Games That Made You Cry?

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Edens_Heel

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On the last Bombcast (at least I think it was the last), someone wrote in asking if any of the staff had cried during a game. It got me thinking, as that has happened to me, certainly, and every time it's been unexpected.

Of those moments that come to mind (mild spoilers for games that have been out for several years):

-During the last climb in "Journey" and spinning my camera at the exact time to see my compatriot fall to their knees in the snow.

-The very end of "The Last Guardian"—the final sequence, the music swelling, and then the eyes appearing in the darkness. As I actually felt like I'd formed a bond with Trico throughout, that ending left me a mess.

-The ending of "The Outer Wilds"—the realization, as you sit there around the campfire, that you are birthing a new galaxy via music and friendship. I won't lie, that hit me like a kettlebell to the stomach.

What about you? Has anyone else been unexpectedly emotionally clobbered by a game?

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mellotronrules

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#2  Edited By mellotronrules

as a cry-game enthusiast, it usually isn't unexpected as i'm an easy mark for that stuff, heh.

but if we're talking specifics and impact- TLOU 2 and Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice consistently wrecked my shit.

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SethMode

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Yeah, like @mellotronrules, it's probably a better measure to look at the stuff I don't get at least a little weepy for.

A recent example of that was God of War: Ragnarok, where I got watery like right out of the gate because of just how fucking well they animated Fenrir's passing. That kind of shit is a layup though.

Having said all of that, haven't really had many games that really got to me truly deeply, like other media have. At least, not yet. Some things came close (The Walking Dead and To The Moon) and Firewatch really got to me in a whole heaping of ways despite me finding it overall a lacking product. The dementia/early onset Alzheimer's theme is like one of my greatest fears due to my own family history, so it rocked me for a while.

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wollywoo

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#4  Edited By wollywoo

Celeste. I was dealing with severe depression at the time and it hit pretty close to home. That's the only one I can think of.

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jaydropout

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The final stage of Journey.

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beggary

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Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. And it made me cry using the controller.

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Edens_Heel

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@wollywoo: Yeeeaaaah, that one hit me hard, too.

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Edens_Heel

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@beggary: One of the only games to really manage an emotional upheaval via its control scheme. Brilliant.

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Vulpius

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I'm not sure why, but talking to the ghosts in the graveyard in Hollow Knight had me bawling.

The ending of Mother 3 may also have made my eyes a little moist.

Honorary mention to your horse dying at the end of RDR2. Got close there.

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TheodoricFriede

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That happens frequently enough that I almost don't feel like I should answer, but I guess, if I had to pick one, I'd pick Ending E: Nier Automata.

The end of Mother 3, where the characters remind me that I can 'come visit any time' was also a very sweet moment.

I guess, with me, it also happens a lot when a character or characters who have given everything they could possibly give in a fight, and then find it in themselves to push just a little harder and overcome impossible odds.

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Redsea666

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The end of "Death Stranding". I've played through twice and was stricken bawling at the final scene both times.

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styx971

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it doesn't happen often but its been semi frequent this yr more than years pasted. am i getting soft or are games just getting better? idk , either way off the top of my head in general here are a few that made me tear up a bit.

Mass effect 3 - we all who played it know why by now probably .

unpacking - i've moved alot , i've been in bad relationships , it kinda hits home even without words.

signs of sojourner - again i've moved alot n you really can't always just go home n things be how they were.

Citizen Sleeper - one of the endings hit me a bit hard despite initially not feeling a connection to the characters too much

As Dusk Falls- ending i got was something causing feels

road 96- much the same as above



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pudking

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The ending to Walking Dead series 1 is the only game that’s made me cry. My wife and I were dealing with a very personal loss at the time and it just hit me from nowhere. Who’d have thought that from a clunky point and click adventure game.

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Fluidk

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I don’t really like the subject of “crying” and videogames. For about 10 years, there was this huge fascination with “crying”and games and an implication that crying was the litmus test over whether games as a media “mattered” or not. It was a weird gross time that I think has finally passed.

That said, I’ve never cried from a game. But Mother 3 definitely wrecks me emotionally. It’s a game that I actually have to emotionally prepare to play. It’s not “sad” per se. It’s just so emotional.

