This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.
Tear Jerker / Final Fantasy X
The pain Yuna must have been feeling each time you're forced to kill one of the aeons after it is possessed by Yu Yevon. And then her pain quickly turns to resolve as she prepares to summon the next aeon, only for the party to kill it as well. This can also be pretty painful for the player themselves. And if you decide to Scan them, you will discover that they are, one after another, basically begging for Yuna to kill them and put them out of their misery. It's even worse if you've played Final Fantasy X-2 because you know exactly how much it hurts Yuna to have to do what she did.
Anima tells Yuna: "Thus I atone." The Magus Sisters try to cheer Yuna up. Sandy says "Don't cry", Cindy says "Stop the suffering", and Mindy says "Gotta say goodbye."
Tidus being comforted by Valefor after finding out that Yuna will die at the end of her pilgrimage. Tidus's Jerkass Realization as he remembers the stuff he said about how he and Yuna could go to his Zanarkand after she beat Sin and how she could "just beat it again" if it came back, while she knew the whole time that none of that would ever be an option, since she would be dead. You can practically feel Tidus mentally beating himself up.
Tidus specifically runs to Valefor, too. Past Ifrit and their summoners. He runs into her, hits her a few times, and falls to his knees. The movement of Valefor's wings makes it seem like she's protecting him with them, shielding him from the truth, since the gesture she makes is the same one she does when using Shield. What's more is she genuinely looks sad herself, which makes sense - after all, she and her fellow aeons have helped summoners walk the path of death for centuries, even a full millennia in some cases.
And the moment before entering that room, Rikku begins to argue with the others about the pilgrimage and Tidus asks them why they keep talking about Yuna as if she's going to die. "To Zanarkand" begins to play as they immediately stop arguing and the party members begin to run ahead of him because none of them can bring themselves to tell him the truth.
The ending, wherein Auron is sent to the Farplane, and Tidus, because he was created by the dreaming of the Fayth, begins to disappear as they depart Spira. Yuna tries to keep him from leaving, only to fall right through him in a heartbreaking display. Before he departs, Tidus takes Yuna into a ghostly embrace from behind (cue the most bittersweet rendition of "To Zanarkand" in the entire game, it swells to its highest crescendo, and then as Tidus goes through Yuna, a measure of silence...), then dives off the airship, passes Auron and Braska, and reunites with his father, giving him a high five. A few days later, Yuna is standing at the Luca docks whistling and it feels absolutely tragic, due to the particular significance that had been attached to the action earlier. A montage of all the best moments in the game as seen through Yuna's memories. Yuna's final line: "The ones we have lost, and the dreams that have faded... never forget them" This Downer Ending is mitigated only if you watch the credits to the very end and see The Stinger (or play the sequel). So elegantly and effectively done, perfectly executed. Damn you, Squaresoft.
The last thing Yuna says to Tidus. In the English version, it's an Anguished Declaration of Love. In Japanese, it's the most painful and emotionally freighted "Thank you" you've ever heard. Either way it hits like a ton of bricks. Adding to this point, the final shot of the remaining party looking on just before Tidus jumps off the airship is particularly sad — especially Yuna; notice how at the very end of the shot, she starts to lose it and stop holding back her tears.
Tidus reaching out to Jecht as he falls off a ledge in Dream Zanarkand before becoming Braska's final aeon. This is followed by Jecht resurfacing in his aeon form and Tidus, trying to pull himself together, saying "I promise this will be quick! Hit me with all you got, Dad!" If the player chooses the 'Talk' option for Tidus during the fight, it will say that Tidus' voice seems to affect Jecht. This decreases Jecht's Limit Break gauge to 0. However, after doing so twice, Jecht won't react to Tidus anymore, implying that Yu Yevon's influence managed to shut down Jecht.
After the ship from Besaid fails to stop Sin, you get a cutscene showing a happy, quiet little moment in Kilika. Children playing with their blitzballs, a young mother holding her baby, that sort of thing. Then Sin comes. The blitzball is next seen bobbing up and down amid the wreckage, and when Yuna performs the Sending, you clearly see a minuscule mortuary wrapping among all the others, and that same young mother collapsing to the ground in uncontrollable tears as pyreflies come out of it.
Before that, when Sin appears while you're on the ship, the sailors are preparing to harpoon it. Wakka objects, saying that it'll pull the ship under and you'll all die. The sailors keep going anyway, because this might get Sin to leave Kilika alone. "Our families are in Kilika. Forgive us, Lady Summoner!" Yuna just nods. And then it fails, and Sin goes for Kilika anyway.
