A Silent Voice did that to me. People complain that the ending is vague because the two main characters don’t explicitly get together, but besides the fact that I think it’s obvious that they will be together, I also don’t think it matters. It’s a story about depression, suicide, bullying, and disability, not who ends up with who, and in that sense, it wraps up very cleanly for me and gave me that pang in my chest that a story that I don’t want to end does.
the Witcher 3, both with and without the DLC.
Inside. It likely left a lot of people cold, but I think it’s one of the boldest, most shocking, most disturbing final acts I’ve ever seen in a game. It flips the entire experience on its head and changes every rule you’ve come to learn about how to navigate through the world and stay alive. I’ve played plenty of games with good endings, but none are as memorable as this.
Definitely Witcher 3. I was really worried if they were going to be able to stick the landing or not, because I’ve noticed the longer the game is, the harder it is for the devs to tie it all up. CD Project Red did it though. Even without the DLC, I breathed a sigh of relief after the credits rolled. I love all of those characters and world so much, that I really wanted for them to get what they deserved.
Also I’d say Persona 4, Cowboy Bebop, and Scrubs. Just off the top of my head though.
One that immediately comes to mind is The Ballad of Black Tom. It’s a novella about a young black grifter in New York at the turn of the century, who gets embroiled in some Lovecraftian shit. The ending is fantastic, as a culmination of both the story itself and as an incredibly satisfying and worthy meta-protest against its source material.
The author has done some great (and timely) interviews around the book’s release about being a black fan of Lovecraft, too, any of which I highly recommend.
The ending of Lord of the Rings wrapped everything up so utterly and satisfyingly that I never once felt like it needed any kind of continuation.
Undertale is the first one to pop in my head. It was great and I’m finished.
FFXV also occurs to me but that kinda has more to do with where my life was at the time than the quality of the game.
Six Feet Under. I’m not sure it’ll ever be beat. (SPOILERS)
Sia’s “Breathe” playing as you flash forward to the deaths of each of the characters, one by one, chronologically. It was the ultimate closure, and will still make me sob to this day.
Friday Night Lights left me completely satisfied.
Babylon 5 if you stop at the end of season 4. They didn’t know if they were getting renewed so they wrapped everything up neatly. It’s not that season 5 is bad necessarily? but it feels extraneous.
Keep it wavy.
The Last of Us is one of my favorite endings in any medium. A (Cormac) McCarthyian tale ends with the most silent, the most hurtful punch to the gut. I can just imagine it written out in several pages of beautiful, grim prose, and translated to a single scene it takes barely any lines to give you everything the game is about.
I am not particularly excited for a sequel even though I have the utmost faith in anyone capable of making that first story to make an excellent second one.
I was recently thinking about the ending of The Shield, when Vic realizes that he’s free but will never see the streets again, and has a horrible desk job forever. You captured the arc and impact of it perfectly.
The Last Of Us.
I feel like there’s two types of closure in media. The first is described here with Black Sails. I haven’t seen it, but it sounds like the protagonist and by association the viewer, gets everything they wanted or deserved and all the major questions are answered. Everything is wrapped up with a nice little bow and feels good at the time but is quickly forgotten.
The other type I feel makes for a better and more memorable story. The protagonist wins but they have to lose something in the process. The major conflict is resolved but in a way that’s not perfect and leaves questions to be answered. If not executed well, this is a bad ending and detracts from the whole experience but when done well you will think back on it and ponder what it all meant for years to come.
I really like the ending of Fargo. the movie. something about the image of Marge and her husband in bed, indoors while outside it’s bitter winter. maybe it’s because I’m Canadian but it’s an image of security in the face of a harsh world that really speaks to me. it’s kind of feels like an odd case for giving closure because it’s a movie that lets a lot of stuff just sort of hang in the air. but at the end of the day it’s cold outside but it’s warm inside and that’s something.
Fargo reminds me
Tommy Lee Jones’s closing monologue in No Country for Old Men. God, what an ending.
I posted this as the time, but finishing Dishonored 2 was a near-perfect closure for me. I loved the story arc, the overall flow of the game, and thought that the ending was such a good conclusion that I didn’t feel like I needed to go for more achievements, play as Corvo, or try another gameplay style. I had that experience, and it was really good, and it was enough. two thumbs up
Oh Man! Uncharted 4! I never really felt the same Uncharted fatigue some people did, but after the ending of four It was like: “yes, I can close this book now.”
Gonna be a total nerd here: the ending of Utena is a really powerful thing. Anthy stabs Utena, becomes the focal point of the swords of hate and experiences unimaginable pain, Akio fails to open the Rose Gate and declares that round of the duels a bust…and then Utena opens the gate with her BARE HANDS and takes on the swords of hate and Anthy walks free from the academy days later yes yes yes yesssssssss
Honestly shows directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara have great conclusions. Sometimes it feels like every AMV for Penguindrum, Yuri Bear Storm etc is just “hey remember how visceral and emotional the ending was???” Even if the exact mechanics of the conclusion are unclear, what plays out on screen feels very real
(Other great endings of anime: Turn A Gundam)