Top 5 Nicholas Cage Movie Freak Outs

No One Does Crazy Like The Cage-Man

The reviews are in and people are going crazy for Nicholas Cage’s new film Mandy, wherein he sets off on a bloody trail of revenge while going through so many manic outbursts that it’s hard to keep up. With the flick set to become a cult phenomenon, what better time to look back through the years at the Academy Award winner’s other incredible on-screen meltdowns?

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#5: HAGGIS!
“National Treasure: Book of Secrets” (2007)

Even when acting like an obviously fake drunk, Cage still manages to bring the laughs in spades. While trying to make a scene in a museum, Benjamin Gates decides to distract the guards by offering up a very poor British accent, followed by a series of random dishes. Not sure why more restaurants haven’t tried using Nic Cage for promoting their menu items.

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#4: Pissed Blood
“Matchstick Men” (2003)

Nothing gets between Nicholas Cage and his prescription pills. While suffering something of a OCD overload, Cage’s depressed con-man finds himself getting into an argument at a pharmacy. When one of the other customers demands he get back in line, Cage delivers a retort that promptly shuts everybody up. You will believe that the man who played Ghost Rider is capable of beating you all the way down the street.

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#3: Alphabet
“Vampire’s Kiss” (1988)

Let this be a lesson to all future secretaries, should you end up working for Nicholas Cage, make sure you never misplace a file, otherwise you’re in for a stern talking to. You won’t just be reprimanded for your actions, but you’ll have to witness Cage hammer the point home by listing the alphabet from A to Z, complete with wild gestures. We also have to give a mention to that time later in the movie where gave what has to be the most hilarious crying scene ever.

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#2: All the Faces
“Face/Off” (1997)

Iconic for featuring some of the greatest Cage-faces known to the world, watching Caster Troy flaunt himself around the screen like a fish high on LSD is a joy to behold. Where do we start? You’ve got the part where his eyes nearly bulge out as he gropes a young woman while dressed as a priest, the time where he decided he wanted to rip off the face of his mortal enemy in the most poetic way possible, not to mention that whole sequence where we witnessed Nicholas Cage played John Travolta playing Nicholas Cage…

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#1: Not the Bees!!!
“The Wicker Man” (2006)

For a time, this little sequence became the meme’s meme, the pinnacle of so-bad-it’s-good as well as the purest example of Nic Cage losing his mind…and we love every second of it. After finding himself as a sacrifice for a pagan cult, Cage finds himself with a helmet filled with bees placed on his head, all the while screaming bloody murder. It will live on as one of the most bizarre yet entertaining moments in cinema, as well as one of Nic Cage’s most defining career moments.

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Be sure to check out the video below to see our picks for the Top 10 Nicholas Cage Moments.

5 People Who Need To Be On SNL This Season!

Live From New York, Saturday Nights Are Back!

After the show’s usual summer-long hiatus, “Saturday Night Live” is finally returning this Saturday September 29th! The show’s 44th season is being kicked off by host Adam Driver and musical guest Kanye West, followed by an exciting lineup of headliners featuring both new names and crowd favorites like Awkwafina, Travis Scott, Seth Meyers and Paul Simon. With only the first three weeks of hosts revealed so far, here are a few people that we think would be ideal candidates to take over the Studio 8H stage.

Ryan Gosling

SNL creator and producer Lorne Michaels might not love this pick considering Gosling‘s tendency to break character and laugh uncontrollably during his previous performances in SNL sketches, but he’s definitely a fan favorite! He’s also at the forefront of this season’s oscar buzz for his role in Damien Chazelle’s new highly anticipated film “First Man” which follows the story of Neil Armstrong and his mission to the moon. The movie has received countless positive reviews after being featured at many high profile festivals like TIFF and let’s face it, if Gosling can make it to space, I’m sure the SNL stage isn’t that far of a leap.

