Best Game Endings (SPOILERS!)

After beating Mass Effect 3 and feeling the same disappointment that much of the internet is talking about, I thought to myself what some actual *good* endings of games have been like. And come to think of it, it's actually hard to think of any games that I've played that have had real, honest-to-goodness, GOOD endings. Here's a few off the top of my head that I managed to think of, in no particular order. Yes, SPOILERS are ahead!

Saints Row the Third

Ryan is right, you really need to play Saints Row. It has two endings, both of which are just absurd and gratifying. First you're on Mars fighting aliens, and while at first this is a shock, it becomes obvious that it's supposed to be a movie set. Either way, it's hilarious. But the other ending, the one that is probably "canon" is much more entertaining and finds the Boss is having to take down a massive flying aircraft carrier as it bombards the city, ending with the he or she calling for succession of his city from the entirety of the United States, creating his own little Saints Row country! I'm looking forward to the craziness that ensues in Saints Row 4.

Hitman: Blood Money

I love the Hitman games, but until Blood Money, they all were a bit janky. Blood Money hit it right on the head for sandbox-style assassinations for me and I played it multiple times through. The ending can be infuriating, but at the same time, seemed almost like an easter egg that you had to find out about which made it that much cooler. At first, the ending seems like such a downer, with Agent 47 seemingly killed and on a funeral pyre. However, Diana essentially cures you of your death-like coma. As a player, watching the ending credits roll as Agent 47's heartbeat slowly gets faster and louder, you await his ultimate victory... only to go up in flames. If you're like me and put the controller down for endings so you don't accidentally skip them, this can be jarring, but trying it again, tapping the controls to actively get Agent 47 to jump up, grab a hostage and, controlled by you, start killing every single mutha in the room... is SO epic! But hard as heck to achieve.

Sam & Max

The Telltale Sam & Max series have had great, funny stories, each subsequent series being better then the last. They accomplish call backs like no other.

Final Fantasy 6

Final Fantasy have gone down hill since 6 (in my opinion!). FF6 had a huge cast of characters with interconnecting relationships and problems that could be resolved through side-quests and missions, tons of secrets to find, amassing in an epic battle... that destroys the world! You then need to gather up the troops to make another final push into the final dungeon to conquer evil once and for all and rebuild the planet. Wow, very similar to Mass Effect, now that I type all that, but does it all right!

Red Dead Redemption

Where Mass Effect was trying to go when it comes to heroic sacrifice, Red Dead accomplishes in spades. This complete anti-hero who has committed so many atrocities in his life finally gets his family to safety at the cost of his own. He tries so hard to do what seems to be the right thing throughout the game (assuming you play it that way, of course) only to end up in the sights of a firing squad. For someone who avoided all such spoilers, this was an incredible moment! And to suddenly have control of Jack, years later, who can exact revenge. It's just great. Not to mention a fantastic use of a splash title at the end of everything.

Heavy Rain

I really enjoyed Heavy Rain's story. Again, avoiding spoilers made the big twist get to me with the best impact. It was one of these games with so many branching paths but because of how my particular game ended, I felt no compulsion to try to achieve a different one. In fact, I won't even spoil it here just in case you managed to go this far without it being spoiled for you yet!

Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger is a beloved RPG classic that I played the heck out of. It's main ending, while cool, isn't necessarily exceptional, however the fact that the game has 12 OTHER endings is what is so cool. Starting a New Game+ offers you a teleport to the final boss of the game right at the beginning, and allows you to defeat him at any point in the game's main story. Beating the end boss at different points nets you the different endings. Such as...

Beating the game without resurrecting Crono, the main character! Or right at the beginning, when you only have two party members! Or the ending where the royal family are all turned into Frog-People! Or the other where everyone on the planet evolved from dinosaur-like Reptile-People! Or how about when Crono takes Magus' place as an evil overlord? The craziness is too awesome and makes the game that much more fun!

Riven

Riven is the sequel to the original Myst adventure game. I was a big Myst fan back when it first came out (like many people were) and was really looking forward to the sequel when I heard about it. Playing through Riven was a big eye-opener for me when it comes to telling a story through an environment. I cite it as one of my main inspirations for wanting to be in the video game industry, and I found it's many, varied endings to be very satisfying. The methods the game uses to not just show you things but to actually teach you something, like the alien symbols for numbers and colors, are very dynamic and helps invest yourself in the world.

