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Greatest Video Game Ending of All Time - Red Dead Redemption

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All good things must come to an end, but that doesn’t mean that end won’t stay with you. As important as a game’s adventure is, its ending can make or break the overall quality of your experience. Video games put you into the shoes of the characters who are most directly involved in the action and in a way, you often feel like you’re the one taking the journey. This is why we root for the heroes. Maybe the great ending wasn’t story related at all. Maybe it was just the thrill of beating a challenging game or an exciting boss fight. Whatever the case, we always want the hero to come out on top and win the day because when that happens, we want to taste that victory. Check out our Suggestion tool to vote on other [SUBJECT] you’d like to see: http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Video+Game+Greatest+of+All+Time+-+Series+Ideas
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All good things must come to an end, but that doesn’t mean that end won’t stay with you. As important as a game’s adventure is, its ending can make or break the overall quality of your experience. Video games put you into the shoes of the characters who are most directly involved in the action and in a way, you often feel like you’re the one taking the journey. This is why we root for the heroes. Maybe the great ending wasn’t story related at all. Maybe it was just the thrill of beating a challenging game or an exciting boss fight. Whatever the case, we always want the hero to come out on top and win the day because when that happens, we want to taste that victory.



Of course, a happy ending isn’t always in the cards.



It’s a pretty bold move when a game decides that its hero won’t make it to the end credits. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it can impact us in a big way. That’s why, with NO hesitation, we named the finale to Rockstar Games’ 2010 “Red Dead Redemption” as the greatest video game ending back in 2016, and that prestigious title still holds today.



When it comes to games that kill off their leads, the number one reason tends to be some form of self sacrifice. The hero decides to give their life for the sake of others, whether it’s to protect the entire world, or to keep those closest to them safe. Games like “Crisis Core” tug at our heartstrings -- even if we’ve know Zack’s fate since “Final Fantasy 7’s” release back in 1997. “Shadow of the Colossus” is hard to watch because all Wander wanted to do was wake up the girl he cared about. Then there which often give us a false sense of hope before we are forced to say goodbye. “Red Dead Redemption’s” ending does something similar, but what makes John Marston’s death stand out isn’t just its emotional climax -- it’s the anger you feel from it.




Yes, we’re angry about Zack, about Wander, about characters who are basically betrayed by another party and left to die. But Marston? Marston was dragged into this. He doesn’t willingly set off on some grand quest, that quest, or rather, the Bureau of Investigation, comes knocking on his door. He’s forced to atone for his past outlaw lifestyle, a life he has tried to leave behind, and only then can he obtain the peace he wants. So you grab your controller and go after some outlaws, but you’re not just going after random bad folks of the wild west: these are members of your former gang. You know these men, and now you have to take them on for the sake of being with your family. This takes its toll on Marston -- and you -- throughout the game, but it really punches you in the gut when you go to face off against your old gang leader, Dutch van der Linde. After trudging through the numerous battles the game has to offer, this particular showdown ends on a surprisingly somber note. You’d expect an all out brawl of a final confrontation, but instead, Dutch is just... worn out. And really, so is Marston. And unbeknownst to the player at the time, it’s setting the stage for what’s to come, and in a way, Dutch tried to warn you.

The Bureau was never going to let our hero have that peaceful life.



And this agonizing moment is the real final battle for Marston. For you. And the only option is to get your wife and son to safety -- though the game does create a false sense of hope. Like “Halo Reach” and “Crisis Core,” you’re able to play through your death. But the best you can hope for is to maybe take a few of them with you.



Right?



Now with most games where you die in the end, this is where the story would also end. You’d be left as a bloody corpse on the ground as the credits roll to show your grieving loved ones. But the game goes above and beyond our expectations.



After ripping our hearts out we’re given a chance at true satisfaction. Three years later, Jack tracks down his father’s killer, and we’re allowed to put a bullet in his head. In a fair and square draw to boot. The bad guy knows why he is going down, and has every chance to save his miserable life. As we watch the villain fall, Jack walks toward the camera, the title pops up and we’re left cheering. We get that sense of victory even after we lost our beloved main character. Yes, it would’ve been great if Marston could’ve remained with his family, but let’s be honest: a violent death is the more fitting climax.



Red Dead Redemption’s ending is something that makes you feel an entire array of emotions. It doesn’t just stop at the sadness of the main character’s death. There’s frustration over being used by the bureau.

We grieve with Marston’s family while wondering if there was something else we could’ve done to prevent the outcome. If we play again and make different choices... can Marston get his happy ending? The answer, of course, is no, but in a way, it’s also a resounding yes the minute we take control of Jack. Jack is a reminder of what John Marston set out to do in the first place: protect his family. The game comes full circle with its theme of redemption, and it leaves us with a masterpiece of an ending that deserves to be called the greatest video game ending of all time.
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