Top 5 Tear Jerking Games
Look, I know I’m a man. I should be in the gym talking about chicks with my bro-friends and driving a 3.4 litre Cortina with a mullet, but I’m not. Things make me cry. Only manly men cry right? Right? Moments of sadness often send us bulky, steroid pumping beefcakes into a spiral of unexplainable emotions and endless rivers of tears. What has made me feel this way already? Girls friendzoning me? Stepping on a Lego? Realizing I’m a cutout of the Forever Alone guy? No. I’ll give you the answer.
Yes, games. And the movie Hachiko: A Dog’s Story. That poor pup…
Most of the moments mentioned in this list have to do with death, because that’s the saddest thing in the world – right? You get severely emotional when a character you played with for hours upon hours just dies. You’re conflicted with memories of the character and all the awesome moments you went through together. Another thing that just makes me break down and cry is the music. Soft pianos and sad string quartets activate a little switch in my head that turns me from a hulky piece of man into an old lady watching Desperate Housewives.
The list will obviously contain spoilers, so watch out.
5. Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII has always been an integral part of gaming. It introduced many players to the wonderful world of JRPG’s and epic storytelling. Truly a benchmark in any gaming history. I’ve not played the game myself due to me being so young and I hardly even knew the word PlayStation when it came out, but throughout my years as a gamer, I constantly heard that the following scene made a ton of gamers cry for the first time.
I’m of course talking about the scene where Sephiroth kills Aerith completely out of the blue. Many describe this scene as one of the most shocking moments in gaming history. I wish I could have been part of this phenomenon, but sadly, I wasn’t . It deserves to be on this list purely because of the fact that it was the first time gamers actually cried at a videogame. A “hobby” that was considered by many to be a waste of time back in those days was suddenly invoking all kinds of emotions and feelings from die-hard gamers.
And that is magical.
4. Lost Odyssey
Continuing with another JRPG, one nobody heard or cared about really. Lost Odyssey was one rollercoaster of an epic. It followed a character named Kaim, a 1000 year old immortal cursed with memory loss. Throughout the game you get text stories in the form of “A Thousand Years Of Dreams” from his lost memories and let me tell you, those were some sad stories. Tales of heartbreak, death, betrayal, hardship and pain. All were excruciatingly sad and nearly drove me to tears. They were masterfully penned and all gave a vivid image of the individual stories being told. But that’s not the saddest part of the game.
During the course of the game you get these constant flashbacks from your past memories. One of which involves a little girl, that is shown to be your daughter, jumping off a cliff. You could see this plagues Kiam as his memories don’t allow him to remember what happened.
In one particular scene you were greeted by two young children on a quest to find a cure for their dying mother and, being the kind natured guy you, are you opt to help these two kids on their journey. Inevitably this does not work and their mother is in the final moments of her life.
Then comes the revelation.
She is your daughter Lirum who survived all those years. The two children, Cooke and Mack, are your grandchildren. And now Lirum is dying. The following scene where they say goodbye was emotionally jarring to me personally. It was absolutely devastating and I couldn’t help but sit there with my mouth wide open and shedding a single manly tear.
Go play this damn game if you haven’t already.
3. Gears of War 2
In the universe of Gears of War’s box freezer shaped, muscle bulging space marines, you didn’t really expect anything truly emotional or sadness inducing. Epic Games proved us all wrong with this instalment in their legendary franchise. Throughout the entirety of Gears of War 1 and a huge part of Gears of War 2, there was always close attention being paid to the story of Dom and Maria. Dom was constantly searching for his wife, asking for clues on her location and trying his best to look for her.
He finally succeeded in his search and came up with a solid location for his wife. He frantically made his way to her, but discovered she was captured by the Locust. The integral part of this scene is where Dom still believed she looked like her old beautiful self, until Marcus snapped him out of it. There she was, battered, beaten and broken. Dom cried for his lost wife and came to the realization that he cannot save her. He said his goodbyes and ended her misery.
Even I admit to crying to that scene.
2. Gears of War 3
Yes, Gears of War is on the list twice. I’m not a fanboy at all, but in a specific cutscene in this amazing game (not helping my alleged “fanboyism” am I?) I couldn’t help but feel sorrow for the fact that one of my favorite supporting characters had just died. That of course was Dom, who sacrificed himself for the greater good in an act of pure selflessness and heroism.
Up to that point we could see that Dom was internally conflicted dealing with the death of his wife. Then, the team came to a point in the game where they were outnumbered and out of options. Dom decided that he was going to make a sacrifice that saved the entire team. Himself. He got into a tanker filled with explosive fuel, reassured himself that he was going to see his beloved Maria again, and drove straight into the enemy.
Understand that this was a character you played with through three games. He was with you through thick and thin, rescued you on numerous occasions. Your close friend. Then he was gone. Just gone. If you are a fan of the series and you didn’t cry or even feel sad then you have no soul.
Some argue that his death was pointless, where others think his death was comedic because of the aforementioned chest-freezer-physiques, but one thing remains: he was a friend to us all and he would be missed.
Mad World playing in the background didn’t help shit.
1. Mass Effect 3
The Mass Effect series was always a cornerstone in videogame storytelling. It made you feel connections to characters that you have never felt before in your life. Your team weren’t just merely people going with you on missions. No, they were friends, allies and even lovers. Then along comes the final instalment. The final chapter in everyone’s book.
I’m not even going to mention the controversial ending because that didn’t make the game for me. The journey is where it’s at. Throughout the entire game you get greeted by a bundle of your old squadmates. People (aliens) that accompanied you through thick and thin. Some even went on a true suicide mission with you.
There they were, doing their part for the sake of the galaxy.
One particular instance when sadness hit me was back on earth where you witness the death of child right before your eyes. That gave you a bitter reminder for what’s at stake at the end of the day. And the piano was one of the most moving pieces I’ve heard in my life. I have goosebumps sitting here remembering it.
Moving on. There was one mission where you had to cure the genophage that plagued the Krogan populace for many years. Who then shows up? Your old fast-talking Salarian friend, Mordin (assuming he survived obviously). He was also one of Caveshen’s favorite characters and I can see why. As things move along, Mordin is tasked with curing the genophage himself. The catch? In order to do so he must go up a tower and activate it. And the tower is exploding. In a fit of selflessness and retribution he offered himself for the good of the Krogan people. He made peace with his death and is grateful for the chance to redeem himself.
I know Caveshen sat there with his mouth open and so did I.
That was one of many moments in the entire game. Throughout your entire playthrough there are moments of sadness, redemption, clarification and sacrifice.
So, please shut the fuck up about the ending and remember all those moments. Moments which made me less of a man and more of a human being.
And Your Tears?
It still amazes me that games can invoke such feelings out of a person. Be it sadness, absolution, vengeance or even revenge. If that’s not art then I don’t know what is.
The games listed are only my own personal games that nearly drove me to tears or most certainly did. Tell us in the comments what yours were. Don’t be shy fellas, the ladies love the sensitive types.