Culture

The Best Queer Video Games With LGBTQ+ Content 

Brenna Zedan
1.8k votes 482 voters 15.6k views 29 items

List Rules Vote up the video games that deliver the best LGBTQ+ content

The existence of LGBTQ+ video game characters has far too often been only heavily implied or hinted at via flirty dialogue and vague suggestion. Queer video game content is also often only the meager result of a game allowing the player to create a male or female character and not limiting NPC romantic preferences. But the best queer video games offer rounded characters who romance, live, fight, and investigate while also being lesbian, trans, gay, or actively bisexual because they were written that way.

Although a lot of the LGBTQ+ games on this list focus on romanceable players, some of them paved the way for their franchises and games in general. Being able to marry Miria when playing as a female or Davin while playing as a male in Fallout 2 might seem like nothing nowadays, but in 1998 it was groundbreaking. In the same way, the first Mass Effect's introduction of the mono-gendered asari race seemed like a weak way to introduce bisexual characters, but the franchise has since grown to include male and female bisexual characters along with a full cast of LGBTQ+ character representation, including trans characters.

From the complicated romances of Dragon Age: Inquisition to the more playful and simple relationships and identities of Steven Universe: Save The Light and gay and lesbian-themed games like Dream Daddy and Gone Home, the world of LGBTQ+ games is constantly expanding. There are even non-binary characters, including playable characters, in games like Undertale or 2064: Read Only Memories. The addition of ace characters in newer games like The Outer Worlds continues to fill out the spectrum of identities and people in the gaming world to match the world of players.

Which queer games deliver the best LGBTQ+ content?

Life Is Strange: Before ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Queer Video Games With LGBTQ+ Content
Photo: Life Is Strange: Before the Storm/Square Enix

The hinted-at relationship between Chole Price and Rachel Amber is at the forefront of this prequel, though it is not the primary storyline.

Release: 2017

Developer: Deck Nine

Genres (Video game): Graphic adventure

Publisher: Square Enix, Feral Interactive

Life Is Strange is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Queer Video Games With LGBTQ+ Content
Photo: Life Is Strange/Square Enix

While the game has received criticism for queer-baiting and death of queer characters, the player's choices allow the storyline to offer different depths of the relationship between Maxine "Max" Caulfield and her friend Chloe Price.

Release: 2005

Developer: Dontnod Entertainment

Genres (Video game): Graphic adventure

Publisher: Square Enix, Feral Interactive, Black Wing Foundation

Mass Effect 3 is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Queer Video Games With LGBTQ+ Content
Photo: Mass Effect 3/Electronic Arts

With a wider range of romanceable possibilities than earlier Mass Effect games, the player can build a romantic relationship with NPC's the male human Kaidan Alenko, the female humans Kelly Chambers or Diana Allers, and the asari Liara T'Soni or Samara, regardless of their character's gender. Samantha Traynor is only romanceable if the player character is female. Lieutenant Steve Cortez is working past the loss of his husband and is only romanceable if the player character is male.

Release: 2012

Developer: Straight Right, BioWare

Genres (Video game): Third-person Shooter, Action role-playing game

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Dragon Age: Inquisition ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Queer Video Games With LGBTQ+ Content
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)

The range of NPCs that are romanceable is vast and offers bisexual, gay, and lesbian options. The world itself is rich in LGBTQ+ characters, including a relationship between female human Empress Celene of Orlais and female elf Briala that the player's character can help mend. The male mage Dorian is romanceable for male playable characters and fully fleshed as a being, who will enter into a relationship with the male qunari Iron Bull if neither are romanced by the player. The game also includes Cremisius "Krem" Aclassi, a trans man who is BioWare's second trans character in a non-romantic role.

Release: 2014

Developer: BioWare

Genres (Video game): Action role-playing

Publisher: Electronic Arts