BreakingModern — In our house, if someone’s had a stressful day one of our solutions is to play a video game together. Often by the time we’ve spent a while with one of our favorites, we’re both laughing and the stress of the day seems a little less important. While we tend to play on our PlayStation 3, the idea carries through to your favorite game system, too, and most of the games you’ll play are available for multiple devices. If you’re looking for a fun video game to play with your partner this Valentine’s Day, here are a few of our favorites.
Ratchet and Clank
What we tried: Ratchet and Clank All 4 One
Rated Everyone 10+, 3D compatible. Only available on PlayStation.
Playing Ratchet and Clank is like being placed squarely in the middle of your favorite Saturday morning cartoon. Ratchet reminds me a bit of Rocket Raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy, though far more G-rated. Ratchet runs around shooting things and saving the city with his robot pal, Clank. This game does a great job of teaching the player to use the different weapons one at a time as they play the game, without diverting him or her into mind-numbing tutorials. The two-player mode has several ways in which you and your partner must team up to complete tasks or to move from one area to the next. There is a competitive element — the game tracks your accomplishments and ranks you against your partner — but it ends up as playful competition. Mostly.
What we tried: Portal 2
Rated Everyone 10+. Available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, OS X and Linux.
Portal 2 is a first person puzzle game that starts where the hugely popular Portal left off. Your favorite snarky antagonist, GLaDOS the super computer, accompanies you as you try to solve puzzles to make your way from one room to the next. In the two-player version, you play as bipedal robots Atlas and P-Body, and you must navigate through sets of game chambers together. Like Ratchet and Clank, Portal 2 does a great job focusing on cooperative progress through the game — you have to work together in order to solve the puzzles — and the competition is more playful than antagonistic. You receive passive/aggressive attitude from GLaDOS along the way, but her hilariously scathing commentary is equal opportunity snark.
Rated Everyone 10+. All are available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows. Check each game for full platform availability.
The LEGO video games are our top choice for video games to play with your partner. In each of the games I listed, you play as one of dozens of different characters to complete challenges, beat bad guys and follow the adventure to its conclusion. There are multiple levels, each with a story and free play option, allowing you to come back and replay levels to find treasure, complete additional challenges and discover hidden levels. Both of you can take your character to different parts of the level — the screen will split automatically — so you have some autonomous play combined with the challenges you undertake together. This is the least-competitive of the games listed here — all the treasure you collect is added to a joint collection.
And hey, if you and your partner aren’t the type to celebrate Valentine’s Day, these games are just as good for any other day of the year.
First/Featured image credit: Becket Morgan
Second screenshot: Becket Morgan Courtesy of Sony
Third screenshot: Becket Morgan Courtesy of Valve
Fourth screenshot: Becket Morgan Courtesy of LEGO