I Am Setsuna is probably the only other game that came close to MOther 3s level of emotion. I Am Setsuna is all about the balance between happiness and sadness and how you soldier on through sadness so that you can experience the happy times. Characters will frequently say things that are just gut punches. My favorite being a kid who is staring into an icy lake and says the one liner that he had a childhood friend who committed suicide by running into the icy lake and to this day he doesn’t know why. The game just… leaves you with that. The kid is just always standing there staring into the lake trying to understand why his friend would do something like that. Forever.

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Nodima

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When I was a kid, both Squall rescuing Rinoa in deep space and nearly dying from space dementia as well as the Eyes on Me sequence as they realize they're gonna make it back to Earth hit me really, really hard.

As did the ending to Final Fantasy X, which was a pretty wild thing for them to pull off considering the light tone most of that game has they really leaned into the themes that were mostly only hinted at during that final hour.

For whatever malignant reasoning I've seen the opening death from The Last of Us more than most of my favorite movie scenes even and it never fails to draw a reaction out of me. One of the only sad things I can say always, always has that effect on me whereas most sad media loses its physical impact on me the same as comedy does over time.

The Walking Dead season one is a great example as well, because you just spent so much time with that character given the protracted development time (didn't it take about 8 months from start to finish? Or was that Wolf Among Us?) and the fact it was a known situation heading into the final episode. It almost felt like losing an actual person you'd come to consider a friend.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits really hit me hard after each main boss fight, something about the music, the difficulty, the way those bosses' stories were presented was an absolute emotional onslaught and a big part of the reason that wound up being my Game of the Year 2021.

Marvel's Spider-Man caught me off guard with the feels. If you've played the game there's one very obvious one, but the less obvious reveals just how prone I am to waterworks: I cried a bit during the scene where Peter suddenly has to suit up and jump out of Mary Jane's apartment simply because it felt like such a perfect distillation of what I've always loved about the Spider-Man character and his place in his world. It wasn't sad, it was simply too good.

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brian_

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#16  Edited By brian_

Persona 3 and 4

Yakuza 0

Life is Strange

I feel like there was something more recent, but I can't remember what it was.

EDIT: Now that I think about it, all of these games, aside from Persona 3, have been played through in full on this site. Weird.

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SpunkyHePanda

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Most recently, The House in Fata Morgana. Played it over a year ago, and I'm still thinking about it.

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AV_Gamer

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This may seem weird, but the end of Ikaruga almost made me cry. One of the most emotional endings ever in a bullet-hell game.

Season one Walking Dead definitely, one of the reasons it got a lot of GOTY awards and rightfully so.

The end of Life is Strange when you have to make the final choice, especially if you made the right one.

Final Fantasy IX during the "you're not alone" sequence. Those who played the game know what I'm talking about. The amazing music makes the moment more powerful.

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Broshmosh

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#19  Edited By Broshmosh

The first game that ever made me cry was Final Fantasy 6, the first time I reached the opera scene. It fuckin broke me, even when the vocal line was just ahhs.

I cried at Xenoblade Chronicles (of course I did, nobody's surprised there) but I don't remember the precise reason why. I think I'd become so invested in everything that by the end, I was too emotional not to.

NGL I think I actually cried a bit at Horace. The mid-point of that game is distressing.

I definitely cried at Celeste. There were some really ugly tears for that one.

I cried at the ending of A Hat In Time, I really was not ready to say goodbye to all those characters, it hit me harder than I was expecting.

I teared up at the final credits of Nier Automata, it was very breathtaking.

Edit: One more because @brian_ mentioned Yakuza 0 and yeah, absolutely, I was distraught at how Yakuza 0 played out. I've played other Yakuza games now, but none resonated with me in the same way.

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redwing42

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Walking Dead 1 and Persona 3 are the two that really got me. Walking Dead 1 still gets me emotional just thinking about it from this thread.

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hermes

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Just going to mention a couple that were not mentioned as much here:

The ending of Final Fantasy X: I know its melodrama, and quite predictable if you have been paying attention at the plot, but damn me if it didn't hit hard.

The ending of Okami: One of the few times I tear up for a game, even when it wasn't sad tears. The ending is not sad, in fact its pretty joyful, but coupled with the incredible music, the credit sequence delivered quite an emotional punch.

