My favorite video game endings. Players who haven't yet but plan one day to finish Full Throttle, No More Heroes, F.E.A.R., The Darkness, Metal Gear Solid 3, God Hand, or Fallout may want to selectively avoid certain entries below.

Full Throttle

The inevitability and melancholy of the final scene are incredibly heart-breaking. Sam & Max Hit the Road receives a runner-up prize for its enviro-revisionist fantasy and wonderful credits sequence/shooting gallery.

No More Heroes

The ending matches the tone of the preceding game perfectly, spinning out into a wildly absurd and epically silly finale.


The sheer, deafening power of the shockwave is capped off by a perfectly-timed surprise which left the hugest grin on my face as the credits rolled.

The Darkness

The sorrow and longing of parting with a loved one have seldom been conveyed so simply, sadly and beautifully, especially in a video game. The ending to The Darkness pulled a tear out of me. They could have shown Jackie being tormented in hell, but rolling credits at the last moment he'll ever see Jenny carries so much more emotional resonance. Wake up.

Metal Gear Solid 3

While predictably long-winded and statically filmic, the ending to MGS3 cinched up all The Boss's underlying themes and motivations in a moving way, cementing her as one of my all-time favorite video game characters.

God Hand

Much like NMH, the end credits of God Hand are hilarious and gleefully ridiculous in a way that perfectly tops off the wild experience of the preceding game.


Another terribly melancholy, downtrodden ending. After saving the people of Vault 13, the player is exiled to the wastes for his trouble, an outcast and wanderer with no home. Seeing the results of your decisions upon the fate of various locations you've visited lends impact to the preceding journey. It's a shame this video capture contains the branch where you kill the Overseer; I much prefer simply turning and walking away, shouldering your burden as you step out again into the sunlight.

Depressing video game endings rule.


Duncan said...

Nice choices. Completely agree about depressing endings, it's not even a contest (although the FEAR ending distinguishes itself in my mind for the total visual spectacle over anything else.) Some of my favourite endings -- ICO, Torment, Sands of Time -- all withhold something from the player character.

Steve gaynor said...

True, Sands of Time has an outstanding ending as I recall. Here we go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyjbC-PMKTg