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We ranked the 25 saddest video games that will definitely make you cry out.

We ranked the 25 saddest video games that will definitely make you cry out.

The gaming industry has changed dramatically in recent decades. Of the barely perceptible pixels, which were characters and places more abstract than anything else, we have reached a point where we can visualize completely dense worlds and characters with a high degree of detail.

And with a high degree of graphical accuracy, it offers the opportunity to convey emotional and plausible stories, because, you know, it’s really hard to get used to merging polygons.

As with many other things, it is very subjective whether the story is emotional or not. To this end, we have tried to identify sad games with well thought-out conspiracies that, even if they don’t make you cry, at least they will if they make you reach for the tissue box.

Criteria for selecting the saddest video games :

  • Is the story well thought out and free of kitschy, weepy moments?
  • Are the characters so recognisable that the players feel they have developed an emotional bond with them?
  • Is the game/debate about depression, anxiety, loneliness, despair, emotional or material?
  • Does the game contain at least one scene (preferably the end) in which the players are forced to wipe at least one tear from their eyes?

It should also be noted that for the purposes of this article, we have temporarily moved away from the world of role-playing games and included games of all genres.

We did this so we could record all the sad video games we played. Let’s start with an emotional roller coaster ride and talk about the saddest video games that lead to the appearance of onion-cutting ninjas.

25 THE SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS

Date of first publication 18. October 2005
Platform PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3.
Developer Team Ico, Sony Interactive Entertainment, YOU Japan Studio
Publishing house Sony Computer Entertainment

Colossus Shadow, image source: Team Ico, Sony Interactive Entertainment, YOU Japan Studio

MARCO ➞ Shadow of the Colossus, or Oh my God, what should I do? for those of you who prefer an alternative name, is one of the saddest video games, not necessarily because of the plot, but because of the actions of the player. They play like a young man who, because he wants to save his murdered girlfriend from the faith, goes to a forbidden kingdom.

Once there, a mysterious creature with the power to raise the dead makes a proposal: in exchange for the resurrection of a woman, the young man must kill the only inhabitants of the kingdom. The inhabitants mentioned are 16 old Colossians. Some are more than the eye can see, while others are strong enough to turn you into a bag of flesh and bones.

Probably a mumbling idiot! And thinking he made the deal of the century, a man goes out to kill those giants. But there is a catch: these giants, no matter how threatening they may seem, are peaceful creatures that will not attack unless they are provoked.

It is therefore not so much the murder of a monster as a senseless murder, a fact that becomes quite clear as soon as one accepts the offer, hoping that the strange-looking man will keep his promise and bring the loved one back to life. And the sad thing about this game is that you have no choice – if you want to save your love, you have to accept this deal.

The reason for the means approach will become less and less important with every colossus you kill, because you realize that you are killing essentially innocent creatures for your own gain. Oh, and do you remember the part about the only residents? Yeah, you almost commit genocide on a girl. If that’s not crack dust, I don’t know what is.

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Date of first publication December 2018
Platform Nintendo Switch, Windows, MacOS
Developer Studio Nomad
Publishing house Digital developer

Grey, well: Studio Nomad

BAABUSKA➞ GRIS is an Indian masterpiece of exceptional beauty, with each frame becoming a painting. I just happened to stumble upon that name. From what I saw in the trailers, there were a lot of elements that I liked about the games – deep meaning, a very unique artistic style, meticulous details and interesting programming sequences.

But trailers are usually designed to show the best parts of the game, right? That wasn’t the case with GREY. In fact, I noticed after the game that the fans strongly underestimated the brilliance of the game.

Despite its bright facade, GREY is one of the saddest video games I’ve ever played, and it’s about loss and self-discovery. There’s almost no text. Instead, the designers used color, delicate art, universal icons and a haunting soundtrack to convey the story of a young girl who got lost and lost her voice. The colour of the canvas is a manifestation of Gris’ emotions.

The world around her changes to reflect her feelings – from the barren desert to the lush forests and finally to the sky (which she passes). The art of the game is not static. It evolves through layers of patterns, shapes and colours that add depth to the story and help you discover new mechanisms.

Darkness is also a manifestation of Gray’s Depression. It starts out as a band of innocent birds, but eventually turns into a gigantic creature or a dark ocean that threatens to swallow the whole thing up. In this game, there are no random design choices. Even the statue, the statue of Gris himself, reforms as the girl approaches to overcome her grief.

It’s impressive that Nomada Studio was able to deliver something so versatile in just 4 hours. I think GREY will remain relevant for many years to come, thanks to its ability to explain mental anxiety and depression through amazing art. The shades of gray may not make you shout loudly, but it is a profound experience that will penetrate you to the depths of your soul.

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23 BEEPER – RUNNING DEAD SERIES

Date of first publication 24. April 2012
Platform PS4, Android, Xbox One, PS3.
Developer Telegrams
Publishing house Telegrams

Walking Dead, source of images: Traitor

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ The media about the zombie apocalypse is known to many, and subtlety is not one of them. The eponymous television show is no exception to the rule, so it is quite surprising (at least for me) that the product associated with the Walking Dead franchise can create irreplaceable dramatic moments.

Telltale’s Walking Dead is less about how to smash the heads of zombies to pieces than about human existence. It’s about making difficult decisions in desperate times, decisions that are not easy to make, even if your survival or that of your friends is at stake.

