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.

Best Video Game Endings — 8. Zero Time Dilemma


Zero Time Dilemma is a fairly recent game, being released only three months ago. It is the final installment in Kotaru Uchikoshi’s epic Zero Escape saga. It is full of twists and turns, but at the end of the day, after all the time travel and quantum theory, is a story of people desperately trying to live their lives. The revelations are exasperating and the execution phenomenal. It wraps the series up perfectly while leaving some room open for more story if Uchikoshi so decides.

Best Video Game Endings — 7. Final Fantasy X

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Final Fantasy X has one of the most bittersweet endings in all of video game history. The game’s story twists the mind and makes you double think your sanity. It has all the makings of a tragedy. Final Fantasy X was one of the most revolutionary games of all time, being one of the first full-voiced games ever. It gave a full cinematic experience and did not disappoint. While the ending’s context is changed in the game’s sequel, Final Fantasy X has so many twists and turns that the ending ends up blowing our minds every time, even if there are hints about it all throughout the game.

Best Video Game Endings — 6. The Last of Us


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.

Best Video Game Endings — 5. Mass Effect 3


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 lost 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.

Best Video Game Endings — 4. Gears of War 2


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?

Best Video Game Endings — 3. The Walking Dead — A Telltale Game Series


Telltale’s The Walking Dead is the most heavy 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.

Best Video Game Endings — 2. Mass Effect 2


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.

Best Video Game Endings — 1. Ocarina of Time


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 game 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


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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