Just like all other forms of media, video games can really convey an emotion out of viewers. From battling down brute enemies for revenge to fun whimsical adventures suitable for all ages, there are all sorts of great video game titles available to play for any occasion.
However, if you’re looking for a real tear-jerker that will make your eyes water or pull on your heartstrings then you’ve come to the right list. Within this list, we’re going to showcase some of the saddest video game titles to have released into the market.
With that said, there are probably a number of video games you’re already thinking about. It would be easy to go back and select a few of the older video game titles that made us teary eye for one reason or another such as Red Dead Redemption. However, we’re going to look at some of the newer video game titles that left us heartbroken.
In this list, we’re going to showcase some of the saddest video game titles we’ve played in the last five years. From character motives to the overall narrative journey, these are some video games that are best played with tissues nearby.
Without further ado, here are our picks for the saddest video game titles of the last five years. Likewise, we want to know what video game title, in general, made you cry the most?
#8 Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
- Developer: Starbreeze Studios
- Publisher: 505 Games
- Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, X360, XBO
To all the siblings out there, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons makes for a tear-jerking video game that puts players into a horrible narrative right from the start. This is an adventure game that will take you just a couple hours to complete and it’s rather easy to navigate through.
Within the game, players are following two brothers who must go on a grand adventure through several hostilities in order to bring back special water. The water is believed to heal their dying father though the journey itself will prove to be difficult to overcome for these siblings.
Again, because of its length, it’s hard to really showcase too much information without spoiling the narrative. With that said, this is a beautiful title with puzzle-filled gameplay and boss fights.
#7 Life is Strange
- Developer: Dontnod Entertainment
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, X360, XBO
Life is Strange is one of those games that at first glance doesn’t seem to be something that would have such a deep narrative. But when you give it a try, you’ll have a terrible time when it comes to setting the controller down. There are so many elements to the narrative and journey Dontnod Entertainment takes you that it’s easily a great title recommendation for those that want a deeper story or to those that might not be extremely skilled when it comes to gaming.
Within the game, players take the role of a young adult named Max who is in her senior year of high school after she was accepted into a prestigious academy featuring a desirable photography course. This school actually takes Max back to her hometown of Arcadia Bay, Oregon and it’s with her return that she stumbles upon her past best Friend, Chloe.
Years have passed since Max left with her parents and their friendship slowly chipped away into nothing more than acquaintances. However, one day Max discovers she has a supernatural ability to reverse time and through it, she is able to rekindle her friendship with Chloe. But with all that said, there is something deeper that resides in Arcadia Bay and this game definitely doesn’t hold back.
You’ll learn of deep dark secrets the town has kept hidden along with morally tough and emotional choices that will alter the narrative. This is an episodic video game and with the entire season available, we highly recommend playing the game. Gameplay is aimed more towards puzzle solving and exploring which makes it easy for anyone to pick up and play.
We won’t dare spoil the narrative ending, but it’s certainly one ending that is still debated between fans of the game to this day.
#6 Life is Strange: Before The Storm
- Developer: Deck Nine
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO
We have been waiting for the sequel to Life is Strange since the first season came to a close. Developers Dontnod Entertainment did a spectacular job in crafting a story that kept us playing until the very end. However, while we don’t have a new installment to the franchise that progresses the story or completely alters the world and characters quite yet, we do have a prequel.
Life is Strange: Before The Storm is actually done by a different developer. Instead of Dontnod Entertainment taking the reign during the production of this game, Deck Nine stepped up to plate and gave fans of the first installment some more substance to chew through. Within this game you’ll be taking on the role of Chloe Price, the best friend of Max from Life is Strange.
Again to avoid spoiling too much of either game, especially since Life is Strange is also included in this list, this game takes place shortly after Max moves away from Arcadia Bay. Chloe is left in a mess, something that we were very familiar with throughout Life is Strange.
However, with this installment, we got a real glimpse into what kind of trouble and issues Chloe Price had got herself into. Nothing seemed to have gone Chloe’s way until she finally bumped into a new friend that could take over Max’s place. This is a story that revolves around Chloe Price and Rachel Amber, the girl that was announced missing at the very beginning of Life is Strange.
As it stands, this is another emotional rollercoaster of a video game though if you pick the game up after playing through Life is Strange then this definitely gives new meaning behind Chloe’s relationships and her life in general.
#5 The Last of Us Remastered
- Developer: Naughty Dog
- Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
- Platforms: PS4
Naughty Dog really knows how to make a great video game and has been turning them out for Sony a number of years now. However, one of the more recent IP release, The Last of Us, was resounded for its gameplay and narrative journey.
At its core, The Last of Us was a game that follows the world after a zombie-like plague. Most of humanity was struggling to survive with various fungus type hosts have attached themselves to a human body, essentially reanimating them. While technically they are not zombies, it’s tough to classify them to anything else.
