The hardest games in the world are those that attract the hardest gamers; those with the skills and the will to beat the highest odds. Over the years, many tough games have been made, and many tough players have evolved.
Of course, a list of the hardest games would have to be curated by a top player; in this case comments have been taken from top players around the world. Special care has been taken to avoid adding comments from wimps with no IQ or skills.
It is understood that hardcore gamers are constantly looking for the next challenge; something to prove their dominance in the gaming space. Perhaps they can find that challenge in the list below.
Top 100 Hardest Games In The World
Most people generally agree that Contra is one of the hardest games they have ever played. The game is exciting; the enemies that pop up from both sides of the screen present a challenge; plus it is plenty of fun watching the trajectory of the bullets as they collide with the enemies, especially when the player avatar is on the run.
The fact that they don’t ever stop popping up creates a never ending adrenaline rush; which is great because a great game should not present a dull moment. Most people who quit Contra didn’t do so because they got bored; they quit because they could not win.
The game is relentless; the obstacles can sometimes be daunting for those who have the highest amount of mental resilience, not to talk of the average gamer. Even with the endless lives; this game still manages to beat most players; in fact 8 out of 20 contra players will get tired before they reach the stages with the real difficulty.
It is the sheer intensity of the game; most people just cannot cope with so much firepower standing against them. It’s a good thing this is just a game; no super soldiers could survive such heavy fire in real life.
Sekiro is an adventure game; developed by FromSoftware. It is a game that involves fighting your way out of every situation; against an endless host of enemies. However, this one may be a lot more exciting because the graphics and detail are a lot more enhanced. Sekiro is quite a recent game; it was released in 2019; and can be played on PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One.
This is a more combative game; one has to fight it out against minions, dark bosses, and difficult obstacles- all alone. One blood spills quite vividly when players take down enemies; punches, kicks, or slashes with swords.
The game forces players to use their intelligence; one cannot get very far without mastering some moves, and without patience and learning. One has to remember what to do in certain environments, and one has to improvise.
Patience is the name of this game; and it is a quality lacking in most people, which is why very few people can advance in this game. Those who beat this game however, can beat anything.
3. Elden Ring
Elden Ring was released in 2022, so maybe some gamers have not tried their hands on it. This is also made by the infamous FromSoftware. Gamers who have not tried their hands on this game should not even bother, unless they are hardcore gamers who love a challenge.
The challenge with this role playing game lies with the difficulty of the environment; as the player progresses, the game becomes even more punishing. Towards the end of the later stages there are some evil bosses that are so strong; they almost seem un-killable.
Only the most determined players can get past those bosses; and it is where ordinary gamers usually call it quits. This game is part of the Dark Souls trilogy, which is a popular franchise in the gaming universe.
This is essentially one of the hardest games ever made by this maker, or any maker in the world for that matter. It’s not that the game is unplayable; it is quite a lot of fun. The problem is the hard-to-kill bosses who show up at the closing stages of the levels. It can be demoralizing losing to them after all the hard work it takes to meet them.
The great thing is that the game is quite addictive; so people can play repeatedly, until they can win.
4. Super Meat Boy
Super Meat Boy was released in 2010; it is quite similar to Super Mario; although this one is a lot more difficult to play and win. It is a plat former game in which the player plays as a cube of meat, trying to save his girl-friend from an evil fetus in a jar wearing a suit.
The concept and design of the environment look quite basic; and that could mislead people into thinking that the game is easy. It is not! Super Meat Boy is one of the most difficult games any person can lay his hands on, its sheer brutality will leave most players gasping for breath; the endless lines of chainsaws and needles seem impossible to navigate.
It’s all about the reflexes and determination of the player; this game is playable and winnable, despite being very difficult.
5. Ghosts ‘n Goblins
Ghosts and Goblins is a one of the older games; it was first released in 1985. The game has been published by several retailers over the years; Sega, Nintendo, Elite Systems, and other retailers have all sold this game.
This is not a game that punishes players with endless levels, or hours and hours of playing without getting anywhere; it is the sheer difficulty of the game that presents a challenge. The enemies attack from every angle, and even after killing them, they re-spawn again quite fast. The enemies also move in a somewhat erratic manner; which makes killing them quite hard because most players need to see the enemy from far off; and prepare to kill them.
Most players don’t get very far in this game; they give up before they can master the workings of the game, even though the whole thing can be completed in one hour.
Cuphead is a video game that was released back in 2017; it has had enough time to gain a place in our hearts and minds as a very interesting game. It is based on a character that is in the form of a cup; who has lost a bet with the devil, and is now forced to re-possess the souls of runaway debtors.
