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- The opening video made with the game's engine is still as badass and cinematic as ever, no matter how outdated the graphics are.
- Awesome Music: The series has a very apropos soundtrack: from the first game's piano, viola, and guitar main theme to the Storming the Castle theme Mr. Big.
- The whole game is full of make-your-own Crowning Moments of Awesome. Diving sideways with dual Ingrams blazing as you gun down mooks before springing to your feet and throwing yourself backwards underneath another mook's shotgun blast to headshot him is unscripted, completely controlled by you, and totally fucking awesome every time you do something like it.
- Vinnie Gognitti being able to outrun Max with a bullet in his gut, AND BE ABLE TO RIDE ON TOP OF A FUCKING TRAIN! "Fear gives men wings" indeed.
- Max taking down dreaded underworld boogeymen like hitman Rico Muerte, mob enforcer Frank Niagara and Don Punchinello's infamous, psychotic assassins Pilate Providence, Joe "Deadpan" Salem and Vince Mugnaio, aka The Trio, people who have terrorized the East Coast for god knows how long. While for gameplay reasons they're only Elite Mooks, in-universe they're among the most dangerous, bloodthirsty psychopaths to ever walk the Earth.Max: (after killing Mugnaio) Punchinello's Trio was done for.
- Killing Jack Lupino takes it even further, as Lupino is Ax-Crazy and hopped up on Valkyr, giving him some of the highest hit-points in the game. When you finally take him down, in the following cutscene, Max unloads all his remaining bullets into Lupino's body to make sure he stays dead.
- The final confrontation between B.B. and Max:B.B.: You can't win this one, Max.
Max: No. But I can make damn sure none of you do, either.
- In grand scheme of things, Boris Dime only exists as an excuse to have Max shoot his way through a ship level, but he has a pretty cool introduction cutscene.
- Max defying all the odds to give Nicole Horne, the one who orchestrated the murders of his wife and daughter, the fate she deserves.
- What about when Max drops the control tower on her chopper?
- The best part is the triumphant start of the theme song as Max goes out to the top of the building after everything is over.Max: And then it was all over.
- The best part is the triumphant start of the theme song as Max goes out to the top of the building after everything is over.
Max Payne 2
- Mona being Promoted to Playable for a whole level, stepping in to save Max's life as he's pinned down on the ground level of the construction site.
- Out of its fair share of moments of awesome, one that sticks out is beating the game on the hardest level, allowing the true ending to happen. Mona lives, and Max gets a happy ending.
- The little old lady in Max's apartment block blowing away a Cleaner with a shotgun.
- As one of the few survivors of Punchinello's organization, Vinnie Gognitti has rallied the Italian mob and is waging war against Vladimir Lem. Pretty good for someone who Max said "had the brains but lacked the balls" to be a leader in organized crime in the last game.
Max Payne 3
- The rescue of Fabianna and Rodrigo at the start. Max slides down an awning and headshots a bandit holding Fabianna hostage before landing in a pool, and saves Rodrigo by shooting out the tire of the kidnappers' van, killing all the mooks inside, and immediately turning to gun down the last few survivors running in behind. All in the span of about 20 or 30 seconds.
- The third game also introduces scripted CMOAs as cinematic moments mixed in with the regular gunplay. One that stands out is the beginning of the second mission, with Max tackling a mook out a window and shooting the ones on the ground on the way down. Generally, Max responds to flying through the air (inadvertently or not) by taking advantage of it and continuing to shoot.
- Towards the end of the game while Max is on the tram in a shoot out with mooks on the tram next to his. The mooks stop shooting to laugh and point out to Max that the tram he's on is about to crash into a dead end. So what does Max do? He jumps though the windows of both trams and starts firing away at them!!!
- Max's utter rejection of Neves' attempt to throw Mighty Whitey accusations his way, also neatly proving that, for all his world-weary cynicism, he's still a decent man in the end.Neves: What the fuck is your problem, man?
Max: My problem? My problem!? Wanna know what my problem is!? You're turning humans into GLUE! That's what my fucking problem is!
- Max kills Becker by shooting a grenade in mid air while jumping off ramp stairs, causing it to blow up in his face and critically injuring him. Afterwards, the player has the choice of either ending Becker's suffering or letting him die from his injuries.
- Max blows up Victor's jet with a grenade launcher. As he stumbles out of the wreckage, Max points his gun at him. Da Silva pleads with Max not to kill him, since they have enough evidence to indict him. Max obliges. Victor then decides to taunt Max by saying "You know I'll walk." Max's response is this:You'll walk...WITH A LIMP! (He stomps on Victor's exposed shinbone hard enough to break it.)
- The entire last level is one, but the most standout moment is when Awesome Music Tears kicks in during a shootout in the airport lounge.
- Da Silva sending Max into U.F.E's building. At least a lot fewer dirty cops are going to show up for work.
- To elaborate THAT'S THE ENTIRE U.F.E. BATTALION.
- After a particularly intense shootout (in a shooting range, no less) towards the end of the game, a U.F.E mook drops to his knees, puts his hands on his head and begs Max for mercy. An Elite Mook, cowering in fear from a fat, bald ex-cop with a painkiller addiction and rightly so.
- Props for Da Sliva for being smart enough to send Max in instead of himself.
- Max managing to play his own theme music on the piano. Like the music coming together, he's finally starting to get a grip on his situation and assert a semblance of control over his life in general and the various plots taking place around him specifically.
- Max's entire character arc in Max Payne 3 is one. Even a man who has nothing left can still do the right thing.
- While he quips that Max knows how to make a good entrance at the end of Chapter 3, Passos' first chronological appearance was quite an entrance too: in Chapter 4 in New Jersey, he walks into the bar to see the son of a mob boss pull a gun on Max, so he draws his own gun and tells the kid and his crew to fuck off. When they return, all with guns, he simply tells them to fuck off again without hesitation.
- Once you become really good at the game, it basically feels like your playing as John Wick.
- Subtle moment in how Max actually manages to quit drinking, simply by will power.
- ArtOfPayne86's montage which shows off the game's fast-paced and brutal gunplay at its best. The coordination, accuracy and fast reflexes combined with the badass soundtrack from the game makes the entire thing a great isualization of what Max's abilities are like when used perfectly.
- The shootouts, mainly because it really captures the feel of the games.
- After being betrayed by BB Max is dumped into the frigid lake with two vials of Valkyr to make it look like he was just another junkie that committed suicide. Max manages to climb out and to keep from dying of hypothermia he takes the Valkyr. The hallucinations start immediately, Max falls to his knees roaring and THE SNOW CATCHES ON FIRE AND VALKYRIES APPEAR AROUND HIM. It's what all Valkyr users see in their hallucinations, but instead of being terrified by them like most casual junkies, Max is empowered and on the war path.