There's a number of key elements that go into shaping a videogame, such as gameplay, setting, music and more. Though, one of the biggest factors that makes a game successful would be a storyline. Like a good book or movie, it's basically what pulls many players deep into the game itself. Some would have a lacking storyline (such as Minecraft) and some would have a deep, invested story that might show you that you're not dead inside. Here are six games featuring narratives that will give you all of the feels:
1. To The Moon
Don't underestimate the power of RPG maker games, they can be limited in graphical power, but rich with dialogue that shapes the whole story. To The Moon is one of those games that focuses mainly on telling the story without relying too much on the gameplay. The story basically is about fulfilling a dying man's wish to go to the moon, Dr. Eva Rosalene and Dr. Neil Watts were the characters assigned to do that, but finding the reason why he wants to go to the moon is what really kept the story of this game going. The story itself is bittersweet, but has its sad moments that will make you hold back your tears. I can guarantee you that if you're weak as I am when I played it, you'll cry for quite some time.
2. Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
The Kingdom Hearts series might have a few sad moments throughout its parts, but no part ever reached Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days' emotional heft after introducing Xion. If you are familiar with the Kingdom Hearts universe, you'd think having Disney characters might make the game more cheerful and happy, but it's really not. As the game mentions heartless and nobodies, you might start to feel a slight sympathy for those beings as you learn their stories. Xion is one of the characters that you would deeply get attached to as the story explores friendship and sacrifice.
3. That Dragon, Cancer
Seeing this picture of the game already makes me choke with tears. I honestly couldn't complete this game, it was heartbreaking hearing a child cry in pain as I instantly imagined my own son crying. The story of this game portrays what the family went through when their son was diagnosed with cancer. I would recommend checking out this post about it as it's perfectly described there.
4. Life is Strange
I wouldn't consider this game emotional when I played the first episodes, but it somehow turned out to have one the saddest endings I have ever experienced (even though I wasn't satisfied much with the plot twist of the story itself). The reason I said that is because the game has the ability to make the player have a connection with the main character, Max, and her friend, Chloe, and it's one of the reasons this game appealed to me. The ending did make me cry even though I wasn't expecting to. I don't really like episodic games but this one is an exception.
5. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
There're few Final Fantasy games I would consider sad at some level such as Final Fantasy X, but the only one that managed to break me down in tears would be Crisis Core. I confess, Cloud was my fictional character crush for quite some time - I mean years by that - but Zack is just as lovable as acharacter. He's funny but serious at the same time, which gives him a special charm and a connection with the player. If you've played Final Fantasy VII you would know what happened to him, but you don't know how till you actually play this game. It was like a train going full speed ahead, knowing that it's gonna end soon but clueless when it'll happen. And when it finally came, the ending was so sad I stayed crying for hours after the credits were done.
6. Valiant Hearts: The Great War
I never thought a puzzle-based game would be so sad, but then I expected few sad parts since the story of this game resides around the time of World War I. The story is separated into four sections for each character to be experienced by the player, and is then somehow connected into one story as it nears the end. The ending is beautiful yet really sad, I highly recommend trying this game if you enjoyed Limbo and Inside.
These are the saddest games I've ever played, and I can assure you that I've shed a tear or more while playing them. I really recommend checking them out if you are interested.