10 Unforgettable Video Game Moments

Games are capable of telling emotionally charged narratives, and here are 10 of the most emotional moments in all of gaming.

Posted By | On 28th, Feb. 2024

10 Unforgettable Video Game Moments

There’s little doubt to the fact that video games are the ultimate form of art; stirring together elements of cinema and music with interactivity to create experiences like no other. It’s not easy to coalesce those elements to create something spectacular, but when developers manage to do just that – we get scenes and moments that remain etched within our memories long after the credits roll.

Ghost of Tsushima – Jin Kills His Uncle

ghost-of-tsushima-prologue.jpg

Ghost of Tsushima is all about Jin’s journey to overthrow Mongol rule from his island, and the only way he is able to reclaim that lost land is by breaking the way of the Samurai. Through forgoing honor and becoming a ghost in the dark, Jin is able to slowly assert his influence on the overwhelming number of enemy forces and free his uncle from the clutches of antagonist Khotun Khan. Once all is said and done, Lord Shimura has no other choice than to punish Jin for breaking the Samurai code which inadvertently leads to an amazing boss fight sequence. 

This fight for honor ends with Jin killing his own uncle, the very man who taught him his skills and helped him become the man he is today. It’s a hell of an emotional sequence where we see Jin teary-eyed, and we get to realize the sheer differences between the ideologies of the two individuals and also how the love and blood relations they share aren’t nearly enough to bridge that gap of differing ideologies.

Red Dead Redemption 2 – Arthur’s The Last Ride

red dead redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 is a wonderful adventure that pays just as much as the time that you spend with its complex characters and richly detailed world. The protagonist Arthur Morgan learns of an incurable affliction halfway through the story, and he decides to change his life for the better now that his death is clearly looming over the horizon. Just before all hell breaks loose and the Van Der Linde gang finally splits up, Arthur takes one last ride back to the camp where he sees echoing sounds of the many NPCs he touched, people who saw the good in him – all of which are accompanied by some appropriately somber music. It perfectly encapsulates that massive journey up to that point, and everything from the camera angle to the pacing and music really helps in setting the right tone for what’s about to come. 

Marvel’s Spider-Man – Aunt May’s Death 

aunt may spider man

The true spirit of a good superhero story is its ability to accurately reflect the highs and lows of having that power and the responsibility that comes along with it. There’s no shortage of moments that represent the amazing strength of Spider-Man in the 2018 game, but the moment that’s perhaps the most special represents his helplessness instead. After Dr. Octopus unleashes the Devil Breath all over the city, Peter is able to recover an antiserum – but finds himself facing a difficult dilemma. He can either choose to save a dying Aunt May with that antiserum, or save that for the greater good of the city. 

Peter tries to act in an impulsive fashion but isn’t able to make that decision due to the massive weight of responsibility on his shoulders. It’s at this moment that Aunt May reveals that she knew Peter was always behind that mask, and tells her that she is proud that Peter has the courage to make that sacrifice. Peter isn’t able to stop the barrage of tears flowing from his eyes, and we can’t blame him since he just lost the last semblance of a parent that he knew. 

Yakuza 0 – The Epilogue

Yakuza 0 is an emotional rollercoaster that hooks you with its compelling story and crazy turn of events which leaves you yearning to want more. It’s chock full of amazing moments that make your eyes tear up with joy or sadness, but the game especially shines at the end when the dust has settled after a big conspiracy. After much is lost, our protagonists Kiryu and Majima go through some painful experiences they come to terms with some hard-hitting realizations. Kiryu finally learns that being a Yakuza is not what he always thought of, an unfretted man who is not constrained by the shackles of society.

The events of Yakuza 0 serve as a bitter lesson for Kiryu and the epilogue beautifully portrays the growth of Kiryu Kazuma as a Yakuza. Running on a parallel note, we also have the story of Goro Majima – who does everything and anything in his power to save a blind Makoto from the Yakuza and be the guiding light in her life. Majima eventually decides to forgo his feelings of affection for Makoto by pretending to be a stranger in her life just to keep her safe from the clutches of the Yakuza, and the epilogue puts a sad and premature end to this love plot. Spanning a length of over 40 minutes, the epilogue cutscene of Yakuza 0 beautifully brings a conclusion to the story of both protagonists in their unique way while filling everyone with a surge of bittersweet emotions.