You can say a lot about this game, but it would be a shame to waste it after all these years, because if you haven’t had the chance to play it, don’t forget to visit it. There’s one thing you can say without ruining the story: It’s a zombie game, so don’t expect a happy ending. If that’s not the saddest video game footage, I don’t know what is.

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22 BROTHERS: THE STORY OF TWO SONS

Date of first publication 7. August 2013
Platform Android, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, iOS, Windows PC and phone
Developer Star Breeze Studios
Publishing house 505 games

Brothers: The story of two sons, the source of the statue: Star Breeze Studios

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Brothers : The story of two sons – this is the only game that has managed not only to convey the elements of the game mechanics plot, but also to take the concept to a new level. It’s probably the only game where the mechanics and the control loops make you, well, feel things.

Brothers give you control over two nameless brothers and sisters (Little Brother and Big Brother) who leave to find a cure for their sick father. The whole is simple and the brothers work both because of their unpretentious character and because of their deep emotional experiences. Each brother gets one of the sticks, and the game (which consists mainly of a simple puzzle solution) is built around this concept.

It may not seem like much, but the fact is that our brains are used to working alone. In the first hour or so of the Brothers you will fight until that magical moment when it turns into an endless loop that is so logical that you think like no one on earth has ever thought before.

When you learn to master two characters, you will feel the bond between the brothers grow. The relationship between the brothers and the emotional impact of the storyline of the game is further enhanced by the fact that none of the characters speaks a single word in a recognizable language. And no, don’t even try to decipher it, it’s just gibberish.

There’s nothing else to say without ruining the experience (even if it’s short, about three hours), so if you haven’t had a chance to play yet, don’t hesitate. No other game makes you cry at the touch of a button.

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Date of first publication 15. September 2015
Platform Nintendo Switch, PS4, Windows, Linux, MacOS, PSVita
Developer Toby Fox
Publishing house Toby Fox

Suspect, image source: Toby Fox

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Undertale, another metamodel similar to Stanley’s, appeared on stage at the right time. In an industry where the Western conception of video games (with the risk of generalisation) has taken a more realistic course, Undertale has done the opposite, reducing the cynicism, courage and violence of many popular publications in favour of a simpler approach.

We can say that Undertale is a work of postmodern video games because it deconstructs many of the conventions of meta-games that we take for granted (that’s the word you often hear here). This includes saving, downloading, playing and even chatting about the game.

But Undertale’s real appeal is the way it recognises and exploits our deepest notions of violence in video games for maximum impact. Of course, Undertale has its share of jokes, meta-irony and moments when you break a fourth wall, but the fact is that if you don’t get away with a total asshole, you’ll cry with joy and happiness most of the time.

Like any great work of art, Undertale is sad, bitter and sweet at the same time. It’s hard to talk about it any longer without spoiling the experience, but if you’re ready for some excitement, Undertale is a must.

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Date of first publication June 2013
Platform Playstation 3
Developer mischievous dog
Publishing house Sony Computer Entertainment

The last of us, the source of the statue: Bad dog

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ The last of us is a brilliant and deeply emotional experience for the same reasons as the undead of Tellteila. Surprisingly, this is your usual third-person shooter in the post-apocalyptic world, so someone who has no idea will not make the list of the saddest video games of all time. But it’s just a surface. What distinguishes The Last of Us from its peers is the relationship between the bandit Joel and Ally. You follow her through all her battles and struggles and see how her bond develops with each event and her father-daughter relationship becomes stronger as you play.

Like any good post-apocalyptic story, The Last of Us challenges you morally and emotionally. In real life things are not black and white, let alone the world of dog eaters in the post-apocalypse.

The latter leads you to wonder whether killing is justified under certain circumstances, or whether it is worth including someone in your group to increase your chances of survival at the expense of your relationship with others.

The game presents players with many biting dilemmas, and no matter what you think, there are no ideal choices – all that matters is survival and learning to live with your choices.

At some point we’ll all find out what it’s all about – divorce, poverty, unemployment. We all know that feeling of despair when it seems like nothing is going to work, and the dirty feeling we get after making decisions in which we are not necessarily involved. Adult life is an ugly, confusing mess. And if for some reason you want to experience these things in the form of a game, Always Sometimes Monsters is the place to do it.

Sometimes samples in the kind of role are described as realistic. This is unrealistic in the sense that swords do not make a squeaking sound when fired, or that weapons have a precise kickback, remember that. Realism comes from playing a real person (which can easily be you and me) who is going through a difficult time.

The player slips into the role of the failed author, who receives the national news that the love of his life is about to get married. Worse, you’re broke and about to be evicted from your dirty apartment, so good luck finding a way to stop your ex-girlfriend from getting married across the country.

At the beginning of the game, players get to know their character through quasi-pressure, which can determine the gender and orientation of the character. From now on, players are free to solve their tasks. One of the first puzzles the player has to deal with is whether to pay the rent or put the money in his pocket and sleep outside before going to the west coast.

From now on, Monsters sometimes become a roller coaster ride with conflicting emotions and feelings that are increasingly difficult to shake off. At some point in the game you may think that a questionable decision is your only option and that the reason (in this case the failure of your ex’s marriage, which was selfish enough to begin with) justifies the means. Most of your actions in this regard will make you feel morally bankrupt.

The actions that the players perform at different times, because the games have different flashbacks of the youth and school years of the player, will influence the end. In the end, it’s up to the players to decide whether to follow Machiavelli’s path to find their love or let him go.

