Top 10 Games to Move You to Tears


This recent survey, asking of Japanese gamers “Which games moved you to tears?”, presents some interesting results.

The resultant ranking:

1.   Final Fantasy X (PS2)
2.   Clannad (Xbox360, etc.)
3.   Crisis Core – Final Fantasy VII (PSP)
4.   Metal Gear Solid 3 – Snake Eater (PS2)
5.   Kanon (PSP, etc.)
6.   Tales of the Abyss (PS2)
7.   AIR (PSP, etc.)
8.   Dragon Quest V (DS, etc.)
9.   Final Fantasy VII (PS, etc.)
10. Little Busters! (PC)

Via Dengeki.

The sample was mostly male, and this perhaps goes some way to explaining why 53% of those asked reported never having been moved to tears by a game. Presumably they were unmoved by film or novel either?

Personally, I was surprised to see a Metal Gear game make the cut – perhaps they were tears of joy that the story had finally ended. The presence of RPGs and visual novels is quite expected however, and it is gratifying to see a magnificent title such as Tales of the Abyss feature.

Since it perhaps would not be in the spirit of the investigation, I will spare you any evaluation of the statistical validity of the results and instead pose the questions: what do you think of these results, and which game have you found most moving?

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    Avatar of atanok
    Comment by atanok
    10:58 31/03/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Embodiment of Scarlet Devil moved me to tears.
    Whenever I have Flandre in front of me, to be precise.


    Avatar of Sindrome
    Comment by Narcotic-Nightmares
    04:56 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    CoD: World at War moved me to tears...

    How can a paradigm of a game like CoD4 have a successor like that?!

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:39 09/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Indeed. Also, that one scene in CoD4 after the nuclear explosion was kinda sad too...

    Avatar of Rakhool
    Comment by Rakhool
    11:20 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    i've never played those games before...
    but i wanna get my hand on key's product... >.<

    Comment by mDuo13
    04:08 16/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Having played Metal Gear Solid 3... it actually makes sense to be on this list. It has an incredibly powerful ending, if you make it that far.

    I definitely cried when playing CLANNAD, multiple times, too, and the AIR anime. I don't agree with FFVII and I can't really speak for much else on the list.

    Surprisingly, I didn't cry at Planetarian, though I can understand why people think that should be on this list.

    Comment by Baiken
    20:31 09/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not exactly a game, a graphic adventure indeed...
    this one made me to cry like a baby...

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:22 11/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ahh, I remember it all too well - it was the first visual novel I ever read, and at the same time the first one (the only other that managed to achieve this was 'Planetarian: Chiisana Hoshi no Yume') to actually make me cry, although I managed not to until the last chapter, and those are only 2 visual novels out of many I've been able to read that had that kind of effect on me...

    Comment by Spiral
    01:28 01/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    haha yes Clannad on 2 is fine, I cried in the game and the anime.
    I remember ,when the ending of Crisis Core started, I almost cried because it was over. really enjoyed plaing it, the story could continue endlessly <3
    rest in peace, zack.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:09 28/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    i watched the crisis core ending six times. cried hysterically every time.

    Comment by NUBFIGHT4
    Comment by Supakitsune
    03:18 13/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Fails to include MOTHER 3. List fail :(

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:54 17/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    How is AIR not #1? Ah well, clannad really does make a good number 2. good list artefact

    Comment by superman378
    20:30 20/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    they shud make a survey on the top ten anime to make u cry

    Comment by Wild Goose
    11:34 04/05/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Anybody who's played MGS3 wouldn't be really surprised by the mention. I dare anyone to tell me that the final battle in MGS3 isn't utterly heartbreaking: Snake going up against his mentor and killing her for betraying the US, despite the fact that she's his mentor, taught him everything he knows, and was like a mother to him.

    And then he finds out she was a Fake Defector.


    Comment by Anonymous
    21:39 22/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    More precisely, she was a Fake Defector because of someone else's screw-up and had to die knowing her deed will go unsung and the people she died to protect will not remember her for any of her heroic legends but for this one 'betrayal'.
    If I understood MGS4 correctly, her unjust death was the what inspired both Big Boss and the PATRIOTS to lose faith in the world and attempt to rectify it in her memory.

    Comment by Anonymous
    Avatar of Meji
    Comment by Meji
    07:22 14/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Visual Art's / Key sure are epic. :B

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:28 06/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The bit right b4 the ending of Beyond Good and Evil did it for me. =P

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:07 28/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    beautiful. crisis core is here.


    -hardcore ffvii psycho

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:49 31/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh wow. OP obviously hadn't played MGS 3.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:35 05/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes... I have to agree with Crisis Core. The ending is just so... epic.

    MGS3... beat it, and I found it okay...

    Dragon Quest V was touching too when ...
    Your father died saving you.
    Your wife got turned into stone.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:14 02/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I played Metal Gear 3 and enjoyed it! It didn't make me cry though... That one electrified guy (can't remember his name) was a bitch to kill though. Fighting him almost brought me to tears...

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:30 06/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The only games that have moved me to tears have been visual novels.

    Clannad, saya no uta, utawarerumono and ever 17 to be precise.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:13 02/09/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Final Fantasy X... #1?