Jonah Hill

Jonah Hill is a seasoned veteran on SNL, having hosted three times before and making numerous cameos in opening monologues, so if his experience isn’t enough to get him back in the hosting seat, his accomplishments this year should be. Hill made his directorial debut this year with his comedy film “Mid90s” that turned heads at TIFF, and he is currently starring in the new Netflix miniseries “Maniac” about a pharmaceutical trial that promises to fix everything wrong with the human mind. Jonah’s character in the trippy dark comedy is dull and disturbed, so seeing him on the SNL stage being the funny “Superbad” star we know and love wouldn’t hurt!

John Legend

This has been an eventful year for John Legend, seeing as he just recently completed his EGOT after having won an Emmy for the televised musical “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert”, making him not only one of the youngest recipients of all four major American entertainment awards (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony), but the first African-American Man to do so in history! He would be a clear fit as a musical guest on the show and could even make an appearance in a few sketches given his recent acting experience in films like “La La Land“.

Brie Larson

Brie Larson has been praised for her work in movies like “Room” and “The Glass Castle”, but her recent casting as Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers in both 2019 releases of “Captain Marvel” and the new “Avengers” film have propelled her even further into the spotlight this year. Even with her repertoire of dramatic roles, Larson doesn’t take herself too seriously and has dabbled in comedy with movies like “Trainwreck” and “21 Jump Street”. She hosted SNL back in 2016, but wasn’t featured as a prominent character in many sketches, so we’re hoping a little bit of superhero training was all she needed to come back stronger.

Lady Gaga

If there’s one person that should be on SNL this season, it’s Lady Gaga. She’s performed on the show a few times before which makes her a likely candidate to headline an episode this season, given SNL’s tendency to bring back crowd favorites. This year has also been a huge one for Gaga, taking on her first leading role as Ally in this October’s highly praised rendition of the classic film “A Star Is Born“. Not only does she star in the film, but she also helped craft the celebrated soundtrack, which means she could potentially pull a Donald Glover and serve as both the host and musical guest on the show! We also wouldn’t be opposed to some hosting assistance from her co-star Bradley Cooper if need-be…

Who do you think should host SNL this season??? Leave a comment down below!

And for more of our favorite SNL appearances, check out the video below on the Top 10 Surprise SNL Cameos 

Top 5 Movie Moments That Made Us Fall In Love With Ryan Gosling

To The Moon and Back

From scaring the daylights out of us in The Place Beyond the Pines to making us roar with laughter in The Nice Guys, you can point to any of Ryan Gosling’s performances and find a reason to be enthralled. From the looks of things, his portrayal of Neal Armstrong looks to be one of painful realism as well as patriotic inspiration. Let’s hope that it can compare to some of these standpoint cinematic moments from Mr Gosling’s filmography.

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#5: Elevator Make Out
“Drive” (2011)

This stylish thriller is peppered with incredible moments of heart-pumping action and tense, often silent standoffs between characters. However, it’s this scene, the one that takes place entirely in the confines of an elevator that makes us wish we could have Ryan Gosling all to ourselves. Confronted with the fact that any moment he is going to be attacked by a gun-toting thug, Gosling’s character gently pushes co-star Carey Mulligan into the corner of the elevator for a steamy make out session. The lights dim, the music slows, and our passions for the Canadian-born actor become increasingly unbridled. Sure, he smashes a guy’s face into pieces immediately after, but he was just protecting his girl!

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#4: Ukulele Performance
“Blue Valentine” (2010)

Remember before when we said you’d need a box of tissues to make it through “Blue Valentine? Yeah, this is one of the few scenes where you can put them away. Gosling is an absolute delight to behold as he serenades co-star and on screen lover Michelle Williams while armed with nothing more than his strange singing voice and a ukulele. As he strums away and she tap dances in front of him, it’s almost impossible not to crack a smile. Something about this scene just feels totally genuine and spontaneous. Maybe it’s because we love people who have those qualities that we can’t get enough of Gosling in this scene!

