[Guest Post] – 10 Of The Most Moving Moments In Gaming History

Author Alfie Davenport works in the technology department at Ladbrokes Games. Please direct any crying, wailing, and/or gnashing of teeth caused by this list in his direction.

When your mother/beloved/work colleagues look at you quizzically next time you say you got choked up by a video game, point them in the direction of this article. In this top ten, they will see that video games are just as cinematic as a tearjerker film.


10. The Walking Dead, Episode 3

This episodic, downloadable game has choice-based gameplay. The part where you have to choose to kill the zombie-infected kid Duck, or let his father do it will have you in tears. Heartbreaking.

9. Dead Island

OK, so the trailer had nothing to do with the actual story arc of the game, but it was still hard-hitting. It’s a camcorder film showing an idyllic family holiday which is ruined by zombies. Shudder.

8. Resistance 2

A really poignant moment comes in the form of a fleeting discovery when the team are looking round the war-torn Twin Falls in Idaho. There is a bedroom where a couple have obviously given up hope and committed suicide. It’s reminiscent of a scene from the much acclaimed film 28 Days Later. Bleak.

7. LA Noire

Rockstar’s LA Noire had one of the most jarring endings to a video game ever. No happy or conclusive finale here, just a profound sense of injustice and the loss of our main character, Phelps. After uncovering the truth about corruption, you watch those same corrupt officers make a ëheartfelt’ speech at his funeral. Thought-provoking.


6. Shadow of the Colossus

Anyone who remembers Neverending Story and the moment Atreyu’s horse Artex gets swallowed up by the quicksand will appreciate the lump-in-throat moment in Colossus. Hero Wander’s horse Agro sacrifices herself as she realises she won’t make a jump en route to the final Colossus. She saves Wander and falls to her death. Weepy.

5. Final Fantasy X

After endless hours of gameplay and the development of the love between Tidus and Yuna, the end is all the more moving. Without trying to convey the complex storyline, basically Tidus has to go at the end and fades away beside Yuna with an emotional soundtrack and you really feel the sense of loss. Beautiful.


4. Metal Gear Solid 4

The part where main character Naomi Hunter dies while Otacon, who is in love with her, watches on through a computer screen, is just heartbreaking. She feels responsible for her past mistakes and commits suicide by switching off the machines that have been preventing her terminal cancer from spreading. Dark.

3. Mass Effect 3: Mordin’s Sacrifice

The third offering from the Mass Effect series sees likeable alien scientist Mordin deciding to take responsibility in creating the Genophage weapon and sacrificing himself in order to destroy it. Accompanied by soaring music and explosions, he battles his way through to the computer, humming Gilbert and Sullivan to keep up his spirits. Sob.


2. Red Dead Redemption

Having completed the game, main character John Marston goes back home to get to know his son, only to face one last stand which he has no hope of winning. He packs his family off to safety (I’ll catch up. Keep riding and don’t look back.) and faces the attackers alone. It’s his wife’s horribly realistic sobbing that gets ya! Gulp.

1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

At the end, General Shepherd shoots you whilst you play an incapacitated, blurry-eyed Roach and then he kills arguably the coolest character ever ñ Ghost. It’s a slow, painful death where you get thrown into your grave with Ghost. Then they pour gasoline on you and Shepherd completes his betrayal by nonchalantly lighting it with his cigar. Just horrible.

Did we miss a moment? What is your most memorable gaming moment that moved you?

By B.J. Keeton

B.J. KEETON is a writer, teacher, and runner. When he isn't trying to think of a way to trick Fox into putting Firefly back on the air, he is either writing science fiction, watching an obscene amount of genre television, or looking for new ways to integrate fitness into his geektastic lifestyle. He is also the author of BIRTHRIGHT and co-author of NIMBUS. Both books are available for Amazon Kindle.


  1. I agree with a lot of these moments, Alfie…but no Final Fantasy 7? The end of the first disc was one of the most gut-wrenching moments in video game history. And the only time thus far that a game has made me tear up!

  2. Oh that “Mordin” part is the toughest choice.

    I don’t have a save file from ME 1 and ME 2 and that made me don’t want to help the Krogan. ( Wrex is not a Krogan )

    I don’t like FFX much . FFXII is more touching for me especially the moment when Aeris died. (sob)

    By the way , great article and great website here! 😀

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