The Guiness Book of Gaming Records has named 2010 shooter Call of Duty: Black Ops as having the greatest video game ending of all time. It had polled over 13,000 fans to find the best video game ending ever for an entry in the Guinness World Records 2012 Gamer’s Edition book.
Now, I am all for this but endings are subjective. But a casual glance at the top 50 is actually extremely depressing. Like, really depressing.
So, in some counterbalance, I would like to name my 10 best gaming endings, based on three decades of gaming experience. Feel free to agree, disagree or argue for your favourites I haven’t included.
I will keep this list relatively spoiler-free.
10. Portal/Portal 2 (PC)
Can’t decide, both epic conclusions, so they can be lumped together. The ending credits music is important too, as you may become aware in my rundown.
9. The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening (Gameboy)
A simple but emotional ending that is the perfect conclusion to a thoroughly inventive adventure.
8. Kingdom Hearts (Playstation 2)
It was a brilliant – albeit predictable – ending to a thoroughly amazing game. Something its sequel just failed to match, sadly.
7. Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64, Nintendo DS)
Again, it’s the ending music. This is a huge deal breaker. The music needs to be suitably epic to conclude the game. Mario 64 has it.
6. Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones (Multiple platforms)
As much as I loved the original ending to Sands of Time, The Two Thrones was a witty, sharp and ultimately clever conclusion to the trilogy, wrapping everything up in the neatest and prettiest of bows.
5. Dynamite Headdy (Sega Mega Drive, Wii Virtual Console)
It’s a tough old game, but the theatric nature of the game continues through to the credits. And that ending music remains one of my all-time favourites! THAT is how you know you’ve beat the game!
4. Silent Hill 2 (PS2)
Actually, I didn’t rate the game much, however one of the multiple endings – The Dog Ending, as it has become known – is such an insane stroke of genius that I would like to know exactly what substances were doing the rounds at Team Silent at the time.
3. Final Fantasy IX (Playstation)
I’m going with 9 as the best Final Fantasy ending ever because it is so romantic and heartwarming, an affirming and brilliant conclusion to what is, in my mind, the best of the PS-era Final Fantasy games.
2. Chrono Trigger (SNES, DS)
Why have one ending when you can have a dozen? Chrono Trigger has multiple amazing endings, and is also a fantastic game in its own right.
1. Lufia: Rise of the Sinistrals
For me, the only gaming ending to actually bring tears to my eyes. A wonderful, wonderful, wonderful conclusion to a breathtakingly well-told RPG. And that ending theme will forever be my lifelong theme tune.
Black Ops has nothing on these games. Some of which didn’t even make the top 50.
For shame, Guiness.