10 Video Game Endings That Were Profoundly Insulting



There has been a bit of a shift in how video games get designed across the last few years.

No longer do we get boss battles, puzzle-based mission designs or overly hard enemies. Instead, thanks to the industry being bigger than ever, there’s an inherent need to placate the middle-man, the lowest common denominator. There’s a fear that when so much money is being funnelled into any given product, the consumer just might not get their money’s worth if they get roadblocked or impeded somewhere down the line.

As such, it’s become a ‘thing’ that people just don’t finish their games, and to that end, you’ll see many modern developers prioritise the opening hours, the initial stretch of unlocking game mechanics or delivering the best parts of their story upfront, rather than worry about where it’s all going to go.

To stick with a game in the face of such a front-loaded structure means you’re truly dedicated, and with dedication should come some sense of reward. After all, unlike an evening at the movies, the average game will suck up more than 10 hours of your life, meaning that if you do stick around, what’s waiting at the end had better be worth it.

Get that wrong, and you might just go down in history for all the wrong reasons…

10. No Man’s Sky

Hello Games

Thanks to its divisive and ultimately off-putting gameplay, the vast majority of people never got anywhere near the close of No Man’s Sky, despite Hello Games’ Sean Murray touting that there would be something special at the centre of the galaxy.

Still, many pressed on, going through what must’ve been hundreds of hours of gameplay, just to uncover this special secret. Would it be some sort of interpretational image? A sound recording? A plot dump that made everything make way more sense?

Nope, it was nothing. Like literally, n-o-t-h-i-n-g.

Rather than attempt to put anything at the end of the road, No Man’s Sky’s ‘ending’ is a giant reset button. You click on the centre of the galaxy in an attempt to visit it, and rather than do so, the galaxy map zooms out.

It zooms out for a good five minutes, undoing all the progress you’ve made, until you’re right back at the beginning, the game hand-waving away all expectations and progress, before feeling as though it’s whispering, “Go on then, do it all again!”

Absolute toss.

9. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided


Mankind Divided was a release so spectacularly overlooked and completely cack-handled by Square Enix, there’s every chance the franchise may never return. Despite its campaign progression that was ruined by microtransactions and a crowbarred-in multiplayer mode that was supposed to add ‘longevity’, the real kick in the teeth came from its ‘ending’.

Seriously, the game’s pacing is barely a saunter for the vast majority, until one far more engaging, actual mission happens after a few hours, and it feels like all of that preamble is about to pay off.

Nope, turns out that mission was the final one in the game, and after making a rushed decision towards a villain you’ve seen for all of five minutes in a couple of cutscenes, the credits roll. From there, Square Enix were quick to sell you paid DLC that – of course – had some much-needed character and world-building – confirming that the publisher had segmented off some of Eidos’ best content to sell back later.

Imagine having a movie cut off during its final act, before being forced to pay for another ticket to see how it concludes. I mean, that’s what all these ‘Ultimate Edition’ re-releases on DVD are, but it has to stop somewhere… probably.

8. Asura’s Wrath


Speaking of games that ended and prompted you to go buy the DLC, Asura’s Wrath genuinely omitted its final chapters and secured them behind a paywall.

Literally, it simply ends after a big ol’ boss battle, yet has zero resolution, seeing Asura retreat from the evil Vlitra’s power, only for Capcom to advertise a ‘True Ending’ that would contain extra story information, yet would charge players another $7 if they wanted the remaining episodes 19-22.

Said DLC was very sizeable, too, delving into multiple new characters and resolving them appropriately. It’s pretty clear the game was segmented for the sake of getting fans to cough up the additional funds – a pretty bold move considering Asura’s Wrath was an all-new property – though it in-turn ended up burying what could’ve been a really neat franchise, had it not tried to nickel n’ dime consumers so egregiously.

7. Far Cry 3


It’s a good job Far Cry 3’s gameplay was so consistency exemplary, as everything relating to its story was a complete mess.

From showing off the game with awkward first-person sex scenes at press conferences, to attempting a story about the formerly innocent Jason Brody slowly becoming a tribal warrior, not one part of it was believable, and not one part landed satisfactorily.

Case in point: The ending, where after scores of forced dialogue alluding to how desensitised Brody was becoming, you’re suddenly put in control of slaughtering your girlfriend and bedding the tribal leader, Citra, or turning your back on the whole thing and attempting to leave the island. Neither of which attempted to deal with Vaas – otherwise known as “The main villain from the majority of the game, and all the marketing.”

Everything Ubisoft built up regarding the maniacal antagonist was hand-waved away earlier in the story when Brody randomly stabs the guy, only for his eyes to re-open before a cut to black. As Vaas was a key part of the story and this death alluded to some sort of ‘dream sequence’ or other reality-altering reveal, the fact that the ‘real ending’ was an out-of-nowhere binary choice felt tacked on for emotional resonance – yet it was a sense of weight the game hadn’t remotely earned.

6. Prince Of Persia (2008)


Before Ubisoft would run Assassin’s Creed into the ground, they were trying it with Prince of Persia. As such, this 2008 instalment was intended to be a fresh start, changing the dynamic of gameplay and making the whole story about our hero and Princess Elika falling in love.

Aside from that, said princess’ purpose was to help cleanse and purge the world of evil – something you eventually achieve by the end of the game by saving a number of fancy magical trees, though it results in the death of Elika herself. Naturally, just after Elika dies and the land is saved, our Prince is visited by visions of the evil Ahriman, who states he’ll bring Elika back in exchange for said trees to be cut down once again.

“No”, you’re thinking. “That’s what we just spent 15 hours trying to prevent, surely?!”

Yet… he does it.

