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Top 5 Saddest Video Game Endings That We Experienced

Ah, what better way to spend your free time than by staring blankly at your TV screen, lamenting the fact that whatever outcome you choose, the video game ending is going to be a depressing one. Indeed, video games with a sad ending are becoming more and more common as the medium grows more mature, with studios like Naughty Dog and Telltale leading the charge.

And this is great, because sometimes, gamers just need to have a good cry. We’re all humans too, you know. Some of the saddest video games with highly depressing endings are still fun to play, and playing something with a little levity makes a nice change from the online FPS battlefield.

So, without further ado, let’s dive deep into spoiler-heavy territory, as we run down our top 5 saddest video games endings! Sadface.  Also, make sure to check out our most shocking video game deaths for some extra depression material…

  1. InFamous 2

character holding his dead friend

Genre: Action-Adventure
PlayStation 3
Buy From Amazon

InFamous 2 has multiple endings, but that doesn’t mean one of them is happy. Far from it. No, this time, both endings are equally as dire, offering up a double dose of extreme depression that made the prospect of any more InFamous not very enticing.

The saddest video game endings are the ones that work hard to undo all the effort we’ve put into the video game up until that point. And boy, did InFamous 2 deliver on that front. The ‘good’ ending has you brutally murdering all the other conduits (superpowered beings) in cold blood before biting the dust yourself. And the bad ending, living up to its title, asks you to kill your best friend and partner, Zeke Dunbar. Now that’s a bad day at the office.

  1. Far Cry 3

character with knife at female characters throat

Genre: Action-Adventure
 PC, PS3, Xbox360
Buy From Amazon

Before this third entry in the Far Cry series, the phrases ‘Far Cry’ and ‘emotional resonance’ went together as well as ‘Sony’ and ‘not delaying anything’. And yet, when Far Cry 3 rolled around in 2012, many were shocked at the many emotional nuances contained within the singleplayer campaign.

This extended to the ending, too. Or rather, the endings, as like InFamous 2, Far Cry 3 has a pair of equally distressing and final moments for you to enjoy. In one of them, you must kill your friends with a knife and make love to a complete stranger before being stabbed in the chest. In another, you can choose to free your friends, before said stranger is stabbed in the stomach for trying to protect you. Lovely.

Either way, your brother, Grant, is dead, and your travel insurance provider is not a happy bunny. In terms of the depressing video game endings, it’s more the ramifications of these moments that draw glumness from the player, as it’s hard to imagine any of the characters having any sort of reconciliation.

  1. Firewatch

helicopter pick up in firewatch

Genre: Adventure
 PC, PS4
Buy From G2A

It may have just come out, but that doesn’t stop it from tugging at those heart-strings. Or rather, snapping them in two. Firewatch pulled no punches with its emotional beats, and despite an ending that many agreed felt lackluster, it was hard to deny how sad it was.

Depressing video games endings are becoming something of a trend on HD consoles, and Firewatch followed it to a tee. Your protagonist, Henry, is working a summer job at the Shoshone National Park in order to escape from the worries of caring for his sick wife. While on the job, he meets another woman, Delilah, and come the end of the game, she all but rejects him, leaving Henry to return to his restrictive, domesticated adult life.

Firewatch possesses one of the most depressing video game endings on the PS4 not just because it could actually happen, but because it would be terrifying if it did.

  1. The Last of Us

Joel holding Ellie in a hospital

Genre: Action-Adventure
 PS3, PS4
Buy From Amazon

You probably suspected that this one was coming. It’s one of the most depressing video games in recent memory, with an equally depressing ending, yet there’s still a tiny glimmer of hope contained within the game’s closing scenes. It’s just a damn tease.

If you somehow haven’t played this gem yet, allow me to enlighten you. Your protagonist, Joel, is a survivor of a viral outbreak that’s turning people into zombies. After losing his daughter at the start of the game, Joel embarks on an adventure with his pseudo-daughter, a rebellious teen named Ellie. Ellie carries the ability to cure said viral outbreak, but to do so, she has to die. In short, Joel saves her from dying at the hands of several doctors, and lies to her face, telling her that she couldn’t save the world after all. Pfft, parents, right?

It was enough that humanity is doomed, but now innocent children are being lied to? Give us a break Naughty Dog! Also, did you really have to make us shoot all those doctors in the face? Couldn’t we have just picked Ellie up off the bed and walked out? Ultimately, all these small factors combined to give The Last Of Us one of the saddest video game endings money can buy. Now there’s an endorsement you won’t see on the Xbox.

  1. Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Season One

child with gun

Genre: Graphic-Adventure
PlayStation 3
Buy From G2A

Ah, Telltale. Was there really any doubt that you’d make this list of saddest video game endings? While they were known for creating less-than-stellar story driven experiences prior to 2012, they quickly came out with The Walking Dead, which one Game of the Year awards left, right and centre, mainly thanks to its engaging plot. This engagement ran all the way up until a painfully unhappy ending, which isn’t just the most depressing Telltale experience, it’s one of the most depressing video games ever, period.

Players had spent many hours building up the relationship between protagonist’s Lee and Clementine. Lee’s a hardened zombie-slaying apocalypse-veteran, but that doesn’t stop him from sustaining a fatal bite towards the end of the series. Weak, dying and out of options, Lee is chained to a radiator, and the game ends with Clementine putting him out of his misery, or with him dying slowly and peacefully. Probably responsible for the sale of more tissues than the ending of Titanic, The Walking Dead was a reminder of the strength of well-rounded characters and how finely story can complement gameplay. Clementine didn’t shoot Lee; you did – and it’s this that makes the ending an incredibly hard moment to swallow.

So, those are our picks for the saddest video game endings in video games! Remember; I play them so you don’t have to. Still, even though you know the outcome, all these games are still worth experiencing. After all, it’s the journey as much as it is the destination!

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