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Top 10 Games That Don’t Hold Your Hand

VO: Daniel Paradis WRITTEN BY: Serge Farah
Script written by Serge Farah It's time to put on your big boy pants and go things alone. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our Top 10 games that don’t hold your hand. To have your ideas turned into a WatchMojo or MojoPlays video, head over to http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and get to it!

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Top 10 Games That Don’t Hold Your Hand

Don’t expect these games to coddle you. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our Top 10 games that don’t hold your hand.

For this list, we are looking at the game series that offer very little in the way of guidance and tutorials. While games on this are hard, this is not a list of hardest games, but games where you will most likely have to rely on external guides and wikis to make sense of what to do in the game.

#10: “Shadow of the Colossus” (2005)

Regarded as one of the of the PS2’s greatest achievements, Shadow of the Colossus is an action adventure game that applies a twist to the “saving the princess” theme. Instead of jumping on slow-moving enemies, you face a series of 16 giant bosses known as the colossi, and it’s up to you to figure out how to defeat each one. The player has to discover how to bring down each colossus through trial and error, as each presents a unique challenge.

#9: “Minecraft” (2011)

Minecraft revolutionized the base building sandbox games and showed players how creative they can get in a large blocky world with the right resources. Minecraft forces you to rely on your own creativity and experimentation to make sense of it. The simple task of making a house may seem daunting. But browsing endless wikis on crafting items and finding resources is just part of Minecraft's initiation. From then on, creativity is your only limit to the wondrous structures you can build. One player even managed to build a fully functioning CPU inside the game.

#8: “Cuphead” (2017)

Don’t be fooled by Cuphead’s beautiful 1930s cartoon art style, as it hides beneath it the punishing difficulty of old-school bullet hell shooters. The game’s core gameplay is a series of multi-stage boss fights, where frustration and ragequits are all too common. There rarely is a moment in the game where the screen is not filled with things that can kill you, and you’ll find yourself praying that your muscle memory will save from the zillion murderous objects coming at you from every direction. And just when you thought that you’ve memorized a boss’s attack patterns, the boss will throw an attack that you haven’t yet seen your previous fights against it.

#7: “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” (2017)

Traditionally Zelda games have always been about finding out where to go and solving a series of puzzles in lengthy dungeons. Breath of the Wild changes all that and it’s evident right from the start in it's opening area, the Great Plateau. While there are a few nudges every so often, everything else is literally left up to the player’s discretion, from figuring out cooking recipes, to learning how the world around you reacts to your every move. Even figuring out what direction you should go on the world map is entirely up to you, so don’t feel bad if you think you’re getting lost.

#6: “X-COM” series (1994-2016)

One of the cornerstones of PC gaming, this turn-based strategy series started in 1994 with Xcom: UFO Defense, and was revived in 2012 with Xcom: Enemy Unknown. Aliens have invaded, and it is up to you and your team of super soldiers to defeat the alien menace. This means you have to optimize each individual character’s build and make complex tactical decisions to approach battles. Xcom will teach you the true meaning of despair when your favorite soldier dies because the RNG gods weren’t smiling upon you.

#5: “Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds” (2017)

Taking inspiration from battle royale films as well as games like DayZ and H1Z1, PUBG perfects the battle royale formula. You start the game by being literally thrown out of a plane, and you are left either on your own or with a small team to scavenge for supplies and weapons while fighting for survival. Don’t expect to find any tutorials or bot matches here: PUBG takes ‘learning by doing’ to the extreme. Go out there, and get killed enough times, and you’ll eventually learn how to not get killed… hopefully.

#4: “Darkest Dungeon” (2016)

Darkest Dungeon is a turn-based RPG game where you manage a team of heroes to explore dungeons, fight enemies, and collect loot. Sounds simple enough right? Then you realize that the game features 14 different classes, different enemy types, that require specific classes to defeat, and a plethora of items that you need for that extra edge in battle. There are so many moving parts that any small miscalculation in battle WILL lead to the permadeath of a party member. You also have to keep an eye on your party member’s stress levels, or they may actually die of a heart attack. No seriously, that actually happens.

#3: “Total War: Warhammer” series (2016-17)

The Total War series is no stranger to intricate gameplay, and the Warhammer series continues in this tradition. You will be micromanaging your own empire’s military, culture, happiness, and resources while keeping tabs at all the enemies that want to kill you and the allies that want to stab you in the back… and that’s not even the toughest part of the game: if you want to win those huge battles, you’ll have to manage literally thousands of specialized units on your way to victory. While the game does offer a tutorial, the vast majority of the game’s deeper mechanics can only be understood through trial and error.

#2: “Divinity: Original Sin” series (2014-17)

The Divinity series takes plenty of inspiration from old-school PC RPGs like Baldur’s Gate and Planescape Torment. That means you have to forego the modern genre conventions you’re used to, such as quest markers and easy crafting. Instead, you’ll have to rely on dialogue, exploration, and reading road signs to find your way. The game gives you very little instruction on how to approach battles or interact with NPCs. Kill the wrong character or choose the wrong dialogue option, and you’ll be locked out of certain missions for good.

#1: “Souls” series (2009-16)

The poster boy of no hand-holding in games. The punishing hack and slash RPG formula was introduced in Demon’s Souls but was perfected by Dark Souls. The Souls games drop you into vast dark fantasy worlds where you feel as insignificant as the skeletal corpse lying next to you. As you explore the series’ inhospitable worlds, its otherworldly horrors kill you, and you will die, die again, and die some more until the phrase “You Died” is burned into your retinas and etched into your subconscious. But once you pull yourself up by the bootstraps and "git gud," you’ll have one of the most rewarding experiences in modern gaming.

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