I wouldn’t be the first to admit that in my younger years, I loved the hell out of games like Fable II and Skyrim for many reasons, but one was the fact I could marry NPCs I loved. It helped even more when they had great backstories, unique personalities, and quests associated with these characters. It wasn’t simply because I was a chosen one, which is why they picked me, or because I saved them from a dark dungeon. It is nice when people love you beyond the outer niceties of wealth or power and love you for your true heart and core.
Serana is a unique vanilla NPC in Skyrim for several reasons. Firstly, she is voiced by Laura Bailey, and her dialogue makes her stand out from the others. She is a vampire that you find buried in a crypt with an elder scroll attached to her back; she has daddy issues and a horrific past that you, as the player, can help her overcome.
At some points, it seems evident that the game devs intended for you to be able to romance her and, by the end, marry her if you could cure her of her curse, but when you get to the stage of the proposal, she says that she and churches just don't get along. If you have a PC, you can also use console commands or download mods so that she can become a marriable companion, adding some to the overall story if you want a second playthrough.
She stands out from others of Skyrim because she is not a useless damsel in distress. You saved them from the tomb, but she does not need your help to deal with her father. She can overcome most obstacles, but sometimes it is nice to have friends and people you care about to be there to guide you through the times of trial.
Imoen: Baldur’s Gate 1
Imoen is your character’s childhood friend who is a thief and mage. She cares about you deeply, and when you and your teacher leave Candlekeep, she feels the drive to go after you both. And just as well, for she finds you just after the murder of your teacher, and she offers you her help to find a place of safety. Along the way, you will face trials and triumphs together as she brings you back from your pit of despair with a renewed sense of hope.
She is easygoing and was rather bored being stuck in Candlekeep, so she has a genuine spirit for adventure, which is a perfect love interest for a person trying to save the world! Throughout the game, you get to experience the highs and lows of saving the world, and although she is not written explicitly into the game as a ‘partner’, there is a mod almost as old as the game itself to make her your next RPG love affair.
Yennefer: The Witcher 3
This is the first on this list where you don’t need to mod things slightly to have what should already have been in the game! Yennefer is the pinnacle of writing interesting characters in any game or novel I have ever read. She is complex, strong, and infuriating at times, but with her heart in the right place, even if she does not seem to care about others on her lilac-scented surface.
You play Geralt, a witcher with a long history with Yennefer, but this is complicated. You lost your memories of your past with Yennefer, and you slept with her best friend, and now you remember her; she is bitter. Yennefer joins you in the search for your daughter Ceri, and you must make choices to become closer to the witch.
One questline that sticks out is when you must help her find a genie to break the spell between the two of you. The tale goes that Geralt wished never to lose Yennefer from his life long ago, and they concluded that their love for one another was due to this binding curse. However, when they break the spell and Yen asks you if you still feel the same, you can choose to say yes or no. If you say yes, you share a kiss and have a romantic moment on a boat atop a snowing mountain range.
Bianca: Dragon Quest 5
Bianca is the hero’s childhood friend and the local innkeeper's daughter. She is adventurous, softly spoken, and a massive romantic. When the hero was missing for ten years, she had to put aside her dreams to care for her father and family. However, she never lost hope that her situation would change and she would be able to become an adventurer again!
If the hero picks another love interest to marry, she does not become venomous towards you or your partner. On the contrary, she will encourage you in whatever direction. However, if you ask her to become your wife, she confesses that she has always loved you. You get married and have two cute twins, although there is a lot of trial around that. Whatever you go through together she remains hopeful that things take a turn for the better.
Sebastian: Stardew Valley
Some say he is the worse but for all those emos out there, he is the heart of their desire (and I should know my cousin never stops gushing about him on FB). Sure, he might be picky with his gifts, and he can be impossible to track down at times, but this makes him stand out from the regular residents of the town.
Sebastian lives in his parent's basement spending his time reading sci-fi, playing video games, reading comic books, and remaining deeply absorbed in his work. You can see right there someone familiar. Someone that enjoys being alone, but maybe you can get him out of his ruck. You shouldn’t be the one to ‘save him’, but rather help compliment his quirks and make him see the sun once in a while. Who knows, maybe you are of a similar vein, so this silent villager could be the one you pick to spend the years in Stardew Valley with!
We find ourselves at the end line. Tell us what you think of these suggestions as contenders for the ‘best RPG live interests’. Do you have any better suggestions? Let us know!
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