Call of Duty: Black Ops Sets World Record For Greatest Video Game Ending

Call of Duty: Black Ops Sets World Record For Greatest Video Game Ending

We were always under the impression that The Guinness World Records only included listings of things that could be measured by quantity — most number of X, tallest Y, shortest Z, tiniest bean, etc. As it turns out, our impression is wrong and there is room for opinion in the book of World Records.

The Guinness World Records 2012 Gamers’ Edition polled 13,519 “gaming fans” to determine the greatest video game ending of all time. From that poll, Call of Duty: Black Ops, was voted to the top of the list.

Guinness World Records 2012 Gamer’s Edition editor Gaz Deaves said: “Everyone has an opinion on how to end a game, whether it’s an epic boss fight, a clever plot twist, or a 90-minute movie.

“This list recognises some of the greatest endings and hopefully will get gamers talking about what are their favourites and why.”

Below is a list of the top 50 as voted by those who took part in the poll.

50. Resident Evil 4 49. Star Wars: Knights of the old Republic 48. Ratchet & Clank: a Crack in Time 47. Crysis 2 46. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion 45. Call of Duty: World at War 44. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II 43. Half-Life 2: Episode Two 42. Super Metroid 41. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess 40. New Super Mario Bros. Wii 39. inFamous 38. Fallout 3 37. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas 36. Gears of War 2 35. Bioshock 34. Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty 33. Sonic Adventures 2 32. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 31. Kingdom Hearts II 30. Mass Effect 29. Super Mario Galaxy 28. Sonic the Hedgehog 27. Metal Gear Solid 26. Assassin’s Creed II 25. Assassin’s Creed 24. Shadow of the Colossus 23. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 22. Kingdom Hearts 21. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves 20. Super Mario Galaxy 2 19. Mass Effect 2 18. Grand Theft Auto IV 17. Portal 2 16. Assassins Creed: Brotherhood 15. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time 14. Halo: Combat Evolved 13. Halo 3 12. Pokemon Black and White 11. Super Mario Bros 10. Heavy Rain 9. Final Fantasy VII 8. Metal Gear Solid 4 7. Portal 6. Red Dead Redemption 5. God of War 4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 3. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 2. Halo: Reach 1. Call of Duty: Black Ops

While we’re still pretty sure that world records are meant to be quantitatively measured (but hey, we’re not world record experts!), what do you think of this list? Can you think of any games with awesome endings that should be on the list? Let us know!



  • I will, as the kot au resident cod addict speak out against this. Seriously, it was an ok ending, but i wouldn’t put it in the top 20 let alone number 1.

    • I came here to laugh wrly at some trolling. Amazingly, 99% of the comments here are reasoned and useful additions to the discussion. A “discussion” I didn’t think we could possibly have. When I heard this survey result today over twitter, I thought “Here we go this’ll be fun” but I am being proven very wrong so far.

      Sorry to ninja your post Blood Apathy.

    • Agreed.

      And besides a book of records shouldn’t have somewhere for opinionated nonsense anyway, especially crowd-sourced opinions. It’s likely that a majority of people who own that book play lots of Cod, because someone who plays cod for the K:D or other such figures is likely to want to own a book about figures. Whereas those of us who like storytelling or role-playing elements aren’t.

      For instance I don’t think you can go past the twist ending in FFX, but that’s just my opinion.

  • okay lol, if I had to pick a call of duty one, it would be 4, I thought the black ending was rather crap, in fact it made me dislike the game because it was a bad ending. I liked Uncharted 2 ending on how everything rapped up, very rare in the times of sequels. Oh and both portals have to be up their with fantastic ending, just I very much disagree with the Black ops, maybe it was the pacing issues in that everything turned up to 11 and left there.

  • The Guinness Book of Records is one of those things that amazes me that it’s still around. I remember being in primary school and looking things up out of some weird fascination. Then they had the TV show, which was really just an excuse to have a freakshow on TV.

    Now it just seems rather quaint.

