10 Saddest Video Game Stories

A well-written and heart-touching video game can bring almost anyone to tears, and it’s not always a bad thing. There are countless titles that have executed the concept of tragedy perfectly. Here are the saddest video game stories.

This list isn’t ranked and will not contain any spoilers for the titles on the list.

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Red Dead Redemption 2

10 Saddest Video Game Stories

Let’s start the list off with an obvious pick. Many gamers and critics alike consider Red Dead Redemption 2 to have one of the most brilliant and tragic stories ever in a video game. Many Wild West-themed movies and stories depict the times as harsh but adventurous and romanticized. Red Dead Redemption games, both the first and second, stray away from this concept and depict how wild, unforgiving, and depressing it is to live in such savage and uncivilized lands. Both of these games are set in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The games depict how society goes through a fast and aggressive phase of change with the coming of the 20th century. Most people in the world fail to adapt to these changes and they face tragic fates.

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

10 Saddest Video Game Stories

While the Yakuza franchise’s exploration, side missions, and gameplay departments are so absurdly funny and hilarious, the stories are extremely heart-wrenching. Most Yakuza fans agree that Yakuza 6 had one of the saddest stories in the series. The Song of Life is far more depressing than any other game in the series because it’s the last entry with the beloved Kazuma Kiryu as the protagonist and the tragic tales of many in-game characters. We encourage anyone to start playing from Yakuza 0, so the stories will make much more sense.

NieR: Automata

10 Saddest Video Game Stories

NieR: Automata’s magnificently beautiful and philosophical story manage to make the players think. The story tackles philosophical subjects like nihilism and existentialism. The story takes place in the far, far future where an alien invasion had made the earth into an uninhabitable post-apocalyptic wasteland. This wasteland is quite different from the ones you see in other post-apocalyptic games, though. The story is about two Androids, 2B and 9S. This game will definitely be worth your time, so don’t hesitate to give it a try.

Telltale’s The Walking Dead

Surely most people have heard of The Walking Dead series. Telltale’s The Walking Dead is an interactive movie-type video game, where your choices directly impact everything. In this beautiful story, you play as Lee Everett, who tries to survive in the lands infested with zombies. The game doesn’t have any survival gameplay mechanics. It’s all about the story, that’s why it’s called an interactive movie. This game was a favorite of many streamers back in the day, and everyone who is fond of dramatic stories should definitely play this game.

The Last of Us

The Last of Us is one of the best games ever created. It’s clearly not surprising to see it being an entry on a list like this. Like the previous entry, The Last of Us is also a game about a zombie apocalypse. There’s little hope for humanity and even fewer reasons to move on… But that’s just what Joel and Ellie do. They try their hardest to survive in this unforgiving hostile world and their journey is filled with many hardships and tragedies.

A remake of the original game, The Last of Us Part I, is now available on PS5.

Dark Souls

The Dark Souls series never presents hospitable worlds. The settings of these games are always gloomy, hostile, terrifying, and loathsome. For this entry, let’s focus on the first Dark Souls game. You start as a weak and frail Undead prisoner with nothing and no one. As you progress through the game, you get stronger and will be able to best many foes with sheer persistence. The story you uncover along your adventure is a tragic and often frightening one. Dark Souls is definitely one of gaming’s best experiences ever.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

10 Saddest Video Game Stories

Sekiro is another brilliant game from the developers of Dark Souls, FromSoftware. This game is not set in a dark fantasy realm like the previously mentioned game, though. Sekiro is set in the Sengoku Era Japan. You play as a Shinobi who’s on the path to saving his young master and fulfilling every task he entrusts you. The concept of the story might seem simple, but Sekiro is more story-focused than any other FromSoftware games before and is just as tragic and sad as they are.

Deadlight

This will be the last zombie game on this list, I promise. Deadlight is a 2D game released in 2012, but it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Like every zombie game, the tale is tragic and heartbreaking, but Deadlight has a few differences. These differences in the story are what make this game so good. I encourage you to not search for anything related to Deadlight‘s story online. Go into the game knowing nothing and you will not regret it.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a psychological horror game set in a Norse Viking-inspired setting. The game combines supernatural horror elements, psychological horror elements, and Norse mythology to create a masterful story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Hellblade is a cinematic game and its sound design is top-notch. With how well the game looks and feels, you can’t help but feel the character’s immense mental anguish. A sequel was announced too, and hopefully, we’ll see a new trailer soon.

Spec Ops: The Line

Spec Ops: The Line is a third-person shooter video game set in Dubai. In the beginning, the game doesn’t seem to be very good, but you’ll see how marvelous the story is as you progress through the story. There are multiple endings as well. Spec Ops: The Line is still rather underrated among all the better-known Third-person shooters, and it deserves much more attention.

Spec Ops: The Line also made our list of Great Games with Twisted Stories. So check out that story as well.

These were our picks for the 10 Saddest Video Game Stories. What are your thoughts? Let us know on the forums!