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19 Always and sometimes samples

Date of first publication 21. May 2014
Platform Android, Microsoft Windows, Linux, PS4.
Developer stray dog
Publishing house Digital developer

Always monsters, source of images: Stray dog.

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ At some point we will all get to the bottom of the problem: the gorges, poverty, unemployment. We all know the feeling of despair when it seems like nothing is going to work, and the bad feeling we get after making decisions in which we are not necessarily involved. Growing up is an ugly, confusing mess. And if for some reason you want to experience these things in the form of a game, Always Monsters is sometimes the place to do it.

Sometimes samples in the kind of role are described as realistic. This is unrealistic in the sense that swords do not make a squeaking sound when fired, or that weapons have a precise kickback, remember that. Realism comes from playing a real person (which can easily be you and me) who is going through a difficult time.

The player slips into the role of the failed author, who receives the national news that the love of his life is about to get married.

At the beginning of the game, players get to know their character through quasi-pressure, which can determine the gender and orientation of the character. From now on, players are free to solve their tasks.

One of the first puzzles the player has to deal with is whether to pay the rent or put the money in his pocket and sleep outside before going to the west coast.

From now on, Monsters sometimes become a roller coaster ride with conflicting emotions and feelings that are increasingly difficult to shake off.

In some parts of the game you will make yourself believe that a questionable decision is the only option and that the reason (in this case the failure of your ex-boyfriend’s marriage, which is rather selfish in the beginning) justifies the means to make you feel morally bankrupt.

The actions that the players perform at different times, because the games have different flashbacks of the youth and school years of the player, will influence the end. In the end, it’s up to the players to decide whether to follow Machiavelli’s path to find their love or let him go.

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Date of first publication 14. November 2014
Platform Android, Nintendo Switch, PS4, iOS, Xbox One, Windows, MacOS, Linux.
Developer 11-bit studios
Publishing house 11-bit studios

It’s my war, the source of the statue: 11Bit-Studios

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ This war is the only game so far in which players have not taken the place of a highly qualified super mercenary, but of groups of civilians fighting for their survival in the active zone of hostilities. During the civil war (based on the Yugoslavian wars) in an unwritten Balkan country, you start the game with a small group of ordinary people, each with their own skills and stories, their skills (or rather, their abilities) are linked to their history. Bruno was a famous chef, so he uses as few ingredients as possible in his cooking.

Katya worked as an investigative journalist, so you want to send her to negotiate with other survivors because of her innate negotiating skills. Pavel, a former soccer star, is the fastest runner, but he has the smallest stock. Boris is the strongest, but because of his leg injury he is also the slowest of all.

Their identities are as different as their stories – while some survivors cannot tolerate the murder and robbery of innocent people, others are more willing to condone or even commit such acts if it means surviving another day.

In this war the actors have to find a balance between helping others in need and taking care of their own survival, while questioning the morality of their actions.

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Date of first publication 30. January 2015
Platform Android, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh operating systems
Developer Targeted entertainment
Publishing house Anix-square

Life is strange, the source of the image: Targeted entertainment

BAABUSKA ➞ I’m not a big fan of episodic adventure games, but so many of my friends praise life that I had to try it. I wasn’t disappointed.

Essentially, life is strange – this is the time to come, with fantastic momentum and a masterfully told conspiracy. The game has themes that are familiar to most teenagers: Depression, death, introversion, need to belong, etc. Promotors did not hesitate to tackle difficult topics such as teen suicide, drug addiction and sexuality.

For me, the main selling points of the game were Max’s ability to go back in time and the real relationship between Max and Chloe. Who wouldn’t want to go back and correct their mistakes? This ability seems harmless at first glance. If you play longer, you’ll notice how every small change in Max affects the universe on a larger scale.

Every time we travel back in time to fix something, worse things happen. In the early morning it is clear that Max has gone over the line.

After all, you’re facing an impossible decision – a decision no teenager should have to make. Whatever you decide, you’re gonna cry.

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Date of first publication 1. November 2011
Platform Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh operating systems.
Developer Weak bird games
Publishing house Freeburds

To the moon, the source of the statue: Freeburds

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ To The Moon is like the Eternal Sun of Potential Mind Video Games – a story in a vague science fiction universe that will surprise you like never before. The story of the game surrounds, so to speak, two people, Dr. Rosalyn and Dr. Watts, who have the strangest task: to change people’s memories to make them believe that they have achieved all their goals and desires. However, there is one problem: When they perform the operation, all their old real memories are erased and replaced by false memories, so the operation is only performed on people who are going to die. The story of this particular game follows his attempt to realize the dream of an older man, Johnny. His dream? Go to the moon.

The game focuses on Johnny’s memories of important objects, events and energy to strengthen the memory and connect the points between the different stages of a person’s life. Once the player has seen all the memories, he can start manipulating them by swapping characters, events and objects to make Johnny believe he has fulfilled his dream.

The story itself is beautifully composed and contains beautiful lyrics and music that together create very moving moments. This does not prevent the kind of artificial emotions that would be a heartbreaking drama, for example, but a kind of raw feeling that is only something deeply personal, of which only you know the value.

