Greatest Mindf**k Endings in Gaming History

So we decided to compile a list of some of the best, most mindfuck-y endings the video game industry has ever seen.

Now before we move forward, let it be said there are spoilers below for all the games discussed. You’ve been warned.

Shadow of the Colossus

Shadow of the Colossus opens with you setting off to a temple with your dying lover in hopes that you can find some way to bring her back to good health. You’re told that if you kill a bunch of lumbering Colossi spread across the land that you’ll be able to save the soul of your lady friend. Without questioning anything, you set off on your task and one by one slaughter a bunch of innocent, ancient beasts.

But surprise! As it turns out, you were duped by an ancient evil named Dormin, whose spirit was separated and imprisoned in the bodies of the 16 colossi. Now free, Dormin kills you, takes over your soul and proceeds to wreck some havoc. So in the end, you’re responsible for the extinction of 16 majestic creatures and you don’t even get to see the fruit of your labors – the woman you love healed. What a bummer.


It turns out you’re the asshole the damsel in distress has been running away from. The entire game you’re led to believe you’re setting out to rescue her from this hulking dickhead, but really he’s the one who’s saving her from you, you filthy drunk jerk. The ending to Braid is quite the gut punch, considering the game has such a charmingly cute art style.

As you play through the game, manipulating time and jumping on the heads of little goomba lookalikes, you never really think there’s something so nefarious bumbling below the surface. But when the game eventually does flip everything on its head at the climax, it’s a moment you can’t help but sit in awe over.


It was BioShock Infinite that made us put this list together, but the original BioShock definitely deserves a spot on here as well. The whole “Would you kindly?” business not only served as an amazing twist in the plot, but it also deserves special kudos for taking a tried-and-true gameplay element – the objective – and flipping on its head in service of the story. Just brilliant.