Although we’re all here because we love gaming, there are various different kinds of gamers. Some people play for the story, setting their games on casual mode and immersing themselves in the world without too much frustration; some play for the visuals; and other brave souls play for the challenge, setting their games to the hardest difficulty and forcing their way through them.
If you’re one of those masochistic people looking for a challenge, these are potentially the most difficult games across the modern consoles. Be warned, though — it’s pretty much impossible to fully complete all 10 on this list.
Bloodborne is absolutely infamous for its difficulty. Based on works by Lovecraft and Stoker, and real life places such as Romania and Czechia, it’s a pretty gothic atmospheric game that focuses mostly on combat. Well, you’ll be mostly focused on the combat, because that’s the difficult part.
The bosses are painfully difficult and will take multiple attempts before you can beat them, learning the patterns and developing some sort of muscle memory between your hand and the controller. It’s not impossible to beat, but it’ll certainly require lots of long breaks and trying to calm yourself down before continuing. Good luck.
9 Alien: Isolation
Alien: Isolation is a survival horror game based on the movies of the same name. Although you’ll be up against other enemies such as androids, the main enemy you have in this game is the alien itself. It’s hunting you, and there’s no fighting it; there’s only running, hiding, and praying it doesn’t see you.
Even on the easiest mode, this alien is pretty hard to get past and is another game that will take multiple attempts as you learn the alien’s pattern and manage to find your way around it. It’s also pretty creepy, so be prepared for some minor jump scares.
8 Dark Souls III (Or Any Dark Souls Game, Really)
A series known for its difficulty, Dark Souls is a roleplaying game that’s available on many consoles. You’re mostly going to be relying on your weapons and your shield in this game, facing different types of enemies; but the problem with them is that they change their combat pattern mid-fight, so muscle memory and learning patterns aren’t going to help you very much here.
The good news is, it’s a very rewarding game if you can actually get through it, because the words, “I beat the Dark Souls game,” automatically make you respected in the gaming world. We don’t make the rules.
7 Cloudberry Kingdom
Something a little different from the atmospheric and often eerie games above is Cloudberry Kingdom. It looks cute. It looks light-hearted. It’s a simple 2D platformer you can play alone or with friends. Or at least, the rules are simple. The game itself… not so much.
There are literally hundreds of levels that end up being downright impossible as you near the end. Luckily, there are some cheats available, such as slow motion or watching the computer complete the level and then being challenged to copy — but you just have to look at some of these levels online to realize that even those cheats may not help you.
6 Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Another one that looks like a fun game! We all remember Crash Bandicoot from the olden days. A fun, family-friendly adventure platformer. People cried tears of joy when this series was remastered for the modern consoles.
But this trilogy, especially the first game, is actually insanely hard, which you may not remember about the series. The clue is in the title of the trilogy. Sure, it’s not as dark as Bloodborne or as tense as Alien, but it may still have you throwing your controller at the screen in frustration. Try not to do that, though. You’ll get there eventually!
5 Super Meat Boy
Super Meat Boy is an independent platformer on most of the modern consoles (and PC!), and it’s a pretty bizarre concept. A small red cube character must save his girlfriend, another cube.
The levels get increasingly difficult with the obstacles that must be avoided and the timing has to be down to the split second. You’re bound to get past each obstacle if you practice enough, but it definitely does take practice (and some luck to get that timing exact).
The good news is, there’s no "game over" — you get unlimited attempts at each level.
Good luck, because you’re going to need them.
4 Horizon Zero Dawn (Hard Mode)
Horizon Zero Dawn is a PS4 exclusive masterpiece and, on casual mode, it’s pretty doable. On normal mode, it gets tricky. On hard mode…
The thing that makes this game super difficult on hard mode is that the machines can deal a horrible amount of damage. Best get that Shield Weaver armor if attempting this game mode, and only try to complete it when you’ve finished the game on another mode — you’re going to need the practice.
There’s also an achievement for completing the game on Ultrahard in New Game+, so at least you’ll be able to brag to your friends and prove you did it.
3 XCOM 2
The only turn-based game on the list is XCOM 2, the sequel to a popular video game. You are controlling a military unit against aliens, and at this point, XCOM is essentially just the resistance; the aliens have already won.
Relying on grenades early in the game is your best shot, but things will get tricky after that. It’s a game that requires a lot of thought, probably not the game you want to play when you’re lying in bed and trying to unwind at night. But if you want a challenge that’s going to test your intelligence over your quick reactions, this is the game for you.
2 Monster Hunter: World
Monster Hunter: World is a beautiful roleplaying game. It involves exactly what the title sounds like: hunting down monsters.
Like the games before it, the monsters are challenging and you’re pretty much thrown straight into the thick of the action. There’s a steep learning curve, especially if you haven’t played a game like this before; you pretty much might have to die a few times as you learn what you’re doing.
This game is a good challenge though, because the world is stunning and the building is impressive enough that you should be able to overlook the difficulty in favor of everything else.
Spelunky is an indie platformer. You control a spelunker who’s exploring caves to collect treasure, save people, and fight your enemies.
The really interesting thing about this game is that the caves are randomly generated. There’s no Googling some walkthroughs, or looking up a playthrough on YouTube so you can see how someone else did it. Everything is random, meaning your game is not going to look the same as anyone else’s and it is truly a challenge unique to you.
This, of course, is both awesome and frightening. But you can see exactly why this game is so difficult — they’ve ensured you can’t run for help.