These brutal games are not for the faint of heart.
While they are not all classic, this is indeed true of the titles on this list. So if you want to really test your might, here are 10 of the toughest games to fight.
1. Dark Souls.
Dark Souls is a simple answer that has become known as one of the harshest games of our time. Dark Souls punishes as brutally as it rewards, with challenges players face around every corner and enemies who are overwhelmingly eager to kill you. Dark Souls is also challenging because it changes the way you play action games. In Dark Souls, movement is often slow and unhurried, unlike fast-paced games like Devil May Cry or Bayonetta.
2. Ninja Gaiden.
Ninja Gaiden is a 3D reimagining of an already challenging 2D platformer from 1988. Ninja Gaiden boasts incredibly fast-paced action against ruthless enemies. Defeating them meant many accurate attacks, as well as blocking and parrying. Ninja Gaiden is also notorious for its extremely challenging boss fights that would make Dark Souls bosses look tame.
Arcade games are specially designed to be incredibly challenging so that the machine can receive a constant stream of coins. Contra is one of those games that originated from arcades. As a simple soldier in the Rambo style, you face waves of enemies and formidable bosses, as well as deadly traps and a ticking timer.
4. Mega Man 9.
Released ten years after Mega Man 8, Mega Man 9 returns to its roots and maybe the most challenging game in this classic series. The gameplay sits between Megaman 2 and 3 - there are no sliding mechanics or charging shots here, but the Megaman Rush companion robot dog is back to help out in some of the more challenging game situations. However, cunning enemies and cunning traps like bottomless pits and deadly spikes ensure that level maneuvering is nothing short of a challenge.
In Flywrench, you pilot a small rectangular spaceship whose goal in each level is to avoid obstacles and go through colorful gates to reach the goal at the end. Unlike the Flappy Bird, your little ship is constantly falling down and players must keep it afloat by pressing the up arrow to flap its wings, and at the same time using the left and right arrow keys to glide.
1001 Spikes belong to a genre of games called "masocore" (a mixture of "masochism" and "hardcore"), in which trial and error games, complex game mechanics and high difficulty take center stage. Masocore games are deliberately designed to frustrate players. So death is part of the journey to 1001 Spikes. Although you are given 1001 lives to complete over 100 levels, you will die, again and again, falling prey to many unexpected traps. If you want to hope for survival, you will need to react on the fly and your reflexes should be lightning fast.
7. Dota 2.
Dota 2 may seem like an odd choice for the “hardest games” list, but there are so many moving parts in Dota 2 that you constantly learn as you play the game. Dota 2 has an incredibly high skill ceiling, which in the first place keeps new players from diving into the game. Given the wide range of items, heroes and abilities, there are many things to pay attention to in order to understand all the complex mechanics and strategies available to you.
8. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Not only is combat in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link challenging due to your limited and melee attack, but it may well be impossible to complete the game without playing through due to the game's dumb puzzles. You should also face some of the toughest enemies in the game very early on when you have yet to level up. The game's final boss, Dark Link, was also notorious for being one of the most difficult - considered invincible - before players came up with clever tactics to deal with it much, much later.
9. Super Mario Bros: Lost levels.
There seems to be a pattern with the Nintendo sequels; This game was originally released in Japan under the name Super Mario Bros 2, but was deemed too difficult for Western gamers and therefore was never released for them. It's another name in Japan, Super Mario Bros. 2: For Super, Players gives you an idea of what to expect from the game. This game assumes you have already mastered the original Super Mario Bros. and have significantly increased the difficulty from the first game. This game also introduces some new game mechanics such as the insidious Poisonous Mushroom that harms the player when touched. You will definitely need some serious skills to make sense of this game.
10. Ghosts' n Goblins.
Ghosts' n Goblins seems like a video game made by the devil himself. Throughout the game, enemies attack you at impossible angles and it only takes two hits to get you back to your starting position. Moreover, each life can only last a certain amount of time (usually about three minutes), with the clock being reset at the beginning of the level. If the clock really ends, the player instantly loses this life. To make matters worse, you need a very specific weapon to defeat the final boss, and you will be prompted to restart the levels if you haven't gotten that weapon.