Story-motivated video games often have their main characters team up with another character. This character could wind up being your best friend, an enemy, or eventually, blossom into something more. Most video game romances are often one-sided, leaving fans to wonder what-if or even going so far as to beg the developers for answers.
In a game where romanceable companions are not an option, characters are still working together for a common goal. Sadly, developers don't always get romances right. Often, gamers are forced to suffer through bland “boy meets girl” romances like Nick Ramos and Annie Greene in Dead Rising 4. Love stories in gaming can either be beneficial to the story or ruin the experience altogether.
They may start off as enemies at first, but become a couple. Sometimes we get to see the characters seal their relationships on-screen, such as Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher from the Uncharted series. Other times, romances were told as an afterthought, such as Isaac Clarke and Ellie Langford in the time between Dead Space 2 and 3. The romantic tension may be so thick that gamers are anxious for a resolution. In series that have lasted for decades, some characters deserve to seal the deal and officially declare their love.
Though developers are free to write the stories they feel are best for their games, often gamers wonder if characters deserve a happily ever after with their romantic interest. This list will contain spoilers for several games where romance should have bloomed, but ultimately left fans hanging.
15 Carley And Lee Everett (The Walking Dead: Season One)
In Telltale's The Walking Dead, the first season introduces us to former History professor Lee Everett. Though the focus of the story is his father-daughter relationship with Clementine, Lee takes the time to get to know the other people in his group. If you choose to rescue Carley, you'll get to know the intelligent news reporter better. At first, she doesn't trust Lee. As a reporter, she is aware that he's a convicted murderer.
Towards the second and third episode, Carley's defenses start to show cracks. Although Lee did murder someone, he now does his best to protect his friends. Their relationship starts to bud at the motel. Carley becomes more supportive of Lee and knows how much pressure Lilly is placing on his shoulders. If you can keep her alive through episode three, their flirtatious conversations start to increase. In a world where the dead walk the Earth, it's unclear why they insisted on taking their romance slow.
14 Chloe Price And Max Caulfield (Life Is Strange)
Chloe Price and Max Caulfield were best friends as children. Unfortunately, the two separated when Chloe had to move away. Life is Strange takes us on a journey as 18-year-old Max, and how she can rewind time to save Arcadia Bay. When Max and Chloe reunite, they are almost inseparable. Max's dreams often stray to exploring the world with Chloe.
Most of the rewind actions in Life in Strange are revolved around Chloe or supporting her in some way, though being with Chloe makes Max a more outgoing and confident person. They share a kiss on a dare, but Max believes the gesture is more meaningful than Chloe thinks. At the end of the game, where Max either sacrifices Chloe or the Arcadia Bay, their friendship has grown, as Max will kiss or hug her best friend. Their constant time together and close bond had the potential to grow into a romantic relationship.
13 Ico And Yorda (ICO)
Ico and Yorda are teamed together to solve puzzles during their journey in ICO. They don't speak the same language, yet they trust each other anyway and they believe in each other's abilities. Yorda is weaker than Ico, but she can still assist him by opening locked doors and helping the player save their game.
Ico is ready to protect Yorda. He leads her through an area by holding her hand and leads her to safety. He can fight off the shadow monsters sent to stop their escape. Yorda may seem troublesome at first because she cannot protect herself, but the game is impossible without her. When separated from her, Ico makes a desperate struggle to find her, as he can't live without her. Though they can't hold a conversation, their emotional bond increases as the game progresses. Their unique love is displayed by their strong emotional, unspoken bond.
12 Master Chief And Cortana (Halo)
Master Chief and Cortana work together as teammates in the Halo series. She is an Artificial intelligence created by the UNSC, but showed strong feelings for Master Chief. She was immediately interested in him, choosing to work with him instead of any other Spartan. She makes it known she likes his strength and leadership abilities. Her attachment to Master Chief only grows as the series progresses.
Master Chief has many comrades among the Spartan team, but he shares a stronger bond with Cortana and trusts her with his life. He recuses her from the Gravemind, noticing her injuries. When he was forced to enter cryogenic sleep to wait for rescue, Cortana tells him she will miss him. Though Master Chief has his missions, her loyalties are only to him. Both Master Chief and Cortana are willing to make sacrifices for each other. They share an intense bond, even if they are Spartan and AI.
