What Are The Games That Made You Cry?

What Are The Games That Made You Cry?
Image: Ruby Innes / Kotaku Australia

I know I talk a lot about crying over video games, but it’s only because it’s true.

I’ve always found myself getting overly emotional about certain video games. For a game to have the ability to trigger something in my psyche that makes me blubber like a baby, that’s truly something else.

There are quite a few that have had this effect on me. I would say the games that stick out the most would be:

  • Undertale – There’s a reason why this is one of my favourite games of all time. The characters in Undertale very quickly grow on you, especially if you do the True Pacifist route first as I did. Making the world right for these monsters who are also my besties made me emotional, and attempting to do a Genocide route later proved difficult when I encountered the consequences of my actions: the characters being horrifically sad and scarred by my actions. Even listening to the music makes me emotional.
  • Spiritfarer – OOF. This game hurt (in a good way). Spiritfarer is undeniably a beautiful story about helping others move on, and similarly to Undertale it makes you care about the characters that come on your boat. I cried very early on in this game and continued to do so every time I helped a new spirit.
  • Journey – This one was a tearful experience that I couldn’t even understand at that moment. I was weeping while the credits rolled and remember saying out loud, “I don’t know why I’m crying right now”. Journey is an undeniably beautiful game for many reasons, and is another one where I still get emotional listening to the soundtrack. Honking away to my mystery co-op partner to the very end… Sorry, thinking about it now is once again making me feel wistful.

I’m not one to think that my experiences are entirely unique, as there are over 7 billion people on planet Earth so surely someone has felt things the way I have. In saying that, I decided to go on the internet (as one does) and ask the Twitter public about what games left their mark on them, made them feel something, made them cry, or just left them thinking about it long after they were done.

As we know, I did a little something like this not too long ago, asking people what games they have the most playtime in. This post, on the other hand, comes from personal curiosity. While I love writing about video games, what I love even more is listening to others talk about their experiences with video games.

Different forms of media can have an effect on us in different ways, but video games feel a little bit different to me as the experience is interactive, so in a way you’re acting out the main characters’ possibly emotional experience, leading it to make you feel a similar way. I think it’s beautiful.

So it turns out, a fuckload of people cry over video games. I got a LOT of responses, so here are a few of them. You can check out all the responses here.

And now, I turn it over to you folks. Reading your experiences with the games that you play in the comments over the past few months has been awesome, and I value it more than you know.

I’d love to know now: What video game stuck with you? Made you feel something? Maybe even made you cry? Let me know!


  • For me it was two games

    Ghost dying in MW2 and the finale of Endwalker, particularly that final walk. FFXIV players will understand what I’m talking about.

      • Endwalker takes the knife, stabs you, stabs you several more times and then twists them all at once. As you progress, it just adds stabs. It is incredibly emotional, and yet, hopeful.

        I’m incredibly cynical and was like yeah, they’ll be back.

        Meanwhile, my tweet about Spec ops made it in. I seriously was messed up when I found out that you didn’t *have* to follow the options given in one scene and could shoot the sniper. It isn’t a game, it’s an experience and an awful one at that.

  • Mine is cliche but far from the twitch cliche.
    It was the death (more the laying to rest) of Aeris In FFVII.
    KH got me at the end too.
    Played a lot of emotional stuff since that have broken my heart but nothing that’s got me to tears that I can recall.

    There is something that absolutely rolled me in my adult years though that I often laugh about…it wasn’t a game though.
    I read One Piece at work and when I got to the infamous death of Merry I was hit pretty damn hard. (Shaken but not crying)
    My partner happened to call me and could tell something was wrong but thought I was a crazy person when I told her a boat had died.
    Some years later we got around to watching the anime and I had the opportunity for some revenge, believing prior knowledge and experience would mean I could hold it together while she lost it.
    As she ugly blubbered on the couch next to me I managed to stay composed…..right up till Merry spoke.
    The combination of the voice, music and her wailing beside me was a bit too much unfortunately.
    Afterward we both belly laughed for a good ten minutes and she finally conceded that she understood.

  • Ori and the Blind forest and it’s follow up, Will of the wisps.
    Absolutely gutted me at multiple points. The end of the second game was so tragically beautiful, I just cried.

  • Mordin in Mass Effect 3. That hit hard. And the fact you hear his song trail off…

    Also, I unashamedly choked up at Dom’s death in Gears of War 3. For such a meathead game, the fact it could pull of such an emotional scene was impressive.