Some people need a few repeats of the scene to realize that the bright, colorful objects massing in the water under Yuna aren't some sort of animal/plant, but shrouded corpses.
The Spring cutscene walks the thin line between Heartwarming and Tear Jerker. Yuna and Tidus get very excited with their imaginary future together in Zanarkand, having fun and watching the sunrise... and then Yuna cries when she realizes that it will never happen. And we, the players, who know that better than her...
If you're playing the game through a second time and know exactly why the two of them will never see Tidus' Zanarkand, as well as Tidus' parting words to her, this scene, while still beautiful, plows straight over the above-mentioned line and becomes a pure Tear Jerker.
The scene with Luzzu after Gatta is killed at Djose Temple is hard to take. He punches the temple's wall, distraught at having not protected him and saying that he was too young to die. For that matter, the sheer shock of witnessing Gatta's lifeless body slump to the ground. On the other hand, if Luzzu is killed, a traumatized Gatta will start screaming, having seen his body get torn apart by Sin. The worst part about this is that if you don't know what triggers itnote Telling Gatta to stay in the back of the battle, as Luzzu orders him. Encouraging him to go to the front lines will get him killed instead of Luzzu., you unknowingly choose which of these scenes you will witness. It's a Sadistic Choice that will always have a Downer Ending, no matter what the player chooses.
The inability of so many characters in this game to communicate with each other leads to several very sad and painful moments, but this scene by far takes the teary cake in respect to this: all through the course of the game, Tidus brags about what he'd do if he ever saw his father Jecht again, ranging from popping him in the jaw to at least giving him a brutalThe Reason You Suck speech. And yet, when they finally do meet at the end of the game right before the boss fight with Braska's final aeon, this happens...
Tidus:(voice cracking) ...I hate you.
Jecht:(chuckles) I know, I know.
That Jecht sphere... It starts off with Jecht asking Auron if the latter caught the Blitz game, and ends with an emotional-and-trying-to-hide-it Jecht telling Auron to turn the sphere off. Jecht was crying? Hell, and throw in that toxin-spurred shot of Jecht standing in the doorway of their home back in Zanarkand.
"You know... for the first time... I'm glad to have you... as a father."
How about the memories in Zanarkand, where we see Auron trying to plead with Jecht and Braska to not go through with the Final Summoning? And after the scene, to hear Auron's cracked-and-sorrow-filled voice saying "And the cycle went on." AND seeing a flashback of his desperate attempt to get revenge on Yunalesca while being in a grief-fueled rage.
Having to live (if you can call it that) with that knowledge for the next ten years — knowing the truth of what actually happened to two friends to whom he'd trusted his life during their pilgrimage, while everyone in Spira thinks he's a Big Damn Hero — really brought home just why he was so cynical, why he always seemed to know more than he was letting on, why he hated himself and beat himself up so much during the game.
There's also Auron slashing away with his sword at the image of his younger self. Seeing Auron break down like that, so full of self-loathing for what he couldn't do and over the friends he couldn't protect... It is incredibly powerful, even beautiful in a way.
A minor one earlier in the game, when Tidus barges into the Bevelle Fayth room to see Yuna making a pact with the Fayth. Auron gives Tidus a quick refresher on how a summoner gains an aeon. But then afterwards Auron just... storms out the room with a look of utter sadness and disgust on his face.
Jecht also has his moment when he offers himself up for the Final Summoning. To see a person feel so powerless that he would give up his life for it to be worth something to him is really sad to hear, especially when he looks so tough on the outside.
The destruction of Home. The Al Bhed, whose only crime is the salvage and use of "forbidden" machina note a crime Yevon is equally guilty of, as you find out upon reaching Bevelle, is the most hated and disenfranchised race in Spira. They never even had a nation or a homeland until Cid built Home on the sands of Bikanel Island. Then the Guado and the Church of Yevoninvade it and kill everyone in it with hordes of fiends. When Cid takes whatever survivors he can find and escapes with them on the Fahrenheit, he orders his own son to destroy Home to avoid pursuit. And as the missiles fly, all Al Bhed on board sing the Hymn of the Fayth, both in honor of their dead as well as to soothe their own hearts.
One more thing: Cid, the leader of the Al Bhed — High Summoner Braska's brother-in-law. The Church of Yevon didn't like Braska before he defeated Sin once he married Cid's sister, and their opinion didn't change after he defeated Sin; they just pretended that whole fiasco with the Al Bhed never happened.
