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5 Most Emotional Video Games of 2023



Emotional Video Games

If you've been into gaming for a while, you'll likely know that video games go beyond just being entertaining. They catch our attention with excellent graphics, carefully placed details, stories, and intense soundtracks.

The games listed here will have you hooked up with their detailed stories and incredible artistic gameplay that stirs emotions. The games on this list will appeal to you with their detailed stories and emotionally charged experiences. Without further ado, let's check out the five most emotional video games of 2023.

5. That Dragon Cancer

That Dragon, Cancer Launch Trailer

That Dragon Cancer is a symbolic journey through the lives of creators Ryan and Amy Greene as they raise their son Joel. At the age of 12, he was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer that affects the brain. The game is a deeply personal narrative that invites players into the Greenes' raw and intimate life moments. That Dragon Cancer features dreamlike imagery of Ryan and Amy in their journey of doubts and struggles of raising Joel.    

At its core, the game is a reflection of the Green family's own experiences. It offers a powerful and emotional exploration of love, loss, and the complexities of facing a terminal illness. Similarly, the title allows players to connect with the real emotions and struggles of the family. The game elicits empathy through its intense soundtrack, which compliments the overall experience. 

That Dragon Cancer is a touching and thought-provoking exploration of the human experience. It offers players a unique perspective on life, love, and the profound impact of illness. The game is a powerful example of how video games can be a platform for emotional storytelling and empathy.

4. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons - Launch Trailer | PS4

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is an adventure game developed by Starbreeze Studios. The story follows two brothers who lost their mother in a tragic sea accident. The game starts with their father falling ill, and it's up to the two sons to go on a journey to the Tree of Life to save their father.

The journey takes them through the hills, villages, and valleys. However, they will face a variety of puzzles and challenges throughout the journey. An emotional depth unfolds as they navigate the beautifully crafted world to save their ill dad.

The profoundly emotional and immersive journey captivates players with its unique storytelling and innovative gameplay mechanics. Additionally, the game feels more touching because of its music and beautiful landscapes. As you go through the journey, there are moments of joy, sorrow, and unexpected twists, making it a touching experience for players. Players become emotionally invested in their bond as the brothers face challenges, solve puzzles, and overcome obstacles together. 

Similarly, the narrative explores themes of love, loss, and the strength of family connections. These experiences leave a lasting impression on those who embark on this emotional adventure. 

3. Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2: Official Trailer #3

Red Dead Redemption 2 is a tragic action adventure from the prequel to the 2010 game. The main character, Arthur Morgan, is diagnosed with tuberculosis in the game. This revelation occurs during the game's later stages, marking a significant turning point in the narrative. Arthur's diagnosis of a potentially fatal illness adds a layer of complexity to the story, influencing his actions and decisions throughout the game. The progression of Arthur's health becomes a central element in the game, contributing to the emotional depth of the overall narrative.

The game's open-world design allows players to explore a stunning and dynamic environment. However, the conclusion of Arthur's story is so heartbreaking that it's not uncommon for players to shed a few tears. Similarly, the game creates a sense of connection to the landscapes and communities within the game. The changing weather, day-night cycle, and wildlife contribute to the atmospheric depth, enhancing the overall emotional experience.

The game's musical score enhances the emotional tone of the game. It evokes a sense of melancholy, triumph, and reflection. Additionally, music during critical moments intensifies the emotional impact, making the soundtrack fundamental to the overall experience. The Red Dead Redemption is not just a game about the Wild West; it's a touching exploration of redemption, morality, and the human experience.

2. The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead: Destinies - Announcement Trailer - Nintendo Switch

The thing that gets you seriously invested in this game is the fact that your choices in the game have a significant impact on the overall story. In The Walking Dead, you take on the role of a young man named Lee and must try your best to survive in the zombie-infested world. Along the way, you will meet many characters whose fates are decided by your choices.

Players face morally ambiguous decisions throughout the narrative that impact the story and relationships with other characters. The weight of these choices is complicated because there are no clear right or wrong answers. The game features complex themes, including loss, betrayal, and the struggle for humanity in the face of a zombie apocalypse. 

The game creates a tense and immersive experience through its deep musical score and atmospheric sound design. One of the game's notable achievements is its ability to evoke genuine emotional responses. Players may find themselves genuinely torn by decisions, saddened by losses, and emotionally invested in the fates of the characters. The connection between players and the virtual characters makes it more personal and emotional.

1. Last of Us

The Last of Us - Story Trailer

The Last of Us is set in the United States after an apocalypse. Many years after the Cordyceps infection ravaged America, infected creatures threatened the survivors. Joel has to guide a teenager called Ellie to a safe place. Even though Joel has had a harrowing past, their harsh trip across the country gives him a reason to fight. As you progress throughout the game, the bond between these two strangers flourishes into something beautiful. The story of this game is so good that a sci-fi TV series was adapted from it in 2023.

Naughty Dog weaves the themes of despair, selfishness, and misery expertly. However, they also perfectly incorporated hope, love, and redemption themes into the storyline. Joel and Ellie must depend on each other to make it through a challenging journey across what's left of the United States. The journey creates an unforgettable and heartbreaking experience. The game creates moments of tension as they encounter the cordyceps fungus. 

Conversely, intense moments of sadness in the game would make you shed a tear. Sarah, who is Joel's daughter, dies in the early stages of the game, right in the arms of her dad. Tess, a genuinely good-hearted friend of Joel, got infected and sacrificed herself to buy time for Joel and Ellie. Her death became one of the most emotional moments in The Last of Us


What's your take on our picks? Do you have a favourite game that you think should have made the list of the 5 most emotional games of 2023? Let us know on our socials here.

Cynthia Wambui is a gamer who has a knack for writing video gaming content. Blending words to express one of my biggest interests keeps me in the loop on trendy gaming topics. Aside from gaming and writing, Cynthia is a tech nerd and coding enthusiast.