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Top 5 Most Challenging Games

Banjo64

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Dec 8, 2020
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I gave up on Super Meat Boy after playing for an hour and reading the trophy list.

That’s the only ‘difficult’ game I’ve ever given up on. It was more a preemptive thing, as I like to go for Plat.

Not sure about top 5. I’ve platted every From game except Sekiro as I’m yet to start it. They aren’t really difficult once you get used to the gameplay. Bizarrely Halo and Gears are insanely difficult on their highest difficulties on Solo.
 
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mxbison

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Dec 9, 2020
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1. World of Warcraft
Probably not a very popular choice but for me it was definitely the most challenging. A completely dedicated and maxed out group of players with thousands of hours in the game, dying over and over and over to a raid boss.

2. I wanna be the Guy
I didn't play it much since I don't like the cheap deaths, but it seemed mad hard.

3. Cup Head
Perfect challenge for me, hard but very addicting and not frustrating.

4. Sekiro
Hardest FROM game for me, simply because you had to do everything without help and couldn't really cheese the bosses. Once you had the parry timing down it wasn't that bad though.

5. Hotline Miami
Not that hard but I couldn't think of anything else.
 
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Jun 23, 2020
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Out of the top of my head...

1. Ikaruga. I can max chain my way through stages 1 and 2 easily, and do some decent points on the 3rd one. The 4th stage is where all goes to shit for me.
2. Sekiro, although maybe this is more a matter of learning how to play than difficulty itself. Fuck the monkes tho.
3. F-ZERO GX. The story mode is nuts.
4. Furi. Hard but very fun and satisfying.
5. SMT IV on Master. The start of the game man... I still don't know how I managed to beat the Medusa.

edit: there should be more of course. DOOM Eternal for example is pretty hard on Nightmare, or the last bosses of Cuphead on hard which are pretty challenging too.
 
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Jethalal

Banned
Dec 19, 2020
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Hmm, in no order at all (I usually play easy games):

1.Cuphead
2. Dead Cells - Easy at 0 BC but to unlock all content, you need to play at harder difficulty.
3. Superman 64: Played to see how bad it is, couldn't pass the rings level.
4. Hollow Knight
5. Super Meat Boy: Not the hardest, just couldn't think of anything else and did take a lot of tries on few levels.
 

MudoSkills

Member
Mar 2, 2014
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Not a top 5 list but a lot of rhythm games have massively high skill ceilings. DJMAX Respect is probably my most played PS4 game (about 300 hours I think) and I'm still not good enough at it to pass half the missions or nail harder charts.

Same for shmups really - you can credit feed and beat the game but to 1cc/maximise score takes a huge amount of effort.
 

Starbuck2907

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Jan 14, 2012
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They were basically all on NES where they tried to make 60 minutes of content take 200 hours to beat. They did this by making you start over a lot and having enemies kill you easily. 75% of games from that era have Dark Souls type difficulty but without the ability to save or call in help.
 

TheContact

Gold Member
Jan 22, 2016
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not in any particular order:

1. Heroes of the Lance (NES) - Fuck this game. 6(?) year old me could not figure out how to get past the first fucking screen. Thank God, too. Fuck this game.




2. Ninja Gaiden (original Xbox) - FUCK THIS GAME. I mean, it was a fun, well-made game, but dying was punishing. Often, you lost 20-30 minute of time due to the save point system. It's one of the only games which made me throw my controller against the wall.





3. World of Warcraft - specifically, I was in a hardcore raiding guild during BC and although we managed to get a couple US first kills there, the amount of effort and coordination it took was incredible and difficult
 
Jan 10, 2021
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Wow, difficult! I guess I'll go by games that i once thought of as being hard to complete...

1- Jedi Fallen Order
2- Operation Flashpoint
3- Halo CE Legendary (solo)
4- Max Payne
5- Zul'Gurub

... When ZG first came out on my RP server in WoW in 2005 (or 06?) Nobody really had good enough gear or class theory to easily complete it like they do these days.
 
