The days leading up to Valentine’s Day can be stressful. The hallmark festive day sneaks up on us after the collective hangover from the winter holidays finally disappears. But before you realise the tinsel’s been tucked away, you find yourself scrambling to buy flowers, chocolates, jewellery, and the like.

But how about indulging in some quality time together rather than spending money on expensive gifts that your partner may only enjoy for a finite amount of time? And what better way to do that than to pick up the play stations or joysticks and play some video games?

valentine's day
Courtesy: CouchDwellerz.com

While there’s a lot of emphasis in the video game community on online multiplayer and the ease of being able to play with friends regardless of your location, it’s always fun to share the experience with the person you love the most while being literally right next to them on your own couch.

Working together for a common goal, practicing effective communication and delegation, as well as having a blast while overcoming obstacles together are great tools to implement in both a relationship and video games. Whether you’re an avid video game fan or can’t quite get the hang of walking forward while looking forward – we think gaming is the perfect couples’ activity!

Here is a handpicked list of couples’ games that will keep the fun and play going this Valentine’s Day. Become the Player 2 to your loved one’s Player 1 as you two vacuum up ghosts, prepare meals, battle underground monsters, defuse bombs, and race to the finish line together.

1. Phasmophobia

If you and your partner love all things spooky and scary, here is your go to game for Valentine’s Day. The first release for Kinetic Games, Phasmophobia puts you in the shoes of a ghost hunter.

In each investigation, you and up to three others will use various ghost-hunting tools to find and track a ghost. Your job isn’t to get rid of the ghost, though. Rather, you’re tasked with gathering evidence to pin down what type of ghost is responsible for the haunt.

couple games
Courtesy: Screen Rant

Armed with pro ghost hunting tools like EMF readers, flashlights, salt, crucifixes and so many other items, you and your co-op partners will have to enter haunted buildings to determine what kind of spirit is running amok. You can each only carry a few tools at once, so you’ll need to divide and conquer to collect clues about its identity.

Ghosts will mess with you by turning off lights, locking doors, and popping up to give you a fright or outright murder you. They will also listen to you talk via voice recognition software, so be careful not to go shouting their names too often.

Although Phasmophobia is very much a horror game, it’s a ghost-hunting game first and foremost. The majority of each investigation is spent setting up equipment and trying to get a read on where the ghost is at. There are scares, but they’re few and far between, and Phasmophobia earns every frightening moment. Even better, Phasmophobia has a VR mode, and you can team up with your friends regardless if they have a VR headset or not. You can maybe spend Valentine’s Day doing a double date through this spooky game.

2. Don’t Starve Together

Klei Entertainment fought shy of adding co-op to its brilliant game of gothic survival whimsy for a couple of years, reasoning that the addition of other people might break its esoteric spell, which relies on feelings of isolation and discovery. Turns out the developer needn’t have worried as a disaster shared is even more fun. The mutual blame when a Deerclops stomps through your camp, ruining days’ worth of winter prep, is a strategy game in itself.

Don’t Starve might be the most charming survival game out there for you and your partner to play this Valentine’s Day. In a genre where every developer is concerned with realism, Klei Entertainment went in a different direction with Don’t Starve, honing in on the survival elements and ditching the realism for a gothic coat of paint. Don’t Starve Together is the same game but with online and local co-op.

games for couples
Courtesy: The Billfold

Don’t Starve is a game that pairs survival of the fittest with adventure and exploration. You and your partner will quickly notice how random everything is every time you restart a new world. The first few worlds you create give you two the chance to learn the game rather than focus on surviving. Truth be told, Don’t Starve is a challenging and unforgiving game, but if you remain patient and willing to learn, you will benefit a lot over time.

Further, in keeping with Klei’s attention to detail and balance across its games, the core Don’t Starve experience is tweaked across Together’s three modes – Survival, Wilderness and Endless to ensure revival items and certain character abilities aren’t overpowered.

Moreover, if you are in a long distance relationship, chilling out on Discord or a Skype call with your partner whilst pooling your resources to try to keep each other alive against the increasingly brutal effects of the seasons is unarguably a new definition of showing love and affection.

3. Portal 2

Though Portal 2 is nearly a decade old, those who’ve never managed to give it a shot will find that it has aged gracefully. The original Portal is a perfect, focused, and hugely influential curio of game design, combining razor-sharp puzzles that explore its core, portal gun mechanic, with hilarious writing in a taunting robot overlord, GLaDOS.

However, the sequel is bigger and better in every way, with a highly-produced campaign, an expanded cast, and new mechanics to explore. And for our purposes this Valentine’s Day, it also adds a truly excellent co-op campaign, completely separate from the single-player story, which tasks two robot friends with solving puzzles that require two sets of portals.

