Published on February 14th, 2012 | by Ryan0
Top 50 Greatest Video Game Endings Of All Time
Beyond The Call Of Duty
In response to the… um, interesting Guinness World Record list of top 50 game endings, I was compelled to create my own list of what I feel are the greatest video game endings ever. The endings on this list vary greatly in tone and presentation. The modern games have lavish, movie-like production, while games from the 8-bit era may only be a few static screens and some text. Whether incredibly moving, humorous, shocking, or just plain bizarre, each ending selected for this list is definitely memorable to me in its own way.
A quick comment before we begin: obviously this list is flawed. It is comprised solely of my opinions and is by no means meant to be a definitive statement on the subject. In my 29 years, I’ve finished a lot of games, but not everything, and as a result, many games (and entire genres) are absent from the list.
Finally, thanks to Chris and Kevin for your input and suggestions. I would have totally forgotten Cyber-Lip and Bad Dudes if it wasn’t for you Two Crude Dudes.
50. The Conduit 2 (Wii)
37. Bad Dudes (NES)
34. Bayonetta (360)
33. Mega Man 3 (NES)
18. Doom (PC)
10. Final Fantasy VIII (PC, PS1) – Despite the story in the game being a bit of a mess, FFVIII’s ending is incredibly satisfying. The excellent use of music and some of the most beautiful CG of the time combine to make this ending quite memorable.
9. Jet Set Radio Future (Xbox) – This borderline anarchic ending encourages players to turn off the TV and take to resisting any and all authority. The last moments of the ending even hint at a sequel, which sadly will likely never come.
8. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PS3) – An ending longer than many feature-length films, MGS4′s ending contains more plot and twists than most games in their entirety. It’s a lot to take in and somewhat exhausting, but wraps up nearly all of the series’ dangling plot points in a surprising and satisfying manner, which is no small feat for a series as complicated as Metal Gear.
7. Super Metroid (SNES) – The surprising and touching ending really begins during the last battle, and represents some of the medium’s best visual storytelling.
6. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories – Love Lost Ending (Wii/PS2/PSP) - I still remember my stomach dropping when the twist of the game hit, and thinking about it for days afterwards. Absolutely brilliant stuff.
5. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Game Boy) – Despite the primitive hardware, this bittersweet ending still packs a significant emotional punch.
4. Chrono Trigger – Developer ending (SNES) - The coolest of 13(!), this ending allows the player to walk around and chat with members of the Dream Team that created this RPG masterpiece.
3. Final Fantasy IX (PS1) – Classy and theatrical (literally), this is the high point of storytelling in the Final Fantasy series.
2. Metroid (NES) – It’s impossible to overstate how shocking and revolutionary this ending was at the time. In the mid 80s, human protagonists in games were simply always male (that is if the game even had a human protagonist). Naturally, players assumed that the entire time they were controlling Samus that it was a dude under that suit, but completing the game in under five hours revealed that Samus was actually a woman. Far from a mere twist, this reveal not only changed players’ perceptions of the game, but of the medium in general.
1. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2) – Utterly heartbreaking without being overly sentimental or emotionally manipulative, the end of Metal Gear Solid 3 adds an unforgettable layer of depth to Big Boss, the antagonist of the original 8-bit Metal Gear. Expertly crafted and packed with plot, heart, sincerity, and subtext, the ending of MGS 3 is simply the most profound ending to a game that I have ever experienced; a true reward for the journey.