The 10 hardest games of all time

A list of masochism, for the masochists.

The 10 hardest games of all time

Some titles exist to make you mad, whether it's because of poor Quality Assurance testing or malicious developer intent. Modern games tend to make enemies more damage sponges, while handicapping players. In the old days of gaming steep difficulty was synonymous with longevity, which meant that players had to work hard to get every inch of progress. Image via YouTube Video Centre


The original Ghosts 'n goblins is a great choice if you like the idea of non-stop spawning enemies that have bizarre movement patterns. Although players have the luxury of stackable armor points, it's not a quick kill. However, the bizarre movement patterns cost more than one player's life in the original arcade game. Image via FromSoftware.

Atlas Publishing

This was a brand new franchise and the developers wanted to give players a greater sense of achievement than the RPGs of the era. The original game was a blind-sided experience. Many players had no idea that they would be confronted by the most powerful hands in Japan. Demon's Souls was a confusing game with vague lore, seemingly endless backtracking and aided only by the loosely linked multiplayer figures of other players, and their blood pool, many people were left scratching their heads. The number of players who were stuck by difficulty was dwarfed by the number that could claim victory and the Souls franchise was born.
8. Battletoads
Image via EightBitHD on YouTube


Battletoads is a combination of classic games and difficult difficulty spikes. Battletoads began as a beat'em-up, but then a driving section was added. You had to avoid obstacles to survive and the vehicles would accelerate faster. This was combined with the three-life system and Battletoads was nearly unbeatable. Even if players managed to overcome the ridiculous driving segments, they were still unable to save every life they had.
7. Bloodborne
Screenshot via Bloodborne Wiki

Published by Sony Computer Entertainment

Bloodborne is a gothic adventure that continues in the vein of the (at the time) flourishing Souls franchise. The Souls franchise had some bad habits and Bloodborne was created to correct them. Unfortunately, it hasn't been released outside of Sony consoles. Players can persevere through all the trial and error to move forward in the new day if they have enough patience. Image via Ventry on Youtube

Michael O'Reilly developed this site

This game caused a lot of anger and led to many spin-offs. These tend to revolve around the 'I wanna be the’ naming convention. As the overarching idea, the difficulty is similar: Players must jump flawlessly while hiding spikes, appearing enemies, or other obstacles that are designed to frustrate them. Although it's possible to beat, every scene must be remembered and solved before the next one can be started. Image via PEG on Youtube

Published by Konami

It didn't matter if Konami had a cheat code, as 30 lives aren't enough for you to make it to the end. This game was originally arcade-based. It ate quarters like no other arcade game. This difficulty was preserved when the title moved from arcade to Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987, one year after its initial release. Image by M Rhubarbo, YouTube

Published by Arcadia Systems

Silver Surfer is a favorite of many older gamers due to its roughness. The side-scrolling hero, Silver Surfer died in one hit from virtually any level. To die, enemies would need multiple hits. Players were sent back to the beginning of level one when Silver Surfer fell onto his magic boogieboard, losing all upgrades and getting sent to the end. Image via FromSoftware

Published by Activision

Players walked into the game expecting another Souls-like experience and were instead slapped by some the most irritated developers in the country. This dark and fascinating world is accompanied with some of the most difficult mechanics and set pieces in this game. There is no way out. New mechanics that work through parries are available once players have learned to parry effectively. This keeps players at a basic level of being able to try anything. Due to its unknown status even among older gamers, Battle Garegga is a poor name on this list. Battle Garegga was a constant scaler, using power-ups and lives left to determine how many players are alive and scaling enemy spawn rates and attacks accordingly. To keep the difficulty low, the game will punish you for stacking too many lives or powers. This is why Battle Garegga developed a unique strategy of avoiding power-ups and even committing suicide. The game required players to keep the least number of power-ups and continues possible to complete it. It was a fast-paced adventure from beginning to end. Image by Jaimers on Youtube

Published by AMI

One pixel of safety is yours, but they will sometimes take it away in the bullet hell that is Mushihimesama. Ultra Mode, which is filled with glowing purple orbs and whose sole purpose it is to kill you, has been argued to be the best way to play. It's not clear if this game gets easier over time or if there are some people who naturally have the ability to spot the pixel that you can dodge into and blast every cannon towards the top, where an enemy might be hiding under all the projectiles. Random latency is a side effect of the bosses' projectiles. You also have to deal with the random latency of trying to live.