20 Most Intense Video Game Moments Ever

That thumping sound? It's your own heart.

Halo 3 Ending Warthog

As a medium where the audience is always an active participant in whatever's happening on screen, games have the power to deliver impactful, intense and all-round engaging moments in a far more direct fashion than any other.

Yes, we remember plot twists and certain revelations in cinema and yes, reading through some detailed passage as to 'who the killer was all along' will hit home, but when it's literally YOU who's been played? That's something else entirely.

Many confident developers know exactly how you'll explore a level, connect with a character, establish motivations and see them through - only to invert everything and use that sensation to drive a different message all along. Many indie devs are pioneering ideas just like this, and it's mighty impressive to see.

Whether it be particular moments or entire games that revel in establishing tones we then spend hours interacting with, gaming can combine intense acting performances, tightly shot scenes, jaw-dropping script beats and attention-grabbing cinematography, all in one.

When all this happens with you at the controls... it's pretty damn special.

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Gaming Editor
Gaming Editor

Gaming Editor at WhatCulture. Wields shovels, rests at bonfires, fights evil clones, brews decoctions. Will have your lunch on Rocket League.