Video games have evolved exponentially as a storytelling medium. Through this, the endings to video games have become more and more emotional and grand. Endings are a controversial subject, as not everyone will ultimately agree with whether an ending is actually good or not. Some are good because of their emotional prowess while others are good simply because of their splendor. Regardless, pointing out the best video game endings is hard work. Here we give you eight of what we believe are the best video game endings of all time. Some are new, some are old, some are controversial, but all of them are relevant.

8. Ai The Somnium Files

Best Video Game Endings

AI The Somnium Files is one of the best games of 2019. The game is full of twists and turns and is by far one of the best games of this past year. The game consists of multiple routes and by the end, you’ll be scratching your head. Everything comes together in such precision and the final sequence is so emotional that it will bring tears to your eyes. There are hints dropped throughout the game, but, when it comes together, it is nothing short of perfection.

7. Final Fantasy XIII-2

Best Video Game Endings

Final Fantasy XIII-2 has one of the most bittersweet endings in all of video game history. The game’s final twist is both tragic and heartbreaking. It has all the makings of a tragedy. While not one of the most revolutionary games of all time, it improved on all of the flaws of Final Fantasy XIII and presented a game rife with exploration and a non-linear story. Serah is one of the strongest female protagonists in the Final Fantasy series to date and her fate is not only tragic, but drives the story in the final installment of the final entry in the Final Fantasy XIII saga.

6. The Last of Us

Best Video Game Endings

Regardless of whether you think The Last of Us is a masterpiece as a video game (I happen to think of it as more of an incredible experience), the story and ending are nothing but masterful. Regardless of a zombie-like apocalypse, it again is a story about people who are trying to live their lives. There is motivation for all of the characters’ actions; Joel, Tess, Ellie (one of the best female characters in gaming), Marlene. None of them are wrong per se, and that is the beauty of the story. The ending may have been a little predictable, although a little shocking, but that’s not the point; the execution was just that good.

5. Mass Effect 3

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This will be, by far, the most controversial video game ending listed here. Many view Mass Effect 3 as a series of choices that just leads up to one choice from three different colors. The reality though is much different. First off, the execution is excellent. Shepard’s story, his/her struggle, it’s done to perfection. I’ve never had a game make me feel like I was the main character like Mass Effect 3. There was such an intense level of immersion. Mass Effect 3 is all about the hard choices you have to make and the sacrifices that have to be made in order to save the galaxy. On a human level, it’s about dealing with loss and moving forward even when you’ve lost everything. If you look at it from that perspective, the ending isn’t that bad at all. In fact, it’s a masterpiece.

4. Gears of War 2

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Gears of War 2 is a very different kind of ending than the others listed here. Yes, it’s emotional in a sense — but utterly triumphant and grand. It’s like a summer blockbuster in the form of a video game. The ending sequence is simply that much fun to play. Yes, the game has emotion, but at the end of the day, it’s just a lot of fun. Isn’t that what a great video game should be?

3. The Walking Dead – A Telltale Game Series

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Telltale’s The Walking Dead is the heaviest game on this list. It hurts, it kicks you when you’re down, and it is downright relentless. Despite this though — and this is a common theme among these games, and stories in general — it is a story about people who are trying to live their lives and move forward, even though they’ve lost everything. It’s so emotional that by the end I was in tears. The Walking Dead is a great franchise, but Telltale’s iteration of the universe is better than the TV show and the comics. The characters are masterfully crafted and it ultimately culminates in the most emotional ending in video game history.

2. Mass Effect 2

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Mass Effect 2 is a very different kind of game than its predecessors. Instead of being a straight narrative, it’s about recruiting a team and going on a suicide mission. It is very much a character-driven narrative, and it’s done masterfully. The ending is one of the largest rushes of adrenaline in gaming history. There is nothing like the suicide mission. Despite that though, the choices you make, large and small, can culminate in your entire team’s death — including your own. The end sequence where Shepard is escaping, with Harbinger’s speech, is chilling yet empowering at the same time — until we see the millions of Reapers ready to descend on the Milky Way. Mass Effect 2 has one of the most unique endings in the gaming medium.

1. Ocarina of Time

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Ocarina of Time has a very bittersweet ending. After losing seven years of his life, Link regains his lost time and the infamous timeline split occurs. While the story itself is very simple, the music, the epic final battle, and everything else between is done to perfection. There’s a level of execution in Ocarina of Time that, simply put, isn’t present in other games. Granted it came out in ’98, the story is incredibly simple. It’s a timeless tale. The execution of that story is perfect though, and it is why the ending of the game is so incredibly powerful.

About The Author

Founder/Editor-in-Chief

Morgan Lewis is a Video Game Journalist and is the Founder, Owner, and Editor-in-Chief of VGCultureHQ. He has been writing about games for over six years and has written over 2,000 articles during that timespan. He first fell in love with gaming when he received A Link to the Past for Christmas when he was six and is the guywazeldatatt. He also loves anime and anything that has to do with gaming culture and Tetsuya Takahashi games. He is also a huge anime and Star Wars fan.

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