Ah, love. Ah, heavily implied mature-rated in-game scenes. Ah, Turians. OK. So, clearly, we’ve thought about those lovey-dovey feelings quite a bit in games and that’s no surprise given how many incredible adventures out there offer an additional layer of story immersion by letting players get their woo-hoo on however they see fit. We’re talking our favorite little blueberry in the Mass Effect series, good ‘ol elves-which-are-actually-gods-bent-on-destruction as seen in Dragon Age, and the big ol’ pile of bones that we … well, we want to bone in Divinity Original Sin 2. There are so many incredible in-game romance options out there so to ring in the holiday of love, we wanted to break down some of our favorites.
Our favorite in-game romances
Garrus Vakarian – Mass Effect Trilogy
No article talking about in-game romances would be complete without everybody’s favorite Turian. Garrus was first introduced to Shepard in Mass Effect 1 and while the first game had a strict no-touching policy when it came the scaley cutie with the bootie, Mass Effect 2 – and then 3 – more than made up for the incredible loss felt in the first title.
From a voice that makes all of the ladies in the area pregnant to knowing how to sight a sniper rifle like nobody’s business, we’re pretty sure Garrus is the embodiment of perfection.
God, is that you? No, it’s Garrus friggin’ Vakarian.
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Yennefer – The Witcher
Yennefer of Vengerberg is a powerful sorceress from the Witcher games that many got a chance to meet for the first time with the recent series adaptation over on Netflix. A mother figure to Ciri with an affinity for … um, stuffed unicorns, Yennefer is one of a few romance options Geralt of Rivia can choose though canonically speaking, she is referred to as the “love of his life” in the bigger media picture.
Plus, she’s just drop-dead gorgeous. That, and she can literally make you drop-dead, so … yeah, we guess you could say things are getting pretty serious.
Serana – Skyrim
If you’ve got a thing for pale vampires with murderous relatives then boy do we have just the partner for you! Serana is an ancient vampire that can be a follower in Skyrim with the Dawnguard DLC and she comes bearing witty one-liners with an edge of sadness and a pretty killer questline for those that choose to follow it. She also has wicked mommy issues, though for good reason.
We’d be pretty miffed too if mommy dearest locked us away for centuries. Some problems even Dr. Phil can’t fix.
Liara – Mass Effect Trilogy (and sort of in Mass Effect Andromeda)
While Liara isn’t my personal favorite in terms of partners in not-so-much crime, this little blueberry turned badass is a fan-favorite among many. She first starts off as a naive Asari in search of discovery and adventure, but quickly learns the hard way that life can be cruel. An all-out war with Reapers and Cerberus will do that to a gal.
From the very first Mass Effect game to the final one, Liara has definitely changed. She evolves into one of the most powerful names in the galaxy but one thing that doesn’t falter is her loyalty to Shepard and ability to want us to ’embrace eternity’.
Fane – Divinity Original Sin 2
Ever wanted to bone a literal bag of bones? Well, now you can! Don’t let your dreams be dreams, especially when there’s a sassy little skeleton with your name on him (though not literally, that would be weird). He’s cocky, he’s incredibly smart, and he’s got sass for days. which of course makes us want him to aim all of those qualities towards us if only to have that delicious voice aimed our way as well (we’ve got a thing for voices, we know – we’re super subtle about it).
Fane is a great addition to this open-world RPG because he has a tumultuous past that shines a lot of light on the in-game lore. His interactions with various characters are among our favorites, making him a worthwhile party addition as well as a solid choice for one’s affections.
You also have to find him a face to wear. A living person’s face. If that’s not love, we don’t know what is.
Isabella – Dragon Age 2 (sort of in Dragon Age Origins)
Isabella was first introduced in Dragon Age Origins briefly in a brothel but players truly got to know her in Dragon Age 2. Despite the reception Dragon Age 2 received, it was a game that had some of the best character interactions – despite its repetitious areas and rushed narrative. Isabella is one of many romance options, though personally? Her and Fenris were always a go-to for my Hawke.
Don’t let her attire fool you, she can slit your throat before you even have a chance to blink. She’s had a hardened life but when she’s loyal, she’s loyal, and has some of the most hilarious dialogue options ever known to man.
Just as a heads up, if you romance her don’t think the usual chocolates and flowers. Think more along the lines of daggers and ale. You’re welcome.
Nadia Grell – Star Wars: The Old Republic
There’s a BioWare theme happening here but that’s OK, BioWare does romance pretty dang well! There are a ton of amazing love interests in The Old Republic, but one of the most soul-searching options for those wanting a little more substance definitely comes in the form of Nadia Grell, who is perfect for those playing as a Jedi Consular.
She’s unbearably sweet, and players get to learn more and more about her personality in meaningful ways as the game progresses and the relationship is explored. There’s a natural connection upon meeting Nadia for the first time, but choosing her also takes players onto a journey that is as soul-bearing as it is eye-opening. She’s about as real as they get in terms of vulnerability and shared experience, making her a very authentic romance option for those looking for an additional storyline brimming with meaning.
Dorian Pavus – Dragon Age Inquisition
Dorian is the only reason I played as a Male Inquisitor since he’s a male-only romance. Throughout the Dragon Age franchise’s history, Tevinter was the Big Evil, a place where nothing good happens and a place that deserves to be burned to the ground. Then BioWare had the audacity to have Dorian waltz up and steal our hearts like he owns all of Thedas and you know what? We’re cool with that.
He’s intelligent, frighteningly so, but also very witty as part of his defense mechanisms built up from being a high-ranking member of Tevinter society. But more than that, he’s one of the few characters that shows an immense vulnerability that deals with issues of family non-acceptance and fighting to be yourself even when your own father is willing to turn to blood magic in an effort to change you.
Despite being a spoiled heir, Dorian still found the courage to leave all comfort behind in order to stand up for himself and do what is right and it’s because of that powerful story arc that we don’t think we’ve seen the last of Mr. Pavus yet in the grand scheme of Dragon Age.
There are so many more romances in games that we could talk about! From Baldur’s Gate II to Pillars of Eternity, Pathfinder to GreedFall, Dragon Age Origins (Hello, Alistair) to Dragon’s Dogma – there are so many! But we’re sure you’re hungry or something so we won’t keep you, but just remember this list when you’re looking for a little extra somethin’ somethin’ with your gaming adventures!
Valentine’s Day can be daunting, so instead of flowers and chocolates this year… why not spend it playing some of these games with your loved one?
Liana Ruppert is wildly passionate about all things in the gaming community, with an arguably unhealthy obsession with Dragon Age and Mass Effect. From shooters to RPGs, if it’s out – she’s playing it. A medically retired US Sailor and now full-time hoarder of gaming collectibles, Liana’s passion for everything in the gaming industry is palpable. Also, if you lose her in a crowd, just casually mention any BioWare game and the crazy pterodactyl screech will without a doubt follow. You can follow her on Twitter @DirtyEffinHippy.