Following the success of the achievement system on Microsoft’s Xbox, Sony jumped into the trophy hunting game in the summer of 2008 with titles like LittleBigPlanet and Resistance 2 being among the first batch of games to receive trophy support on PlayStation 3. Fast forward almost a decade later and 25.6 billion trophies have been earned by trophy hunters across Sony’s platforms. Trophies and achievements have become a huge part of the gaming experience for players on consoles and PC, although Nintendo fans will be once again left without an achievement tracking system on the Nintendo Switch.
I myself am near the 100 platinum trophy mark after five years of hunting and have come across a deluge of trophy lists that run the gambit between ridiculously easy and impossibly difficult. I may or may not have even bought a few games for the sole purpose of attaining the platinum trophy, if the list can be completed in two hours or if it can be achieved solely by pressing a single button, like the recently released I Am Mayo.
Hannah Montana and the gluttony of half-baked Disney games and licensed movie projects are always easy to complete, although hard to play. But it’s not all fun and games, as some titles have had excruciatingly difficult trophy lists that have barred many from getting the illustrious platinum trophy. Here are the 15 impossible platinum trophies to unlock on PlayStation.
15 Max Payne 3
Rockstar threw in quite a few difficult trophies into Max Payne 3, but none of them come close to the difficulty of ‘The Shadows Rushed Me’. Believe it or not, but the trophy requires the player to beat the entire game in one sitting, with one life, and within a time limit. Players are given one minute on the clock to start, with head-shots and kills adding precious seconds but forcing the player to keep moving. Not only that, but the level of difficulty is raised from the ‘New York Minute’ trophy that has the same premise but is played on Normal, as opposed to Hardcore, and gives you one life per mission instead of one life throughout the entire game.
Is it too late to organize a six-man party of decent players with mics and an organized plan? Both the process of getting ready for Destiny’s ‘Flawless Raider’ trophy, for completing a raid without anyone in your fire-team dying and the actual challenge of completing it makes it uniquely difficult. With most of the other trophies prioritizing time-played instead of difficulty, Flawless Raider only focuses on how hard it can make it for the player. Certain raids are easier than others, but when they are all incredibly long and involve a variety of gameplay sections that “advantage” starts to dissipate. Although what’s probably more difficult is to accept the fact that you’re friends got the trophy behind your back with a team they met online. Still hurts.
13 Sound Shapes
Now while all six versions of Sound Shapes have trophy completion percentages above 30% according to PSNProfiles, the Death Mode trophies are infuriating. Death Mode has the player collecting orbs within a time limit and it starts off quite easy as you platform your way from one orb to the next as they pop up across the 2D map. But some levels combine moving platforms, enemy lasers, flying projectiles, and all manner of obstacles to stop you from achieving the platinum. I can’t count the amount of times I was close to the last orb only for time to run out. But the thrill of collecting four or five orbs in a short span of time and completing the level is electrifying. Just don’t wake up your neighbors!
12 FIFA 15
For the most part, FIFA 15 has a very easy trophy list. But there’s one trophy that I fondly remember drove me to the brink of insanity. The trophy description for ‘Extra Effort’ states: score from the ground. This is one of those trophies that players are supposed to get naturally without actively going for it, but as September rolled along and FIFA 16 was about to come out, I, an avid FIFA player, had not yet earned the trophy. To actively seek the trophy, one must run towards the goalkeeper, dribble away from them, hope that the goalkeeper trips their player, hope that the ball isn’t too far away after the challenge, and then finally hope that the player can generate enough power from the ground to put the ball in. Never again.
11 Star Wars Battlefront
Star Wars Battlefront’s trophy list isn’t hard to conquer because of its insistence that players must reach rank 50 or trample 25 enemies with an AT-ST in multiplayer. It’s with the game’s co-op missions that the platinum trophy starts to slip away from most players fingers. ‘Master’ and ‘Ackbar’s Elite’ require the player to beat the missions on master difficulty and without dying respectively. Having tried to achieve the trophies with a partner, even on our mics, we were met with death whichever which way we attempted to topple the AI. High enemy damage and their sheer numbers were too overwhelming as the Dark side stopped my partner and I from the ultra-rare platinum we desperately sought.
10 Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified
The PlayStation Vita debut of the popular FPS franchise came with a myriad of difficult trophies that were made all the more difficult by the game’s poor performance and quality. ‘Pure as the Driven Snow’ and ‘Double Down’ are two of the biggest culprits as the former tasks the player with beating a mission without taking any damage and the latter requires the player to take out eight targets with four or fewer bullets. After multiple attempts, one can sneak out of a mission without getting shot, but being required to use the sniper rifle to get eight kills in four shots or less is particularly grueling when you learn the game’s hit detection is shoddy at best. Hold your breath, and pray that the game decides to work!
9 Super Street Fighter IV
When a game has five trophies with 2% rarity or lower, it was bound to make to the list. Capcom’s swansong to Street Fighter IV has a platinum trophy that even veterans will have a tough time earning. Clearing all the trial mode challenges for ‘Trial Athlete’ is probably the hardest trophy in the game with dozens of challenges to complete and over 30 characters to complete them with. Some trophy hunters have even suggested pausing the game in the middle of the trials to get a frame by frame look and to plan your attack that way. And that’s assuming you can earn the other trophies like winning 10 ranked matches in a row. This may be a platinum better left to the diehards.
