The Hardest Video Games Ever

Following my recent time with Cuphead, it got me thinking about some of the hardest games out there. You know, the ones that make people, throw their controllers and go full Sayan on their consoles.

Video games have a rich history of some of the hardest and most unrelenting challenges mankind has had to face. I know we’ve put people on the moon and then safely brought them back to earth, but can you see Neil Armstrong beating Dark Souls? I think not.

With that said I thought it was time to look back at some of the hardest games I’ve played. Perhaps you’re up for the challenge in seeing if you can beat them? I’m certainly not, again. Cuphead is one of the hardest games I’ve played in recent times, but due to my review of it recently I decided to leave it out of this article, but you’ll find the other entries as equally challenging.

Dark Souls

A list of the hardest games would not be complete without a Dark Souls entry and because of that, we had to choose the hardest game in the series. The first Dark Souls is where it all began, its where you realized that not all video games try to make life easy for you.

The constant failure you’re bound to endure when playing through Dark Souls is one of trial and error. If you hate having to play sections over and over again, then you don’t want to pick this game up. It’s a game full of one-hit kills from your enemies, which includes the ones from the intro levels.

Dark Souls serves the industry as a reminder that players don’t always want to be the dominant one and that challenges, even ones as difficult as Dark Souls has its rewards. This is a game that changed the way we look at RPGs in general, not to mention it has some of the best boss fights in video games ever.

If you’re up for the challenge from a different kind of RPG then Dark Souls is your entry. It’s all about trial and error here so be prepared for a lot of restarting.


I hear people say all the time that the older games used to be much harder than they are today. Battletoads does nothing but strengthens that claim. If you played this game, you’ve probably only ever played the first few levels, and that’s because it’s just so damn hard.

Damn you level 3!!!!!! Have I ever made it further than that? I think not. - Ed

I remember replaying this beauty a short time ago with my friend for his YouTube channel. The first few levels were great, we laughed, we joked, we through some enemies about. Then came the speeder stage and boy did we feel silly.

I can’t remember if we actually beat the stage, or just gave up after a few million tries at it. All I remember is the sheer difficulty of it. It felt nearly impossible and I can only assume how much harder the game becomes.

Battletoads is indeed a classic game and the fact it’s a co-op experience makes bearing the weight of failure so much more bearable. They might not look as cool and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but they definitely know how to play hard.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins

When I think back to the games I played in my youth I sometimes ask myself if they were as difficult as I remember, or was I just an inexperienced gamer at that time? This question was answered when I first played the Crash Bandicoot Remaster – Yes, they are as hard as you remember.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins is no execution to that rule. Not only was it such a hard game, but it was scary too. I’m not sure if I liked the thrill of it or I was just frustrated, but I had to keep playing this, despite its unrelenting difficulty.

Eventually slogged my way through the game embracing Arthur as an extension of myself, only to be confronted with what can only be described as a disappointing ending, to say the least. I mean, all I got was a kiss from the princess, come on.

Despite my lack of reward from the game, I still felt id accomplished something. I also felt stressed and like I never wanted to touch this game again, in a good way, of course.

FTL: Faster Than Light

Faster Than Light is a different kind of difficult when compared to some of the other games on our list. FTL is all about micromanaging your ship. Putting out fires, managing the oxygen levels and naming your character so when they meet their inevitable doom, you can shed a tear for Dave the pilot.

I’ve played this game a lot, and I’ve only ever beaten the final boss once, but you’ll keep trying even though you know in your heart you can’t do it and that’s because it’s so addictive. In FTL you can be fooled into thinking you have the game on the rope. You might have a great crew, a powerful ship, but then boom - you die.

The frustration I’ve felt from this game has been like no other, and that’s not just because we lost Dave, although I’m still dealing with that. It because of how hectic it can become at times as you frantically click your mouse trying to save your crew.

Despite its frustration FLT is still an excellently designed video game and everyone should try this at least once. Even if it might make you scream in anger.

I Wanna Be The Guy

I Wanna Be The Guy is a unique concept in that it takes assets from older NES games and molds them into death-dealing levels that are so ridiculously difficulty you’ll almost feel like giving up after five minutes. For some reason though, you just don’t.

Taking tips from its assets era, I Wanna Be The Guy is as difficult as the NES games it borrows. It’s a freeware fan game where you will encounter many recognizable faces. Mike Tyson, Ryu from Street Fighter, they are all here for one purpose only – to make life difficult for you.

As well as being quite funny at times I Wanna Be The Guy a must for any aspiring game designer or creator. It’s a talent in itself that should be enjoyed by everyone, or at least tried. You’re going to need a lot of practice if you plan to beat this game, as so far, I have been unable to. Good luck and godspeed.

Constantly threatening to write a book, but always with a story to tell. Tom has a typical northern English soul. He may sound as mundane as Jon Snow, but at least he tries to articulate. Lover of video games, comics, geek pop culture and wishing he could play Dungeons & Dragons.