One of the biggest criticisms of the video games as art movement is that video games never elicit the same emotions that other forms of media do. In fact, one of the criticisms of gaming as art, is that video games will never make you cry the way a tear jerking movie or book will. Well we are here to challenge that. These Video Games That Will Make You Cry have some of the saddest moments of any form of media. You’ll see loved characters die, traumatic life events repressed, and entire lives shattered. You’ll see people give up their entire existence for nothing other than “doing the right thing.”
There are spoilers if you haven't played some of these games!
Final Fantasy 7Aeris's Death
Truth be told, We had to put Final Fantasy 7 on our list simply because we would have gotten hate mail if we didn’t. We personally don’t find the death of Aeris to be all that saddening, but gamers the world over regard this as one of the most heart wrenching moments in gaming history. Maybe it’s because they formed an emotional attachment to her early on, but we always thought Tifa was better.
Persona 3Main Character's Death
Now this is a JRPG that is a real tear jerker. The entire game you are lead to build up the main character in your own image. You make friends, forge social bonds, and live a life that you want to lead. Then the main character sacrifices his life to save all of humanity. He only has enough time left to live out the final few days of the school year with the friends he has come to love. The final scene where he closes his eyes on the school roof for the last time was simply moving.
Lost OdysseyAmnesia of Kaim
Lost Odyssey did some awesome things with the played out trope of amnesia. What happens when an ancient ageless being loses his memories? Well, you’d think that he would want to regain them, but as Kaim continues to regain his lost past, he realizes that some things are best left forgotten for a reason. Here, you are given a choice. You can either reclaim your past and relive the soul crushing sadness of those you left behind, or give the past up knowing that you give up who you truly are.
Valkyria ChroniclesIsara's Death
Valkyria Chronicles is kind of like crazy anime World War II, but it’s not all fun and tanks. There is real discrimination and war going on here, which means senseless loss of life. When your sister, Isara, is killed in the line of duty, it’s devastating both to character and player. This is a character that has come to stand for all that is good and peaceful in the world and just like that, a single bullet takes her out. Life is so fragile.
TerranigmaMain Character's Fate
Terranigma is sad on so many levels. The game begins in a ruined world with only a few humans left alive, and you accidentally kill them. To bring them back you go about resurrecting a whole other world, only to find that you were being manipulated the whole time. In fact, you are pretty much the devil incarnate, the opposite half of a legendary hero. It eventually falls to you to choose. Is this new world, one which you don’t even know, worth saving? Is it worth it to give your life and the lives of all you know for people who will never know your name? Is this the only way to give your actions meaning?
The Walking DeadLee's Death and Clementine's Decision
The Walking Dead is a work of zombie fiction, and you know that there aren’t going to be any happy endings in zombie fiction. Still, you follow Lee and Clementine around for five episodes, giving Lee your own personality and investing your hopes and dreams in him and the rag tag band of survivors he leads. So when the final episode comes around and… spoilers… Lee gets bit, you know it is going to end horribly. But when Clem stands in front of him and you are given the choice to let her pull the trigger or not, that’s when the tears start flowing, and that’s why this game gets on our list.
Silent Hill: Shattered MemoriesHarry's True Identity
In Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, you search throughout the entire game for your daughter after a horrible car crash. You meet people who die right in front of you, run through nightmare worlds filled with horrible manifestations of your own psychology, and eventually find your way to an abusive psychologist’s office only to find that you don’t exist. You are dead. You are a specter haunting your daughter who has grown up without you all these years. You can’t save your daughter because the car crash tore you from her all those many years ago.
Shadow of the ColossusThe Consequences of the Hero's Actions
What would you give to save your beloved? Would you give your life? Would you give the life of your comrades? Your best friend? Your horse? Would you condemn a world to darkness? These are the questions the main character of Shadow of the Colossus should have asked himself. By systematically murdering the world’s colossi, he may have gotten back the life of his beloved, but he won’t be around to see her.
Mother 3The Fate of Lucas's Family
Mother 3 starts by showing off the idyllic life of young Lucas and his brother Claus. Living in the countryside, they are friends to the animals and have some of the most loving parents in the world. Then, something goes wrong and a strangely cyborgified T-Rex attacks Lucas. As a result, he loses his mother and brother and soon enough, his father. Lucas then travels his homeland as he sees the countryside get taken over by industrialization and urban landscapes. Soon, everything he knows and loves is gone, leaving him with nothing but the drive to defeat the person who started all of this. Unfortunately, to do so he will have to kill his brother… again… in one of the most heart wrenching scenes in gaming.
To the MoonThe Whole Game Concept
Finally, the number one entry on our list, a game so saturated with sadness some have a hard time beating it because of how sad it is. The game’s premise involves the last few seconds of life. Scientists have figured out how to go into your memories and rewrite them, in order to give you the past you always wanted, but by doing so you are pretty much guaranteed to die. So they do this as the last wish of people who are on their death bed. In To the Moon, you embark on a journey of a life never lead due to trauma and repressed memories. Your client’s final wish is to go to the moon. Will you send him there?
Most Shocking Video Game Deaths