Tell Us Dammit: Favourite Game Endings

What are some of your favourite video game endings? I'm talking the tear jerkers, the insane, the intense. And not just the cinematics or any of that dull stuff, I'm talking entire sequences. What are some of your favourites?

Recently I read a discussion of favourite game endings in the last generation of console/PC games and it got me thinking of a few.

The one that immediately sprung to mind was Mass Effect 2. The suicide mission, the build-up, the team dynamic, the whole Dirty Dozen theme. It's probably as good an execution as I've ever seen in a video game in terms of high stakes and the execution of those stakes. Absolutely incredible. Shame Mass Effect 3 truly couldn't live up to that game.

I thought Halo: Reach had an incredible ending. Very innovative in its thinking, having the player literally fight to the death. I loved that. I loved that my hands never left the controller once. I always thought Halo: Reach was a very underrated game.

Maybe my favourite ending, though, is Journey. I don't think an ending has every brought such a bleary eyed, vibrant sense of joy. And then walking towards the light. Unreal.

Now you go!



      Seriously? The topic is favorite video game endings and you don't think they'll talk about video game endings?

      What do they teach kids these days?

        It was just a warning to be considerate of people who might not have played all the games being discussed. For those who want to remain considerate, there are alternatives to remaining silent: for example.

    By an extraordinarily long way...

    Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.
    Spec Ops: The Line probably comes second.

    Won't be spoiling either with details.

    Last edited 15/05/14 11:19 am

      Depends on which Spec Ops ending you took.

        Personally I didn't like the "early" ending. It really comes off as the good ending when really it's the easy one.

        Starting with the last gunfight, I consider the whole last section as the ending. Almost all the final scenes were pretty good denouements.

        Just as I consider the final 95 minute cinematic in MGS3 to be the ending :P

          Are you serious about 95 mins? So I get a game AND a movie?

            I don't recall puhzactly, but I'm pretty sure I'm exaggerating. It was certainly > 45 minutes though.

            After researching, I guess it's not 90 minutes, as MGS4 holds the Guinness World Record for 71 minutes :P

              That's still long enough to be a movie, damn. I thought people were exaggerating 6-8 minute long cutscenes. :P

                One does not simply exaggerate Metal Gear cut scene lengths

    *dishonored spoilers*
    Dishonored with medium notoriety. The guy is holding the girl you've been trying to save on the top of a lighthouse. he says "don't come any closer or I'll jump and take her with me". you wait. nothing happens. you go closer. he jumps. Fantastic.

      Note to anyone that wants to write spoilery stuff, but don't want to spoil it for others, because spoiler tags don't friggin' work. Go here.

    Persona 3 (damn that song makes me teary eyed)
    Final Fantasy Tactics (dat post credit scene)

    Final Fantasy VI

    Every character got their moment to shine, and that music, my gawwwd...

    Journey, Portal, Portal 2 - those are the ones that stick in my mind as having extraordinarily good endings.

    Edit: I'll also add Braid to the list. That ending was a wonderful realisation unfolding. All short games it seems.

    Last edited 15/05/14 11:46 am

      Portal 2 especially when I realised what I had to do and why I had to do it I laughed out loud - the ending had been telegraphed through the whole game.

      Journey's ending (for me) is the final stage that recaps all of the previous ones.

      A little while ago, I played the game once a day for a week. That final section is still amazing every single time you do it.

    The ending of Silent HIll Shattered Memories had a big impact on me. For about 3 hours afterward I was complaining how cliche it all was and how it detracted from the entire game. Then all of a sudden I realised, I am not angry at all.....this was genius!!!

    The original Deus Ex. Each ending was pretty damn amazing. There's a few moments in each that send chills down my spine.

    Mass Effect 3. The original ending. I don't care what you say. It was brilliant.

    It was an excellent ending that fit the themes perfectly and implied a much larger universe than what we saw in the story. It was emotionally satisfying and didn't feel the need to pander to people or spell everything out. Until the patch, that is.

      Mass Effect was always great in implying that the universe was moving on without the player. You could even say the theme of the franchise is that humanity is irrelevant.

      Probably why people had a problem with the ending as they expect the world to revolve around them.

        I didn't really have a problem with the ending, but I don't think the game was as good as Mass Effect 2.

        I just felt that game to be perfection, 3 was like good DLC. You play it, but it doesn't move it forward.

        When they gave Edie the sexy robot body, I thought they'd jumped the shark. And that happened in the first mission.

          I thought 2 was the worst of the lot.

          Mass Effect was a really interesting take on CRPGs and despite some menu issues, was a great game. 2 dropped practically all of that for waist high-wall shootman action gaming. It played like Gears of War. I understand why they wanted to open it up to a wider audience by streamlining the (frankly overly heavy) RPG elements, but they really stripped a lot of the uniqueness out of it. I found that three was a fantastic balance between the two.