Lee’s Death – Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season One

The Walking Dead The Final Season

Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season One tells a heart-wrenching tale of humans trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. At the epicenter of it all is Lee Everett, a convicted murderer who gets another chance at redemption thanks to the apocalypse. Lee ends up forming a close bond with a young girl named Clementine and goes to any length to protect Clem. And when Clem finds herself in danger, Lee immediately thrusts himself into the deep end to rescue her but gets bitten by a Walker as a result. At the end of the aftermath lies Lee bleeding and Clementine there with him. Knowing of his imminent fate, Lee asks Clementine to kill him so that he can never turn into a Walker and free him of his misery.

It ends with Clem shooting Lee, killing him in a really emotional scene as she walks away with Lee’s corpse lying lifeless on the ground. This scene is a perfect demonstration of the sheer brutality of the post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead, and it’s surely going to leave you in a frantic search for tissues to wipe away those tears. 

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater – Naked Snake Kills The Boss

Hideo Kojima is a big lover of cinema, and his love for the medium shines brightly in the cinematic presentation of his projects – most notably Metal Gear Solid. The series has no shortage of emotional moments, but the ending to Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater has to be one of his best works to date. After Snake defeats the massive battle tank in battle, the last step towards completing Operation Snake Eater is killing The Boss. The ensuing battle takes place in a beautiful white flower field, and both of them take their merry time justifying their actions before the fight finally starts. Snake eventually kills The Boss with her own gun, and the white roses gradually turn red as the camera shifts its perspective to frame the action in a beautiful fashion. 

The Last of Us Part 1 –  Joel Lies To Ellie

The Last of Us Part 1

The Last of Us Part 1 is an emotionally charged tale about Joel and Ellie embarking on a massive trek across a post-apocalyptic America, and that ends with what is easily one of the best scenes in all of gaming. Joel and Ellie don’t start out on the best of terms, but they are able to build a father-son relationship through the many trials and tribulations they face on the journey. So when Joel is presented with the dilemma that developing a cure for the virus may take Ellie’s life, he doesn’t hesitate for a second before pulling out his gun and going on a murder spree to save Ellie and take her far away from the hospital. She finally wakes up after the sedatives have worn off, and asks what went down with The Fireflies – and Joel instantly lies knowing that Ellie wouldn’t forgive him for what he did. 

The duo then get out of the car and follow a short trail when Ellie asks once again if Joel is actually telling the truth – to which he lies once again. The close framing of the shot reveals the subtle facial expressions of the characters all but gives the lie away, which is when the screen cuts to black. It takes a lot of courage to leave the story and such a crucial point up to the viewer’s interpretation, and The Last of Us Part 1 deserves utmost appreciation for nailing it effortlessly. 

Gears of War 3 – Dom’s Death 

Gears of War tells a harrowing story of human survival against the Locusts, and one of the biggest and most emotional moments in the entire franchise has to be Dom’s death in the third game. When Marcus and friends find themselves trapped in an impossible situation with no way out in sight, Dom decides to take charge of the situation and plans to sacrifice his life for the greater good. He hops onto a truck and drives it through a tunnel at full speed, hoping to crash directly into a massive fuel tank at the heart of Locust territory. The ensuing explosion kills all enemies in sight, and Dom’s sacrifice gives the team just the leeway they need to survive that battle and escape. It’s a heart-wrenching scene that’s shot beautifully, and the melancholic tunes of Gary Jules’ Mad World fit this sequence to a tee. 

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves  – The Train Ride

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Choreographing a great action scene is no joke, and it’s all the more difficult in video games since the player’s actions will ultimately move the scene forward. It’s essential to keep inputs simple and obvious while slowly building intensity to really make the player feel like the hero of the plot – and Naughty Dog nails that over and over again with Uncharted 2. The train sequence is particularly great, since it starts out with a simple climbing section, and slowly builds up intensity with increasing enemy opposition that needs to be dealt with. The path to the objective is straightforward enough, and it all comes to a memorable end when the train finally crashes which then leads to another climbing set-piece section. It’s a really memorable sequence that’s executed with absolute precision and will undoubtedly stay with you long after the credits roll.

Suicide Mission – Mass Effect 2

The trip through the Omega-4 Relay and assault on the Collectors’ Base – the quote-unquote Suicide Mission – is built up throughout Mass Effect 2. You must acquire essential upgrades for the Normandy and complete each squadmate’s Loyalty Missions. If that weren’t enough, choosing the correct dialogue and having a high enough Paragon or Renegade score is mandatory in some places.

When the mission begins, it’s a high-stakes, multi-stage traipse where selecting the correct characters for each task is key. It has everything, from tense shootouts against the Collectors to the reveal of their grand experiment – a Human Reaper to defeat before a desperate escape. The Suicide Mission is a masterclass in pacing and drama that very few games have come close to matching. Even after doing everything right, there’s always that fear of potentially losing someone forever.


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