Sunday, June 16, 2024

Gayming Magazine’s Queer Games of the Decade

Gayming Magazine officially launched this year, and ever since we’ve become stronger and more relevant than ever. We’ve held events such as Gayming Live, and have even got our own podcast now. With how much we put LGBT representation first, it would only be fitting for us to reveal which we felt were the queer games of the decade for us.

When creating this list, we were concerned that we would be excluding diverse developers by only including AAA games. So after much research, as well as having a few indie games of our own that we enjoyed, we feel confident in this list.

Without further ado and in no particular order, here are Gayming Magazine’s queer games of the decade.

The Dragon Age Series

The Dragon Age series has always been a bastion for fantastic LGBT representation, even more so than developer BioWare’s other fan-favorite RPG, Mass Effect. Since the start, men and women are given equal opportunities to romance both men and women, with it particularly being great in Dragon Age 2 where the majority of the main cast were bisexual.

This came to a head in Dragon Age: Inquisition, where sexual orientation was truly brought to life in having certain characters having preferences. For example, Dorian Pavus, a male Tevinter mage, could only be romanced by men, while Sera, a female, elven Red Jenny, could only be romanced by women. Both of these sexualities were treated with respect by BioWare.

Read Only Memories

Read Only Memories is set in a world where cybernetic enhancements are becoming more and more the ‘in’ thing, and often asks the question of what it ‘means’ to be human.

Within this world, you’ll find a variety of sexualities from the characters you meet, and can even choose your own pronouns earlier on in the game from a pre-set list, or you can insert your own.

The game is developed by MidBoss, the company behind GaymerX so its roots in promoting diversity isn’t all too surprising. It also has a comic, where the main lead identifies as a lesbian.

Life is Strange Series

Life sure is hella strange, but we’re always glad that DONTNOD has always included lesbian, bisexual and gay characters within its world and we hope that they always continue to do so.

The first Life is Strange game had players taking control of Max, an awkward young woman who’s returned to her old hometown for school. Only, after saving the life of her best friend Chloe, she’s now got powers that help her turn back time. Both Max and Chloe can imply that they are interested in women, with Chloe in particular having a preference for women. Rachel Amber, a key character within the series, is all but confirmed to be bisexual.

In the second Life is Strange game, we play as Sean who can confirm his sexuality later on in the game. He can also kiss Finn, a boy he meets, as well as a young woman called Cassidy.

Extreme Meatpunks Forever

From developer Heather Flowers, Extreme Meatpunks Forever is a visual novel that combines a road trip, a mecha brawler and being very, very gay. As you may have guessed, meat features a prominent role here, as these giant mechas you see? All made from meat.

The story follows ‘four gay disasters’ from the Sundowner Meatpunks, Brad, Lianna, Sam, and Cass. They travel a lot on their roadtrip, but their main goal seems to be being loud, queer and smacking the shit out of fascists. So you just know that it’s going to be a great game.

But what we really love about this game is how prominent it is with its politics, and how it encourages you to love your body, even if that body may seem ‘weird’ to you. Flowers even wrote a manifesto to go along with the game, and it’s downright delightful.

The Sims

The Sims has always been a game where LGBT folk have felt safe enough to explore themselves in peace. Even within the original game, players were able to form sexual and romantic relationships with other Sims of the same-sex.

With every new Sims game that comes out, the LGBT representation has only gotten better. In fact, even Sims Medieval, a time where homosexuality was considered a sin, offers the same amount of same-sex options as other games.

In Sims 4 there are polyamorous options. Alternatively, asexuality is also available. It’s one of the best changes to The Sims, and it remains one of the best queer games to exist.

Butterfly Soup

Butterfly Soup by Brianna Lei was a much-needed breath of fresh air for the queer game community, which is extremely white and cis. Instead of following a white, male protagonist, you instead follow the story of four, queer Asian-American high school girls who bond together thanks to being members of a baseball club.

This visual novel is particularly poignant, as it addresses topics such as homophobia, child abuse, racism, and mental health. Yet while these topics may be heavy, the tone usually remains upbeat and hopeful in the most heart-warming way.

While it has low levels of interactivity, as it mostly follows a narrative where choices don’t have much impact, it’s a game that is well-loved among the LGBT community and it’s not hard to see why.

Dream Daddy

This masterful game from Game Grumps is probably the reason why there are so many Daddy jokes on the internet, and we’re perfectly fine with that.

In all seriousness, it’s a game where loving other men unabashedly and without shame is as easy as breathing. That’s one of the best things about Dream Daddy – outside of all the hot dads, of course – who you love is never truly questioned.

It also touches on a subject that’s sure to get most homophobes frothing at the mouth: being a single, gay dad. The relationship you have with your child is touching, and it’s made even better knowing that meeting the right dad can bring other folks into your family home.


Undertale by TobyFox became a hit sensation the moment it was released to the world, with a dedicated community that’s still active to this very day. There’s a lot to love about it, the music, the characters, and even the way everyone refuses to gender the main protagonist in any way which has led to many feeling comforted by the game.

The game also has a fair few LGBT characters, from main characters Alphys and Undyne – who are in love with one another, to the minor characters you come across. Love in Undertale is often considered the most important thing of all, so it speaks volumes that same-sex relationships were included in this game.