11 The Prince And Farah (Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time)
Not all romantic relationships bloom from friendship and comradery. In Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Princess Farah and The Prince dislike each other. The Prince accidentally releases the Sands of Time, which destroys her kingdom. Farah is rightfully angry with him at first and he distrusts her from the start. They are forced to travel together through the palace. As they escape the hazards of the palace together, they learn to rely on one another.
Though they started off as enemies, Farah and The Prince become friendlier and they become interested in one another. Their relationship ends before it begins when Farah is killed on her way to seal the Sands of Time. When he manages to save her, she has no memory of him. After everything Farah and The Prince had gone through in their adventures, they were able to turn hostility into romance. They deserve another attempt at love.
10 Sonic And Amy (Sonic The Hedgehog)
Amy Rose has made her romantic interest in Sonic the Hedgehog known from the start. Though Sonic is more aloof and would rather focus on adventuring, Amy is obsessed over Sonic, believing they are destined for one another. She follows Sonic around, which annoys him at first, but he learns to accept her as a friend. Through their friendship, Amy has learned to be more independent and fight beside Sonic.
In Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, Sonic's feelings for Amy can be seen in the romantic subplot. Sonic treats Amy kindly, which she remembers later in the game. Though Amy pretends to have a boyfriend named Dexter, he shows a small hint of jealousy, especially after the years of romantic advances she gave him. Sonic can tell Amy she "deserves to be treated nicely" and admit he cares for her. Sonic and Amy Rose's romance is one-sided at first, but both characters can finally realize their feelings and be together.
9 2B And 9S (NieR: Automata)
In the post-apocalyptic world of NieR: Automata, androids 2B and 9S only have each other. Though they are robotic, 2B is calmer while 9S displays more personality than other YoRHa machines. They rely on each other in combat, but their friendship is stronger than most. 2B and 9S share a deep bond that has only grown during their time together, which is even displayed on the game's cover art.
Their bond is obvious to others. In Adam's attempts to understand humans and their emotions, he directly asks 9S if he wants to be intimate with 2B. 9S is aware of his romantic feelings towards 2B. When 2B is forced to hurt 9S during the game, she breaks down. She tries not to become emotionally involved with 9S, for fear of being hurt. As 2B grew to be more human towards the end of NieR: Automata, her feelings for 9S become more obvious. Though their world is bleak, they deserve to give into their human emotions and let their love bloom.
8 Mario And Princess Peach (Super Mario)
Mario has been rescuing Princess Peach since the first Super Mario Bros. game. Mario is always ready to help Peach and the Mushroom Kingdom. He has often acted as her loyal guard, traveling to the depths of Bowser's Kingdom or the ends of the galaxy to save her. Her rewards to him are often a kiss on the cheek or nose, which makes Mario blush.
Princess Peach makes it known that she cares about Mario. In the Super Mario series, there are small hints in each game that implies Peach has feelings for Mario. In Paper Mario, a Toad has noticed the attraction and told Mario to take Peach on a date. She has a photo of the mustached plumber in her room. Mario cares a great deal about the Mushroom Kingdom and its Princess, which is proven by how often he rescues them. He is ready to do anything for her and Princess Peach believes Mario is her knight in red overalls.
7 Jade Aldemir And Kyle Crane (Dying Light)
Jade Aldemir first saved Kyle Crane from a horde of zombies in Dying Light. At first, she didn't trust him, especially since rescuing him meant losing another friend, Amir. Kyle slowly starts to gain Jade's trust and they rely on each other during the outbreak. While Jade has always been a tough fighter, Kyle continues to be protective of her. He doesn't want to see her get hurt by Rais' men and stays by her side, even though she can protect herself. He refuses to allow Rais to use Jade as a fighter in his arena. Kyle would do anything to protect her and her brother, Rahim.
After Rahim's death, Jade runs off to Old Town. Kyle is unable to let her go. He asks people about her, calling her tough or saying she was "really pretty." During the end of the game, Jade begins to care for Kyle. She opens up to him and begins to trust him, just as he trusts her. Their partnership could have moved on to something more than just survival.
6 Gordon Freeman And Alyx Vance (Half-Life)
Alyx Vance first meets Gordon Freeman in Half-Life 2, after he awakens. Both are incredibly intelligent scientists who have spent many of their days in solitude. Alyx has heard of Gordon's accomplishments from her father, Dr. Eli Vance, which already made her interested in him. She realizes he's not a superhero after rescuing him, but he also is there for her in her time of need.