            I can see why you'd say that and at first play I thought the same. But then the system grew on me, I didn't think it was simplified, I found it refined. For me it was more about the story than the gameplay. I was invested in the characters.

            Whereas in 3 I thought the story took a huge step down in quality and they made it a straight action game. Sure there were more weapons and armours, which is always cool, but in 2 playthroughs I still pretty much end up with the same load out every time.

            But horses for courses. I respect your opinion and understand why you feel that way. But for me, ME2 was a shining star of amazing. 3 was just ok.

          ME2 was the only game i ever got 100% achievements for. i started an insane replay basically the second the credits finished.

          that intro was fantastic, id say it has both the best start and finish

            That's why I think I liked it so much, the beginning and end were so tightly done.

            I did the same. Started a reply straight away. I've probably played through the game at least 4 times.

      Yes! Let them tar and feather us alive. I enjoyed it. What it represented to me is that existence is about experiencing the journey. It's about building those relationships. It's about friends. It's about finding something in life you're good at and doing it.

      Because inevitably, no matter what choices you make in life, the end is always the same.

      I asked the writers when I caught up with them last year and they wouldn't confirm anything. They said that they wanted people to get their own interpretations out of the game. Which is what I did and why I enjoyed it.

      I enjoyed the Mass Effect 3 ending except for everything coming down to what amounted to a button press to choose the end. Same problem I had with Deus Ex Human Revolution now that I think of it.

      The only real problem I have with ME3's ending is that ME4 will have to make one of the choices canonical and build the story from there, that or retcon the entire ending of 3 as Shep hallucinating from reaper influence or something.

        To be fair, that was exactly the same with Deus Ex 1 as well. All came down to a button.

      Well, you're welcome to your opinion, but I would contend that ME3's ending screwed the pooch and destroyed what could have been held up as "the game series" by which others should be measured. Unfortunately it had to be "arty" and just crapped on the whole thing. Even the alternate endings didn't do anything except spell out things that I'd already determined (and retcon "oh, whoops, we didn't think that would be interpreted that way" stupidities).

      ME1 I finished with devastation followed by relief and ME2 had me yelling and cheering at my television. ME3 left me wondering why I was watching a story combining Battlestar Galactica and Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

      Other notable mentions:
      Red Dead Redemption (just amazing)
      Baldur's Gate series (giving excellent closure to an excellent series)
      Just Cause 2 (For sheer ridiculousness)
      Saints Row 3 (Bonnie Tyler Holding Out For A Hero Epic ending)

      Last edited 15/05/14 5:08 pm

    Ocarina Of Time, I remember feeling so happy and fulfilled when I finished it. A feeling which hasn't been replicated by many games since.

    Probably Ghostbusters on the NES.

    Very fulfilling.

      Nah, the bad ending to Friday the 13th is better. Particularly the AVGN interpretation.

    I particularly enjoyed telefragging Shub-Niggurath to finish Quake.

    (And the ending to Braid was excellent.)

    [Beating FTL for the first time is immensely satisfying too. Highly recommended.]

    I was enjoying the Last of Us a fair amount.

    That ending propelled it from "really good" to "great"

    Also, the Bioshock Infinite ending was incredibly interesting.

      +1 for The Last of Us. The game that really made me feel that games have well and truly 'grown up' story-wise. Very powerful stuff.

    Red Dead Redemption
    The walking dead - oh the tears.

    biggest let down, Resistance 3.

      Man, Red Dead Redemption...
      Definitely worth plunging on ahead until you get that 'REDEMPTION' slapped over your screen, but damn if that wasn't bittersweet.

      I didn't even WANT to go about cleaning up my unfinished collection/achievement things after that point. :P

        Bittersweet. Exactly. What a fantastic western.


        Betrayal, revenge, continuing the cycle of violence and trying to find justification for it. Killing the man who killed your father should make everything feel finished and fulfilling. But it was just kind of empty. The realisation that revenge isn't all it's cracked up to be.

        Definitely bittersweet, all my feels were taken out on hordes of zombies following the DLC.

    Another World was the first game ending that made me feel emotions.

    Donkey Kong Country was like finishing a great book, just wanted to read it again.

    last of us. Of course. Like it or hate it, very, very strong ending to a great story.

    The ending to Halo: Reach is great for the same reason why Egoraptor explains the fight with Vile is great in his Megaman X review. It happens directly to you, the player. It doesn't end until you actually die. Most games would be scripted as they can't even trust the player to die.

    MGS3 had a great ending, as the truth finally seeks in to show how a soldier can truly sacrifice themselves.

    and tomorrow where going to be asked what's our favourite videogame introduction.

      what's our favourite videogame introduction.
      Hi! My name's Guybrush Threepwood, and I want to be a pirate!

    Max payne 2.

