Pride Month is almost here! While we should celebrate queer game developers, games, and spaces all year long, now is a great time to introduce five games worth playing in celebration of all things LGBTQ+. Our list is small but mighty. It encapsulates a variety of games that can appeal to different kinds of games.

Gaming spaces like online multiplayer games can sometimes be challenging to navigate as a queer person. It’s also important to find games where you feel safe and supported. Even if you’re not playing with others online, seeing a positive representation of how you identify on screen can do wonders for your mental health. Playing a game where representation is offensive can be damaging to your psyche.

Even if you don’t identify as LGBTQ+, it’s essential to be armed with the knowledge to help friends and family members who fall into the community. That is why being an ally is important. You don’t need to fall into the queer community to enjoy these games. 

Life Is Strange: True Colors

The Life is Strange games have always been great at showcasing touchier subjects and underrepresented communities. The latest game, Life is Strange: True Colors, features Alex, who’s been through the foster care system. She’s finally out and dealing with being on her own for the first time as an adult.

Alex is bisexual, something that is often overlooked in games and in the real world. The game does a great job at giving her romance options, but they don’t force you to abide by them. If you want Alex to end up on her own, you’re not punished for that. Her bisexuality is just one facet of her identity. If you’re into narrative-driven games that aren’t overly complicated, give Life Is Strange: True Colors a try.

Dragon Age Series

The Dragon Age games have always been friendly to the LGBTQ community. It was one of the first triple-A games to have same-sex romances. As the series has grown, so have the options for who you can woo if you choose to go down that path. Dragon Age is perfect for those wanting a game rich with character customization and an enthralling fantasy story.

Dragon Age: Origins, the first title in the series, is the most limited, but still has a surprising amount of options. It even dabbles in polyamory. Dragon Age II expands the list and lets you romance four out of five companions regardless of your character’s gender. Finally, Dragon Age: Inquisition has a wide list of characters with varying sexualities. Let’s hope Dragon Age 4 continues the trend. Perhaps it will include some trans representation next go around?

Hades

Hades burst out of early access to the masses in 2020 and easily took the world to the Underworld with its captivating gameplay loop and charming cast of characters. Zagreus, the game’s lead, just wants to get out of Hell and find his mom, and along the way, he’s helped and hindered by a loveable, mythological cast.  

Hades isn’t a game that screams “queer,” but if you get into the game’s dialogue, it’s easy to see that Zag is a lil bit gay. You’re able to romance the deadly Megaera who you’ll kill dozens of times and the oh so mysterious Thanatos. There are also other queer characters you’ll meet including Achilles, who pines after his lost love, Patroclus.

Tell Me Why

Tell Me Why is a fantastic game that explores just what it means to have a chosen family. With many queer people being rejected by their blood family, they often build their own. Tell Me Why features a trans protagonist. It is groundbreaking for a triple-A game to put a trans man at its helm. 

Not only is the lead, Tyler, a trans-man, but his character was crafted with the help of GLAAD to authenticate the life experiences Tyler has. He is also performed by a trans-man, August Black. Black served as an integral part of the creative process when crafting Tyler and his story.

The Last of Us Part 2

The Last of Us 2 is a powerful game. It features some of the most beautiful love stories and most brutal deaths in gaming. It’s divided many fans, but it’s been a huge, critical success. At the game’s heart is Ellie. The game takes place several years after the first, and Ellie has grown into a headstrong woman. We get to see her relationship with Dina blossom and she is very driven by it. 

The game also features a new character, Lev, who is a young trans man. Much of the ire directed at the game came at the inclusion of him and the more masculine-presenting Abby, but their story and journey together is one of the best in recent years. While the game is extremely heavy and taxing, it’s worth playing if you enjoyed the first.