We’ve all gone through it. As someone who plays a great deal of games we all want to share that passion and fun with that someone special in our life. Playing games can strengthen bonds, providing you something to work together and achieve without having too much pressure involved. Games are a great way to blow off steam (pun intended), after a hard day of work. As someone who has been gaming myself for around 20 years I always look for opportunities to share my passion and interests with my partner. It isn’t as though she hasn’t played a game before me, or doesn’t know what a PlayStation is, but i wouldn’t say that my partner falls into the category of ‘gamer’. So I myself have always found myself looking for some Co-op games, especially on Steam, to play with my girlfriend. The list I am going to share with you today doesn’t just include ‘easy’ games to control. It will include a variety of party games, shooters and story-based RPG games for you to bond and share a journey with your partner and hopefully introduce them to the world of gaming.
Why Should We Play Games Together?
Gaming has helped my partner and I not only find something to do while we are bored, (which has been very important during the corona virus lockdown), but also gives us a goal to work towards. Just like all of those team building execises you had to do for your job or with school. They all focus on the same thing. Working together co-operatively to achieve the same goal. When asked about the effects that gaming can have on couples Ryan M. Earl, a senior associate for the Chicago Relationship Counselling had this to say:
“Video games can help people work together for a common goal, share challenges, compete, joint problem-solve, and more. Video games, like anything else, can be a shared activity, and shared activities can foster intimacy between people.” Source.
Of course there is not one true tell-all perfect activity for a relationship. Whilst some may find a fun engaging experience in videogaming together some don’t have an attention span for something like play games, and that’s okay! Just because i am a nerd i don’t expect anyone else to enjoy the hobby as well. Some people would rather sit down and read a book, or complete a puzzle together. Any hobby or activity that you can share with a partner or friend will strengthen your bond together and hopefully just give you something to do when you are out of other ideas.
Steam Gaming list for playing with a partner
Some of them may be further in the deep end than others but as it turns out, even though my partner isn’t the most avid gamer of them all we found she enjoyed some of the top-down RPG games more than anything else on the list. Honestly the games you like and the games that your partner will like comes down to personal taste and the things that you enjoy in gaming. I will try to break down the games into their core and give a little bit of an insight into how they play and how they are received at this point in time on Steam. The list will focus purely on the best Steam games to play with your girlfriend or partner and may not just be limited to couch co-op games, or even co-op games at all for that matter. Personally I have found some single player story games, or games that we can pass the controller back and forth are just as fun and engaging as both of us playing together.
The best Steam games to play with your girlfriend or partner may include already quite obvious choices if you’ve been around the Steam store a few times but hopefully I can bring some new insight into your gaming library and share with you some of my personal favorites for your next ‘staying in’ night.
1. Divinity Original Sin
Divinity Original Sin is a fantastic turn-based adventure RPG that I just had to include as the first game on my list. The entire game is fully co-operative both online if you are long distant and locally when playing at home together. The game is a top down RPG where you can both make your own character or if you aren’t feeling particularly creative pick from some of the pre-made characters already available. The latter is not such a bad idea as the characters that have been pre-made for the game (called origin characters) have their own stories and dialogue and by creating your own custom character you would be missing out on that dialogue. Honestly if I had to pick 1 Steam game to play with my girlfriend from the list, it would be this one.
The game is great for gamers and non-gamers as you can basically play the entire game together, helping each other all along the way. The combat may take a little bit of getting used to but the fact that the game has a turn-based battle system gives it extra points towards understanding how it works and gives a little breathing room if the game gets a little bit too much to handle. The game has a fully realized story and world giving players a goal to work towards, plus when you go into dialogue menus, you both get a chance to have a sway in the conversation. Personally my partner and i loved this one. We stayed up late many knights playing it and still talk about doing another run one of these days. That’s why i had to have it right at the top of my list of Steam games to play with your girlfriend.
2. Divinity Original Sin 2
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. I’ll try to keep this one brief as it is a great Steam game to play with your girlfriend and deserves a spot on this list, but it is also very similar to the first. We basically just covered this one. Well yes and no. Divinity shared a lot of similarities with the first one. The combat is similar, but with a lot more new elements. Plus, once you are done with the first game it will leave you always wanting more of the same. This game takes basically all off the elements that made the first game great and upgrades them. The graphics are more beautiful, the game just functions all around better and the story is even another length ahead of the prequel. We love both of them, but the second game in the series really takes the cake for both of us.
3. Overcooked (Series)
Overcooked is a great little party game taking a break from the intense RPG games that came before it. The idea is very simple. You ad up to 4 others take control of little chefs and work together in a kitchen to fulfil orders that come up on the screen. The idea may seem simple to begin with but with time limits, moving platforms and even cooking off the back of moving trucks the kitchen is getting a little crazier. You will work together to put together burgers, make sushi and fry fries in this fantastic little party game. For the completion-ists out there the game does have a great deal of levels to explore and you will get graded on the level from 1 to 3 stars based on how well you do making the dishes and how quickly you get the food served. This Steam game may at times, when playing with a girlfriend or partner, may feel like you’re playing against each other at times.
