Top 10 Hardest Games

Played a game that made you smash a pad? I know we have… Be it terrible design or frustrating gameplay, games can be hard for different reasons. But despite being hella difficult some games managed to retain their charm and remain fun despite its diffculty.

The list won’t feature Dark Souls, because Dark Souls is only hard if you’ve never played a game beyond Assassins Creed, and we are genuinely sick of people saying “Isn’t Dark Souls the hardest game ever?”.

So here is our list of games that make us want to shit a hernia out of our collective penis. Be prepared for many an F-bomb as just thinking about these games is making our piss boil.

11) Streets of Rage 3

Ok so we lied, this is a top 11!

Streets of Rage II is one of the best games ever, it was tough, but fair. SoR3 is simply sadistic. 2 different endings can come about by you being shit, but to get the proper ending you need to defuse the gas canisters on level 6 in super quick time, and then beat the alternate final boss in about a minute to unlock what is basically a secret 3rd ending.

This all depends on you being able to beat the two bitch lizards that fuck your shit up too much on level 2 which is where most people give up.

Every time we have beaten this game we get the worst ending, but on occasions we can get to the proper final boss we need like 4 minutes to beat off the boss and therefore only manage the OK ending.

Limited lives, limited continues, and a million ways to die on the Streets…

10) Lemmings

We can just about scrape the kiddy pool levels on Lemmings, with 100ish levels across 4 difficulties we ain’t beating this anytime soon.

You can get a level select code to get to the end, but you can’t beat levels until you git gud and gitting gud requires a pixel perfect twitch reflexes and perfectly timed commands. The somewhat clunky User Interface didn’t make things easier either.

9) Comix Zone

One life. ONE LIFE. O-N-E  L-I-F-E. Get it? you get one life. This is why Dark Souls isn’t appearing in this list.

This platforming beat ’em up is so blindingly hard we can’t beat the game using an invincibility code. Beating the first level is freaking tough too as enemies don’t patiently stand there while you hit them, and they hit just as hard as you.

Shit tonnes of pitfalls, and instadeath means we have stopped trying to beat the game.

8) Total Carnage

Super Smash TV is freaking hard, but it was cheesable, and had some extra lives cheats. Total Carnage is pretty much Super Smash TV without any cheat options. Therefore it is FUCKING HARD.

7) The Lion King

Fuck I hate this game and it’s jinky ass brokeness. It isn’t just the pixel perfect jumping on the second level with fucked up checkpoints, it is also the hit detection issues around ledge jumping.

On top of this, the level select code sends you back to the first level after you beat the level you skip to. It means that if you REALLY want to cheat, you have to beat a level, reset console, enter cheat, beat a level, reset, ad nauseum.

People who say this is a good game are lying.

6) Ghosts ‘N Goblins

Fuck this game is hard. 2 hits and you’re dead, and if you die you go back to the start of the level. There are also bosses you can only kill with certain weapons that may or may not spawn. Added on top, you can accidentally pick up a different weapon when you lose your temper and start running, it means more than a fair share of pads have been broken playing this cunt of a bastarding fuck.

Oh and those fucking Red Devil BASTARDS!

5) Zombies Ate My Neighbors (Zombies in PAL)

Run and gun puzzler with 48 levels and a password system, means it doesn’t sound *too* hard. But if you do die and get gameover, when you reload using your password you’ll be greeted by having only the water-uzi… If you can get good and beat this game you may be an actual god.

It is fun as hell with tonnes of pop culture references too.

4) Earthworm Jim

We’ve periodically gone back to this game since starting this site, and we still can’t get passed level 3.

We love trying as it is one of the best games ever made, but we need to watch much better people on YouTube playing this.

3) Battletoads

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU. Jesus fucking christ this game is impossibly hard. It is beatable though, you just need to be super twitchy and drink enough coffee so that you have the reflexes of a humming bird and can see time itself!

2) Ninja Gaiden

No not the 2004 remake as Dave can beat that (the nerd). But instaspawn enemies, twitch reflexes and a sodding difficult time all around. I don’t think any of us have beaten the first level…

Honorable Mentions

Dr Robotonik’s Mean Bean Machine, basically Puyo Puyo Dr Mario. There are only 12ish levels, and a level select code but the speed in which the splodges come at you and a maniacally evil AI even on the easiest setting means we last about 30 seconds on the final stage…

Sonic Adventure, this game is a fucking abortion gone wrong. It is so terrible we don’t want to beat it.

