Dragon Age: Origins, Grey Warden and Leliana/Morrigan/Alistar/Zevran
Essential to the story or just for fun? Essential. Dragon Age: Origins got some ink for the homosexual relationship options, but the game lacks any of that fratty GTA sexuality. You have to really earn the romances, a hallmark of game developer BioWare.
Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and the Damned, Congressman Thomas Stubbs III
Essential to the story or just for fun? You could argue that this is an essential character moment, as the Stubbs is a corrupt politician, and his nudity is meant to represent his Dionysian decadence… oh, heck, let’s just all note happily that Rockstar Games has at least matured since the days of hooker power-ups.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, CJ and his girlfriend
Essential to the story or just for fun? So inessential that it wasn’t even technically in the game — the sex was only accessible with a special modification — the ”Hot Coffee” mini-game became the I Am Curious (Yellow) of videogame sex when it was decried in Washington by then senator Hillary Clinton.
Afro Samurai, the Polecats
Essential to the story or just for fun? Topless stripper ninja assassins? Essential for a Zack Snyder movie, maybe.
BMX XXX, various female bikers with presumably very low self-esteem
Essential to the story or just for fun? It’s a biking game about topless chicks, so I guess the nudity is essential. Fun fact: The game indirectly led to the demise of Acclaim Entertainment, so perhaps there is still such a thing as ”justice” in this miserable modern world.
Conan, various damsels in distress
Essential to the story or just for fun? The sexual politics of Conan are supposed to be primordial, so we’ll call this ”marginally essential.” (Less forgivable: that this dude is basically just a lamer version of the hero in God of War.)
Conker's Bad Fur Day, the Sunflower
Essential to the story or just for fun? Utterly essential. This level, which also features an adulterous King Bee, doubles as excellent sexual education. Isn’t playing this less awkward than giving your kids ”the talk”?
God of War 2 and 3, Sultry Pool Vixens and the Goddess Aphrodite
Essential to the story or just for fun? Like everything else in the God of War franchise, the sex mini-games — rotate the analog stick. Rotate! ROTATE! — are pure fun… albeit with a side of inexplicable nihilism. Something about having sex with the goddess of love in the middle of the apocalypse can’t help but make you think about… like, life, right?
The Godfather II, strippers
Essential to the story or just for fun? That’s funny, I don’t seem to recall Al Pacino hanging out with strippers in The Godfather: Part II. I do seem to recall the movie being brilliant, which this game is decidedly not.
Heavy Rain, Madison Paige
Essential to the story or just for fun? Surprisingly essential, since the shower sequence is meant to establish the character’s loneliness and vulnerability. Which is not something you will ever hear about BMX XXX.
Mass Effect, Commander Shephard and Ashley/Liara/Kaiden
Essential to the story or just for fun? Give this to the Canadians: They clearly know something about romance. Another game from Edmonton-based BioWare, which also created Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect lets you flirt with various crew members. But somewhere around the middle of the game, the flirting starts to get serious. Romance follows, as does a Top Gun-style underlit sex scene.
Essential to the story or just for fun? Look, more videogame strippers!
The Witcher 2, Geralt of Rivia and pretty much everybody else
Essential to the story or just for fun? In the first Witcher, you get to have sex with a couple dozen different people — you even collect ”sex cards” for every conquest. Oh, Poland! The new Witcher has dispensed with the ”cards” but still features a veritable fiesta of fornication.
Duke Nukem 3D, strippers
Essential to the story or just for fun? Now, look here. There is a grand tradition of ribaldry in the Western world, from the lewdly pantomimed satyr plays of fifth-century Greece to the butt-branding antics of The Canterbury Tales to the 19th-century birth of American burlesque, right up to the modern age of South Park, Paul Verhoeven, and Eminem. So it would be prudish to pick on certain videogames’ predilection for shameless female nudity. But seriously, people: How many horrifically animated strippers is too many horrifically animated strippers?
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Raiden
Essential to the story or just for fun? Considering that Raiden is quite possibly the least essential videogame protagonist ever, it actually feels weirdly unsurprising when you have to play a whole level of MGS2 sans clothes. Points for Austin Powers-esque sight gags, though.
Custer's Revenge, General Custer and his Native American captive
Essential to the story or just for fun? Well, considering that the whole point of this primordial game is to copulate as often as possible while dodging arrows, the nudity is absolutely essential. Watching this is kind of like watching silent-film pornography: gross, fascinating, and totally weird.