Sometimes two people just have a spark. Call it chemistry, call it magic, call it hormones. Whatever name you put to it, when you’ve experienced a genuine bond between two individuals, it’s impossible to forget. Video games can do a great job of capturing even the subtle nuances of a relationship. We’ve all had moments of vicarious joy watching these couples grow close over cutscenes or in casual filler dialogue. Whether it’s a passionate romance, cute flirtations, or just a genuine connection between two like minds, these are our favorite couples of video games.
1. Tidus and Yuna
Game: Final Fantasy 10
Format: PS3, PS2, Vita
Release date: 2001
Everyone has their favorite game in the Final Fantasy series, and everyone has their favorite couple. Tidus and Yuna of Final Fantasy 10 are our choice from the franchise thanks to their touching transformations, both together and as individuals, over the course of the game. They are on their way to destroy Sin, after all. That’s a bonding experience that’s destined to forge some strong feelings. Even though the English voice acting is questionable at best, everything Tidus and Yuna say to each other demonstrates a real depth of feeling. The sincerity of their relationship makes this an enduring standout among video game couples.
2. Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher
Game: Uncharted series
Format: PS4, PS3
Release date: began 2007
Nothing like adventure to bring two lovebirds together. Nathan Drake met Elena Fisher when she joined his team to film their search for riches way back in Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. Over the course of several more games, in spite of the temptations of treasure and other people, things between them progress from mere flirtation to a serious commitment. In Uncharted 4, the depiction of their married life certainly ranks as one of the best parts of an already excellent game. The stars aligned behind the scenes to help make this couple so memorable. The voice acting of Nolan North and Emily Rose creates genuine chemistry between the characters. The games’ snappy writing drips with sass and flirtation. They’re a match of equals, both equally at home with history or with firearms.
3. Guybrush Threepwood and Elaine Marley
Game: The Secret of Monkey Island series
Format: Atari ST, Amiga, PC, PS3, PS2, Xbox 360
Release date: began 1990
She’s a pirate of influence and renown governing the Tri-Island Area. He’s a bumbling, naive pirate wannabe. Odder couples have gone the distance. The Monkey Island games have charmed legions of fans with their humor and silliness, but there’s also a lot of heart in this saga. Guybrush and Elaine are an unstoppable team when they work together to combat the many appearances and reappearances of the dread zombie pirate and all-around jerk LeChuck. Like any relationship, they’ve had their ups and downs, but the devotion to each other is equal parts heartwarming and hilarious. Most marriage vows end with “til death do us part,” but even death can’t separate these swashbuckling sweeties.
4. Ico and Yorda
Release date: 2001
They speak different languages. They face impossible odds trying to escape the Queen’s massive fortress. Yet Ico and Yorda quickly form have an implicit understanding of each other, and as you play, you’re internally cheering ever-harder for the pair to reach freedom together. From the moment he breaks her free of her imprisonment, there’s a trust between Ico and Yorda. Thanks to Ico’s immersive gameplay of puzzles and exploration, you’ll most likely wind up just as attached to the duo as they are to each other. Fumito Ueda’s quiet, minimal masterpiece proves that the tired old ‘boy meets girl’ concept doesn’t have to feel tired or old. In fact, it can be sweetly profound.
5. You and the Companion Cube
Format: Android, PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release date: 2007
You know that feeling that corny rom-coms show? The one where two strangers lock eyes across a crowded room, sweeping music plays, and the people just know that they’re meant to be together forever? That’s the sensation Portal manages to create the first time a player looks at the Companion Cube. First you laugh it off as a silly gimmick. But in no time, you’ve fallen head over heals for this block with hearts on it. And if you didn’t feel heartbroken when you had to toss the cube into the incinerator, then you truly are - as GLaDOS would say - a monster. Great couples have a bond that can’t necessarily be explained. Portal makes that magic happen, and the vast volume of fan art and adoration for the Companion Cube shows how sincerely people felt about it.