The variations in the ending are all very cool to see play out ranging from the player becoming permanently trapped in a prison Age, being killed by Ghen, or even doing everything right except... oops, forgot to let Atrus' wife out of her cage so she's trapped on Riven while it's being torn apart around you. Then of course the "good" ending where you save the girl, reunite her with her husband, trap Ghen, and save the people of Riven.

I'll add more later as I think of them. :) Any suggestions for good endings in games you've played?

18 Comments
19 Comments
Edited by mtmckinley

After beating Mass Effect 3 and feeling the same disappointment that much of the internet is talking about, I thought to myself what some actual *good* endings of games have been like. And come to think of it, it's actually hard to think of any games that I've played that have had real, honest-to-goodness, GOOD endings. Here's a few off the top of my head that I managed to think of, in no particular order. Yes, SPOILERS are ahead!

Saints Row the Third

Ryan is right, you really need to play Saints Row. It has two endings, both of which are just absurd and gratifying. First you're on Mars fighting aliens, and while at first this is a shock, it becomes obvious that it's supposed to be a movie set. Either way, it's hilarious. But the other ending, the one that is probably "canon" is much more entertaining and finds the Boss is having to take down a massive flying aircraft carrier as it bombards the city, ending with the he or she calling for succession of his city from the entirety of the United States, creating his own little Saints Row country! I'm looking forward to the craziness that ensues in Saints Row 4.

Hitman: Blood Money

I love the Hitman games, but until Blood Money, they all were a bit janky. Blood Money hit it right on the head for sandbox-style assassinations for me and I played it multiple times through. The ending can be infuriating, but at the same time, seemed almost like an easter egg that you had to find out about which made it that much cooler. At first, the ending seems like such a downer, with Agent 47 seemingly killed and on a funeral pyre. However, Diana essentially cures you of your death-like coma. As a player, watching the ending credits roll as Agent 47's heartbeat slowly gets faster and louder, you await his ultimate victory... only to go up in flames. If you're like me and put the controller down for endings so you don't accidentally skip them, this can be jarring, but trying it again, tapping the controls to actively get Agent 47 to jump up, grab a hostage and, controlled by you, start killing every single mutha in the room... is SO epic! But hard as heck to achieve.

Sam & Max

The Telltale Sam & Max series have had great, funny stories, each subsequent series being better then the last. They accomplish call backs like no other.

Final Fantasy 6

Final Fantasy have gone down hill since 6 (in my opinion!). FF6 had a huge cast of characters with interconnecting relationships and problems that could be resolved through side-quests and missions, tons of secrets to find, amassing in an epic battle... that destroys the world! You then need to gather up the troops to make another final push into the final dungeon to conquer evil once and for all and rebuild the planet. Wow, very similar to Mass Effect, now that I type all that, but does it all right!

Red Dead Redemption

Where Mass Effect was trying to go when it comes to heroic sacrifice, Red Dead accomplishes in spades. This complete anti-hero who has committed so many atrocities in his life finally gets his family to safety at the cost of his own. He tries so hard to do what seems to be the right thing throughout the game (assuming you play it that way, of course) only to end up in the sights of a firing squad. For someone who avoided all such spoilers, this was an incredible moment! And to suddenly have control of Jack, years later, who can exact revenge. It's just great. Not to mention a fantastic use of a splash title at the end of everything.

Heavy Rain

I really enjoyed Heavy Rain's story. Again, avoiding spoilers made the big twist get to me with the best impact. It was one of these games with so many branching paths but because of how my particular game ended, I felt no compulsion to try to achieve a different one. In fact, I won't even spoil it here just in case you managed to go this far without it being spoiled for you yet!

Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger is a beloved RPG classic that I played the heck out of. It's main ending, while cool, isn't necessarily exceptional, however the fact that the game has 12 OTHER endings is what is so cool. Starting a New Game+ offers you a teleport to the final boss of the game right at the beginning, and allows you to defeat him at any point in the game's main story. Beating the end boss at different points nets you the different endings. Such as...

Beating the game without resurrecting Crono, the main character! Or right at the beginning, when you only have two party members! Or the ending where the royal family are all turned into Frog-People! Or the other where everyone on the planet evolved from dinosaur-like Reptile-People! Or how about when Crono takes Magus' place as an evil overlord? The craziness is too awesome and makes the game that much more fun!

