The idea of playing through an entire video game with your significant other might sound like a good time, or it might sound like a waking nightmare that may or may not lead to an overblown argument or two.
Both of these perspectives are basically accurate.
We’ve had couch multiplayer games for a good long while at this point, but couch co-op experiences are definitely more rare.
And if you’ve ever gone looking for purely co-op gaming experiences that weren’t just simple party games, then you’ve probably been disappointed by your findings.
But if there are any couples out there, romantic, platonic or otherwise, you’ve made it to the right list.
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We’ve found five video games for couples: PC games, specifically.
Some of these games also have console ports, so don’t worry too much if you and your partner don’t both have capable gaming PC rigs.
But since PC remains the most accessible gaming platform around (with several major caveats), we’ve tried to focus on games that are easy to find and install on PC. Not to mention, setting up either local co-op or online co-op through Steam tends to be a lot easier than trying to do the same on consoles.
Some of these games are quite low-pressure, while others require effective split-second communication with your player two.
Yes, you’ll probably get a little frustrated a few times (especially with one of these games), but getting upset at your partner for not pressing B at the right time means that the passion is still there, or something.
Definitely one of the lowest-key games, possibly in existence, Stardew Valley is a game you’ve probably heard of a number of different times.
In fact, chances are pretty good that you’ve played it already. It’s a massively popular game, and it’s famous for letting players take things at their own pace, which is extremely important for a relaxed couple gaming experience.
You can go after the main “story” objectives right away, busting your back to fix up the Community Center and make good with the denizens of the titular town. Or you can do whatever the hell you want and outright shun the actual in-game objectives completely.
Stardew has supported co-op play for years now. Oh yeah, and you’re going to want to run the game on separate machines for each player, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem, since Stardew Valley will run on just about any modern computer.
Two players can work together to fix up the farm, or they can get distracted and do something else entirely after only a few minutes of play.
Lots of fun possibilities here, and the game really isn’t that expensive, either.
It Takes Two
Possibly the most exciting suggestion on our list of PC video games for couples, It Takes Two is a full-fledged AAA co-op game, or possibly AA, but either way, it looks wonderful and it offers a pretty huge campaign that you’ll need to work through with someone else.
The story? Well, uh, it’s about a married couple who should probably actually get divorced for their own sake and the sake of their small child deciding instead to not get divorced because they had some wacky Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves adventures.
It’s more expensive than everything else on the list, but It Takes Two is probably the biggest-budget purely co-op game to be released in years.
Portal 2 is a game from the days Valve actually made video games sometimes, instead of just sitting around waiting for more Steam money to come rolling in. (I assume the money is rolled up into little bundles. I just like that image better.)
As you may have guessed, Portal 2 is a sequel to Portal, which was another video game with a portal gun.
Portal 2 has a longer main story, lots more dialogue and funny characters, and a robust co-op mode with bespoke puzzles.
If you and/or your partner enjoy puzzles of all kinds, then Portal 2 is a great place to start, and if you’re willing to wait a while, the game regularly goes on sale for just a few bucks, so it won’t exactly break the bank.
The Overcooked Series
Overcooked is another series of games you’ve probably heard of before. It’s definitely not as deep as any of the other games we’ve mentioned so far, but party games can be a great option for couples, too, especially when you don’t want to commit hours and hours to a story-based excursion.
You run around a little kitchen and take care of the food. That’s basically the gameplay loop, but don’t expect the circumstances to stay the same.
Overcooked has a full sequel, as well as a slightly pricey collection that bundles both of the games together, along with some extra content, probably. I don’t really know; haven’t looked too far into it.
Anyway, Overcooked games are relatively simple in concept but get pretty wacky with complications and weirdness. Check it out if that sounds like your jam.
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Ahh yes, every once in a while, a co-op game throws a truly original idea at audiences, and Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes definitely hits that mark.
Could this be considered a party game of some kind? Yeah, most likely. There’s really only one type of gameplay here, but that single idea is so darned good that you’ll probably find enough goodwill in your heart to pay the $15 or so. Just don’t forget to print out the manual, though. That;s kind of important.
If you’re unfamiliar with this one, only one player is allowed to look at the screen at any given time and manage inputs.
The other player cannot look at the screen, just as the first player can’t look at the bomb defusal manual.
To play this game, you’ll need to print out a beefy manual on actual paper. This manual has all kinds of tables and basic puzzles that make it possible to tell the first player how to defuse each bomb based on its specific conditions and traits.
If it sounds complicated, well, it kind of is, at least at first.
Once you get the manual down and you don’t lose your head while trying to explain something sort of complex, you’ll be fine.