The Final Countdown: What the best ending sequence in a video game?


#1

I was thinking about the ending of Halo 1, as you do, and the more I am removed from it the more I think that, despite some slightly dodgy level design in some spots, it’s such a great finale? Turning the super soldier in to someone who has to flee in order to fight another day makes for a great conclusion to that story.


What do you think reaches the levels of the escape from the Pillar of Autumn?


#2

I know it’s a bit of a cliche, but the ending sequence to Super Metroid will always be one of the tops for me. It’s probably the first game I ever played that had a genuine PLOT BEAT that wasn’t just in pure text.

The foreshadowing of the baby metroid (now-giant) and it saving you during the final battle is a moment I’ll never forget, and leads to one of the first ‘curb-stomp’ final boss fights I can recall. The entire fight itself is a subversion of expectations, starting with a “classic” mother brain battle that transitions into a new, far more elaborate screen-filling enemy. That it then follows it up with an escape sequence so iconic that it’s become the series norm is just icing on the cake.


#3

So we’re not talking endings, but rather the final playable sections of games? And not bosses? 'Cos that’s oddly specific and I’m well inty it.

It’s not quite the actual final sequence, but the path leading up to the final boss in Xenoblade Chronicles was pretty amazing. Mild spoilers, no details: It’s a point where it basically just goes “you better beleive we’re doing THIS now baybee, strap in for a WILD FUCKIN’ RIDE”.

My actual answer though would have to be Dragon’s Dogma though, 'cos when that game finally lays it’s cards on the table you can really see how much work was being done in the story that most people kind of glanced over as it was happening.


#4

Maybe it’s because I just finally finished it on Saturday, but Nier:Automata left me pretty shook


#5

The original Darksiders has an ending that will never fail to get me PUMPED. It’s a real shame that we’ll probably never see it get paid off…


#6

Drakengard 3 final sequence is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever seen in a Video Game. Its also one of the coolest moments in a game ever. Like Drakengard 1 the final boss is a rhythm game. You fly around the main cast of the game as parts of the characters themes play. It all loops together. Its amazing. I spent months maybe playing for an hour at a time or maybe just trying it once before quitting. I finally gave in and had a video help me out. But the final bit of that game will probably stick with me forever.

Saints Row 3 ending is the only time I will ever use cinematic to describe a game. The final moment of that game starts up. Your given a choose to ether save your friend or get revenge. No matter what option you pick as soon as you get into the car Bonnie Tyler’s I Need a Hero starts to play. Driving though the city one final time as it explodes around you with that song playing feels like a moment out of a movie.

Two recent examples I don’t want to spoil are NieRs Automatas and Pyres final sequences have stuck with me. With NieRs being my favorite moment ever in a video game.


#7

Has to be a tie between Metal Gear Solid 3 or Nier Automata. Special mention to the true ending of Bloodborne.


#8

Hey, I’m here to talk about Bastion again.

Bastion has probably one of my favorite ending sequence in which you, as The Kid, have to choose one of two things. You can forgive Zulf for his attempt to destroy the Bastion, and leave with him on your shoulders, leaving the Ura to collapse slowly or miraculously pick themselves up from a disaster meant to destroy them. Or, you can leave Zulf to die by wounds inflicted by the Ura (primarily because they blame him for your carving a path of destruction through their fortress) and, using a weapon made from the very science that caused the Calamity, basically bring about the end of the Ura entirely. The former option comes with the caveat of admitting that Zulf’s desire to see the Bastion destroyed comes from an understandable place, considering Caelondia’s role in causing Calamity, their treatment of the Ura, and what it cost him. The latter option is basically you choosing to ignore the righteous fury of an oppressed people and becoming the arbiter of their destruction by way of the same weapon meant to destroy them in the first place, only now there’s no Caelondia around for it to backfire on.

It’s very good, and it’s only made better by the narration in the game, as well as the fact that Bastion has truly phenomenal music backing it up.


#9

Both NieRs are gonne get more than enough love in this thread so I’m gonna root for the underdog here.

017


#10

aw hell yeah that game never got the love it deserved


#11

The perfect balance of joyously over the top and entirely sincere. WONDERFUL.

Also reminded me of Okami’s ending, which again is entirely sincere with what it goes for. Sincerity is definately something Kamiya directed stuff strives for and I love it all for that.


