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The greatest game endings

Re-live those moments of triumph with the best finales in Nintendo's history

n the early days of gaming, you were lucky if you got an ending at all. Usually it was just a perfunctory black screen saying "Now try in a harder difficulty setting!" or a heartbreakingly cruel kick back to the title screen. But some games got it right, rewarding your hard work with a memorable climax and those are the games we'll be looking at. Our greastest game endings comes with an obvious spoiler alert!

Super Mario World - SNES

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Bowser has been terrorising the peaceful Dinosaur Kingdom, trapping its hapless inhabitants in eggs. What an absolute git. Luckily, Mario is on the case and this time he has help from his old pal, Yoshi. This is, of course, Super Mario World, the game widely regarded as the all-time highlight in the absolutely vast library of amazing SNES games.

It wasn't famed for its story, which was pretty light; it was all about the perfect platforming, the dazzling visuals and the catchy music. But that doesn't mean there wasn't a proper ending to enjoy.

After defeating his nemesis, Mario rescues the Princess and leads the captured dinosaurs back to the safety of Yoshi's house, and they all have a party. As they dance with joy and cheery music plays, the words THANK YOU appear on the screen in big, shiny letters. When was the last time a game actually thanked you for finishing it.

Ninja Gaiden - NES

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Ryu Hayabusa is a ninja who travels to America to avenge the death of his father, but gets caught up in a conspiracy that threatens to destroy the planet. A villain named Guardia de Mieux is planning to resurrect an ancient demon buried deep in an Amazon temple and Ryu has no choice but to stop him. He is the hero, after all.

Despite Ryu's best efforts, de Mieux's plan comes to fruition and the demon is awakened. Ryu manages to defeat the beast and recover the magical statues used to summon it, but a sexy CIA assassin is ordered to kill him and retrieve them for the U.S. Government. She doesn't, though. Instead, the pair tell each other their names and then kiss.

The final screen is of Ryu and his new love gazing across the jungle as the sun rises: a beautiful moment that is a worthy reward for getting through one of the toughest NES games ever.

Super Metroid - SNES

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Samus Aran is on the planet Zebes tracking down a Metroid larva that's been stolen by space pirates. Her quest takes her deep into a cave network beneath the surface of the planet, where she encounters and defeats the pirates, before a final showdown with their true leader, the monstrous Mother Brain.

Super Metroid's ending was unique in that the best bits were playable, not just cut-scenes. After defeating the final boss, a self destruct timer begins ticking down and you have only a few minutes to reach the surface of Zebes and escape on your ship. It's incredibly tense.

Samus reaches her ship and flies to safety moments before the planet explodes. After the credits, depending on how fast you finished the game, you'd see one of two things. If you took longer than three hours her visor would slide back revealing her face; finish it quicker and you'd see her in her pants. That had many a teenager hot under the collar.

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15 comments so far...
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  1. MartinIsAwesome Thursday 19th Apr 2012 at 10:43

    Don't forget Zangief's ending in Street Fighter II.

  2. Cinaclov Thursday 19th Apr 2012 at 11:01

    "Thankayou so mucha for playing my game!"

  3. NessPSI Thursday 19th Apr 2012 at 11:08

    The Mother 3 ending.

    *cries from memories of it*

  4. SimplePlan2k8 Thursday 19th Apr 2012 at 15:24

    Wind Waker!

  5. IPecksU Thursday 19th Apr 2012 at 15:50

    Super Metroid HAD to be there, oh man the ending was fantastic.

    Anyway Ghost Trick, Kid Icarus Uprising, Resident Evil 4 and the 3rd Professor Layton Game deserve a mention

  6. abovethewell Thursday 19th Apr 2012 at 17:45

    Sonic adventure 2 battle.. saying goodbye to shadow as he falls to earth, and previous enemies uniting to save each other :'(

  7. thenintendoer Thursday 19th Apr 2012 at 17:47

    loved the smw ending and how it showed all the enemies in the game

  8. RedBearLuX Thursday 19th Apr 2012 at 17:49

    Sonic adventure 2 battle.. saying goodbye to shadow as he falls to earth, and previous enemies uniting to save each other :'(

    Oh hell no because as sweet and awesome as that sounds Sonic goes on to ruin any shred of awesome by saying something along the lines of 'lets head back to the planet as cool and blue as me.' ... I'm sorry but that is pretty much the worst line ever written lol

  9. light_goose Thursday 19th Apr 2012 at 19:07

    My favorite game ending is professor layton and the curious village when you drive off in the car. It makes me smile every time =]

  10. cheatmaster30 Friday 20th Apr 2012 at 00:39

    No Super Mario 64 or Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time? Those games had awesome endings. Heck as did Donkey Kong Country 2. And to me at least, Wario Land 4.

  11. vix_chan Friday 20th Apr 2012 at 09:36

    I always loved the ending in Sonic 2 on the Mega Drive. Especially if you manage to complete it as Super Sonic!

  12. cmk8 Friday 20th Apr 2012 at 18:55

    Super Mario Land on the Bameboy - for the music if nothing else!

  13. EpicMario Friday 20th Apr 2012 at 19:59

    what about kid Icarus uprising? the ending in that is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SOOOOOOOOO what about it?

  14. MartinIsAwesome Friday 20th Apr 2012 at 20:36

    I always loved the ending in Sonic 2 on the Mega Drive. Especially if you manage to complete it as Super Sonic!

    They're discriminating against Megadrives, or as l say being a Genesist (boom).

  15. Xenobladeperson Monday 14th May 2012 at 20:00

    Is this a list of greatest retro games ever? If not, the Xenoblade Chronicles. Anyone who has finished the game will understand.

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