It is best described by the steam user when writing this:

”There are strange and inappropriate jokes in every man’s life that mean nothing to anyone but a few people. Like an old torn soccer ball, an origami rabbit figure or an ugly stuffed duckbill

It’s sad, happy, depressing and sometimes, frankly, enlightening. It’s a story about the things that make us human, with all our mistakes and dreams.

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Date of first publication January 2016
Platform Operating systems Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Ouya, Macintosh.
Developer Numino games
Publishing house Numino games

This dragon crab, source of statues: Numino games

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ That the dragon, the emotions related to cancer are not necessarily transmitted by the subject, but rather by the presentation. The game developed by Ryan Green was inspired by his and his wife’s experiences after their third child Joel was diagnosed with the atypical diagnosis of a teratogenic rhabdoid tumour at the age of twelve months.

The doctors only gave the child four months to live, but despite the many complications and deteriorations, Joel lived for another four years.

From the gameplay point of view, That Dragon, Cancer is played in third and first person, as an exploratory game. As the story unfolds, players are confronted with solutions similar to those of Ryan Green and his wife. The real emotional drama does not necessarily stem from the premise of the piece (which in itself is very tragic), but from the presentation.

The experiences of Ryan and his wife range from dark realism to abstraction. The game contains several creative re-enactments of Green’s experiences, such as the one where Green crosses the hospital with his son on a cart.

The game is told directly by Ryan or indirectly through some real pictures and voice messages taken by the family while spending time with Joel.

This game dragon, cancer – one of the very difficult to describe games because of its individual nature. If you take it literally, it’s a game that tells the story of the family and Joel. But it’s about more than just helping to cope with the loss of a loved one and opening up to others.

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14 POWERFUL WARS: Great War

Date of first publication June 2014
Platform PS4, Android, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, PS4, Xbox 360, Windows
Developer Ubisoft Montpellier
Publishing house Ubisoft

Brave hearts: The Great War, the source of the statue: Ubisoft Montpellier

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ History of Courageous Hearts : The First World War reads almost like a strange postmodern vision of historical events. The plot, inspired by the letters of the First World War, follows four characters on the battlefield who help a young German soldier find love. But like all great fairy tales, it is only a surface – Valiant Hearts is a love story, but also a story of friendship, sacrifice and survival.

Despite his Wes-Andersonian premise, Valiant Hearts does not hesitate to describe the suffering and cruelty of war.

And believe it or not, it depicts the nightmare of the First World War without a graphic representation of blood, pain and violence, emphasizing the consequences and the human element rather than the obvious. It is a profound and very moving story, coming from the last place you can imagine.

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Date of first publication 5. August 2013
Platform PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Windows, Linux, MacOS, ioS.
Developer Fulbright, Blitworks.
Publishing house Fulbright Society

Back home, source: Fulbright Society

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ 7. June of 1995. You return home after a year in backpacks all over Europe – you can’t be over 90, but we’ll talk about that some other time – and surprisingly there’s no one to welcome you. Because instant texting was a cyberpunk movie at the time, people started sniffing around the house to find out why everyone was missing.

Gone Home is essentially an interactive story that unfolds by looking at the family’s objects. There is no real gameplay that looks like anything other than pressing X to communicate with any object, leaving only the story that carries the game.

And oh my God, what a story – I never thought the story of a seemingly bourgeois American family could be so interesting. Family members are social and interesting enough to look like people you know in real life, whether they are neighbors or relatives.

In some ways it resembles the Night in the Forest in that it captures a certain moment in time or a certain idea.

The house itself is a treasure trove of memorabilia from the ’90s. If you’re old enough to remember those times – not the 1990s in general, but a certain period in the middle of the decade when we were at the interface of analogue and high-speed communication technology – the efforts of developers who invested in the details become even more attractive.

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12 ORI AND BLIND FOREST

Date of first publication 11. March 2015
Platform PC, Xbox One
Developer Lunar studios
Publishing house Microsoft Studios

The forest of the Ori and the blind, source of images: Lunar studios

BAABUSKA ➞ I have a weakness for emotional stories, so don’t judge me when I tell you that the Ori and the Blind Forest made me cry during the prologue. Maybe it was the music, the art, the warm relationship between an orphan of the Ori and a tender Naru. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.

This game reminds me of the Disney animations I loved as a child (which I pay for, by the way). I think I feel like a kid again. Emotions are so simple and pure that it is impossible to sit with anxiety.

Remember the night. As I lit up the sky, I called the Ori. But hope never came.

From the beginning, the Ori world exploded on its own. She’s alone again, in a world of indifference.

… another orphan. No reason to stay.

Once the adventure begins, you can feel the sorrow of the Ori through the way you control their movements. She’s slow, insecure and scared. Just seconds before the game begins and the Ori fall asleep, exhausted with grief. The perfect soundtrack comes back, and before you know it you start crying.

Congratulations, you finished the prologue.

What about the rest of the game? I’m not saying the game was as emotional as the first few minutes. Let’s face it, it’s hard to add anything to this prologue. There is a change of pace, but the game is large, complex and generally fun to play.

And the last few scenes will probably make you scream a little.

Oh, and if you’re looking for more reasons to cry, you’ll be glad to know that the Ori and the Will of the Wise will be published next year. Let’s see if he wins a spot on our list of saddest video games.

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Date of first publication 20. May 2014
Platform Nintendo Switch, PS4, iOS, Windows, Linux MacOS, TVOS
Developer Super Giant Games
Publishing house Super Giant Games

Transistor, image source : Super Giant Games

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ If the bastion was a true masterpiece of modernity, the sequel to the super giant Transistor can be described as a game of heartbreaking beauty. In fact, it is an exhibition that shows the full potential of this medium in terms of important artistic creation.