Doubling the number of portals in play makes the co-op campaign fiendishly tricky at times, but all the more satisfying when you do solve it, especially with your partner. If you ever thought managing one pair of portals was tricky, adding a second pair allows you and your bae to bend the rules of physics in some pretty startling ways. You might argue a lot, but the feeling of solving one of Portal 2’s challenges with a partner is almost orgasmic – a feeling you don’t want to miss out this Valentine’s Day.

portal 2 couple game
Courtesy: The Atlantic

As the two testing robots Atlas and P-Body, you and your partner get to explore the darker, more dangerous side of GlaDOS’s testing routines – the stuff that’s too dangerous for human testers.

Portal 2’s co-op is strongest when neither of you know the answer – if your partner waits patiently for you, you feel like a noob; if they don’t, they’ll be rushing you through all the discovery that makes the game great. The three-dimensional spatial thinking that makes the Portal series so addictive is only magnified when there’s another friend getting stumped at the puzzles with you.

4. Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

As modern video games, a lot of the entries on this list are gritty and realistic in style. Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is the opposite – bright, colourful, and cartoony, it’s a Lisa Frank-style explosion of pink and cute animals flying through space. It’s a vibe you cannot miss on Valentine’s Day!

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is a rare space-based video game that’s as exciting as it is adorable. The forces of Anti-Love threaten the universe, so you and your partner have to navigate the mazes of the galaxy in a neon battleship that you both control. While one person steers the ship, the other has to defend it using weapons, shields, and other technology, hopping from control base to control base.

game for lovers
Courtesy: gamesknit

As you complete the various stages which are randomized so you’ll always be exploring a new area, you have to rescue space bunnies, battle baddies and avoid knocking into rock formations and damaging your own ship.

Not only are the themes of Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime perfect for this time of year, but you and your partner really have to work as a team to be successful. We recommend going into this game blindly together, so you’re both forced to learn the controls and get your space legs simultaneously.

Once you get the hang of the basics, Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime is only as challenging as each new maze layout—but that doesn’t take away from its fun. It’s a refreshing change of pace from the competitive couch co-op games that typically get the spotlight and a unique way to spend quality time working together this Valentine’s Day.

5. Overcooked! 2

Whether you enjoy cooking in real life or not, it’s hard to resist the frenzied fun that is Overcooked! 2. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with your partner by working together as cute creature-chefs preparing meals from start to finish.

While chopping, cooking, plating, and serving food may not sound difficult, don’t be fooled – Overcooked! 2 is quite challenging, especially if you’re new to the game. Each round in the game starts simply, with a coordinated team organizing themselves into stations to create an efficient cooking machine. As the orders and problems start to pile up, though, the kitchen quickly devolves into madness, where every correct order feels like a victory.

cooking games
Courtesy: wccftech

Overcooked! 2 is chaos incarnate. Single-player mode is difficult for a number of reasons, but the two-player couch mode kicks it into high gear because you and your partner have to figure out how you work best together around the kitchen.

Who’s chopping the fish for sushi? Who’s ready to plate the rice when it’s done cooking? Who’s dishing out clean plates for the next meals to be served on? Who’s dodging speeding vehicles to cross the street and get this plate of mahi-mahi to hungry customers? There’s a lot to figure out, and you must do so while the clock is ticking.

There’s no other way to excel at Overcooked! 2’s couch mode other than working as a team. Don’t be surprised if you and your partner start shouting while virtually cooking, but nobody minds a tense and competitive situation when playing video games.

6. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Strong relationships are mostly about effective communication. And here might be the most exciting and thrilling way to make your messages clear not only on Valentine’s Day, but for all the days to follow.

Getting non-gamers into VR can be a struggle, but this brilliant co-op game is so easy to understand and fun to play that it’s a great bridge. The premise is simple – a bomb is about to blow up. The good news is you have a manual for defusing bombs. The bad news is the person defusing the bomb can’t look at the manual, because they’re wearing the VR headset.

valentine's day games for couples
Courtesy: Taming Gaming

One of the players needs to communicate with the other to ask about what they’re seeing and give them clear directions for what to do. The other player is tasked with reading from a 23-page bomb-defusal manual that explains how to work through the various conditions the bomb disposal player may currently see.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes will test how well you and your partner respond to pressure. It tasks you both with defusing a series of ticking time bombs, which can only be stopped by solving a series of puzzles strewn across modules on the bomb itself.

It’s simultaneously insanely stressful and deeply hilarious, and the multiple different bomb types and puzzles give it a remarkable amount of longevity. Thus, the game requires you and your partner to communicate clearly, stay as calm as possible, and trust each other, even as the solutions deviously increase in complexity.

