I recently revisited the Definitive Edition of Telltale’s The Walking Dead and was once again amazed by the quality of its episode.
Given this, I decided to rank my top 10 favourite episodes.
However, no matter how hard I tried, I found it impossible to cram it into ten because there was always one episode that fell outside that I just had to mention.
Therefore, I decided to make this a Top 11 list instead of Top 10.
And the one episode that made this list a Top 11 is,
11. Done Running – Season 4, Episode 1.
“Done Running” was a real breath of fresh air after the forgettable third season.
It put the final season on the right track again, delivering on an interesting story and a relatable cast of characters that were fun to interact with.
Picking up with Clementine and A.J, who has now grown into a miniature force to be reckoned with, the two are in an accident, which leads to them being found by the former students of Ericson’s Boarding School for Troubled Youth.
What follows is great setup for the rest of the season, with you getting to know almost all the troubled kids and get a sense of their personalities.
It is great character building and all leads up to the epic ending where Clementine learns how the school’s leader Marlon let two of his own people be taken away to save his own skin.
A skin that certainly didn’t last long because, in the shocking cliffhanger, A.J takes Clementine’s advice a little more seriously than she intended and puts a bullet in his head after he surrenders.
A shocking ending for a great setup episode, and the season would only get better from here.
10. Around Every Corner – Season 1, Episode 4.
Another great episode, “Around Every Corner” has strong moments throughout.
The opening Walker attack, the zombie child, Molly’s introduction, Ben’s fate and, of course, Lee getting bitten.
The build up to this final moment and the ending, with characters potentially choosing to come with you or not based on your choices, felt like an earned payoff to all the time you spent interacting and bonding with them.
Along with this, there are plenty of other choices that had impact.
For example, you can get Molly killed if your aim is awful, and choose to drop Ben to his death and save him.
Speaking of deaths, one that you cannot change is Chuck’s, as he kills himself when he is cornered by Walkers after saving Clementine’s life.
It was a tragic death for a small time yet great character.
Another nice addition is the Crawford storyline, which shows just how desperate people can become once the apocalypse hits, as it can lead them to commit atrocities.
And, while Lee and the others have to deal with all of this craziness, the mysterious stranger in contact with Clementine stalks you.
Overall, “Around Every Corner” is a solid episode that builds into the perfect “No Time Left”
9. Take Us Back – Season 4, Episode 4.
The final episode of the final season, I and many other fans were incredibly nervous coming into “Take Us Back.”
We wanted to know what the fate of Clementine, A.J and all the kids at the school would be, hoping they would make it, and that their story’s would conclude in a satisfying way.
And it did… for the most part.
I’ll get my few negatives that hold the episode back out of the way first.
For one, I didn’t like the roles Lily and James played in the episode, depending on which one of them survived the previous one.
James’ character is basically ruined in this episode when he tries to take A.J away.
Also, I wish there was more variety with Clementine’s ending and not just one set down fate for her.
That said, her fate is a great way to end Clementine’s story.
The bait and switch of her fake out death was fantastic and led to a lot of cheers.
Many of the decisions were also incredibly hard to make and the one about whether or not to trust A.J does leave a big impact on who survives.
Minnie is a terrifying villain in this final episode, reminding me of a horror movie slasher.
It is the emotional ending above all else though that makes “Take Us Back” worth it.
“Thank you for playing” indeed.
8. Long Road Ahead – Season 1, Episode 3.
“Long Road Ahead,” or as I like to call it “Another One Bites The Dust,” is an episode full of deaths and departures.
I’m sure we all screamed when Carley/Doug was shot out of nowhere, and I’m doubly sure that no tears were shed when their murderer Lily left, either through escaping us or us kicking her out, depending on our choice.
Then there was the deaths of both Duck and Katjaa, which was just a gut punch of a scene.
Once Duck was bitten, he was a dead kid walking, but Katjaa committing suicide was something I’m sure none of us expected.
The effect this would have on Kenny going forward in the story was great for his character.
With all of this death, Chuck then encouraged Lee to teach Clementine how to defend herself, which he does, showing her how to use a gun and keep her hair short, which would help her survival greatly later on.
As for Chuck, he is first introduced in this episode and, while he did not stick around long, he is still an important character for encouraging Lee to make sure Clem could protect herself if he ever died.
Then there is Christa and Omid who are both welcome additions to the cast as well.
“Long Road Ahead” is an episode of gains and losses.
We lost some truly fantastic characters and gained a few new ones, in an episode that was hell of an emotional roller coaster.
7. A House Divided – Season 2, Episode 2.
Speaking of emotion, how about that unexpected Kenny reunion in “A House Divided”?
Of all the characters I expected to return in this episode after the “I thought you were dead” trailer, Kenny was certainly low on my probability guess.