Though Half-Life 2 only takes course over a period of a few days, both are willing to help each other survive. Their feelings for one another grows, but does not distract from their battle against Combine. They work well together and Alyx often flirts with Gordon during their conversations. In Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Dr. Vance even suggests the two get together and have children together. Their romantic relationship is obvious to all, except for each other.
5 Crono And Marle (Chrono Trigger)
Crono and Princess Marle first bump into each other at the Millennial Fair in Chrono Trigger. The first time they meet, they have a grand time playing games, eating lollipops, and enjoying each other's company. That initial meeting would take the pair and their fans on an adventure through time. For the majority of the game, Crono and Marle are vital to the story.
In the original series, Marle makes her growing affection for Crono obvious. After he lands in jail for allegedly kidnapping her, she rescues him. When he dies, she helps make a copy of him to be sacrificed so that he could live. While unconscious, Crono has a dream that Marle is his wife. In the original Super Nintendo version, Crono and Marle share an ending where they float into the skies while holding balloons, making their romantic fate unknown until the PlayStation and Nintendo DS port.
4 Kanji Tatsumi And Naoto Shirogane (Persona 4)
When the investigation team in Persona 4 first meet Naoto Shirogane, everyone assumes she's a boy. This realization makes Kanji Tatsumi especially sexually confused and especially bothers him after being teased over having hobbies usually associated with females, such as sewing. When Naoto believes Kanji may be the next murder target, he believes he's being asked out. After the reveal that Naoto is a girl, Kanji's feelings remain steadfast. He has feelings for Naoto, no matter what her gender is.
Kanji's feelings remain true to the end. He will blush when speaking to her and support her decisions. She tolerates him, but doesn't give him a chance because of the developer, Atlus' story decisions. Unfortunately, Naoto's only a love interest for Persona 4's main character. If Persona 4 would allow rival relationships, Naoto and Kanji could have a real, meaningful relationship together.
3 Link And Princess Zelda (The Legend Of Zelda)
In the early The Legend of Zelda series, Link was tasked to save Princess Zelda and call it a day. In the later entries in the series, Zelda has a more active role where she is more active in Link's quests. They've been working together for decades, even though there are multiple variations of each character.
Though Zelda is mostly known for having a damsel-in-distress role, she has proved herself a capable warrior who can fight beside Link with various blades or a bow. She is also intelligent and helps Link during his journey, as the pair trusts each other on the battlefield. In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker to Skyward Sword, the pair set off to find a new home together. Nintendo has teased the pair live their lives together happily, but no romantic relationship has ever been made concrete. Zelda and Link have been a team for decades, so it's time they propelled their relationship further.
2 Cloud Strife And Tifa Lockhart (Final Fantasy VII)
In Final Fantasy VII, fans have often debated their "ships" between Cloud Strife, Aeris Gainsborough, and Tifa Lockheart. Unfortunately, Aeris is killed by Sephiroth, taking her out of the running. Though there was initially a love triangle, Tifa displayed her interest in Cloud long before Aeris came into the picture.
While Cloud had a crush on Tifa, she didn't return his feelings until he became a member of SOLDIER. Her feelings only grew for him after joining AVALANCHE. Though he is determined to defeat Sephiroth, she cares for him while he is recovering and in a wheelchair. They spend time under the Highwind, but there is no concrete evidence to confirm a relationship. After the events of FFVII, Cloud and Tifa still spend time together. If Cloud would put his guilt over losing Aeris and Zack and his obsession over Sephiroth aside, he and Tifa could finally start a relationship.
1 Chris Redfield And Jill Valentine (Resident Evil)
Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield have been working together since the first Resident Evil game. They started off in S.T.A.R.S, then co-founded the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance, or BSAA. The original Resident Evil game shows us how worried they were for each other when one went missing. During the ending, their live-action counterparts are seen sitting close on the helicopter going home.
Resident Evil 5 had Sheva Alomar call Chris her partner, but fans refused to accept it. Capcom didn't make things easier in the Lost in Nightmares DLC, where Jill sacrifices herself to save Chris from Wesker. In Resident Evil: Revelations, both Chris and Jill state how important the other is to them, but not to each other. Capcom has been teasing relationships within the Resident Evil games for two decades. Chris and Jill deserve to get their romantic "off-time," but Capcom seems insistent on making them devote their lives to fighting bio-organic threats.