While it is a bit late for a Valentine’s Day post, I’m writing this one just because I’m a huge fan of the Mass Effect games in general. It’s an iconic series with a gripping story and, for the most part, actually good gameplay. I find myself replaying it every now and then, and it just never gets old. I’m sure a lot of gamers out there feel the same way about the entire franchise (yeah, even for Mass Effect: Andromeda).
One of the series’ features that many players enjoy is the romance system, which offers an additional layer of depth to each playthrough as pursuing someone opens up new bits of lore and character development. Anyway, these are mostly just some of my personal favorites from the series, so let’s get started!
Oh Tali, everyone’s favorite adorably awkward Quarian machinist. By the second game, she becomes a potential romance awkward for Shepard, but it doesn’t come with a plethora of problems. For starters, Quarians have very weak immune systems, which forces them to wear special suits as even just minimal exposure to the outside world could be fatal.
After a heartbreaking loyalty mission, Tali takes several measures to ensure she can share an intimate, physical moment with Shepard. As the series progresses, her body (presumably with the help of a few immuno-boosters) adapts to Shepard’s presence, allowing them to spend a couple of hours together without her suit (which is also where we finally get a glimpse of her face… kinda).
“I have a home” hurts every time.
#4. Thane Krios
When Shepard first meets Thane, he quickly shows how much of a badass assassin he is by literally jumping into the room and quickly eliminating his targets in front of the commander. He’s such a tragic character, and the more you learn about his background, the sadder it just gets.
To put it simply, he’s suffering from a terminal disease, yet he cherishes every second he spends with Shepard. At one point, he breaks into tears as he feels ashamed of suddenly growing fearful of his inevitable passing, which is presumably caused by his relationship with the commander.
His story ends in the third game, where even after overcoming a major injury, he finally succumbs to his sickness. The Citadel DLC introduces a series of messages posthumously sent to Shepard and a very touching scene at the end that’s sure to have you bawling your eyes out.
Yup, I’m putting a character from that game in this list. He’s an enigmatic member of the new Angara race, which was first introduced in Mass Effect: Andromeda. In the beginning, he’s slightly hostile towards the crew due to the looming Kett threat and how it has affected his homeworld, but he eventually warms up to everyone and admits that he’s developing feelings for Ryder.
Everything about Jaal is new, as we know nothing about the Angara until we actually meet them for the first time. Once he’s locked in with Ryder, he’s just such a sweetheart, and it’s hard to hate him and his advances.
#2. Garrus Vakarian
A former investigator turned vigilante, Garrus is just an absolute bro, and he’s probably my favorite character in the entire franchise, romance or not. He’s the squadmate who always has your back throughout the entire trilogy, and he’s an absolute badass who respects the hell out of Shepard regardless of her choices.
He’s had a particularly rough time proving Saren’s guilt before joining Shepard’s crew, and events in the second game just show how much life has dealt him a bad hand. Romancing him will get him to open up about his past failures and how he just wants something to finally go right.
Aside from his usual brooding self, his interactions with the player (if chosen as a love interest) are just downright hilarious.
“Your hair looks good, and your waist is… very supportive.”
#1. Liara T’Soni
Those who have played the entire trilogy and chose to romance Liara throughout all three games will probably agree with this placement (or, at the very least, her presence in this list). She starts off as a spineless scientist whose deep interest in Protheans makes her a valuable asset to the team.
Her character continues to evolve as the series progresses, and by the second game, Liara changes drastically, becoming more cold and hardened—a far cry from what she once was. Even after everything she’s been through, she always has a massive soft spot for Shepard, and despite her insecurities, there’s one thing she’s always going to be sure of; she’s madly in love with the commander.
So that’s my top five, and it only really scratches the surface as there are a whole bunch of possible romance arcs in each game (well, maybe except the first). If you have any suggestions, corrections, violent reactions, or you just wanna talk about the lack of Miranda in the list, then feel free to leave a comment down below!