The 5 Saddest Video Game Moments Of All-Time

​​We'll never forget you Aerith​

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The past few years have witnessed a glut of emotionally poignant video games that have truly challenged television and cinema in the storytelling stakes.

Pathos-driven titles like the Last of Us and Firewatch have inspired the full gamut of emotions, and helped to move the field of video games from mere light relief to a genuine art-form.

But that's not to say that there have been some real tear-jerkers over the past couple of decades. Here are just five that we're still struggling to get over…

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Gears of War 2 - Dom's Tragic Reunion With His Wife

Yes, we really mean 'Gears of War'.

While GoW truly deserves its reputation as the gaming equivalent of a machine gun with biceps, one moment stands out as a proper, unexpected tear jerker.

When Dom is reunited with his wife, who has been held captive in an underground hellscape for weeks, she begins to lift her left leg in true "my hero!" fashion.

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But it turns out to be the jolt of a body on the last dregs of life, as she slips to the floor. Dom pleads with his wife, who's in a near vegetative state due to the torture and imprisonment she's suffered, and begs for forgiveness for not saving her in time.

Dom, desperate to bring an end to her suffering, puts a bullet to her head and continues on his grizzly mission.

Final Fantasy VII - The Death Of Aerith

Aerith's untimely death has achieved cult status for many reasons.

The soaring polyphonic strings. The perfectly-executed slow-motion (which, in retrospect, just looks like a dodgy frame rate). The sheer unexpectedness of it all. The way that Cloud cradles her in his sharp, yorskshire pudding-esque hands. And the way, in a touchingly human fit of panic, he says: "Aeris is gone. Aeris will no longer talk, no longer laugh, cry or get angry."

For many a nineties kid, it was the moment that video games made the transition from light-hearted hobby to a full-time emotional investment.

Red Dead Redemption - John Marsden's Death

Rockstar may earn the far majority of their plaudits from the Grand Theft Auto series, but the criminally underrated Red Dead Redemption remains their greatest feat of storytelling.

The story, if you haven't played it, centres around reformed gunslinging cowboy John Marston, who finds himself blackmailed by the government to hunt down his former partners in crime. He follows their orders, fearful that his family will pay the price if he doesn't.

But the government betray him nonetheless, and the final chapter of the game focusses on a roaming, roaring gun battle between the two parties.

After fighting long and hard, government agent Edgar Ross and his men manage to surround John Marston and shoot him dead, as his wife and son escape on horseback. His son soon achieves violent retribution, but it does nothing to heal the fresh wound of lovable John's bloody demise.

The Walking Dead - Lee's Demise

As far as pathos-slathered storytelling goes, Telltale Games' The Walking Dead point-and-click series seriously rivaled the TV drama it was based on it.

And the hardest-hitting moment of all? The very end of the first episode, when little Clementine finds herself confronted with a dying Lee, and the prospect of continuing her terrifying journey alone, without her protector and best friend.

Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story - When Toad Completely Mugged Luigi Off

Any Mario Bros. aficionado will tell you that Luigi's status in the Mushroom Kingdom as a irritating, lanky loser is totally unwarranted.

First of all: he's taller, younger and better looking than his stubby brother, and his mustache is far better maintained (a neatly combed pair of smooth wings, compared to Mario's bushy monstrosity). If logic reigned, Princess Peach would clearly opt for Luigi in any sibling-based Take Me Out situation.

He's also faster and jumps much higher, and has inspired a cult fandom in the real world.

So it genuinely breaks our heart to see the inhabitants of the Mushroom Kingdom consistently mug him off – best exemplified by Toad's passive aggressive bullshit in 'Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story'.

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