Video Games That Ruined Great Endings With Sequels

While mindless shoot 'em ups are always fun and welcome, there's nothing like a video game with an engrossing story and an awesome, satisfying ending. The problem starts when the ending is no longer the ending, thanks to unnecessary sequels. Oftentimes, this "Wait, but what if..." is pointless and manages to muck up the perfect ending that came before it.

Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII's ending wasn't your typical "world is saved, hooray" finale. Sure, the world was saved ... from the player. Before dying, Sephiroth summons a giant meteor to destroy the planet, but a combination of the Holy spell, the planet's Lifestream (where dead people's spirits go to chill) and Aeris' spirit destroys the threatening space rock ... or so it seems. 

As a "500 years later" post-credits scene shows, Midgar — the largest city on the planet — is covered in vines and other greenery, a scene straight out of Life After People. Basically, without any words or exposition, we learn that either Meteor killed all humans, or the Lifestream said "enough of humanity's crap, let's start over." The green you see is proof that the planet is piecing itself back together without humans to muck it up again.

It wasn't a traditional ending, but it was absolutely an ending. Humans are gone, and the planet moves on. It's such a "you can't end it any differently" ending. And then ... it ended differently. Both a movie sequel and a spinoff game completely discarded the original's awesome end. Now, everybody survived, including people you thought you saw die. This includes Sephiroth, now magically resurrected because fan service. Also, there's no mention of humans possibly going extinct at all. We don't even get a single hint like, "It's been two years since that Meteor thing — ever notice how we, as a species, are getting a lot sicker lately?"

As for Midgar being covered in green? That's semi-explained by Midgar being destroyed, but nothing else was — everyone's just living in a new city now. How convenient. Perhaps Midgar will be rebuilt so it can succumb to the undergrowth and humanity can still die off in the 400-some years remaining until the post-credits scene rolls. Too bad a meteor didn't hit the office of whoever wrote that script.

Resident Evil

Since 1996, Resident Evil's story has been fairly straightforward: the psycho sillies at the Umbrella Corporation has been bio-engineering viruses that turn people into zombies. The good guys all have one goal — end Umbrella and the outbreaks. It took them forever to get there, but in 2007's Umbrella Chronicles, they finally got their conglomerate.

In the final part of the game, Chris and Jill — two major characters from Part 1 — invade Umbrella's main headquarters and destroy the final monster. Meanwhile, their arch-foe, Albert Wesker, sneaks in to steal Umbrella's documents and secrets. He apparently leaks them to the government, who react by freezing Umbrella's assets, shutting down all their research, and driving them to non-existence. Then, in Resident Evil 5, you kill Wesker before he can use Umbrella's data to create his own master race of murderous bio-weapons. With that, the story's over. The evil corporation is gone, the sociopath who stole its secrets is gone, and the world is saved!

Except, nope. See, 2005's Resident Evil 4 conspicuously had no Umbrella, without any explanation. Turns out, that was a dry run for what was to come. The virus just showed up on the black market, so anyone could become the new Big Bad. Oh, and a terrorist group calling itself Neo-Umbrella shows up in Resident Evil 6 with no ties to the original group other than the name. By 7, they didn't bother using any past characters at all, until you meet Chris Redfield at the very end ... in an Umbrella helicopter. This is very likely another off-shoot mercenary group, and Redfield is now randomly bad because Capcom has apparently given up on the narrative in exchange for just making zombie games.

Chrono Trigger


Chrono Trigger's canon ending is both satisfying and ironclad — you destroy Lavos, the monstrous parasite that wants to eat your planet, the apocalypse of 1999 is averted (though Prince would encourage you to party anyway), and the world lives on for the rest of time. The thing that would kill your world is gone forever — you can't get any more "we're done" than that.

Unbelievably, they weren't done. Since Trigger was such a success, Square wanted a sequel. Unfortunately, a sequel that meshed with the story wouldn't have been very interesting. Instead, we got Chrono Cross, one of the most confusing, convoluted stories in gaming history. Instead of time travel, now there's parallel universes and alternate timelines, where your new main character died in one but not the other. Characters body-switch all over the place, the new bad guy eats time and space somehow, and there's a supercomputer that can change people into animals. The overall plot, meanwhile, goes in so many different directions and involves so many different characters it's almost impossible to make heads or tails of it. Giant Bomb has a more detailed attempt to decipher the plot, not that it helps much — Chrono Cross is simply nonsensical.

Chrono Cross felt like a mash-up of about 15 different concepts in one. On their own, each idea could have made an amazing game, but Square simply overwhelmed us by mashing them all together. Whether this was an attempt to distract us from how unneeded Cross was or if there was no editor to cut out all the crap, nobody knows.

The Legend of Zelda

Even the biggest Zelda fan has to admit the overall story makes no sense. It's almost entirely prequels, spinoffs, reboots, sequels to the prequels, prequels to the prequels, and alternate timelines. The goofiness began real early: with the second game.

In the original Zelda, you saved the princess and killed the villain, Ganon. Very straightforward, and very happy. Then, we got Zelda II, which wasn't straightforward. There was a Zelda, and you had to save her, but she wasn't the person you rescued earlier. According to the manual, the Prince of Hyrule issued a decree naming every royal girl Zelda in remembrance because that's how rational, right-thinking leaders operate. The story revolved around Ganon's minions trying to collect Link's blood to resurrect their master, but that only happens if you lose. If not, you face your own shadow for ... reasons, and the Ganon thing becomes a mere red herring.

