Respondents to a survey on emotion in videogames have voted Square-Enix's Final Fantasy titles as the most emotionally rich games ever made, citing the death of Aeries in Final Fantasy VII as the series' most tearjerking moment.
Analysts from Bowen Research conducted an online survey of 535 gamers and found that more than two thirds of those questioned felt that games already surpassed - or would soon equal - music, movies and books in terms of emotional impact delivered.
More than 75 per cent of gamers ranked role playing games as being emotionally powerful, with the figure hovering around the 50 per cent mark for action, adventure and first person shooter titles. 39 per cent said fighting games had the power to move them, with one respondent noting that they can "help solve rage issues."
Perhaps surprisingly, MMOs scored only 32 per cent, followed by racers, RTS and puzzle titles. Flying games were ranked last.
When asked which games had most powerful emotional impact respondents mentioned the Final Fantasy series a total of 104 times, followed by Resident Evil and Halo with 27 and 15 mentions respectively. Silent Hill and Metal Gear Solid were referred to 11 times.
"I will never forget the feeling of love between Squall and Riona in Final Fantasy VIII, nor the broken-heartedness of Yuna at the end of Final Fantasy X," said one respondent.
But it was Aeries' death that really moved those questioned - "Friends still talk about their surprise, shock and denial when they reached that point in the game," said one gamer, while a father of two young sons wrote: "For months, we couldn't even listen to the musical theme... Without one of the boys bursting into tears."
You can read more about the survey on the Bowen Research website.