A few quick notes: first, this article is spoiler-free . I'm not giving away anything. Secondly, I obviously haven't played and completed every game in existence, so this can only be based on my experience. Therefore, as if it needed an explanation (but God forbid if it got on N4G, it might), this isn't definitive fact. It's just an opinion. We're still allowed to have those, aren't we?
Anyway, here we go-
5. Bioshock 2
I'd like to first mention a caveat to this listing: this only cracks into my top 5 because I got the special ending by saving all the Little Sisters. This isn't the longest, most dramatic, or clearest culmination of the generation but for some reason, it really resonated with me. I really liked the twist at the end, where you actually sort of "play" the semi-emotional climax, and the story was pretty darn good. I still liked the story a bit more in the original Bioshock but for some reason, the sequel's ending felt more fulfilling. Oh, and without the special ending, I might have to give the #5 position to Assassin's Creed II .
4. Red Dead Redemption
Some will argue this "ending" wasn't much of anything. But I adored the timing and simplistic presentation. You see the credits at exactly the right moment after completing your final task, and you get this feeling of, "yeah, now I'm done." It's just so perfect for the game's atmosphere and style. The abruptness and straightforward drama of that final encounter really sums up the whole thing quite nicely. You sort of reflect on everything that has happened; the entire story runs through your head right at the climactic moment. It's not easy to do that from a story/plot standpoint, you know.
3. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
In retrospect, there really isn't anything overly special about this ending but, just like the rest of this production, it was just so professional and polished. I mean, I've seen it a few times and I know I will always laugh hard at that last bit of banter between Elena and Nate. "Clowns." HA! Like with RDR, it fits flawlessly; it's exactly the right way to end things. In fact, it's not completely unlike how a movie might end, which isn't exactly surprising, considering Uncharted 2 is the closest I've ever come to playing an action movie on my screen.
2. Final Fantasy XIII
Say what you want about the start of the game and the fact that it probably doesn't qualify as an RPG, but in typical FF style, it all ended beautifully. Coupled with that signature Final Fantasy CGI brilliance, one watched the entire climax with a small smile of appreciation and understanding. As is the case with many titles in the series, it doesn't quite tie up every loose end, but we've come to expect this from Final Fantasy , right? For the record, I still say FFVIII has the best ending in the series and possibly the best ending of all time. But FFXIII's finale is well worth experiencing.
1. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Yeah, it was too long and drawn-out, and it was a little overdone like the rest of the game's story. Kojima is indeed a genius but he has yet to understand when to end a scene. Even so, this is the best ending of the generation, IMO; it's only fitting that it closes one of the best storylines of the past five years. For some reason, I especially liked to see how Meryl turned out. There's a lot to love about this climax; it's wonderfully satisfying in just about every way. I think MGS3 has the best ending in the series but this one was close…nothing beats a feeling of immense accomplishment after finishing an epic saga.