My partner and I, most of the times loved playing this one. It feels nice to work for a few minutes back and forth and finally see those 3 stars come up on the screen. There was a lot of ‘high five’ moments when completing a level together. Although some parts in the game may induce a , ‘what the hell are you doing, you’re in my way, I need to walk here’ moment or ‘why aren’t you cutting the onions?!’ The game is highly enjoyable and an easy one to just pick up and put down when you have a little time and want to burn off some steam.
4. Rayman Legends
Rayman Legends is a 2D platforming game. Some gamers may know of some of the older Rayman games. Personally i never played any of the older Rayman games. This was my first time experiencing this type of game but it was a blast. My partner and I played the game on the PlayStation 4 but the game is available on Steam, so I thought, what the hell, I’ll add it to the list. The game, being a platformer is great for beginners who don’t particularly play a lot of other games. This game deserves to be on the list of Steam games to play with your girlfriend not just because of it’s easy learning curve, but because it is a fantastic platformer in it’s own right. The music and gameplay is incredible! Platformers are the entry point to a lot of non-gamers as they are generally simplified games. This isn’t always the case, there are a great deal of complex games that are side-scrollers but Rayman is not one of them. Think Super Mario as a good reference point. You control a character, go in one direction on the screen collecting things and solving fairly trivial puzzles along the way.
There are some great little moments in the game where the gameplay differs from the usual run and jump mechanics. This gives a nice little break in the game. Our personal favorite moments were at the end of each world there is a little sliding through the level moment where you essentially fly through a section at good speed. It is always accompanied by a beautiful unique music track and really gives a sense of accomplishment knowing you have worked your way through to this point. Rayman Legends is a great game for those girlfriends or partners who don’t play a lot of games due to it’s entry-level difficulty.
5. Ark: Survival Evolved
Publisher: Studio Wildcard
Developer: Studio Wildcard, Instinct Games, Electro Studios, Virtual Basement
Reviews: 79% positive on Steam with 385,690 reviews
Other Platforms: PS4, Xbox 1, Switch
Release Date: August, 2017, (Previously Early Access)
The reception around Ark seems to be either fully on one side or the other. Some absolutely love this dinosaur taming simulator, whilst others deem it as a buggy mess. Whatever side you are on everyone can agree that this game is a completely unique experience as for what it offers. The game is a survival sandbox crafting game in a sea of many others of the same name. You start with nothing, like basically all the others in the game. You chop trees, use the wood to build houses, make clothes and so on. You can tame dinosaurs and use them as hunting creatures, use them to help collect resources, ride them and move around the map with them or just have them as pets.
The thing my partner really liked about the game was the taming aspect of it. We didn’t really like the fact that you have to grind so hard to get enough resources to build a house. The game can be played on 2 separate computers over a LAN connection or over the internet from a private game. The game on PC does not have any local split screen functionality. For that you will want to get one of the console versions but be aware. We played both the PC version and the PlayStation 4 version and the PC version is a lot more stable. In the couch co-op mode on the PlayStation 4 you are tethered to each other meaning that you cannot go too far away from each other otherwise you get pulled in the other direction or just teleport to the 1st player which can lead to some pretty annoying situations.
This game is not for the light-hearted. Being a survival game there are elements such as hunger, thirst and damage. This is a good game don’t get me wrong. I have over 600 hours played in the game on Steam alone and we both really enjoyed the taming aspect of the game. We made it our personal mission to collect all the different types of dinosaur together and to do this you will have to get pretty creative and work as a team to get it done. Ark: Survival may be a little buggy but it holds a special place in our hearts and many days were spend collecting and raising dinosaurs.
6. 7 Days to Die
Another Steam game to play with your partner or significant other is 7 Days to Die. 7 Days to Die is another survival game but blends elements from a few different games. It is described on it’s Steam page as:
“an open-world game that is a unique combination of first person shooter, survival horror, tower defense, and role-playing games. It presents combat, crafting, looting, mining, exploration, and character growth, in a way that has seen a rapturous response from fans worldwide.“
7 Days to Die borrows a lot of gameplay elements from Minecraft with the toolbar at the bottom and the voxel based terrain changing. The game also has a procedural generation map mode but includes an actual game world made to play. In 7 Days to Die you and your partner can loot zombies together, build a base together and help one another survival in a harsh apocalyptic setting. The game is a little more advanced for the non-gamers out there but I thought it deserved a spot on the list as it really is a fun game to work together with someone in. In the Steam version of the game however, you will have to have 2 PC’s handy, as the game has no split-screen or local co-op features. For local co-op you would have to get one of the console versions of the game. I personally have not played the console version so I cannot vouch for how well it works or how fun it is. There is a reddit post here with a reddit user asking about the couch co-op functionality and it has a great deal of comments with their thoughts on the game. Worth giving a read if you are interested in this game.
