ByAdonis Gonzalez, writer at
Writer, movie lover, third thing. email me at [email protected]! Follow me on Twitter @FanJournalist
Adonis Gonzalez

Video games are a form of entertainment. They're meant to bring us action, adventure, drama, and all kinds of fun! But some games aren't satisfied with bringing us joy, they think we need a little more kick in our entertaining experience.

So along with the aforementioned action, adventure and etc., some games like to bring us death, failure, and hair-pulling frustration! After all, what's more entertaining than having to redo a level over and over again because it's nearly impossible to beat? Literally anything else, that's what. Nevertheless, here are 5 incredibly unforgiving and beyond challenging games! Bring your big boy pants, you're going to need them to play these deathtraps!

5. Dark Souls II

You all knew it was going to be on this list, it's on every list of hard games ever made! So instead of making you wait for the inevitable inclusion of Dark Souls II, I thought I'd just start the list off with it.

To call Dark Souls II a video game is a bit incorrect, it's more of an... interactive death simulator. Though most of the games on this list are. What separates Dark Souls II from the rest of the games on this list, is that it straight up tricks you into thinking that you've got a shot—when in fact, you don't. AT ALL.

When you're in control of the silent protagonist of Dark Souls II, you feel like a warrior! Just look at yourself, you've got a slick sword, a nice set of armor, and a variety of magic, weapons and other medieval tools at your disposal! Yes, you certainly feel powerful! That is until you actually come across an enemy, then you feel less like a bad-ass knight, and more like a frightened young trick-or-treater on Halloween.

The perfect analogy for real life.
The perfect analogy for real life.

It's so easy to die in this game, so much that if your mission was to die, it'd be the easiest quest to complete in the entire game! Everything can kill you in this game, and I do mean everything.

Even the weakest enemies in the game can absolutely decimate you! What makes it even worse is that whenever you die, your maximum health is reduced by 5%, and health potions are severely limited.

There are hazards everywhere you turn, and absolutely no way to avoid them. Dark Souls II is the perfect representation of life in a fictional medieval fantasy world. Only instead of being the untouchable hero with a prophecy attached to his name, you're the completely expendable side-character who may or may not save the day... if you can just get past that Ogre...

4. Super Meat Boy

Oh Super Meat Boy, how you fooled me. I thought that, due to your adorable graphics and obvious nod to the Super Mario Bros. series, that you'd be a fun and clever little platformer, full of awesome little easter eggs and references. And you were, but you forgot to mention that along with your cuteness and cleverness, you also had a rather extreme amount of UNFORGIVABLE PAIN in your coding!

Super Meat Boy is a fun game, one that any platform lover should check out, but be warned if you're easily frustrated. This game, with its levels full to the brim with traps, could make even the most skillful of players toss their controller in anger.

Spikes, falling objects, buzzsaws, drops, this game had it all! Clearly meant to challenge the players who grew up in the NES era of platformers, Super Meat Boy sees the difficulty of Super Mario Bros., Mega Man and others and raises it to an eleven!

3. Silver Surfer

Oh yes, Silver Surfer. Just like Dark Souls II, the Silver Surfer video game is on almost every single hard games list. But while you may have just a tiny, hardly noticeable glimmer of hope when playing Dark Souls II, you have NONE when playing this game!

The first- and understandably, only- game to star the titular cosmic Marvel Comics superhero, Silver Surfer is a basic side-scrolling shooter game, with levels alternating between traditional side-scrolling, and an overhead perspective.

The game would have been really fun; it's got great graphics, praise-worthy music and it stars one of the coolest Marvel characters of all time. The only thing holding it back is its insane levels of difficulty!

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. You can believe what you're seeing. That is Marvel's powerful cosmic superhero, the herald of Galactus, Silver Silver... getting wiped out by a rubber duck...

See, for most NES side-scrollers, most things that weren't platforms or power-ups were hazards. So basically anything that you couldn't climb on or pick up could kill you. This wasn't a problem for most games, but with Silver Surfer, the titular hero was a large sprite with a just as large hitbox.

This meant that it was incredible easy for something as harmless are a rubber duck to become an unavoidable bringer of instant death! Needless to say, the game is near-unbeatable, and barely playable. If there's one thing this game has taught me, it's that rubber ducks are COLD. BLOODED. KILLERS.

Oh god, it's heading straight for us!
Oh god, it's heading straight for us!

2. Maximo: Ghosts To Glory

This one's a childhood favorite of mine, Maximo: Ghosts To Glory! A spin-off of the notorious Ghosts N' Goblins series, Maximo is just as hard as the other titles in the franchise!

Like the other Ghosts N' Goblins games, Maximo: Ghosts To Glory stars a knight (Maximo) who must save the Queen from the terrible king Achille. The gameplay is similar to that of the original GN'G games, except it's a 3D world, rather than a 2D side-scrolling one.