The story follows Red, a famous singer in a town called Cloudbank, who is attacked by a commando of robots led by a shadowy group called Camerata. She could not have escaped until she came into possession of the transistor, the mechanical sword that would bring her death.

The sword seems to have absorbed the voice and consciousness of the last victim, as well as the voice of Red, who is now physically unable to speak. Thanks to him, someone can talk to Red and he also plays the role of storyteller in the game.

As with the Bastion, the emotional component is not conveyed in the traditional way, but through the struggle of the Reds to save the city from the process and restore its most precious possession – the lost voice. Thanks to its aesthetic and visual style, the Transistor seeps into a kind of urban melancholy (think of Edward Hopper’s Knighthawks, just from Sci-Fi) that strangely enough seems familiar despite the Sci-Fi’s distant perspective.

From start to finish, Transistor is a beautiful game with a great story that takes you through the whole range of emotions. It’s always welcoming – for eight hours it’s a short, gentle exercise in the video game workshop that will satisfy people looking for an intense experience.

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  • We ranked the 25 saddest video games that will definitely make you cry out. 16 Best Sci-Fi Role-Playing Games That Will Amaze You – Browse our list of the best Sci-Fi role-playing games that will amaze you and waste your time. We considered all games with science fiction elements and entertaining role-playing mechanisms – from normal games to isometric niche role-playing games.
Date of first publication 31. August 2017
Platform PS4, Nintendo switch, window
Developer TOvosonico
Publishing house 505 games

Last day of June, source of the statue: TOvosonico

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ The last day of June is, in simple terms, an interactive adventure game about love, defeat and sorrow. The story is inspired by the song Drive Home by Stephen Wilson – it seems that the post-orcupist Stephen Wilson tree has recovered part of his amulet – and the game itself served as his recreation.

Despite the colour palette – which certainly adds to the game’s charm and appeal – the last day of June brings with it a rather difficult dilemma: what would you do to save someone you love? What is the line between saving and protecting a loved one and hurting others? Is the salvation of a loved one at the expense of other aristocratic enterprises that demonstrate an unwavering devotion and a strong character, or is it a purely selfish act?

Clearly there can never be a good answer to these questions, so the least we can do is recognize the fullness of your actions and live with the consequences. In this context, excellent work was done on the last day of June to examine and discuss these dilemmas and even to propose various solutions that did not seem too preachy or cynical.

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9 MEASURES. CONTENT AND MAX. CONTENT 2: REDUCTION OF MAXIMUM WAGE

Date of first publication 23. July 2001 / 15. October 2003.
Developer Entertainment for minors
Publishing house Rockstar Games

Max Payne 1 and 2, source: Entertainment for minors

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Max Payne’s first title puts you in the shoes of a policeman whose family was brutally murdered by a group of drug addicts. After he learned that these addicts were under the influence of a drug called Valkyrie, Max decided to go to the DEA and put the people responsible for contaminating the streets of New York City with this drug behind bars.

During an undercover bite in a New York crime family, Max is unconsciously dragged into a shadowy conspiracy and is framed for the murder of a fellow policeman. Because from now on nothing can stop him, Max gets angry, hoping to destroy those responsible for his family’s death.

At first glance, the principle of Max Payne is as fundamental as can be. But what sets Max Payne apart from other action games (and black really works) is the way the story is presented. The devastation and the hundreds of corpses Max leaves behind are just a background noise for the inner struggle he leads.

The game itself is a complete study of Max’s psyche, and the most interesting thing I found is that he makes no attempt to justify his actions. Max is just a man with nothing to live for, so we might as well try to uncover a conspiracy before he goes off making a fuss.

What made Max Payne unique at the time was the presentation. In the game, instead of abbreviations, panel-format comics were used, which not only made a brilliant stylistic choice, perfectly translating the atmosphere of the plot and Max’s psychological torture, but also provided a clever distraction from the studio’s limited financial resources at the time.

After Max’s longing for revenge has ended and all those responsible for his family’s death are dead, one wonders what would happen next for a man like Max. Technically, Max has no reason not to put his gun in the first ditch and move as far away from New York as possible. Realistically, there is no chance that anyone who has experienced the Max experience can ever heal like Max Payne 2 did: The fall of Max Payne is a successful demonstration.

The sequel comes two years after the first race. Max returned to the NYPD as a detective, and apart from the fact that he occasionally shot a strange impostor, he seems to have put his life back on track. But life isn’t so rosy for a deranged detective.

The theme of this story begins with the name – if the first game was an attempt by people (albeit intentionally) to deal with their demons, then the next one is a concession to the demons mentioned.
In terms of narrative and emotional impact, Max Payne 2 is superior to its predecessors in every respect. Although some time has passed since the first game, Max’s injuries are far from healed.

In fact, it can be said that he is in worse shape than before, when a two-year break in the chaos and turmoil brought Max some mild psychological relief, enough to make him remember what he had lost. As evidence, it doesn’t take much for Max to fall back into the same destructive habits.

The main difference now is that while in the first game his actions were purely reactive, this time he really has no reason to do what he does. Indeed, to a certain extent, there is no shadowy conspiracy in which one can unconsciously end up talking.