Overall the game follows Joel who has his world completely shattered early into the game. However, after a small time jump, it seems that Joel is making by in the world that is full of nothing by chaos, corruption, and uncertainty. That soon gets shaken up when Joel winds up having to protect some little girl named Ellie as they make their way across the country on foot.
As you can imagine this is a slow journey that takes Joel and Ellie a long time to complete. It’s within this time that Joel and Ellie begin to bound though the deeper you go into the narrative the more we see just how bleak the world has become.
This is a game you’ll be gripping your controller and sitting on the edge of your seat all the way through. After the amount of time you spend playing this game, it’ll be hard not to get attached to the various characters.
#4 What Remains of Edith Finch
- Developer: Giant Sparrow
- Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
- Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO
What Remains of Edith Finch is another great adventure game that is perfect for gamers who may not be the most skilled. Instead of worrying about gunning down enemies or maneuvering through a complex level, this is an adventure title that will slowly unfold its narrative, one of which tells the tale of an unlucky family.
The Finches are notorious for having very few family roots as for generations a curse has plagued the family from having all but one child survive and live to keep the family name alive. All other children seem to die an untimely and most unusual death. Likewise, they all seem to be attached in some way, shape or form to the Finch family home.
Within this game, players take on an unnamed role as you embark into the mystery behind the Finch family home where you’ll be able to roam around the house and slowly unlock rooms. These rooms will eventually take you into the past where you’ll place a past Finch child as you see just how they died.
Gameplay often changes and adapts to the character and the storyline being told. You’ll find it tough not to get pulled into the family history and best of all, this is a very short game. After just about two to three hours, the game’s main story can be completed if you simply wish to enjoy the game for its narrative journey rather than completing it fully.
#3 The Walking Dead
- Developer: Telltale Games
- Publisher: Telltale Games
- Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, PSV, X360, XBO, Mobile, Ouya
Telltale Games takes real precious care when it comes to their video game releases. Oftentimes they will handle other IPs such as Batman and Game of Thrones though they add their own unique twist to it. This usually results in an adventure narrative that relies heavily on player choices in order to alter the story and the characters within it.
The Walking Dead takes place in the popular comic and AMC TV series universe where you may even see a familiar face. However, predominately, the game is centered around unique characters within The Walking Dead universe.
This first season follows Lee Everett, a man that is on his way to prison until the zombie apocalypse actually ends up freeing him from the law enforcement. Now free in a chaotic world, Lee stumbles upon a young child by the name of Clementine who is all alone. Quickly Lee takes on the role of Clementine’s guardian and protects her from the harsh new realities of the world.
Overall, this is a deep interactive drama that spans across a few episodic seasons. We highly suggest playing the first season and make your way through the heart-wrenching story while we currently wait for the fourth season to release.
#2 Blackwood Crossing
- Developer: PaperSeven
- Publisher: Vision Games
- Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO
Blackwood Crossing is the debut title for PaperSeven which puts players into the shoes of a young woman named Scarlett. Throughout the game, Scarlett is taking care of Finn, her younger brother though as the game progresses, more and more oddities such as the surroundings begin to change. Ultimately, this takes players to solve a variety of puzzles as they explore moments of Scarlett’s past.
Much like What Remains of Edith Finch, this is yet another shorter adventure title that would be perfect for gamers who like to sit back and enjoy the narrative. Likewise, as you progress the narrative it becomes clear of what is going on around Scarlett and Finn.
#1 The Walking Dead: The Final Season
- Developer: Telltale Games, Skybound Games
- Publisher: Telltale Games, Skybound Games
- Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO, NS
You know, there’s a lot of reasons to be sad over this video game title. I mean, a lot of reasons. It’s a franchise that we’re all familiar with thanks to the success from its origins as a comic book to the current day television craze. However, despite having a few less than desirable video game titles, one particular series stood on its own and that came from Telltale Games. The development team was well known for delivering video game narrative focused adventure titles from already established mediums like The Walking Dead. In fact, this was a series that gamers have been following for years as the first installment released back in 2012.
Now after several installments we finally got the last closing story for our protagonist we’ve watched grow up in a zombie apocalypse these past few years. Telltale Games announced that this installment would be the closing story for Clementine but as the game got closer to launch there were a few bumps for the development studio. This four part game only managed to release two of its four parts leaving gamers clueless as to if the game would actually have an ending.
Telltale Games ran into trouble and was forced to close down leaving the game in limbo. Thankfully Skybound, the company owned by Robert Kirkman who created The Walking Dead, stepped in and secured the developers who decided to stay despite dealing with the pressures from their previous Telltale Games employment. This end result was the closing chapter to a long running video game franchise and a potential end to seeing something similar to Telltale Games coming out in the market.