He is aided by his brother Mugman; and as they go through the adventure they acquire more power, until they are able to challenge the devil himself. Despite its cartoon (ish) appearance, this game is quite difficult; perhaps a major problem is that most players have somewhat dismissed it in their minds; expecting something easy.
The difficulty thus catches them unawares; and then it blows them away. Gaming veterans can testify to the fact that this game is like a badge of honor; winning it shows you are good.
Sifu is a very realistic fighting and running game; it was developed by Sloclap in France, but is set in modern day china. Even though it is set in modern china; there is a lot of martial arts going on the game; one has to do a lot of fist fighting to get through this one; although fans of previous fighting games will probably not mind this too much.
The main character is that of a child of a martial arts school who is trying to avenge his father’s murder. It’s something we have seen a hundred times in the movies; and now players act it out in ‘real life.’
There is something about this game that makes one want to play it; maybe it is the feeling of fighting for an honorable cause. It is a difficult game to play; one wrong move can end a players run, and then one has to start again. What is worse is that the player ages with every re-spawn which makes him slower.
8. Ninja Gaiden
Ninja Gaiden is another action game; one of fighting and killing more enemies than one can count. The main character is well armed and built like a warrior from dreamland. It doesn’t matter though; the game is ridiculously hard, and the enemies are not easy to kill.
There are players who have successfully beaten the game; but one can say that they are the elite of the gaming community; players with reflexes, the patience, the skills, the mental ability, and the patience.
Patience is probably the biggest attribute of anyone who is going to successfully play this game; this is because it takes a lot of time to become familiar with the environment, and with the evil enemies in the game which the player has to kill.
Those who have bossed passed other fighting games should not expect an easy time playing Ninja Gaiden; the combat in this game is exhilarating and fast, but the enemies are not so easily killed.
Returnal is a shooting game; a bloody hard one at that. The concept is futuristic; it is all about an astronaut who lands on the planet Atropos in search of the mysterious “White Shadow” signal. However, she is trapped in a time loop and must fight tons of hellish creatures to survive.
The game’s environment is tough, and one must navigate through the difficult terrain while shooting a never ending mass of enemies. However, those who enjoy shooting games will love this one; its concept and design are quite addictive.
The game gets even more interesting as one goes along, and the story is well layered. This is a great game to play, and a true test of one’s mental resilience.
10. Flappy Bird
Flappy Bird looks simple enough; it’s just a bird flying in an arcade environment. However, the challenge is to play the game successfully for just 30 minutes without failing. In this game, players only have to navigate the bird so as to avoid the green poles standing in the way.
That’s it; no endless waves of enemies to kill, no blood, and no violence. Yet, this is one of the most difficult games ever made because very few people have ever finished it. The good thing is that the game is very interesting; in fact it is downright addictive.
This game is mostly played on mobile phones; its success has sparked several copycat games. This is one game that every gamer needs to get his hands on.
Battletoads is a classic; anyone who has never played this game has no right to call himself a gamer. But the game is also one of the hardest games ever made; so if at all one decides to play it; it may be better not to even dream of finishing it; because such dreams hardly ever come true.
Battletoads looks cool and welcoming; the environment is not as menacing as many of the games mentioned above. However, the game will test your reflexes; it rolls along at speeds that most people just cannot cope with.
As the player character runs along on his motorcycle; there are so many animated obstacles to crash into; and if one manages to avoid them, then he will likely fall off a cliff somewhere or ram into a rock.
12. I Wanna Be The Boshy
I Wanna Be The Boshy is a rather simple looking, and basic game; it is a speed running type; which reminisces older games like Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog. Some players insist that the game is just unplayable; they lose no matter how they play or what they do.
The unfriendly environment is filled with deadly spikes, and yes, in some parts of the game it is impossible to pass without getting impaled. But that is what the game is all about; it was designed for those who think that previous games of this type were too easy.
The game is very popular; with many gamers trying their hands on it; even if most failed.
13. Mega Man 9
Mega Man first appeared in 1987 and has since been known as one of the biggest hits in gaming. Its success is told by the fact that it is now a series; and the game has been adapted for a number of platforms and consoles including PlayStation, iPhone, and Android.
It is a fighting game in which an ordinary kid joins forces with an alien from space to become Mega Man; a strong character, capable of fighting off a host of monsters and creatures.
The nice thing about this game is that players can choose the order of progression. Each level cumulates into a battle with one of the Six Evil Bosses, but after killing the boss, the player is rewarded with a weapon.
Ikaruga is a shooting game. It is one of the maddest out there because of its difficulty. The game actually gives one a chance to choose; the environment is such that a player can take cover, in which case he will not likely get very far.
The other option is to shoot ones way out, which means one takes out a large number of the enemy; the only problem is that the enemies are way too many; and as a result, there is always a chance of taking a bullet- or seven.
