Virtual Tears: The 5 Saddest Video Game Endings

Video games can be a lot like relationships. You think you need them in your life and that they make you a better person, but some of them like to make you cry without any warning. While most of us may escape into the world of video game fiction because it is an alternative reality where things don’t have the weight of normal, everyday life, they can still f*ck us up. There are some games that sneak right past you and hit you in the feels when you are not looking. The funny fine print about these games is that they often end up being some of the most memorable games we ever end up playing. A happy ending can be great and make you feel like you achieved something, but a sad ending can stick with you for life. Here are 5 of the saddest video game endings out there. Warning, there will OBVIOUSLY be some spoilers on here.

Walking Dead: Season One


Keep in mind, I only picked Lee’s death at the end of season one because I have not had the courage to finish season two yet. Truth be told, The Walking Dead games by Telltale really opened my eyes to how emotional and depressing a video game can really be. Through the entirety of the game you are forced to make brutal decisions with awful outcomes, and each one f*cks with you more and more.

But this all culminates when little Clementine is faced with the decision to shoot Lee in the head so he doesn’t fully transform into a zombie. Granted, you can choose NOT to do it, but in many ways that would make you even more of an asshole. But seeing a little girl hold a gun up to the head of the man who has essentially been her Dad up to that point is definitely one of the saddest video game endings of all time.

Shadow of the Colossus


I, personally, knew the moment I felled the first giant colossus that something wasn’t right. I could tell it was simply fighting back, and this feeling spread more and more the further I got into the game. Then the revelation happens, and you realize you just genocided a race of giant, peaceful creatures who are now extinct. You also don’t bring your lady back, your horse (kinda) dies and you get corrupted.

But some found hope in the final moments with the horse reappearing and the baby with the horns. I was too busy crying at that point to even notice.

Red Dead Redemption


I know I bring this game up a lot in my lists, but this is because it is a f*cking masterpiece. About as close to a flawless game as you can get, honestly. And a big part of that has to do with the ending. Though it messed many gamers up to see John get mowed down (and yes, most of us played it more than once to try to see if we could survive), that ending really did feel like a bullet in the belly.

Still waiting for major sequel news so I can get my spurs ready.

Mass Effect 3


While the overall ending to this game was one of the saddest video game endings because it did not deliver what it promised, the “critical mission failure” ending is about as bleak as it gets, and can strike at different times. What it amounts too is game over because you made awful choices throughout the course of your game.

It can happen at different times, but either way, it is game over for you and your crew of The Normandy. So much so, in fact, you have to go to your last save and make some very different choices. The best way to reach this depressing and finite ending to an almost infinite game is to have sex with Morinth. Mating with her causes her to merge minds with her sex partner, and they become one, thusly killing Shepard and ending the game.

Talk about ending on a bang, huh? Speaking of a big bang….



Bad news. The princess you have been trying to save hates you, and you are actually the inventor of the atomic bomb. I’m just going to let that sink in for a moment and back away slowly….

She will screw you to death.

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