Gamers in Love: 6 Multiplayer Video Games to Play as a Valentine’s Day Date

by | Feb 2, 2024 | Business

The cultural profile of video games has skyrocketed throughout the 2000s. Analyses of this rise often focus on the medium emerging as a viable way to tell big, interactive stories, ranging from the silly and psychedelic to the extremely sophisticated. What sometimes gets left out is the parallel rise of video games as a social activity that builds real-world bonds between players.

Contrary to the media perception of the lonely, antisocial gamer, modern video games are bringing folks together in meaningful ways every single day. That holds true whether it’s your little brother sitting next to you on the couch and embarrassing you in the latest iteration of Mortal Kombat (you know he’s cheating somehow), your old college buddies across the country logging on for some vintage Call of Duty action, or, dare I suggest a romantic gaming session with your Valentine?

The Perfect Games for Your Gaming-Centric Date

With online dating very much already “a thing” and many folks going out less due to budget or germ-spreading concerns, it makes sense that couples are turning toward video games as a dating tool. If you put away the tired stereotype of the lonely gamer locked away in front of a screen in their parent’s basement, you will quickly see that dating and gaming are a natural fit for one another. 

This is true in two distinct ways. First, online games are inherently a better platform than Zoom or Skype for conducting a fun-filled virtual date. Meanwhile, split-screen and “couch co-op” titles make a great focal point for a fun, cozy night in.

In curating this list of favorite games for a Valentine’s Day date, I have tried to cover a range of tastes and to pick versatile, easy-to-get-into games that can provide equal amounts of fun to long-term pro gamer couples and nervous first-daters alike.

Minecraft

Maybe this is starting with an obvious choice, but there are good reasons why this deceptively simple-looking game has endured for over a decade (and counting). A big one is that Minecraft makes an awesome virtual hangout. In many ways, the game has revolutionized the way we use video games as a social platform with its options for non-competitive sandbox play.

Modern Minecraft is also mind-blowingly versatile — almost more of a gaming platform than a singular game at this point. The user’s ability to personalize the game and make the world their own is not a bonus feature in Minecraft — it’s one of the game’s core concepts. Add in mods, creation tools, and a robust community of creative players, and there are near-endless resources available to help suave players cook up a totally personalized Minecraft Valentine. 

With the level of customization available to today’s Minecraft users, you can tailor your Valentine’s Day date activities to an incredible degree, going well beyond the tired old question, “Creative Mode or Survival Mode?”

Minecraft is also available on just about every platform, from Steam and Google Play to all three major console lines. It also has robust cross-platform compatibility, so you don’t have to worry about limiting your virtual dating pool to people who use the same gaming system. Split-screen play on the same console is also an option for low-key, in-person date nights on the couch. Maybe best of all is how easy it is for anyone to pick up Minecraft and just start exploring and building.

When it comes to a virtual date option, Minecraft is also just a lot more chill and peaceful than the other ubiquitous online hangout games of the day, like Fortnite. This is generally speaking, of course. Minecraft can also get pretty stressful depending on how you choose to play it.

Pro Gamer Move: Prepare for your Minecraft date in advance by loading up Creative Mode and putting together a lovey-dovey world for you and your date to play in. Maybe build a huge heart of pink glass in the sky and then watch an in-game sunset pass through it from a flower-covered cliff (complete with a well-placed romantic waterfall, obviously). Or just fill a pit with skeletons and dive in together. Everyone’s idea of romance is different, and that’s OK.

Mario Kart 8

Nintendo’s Mario Kart is a top choice for dates and other get-togethers for a number of reasons. It can be played online if you both have a Nintendo Switch and a copy of the game, or you can get together and play it split-screen on a single console — with or without a TV! The portability of the Switch allows you to hike up to a beautiful romantic vista, lay out a picnic blanket, then say, “Wow this is kind of boring, isn’t it?” and start gaming instead.

Mario Kart titles also make great date games because the game’s mechanics for assigning power-ups and boosts are significantly friendlier to players at the back of the race, ensuring everyone has fun and gets a legitimate chance to compete, regardless of their skill or experience level.

Pro Gamer Move: If you’ve fallen off of Mario Kart 8 since its initial release, you might have missed the fact that there are several new tracks (and even new characters) available that practically double the size of the base game. To access the new courses, be sure you purchase the additional “Booster Course Pack” content from the Nintendo Store or have an active Nintendo subscription. Paris Promenade, Choco Mountain, and Daisy Circuit are among the most Valentines-ish of the new courses. For masochists, there are also two new Rainbow Road courses based on previous 3DS and Wii versions.

Diablo 4

Okay, okay, I know. Diabolo 4’s hellish, grimdark aesthetic doesn’t exactly scream, “lovey-dovey Valentine’s Day times with my sweetie,” but we wanted to make sure the list has a little something for everyone. Goth girls and weird metal dudes need Valentine’s Day dates too, after all.

Game developer Blizzard’s most popular property is unquestionably Warcraft, thanks in no small part to World of Warcraft becoming the single most ubiquitous massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) of all time. They made a big splash in 2023 with the revival of their even darker fantasy series, Diablo, and this dungeon-crawling hack-and-slash romp doesn’t have the same steep initial learning curve that World of Warcraft does.

