5. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Yes, we’re bending the rules a bit here, but the Metal Gear Solid series roots have spread far and wide outside of its genre trappings. With a single tear, Snake sucker-punches the audience with an emotional tour de force as he reflects on the atrocities that have come before. It’s Metal Gear at its most tender.
4. Final Fantasy VIII
As far as narrative coherency goes, Final Fantasy VIII stands tall among its spiky-haired brethren. It’s an understatement to say the stakes are high as Squall and his team confront Ultimecia and following a colossal confrontation, the final moments are rapt with regret and poignance, before closing with an epilogue befitting of some of Square’s most fleshed-out heroes.
3. Planescape: Torment
Wholly engrossing from start to finish, Planescape: Torment takes the immortal The Nameless One on a quest to discover himself…and he does just that. the closing moments may have bamboozled a few but it’s an exceptionally well written climax, wrought with sadness and melancholy.
2. Chrono Trigger
This list wouldn’t be complete with Chrono Trigger making an appearance – but which ending do we pick? Well, all of them (because we can). Whether you depart through the Epoch on another adventure, sail wistfully off through the skies, or watch the development team get down with their funky selves, there was little left to want in Chrono’s closing moments.
1. Mass Effect 2
Look what you’ve done BioWare. The ending of Mass Effect 2 was the perfect balance of foreshadowing and closure, teasing enough of a eventual sequel without sacrificing a servicing story in the present. As the Reaper invasion looked imminent and the player once again suffers a crushing sacrifice, Mass Effect transcended its medium become a rightly revered work of storytelling magnificence.