Bucky O’Hare on the NES is basically Mega Man but hard(er). The only thing that makes the game beatable is that you get infinite continues, and overly generous checkpoints.

Super Meat Boy, granted it is stupidly hard but you get infinite lives so can beat the game by shear bloody mindedness rather than gitting gud.

Contra, this is only beatable because of the Konami code, but it is still beatable since the code is so ubiquitous.

Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels. Jamie can beat this, so it isn’t that hard.

X-Com: Terror from the Deep, If you say you can beat this game without saving every 5 seconds you’re a god damn liar! The bastard ass lobster men are evil incarnate. However the fact you *CAN* be a scared little bitch and save every 3 seconds makes X-Com very beatable.

Zelda 2: Link’s Adventure, frustratingly hard, knockback, and instadeath make the game frustrating. Obnoxious regular enemies, and the biggest cunt alive in Shadow Link mean Zelda 2 is hard. However, you get infinite continues and once you pass Death Mountain it gets much easier.

1) Cannon Fodder

I simply don’t believe you if you say you have beaten this game. I can get Jools to level 10, and I can get to level 12 overall. That is less than half way. Also, a sure sign a game is hard is that you struggle to find YouTube playthroughs beyond the 8th level.

The great thing about Cannon Fodder is it remains fun despite all the sodding death.


Did we miss something? Did the excessive exercise in swearing offend your sensibilities more than Sonic Adventure offends ours, or did you find this to be a cathartic romp in the wilderness of hard ass games?

Let us know in the comments.

I'm awesome. I write about videogames occasionally but spend most time painting and playing Warhammer in varying formats.

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Posted in Lists, Opinion
40 comments on “Top 10 Hardest Games
  1. Mr. Wapojif says:

    Earthworm Jim was hard, but I completed it. Ghosts ‘N Goblins is insanely difficult. Many NES games are, to be honest, I think this list should just be NES games! Silver Surfer, every Castlevania, Super Mario Bros 3… anything the AVGN has covered, basically.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Is Mario 3 hard? Last time I played it it tool me about 7 hours, but didn’t die very much, it was just long.

      Silversurfer is stupidly hard! I did forget about that.

      I’ve never played a CastleVania… I can never decide which one to start with. I think I’ll start with SotN though.


      • Mr. Wapojif says:

        The beginning stuff isn’t, but once you get to World 8 it’s tough all right.

        Castlevania III is the best of the lot, it’s also the hardest. It’s astonishing how a game can be that difficult. If you’re going to play one, though, get the SNES edition – Super Castlevania. It’s amazing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I do actually have Super CastleVania IV, just held off playing as I never know where to start from.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Chris Scott says:

      I played a bit of the original Castlevania last night and it is far harder than I remember. I think my reflexes have deteriorated immensely from when I was a kid.


      • Mr. Wapojif says:

        For me it’s the lack of spare time, I don’t have the hours I once did to thump in and work my way around the game. Once you’ve really put the hours in, you start to get worryingly good at these things.

        I’m on early access game Dead Cells right now, rock solid Metroidvania stuff. I’ve thumped in 8 hours (unusual for me) and I’m getting bloody good! I’m quite proud. I usually suck at most games.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Chris Scott says:

        Time is a definite issue for me. I just don’t have 8 hours a day t sit in front of my television anymore perfecting a run.

        Another is patience. I just don’t have it like I did as a young gamer. I could sit there for hours on end re-running the same levels over and over again. Getting it to be perfect. If I had been playing on my Castlevania cartridge yesterday instead of the NES Classic which has save states, I’d have quit. I mean, I could literally load up a state right before a boss fight and I was getting frustrated with them, I can only imagine if I had to redo the level without power-ups and hearts.

        And finally, I think selection and diversity of that selection has played a huge part in me not being able to play these games as well as I could as a kid. As a kid, I had, maybe, a handful of cartridges at a time but now I have 100s of games at my disposal with new ones coming out ever day, pulling at my attention.

        Glad you’ve found one to sink some time in to and get good at. Enjoy. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mr. Wapojif says:

        Too true, there’s just an endless stream of games to play, we’re spoilt for choice. I’ve taken to actively using YouTube and Google to help me past difficult sections. It is a patience thing, I can’t be bothered working something out when I can just find out what to do, do it, and then enjoy more of the game.