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#3: Final Montage
“La La Land” (2016)

Take those tissues back out! After nearly two hours of watching Gosling and Stone dance and sing their way across the screen, it’s almost too much to bear when the film’s stunning climax reminds us that the world is an imperfect place and oftentimes we don’t get what we truly desire. The film’s lengthy third act montage is an incredible combination of practical sets and brilliant editing. However, the centerpiece of the scene is the relationship between the two main characters. As the montage ends and we return to reality, our hearts break as we watch Gosling sitting alone at his piano, imagining a life that will never be. Thank god for that final smile!

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#2: The “Dirty Dancing” Lift
“Crazy, Stupid, Love” (2011)

Has Ryan Gosling ever been hotter than when he took off his shirt in this scene? After successfully getting her to his jaw-droppingly beautiful home, Gosling’s Jacob pulls out all the stops in his attempts to woo Emma Stone’s Hannah. From making her an elaborate cocktail to dropping the needle on a classic piece of vinyl, it’s obvious that’s he’s going all-in. Of course Hannah sees right through his ploy… but that doesn’t stop her from demanding he take off his shirt. While Gosling’s ripped physique is impressive, it’s his ability to successfully pull off the “Dirty Dancing” lift that truly makes us swoon.

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#1: 365 Letters
“The Notebook” (2004)

And you thought we forgot! What kind of list would this be if a scene from Gosling’s most swoon-worthy film didn’t appear? This film has no shortage of steamy scenes to choose from, but the one we’re going with is without a doubt the most classic. After their lovely afternoon is interrupted by a sudden storm, Allie confronts Noah about why he never wrote her while he was away. It’s the look of absolute heartbreak on Noah’s face as he realizes that the 365 letters he wrote never reached Allie that gets us every time. Thankfully, he has a short memory, pulling Allie in for one hell of a kiss!

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Be sure to check out the video below to see our picks for the Top 10 Must-Watch Ryan Gosling Performances. 

Darth Vader Is Getting His Own VR Series

The Oculus Is Strong With This One

Decades after he made his debut, the most iconic villain in a galaxy far, far away is still finding new ways to steal the spotlight. Outside of cameos in other films, the Dark Lord of the Sith is apparently now set to appear in his own series. Don’t get to excited though, since the upcoming “Vader Immortal” is set to be released exclusively on the Oculus.

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According to an article on GameSpot

“At Oculus Connect, Industrial Light and Magic took the stage to announce a new project aimed squarely at Star Wars fans.Vader Immortal, a launch title for the new Oculus Quest headset, will tell a new story in the Star Wars universe in-between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. It’s coming in 2019 and is described as a VR “experience” rather a game or anything else of the sort.

The tech follows on the heels of Star Wars: Droid Repair Bay, which had Oculus players in the midst of a battle with General Leia. It’s being written by David S. Goyer, who is also working on the VR experience, Secrets of the Empire. And despite what you might assume, Vader Immortal will be part of the official Star Wars canon.”

While it may serve as nothing more as a launch title for the next step in Oculus’ evolution, are you still excited to get a chance to explore the antics of Darth Vader inbetween Episodes III and IV? It may not be the epic HBO experience fans may have been going for, but getting to see the Dark Lord force choke enemies and allies alike in VR still sounds like something that isn’t to be missed. Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn out like Ghostbusters VR…

Be sure to check out the video below to see our picks for the Top 10 Star Wars Characters.

Classic Castlevania Games Are Coming To The PS4

What Is A Man? A Miserable Little Pile of Secrets!

The bloodsuckers are back. While the Castlevania has long since had multiple entries that can be considered excellent games, there are two that often rise to the top when it comes to the position of “best game.” Those would be the awesome Rondo of Blood and the pure perfection that is Symphony of the Night. As it happens, PS4 owners are in for a treat as Sony is giving theses classics a second chance at life with an exclusive release!

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According to an article on GameSpot

“Konami has announced Castlevania Requiem, a new bundle that brings two of the best entries in the series to PlayStation 4. Releasing exclusively for Sony’s console on October 26, Castlevania Requiem will have Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Rondo of Blood in one package. In Europe, the bundle will be available for €19.99, and Konami has said pricing details in other territories will be revealed soon.

