It’s not unusual for players to find themselves in tears after finishing a particularly moving game. Titles have evolved throughout the years to tell increasingly emotional and hard-hitting stories with complex, well-defined characters who are relatable to the players that encounter them.
Gamers looking for moving titles will be glad to know that fans on Reddit have compiled a list of video games that will most likely make players cry. With brilliant narratives and unforgettable characters, these games are designed to pull at one’s heartstrings as players go through the protagonist’s often heartbreaking experiences. Whether it’s the emotional music, well-written dialogue, or poignant conclusion that causes it, players can expect to shed some tears after playing these stirring games.
To The Moon
The indie title To The Moon is one of the best adventure games on the Nintendo Switch and according to probablyisntserious, it’s also one of the most emotional titles. They explain how the game “shattered” them and how they “can’t even explain why that game moved” them without their “chin starting to quiver.”
Developed and published by Freebird Games, To The Moon follows the fascinating story of two doctors who specialize in altering their dying patients’ memories. Players will encounter the puzzling case of Johnny and his bizarre wish to go to the moon. Fans will undoubtedly race to the game’s tear-jerking conclusion as they learn more about Johnny’s heartbreaking past through various clues in his memories.
The user Hakul references one of the best secret endings in video games in their comment about NieR: Automata’s “ending D.” The commenter supersonic_princess points out a different aspect of the title, saying “the soundtrack alone” makes them “cry sometimes.”
Developer PlatinumGames does an incredible job at creating an immersive world where the protagonist is caught in a proxy war between machines and androids. While the overarching narrative is interesting, the most moving part of the game is undoubtedly one of its shocking endings, which creatively presents players with a profound choice that will leave them weeping.
That Dragon, Cancer
Described by the Redditor Alcoholic_Synonymous as the “story of a young boy’s life in hospital, playing as his father going through memories,” That Dragon, Cancer is a heartbreaking indie game developed by Ryan and Amy Green. It’s based on their real-life experiences with a family member diagnosed with a terminal illness.
The point-and-click adventure title is a raw and often jarring depiction of what it’s like to deal with such a challenging situation. Its well-written dialogue will feel genuine and profound for players because it is based on actual conversations its developers had with their relatives in real life.
Ori And The Blind Forest
A Redditor suggests “Ori and the Blind Forest” when asked for games that have made them cry, pointing out how users should “play it with a controller” and noting how the “music is phenomenal and conveys a hell of a lot of emotion.” They also praise the game’s “visuals” for being “great.”
The Metroidvania-style platformer by Moon Studios has become popular in the gaming community. Most indie fans are likely familiar with the white guardian spirit Ori and his friend Sein. Their thoughtful adventure through the forest will help players unravel the mysterious cataclysmic event that happened there and how it all connects back to Ori. It’s an emotional journey that will have players sobbing by the time they get to its touching conclusion.
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
While it may not be the first game that comes to mind for most players when they think of emotional games, a deleted Redditor highlights Uncharted 4’s “perfect ending” and recounts how they “definitely had tears” in their “eyes” because of it. Lambawamba agrees and says it’s the “only time they felt something when finishing a game up.”
Naughty Dog’s A Thief’s End gives fans the happy video game ending they didn’t know they needed. It likely makes players cry not because it’s a particularly heartbreaking ending, but because it’s a satisfying conclusion to a decade-long story of mischief and adventure. Nathan’s fate may not be the one fans expected, but it’s what most players would agree he deserves after all has been said and done.
Red Dead Redemption
Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption is considered a classic at this point, with its innovative gameplay and memorable characters. It’s also a game that has the potential to make fans cry, as Driver_Senpai explains how “John’s overall journey” can make players “feel super emotional.” They go on to say that the protagonist is just “one of those characters whose life” players can “feel so immersed in.”
The ups and downs of John Marston’s life can definitely touch a chord for players who find themselves feeling terrible that he has to go through just tough situations. It isn’t all gunslinging and horseback riding in the Western-inspired game, as players will find themselves having to make hard decisions for the outlaw who does anything he can to protect his family.
The Redditor Earthshoe12 is “surprised no one mentioned Chrono Trigger” in a thread about games that can make players cry. They mention a spoiler for the ending of the 1995 RPG by Square, saying how it “really gets” them.
The critically-acclaimed game about a group of adventurers who time travel has been praised for its groundbreaking approach to in-game battle systems, character development, and multiple endings. The game’s most common ending also happens to be its most emotional one. The fact that it has stuck with users decades after its initial release is a testament to just how powerful Chrono Trigger’s story is.
Developers Thatgamecompany and Santa Monica Studio created the award-winning game Journey with emotionality and connection in mind. YouGotDoddified describes their experience playing the game as a “unique, haunting,” and “absolutely gorgeous” one that had them “exchanging emotional messages with” their “co-op ‘partner’ for half an hour” after the campaign ended.
Aside from the game’s relaxing and dynamic soundtrack and stunning visuals, players will remember Journey for its emphasis on connecting with others. There’s no way to communicate with other players in the barren world except through sound chimes, but these are more than enough to help the protagonist through even the toughest locations. It’s a rewarding game with a profound story that fans won’t soon forget.
Life Is Strange
After indadu simply states “Life is Strange” in a thread about games that can make players cry, Blue_Seas_Fair_Waves replies with a detailed explanation about how the title makes them “nostalgic for those little moments in high school.” They give examples of moments like “hanging out with” one’s “friends” and “lazy summer days doing nothing in particular.”
Their comment perfectly captures the overall mood fans may feel when playing through Square Enix’s Life is Strange for the first time. The episodic game follows the story of Max Caulfield, who discovers she has the power to rewind time. The consequences of her actions and the dark secrets of her town quickly catch up with her, though, which all build up to a tear-jerking conclusion.
The Last Of Us
It’s not surprising that the post-apocalyptic game, The Last of Us, has left some Redditors in tears. The user salah4president__ explains how they “shed a tear at a few games,” but nothing compares to “the extreme sadness” they felt because of Joel and Ellie’s story in the 2013 title.
Developer Naughty Dog did an amazing job at creating a bleak and horrifying world full of the infected and the people trying to survive in that dreary future. The narrative focuses on the jaded Joel who’s hesitant around young Ellie at first. The title explores their relationship and hardships, as well as the harrowing situation they find themselves in towards the end, likely leaving most players sobbing as the credits roll.
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