It’s not until you start thinking on which game endings put a smile on your face, that you realise just how many are geared towards sequels, or simply finishing in a way that doesn’t retire the character for good.
Gaming is one of the most lucrative entertainment mediums on the planet, and it’s nowhere near as profitable for any production studio to go all-out ingratiating a new character or world into the minds of the public, only to hit the reset button every year or so. Ubisoft attempted to walk that line with Assassin’s Creed, tying events together with a now-defunct present day plot-line, whilst in the latter games especially having a new protagonist every single time.
The flip-side to this are the games I’ve chosen here: those that for the most part, bookended their experiences by having the stones to finish a character’s story for good.
Granted, a couple have since been revived for the aforementioned reason of having a pilfering PR department decide a character can’t actually stay dead, but for the majority, the following bowed out with grace, leaving a lasting impression that concluded their arcs in landmark fashion.
10. Joker – Batman: Arkham City
Nobody expected it to happen, which is when it did – and was done so in a way that paid perfect tribute to the character overall – this entire scene was such a landmark achievement. Joker’s croak in Arkham City is now the stuff of gaming legend (marred slightly by what is essentially a resurrection in Arkham Knight, by way of constant visions), Rocksteady finished the character off by having him trigger his own demise as part of an unintended sick joke.
Far away from being as macabre as laughing while he snapped his own neck in The Dark Knight Returns, Joker is already dying of a poisonous bloodstream. That same virus has infected Bruce, and he’s even found a cure. Cut to Batman entering the room where Joker should be, and the latter jumps on him, shattering the phial of serum in the process.
Joker is dismayed and Bruce states that “After everything, I still would have saved you”, to which Joker replies, “That is actually… pretty funny” before chuckling himself to death. Absolutely perfect.