10 Video Games Where You Start Off Dead

These video game protagonists were dead at the beginning.

dead from the start

As much as most video games love to set the groundwork for sequels, it's still relatively common for protagonists to bite the bullet when the going gets tough, often sacrificing themselves in a grand heroic moment for the greater good.

But that's certainly not always the case, and in rare occasions the player character may even start the game dead.

Whether shuffling their protagonists off their mortal coil before the story even began or offing them in the very first scene, these games all centered around "heroes" who had already taken leave of our mortal plane.

In some instances the characters are now simply trying to tie up their unfinished business on Earth before passing over to the Great Beyond, while others have been given a second chance to make good on their lives, while the most unfortunate have been cursed to exist as shambling, undead abominations forever more. Grim.

Whatever the outcome, these games dared to offer up unique and unforgettable perspectives on death, allowing players to transcend the most basically inevitable of human experiences in the process...

10. Grim Fandango

dead from the start

Tim Schafer's existential adventure masterpiece Grim Fandango is wholly concerned with death, set as it is in the Land of the Dead and all.

Our protagonist is the very deceased Manny Calavera, who is stuck working a literally dead-end job as a travel agent in the Department of Death.

Grim Fandango is a unique entry on this list given how little we ever learn about Manny pre-death, such as the sin which caused him to end up stuck in the Land of the Dead in the first place.

Also unlike most video games featuring dead protagonists, Manny is never resurrected or offered the ability to return to the Land of the Living.

Rather, his happy ending is being able to finally travel to the Ninth Underworld with his love, Meche, where their souls will be able to rest forever. D'aww.


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.