Game Over.
Sounds familiar to anyone? That's pretty much the most known and older video-game word anyone would ever think about (someone would call it a meme actually, and it's even more used than that "All your base are belong to US" thing). There's almost no game that doesn't spam a screen to show that the game is over (not always saying "Game Over", mind you), and if there's a single one, it's simply a game there's no way to lose (like most point & click adventures). Now this Top 10 is all about the very best Game Over screens ever in videogames (some of which don't have a Game Over marking, mind you). Some are very much worth getting killed to see them...

Actually pretty bland compared to the other Game Overs in the list, but this sure gets an award for the best looking one (at least for it's time). You see, back in 1996 the Genesis really was reaching the end of time, and like most of you already know, it's only and the end of a game system's lifetime that they milk all their potential at the fullest, and Sega Genesis was no exception. To put it simple, there's no better looking Game Over in the Genesis, ever. The bad thing is that you start with a whooping 3 Continue, so unless you don't use any of them it's rather unlikely you'll ever see this pretty damn cool piece of vintage 3D graphic art.

Dynamite Headdy is just one of the greatest masterpieces of all things 2D platformers, and the premise cannot be better: you play as a puppet in platform levels that also happen to be theater settings (complete with flashlights, one of which is your life meter, backstage workers, wires and stuff). So in such a game, what would you expect for a Game Over? Being kicked out of the scene, of course! The good part? If you ever collect Continues (it's not that easy a task, mind you), you get your audience to cheer you up, and even give an applause if you choose to continue and go back to stage! And if you don't choose to continue (or if you just don't have Continues), the crowd frowns. Pretty original if you ask me.

Sure amazing, and a pretty hard Game Over to get (actually, it's way harder than just get yourself killed). For starters, you have to fight your way to the titular Eternal Champion (the final enemy, and a pretty serious butt-kicker at that), and in order to reach him you have to defeat each of the other eight enemies (you don't get to Mirror Match here), and if you get killed, you only get to "move backwards" in the row; if you're pretty stiff you may get stuck for really long until reaching the Eternal Champion. When you FINALLY reach the Champion, you (of course) get to fight him. You have two chances to defeat him (it only takes a win for you to win, but that's easier said than done), but if you screw up both times, you get the Game Over (more like a Bad Ending, but that's the closest to a Game Over you'll ever see here). And not a bad one; pretty ominous and brooding. Almost makes you regret of being such a wimp for not beating this game.

Batman: Arkhan Asylum is just a gem of a game, the first Batman game in which you get to play the Dark Knight as it truly is, instead of your evergreen beat 'em up hero; Batman is supposed to go sneaking Ninja-style, not brawling it's way around. The game also makes extensive use of several all-known villians, and some of them haven't been seen better (one particularly amazing one appears thrice in the game; you guess who?). And then, the Game Overs. Whenever you get killed (and you'll get killed often - it appears being a Dark Knight isn't as easy as in the movies), whosoever villian killed you will tease you, and man they have lotsa lines! It would be a bad idea to get killed by everyone in order to get all the lines...

Hitman is about the all times favorite stealth assassin of all times, the bald, bar-coded, tuxedo dressed, dopplegangerish Agent 47. This dude is sure tough as nails, and he sure is depicted as such, withstanding bullets and blows with the slightest of impairment. Even when he dies, what happens is that the screen goes red and you can get to shoot the brains out of your foes for a while (I think you can also use an item to recover during this period, but I'm not sure) before he collapses; all with a really nice bullet-time slow motion. Pretty damn sure that if I ever get to die, I'll take all of ye with me!

Metal Gear Solid series sure has a cheesy bunch of Game Overs, with the all-known SNAKEEEE!!! voiceover being pretty much a classic by now. The series is also known of messing with the Game Overs for gameplay purposes, and the third game sure has some style. This game has what you would call a "double layer" Game Over: "Snake is Dead" and "Time Paradox". Granted, if you ever get killed by your enemies either Game Over is a Game Over; but if you get "fake killed" (there are ways) you get the "Snake is Dead" Game Over, which will slowly become "Time Paradox" (which is Game Over for good); before then you can use an item to get back on your feet. Trully amazing.

This game, one of the best Full Motion Video Games ever, follows a rather simple premise: you are Dirk, the hero, and your mission is to rescue Daphne, the princess, from the Dragon, the enemy. So far, so simple. When you navigate the castle, you're bound to find lotsa obstacles and hazards, which you must overcome with your buttons. If you screw up, you get killed, almost always in a rahter gory, nasty and/or plain fun fashion, and of course getting a shoot of the trademark hero becoming a collapsing skeleton. This game is older than most videogame fans (older than me, for starters), but this Game Over just never gets old.

A pretty cool Game Over for a very cool game. In this game, you have to solve puzzles and enigmas like in your evergreen point 'n click adventure, only in real time, and of course you get to screw up if you ever do the bad thing or get off timing. Your characters (all of them) have a Sanity bar that increases whenever you do something right and decreases when you don't; if that ever depletes, you get boned, with a cheesy epiloge by the way. Mind you, by the way, getting your Sanity depleted isn't the only way out of this game, and also each of the other ways to screw up have their own cheesy epiloge. Almost like a tragedy movie.

This game sure doesn't mess around with Game Overs: you'll hardly die just seeing your avatar falling flat; you'll rather trigger a bobby trap that will kill you in a gruesome fashion, and/or get killed by the stalker (this game is like Clock Tower, and most gameplay is about some invincible enemy - the Stalker - you must escape and hide from), and when the stalker gets you, you're in for a rather gory death! You get to watch a blank scene (which becomes the titular "Acta est Fabula" marking) while you hear (offscreen) your enemy ripping you apart. Pretty nasty, pretty nauseating, damn cool!

Now this is just the very, very best friggin' Game Over ever to be in all things videogames!! Now for starters, this is a pretty nasty Survival Horror game with an eerie and disturbing fairy-tale theme, with lotsa kiddy fantasy and crayon drawings (pretty unsettling), and in general is something like mixing Silent Hill with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, sans the ponies (a very, very sick combo if you ask me). It's a pretty bland survival horror; it's appeal is based more in its indie-ness rather than it's playability (combat is almost impossible to pull off right, and gameplay is largely about fetch quests).
But invariably, the best part is the Game Over: you get killed, and then the tale is over, and no in a random way; after you die EVERYONE LIVES HAPPILY EVER AFTER! AND WITH A GRUESOME VOICEOVER!! No; seriously - you must get killed to see this piece of macabre. Deciphering the scripts is up to you though.

Game Overs are pretty much one of the most loathed parts of any game (because... well... you theoretically don't play anymore), but some games sure show that they're over in a pretty good fashion. And besides, since save games are a mainstream gimmick, getting yourself killed just to get the Game Over shouldn't be a problem anymore; so go on and get some Game Overs for your collection - you can always reload as many times as you want.

List by HighEntomologist (02/12/2013)

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