This past decade has seen an incredible evolution within the video game medium. Gameplay, graphics, and storytelling have all improved leaps and bounds. The following list will focus primarily on the latter category, specifically celebrating games with the best cliffhanger endings of the past ten years.
The best cliffhangers usually resolve the game's plot, but leave the door open for something new. Unfortunately, a select few of these have yet to find a resolution, but the endings aren't made worse for it. With a little luck and fan willpower, they'll see a continuation someday in the near future.
10 Peace Walker
The dozens of hours it takes to beat Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker proves big things can come in little packages. The game's true ending leaves the characters on an ominous note. Paz reveals her status as a double agent, but fails in stealing Peace Walker.
Big Boss and Kaz are aware of Cipher's existence and feel the pressure of them weighing down on Militaires Sans Frontieres, or MSF. A secret conversation with Kaz ultimately reveals his communication with Zero, leading to even more mysteries. The game was followed by Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain, which sadly was unable to resolve every plot thread from the sequel series and left the saga incomplete.
9 Wolfenstein: The New Order
BJ Blazkowicz and the resistance successfully mount an assault against Deathshead's compound. The hero defeats the evil scientist, but the antagonist uses his last bit of strength to detonate a grenade and severely wound BJ. Despite his injuries and immobility, he orders his comrades to fire a cannon and destroy the compound. During the credits, one can hear a helicopter, insinuating the resistance went back to save their hero. This leads into the sequel, where BJ starts out in a wheelchair doing what he does best - slaughtering Nazis.
8 Mortal Kombat X
Mortal Kombat's long, drawn-out saga is like a video game soap opera. As such, each entry leaves players with a cliffhanger. 2015's Mortal Kombat X ends with Raiden corrupted by Shinnok's seal and vowing swift punishment for anyone who threatens Earthrealm.
Liu Kang and Kitana are also revenants who assume the Netherrealm throne. This disarray leads directly into Mortal Kombat 11, where Konica deems the timeline irreparable and seeks to restart it.
7 Mass Effect 2
RPGs with cliffhangers typically don't go over well. No one likes playing a game for forty hours only to be left hanging. Mass Effect 2 remedies this in a couple of ways. First, the series was promised as a trilogy from the start, so players don't expect everything to be resolved by the time the credits roll. Secondly, Shepherd and their crew build-up to one final mission, which players fully accomplish - or fail, depending on their preparation - and see the results of afterward.
6 BioShock Infinite: Burial At Sea Part One
BioShock Infinite has a definitive closing, but Burial at Sea adds to the world and makes connections between the 2013 title and the original BioShock. The DLC expansion is divided into two parts, the first of which ends with Booker dead at the hands of a Big Daddy. Seeing as he was the playable character of the base game, this came as an unexpected shocker. The second part sees players in Elizabeth's shoes, an unexpected, yet welcome, turn.
5 Batman: Arkham Knight
Rocksteady Game's 2015 title closes out their legendary Arkham trilogy with a bang, quite literally. After saving the day, Bruce Wayne returns home and his manor explodes. Everyone thinks he is dead, but the last scene shows a bat-shaped figure saving a family from muggers because rich people still walk into dark alleys at night in Gotham for some reason. It's not explicitly stated, but one can deduce that Bruce Wayne faked his death after his identity as Batman was discovered, and then resumed his activities as the vigilante, meaning the hero's story isn't over yet.
4 Alan Wake
Alan Wake's success trajectory started off slow but built up to become one of the most beloved games of the Xbox 360. The game ends with the titular character submerging himself in a lake and being trapped in what is known as the Dark Place. In the almost ten years since, no sequel has emerged, though two DLC chapters slightly continued the story.
Hope for a new game came to light when Remedy regained the rights to the franchise and the studio's new game, Control, featured several nods to the cult classic, confirming them to be in the same universe. Now, either a direct sequel or crossover with Jesse Faden seems entirely possible.
3 The Last Of Us
Joel and Ellie's journey through the post-apocalyptic United States is not only seen as one of the best games of the decade, but as one of the best things ever produced in the medium. The ending is a particular highlight.
It shows how far one will go for someone they love, even potentially compromising their own relationship with them. For six years fans have been thinking what Ellie would think if she knew what Joel did to the Fireflies. Will she find out in The Last of Us Part 2? We'll find out this coming May.
2 Portal 2
These two claustrophobic games are legendary for their humor. While Portal's tight three-hour experience is often preferred over its sequel, Portal 2's more solid connections to the Half-Life universe made fans giddy with joy. The ending of the game finally sees Chell escape her confinement and leave the facility, but what awaits her in the outside world? Players don't know when in the timeline the game is set. Will she enter a world ruled by the Combine, or did she wake up decades, or even centuries after the conflict was resolved?
1 God of War
The normal ending of 2018's God of War leaves more than enough for players to contemplate for the next several years while the team works on a sequel. When players go back home, things get even more intriguing. The two protagonists go to sleep and Atreus sees a vision of the future where Thor comes knocking at their door.
On top of all the omens the normal ending gives players, the idea of Thor hunting them is just another terrifying thing they'll have to deal with. The god is hyped up so hard during the campaign but never seen. Will he finally be the one to best Kratos in combat?