It's said that the journey is better than the destination. When looking back at some of our favorite games, we tend to always remember the game as a whole. Maybe the gameplay was absolutely phenomenal or it had addicting RPG elements. The games on this list are regarded as some of the best of all-time. However, many will be quick to say "Yeah that game was awesome, but the ending sucked."
This shows that a bad video game ending doesn't always ruin the experience as it can with movies, for example. Even if the game's ending isn't what you expected, the journey is what you'll cherish forever. Here are 10 endings in otherwise pretty great games. It goes without saying, but major spoilers ahead!
10 Far Cry 3
No one is sure what Ubisoft was thinking here. With Far Cry 3, they had one of the most charismatic and haunting villains in gaming history, Vaas Montenegro. Sadly, Vaas is killed off midway through the story. After that, Jason does after Hoyt, the leader of the island.
After Jason kills Hoyt, he makes his way back to Citra and his friends. In typical Far Cry fashion, Jason starts hallucinating. When he comes to, he is given the option to either kill his friends or go home with them. Since Jason isn’t all that interesting of a protagonist, this choice doesn’t hold much weight on the player. It’s a shame because other than that, Far Cry 3 is an excellent open-world game that mixes stealth with Rambo style gunplay in a gorgeous open world.
9 Shadow Of Mordor
To everyone's surprise, Shadow of Mordor ended up being a complete hit both critically and financially. It expanded the addicting brawler combat of the Arkham games. To top it all off, the Nemesis System was a revolutionary mechanic that has yet to be replicated in other games.
How could this all go wrong at the end? Three words: Quick Time Events. Yes, the “epic” conclusion to this masterful game was a glorified quick-time event. As Talion, you have been waiting to get your sweet revenge on Sauron for brutally killing your family. Killing the Dark Lord should not be a QTE.
8 Assassin’s Creed III
Assassin’s Creed III was an ambitious outing by Ubisoft. Overall, the game is extremely well-made. The combat had been enhanced for a nice seamless experience. This is where Ship combat was also introduced. All of this is included in a beautiful recreation of 18th Century America.
The modern-day storyline isn't everyone's favorite, especially in AC3. Desmond and his team are trying to prevent the end of the world. At the conclusion of the game, Desmond is left with two choices. He can either let the world die or save it, which would kill him and release Juno onto the world. In the end, Desmond decides the latter and the game is over like that. In retrospect, the entire modern-day plot is pointless as it's heavily watered down in the later games.
7 Arkham Asylum
Arkham Asylum is one of the best superhero games out there. It was a situation where you could tell the developers truly cared about a superhero and gave a faithful interpretation of the character and its lore. As you take full control of Batman, the game lets you explore Arkham Asylum after Joker has wreaked havoc and freed all the prisoners. The game has excellent boss fights, hard-pounding combat, and a gothic-horror atmosphere.
Then it all comes crashing down at the end. Batman finally confronts Joker, his greatest nemesis. Joker then decides to inject himself with the Titan serum, which turns him into a giant monster. The Joker is one of the best villains in history. His main weapon has always been his demented brain. At the end of this amazing game though, he just turns himself into a massive brute.
6 Mass Effect 3
Mass Effect 3 had everything going for it following the success of the first two games. The gameplay had been vastly improved, which was the main criticism of the first two games. Players had two games worth of choices to follow up on. Overall, Mass Effect 3 was a solid entry. The same can’t be said about its ending, where everything fell apart.
One ambitious aspect of the series is how all of your choices carry over into the sequels. Unfortunately, players were robbed of their player-agency in the game's closing moments. Instead of having an ending tailor-made from your choices, you were stuck choosing between three endings (technically four endings with the Extended Cut DLC). In any other game, this could work. In Mass Effect, it does not. It made players feel as if their choices were meaningless since the end result would always be the same. BioWare would later patch this ending, but the damage was already done.
Many will always remember the shock and awe after finding out about “Would You Kindly" during BioShock. After this amazing plot-twist, the game's final act really stumbles and feels like a chore to finish.
After trudging through Rapture, you finally come face to face with Frank Fontaine. Except, Fontaine has roided himself with ADAM, and is now a giant hulking beast that you must defeat. The boss fight itself isn’t all that memorable and diminishes the rhetoric being presented. This entire game has presented you with many existential ideologies like free will and power. After all these questions, we’re just given a berserker boss fight at the end. Thanks, BioShock.
Before the likes of Destiny and The Division, Borderlands was the one that started it all. The idea was almost unheard of. Take the loot system of Diablo, but apply to it a first-person shooter. While the sequel improves almost everything, the original Borderlands was great for its time. Each of the four playable characters felt very distinct from one another, which added so much replayability.
As a Vault Hunter, you’ve come to Pandora in search of opening an ancient vault, which is said to contain power and treasure. Once you finally do open it, though, you’re left extremely disappointed. Instead of power and loot, it is a giant tentacle monster. After you finish this long and tedious final boss, the vault closes and you are informed that it won’t open for another 200 years. Talk about anti-climactic.
3 Fallout 3
Fallout 3 is regarded as one of the prime titles to own back on PS3 and Xbox 360. For good reason too. It offered so much exploration in the highly detailed post-apocalyptic wasteland. It was a true role-playing experience where the Lone Wanderer truly felt like the character you wanted him to be.
At the end of your journey, you stumble upon Project Purity to save the civilians. In order to activate Project Purity, you either have to sacrifice yourself or your companion, Sarah Lyons. Neither of these choices is desirable. It gets worse too. Once you have made the forced choice, the game is over. That was it! You were no longer able to continue exploring the wasteland since your story is considered over. This completely undermines everything that made the game great. Bethesda would later fix this ending with Broken Steel DLC, but this was a paid DLC. Therefore, it’s a scummy way to undo the damage.
2 Asura’s Wrath
Oh Capcom, why are you like this sometimes? Asura’s Wrath is a balls-to-the-wall action title with ridiculous action set-pieces only a video game can conjure up. It’s the only game in recent memory that managed to make quick-time events exhilarating and intense.
Then the rug is pulled from under us by Capcom at the very end. The game pretty much just ends...with no full closure. Well, for players who wanted to know what really happened in the end, they had to cough up $7 for DLC. Yes, the ending to Asura’s Wrath is blocked by a pay-wall. Capcom shamelessly even went as far as advertising this expansion as the “true ending.”
1 Halo 2
Halo 2 is still known as a flagship title for the original Xbox. It was a solid first-person shooter filled with top-notch storytelling. The sequel really expands the world-building within this universe. Each battle, while sometimes repetitive, was always an intense thrill ride thanks to the new mechanics, such as duel-wielding.
Still, the game still remains in infamy thanks to its extremely abrupt cliffhanger ending. Cliffhangers can be a good storytelling mechanic when done right. In Halo 2, however, this game just ends right before a giant battle. Throughout the campaign, players were expecting a glorious action-packed ending. As Master Chief is asked what he's doing on a ship headed to Earth, his response is simply, “Sir, finishing this fight.”
That’s it. That’s literally how the game ends. To add insult to injury, players had to wait for Halo 3 to get answers, which wouldn’t come out for three years...on an entirely new console!