For only the third time in my life, I actually have a real, totally-not-made-of-plastic (even though there’s nothing wrong with that, shut up!) date for Valentine’s Day. What’s more, my partner and I are more or less into the same games, which makes our plans really easy.

In case you haven’t caught on yet, that means we’ll be spending V-day eating pizza, having a few beers, and playing some of our favourite co-op/improvised co-op games all night. If that sounds like the kind of action you’d like to get in on with your significant other, hit the jump for a list of games you should seriously consider adding to your playlist.

Everyone’s unique in their own way, and thus have their own preferences, but the list below has been scientifically proven by me by a panel of experts to be super effective at driving lovey-dovey levels to the max. So, let’s get to it.

Horror games, literally any (good) horror games

I don’t often get legitimately scared while playing horror games, but there are a few exceptions like Outlast, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, and the Dead Space series (except Dead Space 3). Recently, I play games like that exclusively with my partner, partly because laughing at other people getting scared out of their minds is one of my favourite past times, but mostly because on the rare occasion I do crap myself a little, a comforting cuddle does wonders.

And honestly, is there a better aphrodisiac than pure terror mixed with adrenaline? If there is, I have yet to try it.

Mortal Kombat

Today is Valentine’s Day, but it’s also a Tuesday, and Tuesdays are the raisins in an otherwise pretty acceptable muffin. At least Monday has that “new week, fresh start” feeling going for it, and the rest of the work week feels a lot closer to the weekend.

Work sucks, bosses suck (except mine of course… please don’t fire me), the ridiculously hot South African climate sucks, most people in general suck, and pretty much everything else sucks on Tuesdays. Which is why the first thing you and your partner should play tonight is Mortal Kombat. Getting into the V-day spirit after a long day of responsibilities is infinitely easier after a few crushed skulls, shattered pelvises, and a generous helping of blood and guts. Unless either of you are overly competitive, in which case I don’t take responsibility for any nuked relationships or marriages.

Genital Jousting [NSFW?]

Look, I don’t really know what your stance on “flaccid penises and wiggly anuses” is, but I’m going to assume you’re chill with it.

Local developer Free Lives’ Genital Jousting seems like just a silly game about dicks, butts, and testicles, and for the most part, that’s exactly what it is. But it’s also one of the most hilarious, gross, absurd, and superbly entertaining indie co-op games I’ve experienced in a while. What really prompted me to include Genital Jousting on this list however, is the game’s freshly released Date Night update, which adds a new “Two-Player Only Mode for lovers + six new date activities together including rose picking, dog walking, and bowling!” Some of that is included in the probably super NSFW trailer below.

Titanfall 2

Why Titanfall 2? Well, if you’re anything like me and my partner, you’re already planning on playing this the whole night anyway. And if you’re not, you should, it’s a phenomenal game. No really, you should play it, take turns if you have to.

Overcooked

Cooking a delicious meal takes time, and time isn’t a thing most of us have in abundance. Which is why instead of a romantic home-cooked dinner, you should order a pizza, play Overcooked, then tell all of your friends that you guys cooked for each other because you’re mega cute like that. Technically you wouldn’t be lying.

The sort-of-but-not-really cooking sim is seriously chaotic and fun in equal measure, and maybe it’ll inspire you to actually cook something impressive for next year’s Valentine’s Day. But probably not.

Overwatch

Where would Bastion be without its dutiful Mercy or Reinhardt, where would Roadhog be without Junkrat, and finally, where would you be without your significant other? You’d probably be eating two entire pizzas on your own. Actually, that sounds pretty great. Wait no, that’s bad because cholesterol and stuff.

Anyway, Overwatch is all about cooperation and synergy, and when you win a hard-fought match together thanks to great teamwork, victory (and pizza) tastes all the better. It’s a hell of a bonding experience.

Portal 2

I subscribe to the idea that doing puzzles together brings people closer, and Portal 2‘s co-op mode sports some of the most fun, legitimately challenging puzzles ever to grace our screens. Out of all the entries in this list, Portal 2 arguably places the most emphasis on cooperation. You almost literally need to be inside each other’s heads to get through all of the game’s stages, and most of the time that’s a really cool thing.

And you know, if things with your partner don’t work out, you’ll always have your weighted companion cube. Oh, wait…

Honourable mentions

  • Borderlands
  • Warcraft 3
  • Viscera Cleanup Detail
  • Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime
  • LittleBigPlanet 3
  • Broforce
  • Call of Duty Zombies
  • Guitar Hero/Rock Band
  • Pokémon Go
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