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Orta

console wars 2020 - participant
Apr 26, 2018
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Battletoads - Gameboy
Ikari Warriors - Nes
Megaman - Nes
Eternal Champions - Megadrive
Wipeout 1 - Playstation

All of them have cost me at least one controller (Gameboy was too expensive to throw at the wall). And they were all pretty shit games too. That's one common factor, older shit games usually had a right miserable bastard of a difficulty level.
 

namekuseijin

Nintendo is for soys and kids. But my tears about them are for men.
Jun 10, 2020
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Kenseiden, Battletoads, Megaman, Castlevania, SMB. pick your poison from why true classic.

modern games are a joke. Saving anywhere killed the real challenge of finishing a game with just 3 lives, killed the need to explore or to try high scores for rewards such as powerups or extra lives. YouTube killed the joy of exploration and learning for yourself. Modern games don't even have exploration: the procedural worlds are boring and you can go anywhere by just digging and when you reach there, it's as boring as anywhere. No wonder why gamers these days are a bunch of suicidal sad soyboys
 

Makariel

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Jan 14, 2018
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What with games that have different difficulties, are they excluded by default? I think that XCOM on impossible difficulty in Ironman mode was more difficult than many of the souls games for example.
 

cireza

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Jun 1, 2014
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Here are some games I found challenging while still being interesting.

Ninja Gaiden Razor Edge
Sekiro
Gunstar Heroes in highest difficulty
Yggdra Union (very very difficult game)
Ikaruga
 
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Mhmmm 2077

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Oct 9, 2014
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Not sure about the exact order, but:
Cuphead
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge (didn't play the previous games, sadly)
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Battletoads (NES)
And fifth.. I don't know... maybe Furi? Cus that secret boss was pissing me off.
 

InfiniteCombo

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Jan 26, 2014
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What are the top 5 most difficult games that you’ve ever played?

1. Resident Evil Zero
2. Resident Evil CODE: Veronica
3. Donkey Kong Country
4. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
5. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Great thread OP, and a couple of points on a couple of the games included in your list:

1. Resident Evil 0 - As a big fan of the series, I definitely agree that it's one of the harder games in the series, and arguably the hardest game in the "tank controlled, fixed camera" set of games. But having gotten the Platinum for the game a couple of weeks ago, I'd say that there's part of the game that has to "click" for you. Inventory is very limited which is a big issue, and certainly adds to the difficulty. But in Normal mode, there's plenty of ammo and you can kill most things comfortably. I think it's more getting used to the game than raw difficulty, but in the group of OG RE games, it's definitely up there.

4. Yoshi's Island: Yeah, I definitely agree with this. The thing is that sometimes beating the levels is not that hard. But getting 100% can, especially in the later levels, be brutally difficult. It's funny how misleading the "crayon"/children's aesthetic is. This is certainly one of the most difficult games I've ever played.

I don't have my list yet, but I agree with any list that has Super Ghouls n' Ghosts (or really, any of those games in general), any Ninja Gaiden, the NES Ninja Turtles game. I'm still thinking whether Mega Man games belong in those lists, but yea, I find the original Mega Man entries to be a bit challenging.

Although "challenging" is relative; for most games that I initially find "challenging," a combination of increasing skills, repetition, and "muscle memory" means the game becomes much less difficult than it was in its initial run. It happened to me with Super Mario Bros 2 (uhh... the Japanese version, I guess it's called "Lost Levels" in the US). A bit hard on the first playthrough, but then after playing levels several times, it became much easier.
 
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crozier

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Apr 18, 2013
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1. CoD: MW - Specifically the Mile High Club achievement.
2. Zelda II - The trek back to the final castle when you died was not fun.
3. Borderlands 3 - Not so much the difficulty as the lame humor. Not sure if I’ll make it...
4. Contra - Has anyone beaten this without the famous cheat code?
5. Battletoads - Nuff said.
 

InfiniteCombo

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Jan 26, 2014
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Resident Evil 0? LMAO
Code Veronica??
Yoshi's Island???

These are the hardest games you've played? Is this a joke thread?
Everybody has different video game experiences, why are you knocking on the OP?

Sure, if you are one of those that can beat Souls games with your eyes closed -- that's fantastic. Hats off to you. But what you find challenging is going to be different from what the OP finds challenging or what any other player finds challenging. No need for the snark :messenger_grinning:
 

Cutty Flam

Member
Dec 3, 2019
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Oh you sweet summer children.


