The Mass Effect series is remembered for many things, and one of its more infamous reputations involve the love interests players can form relationships with. In this blog, I'm taking a look at all of the favorite and least-liked Romances players can stumble into throughout their Mass Effect experience, from best to worst. Be wary if my choices are dramatically different from yours; we all have our own preferences, and all's fair in love and war, no? Avoid if you don't like spoilers.


1) Liara T'soni

You knew this was coming. Liara, as it pertains to love interests in Mass Effect, is unquestionably the most developed character. I mean, it's not like you saved her from unstable ruins in Therum, wooed her with your mysterious Prothean vision each time you "embraced eternity", were saved by her when the Collectors wanted your corpse after the Normandy got fried, or even took out the Shadow Broker all while the two of you improvised relationship counseling sessions. Then, you stuck it out with her through to the end when it was finally time to take back Earth and shared one last heartfelt moment. I bet you were thinking of little blue children when you saw that gift Liara gave you. Did I mention that she's even making a record of the Reaper war and your entire history that's going to be seeded into multiple planets so the world can hear the story of "the Shepard"? Yeah, nothing beats a relationship this good.


2) Garrus Vakarian

Femsheps love this guy; at least, I know my Femshep does. Despite the rather awkward "interspecies liason" going on, Garrus is actually a charming fella who knows how to be a gentleman. Sure, you guys were just buddies tripping out while murdering Geth and taking out Saren before, but he started to grow on you. What I especially appreciate about Garrus is how reliable he is as a friend, as well as how complex and platonic your relationship with him is, regardless of whether you pursue him - when he isn't calibrating - or not. Plus, there's those little moments like taking out small armies of Geth and mercs, assassinating Sidonis, taking out the Collectors, fighting through the Reaper hordes on Menae, shooting bottles on the Presidium like bosses, the awkward lessons on romance he's slowly learning, and that one urgent word of advice he gives you to keep pushing on in spite of the impossible odds. Just like old times.


3) Tali'Zorah Nar Rayya

 Tali is a prime favorite in the series, and for good reason. We've all seen this Quarian grow from a young lady on her Pilgrimage into a strong technical genius now serving on the Admiralty board. Then again, there's the infectiously likeable persona she has, her strong convictions to her duty as well as respect for Shepard, and her quirky idiosyncrasies that never leave a moment with her dull. Then, I loved Tali's bashful affection as well, and have to praise Bioware yet again for how well they've written her character. Everything about Tali is entertaining, and it's clear that fans love her, if the legions of terrible fan art drawings of her face aren't already enough proof. Keelah se'lai.


4) Thane Krios

 Thane doesn't seem like a very romantic type on first glance. Yet he's got the exotic alien skin, entrancing eyes, and latently timorous voice ladies love. He's also got one heck of a backstory: the galaxy's best assassin of the mystical type, a widower with a troubled son, and terminally ill. Now that I think about it, Thane sounds like the perfect character for a sci-fi romance bestseller, which will probably have the name "siha" thrown in there somewhere. I know it sounds cheesy, but that's what makes a relationship with Thane so compelling. In spite of all the odd circumstances involved, Thane's charisma, somber honesty, and hesitant affection paint the perfect image of a man - or Drell, rather - torn between a past life of tragedy and one of redemption and newfound love. Shepard helps Thane come to terms with his past and let go of the failures he can't change, and later shares one of the most underrated romance scenes in the series... on his deathbed! I told you folks, this is pure gold, Academy Award-winning stuff. But seriously, Thane's bond with Shepard becomes something incredibly timeless and spiritual, possibly more meaningful than any relationship in the series.


5) Miranda Lawson

Commonly called the "ice queen", Miranda doesn't ever truly open up to Shepard until after her loyalty mission is completed. Then we see, aside from the gratuitous shots of her posterior on occasion, the birth of a lady who's just as normal as any other woman, in spite of the perfect genes she constantly opines about. There's also the wonderfully attractive confidence that she exudes in addition to her take-no-bull**** personality; she knows how to complete her missions without allowing her feelings to interfere with them, yet eventually comes to realize that one's feelings can also give them the strength and motivation they need. In the same way, that makes Miranda even more intriguing, especially with a stellar voice actress like Yvonne Strahovski working behind the scenes.


Honorary Mention: Samantha Traynor

I love this gal to death, I do, and everything about Traynor is a fresh introduction to the series' occasionally stale relationships. As the first and only exclusively lesbian love interest in the Mass Effect trilogy, Traynor's brimming with personality, wit, and sexiness. There's an old saying that "less is more", and with Traynor, you get a lot, which is a great thing. Too bad she seems to have a bigger crush on EDI, which rules her out of my top five. "What about Tali?" you say? Oh, that bit between her and Garrus was just fear and desperation, 'is all.