Top 10 Games with the Hardest Hard Modes



Top 10 Games with the Hardest Hard Modes

VOICE OVER: Dan Paradis WRITTEN BY: Brandon Gordon
Script written by Brandon Gordon

Want to test your skills against the toughest games out there? We've got you covered. Welcome to and today we'll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Games with the Hardest Hard Modes.

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Top 10 Games with the Hardest Hard Modes

These modes aren’t for the faint of heart. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Games with the Hardest Hard Modes.

For this list, we look at the modes the go beyond making the game more challenging and push the game’s difficulty to its limit.

#10: New Game ++++++

"Dark Souls" (2011)

There is a reason the Souls series has a reputation for being some of the hardest games out there. After completing Dark Souls, players have the option access New Game Plus. In exchange for keeping most of the weapons and items earned from the first playthrough, the game's difficulty will rise. If the player beats the game again, they will gain New Game 2 Plus mode, which makes the game harder still. This process repeats until the game caps off at New Game 6 Plus, which would be your 7th playthrough for those keeping track. Should you be up for the challenge, prepare to die… a lot.

#9: Hell And Hell

"Devil May Cry 4" (2008)

In DMC 4’s Hell and Hell mode, Dante can be killed with just one hit, meaning you’ll need to be flawless in your execution. Unlike Heaven or Hell mode, where enemies are equally as fragile, these foes retain full health. To stack the deck even further, the actual difficulty setting used is Son of Sparda mode, meaning these fore have higher levels of health and Dante deals less damage than normal. This devilish difficulty will test even the most seasoned gamers.

#8: Bloodmoon Mode

"Darkest Dungeon" (2016)

No doubt fans of this dungeon crawler RPG thought the game’s Stygian Mode was as hard as Darkest Dungeon could possibly get. This was before the Crimson Court DLC and its brutal Bloodmoon Mode, however. Sharing Stygian Mode’s more powerful enemies and quicker depletion of the light meter, players must defeat the Crimson Court bosses if they want to clear this mode. There is a catch: if players don't beat Bloodmoon Mode in 100 in-game weeks or 16 of their heroes die before completing it, the game ends and the player's save is erased. Claiming your birthright might be harder than you thought.

#7: Legend

"XCOM 2" (2016)

Twenty years after an alien invasion led to Earth being conquered, the XCOM team is already fighting an uphill battle. Legend is a mode that makes those odds even harder to overcome. Being one and a half times longer than the normal campaign, Legend also ups the brutality exponentially. This mode disables the tutorial, kills troops with one hit, reigns in the rewards, and raises the cost of resources. Strategy is the name of the game, and you’ll have to think fast if you want to survive this challenging campaign.

#6: Master Mode

"The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" (2017)

Introduced in the Master Trials DLC, Master Mode offers players a tougher challenge as they trek across Hyrule’s expansive landscape. Nearly every enemy that is encountered in the normal game is replaced with a stronger version of that enemy. Golden versions of these enemies also appear exclusive to this mode to bring in an extra challenge in combat. All this and these foes can also regain some of their health lost in battle. The addition of powerful and rare weapons adds some advantage, but they are being guarded by Octorocks on mid-air platforms. With power, wisdom, and courage, players can master this mode.

#5: Grounded

"The Last of Us" (2013)

Grounded mode makes survival much more difficult. The infected have become far more cunning and vicious, dealing out three times the damage. In addition, Listen Mode, which heightens Joel and Ellie’s senses, is disabled along with the game’s head’s up display. With checkpoints, ammo and health items becoming a premium, players will have to search extensively for the resources they need while keeping their head on a swivel. It's a far more challenging and realistic experience, and a rewarding one to boot.

#4: Invisible Enemy Mode

"Resident Evil" (2002)

Introduced in the 2002 Resident Evil remake and its 2014 remaster, It should be fairly obvious by the title of the mode about what was changed in game to make a tougher challenge, but there is a bit more to it. Yes, all enemies are indeed invisible, though they can be seen briefly when they are attacked and can also be tracked if they make a sound or leave water or dust tracks. Conceptualized by game director Shinji Mikami to make players change their tactics, should this mode be completed in less than five hours, they are rewarded with a letter of thanks from Mikami himself.

#3: Survival Mode

"Fallout 4" (2015)

As with other entries on this list, enemies in Survival Mode will be more powerful and harder to kill. This, however, is just the start of what players have to endure. Autosaving and saving from the menu manually has been disabled as you can only save by sleeping. Players are required eat; drink, and sleep or they will start to lose their various SPECIAL stats over time. Even obtaining heavy weapons will cause the player to be fatigued and damaged causing the loss of agility and endurance. Survival mode somehow makes the Commonwealth that much harsher.

#2: Expert Realism

"Left 4 Dead 2" (2009)

Expert and Realism, two deadly modes that when put together make for a frightening challenge. Whereas in normal mode, one survivor can mow down several common zombies, here, one zombie can kill all the survivors if they’re not careful. Gunshots to the body are also reduced in damage, so aiming for the zombie's head is always the way to go. The common infected still do hunt in hordes and the specialized infected are much stronger as well. Within the chaos, the survivors, without lighted outlines to help tell them apart from the infected, are subjected to increased chances of friendly fire and getting split up.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Ranger Hardcore
"Metro: Redux" (2014)

Hard Mode
"FTL: Faster Than Light" (2012)

"Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock" (2007)

#1: Ultra Nightmare

"Doom" (2016)

The Doom reboot already proved itself by being an intense challenge that stayed true to the series’ past. But the developers at iD Software didn’t stop there: they would go on to one-up themselves with the Ultra Nightmare. As if dealing with wave after wave of ugly monsters isn’t stressful enough, these foes also got a nice health power boost. There is one other obstacle that this space marine has to contend with, permadeath. Should the player lose in this mode, their saved data is erased and the players must start from scratch. Brutal, but DOOM fans wouldn’t have it any other way.