Top 10 Difficult Video Game Choices That Didn't Matter

VOICE OVER: Riccardo Tucci WRITTEN BY: Johnny Reynolds
So much unwarranted stress! Today, we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Difficult Video Game Choices That Didn't Matter. For this list, we're taking a look at all the tough video game decisions that may have stressed players out but didn't actually have any effect on how the plot unfolded. Which consequence-less moment in what game will YOU never forget experiencing?

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Top 10 Difficult Video Game Choices That Didn’t Matter

So much unwarranted stress. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Difficult Video Game Choices That Didn’t Matter.

For this list, we’re taking a look at all the tough video game decisions that may have stressed players out but didn’t actually have any effect on how the plot unfolded.

#10: On Trail
“Chrono Trigger” (1995)

One of the most revered RPGs of all time, “Chrono Trigger” follows a young boy jumping through time periods in search of his missing friend, who also happens to be the princess. Unfortunately for him, he’s mistakenly arrested for attempting to kidnap the princess. The player then has to go through a trial, bombarded with questions about Crono’s intentions, all of which are based on your actions during the prologue. But even if you’re found to be Not Guilty, Crono will still be thrown in prison and sentenced to execution. This obviously doesn’t happen, but it was nonetheless a stressful situation. How does this legal system work?

#9: Control, Destroy, or Synthesize
“Mass Effect 3” (2012)

The ending to BioWare’s sci-fi trilogy is notorious by now. And it’s all because it boils down to a decision that negates every other one. Players were given three options: destroy or control the Reapers, the trilogy’s primary antagonists, or synthesize all organic and synthetic life together into a new hybrid species. But this decision was much more linear than what the developers had promised. No matter which option you chose, the energy from the Crucible forced the Mass Relays to explode and the blast spreads throughout the galaxy. Not only is each ending cutscene not too different from one another, but the backlash was so bad that Bioware had to go back and make an extended version of the ending.

#8: Choosing A Starter
“Pokémon Go” (2016)

One of the first and most difficult decisions many players had to make was choosing between Squirtle, Bulbasaur, and Charmander in the original “Pokémon” games. Each was completely different from one another and you couldn’t find the other two anywhere else in the game. This insured different ways of playing but also built a bond between player and creature. So when “Pokémon Go” was released, some players may have thought they’d be put through the same tough decision. While you did have to choose, all 3 can easily be found later on. Plus your first Pokémon’s level will be so low that you’re better off getting rid of him. Making this choice mean nothing and the starters feel a bit less special than they deserve.

#7: Cure Cancer or Solve World Hunger
“Saints Row IV” (2013)

A classic “Sophie’s Choice.” THQ’s action-adventure franchise had already become known for its sheer amount of ridiculousness before Deep Silver acquired the rights. And to ensure fans the series was in the right hands, they presented players with this absurd decision at the beginning of the game. As president, you can choose to pass one of two bills that will either cure cancer or solve world hunger. As if they could be solved so easily. However, it makes no difference which one you pick, because aliens invade in the next scene and eventually the Earth gets destroyed. All that HD progression gone to waste.

#6: The Two Prisoners
“Spec Ops: The Line” (2012)

We’ve talked a lot about this game and how it messes with the mind, but it also gives the illusion that the player has to make tough decisions. In one section, Captain Martin Walker is forced to make a decision on which one of two prisoners will live and which will die: A man who stole hard to find water in the desert, or the soldier that captured him and killed his family in the process. Whoever you save, Konrad’s men will kill the other one. However neither of these men shows up later in the game, because the ending later reveals that they were both already dead, Walker hallucinated the whole thing.

#5: Siding With Different Races
“Dragon Age: Origins” (2009)

Along with “Mass Effect,” BioWare also forced players to make tough decisions in this high fantasy RPG. Unfortunately, the decisions players made, while seemingly game-altering, didn’t actually have an effect on how the main story played out. Players controlled a Grey Warden, a guardian that had to choose which races to unite and which to destroy in order to defeat the archdemon, Urthemiel. Who lives and who perishes is essentially up to personal preference though, as it doesn’t have any change on how the plot progresses. While the final cutscene and epilogue features your companions, your choices don’t have any consequences in regards to the main plot.

#4: Choosing A Brooch
“BioShock Infinite” (2013)

The third entry in this renowned FPS series presented heavier focus on story than the first two and even included a tantalizing choice early on in the game. After you rescue Elizabeth, the mysterious Lutece twins approach and offer her the choice between two brooches: one with a cage and one with a bird. Given that the cage could represent how Elizabeth has been locked up her whole life and that the bird could represent Songbird, foreshadowing that this may have consequences with the plot later down the line. But it literally was inconsequential. Other than a minor change in Elizabeth’s appearance, it amounts to nothing. Yes there is more of an inner meaning about choices being inconsequential, but come on.

#3: Drop Hannah or Let Go
“Until Dawn” (2015)

This narrative driven horror game was praised due to the choices of the player impacting which characters survived. But there was one particularly tough choice where the options led to the same outcome. During the opening, Hannah runs into the wilderness after a mean-spirited prank. The tutorial has players control her sister, Beth, as she searches for her and the two must escape from an unseen creature. After tumbling over a cliffside, players have the option of letting go of the branch, killing you both, or dropping Hannah to her demise to reach for a stranger’s hand. The choices are grim either way and you don’t have much time to decide. It doesn’t matter though, as both options lead to both girls falling to their deaths.

#2: How To Deal With Ramsay Bolton
“Game of Thrones: A Telltale Game Series” (2014)

Fans of HBO’s fantasy series know exactly how horrible Ramsay Bolton can be. So when he showed up in Telltale’s game, stress levels of players undeniably skyrocketed. The game focuses on the Forresters, a minor family in control of a coveted supply of wood. And when Ramsay shows up at Episode 1’s ending to secure that supply, it’s up to the player, as Ethan Forrester, on how to deal with him. It’s when he turns his eyes towards Ethan’s twin sister that things take a turn for the disastrous. You wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to your sister but standing up for her would certainly spell doom for young Ethan. But the psychopathic Ramsay slays Ethan in front of his family no matter what.

#1: Leave or Kill Clementine
“The Walking Dead: The Final Season” (2018-19)

As the final Telltale game to be made, it seemed only natural they’d get the top billing on this list. This scene, in a callback to the iconic ending of the first season now see’s Clem in Lee’s position where she has been bitten by a walker and - just like last time; she has to tell young AJ to either kill or leave her. However no matter what you decide, both paths end with AJ swinging the axe at Clementine as the screen cuts to black and Clem’s journey ends just like how it started. … PSYCHE! It actually turns out that Clementine survived. AJ actually cut off her infected foot, thus preventing her from turning, well played Telltale, well played.