Elena Fisher (Uncharted series)
Like you're surprised to see another Uncharted character on this list. Elena Fisher has been Nathan Drake's on-again-off-again partner throughout all three Uncharted games, though we think our actual feelings for Elena started showing up in the second one. In the first, she was a cute side-character, but she didn't have a ton of time to develop. When she showed up in the second game, however, we realized how much we had missed her, and it certainly wasn't because of her marksmanship.
A lot of credit is owed to Emily Rose, the voice actress for Elena. Her talented vocals have helped Elena rise from annoying reporter to full-blown crush, the kind we'd slip lovey-dovey notes to in junior high. Heck, we doubt we'd even have the guts to approach her ourselves; we'd likely need to give a note to a friend of ours to give to a friend of hers to give to her.
Your neighbor in The Sims (The Sims)
It started off plainly enough: our neighbor came over for a housewarming party once we moved in, and we told them a few jokes. But then they came over again and the jokes became flirts. And then the flirts became more flirts. And then they slapped us, but then the jokes became more flirts. Cut to a few months later and we were married, pumping out kids like no one's business.
Such is life in The Sims, but as strange and insane as it might sound, we've found it hard not to grow emotionally attached to the characters we end up WooHooing with. Sure, they're digital, soulless, and speak in gibberish, but we're playing as avatars of ourselves, living vicariously through digital characters. We're living the lives we want to live, going through the daily motions as we would in real life but in fast-forward, seeing our past, present, and future, all as we wish it was. And then there's the one, the one we fell in love with, living alongside us. Playing The Sims is like having a lucid dream, and good luck not falling in love with your dream.
Alyx Vance (Half-Life 2)
There wasn't really any semblance of romance in the original Half-Life. Gordon was essentially alone in the Black Mesa Research Facility. Well, technically it was him, a few workers, and a bunch of aliens, but there was no one to have an emotional attachment to. And then Alyx came strutting into our lives in Half-Life 2 like it was no big deal, and absolutely ruined our hearts.
Since Gordon Freeman is a silent, invisible protagonist, he's really nothing more than an extension of the player, making Alyx's coy smiles, shy laughter and touching words all the more powerful. You can fawn over SoulCalibur's curvacious ladies all you want - the feeling we got when Alyx put her hand on the window as the elevator went down makes Ivy's cleavage (and even her neathage) fade into the background.
Malon (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
Zelda's cute and all, but she's sort of an arranged marriage for Link - the wife the Hero of Time is destined to have and all that. And then there's Malon, the adorable, unassuming, red-headed farm girl who spends her nights singing outside of Hyrule Castle. When you first meet her she's a cute little girl, but when the game flies forward by 10 years, she's instantly turned into a teenager that (as teenagers ourselves at the time) we were head-over-heels for.
Malon is sort of the forbidden fruit of the Zelda series. There's no way Nintendo would ever include an overtly romantic sub-plot of any kind in one of its games, so most encounters even with Zelda are kept to an uncomfortable hug. That means that Malon, who's even further away from being a romantic interest, is even further away from our grasp. Beyond being helpful, kind, and awesome, she's also just out of reach, which makes her all the more alluring.
Garrus Vakarian (Mass Effect series)
What is there to say about Garrus that hasn't been scrawled onto the back cover of a teenage girl's Trapper Keeper? The guy's a heartthrob, plain and simple. There's just something about him that makes women weak in the knees, and the mere utterance of his name brings panties flying in from every direction. His calm, soothing voice, his charming personality, his... sort of creepy, bug/kitty appearance... It's hard to figure out exactly what makes Garrus so damn appealing, but whatever "it" is, he has it.
As a squadmate in all three Mass Effect games, Garrus proves to be 100 percent loyal. He never questions Shepard's motives. He never flips out and throws a tantrum if he doesn't get his way. Even if you intentionally screw up his revenge plan, he walks away, totally cool about the situation. We're like, "Sorry we ruined your revenge," and he's all like "Whatever, you were right. Thanks for not letting me kill that guy. Let's go clubbing!" And then he's the designated driver, because he's THAT AWESOME.
Keep on lovin' you
Ah, we feel all flushed just thinking about all those lovable so-and-sos. But sure enough, we haven't highlighted all the deserving candidates out there. Make sure you let us know who we missed in the comments below!