Growing up, video games really weren't capable of eliciting heavy emotion. At least, not from me. There was only so much tugging on the heartstrings those old pixelated characters could manage, you know?
But when stories really started to become a driving point in the industry, we began to see some really effective narratives. There have been a great many games that are capable of moving the sentimental (and even the not-so-sentimental) to tears. What titles have done that for you?
I know most people of my generation immediately cite Aeris' death in Final Fantasy VII and I agree that it was one of the most powerful scenes in history. But my reaction was different: I wasn't nearly as sad as I was pissed . One of the reasons Sephiroth is the greatest villain of all time in my estimation is because he's still the only one that made me hate him. After driving his blade through Aeris' back (couldn't have been more cowardly), I resolved then and there that I would make him pay . Had never had that happen before. Or since, really.
But I think maybe the most moving ending I've ever seen was in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater . Those last scenes, especially with Snake in the graveyard at the end, just got to me. The franchise is well-known for fantastic – if admittedly way overblown – storylines that touch on a variety of emotions, and that climax remains at the top of the list for me. Still my favorite ending ever, I believe. I should also add that Heavy Rain got me a few times, too, simply because it was so unbelievably atmospheric and it actually told a human interest story that operated on multiple levels.
Oh, and the last ascent in Journey , while it didn't make me cry, possibly made me the most melancholy I've ever been during the final stages of a game. It was just so surreal and touching… Okay, how about you?