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15 Mind-Shattering Video Game Plot Twists That Blew Our Minds

Updated October 14, 2020 9.8k votes 2.4k voters 93.9k views15 items

List RulesVote up the videogame plot twists that you never saw coming.

What would a videogame story be without a couple of great twists? Surprise videogame endings are pretty much guaranteed to deliver memorable moments worth talking about for years to come, and the best videogame narratives provide huge plot twists and emotional endings

If you've been playing videogames long enough, you can probably name a few games with twists that changed the way you thought about everything. From BioShock's incredibly drawn-out motivational change-up, to the reveal of Samus Aran's sex in the final moments of Metroid, to the appearance of a surprise enemy in Halo: Combat Evolved, there are so many fantastic videogame plot twists to consider. 

  • Photo: Irrational Games

    BioShock has an absolutely mind-numbing twist that could only be pulled off by a videogame. The player controls the mysterious Jack,  a plane crash survivor who must venture through a terrifying underwater city overrun with lunatics. The city's leader is Andrew Ryan, who is fighting a bloody civil war against the enigmatic Atlas. Atlas directs Jack through many perilous situations, with the ultimate goal of taking Ryan down for good.

    Whenever Atlas requests something of Jack, he begins his sentence with the phrase "would you kindly." While at first, this pattern can easily go unnoticed, it is eventually revealed in a shocking twist that Jack has been brainwashed before the start of the game to comply with any instruction that begins with those words.

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  • Knights of the Old Republic is regarded by many as the greatest Star Wars story ever told, and for good reason. Throughout the adventure, the player hears stories of Darth Revan, the Jedi hero who traveled beyond known space, only to return with a mighty Sith invasion force, as well as Malak, his apprentice.

    Much of the story involves retracing Revan and Malak's steps in order to figure out why the Jedi turned to the dark side. What the player ultimately discovers is horrifying: you've been controlling Revan all along. His memory has been wiped by the Jedi, who are using him to reveal the secret behind the Sith's power. 

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  • Red Dead Redemption features one of the most tragic twists in videogame history. After plenty of trials and tribulations, former outlaw John Marston manages to take down every member of his old gang in order to save his wife and son from a corrupt Bureau of Investigation.

    Once the shooting and killing is done, Marston retires to his ranch to live a simpler life. Little does he know that the Bureau of Investigation plans to kill him once he's completed his mission. The player is forced to take on a line of heavily armed agents, a standoff that Marston has zero chance of surviving. 

    In an epilogue chapter, Marston's son Jack hunts down and kills the crooked agent that orchestrated the murder of his dad.

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  • Who is the Origami Killer? That's the question at the center of Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain. Several investigators set out to find the serial killer who is stalking their city. Eventually, it is revealed that one of the investigators, a PI named Scott Shelby, is actually the killer, and that he's been destroying evidence all along to cover his tracks. It's an unfortunate twist because Shelby is one of the more likable characters in the game.

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