Valentine’s Day is without a doubt one of the most cliche holidays in existence. Flowers, candles, a romantic dinner—it has all been done before. If you and your partner are looking for something new and exciting to spice up your evening, why not sit down with a controller and waste the night away with something near and dear to your heart?
Yes, I am talking about video games.
Ranging from classic titles to indie up-and-comers, this list should give you plenty of ideas for a romantic night in.
1. Left 4 Dead 2
This Valentine’s Day, cuddle up with a your partner and some pizza and spend a romantic evening killing zombies. An oldie, but a goodie this first-person shooter game is still one of the best co-op experiences out there. Even if you have played the game dozens (or hundreds) of times before, there is plenty of workshop content available for download. These fan creations will help you spice up the game once you have gotten tired of playing the same maps over and over. Plus, nothing says romance quite like abandoning your partner to die after they accidentally startle the Witch.
If zombies are not your cup of tea then try Cuphead on for size this Valentine’s Day. This game is bursting at the seams with nostalgia. From its old school animation style to its run and gun tactics, Cuphead has exploded with popularity since its release late last year. While the game can be quite difficult at times, overcoming these obstacles together is a surefire way to grow close. Or at least, it is a surefire way for one of you to rage quit halfway through and end up sleeping on the couch. Either way, Cuphead makes a delightful addition to any co-op couple’s gaming roster.
3. League of Legends
Another oldie but goodie game comes in the form of the highly-popular MOBA League of Legends. The team composition of this game makes it incredibly well suited to both monogamous and polyamorous relationships alike. One of the most popular routes for couples is having both of them go bottom lane. While your partner is supposed to support you in the “real world”, we all know that true support comes in the form of blowing your summoner spells so you can steal the other person’s kill. Afterall, we all know “KS” really stands for “kill secured.”
4. The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
While co-op games are usually the go-to choice for gamer couples, sometimes you just need to take a step back from your partner and play something alone for a little bit. Skyrim is a great choice for couples to play alone, while still playing together. You can adventure at your own pace, playthrough your favorite side quests, and still be able to look over and see what your partner is doing at any time. Cheer them on during dragon fights, remind them where that stupid Stone of Barenziah is, and spend quality time together—without actually playing together.
Skyrim not your style? Back to co-op games it is! Overwatch is another obvious choice for couples this Valentine’s Day for many of the same reasons as League of Legends. While public matchmaking is fine and dandy for online games, you cannot deny that it is infinitely more enjoyable to be playing with someone you know and talk to. This Valentine’s Day you can help push your team to victory by becoming an unstoppable duo in Overwatch. Pharah + Mercy = Two lovely ladies flying around the map. What more could you possibly ask for?
6. Castle Crashers
Looking for some lighthearted, beat’em up fun? Castle Crashers is next on the list! This hack-and-slash side-scroller features some dashing knights out to save a princess or two from the evil wizard. Suitably romantic for a Valentine’s Day gaming marathon with your significant other! This game is pretty straightforward so it would also make a good choice for any couples that prefer simple fun over complex strategies. Fight your way through hordes of minions and you will be sure to have a good time by the end of the night.
7. Divinity: Original Sin 2
The complete opposite of “simple fun,” Divinity: Original Sin 2 is a complex, tactical RPG with plenty of opportunities for co-op play. Playable with up to four people in your party, the turn-based combat system makes it easier to manage parties while playing cooperatively. While the story-rich format of this game might not make it an obvious choice for date night, this highly-anticipated sequel was easily one of the best games of 2017. That alone should make it an obvious choice RPG lovers, fantasy nerds, and serious gamers alike for Valentine’s Day.
8. Dying Light
Another first-person zombie shooter, Dying Light is another wonderful opportunity to bond with your partner on Valentine’s Day over blood and guts. This game has everything adventurous couples could ask for: an open world experience, creative item crafting, and hardcore parkour to propel yourself across the map. Despite being another zombie game in an already densely populated genre, Dying Light remains a strong contender by combining its unique playstyle with a compelling storyline and side quests. There is also the added bonus that the developers have continued to release free DLC, giving the game even more replay value.
9. Payday 2
Nothing says romance this Valentine’s Day like a crime spree. This co-op shooter game follows a band of misfits as they rob banks, pull off heists, and cook meth. All, of course, with one goal: get paid! This game also has the added bonus of having a large swathe of DLC to choose from. There are dozens of missions to play, all with different goals and objectives. If you get tired of sneaking into banks, you can always decide to live life on the edge and go guns blazing into a cocaine deal. Your partner will be positively swooning after spending a night getting shot at by police and lamenting the unfortunate AI programming of your NPC teammates.
10. Mario Party
C’mon, Mario Party is a classic. It had to land on this list eventually. Chances are you have a copy of Mario Party laying around somewhere so go ahead and blow the dust off. Time to get competitive. You get to play as all of your favorite Mario characters and the board game like playstyle will leave you drenched in nostalgia by the time you are through. Plus, between battling it out in mini-games and screaming at your partner when they steal your stars, any installment in this series will be a great way to set the mood on Valentine’s Day.
11. Portal 2
I debated a long time about whether or not this title should actually be added to this list. If you enjoy, and are good at, puzzle games then this is an obvious choice for a fun-filled evening with your partner. If one of you are not a fan of puzzles, or if you struggle with more difficult ones, then…well…you might break up on Valentine’s Day. While this game is not for the faint of heart, Portal 2 can set the backdrop for a cute date night with your loved one. Even if GLaDOS makes for an awkward third wheel.