What's Your Favourite Game Ending?

I finally finished Persona 5. It took us about 90 hours (I played with my wife) but it was worth every minute.

Each of the characters had a compelling arc and I felt their friendship get closer with every palace infiltration. The climactic reveal in Shibuya had me cheering for them. The music was brilliant and catchy. I felt sad when the game was over, but loved their final journey, drawn as an anime cutscene.

There's so many games that have great endings. They serve as a final reward, a payoff for the epic (or not so epic) struggle. Not every plot point needs to be resolved, as in one of my favourites of the 16-bit era, Phantasy Star II.

The twist ending was completely unexpected and all these years later, still has me reeling at its implications. Chrono Trigger, with its multiple endings, was no slouch either, and some of the alternate timelines were as trippy as they were cool. Mass Effect 2 was one of the best games I've played with an equally strong ending.

More recently, Nier: Automata's three endings that included one of the best credit sequences ever had me riveted with each twisted revelation.

Silent Hill 2 as well as Silent Hill: Shattered Memories both dived deep into the psyche of their protagonist's and gave endings that were as disturbing as they were revelatory (the UFO endings were fun too). Any time I finish a Dragon Quest, I feel a sense of joy at finally having conquered a hundred hours of gameplay.

I've written before about how much Terragnima's bittersweet ending affected me and had me thinking about the future, humanity, and the nature of the universe itself. Both the first Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite's ending made my jaw drop in amazement.

Some endings can go completely against expectations, as with Red Dead Redemption. Others culminate in a character moment that resonates far beyond the moment, like in The Last of Us and Batman: Arkham City. Some leave us wanting more, as with Half-Life 2.

I could go on and on. But instead, I'll turn it over to all of you: What is your favourite game ending?


Comments

    Final Fantasy IX stands out for me. Just a great ending to a great story.

    Chrono Trigger with its multiple endings too. Love that game.

    I loved the end of The Last Of Us. Not just narratively, but also because they resisted the urge to cram in some kind of cliche final boss battle that would not have fit at all.

    Also the end of Journey, with all that joyous flying and swooping about, then walking into the light with your companion.

    Loved the end of Metal Gear Solid 3, too - both the fight and the final cutscene.

      All awesome choices. If anyone doesn't love what The Last of Us did with its narrative and ending I'd love to hear a good explanation as to why.

    Nier for it's True Ending, the finality of it really hit home. Final Fantasy 8 was my "first" FF and has a special place in my heart, and the ending credits was a great touch for me. The Last of Us had a great emotional ending too. Chrono Trigger, as good as the game and story is, the ending wasn't as memorable as the journey itself.

    Mass Effect 1 was so good I sat through the whole credits simply in awe - and then immediately started a new character. Sure the final boss fight was a bit naff but the space ship battle over the Citadel was simply amazing.

    Halo CE was memorable as well, mainly because of the way it panned out in co-op. With me flipping the Warthog and my brother legging it for the ship and getting aboard with 0.01s left on the clock

      My first complete playthrough of Halo CE was with a mate too and the ending with the final dash was just perfect.

    Would have to agree on Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, as one of my favourites.

    At first I thought it was lame but as I thought back everything kinda clicked in a clever and satisfying way and within about half an hour I was declaring it brilliant.

    Drakengard 3 had a really great last chapter and it's also the only game to make me cry. (And probably not for the part you think) I was really hoping Nier: Automata could get to those levels too but I found its ending disappointing. Witch and the Hundred Knight's True Ending was also something I really "liked" because it dared to be different and took the story to its natural conclusion.

    The "In Water" ending for Silent Hill 2 was wonderful, tragic and depressing.

    I loved it.

    Mass Effect 2 is high on my list. Shout outs to Loom, Night in the Woods and GTA5.

    F.E.A.R that moment when you think its all good and Alma horror tropes the fuck out of you.

    God of war 2018 is a recent one.

    Also enjoyed uncharted 4 ending, as well as the last of us.

    Halo 3 final mission was amazing.

      While I loved Halo 3 the ending felt like a bit of a rehash of 1 with the Warthog drive. I felt it went for a bit too long as well and didn't make as much sense as the Pillar of Autumn exploding. The music though.. so good

      I also personally liked Halo 3's ending for his bittersweet it was, that post-credits scene with Chief and Cortana was absolutely stunning and a full circle as Chief started Haclo CE coming out of cryo and finished Halo 3 going back into cryo

    MGS1. The final battle, coupled with The Best of Yet to Come during the credits.

    Utterly spine tingling.

    Monkey Island 2. The whole flip to it just being a boy's fantasy while in the amusement park was fantastic. Or it was all Guybrush's dream after hitting his head when falling down the hole? Or hallucinating from a curse?
    Love that game so much.

    INSIDE and Soma endings both stuck with me long after putting down the controller.

      there needs to be a Soma movie

        I'd watch the heck out of that. Picks for director? I'd like to see a Duncan Jones or Alex Garland take on it, personally.

          Alex Garland!! I don't think SOMA needs to be a movie, I think so much of its success comes from the fact that you are embodying the protagonist, but at the same time, I would love to see what Alex Garland would do with it...