Weirdly – and although the game gives you control over said tree-felling, there aren’t multiple endings – the prince proceeds to undo all of his and Elika’s work from across the entire game. The pair decide to be together at the expense of dooming the world again, and everything bar their newfound love reverts back to as though the game had never happened.

5. Mad Max

Avalanche Studios

2015’s Mad Max is actually a surprisingly fantastic game – a mix of brutal car combat, visceral melee brawls and the occasional survival aspect come together pretty nicely to form quite the underrated gem. But that ending… man, maybe Max would’ve been better off not tracking down Scrotus, after all.

Coming after tens of hours of gameplay – or far longer if you embarked on any number of side quests – you finally chase down the violent warlord and ram his convoy off the beaten path, leaving him dangling over the edge of a cliff.

It’s in this moment that Max decides not only to ram Scrotus off the cliff edge – thereby destroying the Magnum Opus i.e. the car you’ve literally been upgrading for the game’s runtime – but also kills Chumbucket, your helper-character who’s been nothing but friendly and, well, helpful, for the entire game.

With Chumbucket on the hood of the car and the Opus slamming into Scrotus’ ride, the latter does emerge for one last boss fight, but during that final bout, chances are you were too deflated to care.

4. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II


Where the first Force Unleashed was a gloriously OTT extravaganza of fanboy wish-fulfilment, the sequel felt like a rushed attempt to milk the fans by putting the barest of effort into continuing the tale of the mighty Starkiller.

To that end, its campaign was a shockingly short five hour speed-run, culminating in a binary ‘choose your own ending’ where neither felt remotely satisfying. In the ‘light ending’, Starkiller lets Darth Vader live, only to end on a cliffhanger as he’s pursued into space by Boba Fett.

And in the ‘dark side ending’, well, LucasArts went completely off the rails.

Firstly… you die, as Vader reveals there were actually multiple cloned Starkillers, meaning there was always a ‘dark version’ waiting in the wings to hop in and finish you off.

It meant all your efforts were for nothing, and despite the outrage from fans, LucasArts still released some paid DLC to ‘expand’ on how this clone came to be. Sadly, even that ended yet again on a cliffhanger, as our cloned Starkiller prepared to fight against the duplicitous Emperor Palpatine’s forces.

In the end, it was a godsend Disney wiped the slate clean by removing all the ancillary Extended Universe stuff, as if we had to accept this as canon, it would be even worse.

3. Halo 2


One of the most prolific misfires in the history of gaming. It would later be revealed that Bungie’s time developing Halo 2 was fraught with mishaps and shorter deadlines, the team eventually having to crowbar in a cliffhanger-ending that pretty much amounted to, “Come back for the third one, we should have it figured out by then!”

Yes, Halo 3 would then go on to arguably become the finest entry in the series, but it came after Halo 2 spent its campaign building up to an epic finale – only to have Master Chief ready himself, be questioned as to what he’s doing by a commanding officer, and reply “Finishing this fight!” before a cut to black.

It almost felt parodic considering the cheery score that comes rushing in to greet the Chief’s line, and considering Halo’s stature as one of gaming’s elite franchise – and this sequel being the first Xbox game to take the franchise online – you’d be hard pressed to find any fanbase who cried out with such anger at its conclusion.

2. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain


For the entirety of MGS V, we were holding out for an explanation. An explanation for why there was a man made of fire, why Big Boss was suddenly a mute, why there was a giant space whale eating a helicopter, a half-naked super-powered sniper, the lack of any boss battles, lengthy cutscenes – any and everything, really.

Stories abounded that creator Hideo Kojima and Konami were having a major falling out, and the proof was indeed in the pudding, as the entirety of ‘Act 2’ (the game’s final act, because to hell with three act structures) felt haphazard and unfinished. After a string of random-feeling missions and the game’s insistence you replay chunks of them all over again, suddenly one called ‘Truth’ appears. And it’s here, where things went completely off the rails, before burying themselves at the bottom of a ravine…

You find out that your playable character wasn’t Big Boss, after all. Instead you were a brainwashed clone, programmed to mimic all his thoughts and actions through advanced psychotherapy. Whilst this isn’t inherently terrible – designing the clone’s original appearance after yourself does mean that literally you are now part of the mythology – it does mean the game never addresses the key point of its marketing:

What made the real Big Boss become the tyrant we fight in the original Metal Gear games?

With no resolution or connective tissue to the rest of the canon, and with Metal Gear Sahelanthropus floating off over the sea alongside young Liquid Snake and Pyscho Mantis, MGS V just… ends, leaves a 20 year gap in the canonology, and provides no full-stop to its immortally meandering sentence.

1. Mass Effect 3


Easily the most hated video game ending of all time – to the degree where there’s still a large question mark looming over Mass Effect Andromeda’s head, as to whether it can revive the franchise at all – Mass Effect 3’s ending was so comically bad, I can’t see people ever tiring of lampooning it.

I mean, the stage was set quite spectacularly. All Bioware had to do was walk on and deliver on all their various promises.

We’d heard about how Mass Effect 3 wouldn’t have “an A, B or C ending”, and how – after literally hundreds of hours with our squadmates – everything would converge into an epic finale that would surely cement itself in gaming history.

And can you guess what they did? An ‘A, B or C ending’. On top of that, the real cherry on this sh*tcake was EA holding back both a key character and series of missions that were essential to making the ending make any sense, only to release them as paid-for DLC.

Yes, if you wanted this to make any sense, you had to cough up more money.

The response was seismic, to say the least, with Bioware eventually yielding and releasing a free, ‘Extended Cut’ that was then patched over the original. Mass Effect 3 – and everything about its marketing, reception and post-launch treatment – exists as a timeless lesson in What Not To Do, and here’s hoping Andromeda can knock it out the park come March.



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