Top 10 Hardest Video Games

Think the standard AAA market isn’t a challenge? Are you insane enough to take on the armies in Contra without 30 lives, or take on Dark Souls with a mod that makes you play as Arthur from Ghosts 'n' Goblins? Well here's a list of the games that will push you to frustration with their insane difficulty. Sure they are a challenge, but beating these titles is insanely satisfying. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Hardest Video Games. Special Thanks to users, Opst3r, timeshard101 and Colonel Jupiter for suggesting this topic on our website.

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Top 10 Hardest Video Games

Think you’re pro at videogames? Think the standard AAA market isn’t a challenge? Well here’s some games that will really push your buttons. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Hardest Video Games.

For this list, we’re sticking with the usual one game per franchise, and we’re also only focusing on games that were difficult even at the lowest setting. Meaning if the game is a cakewalk on the easiest mode: It’s out. Also we’re excluding games that were difficult because they were glitchy or don’t work properly. The game has to be difficult by design.

One final point we should make (Show Flappy Bird) … between the four million clones, legal battles and ultra shallow content, there’s just no way…

#10: “Contra: (1987)

Lets start things off with an NES classic, and get use to them cause you’re gonna see a few NES games on this list. Contra was the game that makes you feel like John Rambo with a “Shoot me here” target on his back; You have only have 3 lives, one hit can kill you, and the screen is often filled with projectiles. It was so hard that to even stand a chance in this game you need … the code. The 30 life code, but even with it … good luck.

#9: “FTL: Faster Than Light” (2012)

Funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign, this indie delight has you in a high tail trip across the galaxy, where every battle is a battle for survival. Why? Well if you die, you have to start the game all over again, and you can’t revert to a previous save file, and thanks to a mid game difficulty spike, this will happen a lot. On Easy Mode. Turns out “faster than light” is an analogy for how impossible the game is.

#8: “F-Zero GX” (2004)

This is the equivalent of trying to drive a bobsled with nitro boosters. F-Zero GX is high-speed racer where because your vehicles travel so fast, judging the turns and obstacles require some insane memorization and twitch reflexes, especially on the harder tracks. Oh and the game’s story mode is crazy too, reportedly taking months of attempts to beat.

#7: “Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening” (2005)

After the 2nd game nerfed the difficulty, Capcom went a little bit overboard with DMC3. What happened is that the North American and European Normal mode of the game, was the Japanese version’s Hard mode. Capcom was even so aware that this game was hard and rereleased the game a year later as Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition, with a toned down difficulty. Ahhh only the Japanese…

#6: “Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels” (1986) (Japan)

What? You think you’re pro at Super Mario Bros? Oh my friend you have not played the Lost Levels. This was the Japanese version of Super Mario Bros 2, while the west got a re-skin of a completely different game. Even Shigeru Miyamoto was depressed at how punishing it was. Western gamers got their first taste of the real sequel in 1994’s Super Mario All Stars on the SNES, before getting the real thing on the Wii virtual console.

#5: “Super Meat Boy” (2010)

Imagine what it would be like if you were a rice cracker drenched in oil and stuck in a clock tower’s mechanical system. K, bad analogy, but that’s pretty much what Super Meat boy feels like. The controls are very tight and responsive, so responsive that the slightest twitch can lead to death. So if you die it’s your fault and no one elses. If that wasn’t torture enough, when you finish each level the game replays all your attempts in one crowd, just to show how much you suck.

#4: “Ninja Gaiden Black” (2005)

You can also count the original NES version as a challenge too, but with the shift to 3D and the rerelease with extra difficulty, the game expects you to have actual Ninja to succeed. With many late game missions only unlockable for beating really difficult challenges, you’d better have the patience of Ninja as well, or you’ll be launching your controller like a ninja star.

#3: “Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts” (1988)

Armor in medieval times must have been made out of tissue paper. Cause in this game you play as a knight named Arthur, where one touch can strip you to your underwear, and a second can strip your skin. The main reason why the game is so hard is because when you jump in the air, you can’t change direction midair, so one wrong step and its streaking through a warzone for you. Oh and to add further insult to injury, once you beat the game, you have to beat it all over again to get the real ending.

#2: “Dark Souls” (2011)

Pretty sure you saw this game coming, I mean its hard not to know about game who’s fan base is so vocally in love with it. But then again, you know its pretty good when its popular despite the fact that main selling point is it’s difficulty. You not only have to deal with enemies that can turn you into wall polish in a few hits, but also with other player who are able to invade your world just to troll you. While its difficulty can also come from its VERY steep learning curve, with practice it can be truly rewarding experience.

I know what your thinking? What could beat Dark Souls? Well before we get to the top spot, lets looks at some honorable mentions.

#1: “Battletoads” (1991)

Want to experience true video game frustration? Grab a friend and take on this maddening adventure. Dark Souls may expect you to “git gud,” but Battletoads expects you and a friend to be part of some sort of collective hivemind, since its really easy to hit each other, and its made even worse by the fact that if just one of you dies, you both have to restart the level. But all that is nothing as even with just one player there’s the infamous tunnel level, the level few have ever beaten.

Do you agree with our list? Which games have you breaking furniture? For more furious Top 10’s published everyday, be sure to subscribe to

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