"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way" is one of famous writer Tolstoy's most iconic lines. Unfortunately, Tolstoy decided to be born straight up years before video games existed, because he'd have been able to say the exact same thing about game endings.
As much as sickly sweet endings get old real fast, it's always surprising to play a game that has a genuinely brutal ending. Sometimes you've just accidentally stumbled into the worst ending - but sometimes you think that only to discover that it's the only ending, and you're just going to have to deal with that.
Occasionally a franchise will be brutal enough to have multiple endings that are all just differing levels of awful, and in a way that is the most impressive type of way to finish a game. It's fairly easy to think of what a perfect happy ending would be, but to think of like four ways things can go terribly, terribly wrong actually takes some supreme effort.
Or it's a fun way for developers to be as sadistic as possible to their players. You decide.
10. Linking The Flame - Dark Souls
At the beginning of the first Dark Souls, when the huge amount of lore is but a flicker in our horizon, the idea of "linking the fire" wasn't something you probably thought much about.
A lot of fantasy games tend to have mysterious phrases like this, that are just a fancy way of saying "beat the bad guys and win the game please". As such, you get pretty used to ignoring whatever language is used to tell you it, so you can better focus on giving the bosses a good old smack down.
Only, Dark Souls quite literally means that you can "link the flame" - through using your battered body as the kindling. In the ending of the game where you decide to do this, you quite literally set yourself on fire with the final bonfire you light. It looks cool, sure, but when you think about all the hours and deaths you put in just to set yourself ablaze, it's just not quite as satisfying as you might have hoped.
While the other Dark Souls games have similarly unsettling endings, you at least sort of knew what to expect when going into them.