In the 300th issue of Game Informer, they listed the top 300 games of all times. Mass Effect 3 was ranked #99 (above Breath of the Wild!).
Yet I would be willing to bet money that there are still people who hate the ending.
The most popular argument is that the options you are given in the end don’t match up with the common themes of the game. There are also MULTIPLE jokes about color coded endings.
The Reapers prefer the synthesis ending (it personally creeps me out).
And then you have the destroy ending, the one ending I can’t bring myself to chose.
People have come up with all kinds of theories to explain the oddity that is the ending, the most popular of which being the Indoctrination Theory (I highly recommend Game Theory’s version)
I even have my own indoctrination theory about how the Reapers have been unintentionally indoctrinating all organic life towards their way of thinking throughout the entirety of their existence. More of that later.
Back the point of this post. My defense of the ending of Mass Effect 3.
No matter what your opinion of the ending is, there is one thing you probably haven’t considered.
Let me ask you a question.
How many times have you replayed the series?
I am currently on my third play through. The ending punches me right in the gut each time I play. It doesn’t matter that I pick the same ending, it still tugs on every single one of my heartstrings.
If there had only been one ending, it would not have had as much of an impact. If the ending had been everyone living happily ever after, I may not have been as compelled to live through the story again and again.
This is a game where all of your decisions matter. Where you represent the hope for the future. So, what happens if, in the end, you refuse to decide? Then it is game over for everyone. The only way to ‘lose’, is to chose not to chose.
I don’t know about you, but that strikes me as profound.
You can dislike the ending. You can wish there was something more, some way Shepard could survive.
But you will still keep on playing the story over and over again. You will relive the story of Shepard, maybe making the same choices, maybe not.
You will never forget the power of having your choices matter.
You will never forget the power of knowing that Shepard’s story will live on.
What legacy did your Shepard leave behind?