            True. I’m trying to remember back to the finer details of the plot..

            Would actually seeing the main character give away the central twist before it’s time? It’s a shock moment when you realise that your consciousness has been copied to another body without your knowledge right?

              That element it's even what I was thinking of - I think you could get around that, but more -
              The perspective switches when you copy Simon into a new body for the first time, and the ending. In film, cuts are made constantly to show you what's happening in the world. In a first person game, you are alway in the perspective of this character, so when your perspective moves from one to the other, it's really notable. The theme of 'winning the coin flip' and getting to be the Simon that goes on is *so effective* because you have this continuity of I was that simon there, and now I'm this simon here.

              It's also why it was such an incredible relief at the very end to see the simon and catherine who were copied onto the ark, because previously you've never left the perspective of the Simon you've been playing, and you don't know if you'll find out if your copy made it, and if the game is just going to end with you alone at the bottom of the sea.

    I actually liked the ending of Mass Effect 3. Yeah I know, you only get three choices etc etc etc. But I liked the explanation of what the Reapers were about and the discussion about whether or not organic and synthetic life could live together. The Mass Effect series has some of my favourite sci-fi writing in it and I generally see the three games as one long story, so the ending of 3 is the ending of the whole arc.

    The ending of The Witcher 3 is another one I really enjoyed.

      On the citadel shooting cans with Garrus before the end of ME3 is the single best piece of video game writing ever.

    Final Fantasy X had such a great ending! The fnal scene was amazing & sad also.

    Last edited 05/07/18 12:07 pm

    Halo Reach with its unavoidable ending was awesome.
    Guitar Hero 3 'Through the Fire and Flames' was a great bonus too.

      I love Reach's ending. I don't know how many times, how MANY times I played it thinking "I can get further... I can get further.." then *click* I'm out of ammo and... done.

      Yeah the Guitar Hero 3 one was awesome, such a great face melting song to finish on. Lucky no fail was enabled...

    It's funny, even though I'm an avid gamer and have been gaming my entire life, I always struggle to come up with anything when asked these sort of questions (favourite game, best gaming moment, best game ending...). Maybe I just don't get overly emotionally connected?

    That being said, my most favourite game of the last few years (and probably top 3 of all time) was The Witcher 3. While the ending was reasonably good (I got the Ciri ending), I was left with more questions than anwers. Where are Triss & Yen and what are they doing? Kaer Morhen is now a ghost town, what's become of Lambert & Eskel?

    Maybe my issue is that I never want the truly great games to end, therefore I always feel slightly disappointed when they are over.

      Play Blood and Wine. You get a few more answers to those questions. It's also just excellent

        Just finished my first playthrough of Witcher 3 two days ago. Late the party but thank God I showed up.

        About to start Blood and Wine now - glad these questions will be touched on in the expansion.

      Same problem with these questions! I've been a gan of games for years but struggle to think of favorites when the questions arises. I guess I'm not a true super gan of games.

      (I got the Ciri ending too and it made me happy because I don't finish a lot of games.)

    I don't get to see a lot of endings. But some of them definitely stick with me. Usually for their last-second twists that make sense but were nonetheless a surprise, or reveal lore details that put so much of the adventure - just had - in context. Things that were poweful, emotionally, which I may not necessarily have agreed with or wanted, but could understand. Some were just pure, raw, unadulterated catharsis.

    Last of Us. God of War. Spec Ops: The Line. Witcher 3. Crono Trigger. Portal 2. Nier: Automata. Mass Effect. Black Flag. Bioshock Infinite. Bastion. The Walking Dead (Telltale). CoD4:MW2. Dragon Age 2. Firewatch. Halo 4. Hitman: Blood Money. Kane & Lynch. Max Payne 3. Lifeline. Banner Saga. Undertale.

    Then you've got the games whose endings were let-downs, and whose 'real' endings - or real emotional twists/payoffs - were somewhere towards the end, and the rest of the game was just... resolution of the revelation. Eg: Bioshock 1, System Shock 2, Deadspace, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Doom, Wolfenstein, Fallout 4, Nier 1, Far Cry 3, Braid, FF6-8, Fable 3, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Red Dead Redemption, Sleeping Dogs...

    So many more, though, just 'ended'. "Congratulations: You have finished the game," was the norm for decades. You killed the big bad, rescued the kingdom, whatever. More recently, "We can't actually finish the game, because it's open world and you still need to be able to finish the sidequests/play with online people/resolve the game in DLC."

    In this category... too many to count. Even good games have a habit of shit endings. And it's going to get worse. Much worse. God forbid a successful resolution keep players from continuing to engage with the game as a live fucking service.

    Prepare to see so many more The Division / Destiny style endings, "You've beaten all the story content we have for you, but your journey is just beginning, Agent/Operative/Guardian/Commander/[Generic fucking title because you don't actually have a unique character, just one player avatar amongst millions]."

      Well said. All of it.

      But especially that last para.

    Under a Killing Moon - A Tex Murphy Adventure

      Woah, that takes me back. How sweet was that ray tracing?!

