7 best games to play if you’re single (and full of rage) this Valentine’s Day

Flying solo this Valentine's Day? Here are 7 games to play if you're single and need to get some frustration out.
Bayonetta 3

Valentine’s Day is a time of year that can bring an array of complex feelings to the surface. In earnest, it’s an event that celebrates love in all its forms, seeing folks fill the month with Friendsgivings, Galentine’s Days, and romantic outings with significant others, creating memories that will fill the scrapbooks for years to come. It’s a time to truly appreciate the ones around who love us the most and take joy in reciprocating that energy. 

It’s also a time to release unbridled, primal rage. 

We really do contain multitudes, and single folks especially understand the depths of that rat brain energy all too well. So instead of keeping it all pent up this year, let’s befriend it and give it an outlet where it can truly shine and enhance our personalities. What better way to safely engage with those uncomfortable feelings than through the joy of video games! Here are seven games to play if you’re single.

1. Kill It With Fire 

kill it with fire game valentine's day
Image: Casey Donnellan Games LLC

Starting off the list strong with a title that proves you don’t need a significant other around to kill spiders for you – you can simply get a laser gun, or a shoe, and eviscerate that creepy crawly all on your own.

Imagine this: you’re sitting alone on your couch, with music playing faintly in the background, and you spot it – a huge, hairy spider. Your first instinct is to call for help, but that’s not going to result in anything – you’re on your own, kid.

Kill It With Fire not only gives you the confidence boost you need to face down your fears, but it also unleashes the frustration you may or may not have while spending your evenings alone. You’re independent! You’re not afraid! You’re able to fight your own battles! And for those who are friends to spiders (can’t relate, but I’m sure they exist), it’s better to deal with your rage on a virtual level, not a real-world level.

2. Bayonetta 

bayonetta gameplay
Image: PlatinumGames

We mere mortals can’t serve 24/7, and to be honest, I think it’s important we don’t. Days off are an important factor in sustaining higher impact for the times we do grace the general public with a standout look, scare normies at the work function, or bring flavour to the hospital lighting warehouse experience that is shopping at Coles. 

But while we may not always be able to reach peak levels of slay, there is one Umbra Witch we can count on to deliver every time. 

Bayonetta not only provides a significant cast of silky smooth voiced characters to swoon over with fitted looks to inspire the wardrobe (think Elizabeth Hurley circa Bedazzled), but its fast-paced combat mechanics bring a real sense of accomplishment when executed correctly. It’s a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ type of quick succession gameplay akin to titles like Doom that encourage you to trust your instincts, think less and fight more. 

Has the Lady Dimitrescu effect severely impacted my taste in women? Is this another piece of chronically online fandom fodder that should be legitimately studied? Potentially. But I can’t say that anything quells my rage quite like watching an eight-foot-tall woman with guns for heels completely eviscerate beasts from the underworld, in truly camp fashion. 

3. The Sims

best sims 4 valentine's day games
Image: EA / Maxis

The Sims fits into the category of ‘choose your own fun’, and if that translates to creating carbon copies of your ex to feed to Griselda The Pit Beast, then isn’t that a healthier alternative to slashing real life tyres?  

While this isn’t a game that will offer the traditional kind of anger management you’re seeking in hack n’ slash titles, it is one that will lean into the more therapeutic aspects of channelling your fury. 

So remove those pesky pool ladders! Set a few house fires in some doorless rooms! Design your own interconnected web of interpersonal conflict and use the gift of comparison to feel that teensy bit better about your own struggles. This is your vehicle to be truly unhinged in all of your glory, and I not only support you through it, but encourage you greatly. 

4. Wii Sports

wii sports nintendo
Image: Nintendo

While I’ve spent countless game nights in the throes of Nintendo Switch Sports, Wii Sports is one that still holds a special place in my selectively competitive heart. On top of crisp sound effects and satisfying baseball bat whacks, it’s nice to feel validated by a faceless host telling me I did a good job in a game predominantly catered to Dads (Nice One!) 

