What makes a video game popular? No matter which genre(s) you favor, you'll surely have those favorites that you return to again and again. The best games not only have great visuals, storylines, and characters, but they often have endings that leave impressions that last long after the credits roll.

RELATED: Lingering Questions We Still Have After The End Of Life Is Strange: True Colors

Some of the most memorable games are those with ambiguous endings (sometimes not really endings at all), because they keep players talking and the fanbase engaged. What were the game's developers trying to convey? Readers be aware: any further reading will contain spoilers for Death Stranding, Bloodborne, Mother 3 and other classic titles.

10 Death Stranding: Is The World Healing?Death Stranding Sam and BB or Lou

Death Stranding is a unique action game that leads you through a strange sci-fi apocalyptic world. One key character in Death Stranding is “BB,” or Lou. By the end of the title, you'll build a strong connection with Lou. The ending of this game juxtaposes the bleak and dark apocalyptic setting with a glimmer of hope.

Sam and Lou are the last characters the players see, and they’re pictured in a landscape that appears to be healing from the polluted, dark condition it was in. Players are left wondering what will become of protagonist Sam and baby Lou, and if their world will improve despite all its bleak history Sam has uncovered through the game.

THEGAMER VIDEO OF THE DAY

9 Bioshock Infinite: The Complex Multiverse TheoryElizabeth from Bioshock Infinite

When a game introduces the idea of multiple timelines, you know things will get complex and interesting. In Bioshock Infinite, players still discuss the fate of the protagonist, Booker. It is implied throughout the story that the secondary character, Elizabeth, has a role in plotting and predicting the series of events.

Exactly how much Elizabeth knows and how much she affects the multiple timelines is up for debate, but it is understood she knows more than Booker. Perhaps the biggest point of discussion is a brilliant post-credits scene where Bioshock Infinite hints Booker may be reunited with his lost daughter, but players can’t fully confirm whether they're finally together again or not.

8 Limbo: What Happened To The Characters?boy character from the indie horror game Limbo

Limbo is a fantastic horror-infused indie game fans love for its platforming gameplay and unique aesthetic. The game ends when the protagonist smashes through a window and ends up in the same forest from the beginning. There, they encounter another familiar person in the forest. Fans have multiple theories on this ending, and the symbolism directly tied to the game’s title, Limbo.

RELATED: Best PS4 Cliffhanger Endings Of All Time, Ranked

Some believe that the character the protagonist encounters is their sibling, who died along with them. Together, perhaps, they are trapped in the spirit world of Limbo. How they died is up for debate, but some speculate that the imagery of broken windows, gears, and weightless tasks in the game hint at their deaths in a car crash.

7 Red Dead Redemption: A Family Struck By Traumaaction shot of John from Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption already tragically ends by killing the protagonist the player has spent so much time getting to know. John Marston is shot and killed by soldiers, and then the game’s perspective relies on his son, Jack. Jack is forced to cope with the loss of not only his father but also his mother not long after.

The most satisfying part of this ending is when Jack avenges his father’s death. With Jack's parents gone, though, you are left wondering how Jack can cope with his grief and the tremendous burden he carries at only 19 years old.

6 Night In The Woods: Coping With A CrisisMae and Greg from the indie coming of age game Night In The Woods

Night in the Woods is a coming-of-age story loved in the indie community for its storytelling. The story ends with the main character, Mae Borowski, reflecting on the events of the game. She struggles with her mental health, and battles to face the important life decisions she must make after dropping out of college.

Sadly, there is no concise and perfect ending where the player knows what exactly will become of Mae and her friends. Instead, it leaves the players with a solemn yet hopeful feeling as they contemplate the advice Mae gives them.

5 The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask: Lost Friendships

Young Link Goron Link Deku Link and various protagonists from Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask was released by Nintendo over two decades ago, but it is still beloved by fans as one of the best games in the Legend of Zelda series. In Majora’s Mask, the adventure starts when Link is journeying through the forest searching for his fairy friend Navi, who previously left his side in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

After Link vanquishes the evil Majora in the final battle, he still does not find Navi. To this day, fans wonder why Navi left suddenly and why she was still not found at the end of Link’s long journey. Majora’s Mask is a very unique and dark outing, so it’s not surprising the ending reflects that mysterious theme.

4 Shadow Of The Colossus: The Chance For A New Startgameplay from the action adventure game Shadow Of The Colossus

Shadow Of The Colossus boasts an incredibly engaging plot. At the end of the story, players were shocked to learn that Wander, previously believed to be the protagonist, is the villain. They had been needlessly killing peaceful Colossi. Wander is possessed by the evil Dormin, and ultimately killed.

Some time later, the other central characters head back to the ancient temple which once held Dorim. There, they find a baby with horns. It is heavily implied to be connected to Wander, but it is unclear whether it’s literally them, whether it’s a part of what they used to be, or whether this child will be the force for good that Wander wasn't.

3 Bloodborne: A World Of Powerful, Unknowable MagicHunter from Bloodborne

Bloodborne is a gothic dark fantasy game with multiple endings (though not as many as some titles boast), each just as good as the last. In the first option, Gehrman killing the player's Hunter is a metaphor for the aged warrior awakening them from a dream. However, it’s still debatable whether the Hunter’s Dream really is the dream you are awakening from into the real world, or vise versa. The second option is for the player to refuse to surrender their life, and fight and kill Gehrman. This path hints about the true nature of the dream.

RELATED: Hardest Dark Souls And Souls-Like Games, Ranked

Finally, the secret ending is perhaps the most ambiguous of them all. The player first wins an epic battle against the Moon Presence, then watches the Plain Doll speaking to an infant Great One. Bloodborne fans are still debating just what it means for the protagonist to take the place of the Moon Presence.

2 Inside: A Gruesome Fate In A Dystopian Worldgameplay from the indie game Inside

The horror game Inside tackles the theme of control. It has two endings: one main ending and one secret. Both options certainly leave you guessing as to their ultimate outcomes. In the main ending, the protagonist is consumed by a grotesque creature, and then the creature escapes its containment. Players wonder whether the young hero is somehow still alive within the creature, if the creature eventually dies, and what either instance implies for this horrifying world.

In the secret ending, the hero instead appears to unplug a mind-control device. The last scene is of their body falling to the ground. This ending suggests they was controlled by something, and players are still coming up with theories about exactly who was responsible for this and why.

1 Mother 3: Where Are The Characters You've Grown To Love?gameplay of protagonist Lucas in Mother 3

At the end of Mother 3 (fans are still raving about this classic RPG so much and hoping for another sequel), the main character, Lucas, decides to destroy the world of The Nowhere Islands by releasing the dark dragon.

Once the Nowhere Islands are destroyed, you see a cutscene where the main characters speak to the player directly. This implies that the cast are still alive in some capacity, but they do not tell the player how they’re alive or where they are. Fans are still speculating whether the characters are literally alive or if this is an afterlife scenario. Perhaps it’s a meta reference, suggesting thatthey’re alive as long as the player wants them to be.

NEXT: Best Video Game Endings Of 2020

Split image of Scarlet Nexus
10 Lingering Questions We Have After The End Of Scarlet Nexus

Bandai Namco's Scarlet Nexus leaves plenty of questions unanswered. Hopefully, a sequel will put these mysteries to bed.

Read Next
About The Author