#12

Portal 2 is probably one of the most brilliant endings I’ve ever seen in any medium as it just closes so many loops and uses all the games mechanics in the final battle. But the pay off is just so sublime

I know Valve kind of point it to you, but shooting the moon after Cave Johnson’s rants closed off a brilliant Chekov’s gun plot. The demented version of Wheatley’s Leitmotif as he rants on the soundtrack turning into a paniced and frenetic version as you get dragged into space as Wheatley begs you to grab him. A small bit of humor with the Space Orb getting into space. The overall panic and distortion as you get sucked into space while before GlaDOS saves you. It’s just an awesome sequence

The achievement was appropriately named “THAT JUST HAPPENED”. Because really, that just happened. Holy shit.


#13

Others have already pointed out some of my favorites (Super Metroid, Bastion). While I’m not sure it’s one of the best endings ever, the ending to Hitman: Blood Money took me completely by surprise and was a very satisfying way to end the game.

You’re just sitting there in a coffin, thinking that the game is over and the next Hitman might start with another clone. And then it clicks, you realize that Diana is trying to save you with the same serum you used earlier. So you revive yourself while Ave Maria is playing in the background, get up out the coffin and fight your way out.

It was totally unexpected for me and really badass the first time I played it.


#14

A few of my personal favorites:

Portal 2. That moment where the ceiling opens up and you see the moon in the distance, I just paused for a second and thought “…no, there’s just no way…” Then when it actually happened it was just everything I could have hoped for. I was grinning like an idiot, appreciating how what seemed like a brief throwaway gag came back full circle.

Dead Space - This basically pulls off every single pulp sci-fi trope all at once yet somehow manages to make it fun an engaging. Betrayal? Yup. Plot twist? Uh-huh. Sudden, brutal resolution? Absolutely. Gigantic, disgusting monster? And how. Fun little stinger right before credits? Of course. The final fight doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, it doesn’t give you a needless exposition dump at the end, and the game goes on for maybe three minutes after you no longer have control. It’s just so tight and knows exactly when and how to end.

Bayonetta. It ends about a dozen times, and each time just escalates it even further. You thought it was over when you navigated a lipstick bullet right into that dude’s face, then you thought it was over when you killed a god 1,000 times your size, but no. It’s not actually over until you rescue Bayonetta as Jean by riding a motorcycle up spent solid fuel boosters into outer-space then riding the broken debris of a skyscraper sized idol through re-entry into the atmosphere. Oh, and you fight your way through the credits. For a game about excess, it saves the best for last.

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. The less said about the ending the better because it is truly a punch in the gut that should be experienced. Reading about it does not have the same effect, it needs to be experienced cold. I’ve never been really moved by a game in a significant way, but the ending to Shattered Memories hit me hard, so much so that I was in an actual funk for over a week afterwards.


#15

Can we call the Suicide Mission at the end of Mass Effect 2 an ending sequence? Because holy hell is that whole thing a trip. I just love how that game entirely revolves around its ending, and how everything you do is building towards this final showdown at the other end of a relay that no one has ever come back from. Yeah sure, the proto-Reaper fight at the end is lame, but the payoff of seeing your crew through (or not) this intense gauntlet is something I look back upon fondly.


#16

On further reflection I’m just gonna go ahead and say “Games that Platinum made” because they’re all good and they all go amazing at the end

In Revengeance the Senator gets huge, goes “nanomachines, son,” and then punts and all of a sudden a football crowd is cheering because what the fuck


#17

It’s been several years since I beat Okami, but I still cannot listen to The Sun Rises without starting to tear up.

“If you pray with all your heart, maybe the sun will cheer up and show itself again, lighting the world with its heavenly glow. After all, the best thing about the great god Amaterasu is that happy-go-lucky spirit! Right, Ammy?”

Update: the tearing up has progressed to full on crying now. I have no idea why this moment hits me so hard, but it does.


#18

I know just saying the name Undertale has become a meme nowadays, but the ending sequences for both the neutral and pacifist ending (I refuse to do the worst ending) were absolutely mind-blowing when I first played them, having known almost nothing about what was to come. Every moment was a gut punch and a surprise, and not to mention both final bosses were really fun on top of that.


#19

I still have a soft spot in my heart for the gloriously cheesy end credits of God Hand.


#21

Transistor’s final 15 minutes or so are incredibly heartbreaking/hopeful.

Over the course of the game you’re allowed to enter a turn-based combat mode at will and carefully plan your strikes against enemies. During the final boss fight, it’s revealed the antagonist (one of the best I’ve seen in recent years btw) has this same ability, and the battle starts with him using it against you. Shocking enough, but after the fight the main character makes the choice to kill herself using the titular transistor which contains the soul of her lover and avoid living alone in the now entirely desolate, lifeless world that’s left after the events of the game.

The final cutscene is the touching meeting between the two inside the Transistor, on a piece of tranquil farmland. The song “Paper Boats” plays over the whole sequence and it was probably one of the few times I almost genuinely shed a tear during a game.”