These romantic tales may not have flowers, chocolates or love letters, but they tugged the heartstrings of gamers worldwide and perhaps yours as well.
Love is truly one of the most beautiful feelings we’re capable of as human beings, which is why it’s worthy of a celebration by itself on Valentine’s Day. It inspired a myriad of romance stories told through poems, novels, movies and most recently, video games. After all, what better way to experience the ups and downs of a romantic relationship than to step into the shoes of our protagonist and see how their love journey unfolds.
So, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, here are the seven greatest love stories ever told on modern video games:
Shadow of the Colossus
Wander and Mono
Nothing was known about the young lad and the fallen maiden in the opening hours of Shadow of the Colossus, but before you even take control, you can already feel the immense love Wander has towards Mono. To resurrect his sacrificed beloved, Wander wanders to a forbidden land to seek the help of a malevolent entity, who asks him to defeat 16 colossi so that it can bring Mono back from the dead. Wander agrees to it despite being warned he’ll pay a great price. If that alone breaks your heart, wait until you see the ending.
Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher
A dynamic duo that stood out among modern Playstation exclusives, Nathan “Nate” Drake and Elena Fisher are two very different peas that go oh so well together. Despite a rough start in Drake’s Fortune (Nate abandoned Elena on an island before she caught up with him), the will-they-won’t-they pair went through thick and thin in their treasure hunting adventures, saving each other more times than fingers can count – along with exchanging delightful banters and quips – before settling down together for good in the expertly-crafted A Thief’s End. By the end of it, they matured into more sensible and headstrong persons, thanks to one another.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Senua and Dillion
Are you willing to venture into the underworld, slay sinister beings and rebel against a malevolent Norse goddess to save your fallen lover? Pict warrior Senua is, after Dillion was sacrificed by invading Norsemen to their own gods. And to make things worse, she’s also battling her own personal demons – comprising hallucinations and seemingly-helpful voices in her head – as she takes on these otherworldly obstacles. Nevertheless, she powers through with a blade in hand and her combat skills, because nothing will take away her beloved, not even Hela. Senua is definitely wife material.
Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2
John and Abigail Marston
While the tale of Mr. and Mrs. Marston isn’t as epic as the above, it’s still as formidable as what real life has to offer, even in the wild west – maintaining a long-lasting yet arduous marriage/family. Abigail was a sex worker for the Van der Linde gang before falling in love with John. While the two hit a huge roadbump (John was initially scared of fatherhood after Abigail revealed she was pregnant with little Jack), the cowboy outlaw managed to assuage his own fears and embrace his role as a family man, partnering with his tough-as-nails wife to keep the Marston family afloat and well.
Super Mario series
Mario and Princess Peach
It’s unsurprising that this ordinary Italian plumber has been Nintendo’s mascot since his debut in the 80s, especially when he has the tenacity to save Princess Peach countless times since Super Mario Bros. Despite being portrayed as a damsel in distress, Her Highness is actually more than capable of handling herself and her kingdom, having assisted Mario on several occasions to defeat his wacky enemies. It’s no wonder that these two are the epitome of a power couple.
Master Chief and Cortana
The interstellar battles and space military shenanigans of Halo may have thrilled players, but it’s the bond between supersoldier Master Chief and artificial intelligence Cortana that melted hearts. She may have been an artificial construct designed solely to be his guide and companion, but make no mistake, she has a mind and life of her own. Aside from cracking jokes with the no-nonsense Spartan soldier, Cortana is the only being to ever bring down his guard and reveal bits of his humanity. They shared a tender moment in one of video gaming’s most soul-touching scenes, when Cortana briefly obtained a physical form to touch Master Chief before she sacrificed herself to save him in Halo 4.
The Last of Us: Left Behind
Ellie and Riley
Most of us may shrug off our exes in high school, but if you’re in a post-apocalyptic land that’s infested with the undead, you’d be dead set on appreciating every little happy moment, as is the case for Ellie And Riley in the highly-acclaimed zombie adventure game. The unlikely pair became quick friends when Riley defended Ellie from a group of bullies, before the former left to join the resistance group, Fireflies. However, Riley returned to visit her friend and brought her to an abandoned mall to catch up with one another. What started out as a cheeky getaway blossomed into innocent young love between the two young women, sharing a gentle kiss before all hell broke loose.