Search for the “best video games for couples” and you’ll find a solid list of options, ranging from It Takes Two to Stardew Valley. Usually, lists like that tend to be filled with co-op games that require lots of communication or cozy games like Animal Crossing that anyone can enjoy. Those are all ideal choices, but allow me to throw a curveball at you: Baldur’s Gate 3 is the hottest new couples game.
Yes, I know how wild that sounds. After all, the dense RPG opens with a tentacled monster slipping a disgusting parasite into a character’s eye socket. Shortly after, players come across an exposed brain hanging out of a man’s skull, which then wriggles its way out and begins running around on nerve-like legs. It’s positively grotesque, a stark contrast with just about any title you’d see recommended on a list of couple’s games.
Putting that aside, though, Baldur’s Gate 3 can function quite well as a gripping, interactive TV show that lets lovers work together to shape the story. And you don’t even need to be the one holding the controller to enjoy it.
Of course, I wouldn’t just make a claim like this without testing it myself. When I say Baldur’s Gate 3 is a great couple’s game, I’m speaking from experience. While I was excited to check it out, I wasn’t familiar with the series at all. I was feeling a little intimidated about starting it. Luckily, my girlfriend happened to be a fan of the series and was eager to show me the ropes. I hooked up my PC to my TV and we spent an evening playing through its spectacular (and disgusting) opening.
Though I was the one controlling the action, the experience was fully collaborative. That started at the character creation process as we both talked through the best class combinations and created the best possible hairstyle for our Drow rogue. When it came time to start making dialogue choices, we’d talk through our options together and weigh the risks of every decision we could make (and, of course, I was the one to blame when I insisted on sticking my thumb into a talking brain and turning it into a foe).
All of that made for a fiendishly fun date night. It gave the two of us a fun way to work together, celebrating our successes and laughing at our failures. And it does that while giving us to talk to one another between lines of dialogue and combat turns rather than sitting in silence as we watch a movie or focus on a game that requires more attention.
It’s not exactly what comes to mind when you think of a “co-op” game, but it’s a surprisingly great way to enjoy a game together. And for those who do want a more traditional multiplayer experience, Baldur’s Gate 3 has that too. Long-distance partners can party up and tackle quests together rather than talking through them on the couch.
Perhaps this isn’t everyone’s idea of a romantic evening (you’re weird, not me), but it’s a great choice for couples who love fantasy or games like Dungeons & Dragons. Play it together and it becomes your own little tabletop campaign with an invisible dungeon master who won’t judge you if you sneak in a smooch between owlbear murders.
Baldur’s Gate 3 is out now on PC and coming to PS5 on September 6.
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