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tartyron

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I passed the “cry barrier” with games a long time ago, and have been tearing up at tons of games since. Edith Finch is an easy example. God of War’s ending got me good last night. Disco Elysium’s prose and music in its more reflective moments gets me every time. I’m the easiest mark.

Games are art, weather you cry at them or not doesn’t change that, but like most art it can bring out emotions you didn’t expect or perhaps don’t often surface.

Games have still have a rep of being all simple entertainment, just tetris, Mario and call of duty. Hell, some who play games think of them that way. But games have their great works, same as movies and music and other artistic mediums, and there is actually quite a lot of them.

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LtGrimdark

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The final stage of Journey.

Same here. It employs a mechanic that I normally hate in video games (having your character struggle to move forward), but it simply works here. The contrast between that part what comes after got me good.

Another one that came to mind recently, in the wake of Kevin Conroy's passing, was the very end of the final interaction with Catwoman in Arkham Knight. Those last two sentences hit way too close to home for multiple reasons, and Conroy's delivery is just perfect:

Catwoman: Call if you need me.
Batman: I won't.

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wollywoo

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@edens_heel said:

@beggary: One of the only games to really manage an emotional upheaval via its control scheme. Brilliant.

Have not played Brothers. At first I thought you were also talking about Celeste, because that also has an interaction matching this description (the feather) and that seen in particular was very well-done and hit close to home.

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csl316

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#25  Edited By csl316

The very end of the Asura's Wrath true ending.

It's called A Life Well Lived and I had an idea that he'd die based on that, and he does die saving everyone. Then his daughter tells the story ending with "and that... is how my father lived." Oh man.

And no joke, the final battle of Devil May Cry 3. "My soul... is saying it wants to STOP YOU!"

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Homphgomph

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#26  Edited By Homphgomph

Devotion and The Missing both got me hard

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goosemunch

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Yeah, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is probably the only one that came close. I feel like there should be papers written about "that moment" - because I really don't understand why it works. Like, how did the designers know it'd have the intended impact in a whiteboard meeting? They must have some unnaturally divine understanding of the human psyche.

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monkeyking1969

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No Caption Provided

The ending for Ico is very poignant and a bit long. Moreover, it features and after credits ending. I think I shed a tear or two for that ending.


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jaydropout

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#29  Edited By jaydropout

@ltgrimdark:Yes, it's 100% the contrast, the total pressure as it slows to a full stop and release!

@theodoricfriede: Didn't cry (I think) but I got a similar elation leading up the tower climb section leading to ending E. Also the fucking rendition of Weight of the World, bloody hell.

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imunbeatable80

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I'm so glad that this forum exists, and I half expected it to be full of people proudly claiming that they don't cry, but perhaps I have been on Twitter too much recently... I honestly love crying at games, reminds me that I'm not a heartless robot. My top three are:

1) to the moon - absolute wrecked me, and because I'm a sicko I made others play it to see them wrecked as well.

2) Valiant Hearts: the great war - for a game that feels pretty lighthearted at times, the ending is one that really packed a punch.

3) Brothers - other people have already commented on this one.. let's just say they knew what they were doing here.

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Junkerman

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#31  Edited By Junkerman

Halo 3 at the time - 80% Music, 15% Environment/friends/journey, 5% Masterchief

Last of Us - a couple times. Some good scenes, some a bit cheap (like the opening), some artfully earned (like the ending)

God of War 4 - There are some really good scenes as a parent, not sure if it plays the same without having your own kids but they're good and I could identify with Kratos a lot. He had these big truths that were important to him and he really needed to share, was building them up in his head, trying to find the right moment to share them... and his son just doesn't give a fuck, and this big moment to Kratos just kind of falls flat for him. Thats parenting right there. Kids have their own course plotted and it generally doesnt have much regard for your own poignancy. You're just there to be there for them and need to adapt to be the character they need you to be.

Mass Effect - Farewell DLC with the crew.

Death Stranding - The Madds Mikelson scenes were really, really well done. Everything else was complete incomprehensible madness - even Madds' character himself but what did come across was a man who loved his wife and his child and he probably gets the sole credit for salvaging that out of what was probably an incoherent script and direction.

The Walking Dead Season 1 - As others have said, this was well earned and well done. I'm looking forward to one day playing that one over again and the other seasons though I doubt they achieve the same pathos.