‘Both games are the originals emulated for the PlayStation 4, with several updates that take advantage of the new hardware,” Sony says on the PlayStation Blog. “This includes 4K/1080p upscaling, multiple high resolution backgrounds, different rendering options such as smoothing and full Trophy support.’

October 26 is going to be a pretty packed day for Castlevania fan as, along with the launch of Castlevania Requiem, Netflix will release Season 2 of the animated Castlevania series on that day.”

Given how influential the likes of Symphony of the Night has been with modern Metrovania hits such as Hollow Knight and Dead Cells, seeing the original in all of it’s glory is sure to not only bring the nostalgia, but also serve as a reminder of why Alucard’s dark crusade against his father stands as a true OG of classic gaming.

Be sure to check out the video below to see our picks for the Top 10 Castlevania Games.

Top 5 Alternate Versions of The Joker

They’re No Laughing Matter

People have barely had enough time to forget the likes of Jared Leto’s take on Batman’s greatest foe before they suddenly found themselves staring into the painted face of a brand new Joker, this time played by veteran actor Joaquin Phoenix. Despite it looking more like a protoype of the iconic villain, fans are nonetheless excited to see what he can bring to the table. Even as an elsewhere story, let’s hope that this most recent incarnation of the killer jester manages to compete with his manic brethren.

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#5: Sinestro Joker

The Batman comic “In Darkest Night” asks a simple question: what if Bruce Wayne received Green Lantern’s ring instead of Hal Jordan? In this timeline, after making enemies with Bruce, Sinestro arrives in Gotham and melds his mind with Joe Chill’s consciousness, sending him over the deep end of insanity and creating a truly terrifying hybrid of Joker’s madness with Sinestro’s power. Draped in a purple suit and a bowtie, Joker’s deranged smile really brings out the worst in Green Lantern’s arch-nemesis.

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#4: Emperor Joker

With great power comes a great deal of mischief. Emperor Joker sees Batman’s archenemy stealing all of Mr. Mxyzptlk’s god-like powers, allowing Mr. J to reshape the world beyond recognition. In this reality, the heroes and villains have traded places, with Superman being the worst of the lot and Bizarro serving as a beacon of hope. Unsurprisingly, Joker saved the worst for Bat Brain; locking Bruce in a seemingly unending cycle of torture, death, and resurrection. If nothing else, the Emperor’s new clothes are worth the price of admission.

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#3: The Batman Who Laughs

In general, Batman and the Joker are two sides of the same coin, but the line separating these two arch enemies was erased in DC’s Dark Nights: Metal story arc. Hailing from the dark multiverse, The Batman Who Laughs represents a Bruce Wayne driven insane by the Joker. Accompanied by jokerized Robins and six other evil renditions of the caped crusader, the Batman Who Laughs combines the Dark Knight’s intelligence and physical strength with Joker’s manic carelessness. Freed from rational thought, the Batman Who Laughs is a match made in comic book hell.

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#2: Martha Kane As Joker

People grieve in different ways; thankfully, most handle it better than Martha Kane. Due to the Flash going back in time and changing history, Joe Chill ends up shooting Bruce instead of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Traumatized by the loss of their child, Bruce’s father takes up the mantle of Batman while Martha goes in the opposite direction. Teaming up with Flashpoint’s version of Harley Quinn, Bruce’s mother descends into a life of crime and murder. Just as insane as the normal Joker – if not more so – Martha’s chaotic actions are fueled by depression and loss rather than a strange fixation with Batman.

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#1: Lord Of The Vampires

It takes a particularly special villain to one-up the king of vampires. A sequel to 1991’s Red Rain, Batman: Bloodstorm sees the Joker gaining control of the vampires left over from Dracula’s reign, while Batman struggles to keep his own bloodlust in check. Fashioned in a chic gothic hat, Mr. J pushes the Dark Knight to the edge of sanity by turning Gotham’s crime families and Selina Kyle into creatures of the night. Besides literally commanding an army of vampires, Bloodstorm’s Joker is arguably the closest the villain has ever come to defeating Batman.