    As for the list, I’m willing to bet that we’re dealing more with “games that people have actually seen the ending of” more than “games with the best ending”. More people would have finished BLOPs and Halo Reach, so it’s easier for them to say “yeah! That was awesome, brah!”

    Seriously though, how is Sonic the Hedgehog on this list and which one do they mean? The original which barely had a plot of the abortion that was released several years ago?

    • The Gamers’ Edition of the book has always been a bit :-/. They get really obscure, like I’m sure there’s something in there about a game with the most frames-per-second or something. Or the longest session of Halo ever played while juggling a ball. It is bizarro.

      • The normal edition isn’t much better. It isn’t so much a record of who is the best at something but what obscure subjects someone can find to be the best at.

        I’d play a banjo with a cobra to set the record for longest time playing the banjo with a cobra, but according to The Simpsons, that record would go to the cobra.

        • I guess they had to turn to the weird since it’s a bit tough to keep publishing the same old boring normal facts every year.

          I just wish they’d thought up a coupleo f hundred actual criteria for awards for the gamers edition then picked the games that actually meet those requirements instead of putting together a bunch of namedropped popular or obscure games and then thinknig up awards to assign to them.

  • By 13,519 “gaming fans” do they mean 13,519 “little kids”?
    (seriously, I’ve noticed that a lot of children have Woods as their avatar)

  • Black Ops wasn’t the best ending, it was merely the most patriotic and biggest use American forces for no reason. I mean come on how many air carriers, jets, submarines do you need to take down one underwater station?

  • What a joke. Though considering the numbers of Black Ops sold and how damn easy the single player was the odds are you will encounter a high number of people that finished it. Personally think it was the worst COD in years just above World at War.

  • What is this I don’t even!

    Seriously though, this just proves that the people running Guinness Book of Records have officially lost the plot.

    You can’t make a world record out of opinion, or if you can then Guinness would be right up there for the record of “Most useless spin off product” for their “Gamers Edition”

  • An absolute travesty. As I posted elsewhere earlier this not only indicates that large number of respondents to the poll were COD fans that skewed any unbiased response, they also picked Black Ops – not the latest game MW3, or the far superior COD4, but Black Ops, the derpy sheep of the family. This means those respondents were also idiots, who were actually fooled into thinking Black Ops had a good story by the interrogation/debriefing/manchurian candidate framing device and that the ending was actually a complex blind-mowing twist that made them feel very smart for ‘getting it’ even though EVERYTHING ABOUT IT WAS CLICHE AND COMPLETELY TELEGRAPHED DURING THE FIRST ACT OF THE GAME. EVEN BEING STRAPPED INTO A CHAIR IN THE MENU WAS A MASSIVE GIVEAWAY AND THAT’S BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY START PLAYING.

  • Aww Second Sight never gets any respect 🙁

    And what about Chrono Trigger (technically 11 endings), Terranigma or Bastion?

    they should really have listed this as “Most popular video game endings” since so many of the “best” (subjectivity aside) would go unknown or unappreciated

  • Lol wtf gtfo Red Dead Redemption was one of the best endings ever i friggan teared up from it blops doesnt deserve this

  • if AMERICAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!! FUCKK YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!!!!!!!!!! means its a great ending to a game then sure…….

  • i agree with one of the above posters, it doesn’t even deserve a slot in the top 20. Halo 1 should be in the top 5, that was insanely epic.

  • Ridiculous.

    “Pro Yankee claptrap” would be what I feel to be an adequate description of black ops. I liked the other CoD games but black ops campaign was bland, uncreative and the ending was downright idiotic.

    Considering they were attempting to establish the greatest ending ever, my opinion is that there were more worthy candidates out there.

    • Are you kidding? KH has terrible endings!

      Kingdom Hearts 1 – You’re trapped in a bizarre parallel world place thing separated from all your friends you saved.

      Kingdom Hearts 2 – It was sad Roxas didn’t get his life back, but this ending was fine.

