One of the things we’d like to do here at The Gay Goods that maybe some of our other contemporary porn-industry sites have yet to pick up on is acknowledge the fact that gaming has gotten gay. I mean really gay. Like Leyendecker painting men for Gillette, gay games rose to prominence right in front of our faces in 2023 at every level of games publishing. It has done so at a crucial time when game development is both something of a wild west for indie developers, and a huge, massive complex for the larger corporate industry.
So, let’s talk about them. Below you’ll find our top 10 retrospective of gay games for 2023, spanning genre and levels of eroticism. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will give full fledged queer scrutiny in longer form reviews to the majority of the games below. But at least a large part of gaming is the thrill of discovery—so if you’d like to hook up discreetly with these new gay favorites, we’ll keep it short and sweet with our rankings here.
Without further ado, here’s the queer games that pushed our buttons in 2023.
10) The Groom of Gallagher Mansion
Everyone knows a horror gay, and everyone knows a gay that just loves romantic meet-cutes. If the horror-gay and the romance-gay want to play a visual novel together, they should hold hands and sit down with a digital copy of The Groom of Gallagher Mansion.
Play as a ghost hunting protagonist whose gender is yours to choose. It doesn’t matter whether you’re she, him, or them—the titular (and tit-ular) ghost will swoon over you in this cute mystery that’s more “Scooby-Doo” than “Spooky.” If you’re a fan of ghost stories but aren’t quite ready for more action-packed games later on in the list, you’ll find good fun in this lightly haunted mansion. You can read our full review here.
Videoverse is nostalgia for a very particular time of early 2000s internet; a time before Discord displaced the communities of forums and instant messaging. It’s a quiet, contemplative piece about not just relationships, but the painful ways they are made and broken by methods of communication—and, more broadly, the whims of corporations.
And while the game itself may not be specifically gay, for many a queer millennial that learned about themselves through the internet, the subject matter will hit a nerve. It’s probably not a surprise to know that this is a new joint from Kinmoku, the agender-ace developer responsible for One Night Stand. That’s another game which also delves into how means of communication shapes people—fans of their previous work will love this new miiverse-esque exploration game.
8) Dear Monster
Dear Monster is our first out-and-out erotic game on this list, and it’s, by every definition of the word, pure fantasy. In it, you control sweater-clad Allen, a normal med student who discovers his own magical lineage—and the new burden of what to do with his own magical powers.
This pornographic visual novel is not shy about what it is—a barely there, fantasy-themed excuse to gets its twink protagonist in bed with a variety of anime muscle men—but the fact that it does so while also maintaining a surprisingly engaging story. That, the variety of choice bachelors, and its high production value are what sets Dear Monster apart from the other possible gay erotic VNs that could’ve occupied this slot, instead. The fact it added post-launch DLC for free that let’s you fuck the muscle orc cook (and also experience his (excellent) backstory, I guess) is also a slam dunk that should be acknowledged.
7) Paradiso Guardian
Where the previous entries took you on adventures through the medium of visual novel, Paradiso Guardian is our first true action game. It also occupies a niche well filled in the porn world, but somewhat unexplored still in the land of well polished gay porn games: the parody porn.
In this surprisingly fun and completely unsubtle parody of the Castlevania series, you play as Lenga, heaven’s horniest angel. Send Lenga into battle against an army of muscular demons and other spooky entities: if you play well enough, you’ll get rewarded with some sweet supernatural dick. Power bottoms, it’s time to power level.
(You can read our full review here.)
RELATED LINK: Have You Beaten Off to—er, Beaten ‘Hades’ Yet?
6) The Symbiant
The Symbiant is a beautiful, interesting human/alien sci-fi erotic romance that swings far beyond its indie budget to deliver one of the year’s most impressive and polished romantic visual novels. Fans of the stars, interesting world building, and gorgeous boys will want to take a private shuttle with this one.
Especially since it stars Brahve, a painfully handsome alien twink with a secret that you, the player, must uncover for the safety of your cargo ship. Your mileage may vary on the main character, who is a little bit of an ass regardless of how you play him: Brahve probably deserves better than Danya, but, hey, who are we to tell him what makes him happy? (Besides, once you meet him, you’ll hope it’s you making him happy.)
