9 video games queer people love, from Tomb Raider to Animal Crossing

Get your joysticks at the ready.

We’ve already rounded up the best video games with LGBTQ characters and storylines, but much like our love for big pop divas, the things we obsess over don’t always have to be explicitly LGBTQ – sometimes, they’re just great in general.

Whether it’s classic Nintendo franchises like Pokemon and Zelda, or games with strong female protagonists like Tomb Raider and Bayonetta, we’re revisiting some of the best video games that queer people love.

Our list is especially relevant while we’re all self-isolating and looking for things to do.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Available on: Nintendo Switch

Animal Crossing might be the perfect antidote to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe right now. Essentially, the game is a life simulator – albeit much prettier than the real world – transporting the player to their own deserted island where they’ll design their own house, go fishing, catch bugs, hunt for fossils to expand the museum’s collection and run errands for resident advisor Tom Nook. It might sound mundane or pointless to some (including legendary British actor Stephen Fry), but this isn’t a game about ‘winning’ – it’s about relaxing and getting swept up in the cuteness. The game also introduced skin colour customisation and also shows a much more progressive attitude towards gender, never asking the player to identify as male or female and allowing them to wear any item of clothing or hairstyle, showing that Nintendo are listening to the desires of their diverse fanbase.

Bayonetta II

Available on: Nintendo Switch, Wii U

While it’s safe to assume that the character of Bayonetta was designed with a straight male player in mind, it’s the queers who really ate her up… and can you blame us? Fierce costumes, camp dialogue and ridiculously over the top fighting styles, she’s got all the makings of a gay icon. The second instalment in the hack-n-slash action series is considered to be a big improvement over the first, and with a third game on the way, now’s the perfect time to get into it.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Available on: PS4

One of the most beloved video games of all time, Final Fantasy VII, just received a glorious remake on PS4 after years and years of campaigning from fans. When it originally released for PS1 back in 1997, the game redefined the RPG genre and introduced us to some of the franchise’s best characters including superhuman villain Sephiroth and of course protagonist Cloud Strife (both of whom are regulars in the wonderful world of slash fiction). Whether you’re a longtime fan looking for a blast of nostalgia or a newbie looking to discover this epic experience for the first time, it’s a great game to jump into.

Kingdom Hearts III

Available on: PS4, Xbox One

The pairing of Final Fantasy characters with some of Disney’s most iconic franchises was always a bizarre concept, but the long-running Kingdom Hearts series nailed it, and won a massive and loyal fanbase in the process. It’s definitely one of the more accessible RPG series (convoluted plot aside), but still offers countless hours of gameplay for fans to sink their teeth into if they wish. Besides, who wouldn’t want to travel to the worlds of Frozen, Monsters Inc. and Toy Story while fighting monsters called Heartless and Nobodies with Donald Duck and Goofy by your side? Exactly. We recommend starting from the beginning with the HD remasters and working through to the recent Kingdom Hearts III.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Available on: Nintendo Switch, Wii U

We’re not quite sure why The Legend of Zelda has such a big queer following, but like many Nintendo franchises, it just does. The most recent instalment, Breath of the Wild, is widely considered to be one of the greatest games of all time, transporting Link into an open-world Hyrule that allows you to go from snowy mountain-tops to quaint villages to as you defeat and ultimately take on Calamity Ganon. We really can’t put into words how incredible this whole experience is, so you’ll have to trust us when we say you need to play this. It’s a game you can get lost in for weeks, so make sure you’re ready for the commitment before embarking on your journey.

Marvel’s Spider-Man

Available on: PS4

Your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man is every gays favourite superhero. Fact. (Okay, it’s not a fact, but it’s certainly a common opinion). Video games based on the iconic Marvel protagonist have always been enjoyable, but nothing compares to the realistic feel of swinging through New York City and beating up bad guys that the most recent PS4 outing delivered. The game featured a cute nod to queer fans with the inclusion of several Pride flags located around the map, and the option to have Spider-Man pose for a selfie in front of the colourful rainbows made for several cute viral moments on social media.

Pokemon Sword & Shield

Available on: Nintendo Switch

Pokemon Sword and Shield offered the most drastic change to the beloved series in years, inviting players into a quasi-open world region known as Galar – loosely based on the United Kingdom – which allows Pokemon to roam free around wild areas with free camera movement and dynamic weather changes. The games also introduced a host of new features including raid battles, cooking, and a ridiculous new battle option called Gigantamaxing, where Pokemon become super-sized and super-powered. Oh, and there’s also a Galarian version of Rapidash, a unicorn Fairy/Psychic type in the colours of the Trans Pride flag, which of course queer fans adopted as their own.

Super Princess Peach

Available on: Nintendo DS

Tired of always playing damsel in distress, Princess Peach took on the role of hero in the long-forgotten Nintendo DS outing Super Princess Peach, where she ventures to Vibe Island to rescue Mario and Luigi after they’re kidnapped by Bowser. Gameplay is similar to the iconic Super Mario Bros. series, as Peach traverses eight worlds filled with goombas and koopa troopas, each one ending in a boss battle. Our favourite royal’s got her own unique powers, though, as she gets to utilise her four ‘vibes’ – joy, gloom, rage, and calm – as well as her umbrella to defeat enemies. It’s criminal that she hasn’t received another solo outing since, but if you can source a copy of Super Princess Peach (maybe eBay?) then you’re in for a treat.

Tomb Raider

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, Windows, Mac

If you’re a gamer, chances are pretty high you’ve played at least one game in the Tomb Raider franchise. Lara Croft has established herself as one of the most iconic characters in pop culture history, and has become a favourite among queer gamers – we do love our powerful female leads, after all. While we’ll always be nostalgic for the days of assault courses and locking the butler in the freezer at Croft Manor in the original trilogy, the recent reboot gave the franchise a new lease of life and allowed it to become the cinematic experience it always deserved to be.

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