The paper's editorial is a fall-on-the-sword apology stating 'quite simply, we lost our way'.
It says: “Phones were hacked, and for that this newspaper is truly sorry.
“There is no justification for this appalling wrongdoing. No justification for the pain caused to victims, nor for the deep stain it has left on a great history.”
Rupert Murdoch's News International axed the 168-year-old tabloid in the wake of phone-hacking allegations last week.
Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner John Yates has expressed "extreme regret" over the bungled police investigation into the phone hacking scandal.
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, he said he regretted the way he handled the review of the initial police investigation - which led to the conviction of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire and NotW royal reporter Clive Goodman in 2007.
Mr Yates said he did not re-examine the 11,000 pages of material recovered from Mulcaire's home.
He admitted spending just eight hours considering the matter, and consulted the Crown Prosecution Service, but decided there was no likelihood of further convictions.
He said the decision now seemed a 'pretty crap one'.
Mr Yates admitted the Metropolitan Police's reputation had been tarnished by the scandal but said he had no intention of resigning.
Rupert Murdoch is due to arrive in the UK on Sunday to take charge of handling the phone-hacking crisis.
News of the World editor Colin Myler addressed more than 200 staff outside the paper's offices in Wapping, east London, late on Saturday night.
He held up the 8,674th and final edition of the Sunday newspaper and said: “This is not where we want to be and not where we deserve to be.
“As a final tribute to seven-and-a-half million readers, this is for you - and for the staff, thank you.
“Now, in the best traditions of Fleet Street, we are going to the pub.”
The NoW has doubled Sunday's print run to five million, with money from the sales being donated to four charities.
Chief sub Alan Edwards, a senior staff member who was at the paper at the height of the hacking, said: “We wanted to leave with our heads held high. Whatever went on years ago was nothing to do with those of us who left yesterday.”
In other phone hacking news:
* The family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, whose phone was allegedly hacked after her abduction in 2002, is to meet Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on Monday to discuss the independent inquiries related to the phone hacking scandal, and will also meet Prime Minister David Cameron.
Former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown and Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger warned the government to get rid of ex-NoW editor Andy Coulson as its communications director.
Mr Murdoch said on Saturday it had been 'a collective decision' to close the paper, which he admitted had let down its readers.
He continued to pledge his total support to News International's chief executive and former NoW editor, Rebekah Brooks.
Former News International executive Jack Irvine told the BBC he believed the NoW had been 'sacrificed' to save the career of Mrs Brooks.
The Labour Party is calling for an immediate start to the judicial phone-hacking inquiry so evidence will not be lost as the News of the World closes.