You put hours into a game, you pay attention to the plot and enjoy the engaging characters…only to be greeted with an inane, underwhelming and disappointing ending. Making that journey you just took leaving you feeling deflated and asking yourself “why?”.
Of course not all game endings are bad and a bad ending does not necessarily equate to a bad game either, but they can leave you really disappointed and wondering why the developers even bothered.
So lets take a look at some of the worst game endings ever from classic gaming right up to today and look at what makes them bad.
I’ll start with one of the most notorious bad endings…
Ghostbusters for the NES was based on the film and tasked the player with defending New York from ghosts. Not a great game, but even this title deserved a better ending…
Not just a lazy black screen with white text, but also badly spelt and presented too.
“CONGLATURATION” and “PROOVED” were just some of the highlights of this bad ending that looked like your average 13 year olds comments on Youtube.
Even great games can be guilty of bad endings.
The Legend Of Zelda:
The Legend Of Zelda is easily one of the very best games on the NES and went on to spawn a huge franchise that is still going to day…but about the ending…
Another one of those black screens with white text, but not as bad as the Ghostbusters one it is spelt correctly and the grammar is fine. The problem is that The Legend Of Zelda was an immense game for its time with a great story and characters. Something this epic really should have had a more satisfying ending other than the lazy black screen and white text that essentially just says “well done”.
Next let’s go for a popular choice.
Mass Effect 3:
The Mass Effect trilogy was a really enjoyable series and took us on a space adventure not matched by anything. The characters were engaging and well written, you could make choices/decisions that would carry over from one game to the next.
So where did all those decisions you made throughout the trilogy lead to? Well, nowhere to be honest. Nothing you said or did over the course of the games made any impact on the ending. The ending to Mass Effect 3 was so bad the developers issued an “extended” ending via DLC which left players even more disappointed than before. The more you follow and understand the plot and narrative of Mass Effect, the worse the ending is for you.
Now one of the best games from one of the best developers of the best genre of the early 90s.
Monkey Island 2:
There was a time when Lucasarts made amazing point n’ click adventures. Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2 were among the best. But the ending of Monkey Island 2 really did turn out bad which basically made out that Guybrush and LeChuck were really just two kids playing a game at a carnival. It was a cop out ending that was just a hair short of being a “it was all a dream” ending.
The ending was so bad that Monkey Island 3 just swept it under the carpet and pretended it never happened.
Here comes another great game with a bad ending.
Ghosts n’ Goblins:
Ghosts n’ Goblins was one tough game, it was also really enjoyable and one of the best action/platformers of the mid 80’s. So playing as tough knight Arthur trying to get your kidnapped girlfriend back from none other than The Devil himself. So what happens once you reach Beelzebub? Well he tells you you have to go back to the beginning and play through the entire game again…only this time it’s harder. Screw that!
Now for a bad ending a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2:
The two Knights Of The Old Republic games were immense and a genuinely great addition to the Star Wars expanded universe. The first game had one hell of a great ending with an amazing sting in the tail, so we were pumped to see what the next game would bring us and how it would impress us again with a jaw dropping ending.
What we actually got with the ending of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords was an ending where Kreia attempts (and fails) to wrap up all the loose ends from this game with could take 20-30+ hours to complete with a brief conversation in which nothing is really resolved. Plus you never got to cross lightsabers with Revan either.
Those are just a handful of bad endings of which there are many, many more.
Do you have some bad game ending memories? Feel free to share them in the comments below.