It's a rare occurrence, but every once in a while something happens in a video game that completely takes our breath away. Sometimes it's an unexpected plot twist; other times it's just the way all the elements blend together to make for a brief moment of absolute splendor. Here are ten moments from this console generation that simply took our breath away.
Oh, and there are going to be some spoilers. If there's a game on this list you haven't finished yet, you might want to skip the description on that one to save yourself from ruining some major plot details.
The ending of Portal 2 was nothing short of astounding. GLaDOS finally decides that it's much more difficult to try to murder you than it is to simply set you free, so you begin ascending in an elevator to freedom until you're stopped by a quartet of those pesky turrets. As you imagine yourself being torn apart by a barrage of sardonic bullets, the turrets begin serenading you with one of the most beautiful songs in a video game ever. It's moving enough that you might even have trouble holding back a tear or two. Unless you have no soul, you monster.
Sure, BioShock's central plot twist has been discussed to death already, but you can't deny the impact the "Would you kindly?" scene had the first time you experienced it. Andrew Ryan, a man who's been spouting Randian philosophy for half the game, utters the phrase "A man chooses; a slave obeys," before punctuating his point by forcing you to bludgeon him to death with a golf club. It's incredibly disturbing to witness Ryan's murder at your own hands, but it's perhaps even more disturbing to consider the implications of this. Are you, as a player, really "free," or are you merely following a path that's been carefully and thoughtfully laid out before you? Consider our minds blown.
Players can easily spend a couple dozen hours working out John Marston's "redemption" while he's being forced by the government to track down and kill members of the gang of bandits he's no longer a part of. By severing all these ties to his past life, he hopes to finally break free from it and provide some solace for his family. Unfortunately, the government has other plans for him, and those plans don't involve Marston living to see this redemption through to the end. Even if you saw the plot twist coming, you have to admit that Marston's death was simultaneously deeply troubling and satisfyingly thought-provoking. And Jack's storyline afterward was the ironic icing on an already bitter cake. Let's just say we won't be forgetting Red Dead Redemption any time soon.