5) Doomsday Paradise
Lemonade Flashbang’s debut is a horny-but-not-explicit successor to the Monster Prom franchise. Your goal: save the world, kiss the guy/gal of your choice. Preferably both, but if the guy’s cute enough and the town’s annoying enough, you’re free to ditch your duties. Someone else is always ready to be a hero, right?
A refreshing twist on the formula comes in the form of deck-building turn based battles, its 400+ scenarios and 100+ endings make this a very easy recommendation for any gay gamer groups in need of light, multiplayer fun with a short run time. It isn’t a terribly difficult game to get into, either, making it a great party game for new gaymers looking for casual fun.
You can read our full review here.
4) Mortal Meal
This 90’s-aesthetic 3D adventure/platformer originally found life as an entry on Haunted PS1 Demo Disc: Spectral Mall, a freeware grab-bag of 20 indie horror and horror-adjacent polygon games. Mortal Meal is a game about an untethered spirit—you—on the run from a soul-consuming force. It’s on you to solve the cause of your demise. While this all sounds very dark—and, don’t get me wrong, it can be—Mortal Meal also uses this as a canvas for wild imagination, often humorous storytelling, and engaging retro style game play.
I had no idea Mortal Meal was going to be a gay game when I originally picked it up. In many instances, I feel like gay games should, in the name of proud visibility, broadcast themselves as such. Mortal Meal’s handling of its queer content, however, is masterful, and totally in service to its sometimes hilarious and sometimes tear-jerking ghost story. If you wanted to play a gay ghost game but Ghost of Gallagher Mansion seemed to sweet to you, you’ll want—nay, need—Mortal Meal.
3) Baldur’s Gate 3
Statistically speaking, I probably don’t need to tell you what Baldur’s Gate 3 is. For many people—gay, straight, otherwise—this is the game of 2023. Selling over 22+ million copies at the time of this writing and earning critical acclaim and awards from nearly every corner of the industry, this single-player or cooperative role-playing game was a massive hit, and deservedly so. So many other triple A games missed the mark this year (do you even remember that this is the year Nintendo put out Everybody 1-2 Switch?) In comparison, this premium game does right by its budget and price point. Its deep writing, engaging characters, and complex battle systems make Baldur’s Gate 3 the easiest game to recommend on this list to any gamer of any skill level or interest, period.
And while not a gay game per say, it is also a game very aware of how many gay people play role playing games. Male custom characters have dick sliders. Anyone that is romance-able is yours to chase. Gay characters exist within the main plotlines. On that last note, Baldur’s Gate 3 is so gay that angry, terminally online anti-gay straights tried to push mods that removed canonically queer characters from the game. You know you’re doing something right if you’re living that rent-free in the heads of the worst people on the internet.
2) Mediterranea Inferno
If any random selection of gay zoomers (or, I guess, just zoomers) were charged with watching nothing but Jordowosky films and then told to make a video game, I think whatever resulted would bear at least some resemblance to Mediterranea Inferno. The reason why it’s only some is because the studio at Santa Ragione are not just some random group—writer Lorenzo Redaelli is a powerful, venomous storyteller ready to strangle both you and his unsuspecting protagonists with some uncomfortable truths about the COVID pandemic, and the way it impacted the mind a psyche of the gay youth in Italy and the country at large.
Of all the entries on this list, I don’t think there’s another game that gave me nearly as much whiplash as Mediterranea Inferno. Bold, bright, and horrifying, this is the only game that will have you laughing with tears in your eyes, only to have you shouting in abject horror at some of the decisions of its protagonist disaster twinks within minutes of each other.
You can read our full review here.
Let’s get something out of the way: greasemnk++ is not for everyone. Its inclusion here in our top slot has incensed at least one Baldur’s Gate fan who is rapidly approaching my location as you read this. That’s fine. I’ve made my peace.
But I have no ambiguity about what game haunted me the most after I played it, and what still sits in my stomach like a weight so many months later. That would be the very small, very droning, very eerie cyber-nightmare of indie developed greasemnk++. This punishing and difficult turn-based RPG is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? on poppers. It’s gross, violent, philosophical, and conceptually challenging in a way few other games this year dared try. Gay robot sex is, it turns out, really dangerous.
You can read our full review here.