Ranking the Hardest Games Ever in Terms of Difficulty

A Look Back at the Nerve Wracking Champions.

Ranking the Hardest Games Ever in terms of Difficulty


  • Debates about the Hardest Games Ever have been appearing.
  • Which games are the hardest to beat? And why?
  • Repetitiveness, feeling of incapacity, and competitiveness are frustrating.
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For fans of hard video games, debates have been appearing on the internet, and the examples cited can be a good list of recommendations. If you don’t know some of the examples mentioned, if you are a more casual gamer who prefers a calmer and more fun experience, this conversation may be full of memorable traumas.


So, we raise a very prominent question for any video game fan: What are the hardest games ever? The kind that makes you want to break or come close to breaking your controller/equipment?

Which is the Greatest “Controller Breaker”? We Are Here to Rank the Hardest Games Ever

Of all the hard video games, which are the highlights?
Of all the hard video games, which are the highlights?

From confusing levels to just straight up difficult, these games truly test you patience. Here is our list for the hardest games in terms of difficulty:


10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

1989's TMNT has a very different feel to its proposal.
1989’s TMNT has a very different feel to its proposal.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was released in 1989 for the NES and other platforms. The game was a little different than expected because the platform beat-em-up with side-to-side action wasn’t all that fun.

Related: Shell Shocking TMNT Adventures: The Top 10 Video Games That Transcend Time

Its players were most angered by the high difficulty levels, to the point where they could not appreciate the graphics, solid sound design, fluid gameplay, and controls that were excellent for the time. The arcade game was fun to overcome, but it required a lot of effort, patience, and self-control.


9. Mortal Kombat (2011)

2011's Mortal Kombat returns to our rankings.
2011’s Mortal Kombat returns to our rankings.

Already winning first place in our ranking of Mortal Kombat games, the 2011 game returns to another list to represent all its fighting game brothers as one of the hardest games in the genre.

Related: Has Sonic Frontiers Latest Update Made the Game too Hard?

Whether it’s NetherRealm with Mortal Kombat or Injustice, Capcom with Street Fighter, or other developers with Tekken and derivatives, 2D fighting titles are staples in rage stories, whether with levels against tuned artificial intelligence or against other very skilled players online.


8. Battletoads

1991's Battletoads was another hard classic brought back to life.
1991’s Battletoads was another hard classic brought back to life.

Another classic recently brought back by the difficulty of nostalgia was Battletoads, from 1991 for the NES and later ported to the Mega Drive, Game Gear, Amiga, Amiga CD32, and Game Boy. Although old, the Battletoads stories can be found all over the Internet, thanks to some seasoned and traumatized creators around the world who suffered from the game’s unrelenting difficulty.

Related: Top 10 Obnoxious Video Games to Beat

By continuing, at least until passing through the Turbo Tunnel, not destroying the controller is already a victory and has served as the mold of the personalities of those who were born and were playing this game throughout their childhood or youth.


7. The Witness

The Witness seems calm but requires certain patience.
The Witness seems calm but requires certain patience.

The Witness is a puzzle game developed and published by Thekla, Inc, originally released in January 2016 for PlayStation 4 and PC but later receiving ports for Xbox One, Android, macOS, and iOS. 

The Witness is an exception here because it doesn’t require a constant fight for survival; it doesn’t even have a game over screen. But as you travel around a beautiful and mysterious island full of puzzles to solve in whatever order you want, many can leave you stuck infinitely until you find a solution online, or without help, with a much greater patient effort. Precisely why it is one of the hardest games ever made.

6. Cuphead

Cuphead is a release praised and hated at the same time.
Cuphead is a release praised and hated at the same time.

Platform games are back on the list, and this one came to bring back nostalgic feelings, be it joy or hate. Inspired by the Rubber Hose animation style, Cuphead is a 2017 run-and-gun game considered by the internet “as difficult as Dark Souls”. 


Cuphead is relentless and lures you with a sense of security in the first bosses, only dying about fifteen times each. That’s not much; how much more difficult can the rest be? The answer is yes, if you have enormous inner peace, time, and memory to remember the enemy patterns and the movements you must make, Cuphead is beatable with some breathing exercises. But it is still one of the hardest games on this list.

5. Fortnite

Fortnite might be an odd choice, but we have good reasoning.
Fortnite might be an odd choice, but we have good reasoning.

Come on, Fortnite, seriously? This is an easy game to win; everyone has a Victory Royale under their belt, but is it so? Well, with each game won, many attempts are constantly frustrated by other online players, and competitiveness is a double-edged sword for every human being. Fortnite is also here to represent many other online competitive and shooting games and their rages to count on.

4. Contra

To beat Contra, you needed to be a master... or a code.
To beat Contra, you needed to be a master… or a code.

Run-and-gun games return to the ranks with Contra from Konami, released in 1987, which requires protagonists Bill Rizer and Lance Bean to dodge endless bullets fired by enemies while shooting back at the Red Falcon Organization’s henchmen. So, in addition to hitting the villains, careful attention is required to avoid everything with intense difficulty in the challenging battles.


In addition, the game also had a variety of different power-ups and weapons that helped players succeed; some even resorted to Konami codes that gave several extra lives, which still often did not help.

3. Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy is painful, but it's worth it.
Super Meat Boy is painful, but it’s worth it.

Platforms are a source of frustration for many, and this is one of the biggest examples, developed by Team Meat and released in 2010. Super Meat Boy requires levels to be completed quickly and accurately. The protagonist, Meat Boy, tries to save his girlfriend from the villain, and the challenges until then are full of dangers and obstacles that can (and will) kill with just one hit, over and over again.

Related: “Hardest game I’ve ever made”: Before Modern Warfare 3, Another Infamous Call of Duty Game Was an “Engineering Nightmare” Before Being Labeled One of the Worst Games in $31B Franchise’


This game is made like this, not to mistreat players, as it seems, but to experience the glory of beating a level and watching the replays of all your previous attempts, knowing that in the end, you won… until another level starts.

2. Super Mario Maker

Super Mario Maker has endless wells of pure frustration.
Super Mario Maker has endless wells of pure frustration.

We’ve already talked here about repetitiveness, a feeling of incapacity, and competitiveness, and Super Mario Maker has them all to irritate its players. The game allows the community to create their own levels, an idea that only values creativity, or at least it should.

Related: Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 Compared to Super Mario


The Nintendo team just didn’t expect that what they did would create impossible levels and that many would try to win them, even if it cost hours of constant rage. This culture was further aggravated when many content creators began to publish their outbursts and the public, of course, began to like and encourage even more of them, a cycle of fury based on the cute mustachioed plumber.

1. Dark Souls

Dark Souls is the icon when it comes to difficult games.
Dark Souls is the icon when it comes to difficult games.

It couldn’t be any different; when we talk about the hardest games, Dark Souls is what comes to mind. Not only this one, but many other Souls-likes are made to enhance the difficulty and attract fans of this style. Dark Souls is undeniably the main symbol, or are you going to say that you’ve never seen the “You Died” memo on the internet? It is to keep the player apprehensive from the grandest to the simplest combats that Dark Souls takes the lead among the hardest games ever.

What do you think about this? Which game is missing here? Do you have a gaming rage attack story? Let us know in the comments!


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Written by Martin

Articles Published: 109

Martin Forte is a gaming author. He is always interacting with something from pop culture, especially if it involves comics, and writing on the keyboard or in his head, from news and lists to scripts and stories. He's an old-fashioned nerd born in modern times, but also far from a conservative.