10 Video Game Endings That Totally Trolled Players

It's The Stanley Parable's world, we just live in it.

Stanley parable
Coffee Stain Studios

It's fair to say that an ending can make or break just about any piece of media, and though you might feel more compelled to view a 30-hour video game from the perspective of "it's the journey, not the destination," a bummer ending might still forever taint your opinion of it.

But sometimes endings aren't simply underwhelming or disappointing: sometimes it feels like the developers flat-out have it out for the very people paying to play their games.

It's difficult to experience these 10 video game endings without feeling like the developers are straight-up laughing at you for forking over your hard-earned cash in the first place.

From endings which blatantly looked down at players, to those that bored them with incessant drivel, or just committed a cardinal storytelling sin, these endings all left players feeling basically victimised.

In some cases it was entirely the developer's intent, to jolt players with an expectation-defying shocker of an ending, while in others it was simply a result of the creatives not thinking enough about what players actually wanted.

Whatever the result, these games live on in infamy due to their head-scratching troll-job endings...

10. ANOTHER Cliffhanger - Shenmue III

Stanley parable

Shenmue III was finally released in 2019, almost an entire 20 years after Shenmue II hit stores and left fans on an epic cliffhanger, with protagonist Ryo Hazuki's quest to avenge his father's death still incomplete.

Though franchise creator Yu Suzuki was upfront about the fact that he had plans for Shenmue IV and Shenmue V, fans still had the reasonable expectation that, given how much effort it took to will a third game into existence, it would bring some sort of open-ended closure to Ryo's story.

Instead, Shenmue III rewarded patient fans by leaving them hanging yet again. Players briefly fight the killer of Ryo's father, Lan Di, right at the end of the game, after which the villain escapes and a closing title insists, "The story goes on..."

Considering the mixed response to the sequel and the likelihood that a fourth game won't muster the same nostalgia-fuelled interest, it was a bold gamble to put fans back in the same agonising holding pattern they were in 20 years ago.

After waiting so long, fans deserved better than a mediocre game which had the gall to effectively beg them to crowdfund the next game to see how the story ends.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.