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8 great game endings

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

In 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 of the old games got it right, rewarding your hard work with a memorable climax and here, we're looking at some of the best game endings from yesteryear. Obvious spoiler alert.

1. 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?

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  1. shy guy 64 Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 13:19

    hang on, hasn't this article been up in the past?

    im sure ive read this before

  2. NintendoForLife Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 13:22

    Thanks ONM. You've just spoiled eight game endings. You should have put a spoiler warning on them or something. -_-

    Srsly though, Super Mario World and Zelda ALttP had the best endings by far.

  3. scouserfuller9 Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 13:37

    Zelda ALTTP has to be my favourite and most memorable ending. In its era you'd normally just see a short message for finishing and then the credits in games. Zelda ALTTP was different though. It never looked like it was gonna end!

  4. Commandervideo Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 14:08

    This article was in the mag months ago right?

  5. K-tet Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 15:29

    The truly great game endings have amazing music backed to a great cut-scene. One from the NES era (or rather, Famicom) was Sunsoft's Mr. Gimmick. For such a challenging game, it had a great ending. SPOILERS: Skip to 3:38.
    It must be noted that the entire game soundtrack is also absolutely incredible. One of the best uses for the RP2A03 to date.

    Other great game endings for me would be both Lylat Wars and Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the N64 (how funny that their final reprises are in effect, virtually the exact same tune), Final Fantasy IV on the SFC, and for the comedic value, the simple yet funny ending to Solar Jetman: Hunt For The Golden Warpship.

  6. Mew3 Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 15:38

    hang on, hasn't this article been up in the past?

    im sure ive read this before


    Is it me or are they just putting up stuff they've already had in magazines and hoping no-one will notice?

  7. epiclink Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 16:04

    I like the ending to Super Mario 64 and loads people around my place in Bristol U.K, say that the SM64 cake is a lie.

  8. MartinIsAwesome Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 16:07

    Yeah, this was previously published in Issue 80. It's a great article nonetheless. I'm sure there are some people who have found some of those games so hard that they never got to see the endings. I'm struggling to beat Dracula myself.
    However, Best Retro Game Endings may have been a better title. I mean, is Super Mario World's ending really better than, say, Professor Layton and the Curious Village? Even Luigi's Mansion had a better ending. Speaking of which, that is truely one of my favourite gaming moments, when Luigi beats King Boo and is reunited with his brother. It's quite touching.

  9. ThePokekid78 Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 16:27

    hang on, hasn't this article been up in the past?

    im sure ive read this before


    Is it me or are they just putting up stuff they've already had in magazines and hoping no-one will notice?


    Definitely not just you - you would assume that with the Wii U release they would have some more articles to write, but evidently not...

  10. vtheyoshi Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 16:39

    How about Zangief's ending in Super Street Fighter 2?
    Anyway, the best ending in any game has to be Okami's ending. I just realized that in the past few articles I've commented on, I mentioned Okami............

  11. IG-42 Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 17:27

    Anyway, the best ending in any game has to be Okami's ending. I just realized that in the past few articles I've commented on, I mentioned Okami............


    would be even better if it our version of the game included the wonderful credit sequence
    also OOT has a damn good ending

  12. Darkblizz Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 18:49

    Neglected to mention that Yoshi's Island plays a beautiful rendition of the Super Mario Bros level clear theme right at the very end.

  13. AtomAtton Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 22:40

    Pikmin 2 and Super Mario Galaxy's endings will always be my favourites.

  14. toffeeman30 Tuesday 11th Dec 2012 at 08:05

    quite a few retro endings there. are retro game endings better than newer game endings?

  15. Xikelle Tuesday 11th Dec 2012 at 16:49

    I found Shadow of the Colossus' final sequence impressive.
    Specifically (spoilers are to be expected) That segment after Colossus 16, Malus. I know I was in-role and with the last moments, didn't give in till the last few steps by the pool.
    That moment: hearing Agro's whinny...
    Quite liked the ending to Bastion too.

  16. madlink Tuesday 11th Dec 2012 at 21:33

    My favourite ending was definately Twilight Princess. How hot was the transformed Midna?

  17. sciqueen Wednesday 12th Dec 2012 at 22:43

    Okami, OOT, Wind Waker and Majora's Mask.

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