10 Shocking Video Game Deaths That Came Out Of Nowhere

Spec-Ops holds NOTHING back.

spec ops the line

So I sat down to sort out what I was going to write about for WhatCulture this week and I really wanted to do a list on shocking video game deaths because I’m playing [Redacted] and I remembered how [Redacted] and it was sad.

Well, it turns out great minds, or just the same mind, think alike because I already had and wrote this idea a year ago, but there’s plenty of video game bummer deaths to go around!

Yes, as long as we have narrative masterpiece video games, we have really depressing, shocking deaths to talk about, so let’s dig into 10 more entries and really get our sad on.


Now, this is a list packed with spoilers so consider yourself thoroughly warned.

10. Joel - The Last of Us: Part II

last of us 2 joel ellie
Naughty Dog

In earlier editions of these lists we’ve covered quite a few of the heart-wrenching deaths from The Last of Us.

Sarah’s death at the beginning of the first game may have been incredibly painful and created one of the most impactful intros in gaming history but The Last Of Us has plenty of tragedy to go around. In one of the most controversial moves in video game narratives, protagonist Joel met his end in the opening of the sequel. Though he got a bit murder-spree-ish at the end of the first game which felt excusable to some given he was out to protect Ellie, his decisions caught up with him when Abby and the former Fireflies brutally killed him in front of Ellie. This was the last thing players expected given the time and care put into building up Joel as one of the central heroes of the post apocalyptic story, not to mention his connection with Ellie.

The outrage this elicited from gamers proved just how intensely they cared for Joel and his shocking demise was enough fuel to take players all the way through Ellie’s revenge trip.


Likes: Collecting maiamais, stanning Makoto, dual-weilding, using sniper rifles on PC, speccing into persuasion and lockpicking. Dislikes: Escort missions.