      Kingdom Hearts DS has the worst ending I’ve ever seen, ever. Well, except maybe for FF13-2…. You finally rebel against the evil organization 13, and then you pretty much die, and can’t even save Xion. It sucked, and somehow managed to be worse than BBS because I was more invested in Roxas than I was in Ventus (I know they’re the same person, but still)

    • I love KH, but each ending just seems like a set up for the next one. Although Birth By Sleep’s final ending was extremelly melancholy & beautiful & the same time.

  • Just to add to the list:
    Chrono Cross

    It was a poignantly bitter-sweet ending with the slightest fleck of hope sewn in.

  • I like Cod……but wtf?!! I barely remember the ending to Black Ops!!
    Red Dead on the other hand, left me speechless. Thats an ending!!

  • What a terrible list, notice how almost all of the games are from the current generation of consoles?
    I liked black ops and all, but the ending wasnt that great. The final fight was a big let down after hunting that guy (cant remember his name, damn) the entire game. From what I remember you just tap a button until he chokes…

  • What can you even say about this? If i’ve learned anything in all my gaming years its my opinion is never right. So i’m not offering it, brain broken see tomorrow.

  • I see this as a disgrace.

    There are thousands of game endings million times better than any CoD campaign ending.

  • How? HOW did 90 percent of this rubbish make it to a top 50 list?

    Clearly the people in this poll have no idea what they are talking about

    • Yep, this. As soon as I saw the list I CTRL+F’d for Torment, and, seeing it wasn’t on there, realised it was a list not worth reading. I sure hope Portal made the top 10, that was a fantastic ending…unprecedented too.

  • What makes a good ending?
    Are we counting everything after you finished playing, or before that, the last playable bit of the game?
    I look at the list and see Portal 2 came before Portal 1, and I wonder why exactly.

    I haven’t finished the CoD games, especially Black Ops, so if you have played Portal 2 why don’t you compare the endings for me?

    Moving on: Final Fantasy 7. This is one of my favourite games. Finished it multiple times, done almost everything there is to do except for kill Ruby and Emerald. But the ending is well… you have the tension. You know that once you go into the North Cave, you can’t turn back (even though you can, at least until a bit further on). Then you go through like 3 hours of trials to get to Sephiroth, you fight him, he goes into an admittedly pretty “epic” mode complete with the first voices you hear in the game, and then you kill him in an unloseable battle. So that was pretty cool. And everything after you stop playing is pretty cool as well… I think I lost my point.

    Lousy fun games!

    I’ll get into Halo, Halo 3 and Reach afterwards. I think I’ll go play some Starcraft 2 now.

    Spoiler warning is probably unnecessary.

    Portal 1 was great, you spend the last half of the game behind the scenes of this huge facility until you eventually find the AI who has been putting you through this. You kill her, get sucked upwards into the outside world once again and you fall unconscious (ignoring the later retconned ending, which as far as “best ending ever” goes is worse, really). Is it the act of killing Glados that put Portal 1 on the list? Because everything after that isn’t that great. Or is it entirely Still Alive which I just remembered now while writing this. That might explain it actually.

    But Portal 2? That ending in my lousy opinion, much better. Everything from that last bit of the (I gave my spoiler warning!) Wheatley fight, with the goddamn fucking MOON (come to think of it why wasn’t this first place) to Glados getting her groove back on, then the WHAT LOOKS LIKE DEATH turning into an amazing song, then the reuniting with the cube from the first game, and then the other song. Shit, Portal definitely deserved a higher placing. Higher than the first game, at least.

    • I replied to my own comment while it was awaiting moderation. Incidentally it hasn’t shown up yet, but I’m hoping its because KotakuAU is asleep now.. Or at least they should be!

  • I’ve played through Black Ops Several times, I cannot for the life of me remember how it ends. I either have a terrible memory or the ending wasnt that good. Was this actually done by Guinness World Records or by that knock off one that gives out badges to people

  • I’m sorry, but I just can’t stand the fact that Metal Gear Solid 3 is so far down that list… Tears were shed during those final sequences, and they were good tears. While I will agree that Black Ops ending was memorable, it deserves nowhere near the top spot. One more thing, if we’re going on action value alone, I am surprised that Bayonetta is not on this list. Nothing deserves to be on this list more than that games multiple fake endings…

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