Like the blade of hell: Senua’s Sacrifice is the only game that has succeeded in accurately depicting the subtleties of mental illness. The first two titles by Max Payne (and the third, but more addictive, title) managed to capture the malignant nature of grief, pain and depression and thematically wrap them in a fascinating plot.

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VERTICAL: SEÑORAVICTIMS

Date of first publication 8. August 2017
Platform PC, PS4 (also available in VR)
Developer The ninja theory
Publishing house The ninja theory

One hell of a knife: Senui sacrifice, Quelle: The ninja theory

BAABUSKA ➞ Although mental illness has been used as a mechanic in many video games, few studios have actually used it as a means to study the reality of mental health. Ninja Theory, a studio that has surprised us with many emblematic classics such as Devil May Cry or Enslaved : Ulysses, took a daring step with an infernal knife: Senua’s Sacrifice is a narrative game with simple mechanics that tells a dark and recognizable story.

Hellblade’s gameplay evolves around a dark and incredibly deep journey of a young woman (Senui) through her personal hell.

I had the pleasure of playing Hell’s Blade: Senua’s sacrifice twice. The outcome of the first breakthrough completely broke me. You know the game of piety when it causes a nasty scream and you start pouring fluid through all the holes in your face. Even a few days after my first race I was still thinking about Senoui’s trip.

To be honest, I didn’t quite get the story. At least in the beginning. A lot of people don’t. This is due to the fact that it is formatted in a very unusual way.

It’s not so much a journey to the real world as a journey of the mind. The most difficult battles are in the head – a theme that runs throughout the game.

Understanding what really happened in the reality of the game is almost impossible because of Senui’s psychosis. But that’s not the point. The aim of the game is to tell a fascinating story about love and loss. And this is miraculously achieved, not only by big stories, but also by removing all unnecessary game mechanics.

No textbooks. No leaders. No cards. No advice if you can’t go any further. Just the voices. Those chasing voices that seem too realistic to get out of the game.

The game is characterized by its simplicity, while retaining many of the additional systems that modern players are increasingly dependent on, and shows that less is sometimes really more when it comes to telling an exciting story and involving players in intense combat situations. – GameCrate

As a Dark Souls fan, I found my fighting style attractive. It never seemed too difficult or unfair. The battle is satisfying, but it is also very simple. Little is explained to you, but with every death an incredible feeling of fear increases.

Too many mistakes, and Senua will fall into darkness.

Forever and ever.

For me, that’s one of the main reasons I kept my chair throughout the game. I felt like I was fighting for my own life. The deeper we go into the story, the more we learn about the main character’s past, his deep suffering and the reasons why it continues.

I don’t want to spoil the game too much, but the end made a big impression on me. She answered many of the questions I have about life, death and mental health.

Senua is not a game. It’s a journey.

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Date of first publication January 2017
Platform Nintendo Switch, PS4, Android, Xbox One, iOS, Windows, MacOS, Linux
Developer An endless case, the Mystery Lab.
Publishing house Finji

The night in the woods, source of the statues: An endless case, the Mystery Lab.

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Night in the Woods is a search game based on a story set in Possum Springs, a small town with zoomorphic animals. They play the role of a young woman named May who recently left school and returns to her hometown to discover that it doesn’t look like where she left off.

The crumbling city of Possum Springs is a perfect setting for exploring history. The game deals with complex issues such as depression, anxiety, loneliness, mental illness, the economic dangers of the lower and middle classes and, in general, the death of small Americans.

As serious as the theme is, Night in the Woods plays it in a slightly lighter tone – see it as a combination of Bojack’s Rider, Scott Pilgrim vs. peace and Netflix Aziza Ansari, Netu’s original master.

An emotional blow comes not from the dramatic scenes, but from the subtext. The characters are light, weird, sarcastic and cheerful, but you can’t shake off the feeling that they’re missing something more. In fact, this is the main cornerstone of the game: explore the city, talk to the colorful inhabitants and do stupid things with your friends.

But probably the most important thing in this game is the city itself. The once thriving mining town of Possum Springs has slowly died and, even worse, some of its inhabitants (including an old friend of Mae’s) have disappeared one by one into the forest. May meets her old friends and spends time with them, realizing that during her absence they have all changed and grown. In the good old days they decided to work together to solve the mystery.

While the mystery of the disappearances is a good part of the story, the game focuses on the above topics. Springs Ossum shows the remnants of a once active city which, due to the changing economic tide, has only become a shadow of its past. The promoters have managed to consolidate the feeling of a small post-industrial city in such a way that I sometimes feel as if I was walking around in my hometown.

Although May has spent most of her life here, she cannot help but feel alienated by the city and its people. It is an experience to which most people who have left their homes in search of better opportunities (for university or at work) can relate.

Night in the Woods is not necessarily a game where you have to cry uncontrollably, but in the end you get the emotions expressed by the well-written characters and the city itself. It’s not sad, it’s melancholy.

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Date of first publication February 2016
Platform All current platforms
Developer got a monkey
Publishing house Smile

Stardeve Valley, bronze statue. Got a monkey.

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Stardew Valley is a lot of things – it’s cheerful, colorful, charming, nostalgic, relaxing, idyllic and to some extent a bit idealistic, especially when it comes to the relationship between the problems of a small town and the interests of big business. We’ve already talked about what makes Stardew Valley one of the best role-playing games (no, games) ever released, but for this article, we’ll take a slightly different approach.

