10 Video Game Moments That Made You Cry Like A Baby

No, there's just something in both of our eyes.... it'll probably still be here for another hour or so too.

Scott Tailford

Editorial Team

Naughty Dog

Naughty Dog

Minus the all-out rage felt when something is just downright broken, it’s usually a good marker that an entertainment property is doing something well if it can cause a very intense emotion to stir within you. So it makes sense that over the years some of the most poignant moments in the evolution of gaming have been when we released we genuinely cared about the animated clumps of pixels on screen.

Stirring that feeling deep within to make even the most stern people crack is quite the challenge in itself, and although developers usually have a good idea of which strings to pull to get a reaction, there’s always the chance that depending on your own points of view you’ll become attached to any number of other characters instead. It doesn’t take expertly rendered, realistic graphics either – give us companions who are brought to life through relatable, fun dialogue and animation, as the time we spend with them will do the rest.

That idea of actually starting to genuinely care about a pixellated character on-screen is something that only a few years ago would have gotten you laughed out of the room, but these days after we all globally manned up and admitted that a certain collection of blocks with a face made us bawl our eyes out, it was game-on for everyone to open up about what shook them to the core.

Speaking of blocks with a face…

 

10. Final Fantasy VII – Aeris’ Death

Square Enix

Square Enix

This is the most expected entry on the list, but for good reason – it was the first time for tens of thousands of players that they actually felt genuinely torn up about losing a character in a game.

Games were just blips, bloops and button-pushes right? Wrong *sniff*. There’s probably some elaborately-detailed psychological breakdown of what it takes to fall in love with a virtual character, but we’ll tell you what the most important aspects are for Aeris (or Aerith to keep the fanboys happy):

– Her introduction came at one of the most intense points in the game where you’d just been separated from your squad and actively wanted to find companionship.
– She had great dialogue that instantly told you everything you needed to know about her character – in that even though you’d just fell in through the ceiling and were probably hurt… you were lying on her flowers.
– Her incredible character theme that plays subtly underneath as the two above points play out meant that developers Square had an ace in the hole they could call upon whenever the heart strings needed a strong tug.

And tug they did, as if you add up the above ingredients you’ll produce one of the greatest, most reliable love-interests in gaming history. So much so in fact that when that theme surfaces again following Aeris’ impalement from Sephiroth, it combined to open the floodgates in a way that’s rarely been replicated.