There are some obvious contenders sitting at the top of every Game of the Year list in 2018, but no one is talking about what really matters: the passion, the intrigue, the drama, the romance. We can argue about the gameplay and visuals of entries like God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2 all day, but which of this year’s GOTY contenders makes for the best dating simulator? We rated them all, so let’s find out which has the most potential for hot and heavy romance.
Number 6: God of War
Score: 1/10, Wife Already Dead
The title sums it up. God of War is a fantastic game, but if you’re looking for romance, eesh. Kratos’s actions show that he’s still deeply grieving his recently deceased wife, Faye, throughout the entire game, and let’s face it, he’s just not ready to move on. Not that there are many good candidates, anyway. Who’s he going to date? The divorced mom? The giant world serpent? The hypochondriac and argumentative dwarf brothers? Nope, nope, and nope.
Number 5: Celeste
Score: 4/10, Too Real
The metaphor in Celeste is a little too on-the-nose. It’s all about climbing a mountain as a metaphor for overcoming anxiety and coming to peace with oneself and, therefore, is not-so-secretly all about venturing into the world of online dating. What is Madeline’s reflection, really, but a sneaky look at how one represents oneself on Tinder or OK Cupid? You hid the true message of Celeste well, Matt Makes Games, but we’re on to you. You didn’t need to expose all our flaws like that. It hurts.
Number 4: Marvel’s Spider-Man
Score: 5/10, A Perfect Fit
You might think the most perfect match in Marvel’s Spider-Man would take place between Peter Parker and Mary Jane, or perhaps Gwen Stacy, but you’d be wrong. The most satisfying relationship in the game is from those little bars in the pattern-matching puzzles. They match each other so perfectly. So satisfyingly. Only one solution will fit, each solution being a true soul mate to each problem. Unfortunately, this perfect match leaves little room for players to imagine themselves into the relationship, making it cut our dreams of a romantic dinner-and-puzzle date short.
Number 3: Monster Hunter: World
Score: 7/10 Always There for You
What’s one of the most important traits in a relationship? Loyalty. And no one in Monster Hunter: World is more loyal to you than one particular monster: Bazelgeuse. You might think that your Palico will never leave you, but it’s Bazelgeuse who swoops in like a terrifying 10-ton knight in shining armor to tangle with other monsters whenever you least expect it. Once you’ve caught Bazelgeuse’s eye, he’s never, ever, letting go.
Number 2: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Score: 9/10 Actually Would Date
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey actually has romantic options built into it, a first for this list. But this score doesn’t go to Kassandra and Alexios dating random NPCs. No, it goes to every person I’ve met who’s played this game wanting to date Kassandra. Sure, Alexios is probably great in his own way. Probably. If anybody picked him to check. But Kassandra has that charm, eloquence, wit, and ability to stab Spartans through the gut that makes everyone fall in love. Too bad she’s stuck as a virtual character… for now.
Number 1: Red Dead Redemption 2
Score: 10/10 Magnetic Attraction
Some relationships are meant to be. Kindred souls are drawn together across vast distances of space and time. And nothing else in gaming this year has that same magnetic pull as Arthur Morgan’s horse and seemingly every tree, rock, cliff face, waterfall, and campfire in the game. The attraction is intense, almost visible, as the horse is pulled hypnotically into the sweet embrace of injury and death, despite Morgan’s best efforts to pull the scenery and horse apart. Red Dead Redemption 2 is proof that nothing can stand in the way of true love – even equine love towards inanimate objects.