The Games That Make It Hardest To Say Goodbye

There haven't been a lot of new games out lately, so maybe you've had time to finish one or two that had been sitting on your backburner. And maybe, if you were lucky, one of those games was good enough that you had a hard time letting go.

It's a unique and lovely thing, the bitterness that comes at the end of something wonderful. With books, each page brings you closer to the point where there are no more pages. With TV shows, each episode brings you closer to a finale that you have to see but almost want to avoid watching. And in games, it's that familiar feeling: You're nearing the final act and you sense the game coming to a close. And you start stalling, doing sidequests, enjoying the view. Anything to keep it from ending.

Sure, you'll play it again. You'll probably play it many more times over the course of your life. But you'll never experience the story the same way, like when it was new.

Of course, not every game ends; plenty of the best games live on for years through competitive multiplayer, user mods, downloadable add-ons and the like. So I'm really talking about story-based singleplayer games here.

I thought we could take some time to look back at the games whose endings made us most bittersweet. Not the endings themselves necessarily, but the fact that the game was over. Games that left us watching the credits roll, wishing we could do it all over again, knowing we never can.

For me, four games come to mind: Grim Fandango, Final Fantasy VII, The Longest Journey and most recently, Persona 4 Golden. That last one… man, the ending to that game should be in Merriam-Webster under "bittersweet". There are doubtless a few more, but those are the first ones that come to mind.

How about you?


    Valkyria Chronicles, Disgaea, Xcom, Barbies Pony express

      I'm with you on Disgaea (afternoon of Darkness). One of my favourite games (and animes) of all time.

      Barbies Pony Express. Not so much.

        heh it was more just for giggles that one ;)
        (i'm playing disgaea 4 atm, only just picked it up. its good stuff if you haven't played it yet)

        Last edited 28/05/13 3:19 pm

    P4G, maaaaaaaaaaaaaan, my heart hasn't been touched by a game so much in...EVER!

    SO bittersweet that ending :)

      Persona 3 surpasses P4 on the bittersweet meter. Love both of those games, such great characters.

        Not feelin' P3 nearly as much.
        Playing P3P, grabbed P3F on PSN.

        Something about P4G really clicked with me, I haven't been this emotionally involved in a game for a very loing time. The art, the music THE TOWN.

        Don't get me wrong P3 is great, just not P4G for me :)

          But P4G doesn't have Mitsuru-senpai....

          I've never been so motivated to study in my life!


              PS, Kotaku is on my side:

      Yeah, finished it with Normal ending on Sunday... What a damn great game. I had so many more social links to max :(

      Going through for True ending now.

        I kept a save available that got me the true ending

        But I didn't get Marie Social Link to max so

        No extra dungeon, no epilogue :(

    FFVII, FFX and The Longest Journey.

    I hate it when I get to the end, but that does mean I can start all over again :)

    Very recently, Guacamelee (GOTY potential).

    Cute story with brilliant platforming and even better combat mechanics.

    I know it was only a downloadable game (and there is DLC supposedly in the future), but a few more bosses, temples and puzzles would have sealed an already incredible package.

    The most recent one for me was red dead redemption. Man that had a great story line and everything, especially the music during set pieces really made me feel engaged in the whole story. Up until it ended

    when John Marston was killed at the end I was gutted. I was attached to him soo much that I found it difficult to play as his son post endgame as I did not feel close to him.

    Also why does Google chrome highlight soo as an incorrectly spelt word? and spelt for that manner!

      I think the setting of RDR itself was poignant. It was the end of the golden age of the old west. Industrialization and technology were making the reality of this age disappear. At the end of the game it was also like the old west itself was over and the modern age had begun.

    I'd have to say Kingdom Hearts 2. I just love coming back to that game.

    Red Dead Redemption. Every so often, as Jack Marston, there's the overriding feeling to return to John and his wifes grave for some reason, I don't know why :\

      Yeah. Unlocking junior just... wasn't the same. I actually really liked the zombie expansion for that. Getting to go back and be John again.

    I was pretty sad to walk away from Bioshock Infinite. I was also really touched by the ending to FFX.

      Bioshock Infinite for me as well. Hopefully the upcoming DLC is lengthy and satisfying.

    LIARA ;_;

    *ahem* no, I'm not affected by that at all...

    All this Persona 3/4 talk. Screw that. Digital Devil Saga blew Persona out of the water in every way possible.

      Do you mean the ps2 game or the snes game? Heh give me all your cred

      Seriously though, DDS on the PS2 was amazing, although it was grindy as heck. First game I didn't care I was grinding in though. Sometimes I would sit down to play actually just wanting to grind for a bit even.

        The PS2 duology. They were both uterlly fantastic.

      I've looked into buying those, still pricey.
      The way Atlus have been lately I'm probably better off wairting for a HD remake.

      You excited for Shin Megami Tensei IV?

    I was pretty sad when I finished both Kingdom Hearts. Man those games are tear jerkers, even if they are corny.

    ..for me when it comes to videogame endings nothing is more significant than Shadow of the Collosus bar none
    I remember holding into that well (or rock) while being sucked in by this force and for a few minutes refusing to let go, even if its for a significant cause I just cant let seems so sad to let go without even talking to the girl I strove to save :(
    some games I want to add
    - FFVII (u guys knew this has to be here)
    - MGS Snake Eater
    - Xenogears
    - Silent Hill 1, 2, 3
    - SHADOW HEARTS 1 (and 2 to some extent)
    - Uncharted 2
    - Blood Omen Legacy of Kain
    - God if War 2 (then 3 then 1)
    ..just to name a few..

      Completely forgot about that, but yes SOTC has one of the most devastating endings to any game, ever. Thanks for bringing up that old wound.

      Silent Hill 2 also has a very bleak ending and some of the most chilling dialog ever.

      People tend to dismiss apps, but Chaos Rings (original) is easily one of the better JRPGs I've played in recent years.

    Not sure if anyone knows this one, an oldie:
    Terranigma on SNES.

      Oh hell yes. I was almost brought to tears over that one. Such a great story, and a criminally underrated game.

        At the end, I kept running around the village talking to everyone over and over hoping I could trigger an event to change the didn't work...T-T

    Grim Fandango immediately jumped to mind, as did Planescape Torment.

    The endings for Bioshock Infinite was pretty damned cool as was Metro Last Light & the Mass Effect 3 Citadel DLC

    To The Moon which I finally played the other day falls under this category almost perfectly.

      I was going to pick To The Moon but then I thought it didn't really fit the category because it's a game that's touching and made you cry rather than a game that you find hard to let go.

      It's hard to explain but it's not the same thing to me.

    Papo & Yo did it for me. I was glad to be finished the game itself but the whole ending just made me cry, a lot.

    Baldurs Gate 2.

    FFX definitely made me feel sad

    The only other recent one was Ni No Kuni, I held off for weeks from finishing it but when I did...

    once you found out Oliver's mother couldn't be saved, the game had more of an emotional pull. Even the ending after the superboss made me sad. I shed a couple of tears in that story

    Mass Effect 3. I was really sad that the journey was over.

    Zelda 4: Link's Awakening. I always welled up at the end there, saying goodbye to these characters I'd grown quite fond of. Gave me that empty, desolate feeling that you get when you've had people stay with you for several days then all of a sudden they're gone and after waving them off you go back inside to an empty house...

      Ditto on Mass Effect. The Citadel DLC really made it clear how much fun it was getting to know Sheperd and the squad. Such a shame we won't see any of those characters again.

    -Chrono Cross
    -Chrono Trigger
    -Final Fantasy VI

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