Great endings are somewhat of a rarity in gaming; many of our all-time favourites are hampered by anti-climax boss fights and rushed credit roles, because after all it's the bit in the middle - where the actual gaming happens - that counts, isn't it?
But still, there are some absolute corking conclusions to be found in our games library, and we've braved nostalgia-related breakdowns to find our absolute favourites, and put them in a non-ordered list for you to pore over below.
You can check out our choices for the worst game endings ever here.
First-person shooters seem to always have had a problem figuring how to finish things off. More shooting? Rubbish boss character? Halo gets things right with an intense Warthog race off of the exploding ring world, finishing with a helmet-less Chief or hugging alien, depending on how good you are, so its in no way an anti-climax.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
It's difficult to single out a favourite from Sonic's many credit roles (from the first three games at least) but the second Mega Drive entry just about edges the bet for us. After two of the most hard-arse bosses of the series - including the legend, metal Sonic - you're treated to quite a sweet little cut-scene, and the reuniting of Tails, birdies and our spiky blue hero. Oh, and the music...
LucasArts' cult adventure game finishes off a great story with an overwhelmingly emotional end. We're sure many a tear was shed as Manny said his goodbyes to Glottis and got on the train to the next afterlife, kicking in the Grim Fandango theme as one last ditch attempt to have us weeping onto our keyboards. Lucasarts: We want a sequel - now!
Tekken 2 - Gunjack
After winning his freedom from the evil Heihachi corporation the robotic gunjack is set free, overjoyed, and dancing through a picturesque field of flowers dreaming the many joys he can now live as a free bot. Pan out. Space. Gigantic Death Star-style laser gun. Nuclear explosion. Dead. Best beat-'em-up ending ever.
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
It's hard to pick the best ending in the Zelda series, but Ocarina in particular could send us running to toilets for a secret cry. An explosive ending to say the least, dispatching Gannon's many forms and then escaping an epic castle destruction sequence was a fantastic end to the N64's finest hour, and the 10 minute-plus cut-scene wrapped everything up nicely. Navi, where did you go? Sniff.
Silent Hill 2
Unlike the other games in the series, Silent Hill 2 doesn't have a 'canon' ending, but our favourite of the many possible wrap-ups is easily the 'Dog' ending, where you access an otherwise-locked hotel room to find a Shiba Inu hound sitting at a computer console, and then drop to your knees and cry "so you're behind all this!" Then follows a credits song made out of dog barks, finishing with Maria in lingerie accompanied by an orgasmic moan. Genius.
Final Fantasy VII
Though many an RPG enthusiast would call it rushed, more than a few more would say that the conclusion to this most popular of RPGs is a fantastic and impactful finish to one of the most engrossing Final Fantasy stories yet. The animation is gorgeous to say the least, and seeing old Red 13 well with the kids had us skipping and whistling for hours. Time to crack out the movie, we reckon...
Alright so Xen was a bit rubbish, but there's no denying the genius of Half-Life's final scene. For the first time gamers were made to question their actions, finishing with the hopeless choice to serve evil (or is it good?) or fight a herd of vortigaunts back when they were electric-shooting baddies. We've got one on our desk now.
Agree/disagree with any of our selections? Let us know in the comments section below.