Not that I was complaining though as he continued to be one of the series’ best characters.
Along with the emotional Kenny reunion, there are a lot of other great things about “A House Divided,” like the introduction of the series’ greatest villain Carver.
His interrogation scene with Clementine is so intense no matter how you play it.
The final confrontation with him at the end of the episode, with the possibly of Alvin being killed by him based on what you choose, is even more intense.
The episode also gives you the time to get to know the new characters of the group Clementine met in the first episode, along with Kenny’s group.
Although, Nick continues to be an idiot by stupidly shooting a man trying to help us.
However, it did lead to a great payoff with Walter who can either save Nick or let him die based on what you tell him.
So, with some great choice variety, a fantastic villain, and an emotional reunion with Kenny, “A House Divided” is the first great episode of season two.
6. No Going Back – Season 2, Episode 5.
The second best finale of The Walking Dead Telltale series, “No Going Back” also has one of the best choices as well.
By that, I of course mean the final ones, where you have to choose to either let Kenny kill Jane or shoot him, and then whether or not to stay with the survivor.
These choices were some of the hardest I had to make and I cried a lot at the Kenny ones.
Although, I will say that I wish it had been Luke we had to choose to save rather than Jane because he is a much better character and had more conflict with Kenny but, alas, he dies rather stupidly earlier in the episode.
Luke’s death is not the only bad part about this episode sadly, as no one dies in the fight with the Russians, which was the cliffhanger of the previous episode.
The group are also robbed by Bonnie, Mike, and literal worst character Arvo, who has the nerve to shoot Clementine when they’re robbing a group that has a baby.
Honestly, the first portion of this episode does have a lot of problems but the endings more than make up for them.
It was an intense way to end season two and, at the time, I couldn’t wait to see how season three would follow them up.
Too bad season three insultingly threw these endings in the trash but, in my opinion, that does not damage how great these endings are.
They literally saved the episode and made it good enough to put at number six on my list.
5. Suffer the Children – Season 4, Episode 2.
After the great setup episode that was “Done Running,” “Suffer the Children” continued in making the final season even better, starting off with the moral questions surrounding A.J’s execution of Marlon.
How you chose to react to the murder clearly shapes A.J, and we get a realistic look at how him and the other survivors at the school react to the situation.
After inevitably being kicked out, Clem and A.J then run into Lily, whose arrival was unfortunately spoiled by the episode trailer.
It was a cool idea to bring Lily back and she serves her role well both in this episode and the following one, which we will get to later.
Clem’s reunion with Lily also leads to her meeting new character James, who is a former Whisperer in a fantastic reference to the comics.
Upon returning to the school, we get more amazing interactions with the characters, including the choice of Clementine romancing either Louis or Violet, both of whom make great love interests for her.
This all builds into the final battle of the episode with Lily and her Delta forces, which is a blast to play through.
The final choice between saving either Louis or Violet is a little too easy though because why wouldn’t you save Clem’s love interest?
Overall though, “Suffer the Children” is a fantastic episode with a lot of great character development and action that would build into one of the best episodes of the series, “Broken Toys.”
4. In Harms Way – Season 2, Episode 3.
After the great “A House Divided,” “In Harm’s Way” continued in making Carver the best villain of Telltale’s The Walking Dead.
Having kidnapped Clementine’s group, he proves how much of a psychopath he is by killing Reggie, beating Alvin to within an inch of his life (if he’s still alive at this point), and bashing Kenny’s eye in.
Carver alone is one of the big reasons why “In Harm’s Way” is such a fantastic episode.
His threatening presence is constant, even when he is not on screen, and everyone is rightly afraid of him.
It is his interactions with Clementine though that probably make him the most interesting as he notices their similarities.
His ending in this episode is also great, with Kenny bashing in his face with a crowbar, which you can choose to have Clementine watch.
I just wish he had stuck around to episode four because his presence really could have fixed that awful episode.
Carver is not the only fantastic character this episode though as others are given the chance to shine like Alvin, who goes out in epic style.
In any case, the rest of “In Harm’s Way” is amazing as well, especially the ending, which sees the group attempting to escape through a heard of Walkers, only for Carlos to be shot and killed, causing Sarah to run off, and Sarita to be bitten.
The only downside to this episode is the choices, as they don’t really have that much of an impact.
Despite this, “In Harm’s Way” is easily season two’s best episodes.
3. Starved for Help – Season 1, Episode 2.
The first ever episode of Telltale’s The Walking Dead, “A New Day,” was a great start to the series, and almost made it on the list, but its followup episode, “Starved for Help,” is in a league of its own.
Picking up three months after the first episode, “Starved For Help” kicks off with an intense sequence that sees Lee and his group rescue new character Ben and his friends.