While each bomb is procedurally generated, there is a risk of things getting stale if you and your partner play through enough disposals. Playing locally also means avoiding the temptation to cheat and look where you’re not supposed to.

Play Keep Talking as intended, though, and you’ll have a fun little metaphor for working through your differences. It’s brilliant fun, and a perfect way to spend Valentine’s Day, however, we’d just advise you two to be on stable ground before diving in.

7. A Way Out

If your partner is up for a more intense gaming experience, A Way Out is the one of the best ways to spend the Valentine’s Day evening. From the peculiar mind of Josef Fares, this game follows the story of two prisoners who must work with one another to escape incarceration.

In this narrative-driven title, each of you takes control of either Leo or Vincent and you must work in unison to make your harrowing prison break. Leo’s personality is along the lines of acting first and asking questions later, while Vincent is extremely analytical.

co-op games
Courtesy: PC Gamer

In the story, another character named Harvey frames both Leo and Vincent. Together, they strive to break out of prison and obtain vengeance. A Way Out lasts about five hours, emphasizing the story and focusing less on logistics.

The hours are incredibly entertaining, making your Valentine’s Day a memorable and romantic night. This game is ideal even if you or your partner isn’t a die-hard gaming fan as the light gameplay makes it accessible for everyone to play.

The game presents a wide variety of situations — at one point you may each be doing your own thing on a split screen. But the next part of the game may bring you literally back together as your characters have to shimmy up between two buildings while pushing against the other’s back for leverage.

With exciting action and dynamic puzzles, playing A Way Out will essentially feel like a movie night, but just a movie that the two of you control.

8. Stardew Valley

What is more fun than running your own cute little farm? Running a cute little farm with your partner on Valentine’s Day eve!

Stardew Valley is a pleasant country side to spend time together, dividing up the endless farm chores and watching your overgrown homestead slowly morph into a thriving veggie plantation. The game isn’t just a farming stimulator; it’s basically a life simulator set in a small village.

stardew valley game
Courtesy: The Verge

Stardew Valley’s multiplayer makes an already great game better by allowing two people to plant, harvest, raise chickens, fish and flirt with townspeople. There’s absolutely nothing competitive about this game. The two of you are a team, working from sun up to sun down to have your farm make you tons of money.

Stardew Valley lets you attempt to win over most of the villager NPCs in the game, but to do so you’ll have to be pretty persuasive. That means taking them gifts, talking to them about the things they like, and eventually building up to going on a date.

If you play your cards right, you can eventually get married and move in together. You’ve got to be in it for the long haul though, so if you and your partner are playing together on Valentine’s Day, don’t expect to be able to woo and marry a villager in one sitting.

9. Diablo III

You must be wondering how on earth is venturing through heaven and hell to slay monsters and beasts in any way romantic. Well, though the settings and actions of Diablo III might not obviously scream L-O-V-E, many elements of its gameplay do.

The game started with a bit of a rough launch, but Blizzard’s Diablo III has grown into a phenomenal action-role-playing game from the king of the genre. Its campaign is short but sweet, packing in a ton of action and several boss battles where you and your partner can tear through mountains of enemies in search of better gear.

And while sticking your sword through hundreds of demons isn’t in any way romantic, getting your partner in accomplishing a mission together makes it another matter. You’re travelling through hell and heaven together. You’re slaying monsters together. When you find loot, you can share it with one another, and you can even send gifts to each other.

diablo
Courtesy: Microsoft

If you two are adventure and thrill loving souls, look no further than Diablo III for an intimate and fun filled Valentine’s Day eve. In no time at all, Diablo III will be channelling the part of you and your partner’s lizard brain that likes hacking down enemies, grabbing loot, and watching stat numbers get bigger.

10. Sea of Thieves

This swashbuckling sandbox makes for a decent co-op game but it really shines as a co-op hangout. Although the game was light on content at launch, Rare has continued to build Sea of Thieves over the past few years. Even with a now endless list of things to do, our initial take on the game remains the same – Sea of Thieves isn’t about what you’re doing, it’s about the people you’re playing with.

couples games
Courtesy: Polygon

Sea of Thieves is one of the most stunningly beautiful open world games, making it an ideal Valentine’s Day getaway. The game can be completely undemanding – you and your partner can board a ship with your friends, pick a direction, and just sail around drinking grog until you barf, playing musical instruments and firing each other out of cannons. Or you can simply chat for an hour while you cruise around taking in the picturesque sunsets.

For some excitement and adventure, you two can also chase down other crews for some bracing ship-to-ship combat, hunt for buried treasure, or take down a skeleton fort, but it’s just as enjoyable to treat it like a chat room with beautiful waves and the occasional Kraken.

Sea of Thieves is popular as the game that encourages you to tell stories and more importantly, create those tales with other people.