You can use normal knightly weapons such as swords, magic potions, etc. If you die, you can give Death Coins to the Grim Reaper in exchange for a second chance. And trust me, you'll be needing quite a few second chances.

You and this guy are going to become best friends.
You and this guy are going to become best friends.

There are countless enemies in this game, all of them powerful and popping out of places you wouldn't expect—like out of the ground directly in front of you. You do have some protection against them, a nice shiny suit of armor. But every time you get hit, a piece of that sweet armor gets knocked off.

If you get hit enough times, Maximo is left in his underwear, which is just embarrassing for everyone involved. If you get hit whilst in your boxers, you die instantly.

As odd a sentence it is to say, you'll be seeing Maximo in his underwear a lot playing this game! Talk about adding insult to injury...

Well, it's better than him going commando..
Well, it's better than him going commando..


What's a list without some honorable mentions? These are the games that almost, but didn't, make the list. They may not have made the top 5, but they're still hard enough for me to want to talk about.

So, without further ado, here's the first super tough, super frustrating honorable mention!


The only game that causes me to go into a fit of seething rage no matter how good of a mood I'm in. This is the only game that can ruin Christmas morning, so much that Santa doesn't bring coal to naughty children anymore—he brings them this game!

Battletoads is a video game developed by Rare for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Like all NES games, it was made long before I was born, and yet somehow, it has become the bane of my existence. It only took me playing this game once, ONCE, for me to realize that this wasn't a game. No, this "game" is actually a torture device that was accidentally exposed to tons of unsuspecting NES owning victims!

In Battletoads, you control one of three battle-ready amphibians and engage in side-scrolling, racing, and beat 'em up adventures! The game was insanely fast-paced, and that plus the limited amount of lives you got made it a really tough experience.

But while the entire game was incredibly challenging, nothing tops the infamous "turbo tunnel" level, seen above. In it, you take your toad and hop on a hover bike to explore an obnoxiously speedy level. The level throws a ton obstacles at you, and only gives you about half a second to dodge them!

All in all, Battletoads can be a fun game. That is, if you can actually muster up the courage and skill to beat it. If you're like me though, you've already given up on all toad-based video games. Time to play some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Rock Band 4 (Brutal Mode)

Nothing brings friends closer than making sweet, sweet music together! Or in this case, making ear piercing, indescribable sounds together! Rock Band 4 by itself isn't that tough a game; all it takes is a little practice and you and your chums will be rocking out in no time!

But when you play the game in 'Brutal Mode'... well, at least you guys can look cool. Though not technically a game, the appropriately titled 'Brutal Mode' makes Rock Band 4 about 100X harder!

In this mode, players choose from the vast library of songs, and play one as they usually would. But the catch is that the better you play, the more unfair it gets. You see, if you play a song well, the game "rewards" you by having the song notes disappear before your very eyes. Oh, but they aren't gone, just invisible! You'll be able to see them for a split second before POOF!


If you know the song well enough, it might make things a little easier. But even then, you'll find yourself struggling to hit that invisible note at the right time. If you're somehow good enough to ace a song and get 100%, you get rewarded with five coveted crimson stars. Good luck to all ye gaming rockstars out there!

Anyway, now that the honorable mentions have been honorably mentioned, it's time to reveal the number 1 most unforgiving game ever! You can probably guess what it is already.

1. Dragon's Lair

Dragon's Lair, the ultimate tough, challenging, and downright unforgiving game! For those who don't know, Dragon's Lair is a laserdisc game made for arcade systems. Like most laserdisc games, it featured mainly pre-recorded animated cutscenes. All of the animation was done by Don Bluth, the director of classic animated films like The Secret of NIMH, The Land Before Time and Anastasia!

While the game certainly looks beautiful, and is full of action and hilarity, it's the most unforgiving game in the history of gaming! The gameplay is pretty simple, you play as Dirk the Daring, a knight who is trying to rescue a princess from the clutches of an evil dragon.

To do so, you have to explore a terrifying castle, full of tons of crazy obstacles. You have to run from giant boulders, dodge headless horsemen, and do just about everything you can to survive! The only problem is the game gives you hardly any indication of what to do, and just like Battletoads, you're given a split second to figure it out.

If you choose poorly, the game immediately lets you know in the only way it knows how.

Dirk is not happy with your progress...
Dirk is not happy with your progress...

What makes the game even more unfair is that the environment is randomized, making it harder to memorize what to do in every situation. If you run out of lives, you're forced to restart the entire game.

Luckily, I own the console version of the game. But if you had to play the arcade version, there aren't enough quarters in the world!

We all get a little annoyed when playing a tough game from time to time. But when we're playing these digital torture devices, our rage is definitely justified. While I absolutely recommend every single one of these games to everyone, they are not for the faint of heart!

So go ahead, sit down, relax and plug in your controllers! Just remember, it's only a game... it's only a game...


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