Even before Home has been destroyed, when Rikku explains the significance of their base and how it brought the Al Bhed together again, she eventually cracks and just buries her face in Wakka's chest, while the destruction continues to rage on around the party.
The Al Bhed in general are pretty sad. They just want to live a peaceful existence and yet they are treated like they aren't even human and sometimes even hunted down by Yevon. They've already lost at least one other Home in Rikku's own memory and she's only a teenager. Being Al Bhed is suffering.
The game's awesome music composed by long-time collaborator Nobuo Uematsu (one of his last pieces for the Final Fantasy series) along with Masashi Hamauzu. "To Zanarkand" is a heartbreaking piece of music on its own, especially the orchestral version. Wandering Flame is pure melancholic tearjerker fuel. As well as Phantoms.
"Suteki Da Ne", the game's main song whose melody is reprised in some compositions, can really tug at your heartstrings. Especially when you translate "Suteki Da Ne" to find out that, in English, it's "Isn't It Wonderful?" Listen to it again with the title's implications and the lyrics, and prepare to bawl.
"Isn't it wonderful / To walk together in each other's hands / I do so want to go / To your city, your house, into your arms."
Almost Fridge-y, but Seymour offhandedly calling Kimahri the last Ronso. Related to this, upon playing through the game again, the scene at Gagazet where all the Ronso first tell Yuna they will bar Yevon's way and prevent anyone from attacking her party, and then sing the Hymn of the Fayth in her honor. First time around it was brave, noble, a possible Offscreen Moment of Awesome that proved how truly heroic the Ronso were, and the song was powerful and poignant. Upon second viewing, knowing they truly did sacrifice all their lives (rather than just the possibility it might happen) turns the whole thing tragic and heartbreaking, with the hymn becoming their own funeral dirge.
Operation Mi'ihen. Seeing the tower that, as we see seconds before, still had people in it EXPLODING when their attack against Sin backfires. The corpses of people are littered across the battlefield after the fight ends. Depending on what you chose, you see a horrified Tidus as he tries to wake up a dead Gatta or Gatta totally lose it because of the battle aftermath. The implications that Kinoc retreated his faithful followers so that only the Al Bhed and excommunicated would perish makes it so much worse. The whole event is horrific and a Tear Jerker, all rolled up into one!
If you can handle more than that, you can choose to walk up to each soldier's corpse and have their deaths confirmed for you via on-screen text. It's incredibly sad.
The scene with Luzzu as the operation is about to commence. He tells Wakka he was the one to convinced Chappu to join the Crusaders. Wakka punches him, saying Chappu was thinking of proposing to Lulu. Luzzu then tells them that Chappu said to him that being with your girl is good, but keeping Sin far away from her is even better. Luzzu had already confessed his role in Chappu's untimely death to Lulu before they left Besaid, but given Lulu's reaction, she probably didn't know that was the reason Chappu suddenly joined the Crusaders. It also bears mentioning that, when Luzzu prepares to confess to Wakka, she falls out of her role as The Stoic for the first time. Afterwards, Luzzu gets called to his post at the front. Yuna tries to stop him, but Auron tells her to let him pass as he has chosen his path, just as Yuna chose hers when she became a summoner. Luzzu walks of silently—everyone present, including himself, knowing full well that he probably won't survive. Which just makes Auron's words to Yuna all the more poignant when you learn of the true nature of the pelgrimage, which Tidus lampshades in his narration after the scene.
The best kind of bittersweet tears for his exit, however. As he fades away, it's clear that he finally has peace. Sin is dead, Yevon has been exposed as a lie, Jecht's torture is over, and while he wasn't able to save his friends, he was able to avenge them and save their children. And he tells the surviving party "this is your world now" before finally letting go. A fitting exit for one of the most wonderfully written characters to walk across a game console.
The whole bombshell of a cutscene that is Yuna's audio-will. The way she describes love as both wonderful and painful at the same time - only to quickly get embarrassed and say she'll record over that part later - just tugs at your heartstrings.
Lulu and the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth side event. Lulu in her younger years was a guardian of a summoner named Ginnem, but due to Lulu being young and inexperienced, Ginnem died there. This tragic event has haunted Lulu for years. When the party reaches the heart of the cavern, they are confronted by the tortured soul of Ginnem, who Lulu comments on as having no trace of humanity left. As the party begins to battle Ginnem's version of Yojimbo:
"This is my last duty for you. My last as your guardian."
Lulu finally letting go of Chappu in the Farplane.
Auron's blunt rejection of Wakka calling him "legendary guardian" in reference to his previous guarding of Braska. It's just so clear that he doesn't see himself as worthy of a title like that:
Auron: Hah! "Legendary guardian"? I was just a boy. A boy about your age too. I wanted to change the world too, but I changed nothing. Thatismystory.
