What’s Your Favorite Game Ending?

Illustration for article titled What’s Your Favorite Game Ending?em/em

I finally finished Persona 5. It took us about 90 hours (I played with my wife) but it was worth every minute.

Each of the characters had a compelling arc and I felt their friendship get closer with every palace infiltration. The climactic reveal in Shibuya had me cheering for them. The music was brilliant and catchy. I felt sad when the game was over, but loved their final journey, drawn as an anime cutscene.

There’s so many games that have great endings. They serve as a final reward, a payoff for the epic (or not so epic) struggle. Not every plot point needs to be resolved, as in one of my favorites of the 16-bit era, Phantasy Star II. The twist ending was completely unexpected and all these years later, still has me reeling at its implications. Chrono Trigger, with its multiple endings, was no slouch either, and some of the alternate timelines were as trippy as they were cool. Mass Effect 2 was one of the best games I’ve played with an equally strong ending. More recently, Nier: Automata’s three endings that included one of the best credit sequences ever had me riveted with each twisted revelation.

Silent Hill 2 as well as Silent Hill: Shattered Memories both dived deep into the psyche of their protagonist’s and gave endings that were as disturbing as they were revelatory (the UFO endings were fun too). Any time I finish a Dragon Quest, I feel a sense of joy at finally having conquered a hundred hours of gameplay. I’ve written before about how much Terragnima’s bittersweet ending affected me and had me thinking about the future, humanity, and the nature of the universe itself. Both the first Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite’s ending made my jaw drop in amazement.


Some endings can go completely against expectations, as with Red Dead Redemption. Others culminate in a character moment that resonates far beyond the moment, like in The Last of Us and Batman: Arkham City. Some leave us wanting more, as with Half-Life 2.

I could go on and on. But instead, I’ll turn it over to Kotaku readers and ask: What is your favorite game ending?

Peter Tieryas is the author of Mecha Samurai Empire & Cyber Shogun Revolution (Penguin RH). He's written for Kotaku, IGN, & Verge. He was an artist at Sony Pictures & Technical Writer for LucasArts.

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Bioshock infinite made me just sit there in the credits and think what the hell did I just watch - definitely worth a mention.

But my favorite game ending has to go to FFX - It’s the only game in history that made me physically tear up and sob.