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hardest game in the worldI’ve played a wide variety of games throughout my life so far, ranging from Spyro the (cute little) Dragon and Crash Bandicoot to the more controversial Grand Theft Auto and Manhunt series.

During my search for new games, I encountered some games that were more – special.

Frankly, some of these games made you pull out all of your hair before you were done.

For this article, I’ve searched for the hardest (free) games in the world. Believe me when I say it will be frustrating. It will seem impossible. And if you don’t die and fail a few hundred times before succeeding, you’re just not trying hard enough.

If this seems too much for you, please turn back now. Failure will be an option – nearly a necessity before succeeding. If you can find the courage, follow me into the gaming pit of doom.

5. La Mulana

You’re an adventurer, and armed with nothing but a whip, you choose to invade the tomb of La Mulana. Like always, these tombs are far from empty, and trespassers are not particulary celebrated.

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There are many items to be found in the game, many of which will contribute to the story, and some that will grant you additional abilities and weapons.

Remarkable for this 2D platformer, is that the story is non-linear. Yes, the ending will always be the same – if you manage to reach it – but there are tons of different ways to get there.

La Mulana - hardest game in the world

The game was originally released in Japanese, but an English patch was made available by Ian Kelley of AGTP. So you’ll need to download and install both the original game and the English patch.

4. World’s Hardest Game #2

The fourth place is taken by a flash game – the World’s Hardest Game 2 (talking about paradoxes).

The game looks ridiculously simple, but don’t be fooled; many brave men and women went down because of carelessness.

world's hardest game ever

You play with the red square. Your objective is to grab all the coins and return to one of the green patches. There’s only one obstacle; the little blue balls. Touch those and you’re done for.

Easy, right?

The problem is that these little blue balls constantly move around, which creates a deadly maze that you need to get through.

Instead of showing you the number of lives you’ve got left, the game chooses to mock you with the number of lives you’ve lost so far. Play through all fifty insane levels, and you’ll hold a name of honor.

If you enjoyed playing this game, you should also check out the first game of the series.

3. Japanese Mario Kitten (dl)

Our bronze medal goes to this Japanese Mario-like game.

The game has a high degree of randomness, which takes the difficulty to a whole new level, so don’t be surprised when you hit invisible bricks or get killed by the clouds from time to time.

Jappaneese Mario Kitten - hard games to play

Many people claim that because of this, completing it is more a matter of memory than of skill. But whatever the cause, the difficulty of this game is undeniable.

The game can be played out of your browser on this page, or you can download it here.

2. FLaiL

Being the second hardest game available, FLaiL receives the silver medal.

FLaiL is an acrobatic 2D platformer, in which you need to hike, jump and even fly accross the level to reach a red beam. The difficulty of this game lies not in any randomness, but – as you can see in the screenshot below – in the insanity of the level designs. Even the tutorials are pretty hard, and it doesn’t get any easier.

Play through the 80 available stages by yourself or in co-operation mode. It’s also possible to add a third player, who then occupies himself with dropping bombs to make it even more difficult!

1. I Wanna Be The Guy

By far the hardest game ever made, I Wanna Be The Guy.

I admit, if you manage to finish this game, you’ll be one hell of a guy.

You’re playing the role of Kid, who’s on the dangerous quest of becoming a guy. The game is frustrating at times, but wonderfully designed and hosts several cool references to old school classics – like the tetris level.

This game manages to combine utterly insane level designs with bits of randomness. You see the screenshot above? Chances are pretty good that a few of those spikes will try to attack you in mid-air.

Similar to Japanese Mario Kitten, remembering the oddities of each level plays at least as big of a role as your skill. However, if you manage to beat this game, you will be amongst the elite few.

If there are any games which you consider to be the hardest games in the whole world, please let us know in the comments what they are.

  1. Worlds Hardest Game Blog
    January 23, 2010 at 9:21 am

    You can try some walkthroughs and cheats I found at this location

  2. Jeja
    January 20, 2010 at 4:39 am

    Definitely Worlds Hardest Game. Can't pass level 10. :(

  3. ButteredRum
    January 5, 2010 at 8:39 am game, makes ya think. However, you don't get to blow sh*t up! Sigh....what a world.

