Epic games that end on a whimper

So that's it, then. After six years the epic Lost comes to an end in pretty disappointing style. If you've yet to see the finale, just take comfort that it doesn't end up all being a dream of the dog. Still, the fairly crushing finale got us thinking about equally epic games that ended on a disappointing whimper. And all the titles below are either guilty of rubbish, anti climactic endings or deeply underwhelming last levels/ bosses.

Grand Theft Auto IV

We love GTA IV. Like love it to the extent that the person writing these words has at last count clocked the story four times. But after the highs of the Three Leaf Clover mission and hours of gloriously daft banter in cutscenes, the final mission is not only a bit of a pain, it also ends on a damp squib of a downer. Sure, you could say its understated, downbeat ending is in keeping with the whole theme of the game. But screw that. We wanted explosions, bombastic car chases set to Goodbye Horses and a celebratory post mission teeeeeeeeeettttttiiiiiiieeeeeesssss party.

Shenmue II

Ah, what could have been. No doubt Shenmue creator and all-round former Sega don Yu Suzuki had a bloody stonking ending planned for Shenmue 17 or however many games he’d originally thought he make before he starting the series. Hell, he probably had a fitting finale penned, where Lan Di got his evil ass handed to him by a rocket launcher-wielding, stogie-smoking Ryo. Alas, so confident was Suzuki that he’d get to make loads more Shenmues, the second game barely even features the arch evil doer. Instead, players have to make to with some nonsense about magic swords and mirrors. Guess we’ll just have to make do with murdering that ponytailed dick in our dreams.

Batman: Arkham Asylum

"Holy half baked final cutscene, Batman!" We really wish Rocksteady had shown one tenth of the enthusiasm for creating a 'not totally shit ending' as they did for delivering a game worthy of Bats. C'mon, he gets the job down, then just flies into the night? It might be in keeping with the Dark Knight's superhero stoicism. But would it have killed them to maybe stick in a couple of gags or even show the Bat breaking down in a quiet moment to reflect on the horrendous night of physiological torture he's had to endure? Oh, it is? Dang.

Splinter Cell: Double Agent

Gah. This must be the most anti climactic way to take down a Big Bad ever. And the clip above makes Sam's scrap with arch evil doer Emile look epic. When we played through Double Agent, we shot the terrorist no gooder in the head without even realising it, as he ran into a room with a couple of bodyguards. Fisher might be in the big leagues when it comes to sporting fancy goggles. But when it comes to sending his games out with a compelling bang, he's strictly amateur next to Snake and Metal Gear.


  • allthegoodnameswheretaken - May 24, 2010 4:07 p.m.

    Also Half Life Just fading to black
  • Tygerclaws - May 24, 2010 4:19 p.m.

    Great article, and timely! Two tiny things, though, in the Shenmue bit: "No doubt Shenmue creator and all-round former Sega don Yu Suzuki had a bloody stonking ending planned for Shenmue 17 or however many games he’d originally thought he make before he starting the series." --Should be "started". "Instead, players have to make to with some nonsense about magic swords and mirrors." --Should be "to make do".
  • Pengu1n - May 24, 2010 4:26 p.m.

    I disagree strongly with SC Double Agent's ending being bad. I think it's one of the best game endings ever. No melodramatic shit where the bad guy flies off on a jetpack - you've taken apart Emile's organization and, at the stage you take him out, he's exposed and pretty much alone.
  • garnsr - May 24, 2010 4:28 p.m.

    Shenmue 2 wasn't a bad ending, and it seems sadder and more subdued knowing we'll never get to see what happened after it.
  • drewbian - May 24, 2010 4:29 p.m.

    man what about fallout 3!!!! its the most obvious one of the latest generation of games. what happened to the old school-finding out everything you did with each individual town! and also the glitch that when you do everything good with like 100% good karma its like omg ur dad actually is semi dissapointed with you. total letdown for a game that most gamers put 50+ hours into.
  • goochbiscuit - May 24, 2010 4:30 p.m.

    Wow, I didn't really realize it until now, but damn, most of those are really disappointing. I guess they're not as bad when you try not to think about them too much.
  • ThePrivateDick - May 24, 2010 4:37 p.m.

    I was disappointed by the ending to Mass Effect 2. It was so impersonal and I couldn't really buy it. I had squad members who died and Shepard just continued like nothing ever happened.
  • Xplosive59 - May 24, 2010 4:39 p.m.

    i always felt disapointed by the elder scrolls oblivion ending, where martin sacrafices himselfto banish the demon. I didnt like it because A. you dont kill the demon a NPC does B. it was really cleched and the demon went down without a fight C. he turned into a dragon for no logically explained reason!!!
  • arturus1000 - May 24, 2010 4:42 p.m.

    Half Life 1 and 2's endings were perfect in my opinion. You had half a minutes explaining by the Gman, then he just opens a mystical door, and dissapears. As far as we know, Gordon could just be high over the various stimulants his suit pumps into him :D Oh, and Halo 2's ending wasn't that bad, even if it was just a revolving "Buy Halo 3" sign.
  • shadowarrior99 - May 24, 2010 4:45 p.m.

    I thought the last episode of Lost was amazing, and I was fine with how it ended.It depends what kind of person you are i guess.
  • junkheep - May 24, 2010 4:45 p.m.

    id say fallout 3, well before the broken steel add on. I went through that whole big battle at the end grabing all the power armor i could thinking about all the caps im gonna get for it all then you cant carry on your game unlike oblivion.So i think that fallout 3 was the worst ending coz all that time you put in too make a really powerful person just to be stopped then i was so disappoited
  • Grimi - May 24, 2010 5:06 p.m.

    I liked the LOST ending too, I don't think they could of possibly satisfied everyone with one ending. cool article tho.
  • KnightDehumidifier - May 24, 2010 5:11 p.m.

    I'm gonna say Fable 2, because after all this dungeon-running, and running Albion the way you want it ran, and it all comes down to a ridiculous boss fight with your probably over-powered abilities and items, and then you play "pick your achievement".
  • Transmatrix - May 24, 2010 5:18 p.m.

    Lost ending wasn't bad. I enjoyed it. And on GTA4, I didn't mind the finale either. Sure, it wasn't over the top and you lost either your cousin or your girl but it was a good story. Also, they made up for it with the ending of The Ballad of Gay Tony. Now that's an ending...
  • NotBraze - May 24, 2010 5:21 p.m.

    Don't forget BioShock, fantastic game with an amazing twist, then after that it slowly loses steam until a cliché boss battle and two overly black and white endings.
  • tobz1000 - May 24, 2010 5:56 p.m.

    GoW3 has one of my favourite endings of all time. I realise I'm in the minority there.
  • tobz1000 - May 24, 2010 5:59 p.m.

    Also - in the same vein as Halo 2 - Modern Warfare 2 much?
  • Conman93 - May 24, 2010 6:06 p.m.

    I personally really liked the GOW3 ending. I think Resi 5 should be here instead. Also isnt Halo 2's ending a lot like GOW2 and R&C Quest for Booty (which were both great endings in my opinion)
  • eee - May 24, 2010 6:52 p.m.

    Halo ending sucked ass they didn't even have to right much thats like #1 shitty ending
  • Picnic1 - May 24, 2010 7:15 p.m.

    What about Resident Evil 4? Easy final boss and a silly jet ski sequence.

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