As we're all spending time indoors in the evenings lately, no doubt some of us have taken up gaming as a form of entertainment.
While you may already be a well-seasoned player, your partner may not be all that informed. So, if your significant other is interested in getting involved with gaming, we've got a few games that are always a good primer for someone who may not be that familiar with the concept.
After all, we've all got to start somewhere, so why not with a few of these? For this list, we've assembled a selection of games across platforms for varying skill levels and different tastes. Some are single-player, some are co-op, and some are just out-and-out multiplayer party games, but all have an easy learning curve and are perfect for introducing your partner to gaming.
8. 'Portal 2'
If someone is looking for a great way to simply ease someone into gaming as a basic concept, puzzle games are the way to go. It's one person against it, there's no competition, they've got to engage problem-solving skills, and it teaches the use of controllers. 'Portal 2' has all of these things, it's got a recognisable voice-cast (JK Simmons! Stephen Merchant!), it's funny and goofy, and the satisfaction of figuring your way out of a room and proving that bitch GlaDOS wrong is its own reward. Once your partner makes it through the game, you've got the co-op mode to get through as well.
Available on: PC, Mac, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
7. 'Stardew Valley'
One of the things that puts people off gaming is the fear and pressure of failure. If you can't figure something out or if you keep dying, it doesn't provide any incentive to keep going. 'Stardew Valley' is the very definition of a relaxing, chilled-out experience. You're just trying to keep your farm going, tend to your animals, and enjoying all the low-tech charms of country living without the hardship. As experiences go, 'Stardew Valley' is a lovely, warm bath of a game.
Available on: PC, Mac, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android
Storytelling in games is something that is so present for people who play a lot, but for those just coming into it, that idea may be lost on them. 'Journey' is able to bring players through a story with no real dialogue, form bonds and human connections with people that they can't readily communicate with, and have all these emotional beats in a story, and still have all of the puzzle-solving experiences in it too. As a first game to bring people in, you really can't go wrong with 'Journey'.
Available on: PS4, PS5, PC, iOS
You might think that this is a bit advanced, but 'Assassin's Creed Odyssey' has a Discovery Mode that allows players to quite literally tour Ancient Greece, learn about the sights such as the Acropolis, the fashions of Greece, and even has quizzes to play along the way. In short, it's like having a guided tour of Greece. Any time you feel like it, you can stop, examine the designs and the architecture, and then continue on to wherever you'd like next. At any time, you can step in and take up a quest or a mission, then go back into your tour as you desire.
Available on: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Google Stadia, Nintendo Switch
4. 'Destiny 2'
If your partner is feeling like they want some action and are interested in getting into a first-person shooter setting, the best place to start is not in any of the 'Call of Duty' games, but rather 'Destiny 2'. The game comes with 'First Light', a perfect beginner's guide to first-person shooters as a whole, and the matchmaking process means that nobody is outmatched by other players. Everyone's in the same boat, and players that have been reset or are far more skilled quickly drive up the ranks and moved out of the training areas. Therefore, your partner's skills will almost always be equal to or challenged enough to keep them in. On top of that, there's plenty of customisation options for your character, the action is varied, and the freedom to go where you please and play how you like in 'Destiny 2' gives it a big boost for first-time players.
Available on: PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Google Stadia
If they're interested in playing a first-person game, but aren't that skilled for 'Destiny 2', the next best thing is 'Firewatch'. It's effectively a walking simulator, and introduces concepts like maps, game compasses, and just general awareness in a game setting. It also helps that 'Firewatch' has an absolutely cracking story to back it all up and will hook you in from the very beginning and encourages players at every step of the way to keep going. As it's a mystery game, the emphasis isn't on clearing out levels or even trying to solve puzzles, but more about experiencing it all and following the narrative. It helps that the voice acting is exceptional, featuring two fantastic actors - Cissy Jones, and 'Mad Men' alum Rich Sommer - bringing players along the story as well.
Available on: PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X/S
2. 'Rocket League'
It doesn't get any more frantic and crazy than 'Rocket League'. The concept is bracingly simple - it's soccer with cars. You bump the big ball into the other team's goal. That's all there is to it. The controls, the strategy, everything else - it's all the same as soccer, but it doesn't have half the frills and that's a good thing. As a party game or someone looking for something easy to pick up and start playing right away with minimal fuss, 'Rocket League' is the one to go with.
Available on: PC, Mac, PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
1.'Sea of Thieves'
If your partner really wants to go into a game and can't really decide whether they want a party/multiplayer game, or a game with RPG elements, or if they simply want to explore, then 'Sea of Thieves' is the one to go with. It's a game that has all these elements neatly folded into the fabric of it. The cartoon art style gives it a light edge, and the humour of the voice acting means it's suitable for young and old players alike.
Available on: PC, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One