What's worse, the game's side-scrolling setup was so misguided and broken it killed any hope of a straight follow-up. Think about it — we've had a ton of Zelda games but no Zelda III. That's how bad this attempt at continuing the original was. But everyone loved the original, so what to do? Simple: prequels and retcons galore. There are now many different Links and Zeldas. Some games exist in one timeline, some in others. Are the games awesome? Absolutely, but don't come to the Zelda party expecting anything coherent.

Mega Man

Mega Man 3 had the perfect ending to at least the "blue guy fights Dr. Wily" part of the Mega Man saga. After three games, the story had run its course, and it looked like it was going to close out perfectly.

After Mega Man beats Wily, the castle crumbles, and debris crushes them both. Proto Man arrives, saves Mega Man, and leaves. Then, we see Dr. Light, the good robot-creating scientist, tell Mega Man that Proto Man saved his life — Mega reacts to that by leaving as Light yells uncaptioned stuff at him. We then get Mega Man in a grassy meadow, with dossiers of all the robots Light created. This includes Mega Man (who's now mentioned as Dr. Light's "former" assistant) and Proto Man (the "new" robot and Mega Man's brother). In short, Wily was gone, Mega Man was ready to retire and had more than earned it, and any future games would focus on Proto Man and his adventures, right?

Or not. Mega Man returned for Mega Man 4, and Proto Man played only a supporting role. There was a new evil doctor, but we soon learn his daughter was kidnapped by Dr. Wily, who forced the new doctor to work for him under duress. How Wily, an old man with no special powers whatsoever, survived all that debris crushing him is never explained. Even worse, the bad guy of Mega Man 5 was Proto Man, at least until we learned it was actually an imposter bot created by Dr. Wily. Of course. Because why start a new chapter in your tale when you can easily write the same one over and over again?

Assassin's Creed


Once upon a time, Assassin's Creed made sense. It was a battle through the ages between the Assassins and Templars, as seen through the eyes of Desmond, a modern descendant of many different Assassins. His goal was to use the past to gain entry into a vault that the Templars would use to trigger an apocalyptic solar flare on December 21, 2012. (Yep, really.) At the end of Assassin's Creed III, Desmond saves the planet from the flare at the cost of his own life. That right there should've been it — a trilogy told, a selfless hero sacrificing himself for the good of billions, the villains' plans thwarted.

But that wasn't it, of course. The series sold ridiculously well, so you can't be angry about more games. But rather than tell a completely new story or ditch the modern-day Assassin part and focus solely on history, Ubisoft chose to half-continue the story of Desmond and the Templars. The Templars secretly extract DNA samples from Desmond's body so they can investigate his memories without him around. There's no new main character, just a series of unnamed people with no real ties to the past aside from how well they fit in the memory machine. The plot, as it were, has gone completely off the rails, with the modern-day Templars trying to find historical MacGuffins that'll help them rule humanity. Problem is, they've shown no signs of ever getting around to implementing their plans, whatever those plans actually entail.

It's almost as if Ubisoft wants to tell a story, but is refusing to write the ending because it's such a cash cow. Perhaps the only way to enjoy said story is to ignore it.

Final Fantasy X


Final Fantasy X's ending wasn't happy at all — the main hero, Tidus, turns out to be a summoned being who disappears after killing the final boss, so effectively he dies at the end — but it was still a great, complete ending. The hero accomplishes his goal, kills the monstrous parasite that used his own father as a host, and leaves Spira's survivors with hope for a new future. Awesome. On to the next totally new Final Fantasy story, right?

Wrong. Square instead gave us Final Fantasy X-2 (pronounced as "ten-two," no matter how much that hurts your ears, eyes, and brain), artificially extending the story by suddenly having several groups fighting over who gets to run Spira. The game itself featured fantastical features like skimpy costume changes and dance party battles, right alongside an evil spirit threatening to use a gigantic magical weapon to destroy the entire world. If you love wacky anime, here you go. If not, just skip ahead to Final Fantasy XI and call it a day.

As for Tidus, of course he returns. At the end of the game, Yuna (Tidus's girlfriend and the new main character), has the option to see him again — if you choose that option, the planet gathers up Tidus' "pyreflies" (bits of his spirit, basically) and reassembles them so he and Yuna can live happily ever after. An extra "you completed 100 percent of the game" scene makes you wonder if Tidus is a dream or not, but it hardly matters. That dream never needed to happen, nor did the happy-ending reunion.

Mortal Kombat

Fighting games are usually lousy with stories, but Mortal Kombat had a good one going for a while. It was weird, to be sure — an evil underworld runs a fighting tournament with their ultimate goal being to merge their world with Earth and conquer it — but it worked and ended well after Mortal Kombat 3. In it, the two worlds are successfully merged, but Earth's heroes drive back the evil, destroy their leader (Shao Kahn), and make Earth demon-free again.

Then everything else happened. From Mortal Kombat 4 on, the story got weirder and weirder and made no sense because there really wasn't a reason to keep telling it. In place of Kahn, new evil gods showed up to play (gods nobody had bothered to mention until just now), previously dead characters whose deaths were crucial to the original story were brought back to life through ridiculous means simply so we could play as them again, and new playable characters ranged from forgettable to atrocious. Oh, and Mortal Kombat 4 was a terrible stab at early 3-D fighting, which didn't do the terrible story the minimal justice it deserved.

Follow-up games weren't much better or more interesting, and it took until MK9a full-blown reboot — for the Mortal Kombat universe to make any sense again. Let's hope Midway learns from its previous mistake and ends the rebooted story because it makes sense to end it, not because it gets so ridiculous they have to reboot it again.