By Ben Grandis
In celebration of Pride month, we want to take a look at some of our favorite queer couples in gaming. LGBT representation in video games hasn’t always been the most flattering or kind. But many game developers are taking their queer audiences seriously and providing meaningful depictions of non-heterosexual or gender-conforming characters. We love all kinds of love here at Game Brainer and are proud to share our picks for the Top 10 LGBT Couples in Gaming.
#10 . Birdo and Yoshi – Mario series
To kick off our list, we want to celebrate two of the cuddliest queer characters in gaming. Birdo’s gender has always been a source of controversy]since her first appearance in Super Mario Bros. 2, but that hasn’t stopped her from being one of the sweetest trans-women in video games. She and Yoshi make a delightful team. Their dates include making eggs, go-kart racing, parties, tennis, and all kinds of wacky activities in the colorful Mario universe.
#9. Father-Mother – Zeno Clash
This one may be cheating since Father-Mother is technically its own individual creature. That being said, this male-female fusion defies gender expectations and speaks with both a male and female voice. They are the creepy and powerful leader of an enormous family, where all their children obediently serve their will. Part chicken, part-human, all terrifying. Father-Mother is one very scary queer cookie you do not want to crumble with.
#8. Samantha and Lonnie – Gone Home
Although the player never gets to actually see Samantha and Lonnie in Gone Home, the love between them still feels very real. Told through various notes, cassettes, and journal entries that Samantha’s older sister Kate discovers, the romance of these ’90s teens is beautiful, heart wrenching, and colored by nostalgia. No relationship has ever been depicted in gaming quite like this detective-style love story.
#7. Dorian and the Inquisitor – Dragon Age: Inquisition
Bioware is arguably the top dog when it comes to progressive LGBT romances in gaming. While there are many queer couples from their games to choose from, my personal favorite has to be Dorian and the Inquisitior. As the first exclusively gay male companion in a Bioware game, Dorian is a charming, bright, and silver tongued mage who knows his way around a castle bedchamber. He makes for an excellent friend and lover for the Inquisitor, and the trust and respect they share is palpable.
#6. Tracer and Emily – Overwatch
Although Emily herself is not a playable character in Overwatch, her quick-footed and plucky girlfriend Tracer is the most iconic character in the game. Their relationship is playful, generous, and not overstated. Knowing that such a powerful and popular hero is a lesbian makes winning matches as Tracer all the more fantastic. Cheers love, the calvary is here!
#5. Ellie and Riley – The Last of Us: Left Behind
Perhaps the youngest lovers on this list, Ellie and Riley make an adorable pairing. Even when faced with the harsh realities of growing up in the apocalypse, they always make time to hang out and play like regular teenagers who don’t have to fear being eaten by infected mutants. A particularly sweet moment where Riley reads Ellie a joke book she found in a shopping mall is one of the silliest and most sentimental moments in gaming history. Never has a dynamic between two characters quite elicited tears from both laughing and sad crying like these two.
#4. Kian and Likho – Dreamfall: Chapters
Some may contest this entry on this list since it’s very difficult for the player to unlock the “intimate” moment between these two, but I think that’s what makes their dynamic so special. Here are two men, who have every reason to hate each other, who cling to masculine ideals in a world that denounces their homosexuality, and yet, if the right choices are made, vulnerability, compassion, and consent with each other can be established between these gruff warriors. They keep their blades sharp, and their love sharper.
#3. Chloe Price and Rachel Amber – Life is Strange: Before the Storm
Easily one of the most realistic couples on this list, Chloe and Rachel are a fresh take on the indie-teen romance trope. While their relationship can be manipulative and volatile at times, it certainly captures the nuances of being a young queer woman in rural Oregon with grace and passion. Their banter is fun, emotional, and deeply engrossing. We’d cut classes with these two anytime.
#2. Athena and Janey Springs – Tales from the Borderlands
If there was a showdown between every couple on this list in a Battle Royale match, these two ladies would easily win. Athena, a no-nonsense Vault hunter is well supported by her tough-as-nails mechanic girlfriend Janey. They are butch badass women who bring the pain. But what really makes them so great is the fact that they have and support their own lives outside of each other. As individuals they are powerful, but together, they’re truly unstoppable.
#1. Gregg and Angus – Night in the Woods
My favorite couple in gaming history, Gregg and Angus are the quintessential Midwestern gay couple in their twenties. Yes, they realize the dating pool may be small in their small and conservative town. But the bond between them is far from just circumstantial. These two deeply love each other, and always look out for the others’ best interest. They are the definition of #relationshipgoals, and give us all something to have pride in. Cheers, queers!