Video games where no character has a happy ending

Most video games have started to deviate from the classic story of good versus evil that had populated the industry for so long. The audience for video games has evolved quite a bit, and it makes sense that stories should now target older people as well. As a result, games began to sport a darker aesthetic and edgier storylines, and many gamers loved the maturity that certain titles bring.

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However, people might argue that certain games go too far in their effort to make their games as bleak and sad as possible. This gets to a point where certain players just can’t enjoy any good ending of their own, and are forced to watch all their beloved characters go down a dark path with no hope of securing a happy ending of their own. Here are some titles where almost no character gets a happy ending.


10 Dark souls

Miyazaki’s proprietary storytelling brand is present throughout Dark souls for all to see. Almost all parts of the lore are pretty well hidden and not particularly happy either.

The fact that the final boss theme is so tragic shows how sad the fate of the world’s inhabitants is. Even the characters that players encounter in the game have to go through their own tragedies, which shows how useless it is to live in the world of Dark souls really is.

9 blood borne

blood borne is possibly the best game Miyazaki has ever made. The haunting Victorian aesthetic coupled with the invading Lovecraft themes make this game truly engrossing.

Suffice to say, hardly anyone in this game gets away without going completely insane after staying in this plague-ridden world for too long. The three different endings that players can achieve are quite cryptic, with none of them eliciting any feelings of happiness given the subtext of the world.

8 free oxen

free oxenThe time-bending narrative is absolutely riveting the first time around, exploring the story of Alex and his friends as they decide to explore the mysterious Edwards Island. The plot starts off simple before branching out into something truly impressive.

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free oxenThe strength of lies in the depth of its characters and the interesting story they tell along the way. Unfortunately, a playthrough of the game reveals that the teens are stuck in a time loop with no escape unless players decide to go through a New Game+ round instead.

7 Limbo

Limbo is a truly captivating title, serving as an atmospheric side-scroller with simple yet engaging gameplay. Most people would want to waste as little time as possible simply because of how visceral the main character deaths are.

The ending of the game is left open on purpose, and none of the endings are joyous in any way. Most people agree that the boy and his sister are dead, and the former goes through hell and relives the abuse he endured as a child.

6 Inside

After the release of LimboPlaydead worked hard to develop a game that captured the feelings of Limbo while modernizing its mechanics. The end result was a game titled Inside.

What begins as the story of a boy trying to escape from the authorities turns into a mind-boggling story of control, one that the “boy” may not even be aware of in the first place. The game has a main and an alternate ending that are quite cryptic and make it clear that the world and its characters are in pretty bad shape.

5 Special Ops: The Line

Special Ops: The Line It brilliantly subverts expectations, initially leading players to believe this was nothing more than a run-of-the-mill shooter. However, it is only when players explore the intricacies of the story that the truth comes to light.

Special Ops: The Line It serves as a great commentary on violence desensitization and how players deal with their trauma. Walker finds it better to simply blame an unseen force for everything rather than take responsibility for his actions, and each ending makes it clear that neither he nor his squad will enjoy a happy ending.

4 max payne

First max payne begins on an incredibly somber note, detailing the moment Max came home only to find his wife and son murdered. This leads the video game cop down a path of revenge where he is hunted by everyone from the police to the local mob.

Though Max clears his name in the end, it’s obvious his fate will be anything but happy. The death of his family still weighs heavily on him, and most players will have already noted how hopelessly addicted he is now to painkillers as well.

3 Dead space

Most horror games avoid having happy endings in order to maintain the integrity of their atmosphere. Such is the case of Dead spacewhere the conclusion is pretty final but feels pretty hollow given how much Isaac Clarke has lost over the course of his journey.

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His girlfriend’s voice turns out to be a hoax, as she actually died long before the events of the game began. On top of all this, the game ends with a vision of Isaac hallucinating his dead girlfriend, who then moves in to hit him.

two System Clash 2

the system crash The series is one of the most underrated science fiction series. With the first game getting a modern remake, it’s just a given that many gamers will be excited to enter this series, whether as newcomers or long-time fans.

Nevertheless, system crash is another game where the ending is anything but happy. Virtually everyone on Von Braun is dead, and SHODAN is still alive and infecting humans even now.

1 cyberpunk 2077

cyberpunk 2077 features the proprietary brand of emotional storytelling that CD Projekt Red is so famous for. Despite its turbulent period of development, the game is in a fairly stable state at the moment and is very worthwhile for most players.

Players who spend a ton of time on V and the other supporting characters will definitely be put off by the many endings that cyberpunk 2077 has to offer. Regardless of the choices a player makes, V will eventually die if he returns to his own body, and the only solution for his body to stay alive is to biochip Johnny. Players can then spend the limited time they have with the people they love, or let V enter cyberspace while Johnny takes over his body. Either way, both results are pretty sad in their own right.

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