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Whyzdom

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My pleasure, darling. Always was…

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sombre

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#33  Edited By sombre

Had to be me. Someone else might've gotten it wrong

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SethMode

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The Walking Dead Season 1 - As others have said, this was well earned and well done. I'm looking forward to one day playing that one over again and the other seasons though I doubt they achieve the same pathos.

Allow me to alleviate you of your doubt :)

They aren't bad, but they never reach the same heights as Season 1. I gave up on them after I think S3? It was interesting to see Clem as a teen but that was basically all the novelty left in the entire series for me, so it wasn't enough to hold it together.

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dodecalypse

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most recently Xenoblade Chronicles 3 had me blubbering during a few cutscenes. The group meeting a baby for the first time was very emotional but specifically (mid/end-game spoilers) Mio's homecoming at the hands of N and the fake Agnus queen before it was resolved in the story was a pretty emotional moment. Fantastic acting and writing in that game, they really get you invested in the characters and hit you with some very emotional moments as the story goes along.

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liquiddragon

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I remember being pretty moved by the Okami ending. It was really sweet, happy tears.

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Efesell

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Most recently Xenoblade 3 for sure, it understood how to twist a knife in ways I’m not used to seeing in games.

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Propagandapanda

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The end of Klonoa got me

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primeate

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@theodoricfriede: the ending e of nier:automata killed me. Happy cry face got me.

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Shindig

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@sethmode said:
@junkerman said:

The Walking Dead Season 1 - As others have said, this was well earned and well done. I'm looking forward to one day playing that one over again and the other seasons though I doubt they achieve the same pathos.

Allow me to alleviate you of your doubt :)

They aren't bad, but they never reach the same heights as Season 1. I gave up on them after I think S3? It was interesting to see Clem as a teen but that was basically all the novelty left in the entire series for me, so it wasn't enough to hold it together.

I've only played as far as season two but that had some strong moments. Hell, I'd have the end of season two as a contender for this thread.

I spent the whole game siding with Kenny and trying to keep that absolute liability alive. When it came to the last choice, I turned on him. I had to do it. I couldn't carry him any further.

He had his life sorted until I walked back in.

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dooz

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RDR2 is the only game that developed a character well enough to feel real and therefore tragic. Most games have very surface level development, but Arthur has a very well developed arc and that is rare in gaming.

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OrwellHuxZam

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Spiritfarer

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Fluidk

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A game that probably won’t get many mentions but is pure genius is The Turing Test.

If you’re the type of person who gets frustrated at the way computers behave in sci-fi and wished that sci-fi would tackle the concept of AI and robots from a more realistic and technical perspective, The Turing Test does everything you want. It’s basically Portal if GlaDOS was a more realistic machine. And coincidentally, the conflict that could arise from being in a situation where a life-like machine is dealing with concepts of life and death.

The game brings up issues that are SO SMART that it’s difficult not to insert yourself into the game emotionally and question how you feel about some of the things that are happening. For instance, minor spoiler, one of the NPC characters in the game is a millitary man who refuses to accept any perspective that deviates from his orders. At one point, he comes into conflict with an Artificial Intelligence and refuses to accept any perspective that the machine provides because it’s “just a machine”. But what the game is subltly suggesting you question is what is the difference between a machine who can’t do anything but follow instructions and a man who can do nothing but follow orders? Aren’t they the same thing?

SPOILER: The games finale, which provokes strong emotions, involves the player character discovering a way to help humanity but comes with a tremendous amount of risk. The correct course of acting, mathematically, is to no act upon it and preserve the status quo. When the emotional human beings will not listen to “reason”, the game switches you to the machine’s perspective and allows you to make the decision to let the protagonist live, or to kill the protagonist. If you, acting as the machine, kill the protagonist (who is a close friend of the AI machine) the game rolls credits as the machine continues talking to the now-dead protagonist clearly not understanding the concept that it just killed them.

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clagnaught

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Loading Video...

When Ellie says "Everybody I cared has either died or left me..." gets me literally every time. Every time I play the game, anytime that clips shows up.

Other games made me have the feels. The endings to Persona 3 and 4. When Jesse dies in Final Fantasy VII Remake. Route E in Nier: Automata. The ending of Life Is Strange. By the letter of this topic thread, I think The Last of Us is the only game that has made me cry, and for whatever reason it's this scene in particular.