7 Video Games So Hard They Will Make You Want To Throw Your Controller

Dave LeClair 28-05-2013

hard video gamesOne of the major staples of old school video games The Fading Games Of Yesterday, And How We Preserve Them [Feature] What is your favorite video game of all time? If you’re in your twenties, or older, there’s a good chance that you answer to this question isn’t a recent title. It may be a classic... Read More is the incredible difficulty. I’ve talked about the level of challenge in older games before in an article about the things I miss most from classic games 3 Things I Miss About Old School Video Games Times change, and I understand that; but does that mean I cannot yearn for the old days? I cannot be the only one who misses some things about the good old days of video games,... Read More , and while the challenge is great, some games take it a little too far. I’m not saying hard video games are bad, but some of them can be downright frustrating. That said, the satisfaction when you make it through one of these difficult games is something you just don’t get enough of in gaming.


Modern games tend to hold the player’s hand. Instead of letting players get stuck, game developers tend to focus on making sure players make it through their games with only minimal frustration. Of course, there are still games with plenty of challenge today, but they are few and far between.

If you love games that offer no mercy, the ones that follow will be perfect for you. Just be prepared, because the rage you may experience may just make you want to become the next Angry Video Game Nerd The 6 Best Angry Video Game Nerd Episodes [MUO Gaming] "He's gonna take you back to the past, to play the . . ." For many a gamer, this song is immediately recognizable as the theme to the Angry Video Game Nerd. After all, "he's... Read More .

Mega Man 9 (Wii, PS3, Xbox 360)

hard video games

Capcom decided to make old new again with the release of Mega Man 9. Even through it is a modern game, it is built to play just the old Mega Man games, right down to the beat your face into the ground level of difficulty. In fact, you can easily make an argument that it is harder than the old Mega Man games, which is impressive, because the classics are downright brutal.

Mike Tyson’s Punch Out (NES)

really hard video games


Mike Tyson’s Punch Out is hard the whole way through, but it’s completely beatable. Then, you get to Mike Tyson, one of the hardest final bosses in the history of video games. It is possible to beat him, but it will require hours of trial and error. After all, he has a move that can spell game over with one hit, and there is nothing scarier in all of video games.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins (NES)

really hard video games

There is nothing easy about Ghosts ‘n Goblins. While playing through the game, you will die, and you will die a lot. After banging your head against your NES for hours on end, you might actually beat the game. You will feel a generous swelling of pride, but the game will tell you that if you want to see the real ending, you need to go through it again. Not only is that difficult, it’s just mean.

Demon’s Souls (PS3)

really hard video games


Demon’s Souls is a modern RPG that feels much more like the games of the past. Instead of guiding you through a linear story, Demon Souls throws the player into the world and leaves them to figure it out on their own. Not only does it not guide the player through the game, but the fights tucked in the world are incredibly hard, and death has some serious consequences. While not quite as hard as many of the older games, it’s one of the hardest modern games you will find.

Battletoads (NES)

difficult video games

This is a really weird and hard video game where adding in a co-op partner actually makes the game harder. It’s easier to smash your fellow Battletoad to bits than it is to actually kill your enemies. While the game is not easy alone by any means, it certainly becomes more manageable. Still, don’t expect to make it through it solo without plenty of struggle, because no matter what, you will die plenty while going through Battletoads.

F-Zero GX (GameCube)

difficult video games


F-Zero, a franchise known for its difficulty, had its most difficult game released on the GameCube, a system not necessarily known for its brutal games. If you like racing games that will make you want to pull your hair out with rage, you will love this game. It’s actually really good, and well worth playing, but you need to be prepared for some serious fits of anger while going through it.

Ninja Gaiden Black (Xbox)

hard video games

The original Ninja Gaiden games on NES were insanely hard, and the modern releases follow the form laid out by the past, but they add piles of strategy and combos. apparently the brutal difficulty offered in the first Xbox version of Ninja Gaiden was not enough, the developers released Black, which ratcheted up the difficulty even further. The game is totally beatable, but the amount of precision and skill it requires will test the mettle of even the best gamers.


For any masochist who wants to play a hard video game that will make them want to scream, these are the games for you.


Are there any really hard games you think should be included on the list? Hit the comments section below and let us know!

Related topics: Game Controller, Retro Gaming.

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  1. sean
    July 2, 2013 at 2:30 am

    WHAT ABOUT PORTAL:2... That is the only game that took me 3 weeks to beat!!!

  2. Dave
    May 31, 2013 at 4:01 am

    Maaaaaaaan, F-Zero GX has to be one of my favourite games.

    Totally insane but if you get a good custom build (Shock Lynx G-4 aka "The Penetrator") and enough practice you can easily tame the tracks.

    Never got the hang of track cutting though, gliding is a whole other skill set.

    • Dave LeClair
      May 31, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      It was a great game. Even though it was really hard, it never felt broken, just difficult.

  3. Tim
    May 30, 2013 at 4:16 am

    I would put some real classics like Donkey Kong on the list, most people can't get past the 3rd elevator screen. That's if they even make it that far. Also Pac-Man.

  4. Zhong J
    May 30, 2013 at 3:51 am

    You probably forgot Japanese infamous side scroller shooter game, with bullets flying all over the screen.

  5. Vipul Jain
    May 29, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Something for the PC please?
    Looking for a challenge :D

  6. Grant Allen
    May 29, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    OMG! HAVE YOU NEVER PLAYED X-MEN FOR SEGA GENESIS!!! That game was impossible! I had to beat it on a rom, in two player mode, saving and loading states every time i progressed without losing health or power! *eye twitches* SEE! i'm getting angry just thinking about it.

    • Dave LeClair
      May 31, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      Haha, did you break any controllers in a fit of rage?

  7. bin
    May 29, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Dragon Blaze

  8. Chirag Malkani
    May 29, 2013 at 4:34 am

    DCS: A-10 Warthog
    It's a simulator-type game. But it'll probably take you a whole week to figure out how to even get the engine working

  9. Joseph Villalobos
    May 29, 2013 at 4:25 am

    Why isn't N+ on this list?

    • Dave LeClair
      May 31, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      N+ was definitely on the short list for games I was considering.

  10. d4ryl3
    May 29, 2013 at 12:05 am

    The Monster Hunter series was hard for them lock-on fanboys.

  11. null
    May 28, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    You forgot Simcity. Or do broken games not count?

  12. Thomas Nord
    May 28, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    You forgot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the NES. No game has ever been more frustrating.

    • Dave LeClair
      May 31, 2013 at 7:14 pm

      That game is hard, but I was trying to stay away from games that are "broken" hard and stick with more than are fair hard.

      • Thomas Nord
        May 31, 2013 at 7:16 pm

        Haha. Fair point. :)