8 LA Cops
Similar to FIFA 15, LA Cops is, for the most part, quite easy. But unlike FIFA 15, there is no ‘natural’ way of earning LA Cops’ hardest trophy and I shamefully have yet to attain it. The self-explanatory ‘Nightmare Mode’ trophy isn’t much of a nightmare until you get to the game’s last boss fight on nightmare difficulty. Waves and waves of enemies pour into a room as you top-down shoot your way through them before the boss reveals himself. But the enemies just keep coming and one wrong move will open you up for death. Thankfully, the section is over and done with quickly so you can get into a rhythm with each retry, but that’s all for naught if you don’t manage to actually kill the boss (like me).
7 Battlefield Hardline
As difficult as Battlefield Hardline’s platinum is, it was a hell of a lot of fun getting it. The ‘Menz in the Hood’ multiplayer trophy definitely provided the most headaches. Players must simply get 25 kills with a MAC 10 sub-machine gun and a double-barrel shotgun, but there’s a twist. In order to unlock those two weapons, players must get service stars via kills, camera coins by getting a ridiculous amount of camera assists, a certain amount of laser mine kills as you throw them every which way around the map, and ballistic shield coins earned by taking a specific amount of damage with a shield. That must be done multiple times in multiple matches. And that doesn’t quite cover everything that needs to be done for the trophy either.
6 Uncharted: Golden Abyss
Uncharted: Golden Abyss follows series tradition with its trophy list, but throws a curveball right at the end. The game’s final boss fight doesn’t use the third-person shooting mechanics seen in every other title, instead opting to use the PlayStation Vita’s touchscreen. Playing the fight on Crushing difficulty while swiping for your life as arrows pop up all over the screen is the definition of infuriating. The fight is already hard on lower difficulties, but the response time needed to not miss a single swipe command is ridiculous. By the fifth or sixth attempt, your fingers are already aching from the contortions they’ve had to go through in previous attempts. And maybe watch out for dropping your Vita if you do finally achieve the feat. Mine still hasn’t recovered.
5 FIFA World Cup 2014
Another FIFA title, although one that is significantly more difficult than FIFA 15. The World Cup 2014 game’s difficulty comes about when players attempt to tackle the online trophies. Playing in the tournament structure, players have to win the World Cup five times. Each victory requires the player to win at least five of the seven matches and to make things a little more interesting, ‘WHO won the FIFA World Cup?!’ requires the player to win the online tournament with a team rated between 0.5 and 1.5 stars. Although somehow in my situation, I managed to win on my first try without conceding a single goal and winning all seven matches on my way to the final with the host nation Brazil. I guess I’m just that good.
4 Mirror’s Edge
EA’s cult classic is equal parts beautiful and equal parts rage inducing. The many time-trial and speed run trophies are the difference between a 35% completion rate and the platinum trophy. ‘Still Counting’ requires a time trial star rating of 50 and there are various chapter specific speed run trophies. For the casual at heart, there’s no chance of ever getting almost any of these trophies as they require an insane amount of precision in terms of when you should jump off a platform or when the best time is to slide. It may be possible for most to get a few of the trophies, but practice makes perfect in Mirror’s Edge and unless you’re willing to sink a lot of time into learning the routes, it’s best to stay away.
Getting the platinum trophy in developer Platinum Games’ Vanquish is almost necessarily difficult with a name like that. Vanquish’s high-octane action is the bedrock on which some maniacal trophies are set. Besides beating the game on hard without dying, the tactical challenges in the game present a new meaning of difficult. The sixth and final tactical challenge is absolutely nuts and needs to be seen to be believed. The fifth round of the sixth challenge, in particular, has one-hit kill enemies spawning all around you, many of which can harm the player after death in the way of incoming rockets. All the while you have to stay mobile and dash around like a madman intercepting enemies and dodging incoming fire.
2 Titan Souls
Titan Souls might be the game with the highest number of difficult trophies on this list. There’s a trophy for beating without dodging or sprinting, a trophy for beating the game in under twenty minutes, a trophy for beating the game without dying, and a trophy for beating the game without dying with the difficulty being set to hard. You get the point. That’s on top of the many trophies that require killing bosses in specific ways and the fact that you only have to be hit once to die. Don’t be fooled by the cute pixel art and simplistic mechanics; Titan Souls will challenge every fiber of your gaming knowledge and skills again and again.
1 WipEout HD
Forget Gran Turismo 5 and Motorstorm: Pacific Rift, WipEout HD is by far the hardest racing platinum across all three of PlayStation’s platforms. It is a platinum trophy that makes one verbally shudder when looking at the trophy list. Besides the fact that you’re driving at 500 miles per hour, ‘Beat Zico’ and ‘Elite Campaign Legend’ are the two notoriously difficult trophies. The player has to hit a time under 30.82 seconds on Anulpha Pass to beat Zico’s time, which I still believe is actually impossible considering the amount of barrel rolls needed and the near perfect racing line that must be held. Elite Campaign Legend, earned for getting a gold medal in every race on Elite difficulty, looks quite easy in contrast to beating Zico’s alien time. God bless anyone who even tried.