Riven

Riven is the sequel to the original Myst adventure game. I was a big Myst fan back when it first came out (like many people were) and was really looking forward to the sequel when I heard about it. Playing through Riven was a big eye-opener for me when it comes to telling a story through an environment. I cite it as one of my main inspirations for wanting to be in the video game industry, and I found it's many, varied endings to be very satisfying. The methods the game uses to not just show you things but to actually teach you something, like the alien symbols for numbers and colors, are very dynamic and helps invest yourself in the world.

The variations in the ending are all very cool to see play out ranging from the player becoming permanently trapped in a prison Age, being killed by Ghen, or even doing everything right except... oops, forgot to let Atrus' wife out of her cage so she's trapped on Riven while it's being torn apart around you. Then of course the "good" ending where you save the girl, reunite her with her husband, trap Ghen, and save the people of Riven.

I'll add more later as I think of them. :) Any suggestions for good endings in games you've played?

Edited by Bourbon_Warrior

Red Dead Redemption had my favourite ending.

Having John getting shot to death expecting to tbe the end of the game and it changes to you controling his son Jack and you hear the gun fire in the distance. Easily my favourite game.
Posted by Ghostiet

Nier, Planescape: Torment, Mother 3 and Red Dead Redemption. Especially Nier's.

Sam & Max is a GREAT choice. The Devil's Playhouse's ending was absolutely brilliant.

Posted by DrPockets000

Journey.

Posted by ZenaxPure
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates actually had an amazing ending despite being an average game at best. Actually everything about the story from start to end was absolutely stunning, it's a shame the rest of the game wasn't.
Posted by GrandMarshal

i liked the ending

Edited by mtmckinley

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

Red Dead Redemption had my favourite ending. Having John getting shot to death expecting to tbe the end of the game and it changes to you controling his son Jack and you hear the gun fire in the distance. Easily my favourite game.

Oh yeah, I totally agree. This was an amazing ending! I'll add that to my list!

Posted by DillonWerner

@mtmckinley said:

@Bourbon_Warrior said:

Red Dead Redemption had my favourite ending. Having John getting shot to death expecting to tbe the end of the game and it changes to you controling his son Jack and you hear the gun fire in the distance. Easily my favourite game.

Oh yeah, I totally agree. This was an amazing ending! I'll add that to my list!

Edited by Harkat
Posted by MB

So, anyone that cares about the ending of ANY game can't read this topic?

Moderator
Posted by mtmckinley

Good point, I failed to consider that. I'll put stuff into spoiler tags.

Posted by Zor

I really like how Fallout 1, 2, and New Vegas ended... with the slide show telling what happen to who.

Posted by iam3green

i liked metal gear solid 3 snake eater ending. pretty sad.

Posted by DarthOrange
Posted by mtmckinley

Added Chrono Trigger to my list! :)

Posted by Brodehouse

Bastion. The last scene with Zulf might be the most powerful moment I've played in a game in a decade.

Posted by Yanngc33

Arkham City has a pretty great ending but if I had to choose "best ever" I'd say Metroid Fusion, when the Samus clone comes at the final second to save Samus from certain death

Posted by WillRogers2000

@mtmckinley: At first this will seem like a stupid point to make, but I'll elaborate: It really all depends on what you're expecting the ending to accomplish.

I'll use the example of the God of War franchise, because I'm currently replaying them (up to Ghost of Sparta right now), and I remember exactly how I felt when the final game's credits rolled. The first GoW game is damn near perfect. The storyline is great, with Kratos' motivation, and the way they slowly reveal his backstory. It ends logically and you leave the game feeling satisfied (unless it fucking freezes right before you take the throne as the new god of war, which is what happened to me the other night).

I looked forward to God of War II's storyline because the first was so strong, and they lived up to my expectations. I knew they were going to try up broaden the scope of the game, so I figured the end would not be as satisfying, and I was exactly right. Instead of doing justice to all the plot threads, they just give you a cliffhanger. Which, as a side note, was completely badass, despite not really wrapping up the game's plot.

Heading into God of War III, I just had the feeling that they were going to try to wrap things up a little too neatly. There was just too much going on, and while it was definitely still enjoyable, I played the game anticipating an ending that wouldn't be groundbreaking. Because of that, once I actually saw what happened to everybody and watched the credits roll, I was satisfied. I just knew they wouldn't be able to finish that convoluted story in any truly perfect way, so my expectations were lowered, and because of that, I found the ending to be pretty enjoyable.

So the ending of a game is all relative, considering that you take the time to anticipate and analyze what's happening.

Does that make any sense at all?

Posted by mtmckinley

Added Riven. :)