Today gamers are a bit spoiled on video game difficulty for the most part. Players get multiple checkpoints and auto saves which greatly reduces how tough the game is overall. In our opinion,a good challenge is core to any good game and it’s what gives players that great feeling of accomplishment upon beating a boss or grueling level. Join BootHammer as we take a look at our picks for the Top 5 Hardest Video Games.
5. Ninja Gaiden Black – Expanding on the grueling and action-packed game by Team Ninja, this new edition of Ninja Gaiden ramps up the difficulty even higher. If you beat the first edition you can’t possibly imagine that this would even be possible. Gamers can test their skill with 5 levels of difficulty for all from Ninja Dog to Master Ninja. This Black Edition also included challenging Hurricane Packs Content that featured new enemies and big, bad bosses from Hurricane Packs 1&2 included as special bonus for an extra ninja challenge. Players were also treated to new cinematic cut scenes that reveal secrets from the world of Ninja Gaiden making this a much for fans.
4. Battletoads – Developed by Rare and originally released for Nintendo Entertainment System in 1991, Battletoads was instantly a huge hit with gamers. The graphics looked amazing for the time (arguably one of the best looking titles on the NES) and the game was very addictive partly due to its tremendous difficulty. This was not a game for novice players. To beat this game was a massive achievement in the gaming world. I can’t tell you how many times I rage quit and threw the ever durable NES controller out of disgust. Yet I always returned to the game with a persistent drive to reach the next level. It was a fantastic side-scrolling /beat-em-up title that tested the best of the best.
3. Super Gouls and Ghosts – As Arthur, the greatest swordsman in all the land, you are well respected and held in high regard by all who know you. When a nefarious creature kidnaps Princess Guinevere, you take it as a personal challenge and vow to save the fair princess exacting revenge on her captors. Plot seems simple enough, beat up any monsters along the way and save the princess (sounds all too familiar). What’s new here however is the amount of time players will be seeing the game over screen. Super Gouls and Ghosts was immensely challenging. This was due to the limited health and checkpoints. One had to truly memorize and master each level. While Arthur had armor, one hit would have players in their underwear. Another hit in this state kills you…game over.
2. Demon Souls – This game brought back old school difficulty to this generation. Demon Souls had the uncanny ability to make the player think they were somehow in control and it was precisely at these times where you immediately died. This could be from a single enemy encounter or a fall. The hardest part to swallow was starting back at the very beginning of each stage. This was not something typically found in titles today. There were no checkpoints, no auto-saves. Players would fight their way all the way to the end of stage to face the boss (which all were immensely powerful and intimidating) only to last a few seconds in battle, die and try again once the rage ceased. The only help given was through clever online features which allowed players to leave hints for each other and replay death scenes. I’ll never forget my first glimpse of the Tower Knight…truly terrifying. This was without a doubt one of my favorite games this gen.
1. Contra III: The Alien Wars – The entire series is challenging but Contra III was simply a bruiser. While the Japan version was treated with a thirty lives code, a stage select, and unlimited continues, the US release had all these handy cheats removed making it an incredible feat to finish. Contra III only featured 6 levels but they were action packed with explosions and some of the best firefights found on the Super Nintendo. Revisit the game today and the graphics and overall presentation are still impressive. Players could team up and tackle the game together via co-op slightly evening the odds. The game however remained brutally difficult and demanded near perfection out of each player through each level to beat the game.
With so many games to consider, we would love to hear which titles brought you the most challenge and difficulty. Leave your thoughts and nominees below!