Happy Valentine's day. Or not. Whatever. Maybe you think this day is a fat old waste of time and money. Maybe you think the opposite. Regardless, you probably like video games and this is a list of some very good games to play as a couple.
This article was originally published 14 February 2017.
Disclaimer: These are video games I've played with my partner, who only kinda likes video games. This is my list. Maybe you like playing Left 4 Dead co-op with your partner, that's just not gonna happen for me.
Pixel Junk Monsters
Honestly, Pixel Junk Monsters provided my wife and I with one of the early highlights of our marriage!
Pixel Junk Monsters is super balanced, super tense and - most importantly - requires an intense amount of teamwork when played as a co-op game. Particularly when the levels get super difficult.
My wife and I played this solid for the better part of a year. We both managed to get up to expert level on our respective instruments (her on drums, me relegated to guitar).
Guitar Hero is similar, but Rock Band is just super powerful when it comes to making you feel like part of a team. Part of it is the pure presentation, part of it is the ability for people to rescue each other when they suck. There's a real 'in it together' vibe that makes it perfect for gaming as a couple.
Tricky Towers is awesome. But it's only awesome when you're playing against others. This is my wife and I's go-to game on Friday nights. The kids are sleeping, it's too late to do anything, let's just play shitloads of Tricky Towers.
It's the simplicity of the design, how easy it is for beginners. Everyone knows how to play Tetris, it's like that... kinda. It's also fun to play competitively with one another. We just play on loop for hours.
The only single player game on my list.
I say single player, but I really feel like Until Dawn is the perfect game to play collaboratively. It also has that date night feel about it. Watching a trashy horror film loaded with jump scares - it's the most coupley thing a couple can do.
Until Dawn is the video game manifestation of that. It's awesome.
I hate Critter Crunch so much.
My wife is obsessed with it.
She made me play this every weekend for two years straight. It nearly broke me. It nearly broke our marriage. I have no idea why I've added it to this list. It's the worst.
Super Mario 3D World
When I played Super Mario 3D World alone, I was very underwhelmed. I felt like it was the most conservative Mario game I'd ever played. Now that I play it regularly with my wife and children and I truly understand how incredible it is.
It's perfect for co-op gaming. It's the perfect game for young children, but it's also a fun game to play with your significant other.
Portal 2 same-screen co-op is world class. The end. Might be my favourite co-op game of all time.
A team-based first-person shooter that has a character choice for every playstyle imaginable?
Yes, this is a very good game to play as a couple. My brother-in-law and his wife are obsessed. They play side-by-side every Saturday night and it's the cutest thing I've ever seen. She plays mostly as D.Va, he plays as Mercy. It's a beautiful thing.
That's my list, what games do you play with your partner? Any suggestions?