As video games grew as a storytelling medium over time, writers showed little restraint in using death as a tool to easily shock young players into strong emotional responses. But many of these stories were absolutely told well, and conservative use of important character death made for impactful moments that have stood the test of time. Even recalling these tragic scenes brings that sting of heartbreak and loss bubbling back to the surface. I'm making myself sad just dwelling on this introduction.
So, without further macabre rumination, here are the ten most tragic deaths in video game history. Warning: as the subject matter should suggest, there are spoilers out the wahzoo in this list, including some more recent games. Proceed at your own risk.