Yuna finally reuniting with her uncle Cid on the airship, after never having found contact with him since her childhood from Bevelle to Besaid Island with Wakka, Lulu, and Kimahri. For all of his bravado and rough exterior, Cid is unable to make eye contact with his niece without breaking into tears, ashamed of not having made contact with Yuna sooner.
Thanks to the happy, sad, sentimental or otherwise emotional scenes and areas it accompanies, the audio track "Wandering Flame" can pretty much be described as a musical tear jerker from both ends of the spectrum.
Think about the whole story from Wakka's perspective: He was a devoutly religious man. He believed wholeheartedly in the principles laid down by Yevon and that if humanity followed the teachings and became better, then Sin would stop plaguing them. Over the course of the story, everything he believed in, everything he basically founded his whole way of living on, was proven to be a pack of lies. Poor guy.
Might be somewhere between this and Fridge Horror, concerning Seymour, of all people. Yes, he's a total asshole when we meet him, and he tries to kill everyone in Spira. But just take a moment to think about why: Due to being half human, half Guado, he didn't fit in with either. His own father exiled him because the Guado didn't like having a half-human person living with them, and I'd doubt humans were much kinder. Then, when he was a little kid (How old was he? 9, maybe?), his mother took him to Zanarkand. Despite his begging, she decided to die. During that time, she told him he had to use power to make people acknowledge him (as in, she's telling a 9-year-old he'll never be liked if not for power), and not only is she becoming his aeon, she's becoming his final aeon. She's telling her son to die for the people who haven't been kind to him even once. Now, he has become a maester of Yevon. Yevon says that death is the end of pain and sorrow. Most people would not want to die because death would also mean the end of joy, but how much of that did Seymour have, anyway? To him, death would most likely be something great. Later on, his sanity becomes even less stable, but I'd say at least until you kill him the second time, he might genuinely be trying to do what he thinks is the best for Spira. Not an excuse for most of his behavior, but he still deserves a bit of sympathy. And if that's not enough, you can use his own mother to defeat him. Not only has she kind of told him "Yeah, kid, please go kill yourself for the people who hate you", now she herself is trying to kill him. The only person whom he thought loved him, decided to kill him. If that guy had any sanity left at this point, I'd bet you it's gone then. If you summon Anima during the final battle with Seymour, his words to her pretty much sum this sentiment up to a T.
You would oppose me as well! So be it!
Enter Luca after Operation Mi'ihen ends and you'll find a dog and cat sitting near the exit. A nearby man says their owner's a Crusader (who participated in the operation), and he hasn't returned yet.
What's more, he says that he's tried feeding them and taking care of them, but they won't let him. They refuse to eat, they just sit there and wait for their owner to come back.
Auron's and Kinoc's falling out as friends. A minor one for Auron, but that can get really sad when you think about it (especially after watching Auron's Sphere where you see them interacting a little). Back when they were young, they used to be good friends. When they meet again, Kinoc has become a corrupt and cynical religious leader. Auron (who's already a very jaded man) seems to be very disappointed to see that his old friend has become so rotten.
When you really think about it, Yuna's childhood prior to being taken to Besaid. She lost her mother while she was on her way to reconcile with her brother and then becomes an orphan at the age of 7 after Braska defeated Sin. And Yuna didn't even realize that she was alone in the world until she went back home to an empty house after the celebrations in Bevelle.
During the scene between Yuna and Tidus at Rin's outpost on the Mi'ihen Highroad, Tidus says to Yuna that when playing Blitzball, "Your head must be in the game. You can't think 'That's a cute girl in the fifth seat from the right.'" If you go back to the beginning of the game, Tidus promises a cute redhead to do a special pose for her when he scores. And where was she seated? You guessed it, fifth seat from the right. While Tidus' tone of voice is cheerful and doesn't show any trace of angst or sadness, you can't help but feel choked up at the fact that he's reminiscing a life he's starting to accept he will never be able to go back to.
Tidus's mother's death following the disappearance of Jecht, like Yuna, left Tidus an orphan at only seven-years-old. But whereas Braska sacrificed himself content with the knowledge that he briefly made Spira a safer place for his daughter, Tidus's mother had just "give up living." According to Tidus, when Jecht was around, his mother won't even turn his way. And when he seems finally out of Tidus's life, his mother decides life's no longer worth living, even for the son that needed her love. Tidus's resentment of Jecht truly isn't ungrounded.