Awakening, the Fire Emblem games have become even more popular due to the ability to pair units for better combat performance. Usually this comes with a romantic flair that makes for addictive matchmaking. Seriously, I’ve always loved this series for its addictive tactical gameplay, but the added relationships actually made me care more about the characters, rather than just their class and stats. I used to skip all cutscenes on the GBA, now I read every word. There are a ton of combinations to try out, each with various levels of cute and power, so there are hundreds of hours that could be had.
Although, my wife always yells at me if I don’t pair Sulley and Stahl, who were apparently made for each other, so maybe some pairings are more obvious than others. Either way, this is a perfect game for singles to check out for Valentine’s Day.
Pick up Fire Emblem Awakening, Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest, or Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright on Nintendo 3DS. Later this year, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, which is a remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden on the Super Famicom, will also release on the Nintendo 3DS.
Hatoful Boyfriend Complete Edition
Dating Sim games are plentiful, especially in Japan where they thrive. Sometimes though, its more fun to play a dating sim that’s a little more aware of its silliness. That’s Hatoful Boyfriend in a nutshell, a game in which the player seduces pigeons. Its rediculous, obviously, but there are a ton of funny moments that’ll make one forget they’re single.
Other noteworthy dating sims include Katawa Shoujo (Adult rated, but has an option to not be) and Clannad (originally had adult content, later censored for later ports and localization) both of which have a more traditional narrative style.
As far as English releases go, catch Hatoful Boyfriend on Windows, OS X, Linux, PS4, PSVita, iOS, and Android. It has quite the following in Japan, including drama cds, web comics, and such.
God of War
Sometimes, being single sucks. Days like Valentine’s Day results in angry fits and feelings of loathing. Keeping all those feelings inside isn’t good, so cut loose and slay the Greek pantheon. God of War is my go-to game for stress relief; the games aren’t terribly long and are really easy to be engrossed in for the weekend. Play through the entire series, but if you’re looking for the best one, go with God of War 3 on PS4. There are even two games playable on PSP or digitally through the Vita, for those that want to blow some steam on the go.
Play God of War exclusively on Sony systems like the PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, and PSVita.
Portal 2‘s Co-Op
Going through the Co-Op mode in Portal 2 for the first time is a wondrous, if often hilarious, experience. Players will be teaming up to solve creative logic puzzles, all while using the ingenious portal gun. Couple this with the hilarious dialogue and tone of the game, makes for a great date night for gamers. The only draw back of Portal 2’s Co-Op mode is becoming more familiar with the puzzles, which results in directing your partner on what to do. It’s way better to tackle this one blind.
Solve puzzles with Portal 2 on Windows, Linus, OS X, PS3, and Xbox 360.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
There’s nothing like braving a new frontier with a lover. This is the basic premise of Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, which has its players working all the various components of their spaceship to explore, defend themselves, and spread love throughout the galaxy. It may seem like a simple game at a glance, but there is a ton of depth here. Is it better to run away and use the shield or buckle in for a fight? It’s a great couch game that definitely deserves more attention.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is available on Windows, Linux, OS X, Xbox One, and PS4.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch
Octodad is usually a frustrating romp, but it always provides laughs by how absurd it is. Players will have to play the role of a typical American father, all while hiding the fact they’re an octopus. While the simple task of picking up a key may not seem endearing, Octodad‘s control scheme makes it way harder. Co-Operative play has each player controlling different limbs, so it can make for a night of laughs for couples.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch is available on Windows, OS X, Linus, PS4, PSVita, Xbox One, Wii U, iOS, and Android. There is also a simple freeware version out there, which is what inspired the full game.