        Dead Cells is just nuts, though. Really mental and intense. Great fun!

        Liked by 2 people

      • I quit my job at Christmas which has given me time to perfect playing, but I’d rather try and play 10 games in 2-3 hours than spend 10 hours on one.

        Only games the last 2 years I’ve played through more than once or spent more than 50 hours are Dark Souls 1 and 2, Final Fantasy 6 and Mario Bros 1 (I play through that every few months).

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Chris Scott says:

    Which Ninja Gaiden? The NES version? You guys can’t beat the first level? Really? Like, really really?

    I mean, I certainly won’t say that it isn’t a difficult game but I now that I can plow through the first level and the boss with little problem still. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. SpeedySailor says:

    Tight list, man. Happy to see Battletoads here, the game that made me launch more amphibian-related expletives than I thought I knew…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Every Gamer Review says:

    In terms of Streets of Rage 3, the Japanese version is much easier. Comix Zone can go do one, as well as The Lion King, Ghosts ‘N Goblins, Earthworm Jim, Battletoads and…wait, you can’t beat Sonic Adventure…seriously? Oh how I laugh at thee!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. GamingPicks says:

    I haven’t played many of the list, but about number 1… Well, I never finished Cannon Fodder, I think I was far along and also tried to get as far as possible with Jools and Jops. Can’t remember at what level I gave up, but still, as you say, it was an incredible fun game. War has never been so much fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. benez256 says:

    Oh man, Ghost and Goblins. That was reeeeeally hard! I don’t think I’ve ever reached level 3! Everytime I try and play I swear so hard that the path that separates me from hell gets terribly shorter…I’ve found very difficult even Mega Man, never mind which one, I suck in all of them…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. KingKoopa says:

    I beat Battletoads!

    I should probably clarify that I beat it on the Rare Replay collection for Xbox… which literally lets you rewind the game a few seconds whenever you want (so, I abused the hell out of it every time I died). Even using THAT, it still took me forever to get past the monocycle stage, where the circle of death is constantly chasing you. So yeah, even cheating the hell out of the game to the point I could never claim I actually got past it on my own, I still struggled to see the end. How any human can legitimately beat it, I’ll never know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That rewind time thing at least lets you see the game. I was playing the Disney After School Collection, I can piss all of those games but playing the collection I was needing the rewind to beat the first stage!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I have The Lion King and when I was a kid I used to get so pissed off at it! I don’t think I’ve ever beaten it even using the cheat code. Zombies Ate My Neighbors and Earthworm Jim are so difficult but so good!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. retroredress says:

    I like your selections here – Streets of Rage 3 doesn’t get the grief it deserves for being too hard, I can’t play Comix Zone for more than 5 minutes without wanting to quit and Ghosts and Goblins is insane. I have beaten Ghosts and Goblins on the Atari ST…with invincibility….after restarting because I had the wrong weapon to kill the boss of Level 4.

    I’m convinced Ninja Gaiden is impossible, I’m stuck on 6-1 forever. Those damn birds!

    Cannon Fodder is a good shout – people don’t realise how hard it is because of the cartoony graphics. It’s tough…and upsetting too, watching loyal soldiers die….

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Goric says:

    The picture above does look like my Xbox controller, it has fallen in game Soul River.
    Ninja Gaiden III NES is prettty hard further in, no point wasting good joystick. But I like this game otherwise. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde [nes) I heard the worst.

    About Dark Souls, I wait few more years to pass. Dont really have interest atm.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Goric says:

    I might start with somthing like Gothic 1 through 3, then gradually get to Dark Souls. Immersion Immersion Immersion.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Goric says:

    Sounds cool. I know that it has shields and swords, so RPG-like – good! Recommendations suggested Gothic 1, but I know that it’s good game. It’s an old beardy beefy brootal haken slash!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. clawfox says:

    WORMS Battlegrounds the penultimate level on campaign mode. Wave after wave of enemies and you have two worms…. one wearing a crown. Gave up after about 20 attempts. Also, each attempt takes up a good amount of your life – time you could better spend loitering around the swimming pool whilst there’s a geriatric aerobics class on.

    Liked by 1 person

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