      Which ending ;-)

      But yes, totally agree! Absolutely FANTASTIC narrative and ending

    Probably the ending to MGS4 (epic fight hand to hand), closely followed by MGS3 (or possibly the other way around!!!)

    was really impressed with the ending of The Last of Us also.

    Portal 1 & 2, probably.

    I'll be glad when we finally finish Halo ODST. Fuck that dark game.

      ...uh, what? ODST is dark?

        Yes. It's a very dark game, minimal lights, and the lighting is very poor so it doesn't spread around the world. Perhaps it's because I've installed the game - someone running off disc said they never got that problem.

          Too dark? If anything it needs to be even MORE dark!

          Are you using the nightvision helmet?

            Yes. There's literally problems with the lighting in the graphics engine. Like a streetlamp will illuminate maybe 2m radius on the ground, that's it. Everything is dark as fuck. Nightvision thing isn't even night vision by the way, it just lights up the edges of everything, meaning it's hard to judge depth. My install must be screwed.

              I installed the game and I didn't notice any problems.

              I actually like the nightvision in the game. Nightvision usually has a problem in games in which the game isn't dark enough to be used that often, or it's too useful to the point that any light source makes you blind.
              It also gives it a Deus Ex cyberpunk feel to it.

              Honestly it's probably my favourite Halo campaign and I'm always up to play it. A shame that nobody else wants to play the game anymore >:

                I think we even had this discussion in a TAY with @stickman many months ago, and I hadn't noticed any extreme darkness either. I'm REALLY thinking there's something wrong with either xbox, TV, game CD, or... god I don't know.

              I agree the game was very dark, like next to the corridors in ODST, Dark Souls is brightly lit!

                So we both have a 'glitch'? I dunno. To me, the game is so dark that it's pretty much either inherently broken or has to be a glitch. It's not brightness, it's an actual absence of light lol.

                You might want to check my comment to stickman below as well, may not be the problem but you never know

              Curious question, do you happen to be using a Panasonic LCD TV?

              I was running one of those as my console gaming display for a few months until I noticed it's tendency to try and dynamically darkify the darkosity for extra darkitude which had a serious tendency to make games where darkness was a feature look like they had stupidly low contrast. As in anything beyond a certain RGB value and taking up a certain percentage of the screen space was rendered as pure black so you could have a corridor with shadows and a decent amount of light, turn ever so slightly away from the light and because of that darkplification bullshit, it detected the light level in the scene was below the threshold and the very same floor textures that were light concrete grey are now dark gunmetal and the light shadows are now blacker than a coal miner's arse. I seem to recall ODST was one of the many games that were a fuck of a lot more playable once I swapped my bedroom & lounge room TVs.

              Even if you don't have a Panasonic, it might be worth testing to see if your TV does something similar, it's probably not unique to Panasonic. Find a place where light leads into darkness (literally rather than figuratively), point at the light area and slowly turn towards the dark watching the floor or wall textures & see if they suddenly darken.

                Panasonic LCD, LG LCD, havent tested on the Pana plasma. They were using game mode which turns off such dynamic settings. Kinda sounds like localised backlight dimming in your example.

                But, cheers for the info, I will definitely play with all settings on the plasma when I play it next. I have a feeling that Halo ODST doesn't output the full RGB spectrum, limited only, which would explain these problems somewhat.

                  To be honest, I never noticed a difference in the game mode on my Panasonic, it sill seemed to do the same crap. I've not used an LG though so I don't know if they do the same thing, my other one is a Toshiba and definitely doesn't do it

    So hard picking favourites....
    I really liked the ending to Infamous 1, whether you went "good" or "evil" Karma, loved the twist.
    Red Dead Redemption was great, I couldn't stop thinking about it for a long time.
    The Last of Us of course.

    Duke Nukem Forever.

    Not for the actual content of the ending, just the fact that it was over.

    Spec Ops the Line (obvious spoilers below)

    You start the game as a gung-ho soldier and end up questioning all the things you have done to get to the end of the game. It made me even question why I was evening finishing this game. It was a great commentary on current shooter/war games. It's 8 bucks on steam at the moment, go get it.

    Ahhh too many! Shadow of the colossus... FF 8/9... Ocarina of Time... Silent Hill 2... lots of great ending sequences for various reasons. For all it's faults, Ni No Kuni still had an incredibly touching ending too.

    OH! And the end fight to Wind Waker was such a great experience, loved the drama of the setting and the events surrounding it, felt so great.

    OHOH! Full Throttle! What an ending sequence, my gosh

    Last edited 15/05/14 11:50 am

    Metal Gear Solid 4, by far.
    After growing up with Snake and it being so close to me, I literally balled with tears with that ending. It seemed so final!
    Anyone who has finished would know what I'm talking about.

      Amen to that, I got all soppy. That MGS music, good lord its a tear jerker.

      Last Of Us, naturally.

      One ending I HATED was Bioshock Infinite. Was so predictable and just bleh, felt like a cop out almost.

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