Now before I begin this one is going to come with a little disclaimer. Outward is not for the feint of heart. While it is on my list of Steam games to play with your girlfriend that doesn’t mean it should be taken lightly. Outward is a difficult game. The combat in the game is very unforgiving. It is difficult, the timing is very important and sometimes the survival mechanics of the game feel very unfair. Just so you know, I would not recommend this one to any non-gamers. Let’s continue:
Outward is a very beautiful game. It is an Adventure RPG and it is a really good one at that. It really makes you feel apart of the adventure too. The game has a few great little branching questlines that don’t just consist of fetch quests. My partner and I liked playing through this little adventure and seeing all the different characters and different areas to explore. The one things I would say that we both didn’t like is how long it takes to get anywhere. Outward is a bit of a walking simulator and while the game world is beautiful and nice to look at it does get pretty old once you’ve already walked through the same field 6 times. The game is nice, each character has their own possessions and you can play the game in split screen mode, both at the same computer on television. The game also has online co-op mode if you wish to have your own screen. It is nice to play with someone that at least has some experience in harder RPG games like Dark Souls seeing as you will find the combat quite a challenge. That being said it is very rewarding to finally end that huge bug or crab and use the pieces you find to make your own armor.
8. Portal 2
There isn’t too much i can say about Portal 2 that hasn’t been said already. The game is one of the most positive reviewed games on steam of all time. For good reason. Portal 2 is a platforming game where you and a partner can work together to solve physics based puzzles. You both hold a machine capable of creating portals from one surface to another and will use these in creative ways to advance through the games many different test levels.
Portal 2 is a great game you can play in couch co-op and work together as a team. It is one of those feel good games where you are constantly thinking your way though and feeling really accomplished when you can finally figure out that tough puzzle you’ve been working on. I adore Portal 2. That’s why, along with the previous game on the list Outward, I have put it in my list of the best couch co-op RPGs of all time. The game has witty comedy and little robot characters to fall in love with. This is a great game to play with a partner, friend, or family member even if they’ve never touched a videogame before. Even my mother likes it!
9. Human: Fall Flat
Human: Fall Flat is a 3D platformer game. It uses a very smart physics based engine where you can manipulate most of the objects in the game and use them for many different things. This is a great game you and your significant other can just pick up for a laugh every now and then, There is not story to the game so you don’t really have to focus on any dialogue or what is actually happening in the game.
The idea is that you and your partner are just launched into worlds and you have to figure out a bunch of different physics based puzzled to move through the levels. It features a lot of different gameplay options and content. There are levels where you will have to catapult each other over castle walls, use boxed and ladders to navigate terrain and even drive vehicles including boats and automobiles from place to place. Human: Fall Flat is a great little puzzle game that doesn’t take itself too seriously and doesn’t have to. It is a great little showcase of how physics can actually be fun in a game.
10. Tools Up!
Tools Up! is another party game in the same vein as Overcooked. you control a couple of handymen (or handywomen) who are tasked with the job of renovating houses. You will be laying floor tiles, patching up walls and painting in this fun little party game. This goes in the box of not so serious games that you and your girlfriend can just relax and have a non-stressful time playing. The game has not too much variety in it’s landscapes and you will find yourselves beating the game fairly quickly. In fact it was a little bit too quick for my partner and I. We found ourselves completely finishing the game in a matter of a couple of days.
Though the game is rather short it wasn’t very expensive on the PlayStation 4 and it did kill a bit of time while we had fun along the way. Even though we did not play it on Steam i am including it in the best Steam games to play with your girlfriend because we both really enjoyed it. Also because i doubt the Steam version differs at all from the PlayStation 4 version. We both like the idea of renovating houses in real life and this was a fun little game to play in the meantime.
11. ibb & obb
Last but not least on the list we have ibb & obb, There really isn’t a better way to secribe this game than the Steam description on it’s page:
“ibb & obb is a two player cooperative game set in a puzzle filled world where gravity goes both up and down.”
That is the start an end of it. ibb & obb is a 2d platformer game where you will have to control 2 little characters and work together to get through the worlds. It features a fun little collectables system with % completion levels for all you 100%ers out there. It is a really great chilled out game that doesn’t really have a lot of action. You just sort of relax together, go through the levels and complete it at your own pace. The music is great, the graphics are cimple but beautiful and it is just a great little game to play with someone to really get together and bond. It can be played online with 2 accounts or you can even sit in the same room together. It is one of those steam games that you can play with your girlfriend that doesn’t really play games at all. It’s fun, simple and very addicting trying to get through every level. Try it out!
That’s all! Those are the best Steam games to play with your Girlfriend/partner
You’ve made it. That was the last game on my list. This should have given you enough Steam games to play with your girlfriend or significant other who doesn’t really play games. I’ve tried to include games from many different genres so you are sure to find something that you can both love. If you’re looking for something a little bit more story-based and engaging I have a list of 5 of the best couch co-op games of all time. It includes some of the games mentioned in this post but a couple more including Borderlands. With new games being added to Steam every day it is always worth checking out what is happening in the search menu under the term couch co-op or simply under co-op.
Another reference for couch co-op games you can find to play with your partner include Co-optimus, a website dedicated to listing every co-op game in existence.
What did you think of the list? Do you have any other games to add so that others can find it? Maybe you’re developing a game for 2 players you’d like to share. Let me know in the comments below your thoughts about games with partners and whether you think it’s good for a relationship.