Top 50 Biggest Emotional Moments in Video Games: 10-1 - Prima Games

Top 50 Biggest Emotional Moments in Video Games: 10-1

by Prima Games Staff

Click here for more of Prima’s emotional video game moments!


It’s been a tough road covering the 50 Biggest Emotional Moments in Video Games, with a lot of heartbreaking deaths, jarring twists and some feel-good endings that stick with you. Now we’ve finally come down to the top 10, and these are the most emotional of all, so grab some hankies and get ready for the feels. We’re going to hit you right where it hurts.

10. Clementine is alone (The Walking Dead)

It’s sad to see the young Clementine go through so much in the first season of The Walking Dead. However, the truly heartbreaking moment comes when she finds herself facing a dying Lee. The player can choose whatever they wish to do, but eventually, Clementine finds herself on her own, dealing with a harsh world. Her reaction to shadowy figures on a hill says it all.

9. Jenny’s death (The Darkness)

Remember earlier when we mentioned how you could sit down and enjoy a quiet moment with Jenny in The Darkness? There’s a reason that moment resonates so much. Paulie, working alongside corrupt police chief Eddie Shrote, kidnaps her, and with the Darkness restraining him, forces Jackie to watch as they blow her brains out. Unable to deal with the guilt and frustration, Jackie kills himself – only to come back stronger than ever, vowing to destroy those responsible. It’s just sad he couldn’t do more to save his beloved.

8. Farewell, Aggro (Shadow of the Colossus)

Aggro is your loyal steed throughout Shadow of the Colossus, which makes his death in the game all the more unsettling. After jumping onto a collapsing bridge, Aggro realizes the end is near. However, in a last heroic effort, he flings his rider to safety, only to fall to a watery grave. A loyal horse to the end.

7. Finally walking into the light (Journey)

It’s ironic that the game Journey really is more about the journey than the destination. However, after finally traveling so far, you reach a point where you can walk into the light and see what’s on the other side. We’d tell you here, but it’s better if you watch. Phenomenal stuff.

6. The nuclear explosion (Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare)

In one particular mission of Modern Warfare, your team makes a mad dash to rescue a downed pilot, as “no one gets left behind.” However, it’s all for naught, as a nuclear explosion sends your aircraft crashing to the ground. The real emotional heft, however, comes afterward, with Jackson crawling around in the devastation, only to succumb to his wounds. It’s an unsettling moment in an otherwise action-filled game.

5. Joel’s daughter dies (The Last of Us)

“You have no idea what loss is!” There’s a reason Joel is quite bitter throughout The Last of Us – if you went through what he went through, you’d probably go nuts, too. At the beginning of the game, he takes his daughter Sarah to a security checkpoint, only to be fired upon. A friend helps save the day, but it’s too late – Sarah takes a fatal bullet, and Joel emotionally breaks down afterward. It’s a hard moment to watch, especially with her reaction.

4. “No Russian” (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2)

Easily one of the most pulverizing moments this generation, Modern Warfare 2’s airport shootout was hard to digest. Players can skip it if they prefer, but missing the controversial scene leaves out a good chunk of the story. An undercover agent infiltrates Makarov’s group, and working alongside his men, creates a slaughterhouse in a Moscow airport. What makes this moment even more unsettling is the fact that Makarov knew your soldier’s identity the whole time, and leaves his body for the Russian police to discover. 

3. The death of Aerith (Final Fantasy VII)

A lot of Final Fantasy fans still ask, “Why did Aerith have to die?!” Indeed, one of the central characters from Final Fantasy VII meets her end at the hands of the vicious Sephiroth, and as a result, many role-playing fans were left weeping. The series has become known for other impactful moments, but none reflect as vividly as the loss of Aerith. She still hasn’t returned to a game since, although she does make a brief appearance as a vision in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

2. Baby Metroid saves the day (Super Metroid)

Samus Aran finds herself overcome by the monstrous Mother Brain, and just when it’s about to deliver the fatal blow, the baby Metroid that Samus rescued earlier appears, sucking the life out of the large adversary. Mother Brain reawakens and kills the baby Metroid, giving the heroic bounty hunter the chance to deliver sweet revenge. Baby Metroid, we barely knew you.

1. The end of John Marston, and the sweet revenge that follows (Red Dead Redemption)

Just when we got used to John Marston throughout Rockstar Games’ stellar Western adventure, the developer pulls the rug from under us and makes him the victim of a brutal attack at the hands of government agent Edgar Ross and his men. It’s an incredibly sad moment, especially considering the hell Marston went through to try and make things right so he could be with his family. However, his death isn’t for nothing, as his son Jack eventually hunts Ross down, and in one final fitting shootout, blows him away. JUSTICE – and easily the most emotional moment in gaming.

Click here for more of Prima’s emotional video game moments!

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