The dating simulator genre is a strange one. Strange, but oh-so-very entertaining.
There aren’t too many dating sim games on PS4, but thankfully there’s more than a handful. They’re all quite different – some of the games on this list are more like graphic novels. Others will have you take an active role in matchmaking. There’s even a couple of FMV games in here.
Needless to say, as niche as it may be, the dating sim genre is extremely varied. Whatever your preferences – in games or dating – there’s likely going to be a game for you.
We’ve rounded up just five of the best dating sim games on PS4, covering the whole range of games available. If you’re interested in the genre, or are looking for something new to play, you won’t be disappointed with any of these. Read on through, and give them a try.
This article was first published in 2021 and has been updated periodically since.
1. Five Dates
Perhaps the only downside to Five Dates is that it’s from the perspective of a man, and your only option is to date women. But that doesn’t take away from its charm. It’s an FMV game – that’s ‘full motion video’, so it’s a bit like playing through a movie. At only a couple of hours long, it won’t take long to complete, but with multiple paths and multiple endings, there’s plenty of reason to go back and play again.
In it, you’ll start with five profiles to pick between. You’ll narrow them down to three, and those will be the three women you go on dates with. From there, you’ll narrow them down again before selecting the one you ultimately want to keep dating. Filmed during lockdown – and set in a time where video dates were the only way we could meet new people – it’s entirely contemporary, and anyone who attempted to date during lockdown will get a kick out of it. We loved it, and it’s without a doubt one of the best dating sim games on PS4.
2. Ten Dates
You guessed it: Ten Dates is a follow-up to Five Dates. This time, it’s not set during lockdown, and physical dates are back on the table. Hooray! You can also choose to play from the perspective of either a man or a woman – and there’s even a couple of same-sex dating options. We love Ten Dates‘ efforts to be more inclusive. It’s also a blast to play through. One sitting will take around 90 minutes or less, but you’ll want to jump back in to attempt to date other characters – and perhaps play from the opposite gender’s perspective.
Who you end up dating will depend on the choices you make as you play. Starting out at a speed-dating event, you’ll then choose two people to go on a proper dinner date with, before choosing the person who’s right for you. Think carefully about what you say, otherwise your crush might not feel the same way about you…
3. Arcade Spirits
Though predominantly a visual novel, dating plays a big part of Arcade Spirits. If you choose to play it that way, of course. You play as a newcomer to a small town who lands a job at a run-down amusement arcade. While you’re there, you’ll quickly forge friendships with a group of interesting (and ultimately lovable) people. Whether you want to simply stay friends or try to become something more is up to you. And if you do decide to go the dating route, you have free reign of who to try and woo.
Not only is Arcade Spirits one of the best dating sim games on PS4, it’s also one of the best visual novels. We love its grounded, relatable story, and its cast of characters is wonderful. Play it as a dating simulator if you want, but even if you don’t want to date any of its cast, you’ll get a huge kick out of the story.
4. Hatoful Boyfriend
Hatoful Boyfriend probably isn’t exactly what you think of when you think of a dating simulator. For one, it stars pigeons. Yes, you date pigeons. And yes, you play the role of a human. It’s a bit weird, granted. Okay, it’s very weird. But Hatoful Boyfriend is a charming visual novel with some great dating sim elements – and a very unexpected story twist – for those willing to put in the time.
It’s a fairly short game: mone playthrough can take somewhere between an hour to 90 minutes. But depending on which pigeon you decide to date, there are several branching storylines, so seeing everything the game offers requires several playthroughs. It might not be a straightforward dating sim, but Hatoful Boyfriend offers much more than bird love. Its obscurity alone makes it one of the best dating sim games on PS4.
5. Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker
Ah, Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker. There’s no other game like it – and it’s all the better for it. In Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker, you play the role of matchmaker. Clients arrive into your office, and it’s up to you to find them the most suitable match from your agency directory. It’s not over once you’ve set up a date, though; you’ve then got to guide your client through a successful restaurant date!
That means guiding the conversation, choosing food, and playing minigames that will shape the outcome of the date. As a matchmaker, it’s obviously in your best interest for the date to go as well as possible. Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker is bold, colourful and a heck of a lot of fun. It’s one of the best dating sim games on PS4. Trust us, you’ll quickly get addicted to matchmaking.
6. Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator
Want to find your dream daddy? So do all these guys. Dream Daddy is a game where you play as a gay, single dad, looking for the perfect partner. All your potential suitors are also dads – and each has their own unique persona. There’s the sporty dad, the goth dad, the bad dad… which one you want to romance is up to you. With seven to choose from, there’s a lot of fun to be had.
Dream Daddy is filled with beautiful art and excellent voice acting – and we challenge you not to fall in love with each and every one of these dads on offer. You get to create your own ‘dadsona’ before you start, and you won’t simply be reading through text boxes – there’s a range of minigames to take part in too. Needless to say, thanks to how fun-loving it is, Dream Daddy is one of the best dating sim games on PS4.