Gamer Koala

Wait, That’s It? The Worst Video Game Endings In Modern Gaming

Playing a video game from start to finish is always a significant investment in time. Narrative gems like Horizon: Zero Dawn or God of War pull you into their stories and immerse you in fantastic heroic tales for dozens of hours. And then, when the game sticks its landing, you feel like all that time spent was worth something.

But what happens if the game doesn’t stick its landing? It feels almost insulting. Especially if the game itself was engaging and fun to play. So that’s what we’re looking at today… the worst endings. Even though these games are all fantastic, they didn’t stick the landing.

Spoiler alert! We’re talking about the endings of some fairly popular games. So, if you haven’t played through some of them, you may want to skip ahead to the next one.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Square Enix

By all accounts, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an excellent entry in the Deus Ex franchise, which started way back in 2000 by the legendary Warren Spector and Ion Storm. This new entry featured some great level design and gameplay, and some called those elements some of the best of the franchise.

Unfortunately, business stuff happened behind closed doors, and Mankind Divided ended up being, well… divided. Square Enix decided to cut the game in half and release it in two parts. The problem is… they never made the second part. So that cliffhanger ending? Yeah, it sucks.

Half-Life 2

Half Life 2

Half-Life 2 is a 2004 FPS that combines shooting, puzzles, storytelling, as well as vehicles and physics-based gameplay. Players control Gordon Freeman, who joins the resistance seeking to liberate Earth from the alien Combine empire. Players start with nothing and have to build their arsenal throughout the game.

The disappointing ending of Half-Life 2 was allegedly intentional (to serve as a bridge to the next installment, which never game). After making their way through the entire game, players expected something more. Instead, the mysterious G-Man shows up, says thank you, and then the game basically ends.

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Batman: Arkham Asylum
Warner Bros.

Batman: Arkham Asylum is a 2009 action-adventure game that . The caped crusader traverses Arkham Asylum, a secure facility for the criminally insane located off the coast of Gotham City. Players thought this was the perfect Batman game, until the ending spoiled that.

The ending of Batman: Arkham Asylum is bizarre and illogical. The game builds toward a showdown with the Joker, of course. But expectations are blown when the Joker turns into a giant green mutant who physically fights Batman. The Joker always uses his cunning, and this mischaracterization was an insult to players and fans.

Thankfully, they managed to pull off a great ending in the follow up game, Arkham City.



Borderlands is a 2009 looter-shooter with RPG elements. In the game, four Vault Hunters travel to Pandora, a distant planet, to search for advanced alien technology and priceless riches in the “vault.” Players select one of the four characters, each with unique skills and weapons proficiencies, and take on missions.

The letdown comes after players battle across Pandora and finally find the vault. Expecting treasure and advanced technology, it’s a surprise when there’s a monster inside – a giant tentacled creature called the Destroyer. It wasn’t guarding the vault, but imprisoned in it. There is an allusion to opening “Pandora’s box” here, given the planet’s name.

So all that effort… for nothing. Nice.

Halo 2

Halo 2

Halo 2 is a 2004 FPS that added new weapons, enemies, vehicles, and an additional player character over its predecessor. It was the best-selling first-generation Xbox game, and for good reason… they nailed the gameplay loop! Indeed, the game is about as fantastic as a first-person shooter can get.

But the disappointment comes with the game’s cliffhanger, which developers blamed on time constraints and forced cuts. But it’s the all-too-noticeable hack job that makes the ending feel not like a cliffhanger, but like a game literally chopped in half. Having to wait three years to find out what happened next made Halo 2 a real bummer to finish.

Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3 is a 2012 RPG by Bioware. So, congrats to Bioware for making this list twice. In this chapter, a highly advanced machine race of synthetic-organic starships known as Reapers has invaded a galactic civilization. Players once again assume the role of Commander Shepard, tasked with forging alliances between the species for the war.

But, after you spend hours upon hours making choices to shape the story, the end comes down to a simplistic multiple-choice scenario that takes none of your former decisions into account. No matter what kind of Commander Shepard you played throughout the series, you get none of that reflected back in the conclusion of the story. Totally bunk.

Fallout 3

Fallout 3

Fallout 3 is a 2008 Bethesda RPG that introduced full 3D graphics and real-time combat into the franchise. The story is set in 2277, among the post-apocalyptic ruins of Washington, D.C. and the surrounding countryside. Players control an inhabitant of the underground shelter Vault 101. The goal involves finding your long-lost father, which leads to battling against the Enclave, the corrupt remnants of the former U.S. Government.

Fallout 3’s disappointing ending is another that ignores player choices. No matter what kind of character you spend dozens of hours developing, you’re presented with a few options that all have basically the same nuclear ending. And even worse, you can’t wrap up any side quests that you still have lingering.