Perhaps with just the right combination of cover and shooting, one can defeat this game. The question is ‘how many gamers have such mental discipline?’
15. The Witness
The Witness is a video game that was released in 2016; it is a puzzle game that breaks player’s brains. The game is all about exploring an open world island filled with natural and man-made structures. But try not to get lost; every wrong turn leads one into an entirely different area.
Most of the clear paths and tunnels within the environment will lead nowhere; it is hidden ones that really matter. The craziest thing about this game is that there is no instruction; players must conquer through trial and error, and by solving clues as they go along.
Nioh is another adventure/fighting game per excellence. The character is that of a young Samurai warrior who must discover his destiny is the face of war torn 16th century Japan.
That is what the game says. What it doesn’t tell you is that the character doesn’t discover “his destiny,” he just keeps fighting because everywhere he turns, enemies attack him.
This is one of the most grueling games anyone can play; some of the enemies are nearly un-killable, and when the main character takes too many hits, he becomes too weak to fight. Nevertheless, fans of violent games will love it; there are some great moves that players can make by combining buttons, and there are power-ups to temporarily boost performance. It is a great game overall.
Bloodborne dates back to 2015, but it is a very current, and very sick game. This is all about action; the main character is a hunter combining a city in which the inhabitants are sick with a blood borne disease which gives them the appearance of zombies and monsters.
The good thing is that the character is quite big and strong, and also quite well armed. As he goes through the damned city, looking for the cause of the plague, he shoots and cuts down countless enemies, thus progressing through the levels.
Most people get overwhelmed because of the sheer number of enemies.
18. F Zero X
F Zero X is an exclusive game for the Nintendo 64 console. This is a futuristic game that is all about racing through different environments, arranged by their difficulty.
Subsequent releases of the game also have vehicle and track editing capacity; but the game is essentially the same hard hitting, racing game that will test any player’s reflexes, and also patience and resilience.
The graphics are little bit less detailed, but the speed is what makes this racing game so much fun. This is an oldie but a goldie; only for those who dare.
19. Mike Tyson Punch Out
Mike Tyson Punch Out needs no introduction; just reading the name tells one that it is a fighting game. In this case it is a boxing game, made in the image of the legendary Mike Tyson. This particular game was released in 1987, and although it is marketed individually, it is part of the Punch Out series, which has been sold since 1984.
This game is hard. Well, boxing should be hard; otherwise wimps would be champions. In this game even a hardcore gamer could become a wimp; there are too many powerful bosses to fight, including undisputed World Heavy Weight Champion Mike Tyson as the final boss.
This is one of the greatest games of all time, and it is also one of the hardest games in the history of gaming.
20. Silver Surfer
Silver Surfer is another Nintendo hit from back in the day; this one was released in 1990, but is still obtainable in the market today. It is not entirely a surfing game as one might expect from the name; the character goes through the city on a surf board. It is based on a Marvel Comics character of the same name.
This game is known for its difficulty; the character runs (surfs, actually) through the city, shooting an endless maze of enemies. Each level ends with him coming face to face with a mini boss who he must kill to progress to the next level.
The final level is a bit less detailed, but there is a special device that the player must collect by killing the final villain, thus ending the game.
The following is a more detailed list of the hardest games in the world.
|Year Of Release
|Super Meat Boy
|Ghosts ‘n Goblins
|I Wanna Be The Boshy
|Mega Man 9
|F Zero X
|Mike Tyson Punch Out
|Super Ghouls’n Ghosts
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
|Dark Souls III
|Dark Souls II
|Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
|Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
|Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening
|Ghosts ‘n Goblins: Resurrection
|Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
|Metal Slug 3
|Kerbal Space Program
|The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants
|Enter the Gungeon
|Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
|Europa Universalis IV
|The Lion King
|Star Wars: Republic Commando
|Ys I & II
|Zelda: Ocarina of Time
|Batman: Arkham Asylum
|Star Fox 64
|Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
|Left 4 Dead 2
|XCOM: Enemy Unknown
|The Lion King
|Super Mario Kart
|Crypt of the Necrodancer
|Tony Hawk Pro Skater
|Kingdom Hearts 2: Final Mix
|Silent Hill 2
|World of Warcraft
|Super Mario 64
|The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
|Fallout: New Vegas
|Dance Dance Revolution X2
|Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
|Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
|Final Fantasy X
The hardest video games in the world would always be a controversial read because most players have not played every single game on this list; and those that have can hardly say they put in the same amount of time and effort to conquer them.
Readers should also note that some names appear twice or thrice; this is because the evil game makers, having seen that players have conquered the games, go back to make sequels of the same, this time increasing the difficulty.