While many games feature incredible opening sequences and levels, they don’t always focus on something that is just as important: the end. The end of a game shapes the entire experience of the game, at its best leaving the gamer satisfied, wanting more, or emotionally affected.
For example, the end of Final Fantasy X made the game for me. Final Fantasy X is a very long game, and while it is a very good game in general, there are certain sections of the game that could be considered frustrating or drawn-out. At the end of the game, none of that mattered as all I remembered was the incredibly satisfying conclusion that made me really feel for the characters. It was probably the saddest thing I had ever experienced in a game; the game masterfully used its ending to cap a journey that let the player grow very close to the characters.
Of course, there are always bad apples, and when it comes to video game endings, there are a fair share. Many games try to make ambiguous or open endings, hoping to eventually cash in with a sequel, but this often leaves the end feeling empty, almost like a half-told story. One example is 2008’s Prince of Persia reboot, which despite being a pretty good game, had a half-baked ending that made the whole game seem worthless. Without spoiling too much, the ending essentially undoes all the progress that your character has made throughout the game in accomplishing his goal. This ending really soured the experience for me, and whenever I think about the game, I always remember the poor ending.
Many games have very good, carefully crafted endings that leave the player feeling satisfied and perhaps affected in some positive way. But, there are some games that cannot provide a quality ending, often ruining the experience for the player. What are your favorite endings in gaming? Your least favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments below.