It’s also just a game with one of the most compelling stories of all-time, and we personally can’t wait for Deltarune’s full release.

The Missing: J.J Macfield and the Island of Memories

queer games of the decade

Queer horror is more popular than you may think, and The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories has it in spades. While you may recoil at the thought of a protagonist who keeps dying, particularly a queer protagonist, The Missing has a very unique take on this that’s interesting and doesn’t play into the ‘bury your gays’ trope.

It’s very rare that games have a lesbian protagonist too, especially one whose goal is to rescue the person she loves in an almost damsel-in-distress storyline.

The queer story makes The Missing stand out from a lot of other platformers, and if you like horror and gore with your stories too, then this game is right up your alley.

Stardew Valley

stardew valley update

Stardew Valley is just one of those games where love and tranquility always seem to win out. Unlike most other games out there, Stardew Valley does not prevent you from marrying the person of your pixel dreams, no matter what gender you are.

What’s even more significant is that the town does not react negatively either, and all of them will come to your wedding to celebrate alongside you. It’s a small gesture, but feels meaningful considering how tight-knit the community is.

ConcernedApe, also known as Eric Barone, has been very good at updating the game too with new content – including romantic scenes with you and your spouse.

Borderlands Series

The Borderlands franchise is celebrating its tenth birthday this year and throughout all its games it has featured a hugely diverse and very LGBTQ friendly cast with a high proportion of queer characters who are authentically portrayed. You can check out our Pride on Pandora article for the full rundown.

Gearbox has proven to be one of the main studios leading the way on diversity and representation in its game cast, not only of LGBTQ people, but of people from all backgrounds. This cool blog from Head Writer, Anthony Burch, is worth a read to understand Gearbox’s philosophy.  

Their most recent instalment, Borderlands 3 (released this year), adds a new trans character to its already impressive LGBTQ roster, voiced by a trans actor. Plus, there is an unconfirmed suggestion that playable character FL4K is non-binary.

Come and enjoy this hugely addictive looter shooter, and stay to admire the diversity!

Heaven Will Be Mine

Heaven Will Be Mine by Pillow Fight Games is a visual novel where romantic relationships between ladies and sci-fi take full priority. In it, you’ll be able to take the role of one of three girls, and take the full fight to space in a giant robot.

Heaven Will Be Mine is a game where paving your own path towards the future you want is paramount. Whether that future is spent preparing for an eight-day war, or damning it all and kissing the people you love, is entirely up to you.

It’s an emotional rollercoaster, one that you won’t ever want to get off from.

Mass Effect Andromeda

Mass Effect: Andromeda was not well-received by fans of the sci-fi masterpiece by BioWare for a number of reasons. One of those reasons was because gay men were unfairly treated in comparison to heterosexual men and women.

Yet what brings it back, making it one of Gayming Magazine’s queer games of the decade, is BioWare’s understanding, respectful response to criticism. They included another love interest for Male Ryder with Jaal, who was a main companion in the game.

Outside of that, Mass Effect: Andromeda has had the best LGBT representation within the whole franchise, including Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3.

The Saints Row Series

Saints Row

The Saints Row series hasn’t always been as diverse as it is now, but the series has changed for the better with each and every new game that’s released in the same universe.

Saints Row 2 started to branch out from the typical gang violence game that had the series compared to GTA a number of times by including an implied romance between Boss (regardless of gender) and Shaundi, a female companion. The character creator was also miles ahead, letting you create an avatar that could have a stereotypical ‘male’ body but a female voice, and vice versa.

This carried on into both Saints Row 3 and 4, with the fourth allowing explicit LGBT relationships to occur if you chose to pursue certain companions.

Night in the Woods

Night of the Woods is a game that closely looks at the repression of identity, and how that can affect your well-being and mental health. It’s done so through following the main protagonist, Mae, as she returns to her hometown.

Adolescence and growing up also plays a key role, and with a variety of queer characters such as the pansexual Mae, it handles growing up as queer in a mature, sensible way.

The Red Strings Club

The Red Strings Club sure is one of the most interesting games we’ve ever played. Set in a cyberpunk world, this game tackles mental health issues such as depression, social anxiety and more in a way that feels refreshing instead of tacked on.

As you play, you’ll come across a variety of different characters – several of them queer. Two of the main protagonists, for example, are openly gay, and are in a romantic relationship with one another. There are also aromantic, trans, and lesbian characters involved too.

What makes The Red Strings Club so special is that it doesn’t just focus on the ‘coming out’ of characters, but has a thrilling narrative where queer characters are simply allowed to exist and be part of the adventure.

Gone Home

Gone Home has become a stable among gaymers as one of the most touching, LGBT stories to be told in video games. It starts with the player character returning home to an empty house, and having to pick up the pieces to discover what happened to the rest of the family.

It is ultimately revealed that the player character’s sister has revealed that she is a lesbian, causing the rest of the family to react badly. However, it is implied that there is a happy ending, so not all is lost.

These are Gayming Magazine’s queer games of the decade. Did we miss any out that you felt deserved to be on there, or do you feel like our taste is godlike?

Please say the latter. It’ll make our day.

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