the best video games to play with your partner

You may never game alone again

Be honest with yourself, at this point, you’ve completed every series on Netflix. Those serious films sitting on your list unwatched; they won’t ever be watched. And that’s ok! So, rather than go through the dregs of the streaming services, perhaps it’s time for you and your partner to explore a new hobby.

If you’ve always been a gamer and your partner needs an introduction course or vice versa, here’s a list of games that you’ll both enjoy. We’ve also added a necessary note, for argument capacity, as a forewarning so you can’t say you’ve been led astray. Here is our list of the best video games to play with your partner according to us!

Overcooked 2

Platforms: Sony PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC

Argument Capacity: Extremely high; make sure you’re a couple who lives on communication island.

Overcooked has the facade of an extremely simple game — you create dishes from ingredients and send them out to the restaurant — but don’t be fooled by the cute exterior. With increasingly complicated dishes and levels, you’ll need strong communication skills as you chop and cook your way through this game. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself barking, “Yes, Chef!” at each other, as you go for the vaunted three stars.

The Last of Us Part 1 & 2

Platforms: Sony PlayStation 4

Argument Capacity: Low to non-existent; you’ll be too enthralled by the story.

One for the fans of a strong narrative-led game, The Last of Us Parts 1 & 2, will pull at your heartstrings. While it is a one-player game, the deep and involving survival horror will have you both hooked no matter who’s holding the pad. Don’t be surprised if you’ve both shed a few tears at the storyline once you’re through with it.

Streets of Rage 4

Platforms: Sony PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC

Argument Capacity: Relatively low, far too many enemies to fight to find time to argue.

Ready for a blast of nostalgia? Streets of Rage is a classic co-op brawler from the ‘90s that combines easy playability with a steady learning curve. It’s undoubtedly a simple game — you just walk the surprisingly empty streets and hit anybody who crosses your path — but it’s mindless enough to be great fun.

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Street Fighter V

Platforms: Sony PlayStation 4, PC

Argument Capacity: It all depends on who’s the sore loser or, worse, the sore winner.

Another classic from the ‘90s, the fifth iteration of the game that spawned a million knock-offs and possibly the best worst movie of all time, is one to have in your repertoire. If you’re a competitive couple, a fighting game might just be what you need. And if you’re still in the early stages of dating, it also works as a good way to find out exactly how competitive your partner is.

Little Nightmares I & II

Platforms: Sony PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC

Argument Capacity: Non-existent; mutual fear only strengthens bonds.

One for the horror fans. Little Nightmares is quite literally based on the common nightmares of childhood. So think terrifying teachers, creepy hospitals and toys that move in a manner that’ll leave you viewing Toy Story very differently. Little Nightmares I & II are single-player games that are best enjoyed as a two-person experience. If only to scream in unison at the terrifying parts of this game, play this with your partner.

Moving Out

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Argument Capacity: So high this might be best saved for when you’re trying to start an argument about something else and need an excuse.

This game is truly for the sadists. If you consider the act of moving home and think, “this could be cute,” then you’ll enjoy Moving Out. It’s no surprise that the Overcooked creators made this game, and, much like Overcooked, the capacity for arguments is endless. By the way, if your relationship can withstand Moving Out, then you might have very well found your match.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Argument Capacity: Non-existent; what could there possibly be to argue about on a private island?

The star of the first lockdown, Animal Crossing’s serene nature, was a hit with people who wanted to ethically own an island, i.e. all of us. The game’s sloth-like pace means its ultra-relaxing, making it ideal for those days when you’ve been through the Zoom meeting ringer. After all, who wouldn’t want to retire to a private island and tend to a farm after a long day’s work?

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

Argument Capacity: Pretty low; you’ll be fighting in tandem.

Bringing new meaning to doing shrooms together, New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe introduces a co-op mode to this nostalgic platform. Everybody on the planet has heard of Mario, so even the most reticent gamer will be willing to give this a shot. You’ll also be glad to know that, because you’ll be playing alongside each other, the capacity for arguments will be greatly diminished.

Stranded Deep

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Argument Capacity: Relatively high if one partner is more selfish than the other.

Stranded Deep is a survival game where players start out, you guessed it, stranded. If you’ve ever looked at your partner eating one too many of your fries and thought, “I bet they’d leave me stranded on a deserted island,” now’s your chance to find out. You’ll need teamwork to get off the island and onto the raft, but the slower pace means the game might just improve your communication. After all, rationing the only piece of food on the island could build bonds.