Hard to think of a top 5 hardest games I've just ever played instead of ones I've beaten.

Probably games like Kid Icarus, Battletoads, I Wanna Be the Guy, and some obscure SHMUPS for sure. The types of games where I got an hour in and seinfeld-hands-up.gif'd my way out of there.
Can be either, games you've played and haven't finished or games you've beaten. I've only beaten the first three on my list lol
They were basically all on NES where they tried to make 60 minutes of content take 200 hours to beat. They did this by making you start over a lot and having enemies kill you easily. 75% of games from that era have Dark Souls type difficulty but without the ability to save or call in help.
I'm a big fan of oldschool games for that reason. It's not the best way to create a game but I love the games for NES and SNES and any other game that doesn't shy away from presenting a real challenge to the audience
What with games that have different difficulties, are they excluded by default? I think that XCOM on impossible difficulty in Ironman mode was more difficult than many of the souls games for example.
It's mostly subjective, so anything you'd like to put in your list is fine
Great thread OP, and a couple of points on a couple of the games included in your list:

1. Resident Evil 0 - As a big fan of the series, I definitely agree that it's one of the harder games in the series, and arguably the hardest game in the "tank controlled, fixed camera" set of games. But having gotten the Platinum for the game a couple of weeks ago, I'd say that there's part of the game that has to "click" for you. Inventory is very limited which is a big issue, and certainly adds to the difficulty. But in Normal mode, there's plenty of ammo and you can kill most things comfortably. I think it's more getting used to the game than raw difficulty, but in the group of OG RE games, it's definitely up there.

4. Yoshi's Island: Yeah, I definitely agree with this. The thing is that sometimes beating the levels is not that hard. But getting 100% can, especially in the later levels, be brutally difficult. It's funny how misleading the "crayon"/children's aesthetic is. This is certainly one of the most difficult games I've ever played.

I don't have my list yet, but I agree with any list that has Super Ghouls n' Ghosts (or really, any of those games in general), any Ninja Gaiden, the NES Ninja Turtles game. I'm still thinking whether Mega Man games belong in those lists, but yea, I find the original Mega Man entries to be a bit challenging.

Although "challenging" is relative; for most games that I initially find "challenging," a combination of increasing skills, repetition, and "muscle memory" means the game becomes much less difficult than it was in its initial run. It happened to me with Super Mario Bros 2 (uhh... the Japanese version, I guess it's called "Lost Levels" in the US). A bit hard on the first playthrough, but then after playing levels several times, it became much easier.
I agree with everything said about the first and fourth picks on your list. I'm not a hardcore gamer, I just love video games a ton. So when I decided to play Resident Evil Zero, I figured that I had played enough of the earlier entries in the series to know what I'm doing. Turned out I was dead wrong and Resident Evil Zero was the Resident Evil game that schooled me towards playing these Resident Evil games the right way / how I think they're intended to be played in regards to how the developers created them. Resident Evil Zero may not be the best in the series, but RE0 is true survival horror and I respect that game a lot even with its issues. Chose its hardest difficulty, which was a nightmare. I'd almost call that choice a mistake haha. But I still love the game and the experience I had playing it, despite getting annihilated the entire time. I welcomed every bit of struggle the game dished, it's a very challenging game

Yoshi's Island has to be one of the greatest challenges there is if players aim to 100% the game

Still have yet to play SMB "The Lost Levels" but glad to hear that it's no pushover. It's on the Nintendo Switch Online for SNES so eventually will get around to it
 

Mozzarella

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Aug 4, 2020
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1) Every Competitive RTS game on a high level.
2) Every fighting game on a high level.
3) The Witness
4) Super Meat Boy
5) Cuphead
 
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Barry Burton

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Aug 4, 2011
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Unranked, alphabetical.

Cuphead
Devil May Cry 3
Ninja Gaiden Black
Sekiro
Viewtiful Joe

These were all games where I thought for sure I had reached a dead end, and with my (limited) skills wouldn't be able to progress any further. In each case I managed to get over the hump, but it wasn't easy.
 
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