7 times video games broke our hearts into teeny tiny pieces

games to make you cry the last of us ellie
games to make you cry life is strange

The very best video game stories are brilliant at getting you emotionally invested in the fates of their characters. Which is why we can’t really complain even when they deliver an emotional gut punch that leaves us a sobbing wreck on the floor, because it’s just proof of how amazing the story and characters really are.

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The very best video game stories are brilliant at getting you emotionally invested in the fates of their characters. Which is why we can’t really complain even when they deliver an emotional gut punch that leaves us a sobbing wreck on the floor, because it’s just proof of how amazing the story and characters really are.

Whether it’s the death of a beloved character, the loss of something the protagonist had been desperately striving for, or the bittersweet knowledge that things could have been so different if not for one tiny thing that didn’t seem important before, we secretly love video games that have the power to make us sob uncontrollably.

So pull up a seat, grab a box of tissues, and get ready to be reminded of some of the most brilliant but sob-worthy moments in video games.

And be warned: if you’ve not played these games before, there will be spoilers ahead!

1. The Last of Us

games to make you cry the last of us joel sarah

We were expecting tragedy from The Last of Us (it is a zombie apocalypse game, after all), but the opening sequence left us a sobbing wreck before we were even half an hour in. We had just enough time with Joel and Sarah to get deeply attached to their father-daughter dynamic before the unthinkable happened. Whoever that gunman was, we will never, ever forgive him.

Shop The Last of Us here

2. Life is Strange

games to make you cry life is strange max chloe

Heroine Max has the ability to rewind time, and she discovers that she can also time-travel via photographs. Naturally, her plan is to go back in time and change the things that ruined her best friend Chloe’s happiness: specifically, to prevent Chloe’s dad from getting caught in a fatal accident. Despite Max’s good intentions, the new reality she creates is a million times worse, with Chloe getting hit by a car instead. If you didn’t shed a tear at that point, you can’t be human.

Shop Life is Strange here

3. To The Moon

games to make you cry to the moon

In To The Moon, two doctors are working to fulfil the last wishes of a patient on his deathbed. Even that much is enough to make your heart hurt, but then you realise they’re looking back through the memories of his life in order to make new and beautiful ones instead, so that he won’t die filled with regrets. You simply can’t get through this one without crying, or if you can, then you’re probably a rock.

Shop To The Moon here

4. God of War

games to make you cry god of war kratos faye

God of War Kratos isn’t exactly known for his softer side, but that’s almost the first thing we see as the game begins. After the death of his wife Faye, Kratos shows us just a teeny tiny glimpse of the depth of his grief before hiding it again behind his tough and chilly exterior. Further glimpses of it reappear here and there throughout the course of the game, but it’s the scene on top of the highest mountain, in which he finally allows his young son Atreus to carry and scatter Faye’s ashes, that had us bawling.

Shop God of War here

5. Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Season 1

games to make you cry telltale the walking dead season 1 lee clementine

Whichever choice you made at the end, take it from us – they both feel equally terrible. You can’t help but grow to love Lee’s dynamic with little Clementine as he protects her and teaches her how to survive in a world filled with horror, and we cried buckets when he thought he’d lost her. And just when we thought we couldn’t possibly cry any more, he went and got bitten by a zombie and proved us wrong. Ugh. Pass the tissue box.

Shop Telltale’s The Walking Dead here

6. Shadow of the Colossus

Most games ask you to complete a series of difficult challenges in order to prevent another character from meeting their untimely end, but Shadow of the Colossus takes place when it’s already too late. Mono is dead as a doornail, and Wander’s grief leads him to appeal to a slightly dicey god who wants him to slay monsters in return for Mono’s resurrection. At first, fighting the Colossi seems like a reasonable thing to do – monsters not usually being the good guys in video games – but the more of them you slay, the more you start to wonder if Wander’s going about this the right way. Do all the Colossi really deserve death just to save one girl?

Shop Shadow of the Colossus here

7. Final Fantasy VII

games to make you cry final fantasy 7 vii aeris aerith

If the remake will be your first introduction to this game, look away now. Seriously, go away.

Are they gone now? Good. So, that bit with Aerith. Totally unexpected, totally unfair, and totally heartbreaking. Did anyone else sit in stunned silence for a whole minute before shouting NO at the screen? Here’s hoping that there’s an option to save her in the remake.

Shop Final Fantasy VII Remake here

Yep, that’s quite enough emotional moments for today. Have the trailer for Untitled Goose Game to cheer you up again. Honk.

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