10 Most Tear-Jerking Deaths In Video Games

We're not crying, you're crying, every.single.time.

final fantasy 7 remake zack
Square Enix

Death and video games go hand-in-hand.

From the pixelated alien hordes of Space Invaders to the hundreds of millions cheerfully slaughtering each other in Fortnite, gamers have been witnessing death on an industrial scale for decades.

Give this backdrop of carnage, it's always a special occasion when a video game death manages to emotionally affect the player. It's not as simple as killing off a named character - even Sean Bean, a man who knows his way around a death scene, couldn't elevate The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion's mediocre writing enough to make gamers react to his heroic sacrifice with more than a "Sure, I guess?"

This list contains ten of the moments video games cracked open gamers' battle-hardened hearts and caused them to feel genuine sorrow over the passing of a digital entity.

From a beloved fan-favourite who ended a trilogy's worth of character development by jumping off a cliff to the well-deserved winner of Edge magazine's "Unlikeliest tearjerker of the year" award, these are the characters whose final farewells made gamers the world over weep like Roy Batty standing in the rain.

10. Final Fantasy VII - Aerith

final fantasy 7 remake zack
Square Enix

It had to be here, didn't it?

Aerith's death is essentially the "Vader is Luke's dad" of videogames. Even if you've never played Final Fantasy VII, it's likely that you know that the lovable healer dies at the hands of gaming's most famous albino (and good God there's a lot of competition for that accolade).

A beneficiary of the technological advancements brought about by the PS1, the cutting-edge (for the time) CG combined with Nobuo Uematsu's iconic soundtrack to create a memory that still resonates nearly 25 years later. (Square knew exactly what they were doing when they had Sephiroth gloat "You can't save anyone" in last year's remake)

This wasn't the first time a video game had killed off a party member - it wasn't even the first Final Fantasy to perform such a trick - but FF VII's hitherto-unprecedented popularity meant that Aerith's death is the one that permeated the public conciousness.

Sephiroth's callous impalement of the sweet, kind-hearted flower girl who the player had spent the previous 20 hours befriending was a seminal moment in video game storytelling, and for that reason alone it deserves a place on this list.


Hello! My name's Iain Tayor. I write about video games, wrestling and comic books, and I apparently can't figure out how to set my profile picture correctly.