Only problem is that you have to either cut off one his friends’ legs to free him from a bear trap or leave him to die.
Either way, both of Ben’s friends die, with one of them turning, revealing to the group that they are all infected and will turn into a Walker when they die, unless the brain is destroyed.
From here, the tension only gets higher as you meet the St. John family who invite Lee’s group over for a nice friendly dinner with Marks legs as the main dish.
Yep, they’re cannibals, and the build up to this reveal is magnificent.
Finding Mark with his legs hacked off is easily one of the most horrifying moments of the entire series and the following events are just as iconic.
Having to choose to either kill Larry after he has a heart attack or try to help, only for Kenny to kill him, and taking down the St. John brothers are all intense scenes.
What’s make it even more horrifying is that many of these events are foreshadowed by what Marks says at the beginning of the episode.
Along with this, “Starved for Help” also has a lot of hard choices, like who to give food to and whether we should take food from the car or not at the end.
And, while the car choice does not lead to a different experience based on what you choose, the impact that this moment had on the rest of the season would be huge.
Intense, horrifying, and even having a couple of light hearted moments, “Starved for Help” is one of season one’s best episodes.
2. Broken Toys – Season 4, Episode 3.
Without a doubt in my mind, the best episode of season four, “Broken Toys” is a fantastic penultimate episode that was a great way to return to the series after Telltale Games’ shutdown.
Thank god Skybound was able to deliver this episode because it is not only the best in season four but my second favourite episode of the entire series.
After the raid on Ericson’s, Clementine prepares to launch a rescue mission to get her friends back from Lily and the Delta.
What follows is an episode with a lot of stellar moments from Abel’s interrogation, to James having you walk with the Walkers and, of course, the intense third act, which sees Clementine raid the Delta’s boat.
This was an amazing ending that had plenty of shocking moments packed into a half hour segment.
Minnie’s betrayal was surprising and made her easily one of the most hateable characters of the season.
Then there is the final battle with Lily, which is one of the most intense fights of the series, resulting in the deaths of either her or James.
Speaking of James, his role in this episode is perfect and I came to appreciate him a lot.
Too bad he was ruined in the final episode if he survived.
Other stand out characters are Violet and Louis whose relationship with Clementine continues to grow, depending on which one you had Clem romance.
Although, this does tie into the one criticism I had that keeps “Broken Toys” from taking the top spot.
This criticism is that if you didn’t save Violet in the previous episode then she will turn on you and her reasons for doing so seem contrived to me.
But, this said, if you save Violet instead of Louis it leads to the horrifying moment when you learn Louis had his tongue cut out, which is very well done.
Along with the horror, there are also heartfelt moments though, like Clementine’s final meeting with Lee, which was all kind of tear inducing.
My second favourite episode in all of Telltale’s The Walking Dead series, “Broken Toys” is an intense ride with a lot of shocking and emotional moments.
1. No Time Left – Season 1, Episode 5.
There was not a dry eye in the house of many players upon first finishing the final episode of the first season, “No Time Left.”
The greatest episode of the entire series, “No Time Left” centers on Lee’s final, desperate struggle to rescue Clementine and prepare her for a world without him, having been bitten in the previous episode.
This culminates in his death at the end, with the player having to choose to either have Clementine shoot him or leave him to turn.
Either way, Lee’s final words to Clementine are heartbreaking and always leaves me with tears at my eyes.
It is the most emotional moment of the entire series and one of the most emotional in all of gaming.
Along with Lee’s traumatic death, there are many other emotional moments, like Kenny’s fake out death, which is perfectly handled, no matter how it turns out.
Either Kenny appears to go out saving Christa, saving the soon to be life of a child after he lost his own, or he appears to go out by mercy killing Ben, forgiving him, in a sense, for his family’s death.
And then there’s the stranger.
The group taking the food from the car seemed insignificant on the first play through of “Starved For Help” but “No Time Left” proved that perception wrong because the owner of the car is the one who kidnapped Clementine.
Revealing the tragic loss of his own family because of the group’s actions, the Stranger judges Lee and, by extension, the player for every bad choice they made.
There is a piece of optional dialogue Lee can give here about his wife and how he caused her a lot of pain through his actions and this has always stuck with me.
Lee’s fight to reach Clementine and the Stranger and his final fight with the kidnapper are both great moments, especially in how it results in Lee and Clementine learning that Walker blood can help hide you from the Walkers.
It also leads to Clementine seeing her parents as Walkers, which is a real gut punch.
It is Lee’s emotional goodbye though that is the centerpiece of this episode.
His death turns season one of The Walking Dead into a tragic story about one man who made a bad choice sacrificing himself to save a little girl, redeeming himself.
“No Time Left” is Telltale’s The Walking Dead’s best episode that always leaves me in tears by the end.