20 Best Video Game Endings Ever

SOMA Ending


By the end of SOMA, you realize that the Earth was destroyed years ago, you are just a clone of your original self (or a clone of a clone by that point, really), and that your consciousness can be determined by a “coin flip” procedure that dictates which mind goes into which physical body (or other receptacles). The whole thing culminates in the player’s decision to try to upload all remaining human consciousness into a spaceship known as the ARK that might just be able to preserve whatever hope for humanity remains. In a stunning turn of events, though, the player realizes that their consciousness was not uploaded into the ARK as they intended. They lost the coin flip, and their consciousness must remain behind in a doomed world. What happens next is not entirely clear.

That’s a gross oversimplification of what happens in SOMA, but it’s hard to really capture the full weight of that moment in just a few words. Throughout most of SOMA, you’re encouraged to believe that you are somehow special. You win an earlier coin toss, and you’re certain that your consciousness will always be the one that “lives” on. Instead, you end up losing in a pretty big way. As the player character begins to curse and scream over their misunderstanding, we understand his pain. Perhaps he did the right thing, but he won’t be able to directly enjoy the benefits of his decision. Instead, he’s been left alone (mostly) in an absolute hellscape with the knowledge that his “existence” is both painfully real and also somewhat irrelevant.

While some details of SOMA‘s ending start to fall apart just a bit if you dive into them too deeply, the whole thing absolutely works on a visceral level. It’s a terrifying and intelligent way to end a terrifying and intelligent game. It’s the kind of ending you’ll never forget, and it’s the kind of ending that is worthy of being endlessly debated, dissected, and discussed.

  Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater ending

3. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

Like most of Hideo Kojima’s endings, Metal Gear Solid 3‘s finale is long, complicated, and subject to interpretation. Yet, this particular ending will rightfully be remembered for the moment when players realize the game expects them to shoot The Boss as she lies in a field of white flowers. That already powerful moment is perfectly punctuated by the game’s powerful score and the decision to turn every flower in that field blood red.

To be honest, you could make an argument for any of the Metal Gear Solid endings to appear on this list. They’re all wonderfully complex conclusions filled with political intrigue, great character moments, unexpected payoffs, and truly epic cinematic construction. MGS 3 certainly features all of those things.

What really makes this particular ending so special, though, is that moment you shoot The Boss. It’s that kind of powerfully personal (and intelligently interactive) moment that even some of the other great MGS endings sadly lack. Even if you don’t quite follow all of the political twists and turns that follow, you will fill the impact of that moment. It’s the moment that shows how Kojima (much like director David Lynch) truly understands and appreciates the heart at the center of his stories no matter how “weird” they get.

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