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Be sure to check out the video below to see our picks for the Top 10 Joker Portrayals. 

Top 5 Things That Are Ruining Gaming For Everyone

Devil May Pay?

Fans of the DMC franchise are more than a little eager to see famed demon hunter Dante return to the small screen. While the years look to have done a number on him, the latest trailers for the series’ fifth canonical entry has revealed he’s still got that signature sass we’ve come to know and love. However, news of the game having some rather egregious microtransactions has members of the community up in arms. Along with these other distasteful trends, the inclusion of such blatant cash-grab schemes within AAA games has quickly risen to become the one thing that gamer’s despise the most, painting the entire industry in a bad light as a result.

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#5: Unfinished Games

Would you stream an album which wasn’t mixed properly? Or go see a movie which is horribly edited and unfinished? No? Then why do we continue to buy games which are released in an incomplete and buggy state? There are various reasons as to why games are shipped like this – modern games are complex, companies have deadlines to meet, and patches are easily distributed. But that’s the problem, as it allows publishers to follow the “buy now and we’ll fix it later” approach. Sure, buggy games have been around forever, but the fact that they are increasingly being released in an unfinished state is a harrowing omen for the future of the industry.

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#4: No More Risk Taking

If you want originality in your video games, look to the indie market, because you certainly won’t find it from the AAA companies. It’s extremely rare nowadays to see AAA companies take big-budgeted artistic risks, but we can understand why. It’s much easier to make the fifteenth “Call of Duty” than it is to spend $100 million on something that might fail and lose the company an enormous amount of money. But when October and November are filled with nothing but sequels and remasters, gamers are going to get angry that they’re being fed the same crap year after year.

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#3: Corporate Meddling

If the excessive and unnecessary amount of sequels weren’t enough for you, there’s numerous other ways in which corporations are meddling with video games. Aside from the indie market, it’s VERY apparent that these gaming companies are in the industry solely for the money. Things like pre-order incentives are nothing but a cash grab, and it seems as if every major release is given some form of downloadable content to squeeze even more money out of the game. If that wasn’t all, greedy moves, like Sony refusing to integrate cross-play, do nothing but ruin the fun and make the companies seem like heartless corporations. Which they are.

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#2: Toxicity

Despite all the corporate mumbo jumbo, there’s no denying that gamers themselves are to blame for some of the negative stigma surrounding video games. The gaming community can be known for being particularly toxic, and for a large variety of reasons. Besides the childish screaming and tantrums online, some players will actually go out of their way to grief other players or even deliberately throw a game for the most minor of reasons. And lets not forget the death threats and rampant sexism. While we understand that this is a vocal minority, they’re certainly not doing the gaming community any favours.

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#1: Microtransactions

Remember when you paid full price for a game and received the complete experience? Good times. Microtransactions are becoming a big problem within the industry, and everyone is starting to get sick of it. While harmless things like cosmetics are up to personal preference, an increasing amount of games are now utilizing microtransactions to completely alter the experience. Games like “Shadow of War” were attacked for using them to alleviate the grind, while others, like “Star Wars Battlefront II,” are using them to give paying players an advantage. We fear to see the future of gaming if crap like this continues.

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Be sure to check out the video below to see our picks for the Top 10 Full Priced Games With Ridicuous Microtransactions. 

Top 3 Mortal Kombat Characters Who Need To Be Revamped

Revampality!

Netherrealm Studios have been on a role as of late, as both Injustice 2 and Mortal Kombat X managed to secure themselves as some of the best fighting games in modern memory. With fans eagerly anticipating the release of the next instalment in the MK verse, thoughts once again turn to the roster and which combatants will make the cut. While we can expect to see old and new faces aplenty, we have to wonder if any of these poorly received characters will manage to get a much needed makeover.

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#3: Frost

She had a somewhat brief cameo in Mortal Kombat X, wherein she tried to pick a fight with Scorpion before she got turned into an ice-sculpture by Sub-Zero, but otherwise has become somewhat of a relic. While many have often labelled her as a cheap female Sub-Zero rip-off (which is kind of true) it would be still be neat to see her character redefined in such a way as to make her a unique fighter. If they could do it for Cassie Cage, they can do it for Frost.

