The Best Game Ending Of The Last Generation

The Best Game Ending Of The Last Generation

As we at Kotaku planned out the final couple weeks of our Last-Gen Heroes series, we considered the possibility of a list of the best endings of the generation. “But game endings all suck”, Luke said. “Well, except for The Last of Us“, I replied. Warning: Spoilers for The Last Of Us ahead!

And so, rather than put together some list of the best endings in gaming, I thought I’d bump up an article I wrote earlier this year about my favourite ending of the generation.

There are other game endings that I’ve really liked over the last eight years. Journey, for example. The Walking Dead. BioShock 2. Portal 2. And more recently, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. But The Last of Us was so surprising, particularly for a high-gloss, big-budget action game, that it merits special recognition.

Since writing this, I’ve softened a bit on my stance that the game doesn’t need a sequel. I mean, it still doesn’t need one, but given how well its creators have carried themselves so far, I’ll still gladly play a sequel if they make one. In the meantime, I’m very much looking forward to learning more about the coming downloadable add-on for the first game, which Naughty Dog will apparently be revealing this Thursday. (Can we hope for an in-game version of that excellent alternate ending? Probably too much to ask.)

No other game this big and ambitious has had the courage to rest its conclusion on a look, a pause, a tiny nod and a single word.


Last-Gen Heroes is Kotaku’s look back at the seventh generation of console gaming. In the weeks leading up to the launch of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, we’ll be celebrating the Heroes — and the Zeroes — of the last eight years of console video gaming.


  • I actually didn’t like the ending in The Last of Us. It really made me feel like the whole game was pointless.

    • (Removed a sentence that was here earlier, got two different games confused.)

      The best ending of a game from last generation was Red Dead Redemption.

    • Best ending / last level for a game belongs to FALL OF CYBERTRON and I dare any of you punks to challenge me on that!

    • That’s the whole point. It wasn’t about the resolution it was about the journey, and the characters. You see that even though these characters grow and develop and their relationships change and build, they are still flawed human beings.

      Frankly I can’t think of a better ending to a game. Ever. I liked being treated with respect as a consumer for once. I liked not having a boss battle at the end with weak points and three distinct stages of of behaviour / damage. I liked that the ending made me feel a sense of disappointment (in a good way) for what had occurred. I want to see more endings like this, not less.

  • It may not be the actual ending, but the lead up to the ending in MGS4 was a pretty memorable moment for me (snake crawling his way through the convection oven… button mashing to no end)…

    But yes.. the ending of TLoU left me in awe… subtle but with great impact…

  • Last of Us ending is great just because the writers had the balls to stick to one ending unlike some other games where options weren’t part of the game until the end (Far Cry 3, Deus Ex: HR). Also it is a great tragic ending and makes you think what you would do in that situation.

    • In fairness though all the Deus Ex games have involved multiple endings that more or less depended on one decision made at the end of the game (or at least that’s the way my memory is remembering it). Granted, they are meant to be games where you make choices during the game as opposed to Last of Us which has a linear narrative.

  • The ending of The Last Of Us was actually pretty flat for me, I picked what was gonna happen early on anyway so it just came off as ‘meh’.

    I didn’t find the characters or story compelling at all, I think i just finished it because I was hoping it would get better, but it didn’t.

    • Right there with you buddy. My god how I tried to get into it. I lay part of the blame on the hype it received. I started playing after weeks of hearing how great it is, not just from the internet but from a friend as well.
      My partner and I went into this game with high expectations. We left with disappointment. Oh well.

      • My partner watched me play it and also thought it was pretty boring.

        I think partly what brought it down for me was the fact that i could clearly see where it was getting its references from (The Road, Walking Dead etc) but it only felt superficial, it looked the part but the story, characters and especially the gameplay fell well short of what it was trying to emulate.

  • I loved the ending of the Last of Us. The idea of a person finding their humanity, and it driving them to do something thoroughly wicked and selfish was really interesting. Then the whole feeling that ellie knew he was lying, but didn’t call him out on it. I loved how understated it all was.

  • Ending to GTA 5 when Franklin kills Trevor. It was just wrong. The ‘real’ ending was much more satisfying. Typical 80s movie ending.

  • I feel so left out for not enjoying The Last of Us. Then again, I also didn’t enjoy Uncharted. Maybe I’m just not suited for NaughtyDog games.
    My vote goes to Red Dead Redemption. Mass Effect 1 a close second.

    • Props to Red Dead – very very good, especially if you kept playing after the credits and did that last part.

  • my only complaint about The Last of Us is that now i compare other games to it and im not impressed LOL

  • I liked the ending of Halo Reach. Considering the storyline where you know all of the Spartans other than the Master Chief die, being able to play until you drop was a really cool decision rather than relying on cinematics.

  • while I do think BoU is the best game on the last generation, its ending is not really the best out there. Happy ending? yes, but in an uncomfortable way.

    What about Bioshock Infinite?

  • METAL GEAR SOLID 4: GUNS OF THE PATRIOTS!!! That was an ending people. Epic, cheesy, strangely emotional. Especially:
    – crawling through the microwaves as the muscle suit slowly gave out on Old Snake;
    – fighting Liquid at the end with the throwback health bars;
    – Big Boss’ return.

    That game was all things epic, but the ending was so satisfying for the Metal Gear fan.

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