Though more specifically for the purposes of this list, Wii Sports boxing is undoubtedly where it’s at. The Wii nunchuck is an underrated extension of our gaming histories, and nothing compares to the feeling of throwing bonafide punches at NPC’s with bobble-head physics.

While other titles in the Nintendo fitness lineup are almost designed to induce rage through passive microaggressions (I’m looking directly at you Wii Fit mat), Wii Sports boxing provides an outlet to release some endorphins and get in a genuine workout – granted you aren’t in the vicinity of anything breakable. 

5. Lollipop Chainsaw

lollipop chainsaw valentine's day game
Image: Grasshopper Manufacture

Lollipop Chainsaw was not only a very formative title during my adolescence, it’s a quintessential influence to the specific brand of Harley Quinn-style rage I so desperately wish to emulate more of in my day-to-day. It’s also a game I am patiently awaiting a fully fledged remaster of.

With a punchy soundtrack full of hits sung by powerful female vocalists – from groups like Sleigh Bells, The Chordettes, and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – Lollipop Chainsaw is a tension buster which allows you to stylistically slice through hordes of zombies in a fashion that packs far less of an emotional punch than The Last of Us or Days Gone

Lean into the theatrics of arguing with your disembodied boyfriend while attacking your enemies through pole-dancing quick-time-events in the most beautifully absurd, camp manner possible! This is one cult classic that many spite-fuelled twenty-somethings and teenage girls have proudly reclaimed. 

6. Cooking Mama

cooking mama game
Screenshot: GamesHub

Cooking used to be a much more stressful experience, before I learned how to have fun with it. I distinctly remember days spent crying over incorrect measurements and burnt pastries, throwing in the towel before begrudgingly attempting it again the next day. 

Cooking Mama takes all of those repressed traumas and neatly repackages them in the form of a gourmet chef that emits almost the same levels of dread as the Duolingo owl – who still currently has my family. 

Achieving culinary greatness in Cooking Mama is just that: achievable. Those pesky feelings of inadequacy won’t extend beyond Mama’s kitchen, so long as you only attain perfect scores. Much like the immersive experience of using a Wii nunchuck, those vigorous Nintendo DS stylus knife chops will be sure to build your grip strength while worsening your existing RSI. 

Fear lies within the root of all anger, so take all of that anxious energy and trust in the primal response of fight, flight, cook. Because if you burn a single one of those pork cutlets, Mama will kill you! 

7. God of War Ragnarök

God of War Ragnarok screenshot
Image: Santa Monica Studio

For a title that literally has an in-built and appropriately labelled ‘rage’ mechanic as part of its core gameplay, it would be remiss of me to exclude God of War Ragnarök from this list. 

This action-packed parent simulator combines all the best elements of axe throwing, with the emotional nuances of fathering an ambitious Norse demigod, teaching you to choose your words of wisdom carefully whenever he starts getting a tad power hungry. 

I can imagine it’s pretty hard out there for a Dad of War to navigate when he simply wants to smash rune chests and take scenic trips on his gondola, but what these beautiful interactions between the pair teach us is simple: don’t break, bond

To quote Kratos himself: “In moments of crisis, panic does nothing. Harness it. Let it serve you.” 

Valentine’s Day holds no monopoly over the year-round rage we all feel, and it takes time to master honing it and channelling it in ways that won’t cause long term repercussions to yourself or others. Rage, like all emotions, is communicative, and that palpable beast that lives within you probably just needs a hug and a healthy outlet at the end of the day. 

For what it’s worth, single life can genuinely be a lot of fun and there is enough room in our hearts (and hard drives) to extend the Valentine’s game night invite to friends and family.

If you are spending this year with someone special, we have a few recommendations for co-op titles that won’t ruin the relationship, and if you’re flying solo… Well, I say it’s 2024, and you should be able to smack your own damn arse.  

Emily Shiel is a freelance writer based in Melbourne, Australia who is passionate about all things accessibility, mental health and the indie games scene. You can find her on Twitter at @emi_shiel