Kyle: Clearly, I've misjudged the gauge of how much an ending can ruin things for you folks. I actively avoided Mass Effect 3, because I was told flat-out that the ending is so bad that it will ruin an otherwise great game. Then, when I made that decision, I was mystified by the idea that I should totally play it, just to see how bad it is.
Well, long story short, I stand by my decision to argue GTA III. Sure, Halo 2 had that massive cliff-hanger (which seems to be wounding the second game of any trilogy these days). Yes, Modern Warfare 3 had a highly predictable and unsatisfying ending. But I wanted to illustrate how an ending can just feel empty and not like an ending at all.
While Vice City had a depraved we-now-rule-this-town vibe to it and San Andreas had a family roots feel and a cyclical framing that takes you back to the starting area, GTA III just gave a bit of a shrug and said, "So, that's it. How about you try to fly the Dodo for six hours now?" It's not an ending. It's a punch-line.
Keep in mind, though, Chris makes a good case for Final Fantasy VII. While he emphasized the annoying ambiguity and inconvenience of having to buy a movie ten years later to resolve stuff, he left out an important detail.
Many comments reminded Chris that ambiguity is not necessarily a bad thing, such as the ending moment of Inception. But is the ambiguity of the FF VII ending appropriate? I would say it goes against the manner in which the rest of the story is conveyed, definitely.
And besides, it wasn't the ambiguity that we remember from that ending. It was the abrupt nature of how it was delivered to us. We get a moment of peril with a meteor approaching, and then a flash forward that seemed rather inconsequential in relation to the characters and the plot that we've lived with for over twenty hours of gameplay.