    MGS3. Nothing else even comes close, despite the over long cutscenes, frequently flat out terrible dialogue and, well, being an MGS title, it has the perfect ending to a damn good game.

    I actually wasn't much of a fan of a lot of the endings mentioned here (I thought the HL2 ending was one of the worst let downs I've ever played through, a cheap nod to the first's ending without understanding why it worked so well the first time around and why it couldn't work as well the second time. Speaking of which HL had a great ending. Mass Effect 2 has an amazing gameplay sequence but narratively it is the worst ending from the three games imo and is pretty overrated. Also the human reaper was probably the single most boring fight in the whole trilogy both mechanically and artistically. Good music though. I do agree with ME1 though, by far the best ending in the trilogy in my eyes, cheesy as hell and just owning it) I personally think they aren't that important though.

    Everyone told me the ending (by which they meant the twist, not the actually awful boss fight) of Bioshock made it one of the best games ever made, but it remains one of my least favourite for the gameplay and I regret sticking with it to get to that 'amazing' ending. ME3 has a damn weak ending, not awful thematically, but in execution it failed to be triumphantly cheesy as in the first, satisfying ludologically as in the second and made a mistake that never fails to annoy me - trying to convey narrative weight through slow movement. Despite that ending ME3 as a whole is goddamn amazing, take out Kai Leng and those turret segments and you've got a near perfect title outside of those last 20 minutes of dull gameplay.

    It's too hard for me to pick a fav, but my least fav recent game ending is A Way Out. I just put down the controller and let what happened happen in disgust. Refused to take part in that...

      Why disgust? Can you elaborate?

        Without spoilers, did not like what both characters are forced to do. Its the main reason i struggle with games in that vein (telltale etc) where you don't actually get a choice about how things turn out.

        I freaking loved the game right up until the end.

          Do you not like what they were forced to do because it was a bad storyline or did you not like what they were forced to do because you didn't want to fail?

          The game was never about determining their fates, it was about helping them get there. You can decide the little things that affect plot, but their story was set from the start.

          Video games have taught us forever to think like completionists. Death is the punishment for failure. We want an option that lets us save everyone and get everything because of ego. We want to steal victory from the jaws of defeat when most people can't or won't because that validates our ideas about ourselves.

          But now that the lines between film and game are becoming increasingly blurry, we need to relinquish some of that control, some of that ego, to experience far more thought-provoking ideas and stories. In my opinion, it's completely worth it. A game like The Last of Us would have been crippled by player choice. A game that lets you create a character becomes like a children's book, because it can't easily account for your choice and needs to tell simplistic stories that will accommodate all those variables.

          Be realistic about the kinds of games you are playing and you'll be free to enjoy them for what they are instead of what you want them to be.

            To be honest, i just didnt like the outcome,
            the forced betrayal.
            I would have been fine with the ending if they took control away from me and did it in a cur scene, but i didn't like being forced to do it myself.

            Last edited 06/07/18 2:42 pm

    Witcher 3: Blood and Wine and Hearts of Stone both had fantastic endings that I preferred to the main game's. Probably my favourite DLC of all time.

    Bioshock and Infinite both had brilliant endings - barring iffy boss battles/combat sequences. Infinite's ending basically saved the game for me (not that I hated it, just a little disappointed).

    FFXV had a pretty good ending in the new version.

    I also like Mass Effect 3's ending. It wasn't very cinematic, but choosing between the 3 paths mattered to me because of all the time I'd spent in the trilogy and I thought about it for a long, looong time. The bits leading up to it left something to be desired though.

    Worst ending: MGSV. Did not like that at all.

      Worst ending: MGSV. Did not like that at all.

      Oh great, I'm just playing through it now.

      It hands down has the worst opening mission I've EVER played, I hated everything about it. So maybe it has the aweful ending to go with the intro. Good thing the missions in between have so far been pretty good.

        Tried to play MGSV without having played the previous games. So many custscenes that make zero sense, 5 seconds of gameplay and then another 30 minutes of cutscene. Did not play after that

          Eh, MGSV doesn't make any sense if you have played others either. MGS and MGS 3 are some of my all time favourite games, but the story in V is so weak, the stealth far less compelling and the balance between humour and narrative the earlier titles had is just gone.

          It's a great open world title if that's what you're looking for, but as an MGS game I hated it. I'd recommend picking up MGS 3 (the updated 'subsistence' version) if you get the chance, the narrative is at its most coherent and the gameplay is in my eyes perfect. You'll still get 30 minute cutscenes, but they're actually enjoyable and Snake isn't just a basically silent character as in MGS V, but one of the most enjoyable members of an already ridiculous cast, trading quips and jokes over the codec, the polar opposite of the wooden plank you have for a main character in MGS V.

          MGS V tried to be this dramatic link between all of the other titles and Kojima's writing chops were always iffy, it just couldn't live up to its ambition.

      That's because it didn't actually end. They just shoehorned the twist in and then left you to your own devices.

    Portal, Portal 2 was good but can never equal Portals ending.

    For my money, as a comment on storytelling, Bioshock Infinite's ending is better than Bioshock 1's turn.

    Brothers' ending is still the most successful ending to communicate emotion through gameplay.

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