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20 Video Game Endings More Meaningful Than A College Degree

Choosing your major means deciding what years of hard work and thousands of dollars will be spent on. That major, becoming part of your identity, will define the rest of your life. Anyway, there’s definitely a video game you could have beaten instead that would be a lot more impactful on you and society.

Engineering – Portal 2

Portal 2 embodies that old adage. Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land in a wheat field that fans insist shouldn’t exist. Unlike this ending, the ambiguity in your work only creates more problems instead of singing turrets or the revival of a dear friend. And no robot you work on is going to save you.

Philosophy – Earthbound

There is no debate, no text, no theory that can instill belief in the human condition better than Earthbound. It means everything in how we can unite, even across dimensions, to believe. All humanity needs now is for someone to drop out of the sky and take photos to capture the good moments. Maybe you should have been a photography major.

Photography – Before Your Eyes

Only so much can be held in what we can view. Time passes, and our eyes close eventually. Before Your Eyes puts our memories in frames but gently reminds us that we cannot dwell on a snapshot too long. Laying to rest, we’re faced with questions long existing beside humanity. What is a great life? A full life? Benny might have been able to figure out his answer, but would you be ready? Maybe you should have been a philosophy major.


Foreign Language – Journey

There’s something magical about the shared human experience. No matter the cultures we were raised in or the languages we speak, we head along the same paths, flying and drifting through peaks and valleys. As your vision blurs in the snow and the swelling orchestra fades into a lone violin, maybe you’ll realize that pulling out a copy of Journey would have been a simpler method to communicate with people rather than getting a degree for it.

Business – Shadow of the Colossus

It would be too easy to assign a game like Elmo’s Number Journey to business majors. Perhaps instead, we should extend a hand. It’s not too late to avoid being consumed by shadowy tendrils possessing your body and laughing at how you failed your coloring assignment by eating the crayons. Oh God. The horns have already set in? You’re a lost cause, but at least the ending to Shadow of the Colossus can help others from making the same mistake.

Classics – Elmo’s Number Journey

Fuck off. Maybe you’d get a game with a real ending if you chose a real major. If you tried playing Elmo’s Number Journey, you’d realize that it uses ARABIC numerals, not Roman numeral garbage. Get real.

Physics – BioShock Infinite

From some other lighthouse, you’re jumping through tears to other universes and getting drowned by your daughter for her sake. I’m sure what you do is still very impressive. Using constants and variables and all that. I’m sure it’s very important.

Studio Art – To the Moon

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Therefore, I’ll keep it short. Nothing you make can say more than origami rabbits scattered across a lighthouse floor.

Psychology – Myers-Briggs Personality Test

With sixteen unique, intertwining endings, the Myers-Briggs Personality Test is one of the most ambitious narratives told in gaming. My therapy appointments seem to only ever have one ending, despite how many therapists I’ve seen. I’ve had enough of the “unresolved childhood trauma” ending. Where’s the unique content?

Criminology – Persona 5

With your knowledge of crime, you’d be a great phantom thief. You’re far past your teenage years, though, and you aren’t getting any younger. Life is unfair when you aren’t an anime teenager. Those kids in Persona 5 committed all sorts of crimes, yet they had a 100% approval rating just because they pulled a gun on God? Back in reality, your job’s public approval has only been on the decline. If you were going to work in a low-approval job, you might as well have chosen business. I heard they get some sick horns.

Computer Science – Hollow Knight

Computer Science may seem to contend toe-to-toe with Hollow Knight since no one really understood it until everyone watched the same YouTuber explain it. Hollow Knight gets the edge by landing a sick sequel tease, and I haven’t heard the announcement of “Computer Science: Silksong, definitely coming out in 2023” recently.

Accounting – Red Dead Redemption

Even after all our hardships, how can we grapple with the cycles that tear us down? Is there peace to be found in our own lives, or are we doomed to an eternity of violence and revenge? Does it bring more satisfaction to simply perpetuate and co-exist within these cycles? These questions don’t really apply to you since the only cycle you’re stuck in is having to go to a job you don’t really care about every day for the next seventy years.

Theatre – Super Paper Mario

Through the art of performance, you’ve made audiences gasp, laugh, and cry. You’ve shown that the power of love crosses any barriers, that the power of love is powerful enough to save worlds beyond number. You’ve proven that people who dress like clowns never have your best interest in mind. Even as a modern black sheep of entertainment, you’ve touched lives. Super Paper Mario has done all that, plus confirmed that Mario and Luigi are going to hell, so it’s barely a competition.

