7. Final Fantasy VII
It’s hard to
imagine a time before this most iconic and emotionally charged moment in video
game history. Much like the saying goes that you’re only two degrees of separation
away from a celebrity, the same can be said about Aerith’s death in Final Fantasy
It caused such a huge reaction at the time that it transcended the community of FF7 players to become a mainstream phenomenon. We’d seen deaths before in games, the FF series itself had killed off characters in the past, but never had we seen anything of quite this magnitude.
Aerith was different. Here we had this light-hearted and care-free girl who immediately struck a chord with players, and who seemingly had a central role to play as the story progressed. It looked for all the world that this would become the story of Cloud and Aerith in their battle against Sephiroth.
But, in one of the most famous scenes in gaming
that would single-handedly ensure FF7’s position in history, she would be murdered
by Sephiroth in a shockingly brutal manner. The impact of Sephiroth’s sword would
send a shock wave that continues to resonate with players 20 years later.