    What is this? Explain this madness.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:57 05/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    MGS33 had the nice touch of makiing you pull the trigger at the end, it shifts out of the cutscene with you immobile standing there and press[] boom!
    I choked up in Klonoa and Zone of Enders but maybe im just a crybaby. The MGS1 characters were emotive despite having smudges for faces

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:20 05/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    i think final fantasy X should fuck off and give its place to Tomoyo After ~ It's A Wonderful Life~ that is the most heart touching game I've ever played

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:36 16/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    hitomi little sister.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:37 16/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    ^^^ i mean kana little sister. lol

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:20 22/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    hitomi little sister, rofl.. good stuff.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:50 07/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Indeed Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII really moved me to tears

    CLANNAD, everybody says that is really sad, but its quite normal

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:21 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Normal? If you mean it's realistic, sure.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:49 07/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The only game that I have ever cried for was Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. The ending sequence always gets to me.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:50 07/09/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sorry, but the only game I can remember moving me to tears was Halo 3.


    When Sergeant Johnson died, it was easily one of the most emotionally moving scenes in video game history. Here is a character who has been with us for almost a decade and he dies. Plus his last words are manly tears worthy.

    "Don't ever let her go.."

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:05 19/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I would have to say metal gear solid 3 was the only one that made me cry. For those who are suprised, it doesnt make you cry until you see the ending!

    The other games didn't really force me to tears. Even tho arguably AIR has the most tragic fate of any character (kept being reincarnated), MGS3 had the best cinematography, so I thought it was effective.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:13 22/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    If the author of this article is surprised MGS3 made the list its because he clearly did not played the game.

    My first and only game I've cried to in my life. Fucking awesome and the best MGS game out there to date closely followed by MGS4.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:00 22/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    only 2 games that have ever made be wibble were estopolis 2 and ICO
    ICO is particularly worth mentioning since there's probably less than 50 spoken lines throughout the whole game, but it's beautifully moving in manners far less conspicuous and direct
    grandia 1 & 2 had some moments, grandia 3 could make you cry with it's terrible-ness and shadow hearts had a few fairly poignant parts

    though oddly enough MGS3 never did anything for me...

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:10 22/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Final Fantasy XII was so BAD It made me cry.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:19 22/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    never cried while playing games. but mgs3 was the first that i felt my throat getting tight and my eyes start to burn a little. the ending drove it home i think.

    Comment by Cerenado
    16:14 31/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    AIR's at seven?!! I thought it would make it to the top 5 at least :S
    Anyway, for a game such as LT to make it at the top 10's quite interesting (since it's only been out for less than 2 years).

    Comment by Cerenado
    16:14 31/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    ~Meant "LB"#

    Avatar of GearFourth
    Comment by GearFourth
    17:18 16/10/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Final Fantasy X? What? No.
    Final Fantasy VII can be sad at times, not devastating, though. If you want to cry with the tears of a thousand nutslaps. Play Lost Odyssey. Please.

    Pretty please.

    Comment by CCY
    17:04 16/10/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm really amused how this list is solely composed of 1) video games and 2) Key works even though it's so true, when I expected some of the other popular visual novels to make the cut (Ever17, Tsukihime, etc).

    Equally surprising because I thought the word was that Little Busters wasn't up to previous Key standards.

    Then again, this is a survey for gamers, who may or may not be a different subset from anime fans in Japan.

    Now all we need is a similar survey for anime and I'll have a list of stuff to watch...

    Comment by CCY
    17:08 16/10/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    OK, now I'm not sure if my second comment went through at all, but I'm getting pretty badly demolished by your comment system.

    But anyway, "even though it's so true" in regard to the Key VNs is supposed to be strikethrough'd there, and if that's not possible, I'd like to request The Powers That Be to remove that clause. Sorry for the trouble.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Changed that for you, sorry to see it troubled you.

    Strikethrough tags worked when I tried it... Not sure about that.

    Comment by CCY
    17:05 16/10/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Cursed lack of an edit feature. And HTML.

    That "even though it's so true" is supposed to be strikethrough'd in that comment. Sorry.

    Comment by Blue Wizard
    19:17 16/10/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Most of Little Busters! backlash came from Clannad fans expecting it to be an exact copy of its predecessor, even though Maeda said himself the game wasn't anything like their previous works.

    After the pre-release, when people bitched and moaned to their heart's content, they started playing the game seriously and noticed it wasn't so bad as they tried to make it sound. Even more when EX came out and added more awesome heroines, which can be considered one of the best Key games ever made and a big financial success. Long story short, never believe pre-release hype.

    Comment by Louis
    17:48 16/10/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Key should have a whole river of tears for their awesome VNs. lol.

    Comment by BuggyBY
    18:41 16/10/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    They could probably fill a moat around their office with the tears shed by their customers.

    Comment by sankyuu
    18:05 16/10/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Some people have grown up with Solid Snake and Big Boss, so seeing the tragic end of his "mother" and her true role in the story is pretty sad. Plus the mgs theme is epic.

    Comment by littlestyrant
    20:41 16/10/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Heh, i did remember crying in MGS1 after the boss battle against Sniper Wolf. The whole presentation brought by the game was impactful, and i think more and more games should have emotional impact to the players.

    after all, we did invest our time to the game.

    Comment by ipood
    18:13 16/10/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Where's my Yume Miru Kusuri and Ever17 in this list.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:18 25/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree, I just played Yume miru kusuri, and it has one of the saddest stories I've ever seen.

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