Games That Have Extremely Bleak Endings


A game’s ending is often one of the most debated topics surrounding its story. After a player invests anywhere from 10 to 40 hours into a campaign, the way the plot resolves itself is a crucial part of that experience. The greater the time investment, the more crucial the conclusion becomes.

While many games tend to lean towards a happy or satisfying finale, some chose to do the opposite. They wrap up their stories on a bleak, emotionally devastating note that leaves players feeling stunned. These aren’t Depraved endings, but they certainly aren’t happy. Instead, credits roll with a thematic & emotional conclusion that will stick with players for a long time.


7/7 The Last of Us Part II

The Last Of Us Part II Ending drags Ellie down to the lowest place she's ever been

Technically, The Last of Us Part II has two main characters. Abby, who begins the game as the villain after brutally murdering Joel, has a relatively happy ending. She witnesses all of her friends’ murders, but she & Lev escape almost unscathed & seem to find hope for safety in rumors of a community of survivors on the West coast of the US.

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Ellie, on the other h&, gets it far worse. Her quest to avenge Joel’s murder sees her lose virtually everything. Dina & Jesse are both forced to leave her & her obsessive pursuit of violence. Joel’s brother Tommy is left maimed by that same pursuit, yet he admonishes Ellie for not finishing the task. In the end, Ellie tracks Abby down & saves her life, before she attacks her & loses two fingers in their final fight. Ellie finally gives in & ab&ons her need for revenge, which had become empty & pointless. Losing those fingers means she can’t even play Joel’s guitar, her one remaining connection to him. The game concludes with Ellie departing her now-empty house, having lost everyone she called family for the sake of a cause she no longer believed in.

6/7 Shadow of the Colossus

Shadow Of The Colossus Ending reveals that the player's actions have been for nothing

There isn’t a ton of background given for why W&er brings the deceased maiden Mono to the Forgotten L&s beyond the fact that he wishes to resurrect her, with the forces of Lord Eamon trying to stop him. Whatever his motivations, W&er encounters a disembodied being of light called Dormin in the Shrine of Worship. Dormin promises to perform the resurrection if W&er can slay the sixteen Colossi that populate the l&.

It quickly becomes obvious that slaying these Colossi is changing W&er into something sinister. His features grow darker, & he begins to sprout horns from his head. After the sixteenth Colossus falls, W&er returns to the Shrine to realize that Dormin has tricked him. The Colossi were the seals that kept Dormin imprisoned. Without them, it escapes & possesses W&er, transforming him into a gigantic beast. W&er attacks & kills the forces of Lord Eamon. Eventually, the Lord is able to invoke a whirlwind of light & entrap Dormin once again, & W&er along with it. Mono does awaken just before the game’s credits though, so maybe it’s not all Depraved.

5/7 Dead Space

Dead Space Ending sees Isaac escape alive, but maybe not fully sane

Isaac Clarke’s arrival on the USG Ishimura is driven by his need to rescue his partner Nicole Brennan, the Ishimura’s Chief Medical Officer, after the planetcracker spaceship went radio silent. Isaac was chosen as an engineer for the small team sent by Earth’s government to try & control the situation on the Ishimura. However, it isn’t long before the rest of the crew is killed by Necromorphs, leaving Isaac alone.

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After retrieving the Marker – the object unearthed by the Ishimura which caused the Necromorph emergence – Isaac discovers that the messages he was receiving from Nicole were hallucinations. Nicole committed suicide at the conclusion of her first message to Isaac, to avoid transforming into a Necromorph. Now truly alone, Isaac escapes the Ishimura only to be attacked by a violent hallucination of Nicole, suggesting that while he may have survived, his mind is no longer intact.

4/7 Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 Ending sees Arthur die a hard death, no matter how many amends he made

It takes a while for Red Dead Redemption 2 to reveal why Arthur Morgan was no longer around in the first entry in the series (which chronologically takes place several years later). Once Arthur is diagnosed with tuberculosis, he becomes a man on borrowed time. No matter how hard he tries to right the wrongs of his past, the end result is always the same.

Whether players choose to have Arthur chase down the V&erlinde gang’s money, or rescue his friends, the outcome is always the same. He meets his end at the h&s of Micah Bell, the game’s main antagonist. It is a hard, ugly death for a man who deserved better. While John Marston takes up the mantle & eventually tracks down & kills Micah, knowing where the series’ first game concludes, it brings little solace. Both men, in the end, are killed as a result of their misdeeds, even after doing their best to make up for them.

3/7 A Plague Tale: Requiem

A Plague Tale Requiem Ending leaves Amicia with no choice but to kill her brother

Anyone familiar with A Plague Tale: Innocence shouldn’t be surprised that the game’s sequel goes to some dark places. Amicia & Hugo’s search for a cure to the Macula, the ancient disease that has infected Hugo & allows him to communicate with rats, seemed doomed from the outset. What makes this ending so brutal, though, is that while Amicia never finds a cure per se, she discovers that she can keep the disease from progressing. She must retreat with Hugo to a remote location away from the dangers of the world, but the world simply won’t let them go.

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Hugo’s dreams of an isl& & a phoenix lead him & Amicia to the isl& of La Cuna. The isl&’s Count & Countess believe that Hugo is a divine child & take him from Amicia by force, smuggling him away to the city of Marseille. Believing Amicia has been killed, Hugo goes off like a bomb, giving himself over to the Macula & unleashing it on Marseille. By the time Amicia reaches him, it’s too late. The only solution left is for her to kill Hugo (or to let Lucas do it). She can the lives of anyone left before it’s too late, but must sacrifice her brother to do so.

2/7 Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Telltale's The Walking Dead Ending forces Clem to face the apocalypse alone

The game that solidified Telltale’s style of decision-based storytelling, The Walking Dead ran for four seasons, but the first one still hits the hardest. Lee is a convicted felon being transported to jail in a police cruiser when the zombie apocalypse breaks out. The officer driving the cruiser is killed, & Lee flees for safety, eventually coming to the home of a young girl named Clementine. As the world falls apart, Lee & Clementine form a deep personal bond. Lee saves Clementine’s life, & Clem savse Lee’s soul.

Sadly, the apocalypse is an unfriendly place. Lee is eventually bitten by a zombie, & spends the majority of his remaining time rescuing Clem from a survivor that they had stolen from earlier in the story. As the two escape, Lee collapses in the street, & Clementine drags him into an ab&oned store. The player has the option to choose whether Lee asks Clem to kill him or not, but the outcome is the same: Clementine is left all alone in a dangerous & unforgiving world.

1/7 Inside

Inside Ending leaves both the boy & the creature he became helpless & lost

The plot of Inside is minimalist, but still manages to build a sense of hope before snatching it away. A boy in a red shirt, running from something unknown, makes his way through scores of masked guards, Wrathful dogs, & parasitic worms. He eventually breaks into an office building & proceeds to the laboratory beneath it.

Once there, the boy encounters a giant blob of humanoid parts, known as The Huddle. The boy disconnects the rods attached to The Huddle, which breaks free & absorbs the boy into itself. The Huddle goes on a rampage, killing the guards in the lab & crashing through several concrete walls before it breaks free of the building. It rolls down a long hill, eventually coming to rest on a grassy embankment overlooking an ocean at sunrise. The boy is gone, The Huddle has nowhere else to run. They are trapped, but at least the view is nice.

MORE: Video Games With The Most Heartbreaking Endings, Ranked

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