Top 7 Bioware Romances

One of the signature traits of Bioware games is the essential romance subplot. Some are better than others, and below I've compiled a list of the best romances throughout the games. Some spoilers are here if you haven't played these series, so be aware. Before I get into my main list, here are the Honorable Mentions who unfortunately didn't make the cut...

Dorian and Inquisitor, Dragon Age: Inquisition-Their romance is, overall, extremely sweet and loving. But a lack of more depth in the relationship keeps this pairing out of the list.

Fenris and Hawke, Dragon Age 2- He has a silky-smooth voice and a dark backstory, but this attractive lyrium-riddled elf is sometimes too broody for many players.

Thane Krios and Shepard, Mass Effect 2-3- Thane charms Shepard immediately with his sweet words. The backstory with his son and his illness ads a romantic sense of urgency to their interactions as well. 

And now, onto the main list!

7) Cullen and Mage Inquisitor, Dragon Age: Inquisition

Cullen is a fan favorite, who has made cameos throughout the Dragon Age series. The fandom became ecstatic when they not only announced that he would be a main character in Dragon Age: Inquisition, but he would also be a romance option. He's dreamy, and he reminds the players of Alistair from Dragon Age: Origins with his subtle charm. Cullen becomes more complex as the Inquisitor watches him struggle with his addiction to lyrium. If the player is mage, it's also interesting to watch his interactions and his growth since his involvement in the Mage Tower in the first game. He falls in love with the very thing he used to fear and hate. Overall, it's hard to not romance Cullen in this series. He's so sweet and lovable, and that makes him stand out from many romance options.

Cullen has come a long way in the series.

6) Solas and Lavellan Inquisitor, Dragon Age: Inquisition

This romance is exclusive to elven female characters. From the get-go they show interest in each other, and Solas is her main source when it comes to information on Corypheus and the rift. Ever since the beginning, Solas was her guardian. He provides some very intellectual conversations about his journeys into the fade, and often educates Lavellan on some of the ways of ancient elves. This gives the characters an indescribable and intense bond. Still, there's never been a romance that is broken up by anyone other than the main player until the end of Inquisition. Solas makes the list for the emotional investment he gets the player into. However, there is no excuse for the heartbreak that he leaves the Inquisitor in at the end of the game. His presence is teased in the new Trespasser DLC trailer, so hopefully players will get an explanation and some closure for his leaving.  

Who can resist Solas's intellect?

5) Liara and Male/Female Shepard, Mass Effect 1-3

Ever since rescuing Liara from studying Prothean Ruins on Knossoss, players were charmed by this naive yet diligent Asari. Admittedly, the romance in the first Mass Effect was not the best with Liara. In many of my personal playthroughs this affected my decisions to move onto other options in the next games. It was just boring, and not much contributed to their relationship other than her unending curiosity in Shepard. However, Liara really begins to shine and add depth to her character throughout one of the best Mass Effect DLC’s (Lair of the Shadow Broker), and Mass Effect 3. This makes the romantic relationship even deeper with Shepard. Even if it doesn’t end well with Liara, the events of Mass Effect 3 remind you how close friends she is with Shepard, and how they will always have that bond.

Liara steps up her game in Mass Effect 3.

4) Morrigan and Grey Warden, Dragon Age: Origins

At first, she's prickly to your character, especially if you chose the morally good options in the story all of the time. Eventually, the player learns that there is something very complex underneath the tough exterior Morrigan puts off, and it leads to one of the most meaningful romances in the entire game. This is especially the case if the player chooses to do her personal mission to steal Flemeth's Grimoire. Dragon Age: Inquistion also has unique circumstances if Morrigan has a son with the Warden. Morrigan's interaction with Keiran and all the characters in Inquisition shows a more mature, well-rounded character than she was before. It makes you wonder what the Grey Warden and Morrigan's interaction would be if he appeared in the third game.

Does Morrigan still have feelings for the Grey Warden?

3) Fem Shep and Garrus, Mass Effect 2-3
The best thing about this relationship is that they start off as friends. Shepard begins Mass Effect learning about some of his background and influencing some of his “Good Cop, Bad Cop” decisions. Their bond gets closer throughout Mass Effect 2, as she helps him sort out some rough history he's made as the Archangel, and coming to terms with his past demons. The history between the Humans and the Turians also adds another layer of depth to their relationship. The moment in the end before Shepard faces the Reapers for the last time, beaten and broken down, expecting death, Garrus says “I love you” for the first time and creates one of the most profound moments in the entire series. It gets me right in the feels. And let’s be honest, Garrus has a pretty good bromance with Male Shepard too.

Garrus will always have Shepard's back.

2) Tali and Male Shepard, Mass Effect 2-3

This relationship is just cute. Similar to Garrus and FemShep, Tali and Shepard were friends before their romance took off. In the second game, Shepard is there every step of the way as Tali deals with the Quarian Fleet in making preparations to take back her home world. Her connection to Shepard is permanent when her name is changed to "Vas Normandy" after the trials her Quarian family put her through. The relationship is solidified in Mass Effect 3, when Shepard helps Tali take back Rannoch and smooth over relations with the Geth. She's willing to risk illness and infection when she's with Shepard, and he's willing to take back worlds for her. Sounds like a true adventure to me.

Tali opens up to Shepard about her father in Mass Effect 2.

1) Alistair and Female Grey Warden, Dragon Age Origins

My favorite thing about this relationship is that it encompasses the entire game. Unlike many of the Bioware romances, this is fully developed and intriguing from the beginning. Simple flirting and silliness from Alistair leads into something more serious and completely genuine. The player also faced with some of the most difficult decisions with Alistair towards the end of the game that affect the rest of the series. Do you want him be king? Or have him all to yourself? Will you let him sacrifice his life or will you take his place to save Ferelden? After everything the characters had done with each other, these decisions are completely heart-wrenching and end up making the game experience in Dragon Age: Origins complete. Alistair defined the standards for romance in the Bioware games, and so far, it's been hard to live up to this romance experience since.

"That's what I'm here for. To deliver unpleasant news and witty one-liners."-Alistair

Let’s face it, this list is biased. It was very difficult to chose some of the romances here. I have seen and experimented with most of the Bioware scenarios, but from my perspective as a female player these were the best. This list also excludes some of the older Bioware Games, like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. I was very tempted to put either Bastilla or Carth on this list. While that game defined a landmark for Bioware choices and some romance subplots, I felt that the relationships weren't as significant, or a main focus, like the Dragon Age and Mass Effect ones listed above. So what do you think? What were your favorite Romances?

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