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These are the best games with LGBTQ characters and stories

Madeline from Celeste, Vivian from Paper Mario, and Zagreus from Hades in header image

LGBTQ characters and stories have fortunately become more prevalent in modern video games.

For a time, LGBTQ representation was sparse in the medium, and even when it did appear, it was likely stereotypical or outright offensive. As culture changes and acceptance has gradually become the norm in many parts of the world, people embrace LGBTQ characters with open arms. 

Video games offer a unique avenue of exploration for the queer experience. The interactivity of the medium means people can more readily engage with queer narratives, whether that’s through direct romance or even playing as queer characters throughout the adventure. Here are some of Gameland’s favorite games with LGBTQ representation. 

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

Paper Mario Vivian Quote

Classic Nintendo titles don’t often delve into LGBTQ topics, so when Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door did just that, it came as a pleasant surprise. Vivian, one of the Siren Sisters, is a transgender woman bullied by her sisters, who constantly misgender her.

In the original 2004 English localization, Nintendo America removed references to Vivian’s gender. These references were made explicit in the 2024 remake, so the remake is highly recommended for fans who want an authentic experience of Vivian’s story. 

Disco Elysium

Kim And Harry Disco Elysium

The psychedelic detective adventure game has quite a colorful cast of characters, yet its LGBTQ representation is charmingly simple. It’s subtle at first, with Harry meeting a smoker on the balcony during the investigation. Though the smoker never outright states it, it’s heavily implied he is a gay sex worker.

The interaction gives Harry the “Homo-Sexual Underground” thought, one of the most time-consuming thoughts in the game. The only reward for the thought is scolding Harry, and the player, for obsessing over sexuality.

Amusingly, Kim reveals he’s gay shortly after this in the most dry way imaginable. The mundane reveal of Kim’s orientation is just one of Disco Elysium’s many brilliant story moments. 

Bugsnax

Bugsnax Gay Representation

With its colorful and cutesy aesthetic, Bugsnax looks like a family-friendly game that wouldn’t delve into romance in its story. However, the game surprised players with its diversity. From gay couples to nonbinary scientists, Bugsnax has a plethora of loveable queer characters. 

Bugsnax excels because of how effortless the representation feels. Queer characters get to exist freely, and it’s just a part of the adorable setting. Creative director Kevin Zuhn said it best: “…nobody should have to explain or justify their queerness.”

Baldur’s Gate 3

astarion baldur's gate 3

Baldur’s Gate 3 is one of the most recent titles on this list and will likely go down as one of the most iconic. The award-winning RPG lets people play however they want. If the player wants to be a bisexual tiefling rogue or lesbian dwarf, the game will not stop them. If anything, the game encourages LGBTQ role-play.

Dungeons and Dragons, especially in modern times, accept all kinds of relationships. Baldur’s Gate 3 has eight romance options, all of whom players can romance regardless of sexuality. Man, woman, or everyone in between. Faerun has many issues, some of which are world-ending, but homophobia isn’t one of them. 

Hades

hades

The godlike roguelike is an indie darling for good reason. The addicting gameplay loop, the stylish art direction, and the captivating ludonarrative make Hades an instant classic. One aspect that kept fans was Zagreus’ romance options.

Zagreus, an openly bisexual badass, can romance Thanatos and Megeara. Players with a lot of love in their hearts can even romance the two characters simultaneously with no negative repercussions.

Given their nature as gods, polyamory is far from strange and speaks to the game’s dedication to showing love in various forms. Hades 2 doesn’t have full romances yet, but all signs point to it doing the same. 

Rune Factory 5

Same Sex Couples Rune Factory

Once a humble fantasy spin-off of Harvest Moon, Rune Factory has grown into an entire franchise. Rune Factory did not feature LGBTQ relationships for much of its history, but that changed with Rune Factory 5. For the first time, players could marry bachelors of the same sex.

Plus, rare for any video game, is the ability for same-sex couples to have children. However, the process for same-sex children is quite an adventure, so players are recommended to play through Rune Factory 5 so they can see for themselves.

Stardew Valley

stardew valley community center

The farming and life simulator garnered mass acclaim and success for its relaxing gameplay, charming characters, and surprisingly in-depth romances. Stardew Valley offers 12 romanceable characters, an even split of bachelors and bachelorettes. Same-sex couples can even adopt children.

Players can even marry each other in multiplayer with the Wedding Ring item. Given Stardew Valley’s vast and diverse player base, the option to marry other players is a welcome and inclusive feature.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dorian from Dragon Age: Inquisition

Bioware has a complicated history with LGBTQ representation in its games. The company had great representation, such as in the Dragon Age franchise, and questionable ones, like the “gay planet” Makeb in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Still, fans everywhere agree Dragon Age: Inquisition features the most diverse and captivating queer romance options out of any Bioware game.

Instead of having every character be bisexual, Dragon Age: Inquisition notably includes characters with established sexualities. For example, Dorian is gay and will only enter a relationship with male player characters. There’s also the inclusion of Krem, a transmasculine mercenary, another rarity in the gaming world.

Haven

same sex couples in Haven

Few games focus entirely on a love story, but Haven does just that. The heartwarming sci-fi adventure RPG follows two characters, Kay and Yu, separated by the oppressive Apiary, as they seek “more suitable mates” for them. Together, they must fight against what society has set out for them and uncover the mysteries of their world.

Haven initially only had Kay and Yu as heterosexual, but a free “Couples Update” allowed Kay and Yu to be male or female. Regardless of gender, the story of love stayed the same, which in and of itself was a powerful message. Gay, lesbian, or straight, love is for everybody, and it’s always worth fighting for. 

Celeste

Celeste characters in banner image

Unlike the rest of the games so far, which featured characters who reflect the preferred sexuality of the players themselves, Celeste is a full-fledged queer character with their own story. Madeline is a transgender woman who goes on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance.

Everything from Celeste’s written narrative to the gorgeous visual design showcases a woman slowly coming to terms with their gender. It’s a beautiful game for the narrative alone, but it helps that Celeste also happens to be an incredibly fun platformer. 

Author image

Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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