Although there is no lack of humour and stupidity in the Stardew Valley – and the eccentricity of the town contributes to this – one cannot help but notice the hidden sadness that is not clear from the outset. Although at the beginning of the game your main goal seems to be to restore your grandfather’s farm to its former glory, after a while you realize that it’s more about indirectly helping the company, through your entrepreneurial efforts.

Your help can be as tangential as buying naturally grown seeds, but in an overpriced local shop rather than a wholesaler, or as important as helping the mayor rebuild a dilapidated community center. You can also take the side of the JoJa Corporation, which wants to turn the city into another unwritten city, without identity and without local color.

Your neighbours probably need your help because the economic stagnation of the city leaves them no choice. Their true and hard stories – an alcoholic mother unemployed after the bus stop in town, an army doctor with PTSD, a teenager dreaming of becoming a rock star but unable to escape the city, an old couple nostalgically grieving for the good old days – make Starduv Valley more than just a farm simulation.

This is a group of people who, despite their happy attitude, have something to look at, and as a newcomer to a huge farm, you can have the strong character that these lost people so desperately need.

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Date of first publication September 2011
Platform PS3, Xbox 360, Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Developer FromSoftware
Publishing house Bandai Namko

Dark souls, the source of the statue: VanSoft

BAABUSKA ➞ Oh, my God, where to begin.

Do I have to say it’s one of my favorite games of all time? That I watched almost all the videos on YouTube, read all the descriptions of the articles several times, cross-referenced them and formulated my own theories about the game? No, this list is about the saddest video games that make you cry. I think Dark Souls, and especially Dark Souls 1, is a game that will definitely make you cry.

You will cry when you die in front of a boss who is only one shot away (other symptoms may include failure of the controller). Scream for the tragic story of the heroic characters. You cried after you hit the boss after you died 100 times before. Crying when the futility of your own research comes to light.

Scream while watching Vaati, aptly called Get ready for the trailer scream.

And finally, you cry softly when you realize you’ve just played Dark Souls for the first time… …and you can never experience it the first time again.

Dark Souls defies the role-playing genre with his captivating and vague narrative. Their story is not told through discreet cutbacks, but through unique and thoughtful touches so easily overlooked. The developers want you to pay attention to the elements, the architecture of the world, the location of the flights, the various NPC dialogues and hundreds of other subtleties.

If you are not careful, you risk sleeping through the whole game without being aware of your role in the story. You will probably light the first flame and lie down for what you have accomplished as the chosen one of the undead. What a fitting ending for your typical fantasy story.

Only dark souls are not a typical fantasy story, but the myth of the chosen ones of the underworld is nothing more than a lie perpetuated by those who want more fuel for the first flame. Don’t worry, we were all there. But if you have the insight and determination to go beyond the surface of things and try to understand the true meaning of the world, the Dark Souls will make you cry in the most enjoyable way.

The hunt at the moment in the game of the soul is a noble enterprise, and not everything can be explained by facts. The game universe is largely based on myths. By constructing their world through myths handed down by history, in which even the notion of time is complicated, the history of the Dark Souls becomes a reflection of the cultural agenda.

An excellent example of this is the tragic story of Artoria, which is presented as a legend, even though it fell into an abyss. Ingvard won’t lie to you when he talks:

…but the abyss is no place for ordinary mortals. It’s been a long time since the knight Artorias overcame the abyss. If you can find it and learn from it, the abyss can be overwhelming

He sincerely believes that Artorias has succeeded in his quest and survived. Their role in this story is hidden from history. Your victory will be his victory. Indeed, myths are perpetuated in this way – only fragments of history survive, and conclusions become inaccurate.

This means that the player is actively involved in collecting, analyzing and developing the plot theory – and when this happens, the game becomes much more personal. The characters are no longer pixels on the screen, but your precious companions.

What finally struck me was that I had accepted the eternally sweet premonition of the futility of my effort. You have two options for the end: become flammable, as much as possible in front of you, or if you press hard enough, leave and let the fire go out. You have a choice.

Waking up on NG+ has been instructive. The souls I found on my path were no longer just a bargaining chip, they were the essence of all the other Dark Soul players who preceded, failed, gave up or died, only to wake up again and repeat an endless cycle. Every line of dialogue has become a valuable source of information, and every line of the failed task of the character, especially with Soler and Onion Brother, has made me suffer more than I can say. My view of the game has completely changed.

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Date of first publication 7. December 2012
Platform Microsoft Windows, Linux
Developer The harvest of the games
Publishing house Screen 7

The cat lady, source of the statue: The harvest of the games

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ The Catwoman follows the story of Susan Ashworth, a 40-year-old woman going through a difficult time. She has no family or friends, and her only companions are stray cats.

One night, when Susan is about to commit suicide, she finds herself in a sinister, limbo-like place where a creature called the Queen of Maggots gives her immortality. Catch? She’d kill five psychopaths.

From a gender perspective De Kattenvrouw is the name of a psychological horror with many disturbing moments. But it’s actually much more than that, because the developers have found a way to deal with the depression and loneliness and translate them perfectly into the game form.

The Mistress of the Cat is both a fascinating and terrifying story, supported by a great artistic style, and a copying mechanism for people suffering from depression, because the main character is portrayed in a relaxed (and in most cases cute) way.