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#2: Chameleon

Look back far enough in fighting game history and you’ll always find that one character who is nothing more than an amalgamation of all other characters. In Mortal Kombat’s case, you have Chameleon. Think of him as Shang Tsung without the transformations and only the abilities of the other ninja. It may be a basic concept, but with an actual backstory, maybe Netherrealm could pull it off.

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#1: Motaro

The last time we saw this iconic sub-boss was when he only had two legs, stripping him of his one defining feature; a demon centaur capable of messing up any player who dared test their might. While we can imagine integrating a horse hybrid character into the mix would prove quite a challenge for the developers, there has been no better time for this classic MK character to make a comeback. Can’t let Goro steal the spotlight after all.

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Be sure to check out the video below to see our picks for the Top 10 Mortal Kombat Games.

Top 5 Saddest Moments In Telltale Games

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

With the announcement that Telltale Games are facing “majority studio closure” it appears that the masterminds behind episodic epics like The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, Batman and Tales from the Borderlands are about to close the door for good. While this means that many of their planned projects may never see the light of day, we can at least find some small amount of comfort in the knowledge they have left behind a legacy of some of gaming’s most heartbreaking and impactful moments in modern memory.

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#5: Reuben’s Death
“Minecraft: Story Mode” (2015-16)

Since the beginning, Reuben was Jesse’s pet pig –as loyal and dependable as any dog. In the final duel with the Wither Storm, Reuben fetches Jesse’s sword to finally end this nightmare… but he slips and plunges into the caverns below. When we find him after the battle, he’s too mortally wounded …and dies surrounded by his best friend and comrades. It’s weird to feel this much sadness for an animal you’d normally kill for food, but Reuben was more than your average swine, he stuck by us until the end and helped saved the world –and Jesse vows to make sure that this brave piglet is never forgotten.

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#4: Goodbye, Handsome Jack
“Tales from the Borderlands” (2014-15)

Just when we thought we’ve seen the last of Handsome Jack, he returns as an A.I. inside the mind of his biggest fan, Rhys. Eventually, Rhys tries to force Jack out of his head –by graphically ripping out his own cybernetic implants. Near the end, Jack is on his hands and knees pathetically pleading for his life. Rhys always wanted to follow in Jack’s footsteps, but finally sees the real face of his former idol – a sad, psychotic loser desperate for the power he lost upon his death. In the end, his groveling can’t save him, and Rhys can decide whether to keep Jack trapped in the A.I. Chip… or permanently rid the world of him.

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#3: “No Going Back” Endings
“The Walking Dead: Season Two” (2013-14)

In the Season Two finale, Clementine is left traveling with newcomer Jane, Kenny from Season One, and little baby A.J. –and tensions are high between Jane and Kenny. Things soon evolve into an all-out brawl when Jane pulls a twisted trick to show that Kenny can’t be trusted, which leads Clem to make the awful choice: shoot Kenny, or let him kill Jane. Neither results in a happy ending – Kenny snaps and murders a misguided woman in blind fury, or Jane’s twisted plan causes you to put down one of your oldest friends. Afterwards, Clem can either stay with the survivor or take A.J. and go off to face the world alone.

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#2: One of Us Has to Stay
“Game of Thrones” (2014-15)

During an ambush against the Whitehills, Asher and Rodrik Forrester are this close to the gates of freedom… but only one of the brothers can escape. Whoever stays behind will give it their all, fighting enemy soldiers left and right… before they’re finally overpowered, and slain gruesomely. Face it, in a “Game of Thrones” video game, death is pretty much guaranteed; however, what really makes this one so heartbreaking is that YOU have to decide which brother gives their life. While the chosen brother’s story ends, the survivor’s will go on into the finale, as they struggle to avenge their fallen family by any means.

