Here’s what love sounds like to a gamer: “Take the good controller.”
So, this weekend, why not skip the standard flowers/dinner/movie and opt instead for some couch time and co-op gaming?
1. Portal 2 (Local/Online)
It wouldn’t be a list of co-op games without it. This modern classic is the gaming equivalent of building a piece of IKEA furniture together in 95-degree heat. That might not sound great, but at least there’s a common enemy here. If you can find a way to suffer within the stark white walls of Aperture Science together and figure out a solution with the power of teamwork, you will be bonded in a new and lasting way.
2. ibb and obb (Local/Online)
This side-scrolling romp through a brightly colored world brings a ton of charm (and a bit of challenge) to a simple concept. You and your partner play as the titular ibb and obb, two little creatures hopping and bopping through every level by way of gravity-based puzzles. With wide-eyed characters and rounded edges, this game sits squarely in the “adorable as all hell” category, and features an original soft electronica score for extra chillness.
Play it while killing a bottle of wine.
3. LittleBigPlanet (Local/Online)
The best kinds of dates are the ones that have a sense of adventure. LittleBigPlanet offers the next best thing. You can guide Sackboy and friends around a planet that’s just like Earth, if Earth were deconstructed and had its colorful bits glued back together by a lovable community theatre troupe. Climb platforms, solve puzzles, and help each other customize your characters in a world that’s all about exploration and wonder.
4. Borderlands 2 (Local/Online)
Alright, enough of all of this cutesy crap. If you’re looking for the most romantic way to blow someone’s head off alongside your partner, your search has just ended. Team up to take on monsters and scavenge the frozen wasteland, smoking pistols at your sides.
5. Risk of Rain (Local/Online)
With elements like permadeath and difficulty that increases alongside the game’s clock, Risk of Rain is definitely one of the toughest games on this list. If you and your partner are seeking nail-biting tension and simplistic throwback graphics, this indie action platformer for local or online multiplayer is definitely the way to go. Just make sure you’ve both got a penchant for deprecating humor: The death messages are notoriously snarky, ranging from “rekt” to “That was absolutely your fault.”
6. Sid Meier’s Civilization V (Local Hot Seat/Online)
It’s the world domination dynamics of Risk mixed with the soul-crushing death of spirit that comes with a Monopoly defeat. And it’s fun for up to six couples at a time! (Twelve if you’re doubling up.) The sight of your beloved marching their troops into your capital, slaughtering your Great Scientists, and pillaging your wheat fields might not be an easy thing to stomach … but once you nail them back with a sneak naval attack five turns later and snag their most populous city, it all suddenly becomes a lot more fun and bearable.
7. Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime (Local)
A game that’s as fun as it is adorable, which is to say, very. Hop aboard a spherical spaceship that’s under attack by aliens as you and your S.O. essentially role-play the latest Star Wars movie. Grab the steering wheel and pilot out of danger while your astronaut-in-crime mans the laser cannons, firing back some blasts of your own amidst a refreshingly neon-toned spacescape. While later levels can get pretty tricky, communication is the key to sailing your hot pink ship to safety.
8. Broforce (Local/Online)
Steam rates it a 10/10. The world should rate it a 10/10. Looking for retro 8-bit graphics? Play Broforce. A fan of ridiculous cartoon violence and explosions? Play Broforce. Proudly name Die Hard as your favorite Christmas movie? Play Broforce. Starring all of your favorite ’80s and ’90s action hero bros like Rambro, the Brominator, and even Ellen Ripbro (of Alien fame), Broforce is a dizzying side-scroller that whips you through war campaigns as you shoot, slice, and vaporize all enemies in sight. So crack open a cold one and cuddle up with your favorite bro: it’s time for Brobocop and Cherry Broling to do their thing.