  4. Leisureguy
    August 29, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    The original title of the post did not include the word "online"---that was a later edition. And yes, I would say that Go (Weiqi, Baduk) is the hardest game in the world---especially since one can readily extend the board size to ramp up the level of difficulty. And since one can play Go online, perhaps it is part of the online world, but it's a strategy game, not a game based on quick reflexes.

  5. Josh
    July 24, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    which one do you find hard and why i think the world hardest game is easyest because i've oll ready completed it before mate LOL HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA

  6. Aly
    June 24, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    On snubby land i couldnt even get passed the 1st level!

  7. lololololololol
    March 23, 2009 at 5:29 am

    one of the hardest games? cave story, the hell level is hard if you dont know how to do it, not to mention you have the final boss who has like 4 phases each one being pretty hard to beat. it really depends on which weapon you pick too.

  8. Atlanta Private Investigator
    March 22, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Wow, that's a cool list - thanks for sharing.

  9. Laura wilkinson
    March 7, 2009 at 8:37 am

    i think tis is the easiest game i have ever played and i'm only 10yrs old i'm soooooooooooooo... cool :-)

  10. Jesse C.
    February 13, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    I think Earth Defense Force on Inferno Difficulty should had been at least number 4 or 5. I spent DAYS trying to collect armor tokens to get my armor up and I still haven't even been able to get past a certain level in Hardest Difficulty.

    The sheer Huge amount of armor tokens. The power and numbers of your enemy and the fact that is the final boss make it an incredibly hard game to play when you get past hard difficulty. I have tried playing the number 1 game and I already knew it was gonna be there before I saw it.

  11. Nicolas
    February 11, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    To the firsst comment: go one of the hardests games?

  12. lmagus
    February 8, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Mushihimesama Futari

    an arcade vertical shooting game.

    no-one, even the most hardcore have finished the game on the first life.

  13. Katana
    February 7, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    what where is contra?

    • JIM
      February 11, 2009 at 7:33 pm

      Contra... Really?
      you need to put in 500+ more hours gaming and get your skills up ;)

  14. cownaetion
    February 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Any flash-based game that is not a spin off is the dumbest item to put on this list.

  15. andrewp
    February 7, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Volcano on the BBC Model B. I've never completed Level 2 and Level 1 takes less than a minute to complete.

  16. albernier
    February 7, 2009 at 5:02 am


  17. A typical loser
    February 6, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    I feel like the biggest loser on Earth, posting the Fifty Billionth comment or whatever, but I feel the need to just take this moment before I actually become one of you fucks who bothers to post a serious comment this low on the page to check myself. Man, I feel sorry for the guy after me. Also the green blob one was hard or whatever..... I've never felt the warmth of a woman.

  18. danial
    February 6, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    gata try some of these games

  19. Flying Dutchman!
    February 6, 2009 at 6:16 pm


    There is no competition.

  20. Baron
    February 6, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Atari's Bachelorette is the hardest game ever.

  21. David
    February 6, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    The "Japanese Mario Kitten" game is actually called "Syobon Action"

  22. Kyle
    February 6, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I wouldn't have taken this seriously if you hadn't had IWTBG as #1. I've been playing for over a year, and I just a few screens away from becoming The Guy. No game has ever made me more frustrated.

  23. krisu
    February 6, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    I have seen La Mulana Let's Play videos by DeceasedCrab, it's so long game and Hell Temple is really the hell. And puzzles are is not easy to beat. Take a look:, I recommend watch those Hell Temple videos. Also, I have seen IWBTG videos and I have to say: that game is also pain to play. I agree still to Symbiotic, it can't be a hardest game in the world, but it's hard enough.

    Also, Superman 64 is hard, buggy and annoing game.

