5 Horrendous Video Game Endings that Should Have Been Binned, Rewritten or Never Thought Of

Whether it’s books, movies, films or video games, writing a good story is hard, but writing a good ending is even harder. There are countless examples of video games sticking the landing thankfully, but there’s just as many that have missed the mark so badly they’ve angered fans in one way or another. This isn’t a comprehensive list by any stretch, but this is five of the most offensive or out of character video game endings for sure.

Batman: Arkham Asylum

video game ending

Now hold on before you grab your pitchforks and let me explain! Batman: Arkham Asylum is one of the best superhero video games ever, and is to be thanked for the near constant deluge of video games focusing on our favourite heroes. However, for as good as the combat, world-building, and representation of the Caped Crusader is, the ending is horrendous, both from a gameplay perspective and a storytelling one.

Related: “It’s too bad they can’t cast me” Mark Hamill Thought He’d Be Rejected as Joker for Batman Series Due to $51.8B Franchise

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After an entire game’s worth of stealth, investigative work, hard-hitting-combo-combat, Rocksteady decided to culminate the story with a boss battle against a Titan using, roided up Joker? It can’t be argued that any game needs a satisfying ending boss battle, but having the intelligent, manipulative Joker challenging Batman to a fight even with an advantage is so out of character it’s almost offensive.


video game ending

Borderlands is an incredibly fun experience, especially with friends, and running around Pandora looting and shooting enemies and monsters alike never gets old. From the beginning of the game we’re teased with the promise of an ultimate weapon, or selection of, in this mystical vault. The entire story is about finding this very fault, and the carnage involved is all surrounding the chasing of this vault… that’s why when we get there and find out the vault is nothing more than a huge cage for an even bigger monster – easily beaten, might I add – fans were understandably annoyed. Subverting expectations in a video game ending isn’t always a good idea, especially when players just want an awesome shotgun.

Fallout 3

video game ending

Fallout 3 was Bethesda’s first attempt at making the cult-classic RPG in an open-world, 3D setting, and to be fair, the developer really stuck the landing, especially for the time. A huge sprawling world with hard-hitting, difficult decisions to make, which according to Bethesda at the time would directly affect the ending, of which there were supposedly 500 of them.

Except all of this was wrong. The world was huge, sprawling and full of hard-hitting decisions, but none of them mattered. Every one of these 500 endings must have been minutely different, as ultimately the player is martyred for the good of everyone else, no choice for the player and that’s it. Even worse is that after this abrupt and nonsensical ending, you can’t continue on with your game and instead have to start over, so all those smaller decisions mean even less now you can’t go back to the same world you made them in.

Bethesda eventually rectified this to a degree with the release of the Broken Steel DLC, but the damage was largely done and even now, fans are quick to remind them of their misstep with this particular video game ending.


video game ending

Try to think back to the ending of Bioshock. What is it? Do you remember? No, it’s not the fantastic revelation about Andrew Ryan, something I don’t think anyone was expecting at the time and certainly left a considerable amount of us reeling. No, it was the forgettable, frustrating and downright poorly thought out boss fight against Fontaine that was the ending.

Related: Netflix’s Latest Video Game Adaptation ‘Bioshock’ Lands Both Director And Writer In New Update

Depending on your treatment of the Little Sister’s, after beating Fontaine you’re then given one of two endings. Saving five (what about the rest?) Little Sister’s, returning to the surface and living a life with them, or ending up taking over Rapture, something very out of character even if you did harvest the Little Sisters, and then it’s implied you take over the world? Bioshock is widely considered as a fantastically written video game, with a near cinematic feeling to it, but the poor ending definitely takes some of the gloss off an otherwise amazing game.

Metal Gear Solid 2

video game ending

Metal Gear Solid 2 has always been a controversial game since its release, mostly due to the bait-and-switch nature of the playable characters. Start the game off as the more recognisable and usual protagonist of Snake, before switching it up to Raiden. The problem? Raiden was a newly introduced character players simply didn’t care for. He wasn’t included on any promotional material whatsoever, and he ends up being the character we spend most of our time with during the game’s playtime. Throw in he’s so radically different to Snake with a completely different skillset, and fans were miffed.

Related: Metal Gear Solid Δ: Snake Eater Keeps Original Voice Actors, but Kojima Given the Cold Shoulder

The controversy surrounding the game didn’t stop there though. Once you’ve got to grips with the realisation you’re playing a Metal Gear game which is so different to what came before. You’ve then got the realisation that the major story beats are very similar, too similar in fact, to Metal Gear Solid. All this is for good reason, as come the ending of the game in one last insult to the fans, it turns out everything you’ve just done doesn’t matter, as it was all a simulation and fact-finding mission for the Patriot AI.

These are just five video game endings with horrendous endings, we’re sure there are a lot more. What’s the worst video game ending you’ve experienced?

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Written by Luke

Luke Addison is the Lead Video Game Critic and Gaming Editor. As likely to be caught listening to noughties rock as he is watching the latest blockbuster cinema release, Luke is the quintessential millennial wistfully wishing after a forgotten era of entertainment. Also a diehard Chelsea fan, for his sins.

Twitter: @callmeafilmnerd