17 Popular Video Game Moments That Made Players Emotional

Video games allow you to visit different worlds and have unique experiences. A popular online forum recently asked which video game moments make you emotional. The gamut of emotions can run from extreme sadness to being overjoyed. These are 15 emotional moments that you can find in games, in no particular order.

1. God of War

God of War 1
Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Several members lament that God of War really has them in their feels. However, the most emotional scene is the ending of the first game. If you know, you know. 

2. Star Wars Republic Commando

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Image Credit: Lucasfilm.

In an older game, Star Wars Republic Commando there are a few different emotional deaths. Arguably the worst one is Sev, as you have no choice but to let him get overwhelmed by enemy forces. 

3. Telltale's The Walking Dead – Season 1

The Walking Dead Game
Image Credit: Telltale Games.

The end of the first season of The Walking Dead forced you to make a choice as a young girl named Clementine. Lee, the guy who has been protecting Clementine, was bitten. Now Clementine had to decide whether to leave him to die and potentially have him turn into a zombie or shoot him. Clementine is a young girl faced with an impossible and emotional decision.

4. Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII
Image Credit: Square Enix.

Final Fantasy VII is one of the most iconic and memorable video games ever released. Anyone that has gone on this adventure is well aware of the emotional roller coaster this game provides, punctuated in the Forgotten City when Sephiroth falls from the sky and impales Aerith through her torso. The scene, while horrific, is beautifully done, and to this day, hearing the opening chords of Aerith's theme still gives me chills.

5. The Last of Us

The Last of Us
Photo Credit: PlayStation

The first few minutes of The Last of Us are some of the most heartbreaking you will find in any game. You have a father named Joel trying to protect his young daughter from a catastrophic event that is taking place, only to have an authority figure that should have been protecting people shoot her, and Joel can't do anything as she dies in his arms.

6. Red Dead Redemption 2

Red dead redemption 2
Image Credit: Rockstar Games.

Arthur's journey was the main story that was told by Rockstar in the latest Red Dead Redemption. It was a story about how a man can change throughout his life and how your actions can have some consequences down the line. In Arthur's case, he was getting sick and experiencing his final moments alone on a mountaintop, watching the sunrise.

7. Gears of War 2

Gears of War 2 Dom and Maria
Image Credit: Microsoft Game Studios.

The Gears of War franchise is known to be over the top and injected with testosterone as a group of guys tries to tear through the Locust to save the planet. Usually, this isn't the recipe for a really touching and emotional moment, but that is what we got when Dom finally found his missing wife, Maria. Dom initially thought he found her in time but then discovered what the Locust had done to her and saw that he couldn't do anything other than end her suffering.

8. Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima
Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment.

Few things in entertainment can get to someone more than an animal in pain. In Ghost of Tsushima, your character Jin has a horse that is with you through a big part of your journey as you cross the fields of Tsushima. You develop a bond with your horse until it is permanently severed during an escape attempt. Your loyal steed helped you safely escape an enemy camp but was fatally injured in the process. Your horse eventually collapses, and Jin apologizes for being unable to protect his friend.

9. The Last of Us

The Last of Us
Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment.

When looking at emotion in games, it is often a negative emotion, such as someone passing away. This moment was the exact opposite for Joel and Ellie. After crossing the United States and going through apocalyptic scenarios almost daily, there was this moment of serenity when Joel and Ellie came across a herd of giraffes grazing in a field without a care in the world. It is a glimpse into how things used to be. It is a moment of calm centered in a violent storm and a cathartic moment for the player to experience joy amidst all the pain and suffering in this world.

10. Ori and The Blind Forest

Ori and the Blind Forest
Image Credit: Moon Studios.

There is an incredible juxtaposition in the opening of Ori and the Blind Forest. The world is incredibly beautiful, and you become immediately attached to Ori and his guardian. However, the forest of Nibel is dying, and at one point, Ori goes out to find food. When he returns, he finds his guardian has succumbed to hunger and is no longer with us. It is a story about love and sacrifice. After an emotional farewell, Ori, now an orphan, has to leave to try and save his home.

11. Death Stranding

Hideo Kojima
Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment, 505 Games.

Death Stranding is an experience unlike any other. You must use a “Bridge Baby,” a premature child reflecting a state between life and death, to successfully navigate the world. The unusual story resonated with players, with one commenter relating it to his own life, “The end of Death Stranding, which I finished with my newborn baby sleeping in my arms. He had a rough delivery and had to be shocked awake like in the game.”

12. Diablo IV

Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment.

Video games are tough to develop, and sometimes those emotional moments come from the work itself. One contributor on an online forum stated, “I got to see my brother's name in the credits of Diablo IV. I'm so proud of him, he's such an amazing artist and worked so hard for so long, and now everyone who plays this game will see his craft.”

13. Final Fantasy X

Final Fantasy X Yuna
Image Credit: Square Electronic Arts.

Yuna is a summoner who always knew the day would come when she would have to sacrifice herself to bring peace to the world. As events unfolded in Final Fantasy X, that assertion was challenged. The game ended with Yuna and Tidus being separated after Tidus ended up making a big sacrifice of his own. Yuna was left to search for him to determine what had happened.

14. Horizon Zero Dawn

Horizon Zero Dawn
Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment.

Aloy is an outcast due to circumstances beyond her control. No one will speak to her or even acknowledge her presence growing up. Still, once an enemy threatens to wipe everything out, suddenly, Aloy is their last chance for survival. As you go through the game the story unravels and it hits home for many people when we find out that humanity caused our own extinction in the game.

15. Final Fantasy VII Remake

Final Fantasy VII Aerith
Image Credit: Square Enix.

Few games have as much hype as Final Fantasy VII Remake had when it was released. Towards the game's later stages, you are on a mission to rescue Aerith. One night you have a vision where you can speak with her. Aerith says, “But whatever happens, you can't fall in love with me. Even if you think you have… it's not real.” This is a heartbreaking moment for fans of the original who know what Aerith's ultimate fate will be, and it indicates she knows what lies ahead by telling Cloud he can't fall in love with her.

16. The Last of Us Part II

The Last of Us Part II
Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment.

Throughout the original title and the beginning of the sequel, it is established that Joel and Ellie have a father/daughter type of relationship. One of the most gut-wrenching moments of the franchise to this point is Ellie being held down on the ground and being forced to watch a stranger murder Joel using a golf club in the act of revenge for events that took place in the original game.

17. Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts
Image Credit: Square Enix.

After you defeat the main antagonist, Sora rushes forward to reunite with Kairi. Sora and Kairi are still stuck between worlds. Still, you are able to hold her hand for a moment and promise you will return to find her as the worlds separate. The song “Simple and Clean” from Hikaru Utada hits at the perfect time and talks about walking away and how it is hard to let go.

Video games have the power to impact you in many different ways. Well-written games can affect your emotions and will stay in the cultural zeitgeist for many years, much like some of the games on this list. Which game has impacted you the most?

Source: Reddit.