Diablo 4 is a compelling date night game for a few reasons. First of all, the multiplayer is cooperative, so it’s almost a better date game than Mario Kart in the sense that there’s no risk of hurt feelings or unnecessary arguments over the results of a heated round. And, just like the first two games on this list, Diablo has both online and in-person multiplayer options.

For those who want a quick, multiplayer fantasy adventure, Diablo 4 is also a lot easier for newcomers to pick up and start mashing buttons, as opposed to something more strategy-oriented like Baldur’s Gate 3. And, unlike BG3, there is no in-game romance mechanic to complicate your date night.

Pro Gamer Move: If your significant other has never played Diablo 4 before, allot some time in your date for them to build their own character and get the combat basics down.

Elder Scrolls Online

We wanted to include at least one MMORPG (massively multiplayer online roleplaying game) on the list, and while it may be a controversial take, we’re partial to Elder Scrolls Online. To be blunt, ESO didn’t do great on its release, but that was 10 years ago, and the game has grown and improved steadily since.

For gamer couples familiar with the 2011 blockbuster The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (or earlier games in the series) ESO offers a fun chance to jump in and see some of your favorite Elder Scrolls locales in a new light. 

ESO is also different from many other MMORPGs because it does not require a subscription to play. Instead, you purchase the base game and then expand the map and game features by purchasing additional downloadable content (DLC), the same way games and expansions have been sold for decades. If you’re able to invest some cash in your Valentine’s Day plans, a fun date night might involve purchasing a DLC you haven’t explored before and gifting a second copy to your date.

Pro Gamer Move: If you’ve already been on ESO for a while, you likely have an in-game home, as well as an inventory full of festive, costumes, foods, and furnishings that you’ve gathered through the game’s various events and festivals over the years. Log on and plan out a cozy area for your Valentine’s Day date ahead of time. Perhaps place some red chairs and other furnishings around a feast table illuminated by plenty of romantic candles (or magic Ayleid crystals or glowing mushrooms from Vvardenfell or a few tasteful flaming skulls).

Roblox

Roblox has blown up among younger gamers over the past few years, garnering a reputation as a favorite virtual hangout for kids. The reality is that Roblox is the oldest game on this list, as it has been running since 2006, and its earlier audience has grown up along with the game itself. While it’s rare to hear “Roblox” and “mature” in the same sentence, Roblox is indeed a very mature title in terms of a video game’s life cycle.

Roblox takes the “games within a game” concept that has lent longevity to titles like Minecraft and Fortnite and pumps it up to 11. There are near-endless lists of different mini-games and user-created content to explore, and while the character designs are simple, you get a lot of room to customize your in-game avatar by collecting or purchasing cosmetic items.

Pro Gamer Tip: Don’t just take my word for it — Roblox itself is “officially” expanding into the world of online dating, per a 2023 announcement promising that built-in dating features (for users 17 and up) are coming soon.

Animal Crossing

For the chillest, and last, game on our list, let’s head back to Nintendo Switch exclusives and find our way to the island world of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. This most adorable of games currently has over 9,000 unique items available for customizing your island and home, and a good many of them have romantic vibes. Just like with Minecraft or ESO, you can log on a day or two ahead of time to prepare a special area for the date.

In addition to the highly customizable aesthetics, Animal Crossing is packed with fun, casual activities that make for a fun date night. You can go fishing, visit a museum, put on some music, or run around trying to hit one another with bug nets. All the classic romance stuff. The ability to obsess over your hair and outfit at home before you head out to your date’s island makes Animal Crossing feel a lot like a “real” date.

Pro Gamer Tip: If you haven’t logged on in a while, simply ignore all the guilt-tripping from your villagers and focus on your date. Also, remember that Switch doesn’t have onboard voice chat, so you’ll want to make alternate arrangements via Discord, phone, or the Nintendo app — unless you want to laboriously type out all of your smoothest Valentine’s Day lines on a Switch controller.

The Best Video Game for a Valentine’s Day Date

When it comes time to plan your own special night, remember: The best video game for date night with your Valentine is the one that you both enjoy. We’re just brainstorming here, so your perfect Valentine’s Day game doesn’t have to be anything that appears on this list, or even anything remotely in the same genre.

It doesn’t even have to be a multiplayer game at all! Some of my own favorite video game date memories involve sitting on the couch passing a Wii controller back and forth to work through a narrative single-player game. And if you’re stressing out about all this because you’re not entirely sure what kind of games your date likes . . . maybe just ask them!

Leo Siren

Leo Siren

Leo Siren is a freelance content creator from Michigan's Upper Peninsula drawing on his multifaceted experience as a public librarian, assistant harbormaster, financial software systems analyst, and forklift operator to deliver innovative, high performing content in a range of text and audio formats. His personal interests include the electric banjo, referencing Elder Scrolls lore in everyday conversations, attempting to identify wild mushrooms, and various other things that upset the people around him.