Valentine’s Day is here and whether you are in love or feeling love lost, there is nothing better than admiring the love shared between fictional video game characters, be it romantic or not. Okay, maybe that sounds a bit wrong. But for those who are fans of seeing the running sagas of canon or non-canon shipping between video game characters in a story, you’ll definitely understand what I mean by this when I enlighten you on some of my personal favorite couples in video games.

To preface, those who have experienced love will know that it’s a bit of a complex emotion. But oftentimes in video games, the depiction of love tends to be reduced into something that is shallow and generic. Because of this, I’ll spare you some of the relationships that seem to exist only as icon in video games rather than really having anything of substance. Anyway, let’s dive right in.

(Note: Some of these descriptions will contain spoilers.)

1. Meryl Silverburgh and Johnny Sasaki from ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’

Take the tough as nails rookie heroine and the diarrhea suffering doofus from the first ‘Metal Gear Solid,’ put them together in ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots,’ and what do you get? A somehow sufficient power couple between a much stronger older veteran soldier and a…still diarrhea suffering doofus. This unlikely pair came together almost unexpectedly by the latter portion of the title, and for as much as you wouldn’t expect their relationship to blossom into anything more than a hate relationship mainly due to Johnny’s constant incompetence, these two found feelings for each other seemingly out of a long standing working relationship that originated when Johnny first met Meryl in a scuffle. To this day, the climactic moments where they initiate a marriage proposal while firing off shots at groups of attacking soldiers still holds true as one of the more entertaining parts of the final chapter in Solid Snake’s tale. Definitely much love and respect to Meryl for doing things her way by saying no to Johnny’s proposal and proposing to him instead, further balancing out the distinctly opposite personalities of this couple.

2. Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher from the ‘Uncharted’ series

Hailing from the ‘Uncharted’ series, Nathan Drake and Elena Fisher are a couple that are seemingly made for each other. One is a snarky adventurer/thief who avoids all responsibility, and the other is an also snarky ambitious news reporter looking for the next big scoop. Sure, both sound like caricatures, but the strong writing by Naughty Dog for Nathan and Elena’s bond together had always came across as charming, heartfelt and nuanced. The real stand out quality about this pair is definitely their banter. You can’t help but smile when these two get caught pinned down behind some cover in a fire fight. It’s good that they eventually do get married…But fingers crossed for the preservation of their marriage in ‘Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End’!

3. James and Mary from ‘Silent Hill 2’

If you have beaten ‘Silent Hill 2,’ then chances are you will be able to really identify the value of this couple. Or maybe, you can identify how depressing they are, but like in that amazing “artistic in a video game” kind of way. James is a man suffering from deep depression over his wife Mary, who died from an unspecified illness. But when he gets a letter one day signed with Mary’s name telling him to go to Silent Hill, he is compelled to go find her. Unfortunately, as the game goes on, what appears to have been a loving marriage is in fact one that is highly troubled. But what of this all you ask? Well, the truth that underlies them is more than enough to make any gamer realize what makes this couple so great…and depressing. I won’t spoil this one, it’s better you find out for yourself.  (*cough*Intense Denial*cough*)

4. Samus Aran and Adam from ‘Metroid: Fusion’

A lot of people tend to forget that the mostly silent Samus Aran  actually has interacted with a character other than a baby Metroid. Though technically speaking, from what I am proposing here, it’s a cold hearted computer AI named after  a deceased Federation CO named Adam who she also had a relationship with. Regardless, this couple is an interesting one because of how subtle the connotation of their relationship is when put against the backdrop of the history Samus has with the real Adam. The very first mention of the real Adam is dropped by Samus when  she recounts her memories of the man. She remembered him mostly because of the way he would sarcastically ask “Any objections, Lady?” after every briefing seemingly out of trust. Seemingly out of respect, Samus names the AI after Adam.

This all leads up to this amazing moment when Samus realizes the truth that the AI was actually specifically modeled after the real Adam. So when things hit the fan and the AI reveals himself by saying the real Adam’s famous line to Samus, it’s pure gold. All things considered, there’s no explicit suggestion of love, but when you read behind the lines, there is certainly enough there to ponder about when you see Samus’ reaction to the Adam AI revealing itself. Truly, this awesome relationship is one steeped with admiration and camaraderie between the most badass bounty hunter in the galaxy and the one man/AI who earned her respect. Oh, and “Metroid: Other M’ did not happen as far as I’m concerned.

5. Tess and Joel from ‘The Last of Us’

This one had always been a bit of a subtle coupling. You can’t help but wonder if the two had been together at any point. But with Joel putting up emotional barriers after the loss of his daughter, I can only imagine that he kept Tess at arm’s length. I mean, there is no denying that the two felt something for each other at the very least what with how Joel deals with Tess’ eventual death. Regardless of all that,though, Joel and Tess certainly make an amazing duo. With Tess’ strong but brutal no non-sense outlook on life and Joel’s apathetic and ruthless demeanor, it’s understandable why no one would want to mess with these two in a post-pandemic world. Intense morally ambiguous power couple, for sure.

Got any video game couples that you are a fan of? Let us know in the comments below!