Top 10 Most Iconic Video Game Cutscenes in History

Top 10 Most Iconic Video Game Cutscenes in History

Video games are more than just a form of entertainment, they are interactive experiences that can engage and captivate players in ways that traditional media simply cannot. Cutscenes, brief in-game cinematic scenes, play a crucial role in shaping the gaming experience and creating memorable moments.

From the earliest 8-bit games to the modern, hyper-realistic blockbusters, cutscenes have evolved and matured alongside the gaming industry.

Throughout history, many video game cutscenes have left a lasting impact on players and have become iconic for their memorable stories, impressive graphics, and impactful music.

From the pulse-pounding action of Metal Gear Solid to the emotionally charged moments of Final Fantasy VII, these cutscenes have left a mark on the gaming landscape and cemented their place in the pantheon of memorable gaming moments.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the most iconic video game cutscenes of all time, exploring what made them so impactful and memorable.

Super Mario Bros. (1985) - The End Cutscene:

The iconic end cutscene in Super Mario Bros. has long been remembered by players as a masterpiece of simplicity. As Mario and Peach float in the clouds, signifying the player's defeat of Bowser, it creates a moment of closure and triumph for the player.

This cutscene's minimalistic approach has only added to its timelessness and has been remembered by those who played the game decades ago.

It is a testament to the power of video games to evoke strong emotions through seemingly simple interactions.


The Legend of Zelda (1986) - The Final Battle with Ganon:

The final showdown with Ganon in The Legend of Zelda is a moment that will forever be remembered by players of the classic 8-bit game.

This cutscene marked the first appearance of the legendary villain and brought a thrilling conclusion to the game's story.

 This pivotal moment helped to solidify the Legend of Zelda franchise as one of the most beloved and enduring video game series of all time.

 The impact of this cutscene cannot be overstated, as it helped to lay the foundation for the franchise's enduring popularity and influence.


Metal Gear Solid (1998) - The Genesis of Solid Snake:

Metal Gear Solid's cutscenes were truly revolutionary, pushing the boundaries of what was possible in video game storytelling. The combination of stealth-action gameplay and high-stakes drama established the game as a masterpiece of the medium.

The cutscenes were a critical component in the creation of the game's iconic characters and its captivating story, which kept players enthralled throughout.

Metal Gear Solid's cutscenes helped to set a new standard for video game storytelling, which would be emulated by countless other games in the years to come.


Final Fantasy VII (1997) - Aerith's Death:

Final Fantasy VII's cutscenes are some of the most memorable and impactful in video game history. The game's emotionally charged storytelling and stunning graphics elevated the medium to new heights and created moments that players will never forget.

 The cutscene depicting Aerith's death was particularly poignant, leaving players with a deep sense of loss and attachment to the game's characters.

 Final Fantasy VII's cutscenes stand as a testament to the power of video games to evoke strong emotions and create memorable experiences.


Half-Life (1998) - The Resonance Cascade:


The Resonance Cascade cutscene in Half-Life was a turning point in the game's story and helped to build suspense and excitement for what was to come. This scene was a critical moment in the game, establishing Half-Life as a classic in the first-person shooter genre.

The Resonance Cascade cutscene helped to create an immersive and captivating world that drew players in and kept them engaged from start to finish.


Halo: Combat Evolved (2001) - The Arrival at Halo:

 The cutscenes in Halo: Combat Evolved helped to advance the story and kept players engaged throughout the game.

The Arrival at Halo cutscene was particularly noteworthy, featuring epic space battles and intense first-person shooter gameplay that established Halo as a landmark moment in the history of video games.

The cutscenes in Halo helped to create a rich and compelling world that players will never forget.


Grand Theft Auto III (2001) - The Introduction of Claude:


The cutscenes in Grand Theft Auto III were a key element in establishing the game's gritty and mature tone. The Introduction of Claude scene helped to introduce players to the game's morally ambiguous protagonist, setting the stage for a revolutionary open-world experience.

Grand Theft Auto III's cutscenes helped to create a rich and complex world that players could explore and experience in new and exciting ways.


Resident Evil 4 (2005) - The Opening Village Sequence -


Resident Evil 4's cutscenes set a new standard for survival horror games. The Opening Village Sequence was a standout moment that introduced players to the game's horrific world and left a lasting impression.

The scene begins with protagonist Leon S. Kennedy arriving in a remote Spanish village and encountering a group of villagers who have been infected by a mysterious virus. The sense of tension and danger builds as Leon navigates through the village, fighting off the infected and searching for survivors.

The scene is expertly crafted, with suspenseful music and well-timed jump scares creating a genuinely frightening atmosphere. This cutscene not only established the game's place as one of the greatest survival horror games of all time, but it also helped to further the genre and influence countless other games in the years to come.


The Last of Us Part II (2020) - The Hospital Sequence:


The Hospital Sequence in The Last of Us Part II is a prime example of how powerful cutscenes can be in enhancing a player's experience. The scene features intense and emotionally charged moments that showcase the game's characters and the story's themes, creating a lasting impression that stays with the player long after they have finished the game.

The level of detail in the graphics and animation, as well as the voice acting and sound design, make this cutscene a standout moment in the game, and serve to reinforce the game's place as a masterpiece in the world of video games.

Overall, the Hospital Sequence is a testament to the importance of cutscenes in elevating the video game experience, and serves as a reminder of why The Last of Us Part II remains one of the most highly acclaimed games in recent memory


God of War: Ragnarok (2022) - Kratos sees his new prophecy:


The God of War series is packed with compelling story, emotional moments, beautiful music, and great gameplay. Years of playing as Kratos, the god of war, players have become used to the harsh reality that the anti-hero faced.

 Hated and despised by nearly all, Kratos was a rock not allowing the thoughts of others to affect his emotions or mental state. 

That's why, the cutscene revealing to Kratos a future where he could be loved, had as much emotional impact on the player as it did Kratos. To see our hero cry in shocked relief was truly an amazing moment that players will remember for years to come.



Throughout the years, video game cutscenes have become an integral part of the gaming experience, and they have continued to evolve as technology has advanced.

From the simple yet effective end screen of Super Mario Bros. to the emotionally charged storytelling of The Last of Us Part II, video game cutscenes have proven to be a crucial tool in immersing players in rich and memorable experiences.

As the gaming industry continues to evolve, it will be fascinating to see what future video game cutscenes have in store for us.

Iconic cutscene’s are great but what games have you been sleeping on? check out our most underrated gems of all time list!

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