Nursing – The Latest JRPG

I know nurses haven’t had time to play through the latest JRPG given the whole working long shifts in understaffed environments thing, but that ending was crazy. I won’t spoil too much, but I think I felt new emotions from the ending. Sorry, I forgot you’ve been too burned out to feel emotion since you were accepted into nursing school. But I swear the payoff for spending all those hours playing was incredible. Is feeling fulfilled after logging 80 hours in a week another sensitive subject? Sorry about that again.

English – Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony

Take out your annotation pens because there’s plenty to unravel when the truth becomes difficult to parse from the lies. Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony asks us to examine our relationship with fiction, in how we consume media, what we’re willing to endorse, and how it affects our real lives. It also asks us to think about how cool it’d be if a robot blew up the campus. For the (admittedly high) price of having to play Danganronpa, you’ll get everything an English major offers, plus an attachment to a tsundere assassin.

International Relations – Undertale

With only the power of determination, Undertale had people around the globe entranced. Frisk united humans and monsters as a child, but you had to study four years for this degree? Maybe if you found a goat woman who made you pie, it would make up for your comparative lack of ambition. I heard business majors get a cool set of horns, so maybe you should start there.

Biochem – Kirby and the Forgotten Land

It seems all well and good until your stress load makes you see horrors beyond human comprehension. Fortunately, the all-consuming goop you’ve turned into makes you beyond human, able to explain the unexplainable. Less fortunately, you’re unable to destroy the horrors by hurling a semi-truck toward them. Which would be fucking sick, by the way.

Film – Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane is a story that can only truly be conveyed with the interactive power of video games. Piecing together his life, understanding what “Rosebud” means, and reflecting on the loneliness remaining at his death bed are all beats that could have rang hollow. But with the ingenuity of the Wii remote, one of the most powerful endings in video games was cemented. I’m ecstatic to play The Godfather with Wii U Gamepad support.

Law – Hades

Some say lawyers are bound to the underworld, being forcibly dragged back if they try to leave. You know that’s true, no matter how many times you beat up your dad. Regardless, a degree in law won’t help you resolve your lingering mommy issues. I actually saw her out here where there’s still sunlight and morality, and she seems very lovely.

Communications – Club Penguin

Does it frighten you that no matter how well known your work becomes, no matter how many impressions you generate, Club Penguin will be held in more hearts after meeting its end? Can you grapple with knowing the loved ones who congregate for your passing will be as a flickering candle beneath the midday sun compared to the crowd who gathered for Club Penguin’s final breath?

Political Science – The Last of Us

Making decisions based on your own self-interests and agenda over the betterment of humanity must sound real familiar to you. You don’t even have an endearing father-daughter relationship that can make me forgive your awful decisions.


Education – Pikmin 1

Every great teacher understands how Olimar felt in the ending of Pikmin 1. The feeling of relief to finally rest, mixed with concern of leaving the little ones behind to fend for themselves. If only Mrs. Winslow could see her fourth grade class tear apart Old Lady Agatha just like the pikmin beating a bulborb to death all by themselves. I remember ripping the horns out of that nasty business major’s head with my own hands. Ah, the memories.

Anthropology – Chulip

There’s no better way to study a person than first-hand experience. You may as well have experienced humanity (and things beyond) by chasing kisses rather than getting a degree. Unlike a typical education, you’ll end up netting a job in court if you commit hard enough. Strengthen your heart with Chulip, and you might find your true love beneath the lover’s tree. Is there anything more human than love?

Religious Studies – Scribblenauts Unlimited

Maxwell’s ascension to godhood shocked and astounded, as we see him become unable to relate to the lowly creatures he had helped. But him ultimately losing his final link to mortality as Lily crumbles to dust from centuries of time taking their toll has to be one of the most thought-provoking endings out there about losing sight of what matters. With complete control over the power of creation at his hand, Maxwell not only can, but already has, usurped power from the Gods of our world. Basically, your major’s curriculum is outdated.

Every Major I Missed – Stardew Valley

The person closest to curing cancer is a lot more proud of their 300-hour perfection save file in Stardew Valley than their degree (which is not on this list). They’re also planning on finishing a second file on the Joja route without using the wiki. I’m sorry, but I just don’t think you can compare to the cancer-curing person.

Every Major, Period. – Lil Gator Game

You’ve grown older, and you’ve grown more mature. Somewhere along the way, your childhood wonder and innocence were left behind, replaced with a paper describing your field of study. Did you miss the chance to be the lil gator of your own game? Maybe it’s not too late to pull yourself away from the title you have been distilled down to for so long. Maybe it’s time to touch the grass and see the friends waiting for you at the playground.

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