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#1: Clementine and Lee’s Goodbyes
“The Walking Dead” (2012)

Ever since they met, Lee has acted like a second father to Clementine – protecting, caring, and even teaching her how to survive. However, tragedy strikes when Lee gets bitten by a walker, and despite his best efforts to delay turning, he only gets worse. In the final scene of the season, there’s only two options left – Clem can either shoot Lee out of mercy, or get away to safety… and leave him to be reanimated as a walker. Whatever Lee suggests, it teaches Clem one of the hardest lessons she’ll need to know on her long journey of survival: how to say goodbye to those you’ve come to love.

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Be sure to check out the video below to see our picks for the Top 10 Impossible Choices in Telltale Games.

Top 5 Tomb Raider Levels

The End of a Survivor

The release of Shadow of the Tomb Raider has brought an end to the trilogy that began back in 2013’s acclaimed reboot of Lara Croft’s origins. While it has had a few shortcomings here and there, the humanisation of one of video game’s most iconic female leads has mostly been met with adoration from both fans and newcomers alike.

Now, with Lara’s actress Camilla Luddington stating that she may not return for a possible fourth entry, it looks like this generation’s depiction of the Tomb Raider legacy may be at an end. As such, we’re going to count down the greatest levels from across the franchise that depicted the Tomb Raider at her best!

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#5: Shanty Town
“Tomb Raider” (2013)

Though perhaps not the most conventional of levels, it’s still exciting and in line with the series’ roots. After a spectacular set-piece involving a parachute, Lara winds up limping through the titular settlement in search of medical supplies. Things become more dire with the arrival of some aggressive island inhabitants, leading into a string of brutal firefights. It all comes together to emphasize Lara’s desperation and growing survival instinct, whether she’s riding on a life, clambering up ledges, or beating enemies into unconsciousness.

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#4: Peru – Return to Paraiso
“Tomb Raider: Legend” (2006)

Painful memories, desperate chases and old-fashioned platforming abound here. “Return to Paraiso” has Miss Croft catching up with her old friend Anaya, only to have to intervene when mercenaries under the employ of James Rutland show up. Things move forward quickly from there, shifting from a motorcycle chase sequence, to a flashback scene, to finally a present-day exploration of a dig site. Few levels are as quickly paced or as varied as this, and it’s certainly impressive that the resulting level feels at home in the “Tomb Raider” franchise.

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#3: City of Khamoon
“Tomb Raider” (1996)

Exploration is key here. Continuing her quest to obtain all the pieces of the Scion artifact, Lara Croft winds up entering the lost city of Khamoon, buried deep under the surface. What becomes clear upon starting the level is how large the level area appears. It features all kinds of nooks and crannies, sand is spread everywhere, and there’s plenty of room to run. Seemingly leaning towards the “platform” part of action-platforming, it works thanks to the designers being so dedicated to the approach. Though that doesn’t mean an animal or two aren’t waiting to strike.

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#2: Floating Islands
“Tomb Raider II” (1997)

As headscratching as this one may be, it’s nonetheless a masterful blend of visual flourish and designed difficulty. “Floating Islands” puts Lara in the position of having to find two Mystic Plaques in order to progress further… while being stranded atop a series of floating landmasses. Sporting architecture unlike any known civilization, the level keeps pushing forward its distinctly odd disposition with difficult-to-kill Stone Warriors and a green-tinged palette. “Floating Islands” feels almost psychedelic in style, but it works for conveying how far down the rabbit hole Lara may be.

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#1: Lost Valley
“Tomb Raider” (1996)

When you’re aiming to draw players into your game, spectacle and intrigue are excellent tools of the trade. Thus we have this magnificent level from the Peru segment of 1996’s “Tomb Raider”, in which Lara finds herself in a wide-open tropical area deep within a mountain. “Lost Valley” keeps a healthy balance between combat, puzzles and platforming; the player must climb up rock ledges and deal with stopping a waterfall while contending with various dinosaurs. Subtly, through its grand and mysterious nature, the level instils in gamers a sense of wonder and anticipation for what is to come.

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Be sure to check out the video below to see our picks for the Top 10 Tomb Raider Games.