10 Video Games That Mocked You For Winning

9. The Last Of Us

The Last Of Us Joel Ending
Naughty Dog

In the "feels bad, man" stakes, there aren't many games that can rival the haunting, morally contentious and much-debated ending of Naughty Dog's incredible The Last of Us.

The game of course casts players as Joel, a smuggler attempting to transport a teenage girl, Ellie, across a post-apocalyptic, parasite-infested United States.

As it turns out, Ellie is immune to the infection, and the Fireflies, the very people Joel is supposed to transport Ellie to, are planning to remove a portion of Ellie's brain in the hope of synthesising a cure.

But Joel, unable to face the prospect of losing a surrogate daughter figure after his own daughter's prior death, decides to rescue Ellie, shooting his way out of the hospital at the end of the game with Ellie in tow.

With any hope of a cure dashed, Joel lies to Ellie, insisting that the Fireflies have stopped trying to create a cure. Grim.

While this ending is entirely consistent with the game's tonal through-line, many players were left frustrated at the lack of dramatic choices afforded to them in this brutal final sequence.

The player's only option was to kill the Fireflies and save Ellie, yet given the agonising moral ambiguity of Joel's final choice, it would've been a perfect nexus point for players to make their own decision.

But it was an emphatic creative statement from Naughty Dog all the same, veering away from the expected bittersweet, happy(ish) ending for a deeply depressing one in which Joel effectively condemns humanity to further death.

By reaching the end you "won," but did it really feel like it? And that, ultimately, is the game's masterstroke.


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.