The Top 7... longest videogame endings

Oftentimes our Top 7 lists tread ground that no one else has covered. After all, how many other articles can you find about inanimate objects and sexy horses? But every so often we come down from our esoteric high and write about something universal, like say long-ass videogame endings. 

Above: We’ve come a long way since Rampage’s one screen “ending” 

On the surface, this appears to be a self-explanatory list – just find the seven longest endings ever, right? After hours of searching we can’t find any real documentation or previous attempts to figure out what exactly are the “longest ever.” So, seeing as we could be the first, here’s our ground rules for what constitutes “ending:”

1 – Credits do not count. Games with extensive credits that don’t add anything to the story are left out. If the credits continue the story, then it’s fair game.

2 – “Ending” means gameplay is over. You’re watching the story run its course, not playing.

3 – For variety’s sake, we’re only using one game per franchise, that way it’s not all Xenosaga and Metal Gear.

4 – Finally, so it’s an entertaining list to scroll through, we’re omitting the glut of 20-minute JRPG endings that smother most of the PS1, PS2 and modern-day scene. Lost Odyssey, Star Ocean, Blue Dragon and many, many more all feature intrepid do-gooders fighting enigmatic final bosses in abstract battlegrounds, so if you’ve seen one ending, you’ve seen ‘em all. Oh, we’ve still got JRPGs on the list, but not every single one.

Above: Which JRPG is this? Can you even tell? 

7 – Final Fantasy VI (SNES)

Total running time: 22 minutes

Super condensed version: Heroes save the day, villain’s patchwork castle begins to crumble as the group hurriedly scrambles to their airship. A broken world starts to rebuild itself.

Near as we can tell, this is the first “holy crap this is long” ending. And even if it’s not, it’s bound to be the first truly epic, totally encompassing finale to an RPG. When Locke, Terra, Celes and the rest of the cast finally dispose of the villainous Kefka (who at this point has literally destroyed the world, no fakin’), it’s all they can do to escape with their lives as his magically powered throne falls to the ground.

When it’s all over, we know how everyone feels about the game’s entire journey, how their relationships and own personalities have grown, and what their ultimate fate will be in a world that’s barely able to sustain life. The credits, which account for only a small portion of the ending, roll while we watch the team soar through their newly saved world, all while a stunning score by Nobuo Uematsu perfectly narrates each and every second. Even if you don’t want to watch the whole clip, at least listen to the exceptional ending song – which is, naturally, 22 minutes long.


Top 7

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000
  • gamewriter - August 19, 2010 4:13 a.m.

    You need to add Zelda Twilight.......literlay 5 min
  • TheWebSwinger - January 30, 2010 12:08 a.m.

    Well well well! GR having something kind to say about Metal Gear Solid? That warms my heart.
  • teke367 - January 28, 2010 9:11 p.m.

    I know it wasn't a game, but the last Lord of the Rings movie should be in every list involving notoriously long endings. Seriously, that movie went on for about an hour after I thought it finished. But Metal Gear Solid 4, I kept waiting to go to the bathroom, until about 30 minutes in, I said "eff it" turned the volume way up and ran for it.
  • Ravenbom - January 27, 2010 7:31 p.m.

    lol, the first part of the article made me think that it wouldn't be an all JRPG article, but considering MGS4 is the only one that couldn't be considered a JRPG, you maybe should have just made this: "Top 7 Longest JRPG Endings" You should have just gone for it, it would have been funnier if this was just about how long JRPG endings are. Also, as far as the Final Fantasy series goes, I remember FF8 having the longest ending, but I could be mistaken.
  • SausageLozenge - January 27, 2010 12:17 p.m.

    Got to love the JRPGs.
  • FreekinIdiot - January 27, 2010 12:13 p.m.

    An hour for Metal Gear Solid endning? Wot? How achingly boring and pretentious
  • AuthorityFigure - January 27, 2010 11:55 a.m.

    Man, this list of games made me feel pretty ignorant! But Gex 3D was not such a bad game (was it?!)...
  • VenomVip7 - January 26, 2010 12:38 p.m.

    Nice guys nice...though it would be interesting to see a Top 7 longest credits or something...First Assassin's Creed would definetly be in that one.. Keep up the good work!
  • Cwf2008 - January 26, 2010 4:31 a.m.

    Wait wait if this isn't about JRPGs, then why the hell is almost every game on this list a JRPG?
  • GameManiac - January 26, 2010 3:22 a.m.

    To whoever is playing the mentioned games in this list: grab the popcorn and the adult diapers (unless it can be paused in some manner). How BIG of a game is MGS4????
  • Slash258 - January 26, 2010 2:51 a.m.

    Glad to see my favorite PS2 game, Dragon Quest VIII, made it to the list. I thought of it right away as soon as I read the title of the article.
  • tobacco - January 26, 2010 2:11 a.m.

    The Gex secret ending... ..."You are so big." Uh. Thanks?
  • michaelmcc827 - January 26, 2010 1:28 a.m.

    I'll be honest, this was a pretty lame top 7...whatever though, gotta make it work every week I guess.
  • Dolan88fan - January 26, 2010 1:10 a.m.

    mgs3 was my least favorite of he series id have to say my favorite was metal gear one but redone for the gamecube so it had better graphics they should redo it now for ps3 to give that master piece every little detail it deserves
  • CH3BURASHKA - January 26, 2010 12:55 a.m.

    Surprisingly, all from Japanese developers, and mostly RPGs. Huh. Also, C-C-C-C-Chemo Breaker!
  • sleepy92ismypsn - January 26, 2010 12:43 a.m.

    what a coincidence i just beat mgs4 last nite
  • robotechandnarutosucks - January 26, 2010 12:03 a.m.

    this article fails.
  • spacemonkey086 - January 25, 2010 10:48 p.m.

    I loved MGS1 and 2. But I hated MGS4. The story was way too over the top. A mech with nuclear weapons i can believe, but a vampire and all that nanomachine bull shit was stupid. The ending was cool to see big boss. But there were so many cheezy lines, like when otacon is crying and merryl proposes in the middle of a gunfight. I respect Kojima for inventing stealth games, and I like what he's done in the past. But I think he lost it on this game. If you want to play a decent game that blends movies and action, try Uncharted 2.
  • Cyberninja - January 25, 2010 10:37 p.m.

    interesting i am not watching any of those endings dont have enough time
  • lovinmyps3 - January 25, 2010 10:32 p.m.

    Ahh so that's why Brett was asking me about MGS IV.