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Date of first publication May 2015
Platform PS4, Windows, Xbox One
Developer red CD project
Publishing house red CD project

witch 3, image source: red CD project

BAABUSKA ➞ Witcher 3 is an exciting role-playing game that is considered the best fantasy role-playing game ever made. He may not be my number one, but he’s at the top of the list. The game is to do the right thing. With its infectious characters, inspiring soundtrack and carefully crafted dialogue, Witcher 3 will make you cry when you least expect it.

Ironically, it was the secondary demands that made me feel the main story so strongly. After more than 200 playing seasons, I’ve come to the conclusion that secondary missions will breathe life into the game. They depict a country torn by war and the struggles of people who have lost hope. One of these quests is About Swords and Dumplings, which highlights the disturbing political and racial plans that are in place throughout the country.

Even though the outcome of these quests won’t have much influence on the end of the game, your decisions can change the world around you, much more than in other role-playing games I’ve played. CD Projekt Red has managed to create a dark fantasy world using characters that feel incredibly human. Most side quests are not only boring – bring it or kill the BS, but the game they contain reminds me of the old Gothic quests.

Some quests, such as Return to the Crookbacks Bog, offer you a much-needed conclusion, while others (such as Last Wish) help you deepen your relationship with key characters.
Even seemingly unimportant quests like a boat trip with Lambert, a yacht with Eskel, a drink at Kaer Morhen, a complete breakdown and fitting Ian’s clothes become an emotional roller coaster, because you know you’ll never come back.

After all, everyone goes further – the Kaer Morhen soundtrack is a good way to remind you of that. After all, these are the main concerns that connect everything and make us feel all the hot and muddy things in us.

SPYLER: For me, the most moving mission was where Geralt finally found Kiri. Maybe not, but the hesitation, the animated face and the heartbreaking soundtrack made this scene one of the strongest moments of playing I have ever experienced.

I’d like to talk about all the things that made me shed a tear in the witch’s eye, but there are too many of them. As I said, I have a soft spot for emotional stories, and it’s rare to find a game in which I invest as much energy as I do in Vitcher. For those of you who haven’t played it yet, it’s an absolute necessity. For those who have done so, set fire to an NG+ or read a book by Anjay Sapkowski, CD Projekt Red has learned something from her emotional story.

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Date of first publication 30. June 2012
Platform all current platforms
Developer Mike Beechelle
Publishing house Mike Beechelle

Thomas was alone. What a Bild: Mike Beechelle

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ Why did you cry the least? A cat to take care of some ducks? An article that refers to an unusual act of human kindness? A video of a dog waving at his boss after military service?

If you’ve felt weird crying over things far away from you, then, oh man, wait till you play Thomas alone. In this game, the player controls one or more simple rectangles, which are creatures with artificial intelligence. The story takes place in a mainframe computer, where an unknown event caused some of the AI’s routine operations to get out of hand and began to be observed.

Each rectangle has its pros and cons with its colourful personalities (it still seems strange after all these years), conveyed by the narrator’s vivid descriptions. As the game progresses, the narrator reveals the thoughts, dreams and inner experiences of each form, which are reflected in the way they blend into the environment.

One shape, for example, is short, stocky and unable to jump to great heights, but it can be used as a craft ladder to help other shapes. Other shapes are placed horizontally along the drawing to give other shapes access to inaccessible areas. As the characters develop in the story, they reveal more information about themselves and even form relationships.

However abstract it may seem, Thomas Was Alone is a sweet and charming piece, which is further enhanced by his story and excellent spelling. And if conveying ugly shapes with very obvious peculiarities and personalities is not the same great writing material as the most sad material for video games, then I really don’t know what it is.

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Date of first publication October 2015
Platform Windows, MacOS, Linux
Developer Davy Vreden
Publishing house Davy Vreden

 

Beginner’s guide, source of images: Davy Vreden

MARCO GIULIANI ➞ After the meta-ironic deconstruction of the trophies and game mechanics that brought Stanley’s resemblance, people wondered what David Wreden’s later work would look like. The reaction came quickly in 2015, when the Beginner’s Guide was launched.

Beginner’s guide is an interactive fairy tale game, told by Vreden himself. The aim of the game is to try to understand the nature of man by examining files and documents on the computer without any context. The player is helped by the story of Vreden, which comments on the player’s findings and gives him various tips to help him through the difficult part of the game.

On a superficial level, the Beginner’s Guide is a study of the struggles (both emotional and intellectual) being waged by artists in general and game developers in particular. Like Stanley’s likeness, it also serves as a metacomment on the contrast between considering art or entertainment.

At a deeper level, the game can be a deconstruction of Wreden’s psyche before and after the release of The Parable of Stanley, a title that made him an industrial legend in one fell swoop.

There’s no interpretation, but if we had to define the central theme of the game, that would be why we make art at all.

Do we turn art into a need for social validation? Out of a desire to leave an inheritance? Do we make art to leave something beautiful behind?

Here are some of the questions the beginner’s guide tries to answer. It is a deeply emotional experience with which all creators, regardless of their field of work, can identify.

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What’s the saddest video game you’ve ever played? Let us know in the comments below!

If you liked our list of the saddest video games, take a look at this one:

  • We ranked the 25 saddest video games that will definitely make you cry out. Saddest Moments in Video Games – Because video games aren’t just blind violence, we’ve collected the saddest moments in video games that really reset the sensory counter.

 

 

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