The Walking Dead has been a pretty good one now.
If Metal Gear Solid 4 hadn't crapped it up with their cheezy ending it would have been a good contender.
Rockstar does it best though I believe. I think Red Dead really achieved that with its ending, especially *SPOILERS* how Jack abandoned his hopes of writing and reading and became a thug like his father, even if he does have some morals (depending on how you play out the ending)
I think Max Payne 3 is probably the most depressing though. Traded out a good amount of the series humor and had such a sense of senselessness, extreme violence with a remarkably small quality of glorification (which is practically unheard of in games), and a hollow resolution where you don't really feel a victor. I thought it was very well done.
I've always wanted to play I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream. Might need to hunt that down now.
I agree with everyone who said "Spec Ops: The Line", that game is fucked up in its last quarter. The shooting may not be great (it really isn't, some parts are just annoying), but the decisions you have to make later on...it is freaking intense and portrays the madness of war disturblingly well which makes it one of the best (gaming?) experiences I've had all year.
The Walking Dead is kinda similar to Spec Ops when it comes to "what the...what have I done/what am I supposed to do now?" moments and it is definitely depressing as well, but the setting is not realistic which automatically makes it less threatening to me if that makes sense? Anyway, The Walking Dead is amazing and probably more disturbing than Spec Ops, just not more depressing to me personally.
The Walking Dead - You're going to make me choose between what and what? No. Don't make me do that. The eventuality they force you to face at the end of episode 4? Good Lord...
Red Dead Redemption - The ending kind of RDR simultaneously made and ruined the entire game for me. I saw it coming but still it made me sad.
L.A. Noire - Really? This is where the last third goes? Thanks, guys. I had gotten attached to person X and now this happens.
Heavy Rain - This place sucks. You were hoping to interact with normal, cheerful people? Too bad. Here is a selection of corrupted, hollow, or desperate people!
EDIT: I bought IHNMAIMS several years ago but I never played it. Maybe with all this talk, I'll finally go dig it up again...
MGS2 has a large segment, about the time you meet the president, where everything is just sad. Everything with Emma, Otacon's past, Rose and AI Cambell's deceit, Snake kind of using you, being told your a monster that was raised a child soldier by Solidus, Olga dying, Fortune dying, and being told there is no such thing as magic by Ocelot.
Around this time things pick up again, Fortune sort of proves she does have her crazy powers, you defeat solidus (which is sort of depressing because his goals were somewhat noble, but hey he made Raidens life miserable.) Then Snake is there to give you a pep talk about how you as a person have the ability to make choices and make the world better as long as you face reality, and Rose turns out to be real after all.
@Animasta said:I always found some weird fundamentally depressing aspect to all the mother games. I can't explain why. But yeah the end of M3 was...wow
@Fallen189 said:Mother 2
mother 2 is depressing? Mother 3 definitely is but I never found Earthbound all that depressing.
The beginning of Mother 3 is depressing also super depressing
"Flint I got some good news and some bad news, the good news, we found Drago's claw, the bad news..."