  • No video game has made me “cry” yet, but there are some games where I have gotten teary eyed, and they really pulled at my heart strings (I don’t know if that’s “crying” or not, sorry).

    Anyway, I’ll try to minimize spoilers, but the games that jump out immediately off the top of my head, in no particular order:

    – Red Dead Redemption 2
    – Marvel’s Spider-Man
    – The Last of Us
    – Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
    – Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
    – Final Fantasy XV
    – Final Fantasy X
    – Mass Effect 3 (after playing the trilogy with all DLC back to back)

    There’s probably more, but I can’t think of ’em… from the current list above, if I had to select one to “take the cake”, it would probably be Marvel’s Spider-Man.

  • I don’t cry, but I can tell you what made me go ‘awww that sucks’

    Lufia 2 ending, where everyone was celebrating the bad guys defeat, and awaiting the heroes return so they could take part in the celebration, and it shows little cutscenes of all the towns you’ve been to, and characters whom have had their lives affected by the heroes efforts, and then it shows the main heroes’ baby being all cute and going gaga mama dada

    But yeah during all this, the main heroes’ are spirits watching all of this… Cause they’re dead, they died saving everyone, and nobody knows this, end credits

  • Max Payne 2.
    When Mona Sax is killed at the end, I sat there stunned. I actually wne t and played the game on its hardest level, because that ending is different to all the others.

    Cyberpunk: The Suicide Ending
    Going through the final act, and the subsequent video messages, plus an excellent soundtrack, really made it an emotional ending

    Modern Warfare 2
    The betrayal by Shepherd was a real gut punch.

  • First one?

    OG Final Fantasy VII – Aerith’s death. That absolutely ruined me. I hadn’t played Phantasy Star IV so the mere thought of them killing off the female lead like that was unthinkable.

    Over the years there have been many that have hit me hard, with Life is Strange’s ending, and various Cyberpunk 2077 endings right up there.

    But the greatest absolute heartbreaker that has me bawling my eyes out every time I even hear the music?

    Fate/Stay Night. Unlimited Bladeworks route with THE fight between Archer and Shirou in the mansion. Where despite all the abuse, all the insults, despite the agony of his body breaking apart and being beaten down, Shirou refuses to give up his dream, to prove to his future self that despite knowing all the pain, loss and betrayals that would come until the end of his days, that he would hold to the dream that truly was his, to be someone’s hero as Kiritsugu was his.

    Thats the reason why ‘I am the bone of my sword’ has such an impact.

    … even if that totally trash Heaven’s Feel route tries to ruin everything that makes UBW the best route. 😛

  • Bioshock infinite DLC.
    Elizabeth turning into ‘that’ then getting knocked off just so Kenny could tie it all together. I felt so utterly betrayed like it was all a waste.
    Oh wait, you mean the other type of crying.

    Uncharted 4. I Really thought they were gonna bump off Nate but when he got his happy ending instead.
    Last of us 1.
    When i replayed the Mass Effect trilogy.
    Spiderman when X dies.
    Actually….tbh…i cry a lot, so it doesnt take much.
    Just tug on some heart strings, maybe dealing with some parental figure or sacrifice for love, put on some sappy music and it probably got me.

  • To The Moon. A beautiful thing that everyone should experience. Sat for a good five minutes blubbing after the end.
    This was the one that showed me games can be art. It’s wonderful, and if you haven’t played it, you’re missing out.

  • Outer Wilds – Not because I was sad, not because I was happy, but rather because I was just feeling everything.

    Telltale’s The Walking Dead – Almost obligatory in these sort of lists, but here for a great reason. Probably still the best protagonist and non-protagonist relationship in any game in my opinion.

    Metal Gear Solid 3 – For a game that mostly was incredibly silly and full of ridiculous nonsense there was a particular scene at the end that absolutely got me.

    Half-Life: Alyx – This one surprised me, but the ending got to me in a way I didn’t think it would.

    Telltale’s The Walking Dead: The Final Season – Honestly this one just felt manipulative and almost entirely reliant on what attachment I had built to Clementine in the first game, but all the same it was effective.

    Undertale – Also pretty obligatory, but also here for good reason.

    Life is Strange – It got to me in a way few games have – so incredibly earnest that despite some lines falling ‘hella’ flat it still conjured up the intensity, feelings and headspace I remembered from being a teenager, along with the emotional weight that entailed.

    Mass Effect 3 – While not my favourite of the series it had some damn good moments and fantastic finishes to specific character arcs.

    I’m pretty sure I missed a bunch, I tend to cry pretty easily, though usually more so in films and TV than games.

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