  24. Deathdonut
    February 6, 2009 at 11:35 am

    As several have posted, try some of the roguelike games if you can get past the ansi character graphics (several have graphical versions). I recommend Nethack or Adom as the most impressive of the bunch.

  25. god
    February 6, 2009 at 10:59 am

    I would have to put forward Jumper or Jumper 2

  26. Mjolnir
    February 6, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    If it is hard free games you want, you need to take a look at Deadly Rooms of Death. That game is mind blowing hard without the element of randomness.

    Also to expand on what a free game is, take a look at Not Pron, also a free web game that is balls hard.

  27. Gif Dump
    February 6, 2009 at 6:03 am

    One Game: Bart vs the Space Mutants
    Bart vs the World

    Enuff said.

    • Doosh
      February 6, 2009 at 12:26 pm

      i 2nd that!!!

  28. spoons
    February 6, 2009 at 1:46 am

    any rougelike, adom, cthangband, nethack, they're all absurdly depthy and difficult.

  29. Ernesto Quezada
    February 6, 2009 at 6:31 am Super Strawberry Clock is so hard for me, I always end up as a smoothie IN THE VERY FIRST LEVEL!!!
    That's embarrassing :(

    PS: please tell me I'm not the only one!

  30. Symbiotic
    February 5, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    I still don't believe that "I Wanna Be The Guy" aka IWBTG is the hardest game in the world. Kaizo Mario and Kaizo Mario 2 easily take the cake, because while you nearly MUST use emulator save points to beat the game, they're still possible to beat without, if you're a video gaming god. While they aren't exactly their own separate game, they are modifications of Super Mario World for Super Nintendo, which is one of the best games in the world itself.

    You need two Super Mario World roms, one named "KaizoMario" and the other named "KaizoMario2," as well as two IPS files, one for Kaizo Mario, and one for Kaizo Mario 2, but they must be the same name as the corresponding rom files(of course, without the extension included).

  31. Andrew
    February 5, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    It's great seeing GM games get this kind of attention, good job, Matt!

  32. Luke
    February 5, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    1)I have become the guy.(Beaten I wanna be the guy)
    2)I'm sure you're aware of this simon, but no spikes fly at you in that room. Not to say it wasn't an extremely difficult room.
    3)To show an example at how mad this game has made certain people, look up either cloud8745's or ultrajman's walkthrough of the game, and skip about 10 parts in.

  33. Polyester
    February 5, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    N-game, or ninja game, watever the fuck it was called, 500 levels of you as a ninja collecting gold and getting to the end, more gold meant more time, if your time ran out, you died. Infinite lives tho

    • johnny bravo
      February 6, 2009 at 5:49 pm

      i agree N-Game started off fun but ended in horrible falls and lasers and bombs wich was very frustrating

  34. sean murray
    February 5, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    So you've not actually heard of chess then?
    Or if we must stay in cyberland and cyberland alone, I am thinking you have so far declined to boggle yourself with a trial subscription to eve online?

  35. These are easy
    February 5, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    When you beat all of these kids games above, try something harder, like this:

  36. gus
    February 5, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Battle Toads anyone?

    • Ragter
      August 29, 2009 at 12:41 pm

      Hardest. Games. in. the. ONLINE. world.

      What's so tough to get about that..?

  37. Ben Newman
    February 5, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    I gotta second Nethack, and not only because I've just finished my own Ajax version,

  38. Leisureguy
    February 5, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    I would have nominated Go as one of the hardest games, and probably include Contract Bridge as well. The world of games extends far beyond your computer.

    • Jeremy
      February 11, 2009 at 8:18 pm

      I think the point of this post is to note crazy-hard COMPUTER games.

  39. jch
    February 5, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    hmmm - where is Many players spend years trying to beat it even with access to tons of spoilers.

    • Simon Slangen
      February 5, 2009 at 4:40 pm

      This nethack sounds like an interesting challenge. The first I hear from it though.

      Guess I know what'll be occupying me the coming time ^^

      • beth
        August 1, 2009 at 7:12 am

        hi i thought i heard you say the games are hard

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