5 Most Heartwrenching Deaths In Video Game History

Dave LeClair 12-08-2013

Spoiler Alert: In case you can’t guess, this article will certainly contain spoilers. If you haven’t played any of these games, you are going to find out about the death of some key characters. However, I will avoid talking about any games released in 2013 as a courtesy to those who have not played them. Also, I will not name the character who dies in the subtitles, so you can safely skim to find the games you have played.


As with any medium where story is an integral part, death is inevitable. In the case of video games, all too often, death is something we just glance over. Player characters die all the time, only to respawn and go back at the part again. In shooters like Call of Duty Doom Vs. Call Of Duty Modern Warfare - Just How Far Has The FPS Come? First person shooters have been at the forefront of game development since their first incarnation over two decades ago. They combine adrenaline-soaked action with a perspective that provides a great stage for technology; first-person games... Read More , we cut down thousands of enemies without even batting an eye. Sometimes it gets to the point where we don’t even take death seriously at all.

However, there are some rare, special instances where the death of a character brings your world to a screeching halt. These deaths can devastate you down to your very soul. Without further delay, let’s take a look at some of the saddest deaths in the history of video games…

Red Dead Redemption

This is easily one of the most heart-wrenching moments in the history of video games. All around, the story in Red Dead Redemption My 3 Favorite Video Game Endings Of All Time [MUO Gaming] One of the best parts about playing a video game is the ending. You spend hours upon hours digging through the content of the game and you get to the huge payoff at the end.... Read More was fantastic, and the fact that it ended with John Marston, the main character, losing his life in an effort to defend his family, was the icing on the beautifully crafter cake.

John hunkers down in a barn while an entire army of guys moves in on his farm. Knowing there is nothing he can do, he goes out guns blazing. The mood is somber, and the death of the main character is incredibly tasteful. Killing the main character is difficult, but Rockstar knocks it out of the park.

Final Fantasy 7

Final Fantasy 7 Final Fantasy XV Is Finally Out! Is It Worth Buying? Fans have waited for Final Fantasy XV since its announcement ten years ago. Let's find out if it's lived up to its reputation, and if you should buy it. Read More is filled with heart-wrenching moments, but the particular death of which I am thinking is Aerith. This death has lead gamers on a wild ride of theorizing how to possibly bring her back. Of course, Square didn’t help matters by including little clues that might lead gamers to believe that her death could be avoided. This was all a wild goose chase, and the fact is, she’s dead, and it’s terribly sad.


Besides how beloved Aerith was as a character, the scene in which she dies was so well done. Keep in mind, this was PlayStation 1 era, so seeing 3D characters in meaningful stories was still pretty new to most gamers. If, somehow, you’ve never played Final Fantasy 7, be prepared to have your heart ripped out of your chest when you get to this part.

Mass Effect

In Mass Effect, the possibility of losing a beloved character for the long haul is very real, and it seems like it can happen at any time. To make matter worse, it’s your choices that lead to the loss of a character, which adds an even higher sense of weight. It really leaves you wondering: “could I have done something differently to save them?”

One of the names I hear over and over again when people talk about the death of a character is Wrex. Personally, I saved him in my game, because he is incredibly awesome, but his death is truly upsetting for some. Not only because the actual scene of his death is great (I reloaded a save so I could see it myself), but also because you know you are not going to have that awesome character in the game again. To make it worse, he can die again later, so the poor guy is never safe!

The Walking Dead

Like Mass Effect, in the Walking Dead the death of characters feels partially (or in some cases, completely) your fault. This adventure game is 100-percent story-driven, so when a character meets an early demise, the player feels a real sense of loss.


It’s hard to pick on particular death in The Walking Dead. So many beloved characters die throughout the game. Since the game is still coming out for various platforms, I will actually pass on naming a specific death and just leave you with a simple warning: lot’s of characters die, and it’s really, really sad when they do.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2

Call of Duty, a game not necessarily known for its riveting story, actually has one of the saddest deaths I can recall in a recent game. In spite of the fact that thousands of people die during the game, some of them being on your side of the battle, Infinity Ward actually found a way to give a couple of particular characters death a very real sense of weight.

If you’ve played through Modern Warfare 2, then you know I am talking about Roach and Ghost. You go through so much with those guys, and when they fall towards the end of the game, it’s really devastating. I will admit I was more upset about the death of Ghost, but both hurt me inside. The circumstances with the betrayal Shepherd make it even worse. Seriously, MW3 is worth playing through just to see this part.


If you think video games have desensitized you to death, play these games and think again. Of course, if you read this far, you’ve already had the deaths spoiled, but each and every one of them is worth seeing through, even if you already know they are coming.


What video game deaths hurt you the most? Hit the comments section below and let us know!

Related topics: PlayStation, Steam, Xbox 360.

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  1. willyallrd
    April 28, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    also the boss's death MGS3 cuz for some reason you kind of like the boss and when you kill her you cant help but cry ; (

  2. willyallrd
    April 28, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    L.A Noire cole phelps death should have been there cuz as you play the game you get really attached to phelps so for me it is the most heart breaking death in all video games

  3. Red Killer
    December 26, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    Are you out of your mind boy, WHERES DOM FROM GEARS OF WAR 3. That is a most talked about death, and Dom deserved to be here.

  4. Raymond
    December 11, 2013 at 5:06 am

    What about Dom's death in gears of war 3? That one hit me straight in the feels

  5. Nathan
    August 26, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Another death is "Soap" in MW3

  6. Vishal S
    August 15, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    What? You don't consider Soap's death in MW3 as sad? After 2 and a half games, first playing him and then playing with him, his death was most tragic for me!!

  7. Steve
    August 12, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    At the end of Halo 4 when Cortana dies saving Master Chief.

    • Dave LeClair
      August 20, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      That is definitely a sad one. Even though she's not technically alive, it feels like she is.

  8. Magi-TEK Moogle
    August 12, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Sniper Wolf's death scene in Metal Gear Solid had me to tears. Also I know the death happened before the main story but finding out what happened to Seto in Final Fantasy VII was sad as well.

    • Jorge B
      August 14, 2013 at 11:56 am

      And in MGS4, when Naomi dies. You could NOT avoid feeling sorry for Otacon. Also, the final scene, when Big Boss dies after meeting with Snake. I almost bursted in tears

  9. Bill C
    August 12, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Try playing Ms Pacman for a couple of hours on a track to make a new all-time personal best and then watch her die because you did something stupid. *That* is heart wrenching. No death rattle is as painful to hear as the sound of a pac-death.

  10. Michael
    August 12, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    End of HL2, Episode 2? Not that your character was that close to who died, but the reaction of the NPC you ARE close to was heartbreaking . . .

    • Scott
      August 12, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      Totally agree. I'm amazed that particular scene wasn't included in this list.