When you buy a game you expect to have fun, feel good, relax, and have something to do. Well, some games really just want to get on your nerves and keep you peeved as much as possible. These games were created by the pettiest developers ever, to ensure that they can make the calmest player in the world lose his shit.
This type of game mocks you for being so competitive – a.k.a. masochistic – that you want to finish playing the rage-inducing abomination just to brag to your friends about it. These are the games just after loading will mock your reaction speed and the fact that you can’t even pass the first level. Yes… The Top 5 Inhumanly Hard Games. How hard? Hard enough to make this top!
Fifth place goes to Ninja Gaiden Black.
If I hear one more person saying that being ninja is simple, I’ll shove that sword where his sun doesn’t shine. This game not only overwhelms you with heaps of enemies, but also makes it hard to cut, throw, stab or crush them. Not to mention that bosses in this game are ridiculously hard to beat, with almost zero vulnerabilities. You want a really heavy challenge? Ninja Gaiden Black is the perfect choice. It does a great job of making the player feel like 2-year-old little girl trying to wield a scimitar against millions of enemies who want to chop her up. The first ten minutes humiliate you through difficulty, and by the end you will want to break everything around you because of stress.
Fourth place is awarded to Battle Toads.
The old Nintendo Entertainment System has an impressive gallery of difficult games. Battle Toads is one of them. This title became well-spread in emerging and third world countries through NES clones like the Terminator. Oh, and what an impressive sight. Something that looked like ninja turtles, only they were frogs! How can you not want to play that?
You wanted to play it, badly! The fact that you could not pass the second level was a whole other issue. Not only did enemies have health comparable to that of a T-Rex, but they appeared unannounced in screen corners, the game programming being a subject of much frustration even today. And if that wasn’t enough, if you were playing Co-Op, you could attack teammates! Why? For the broken window and controller-to-the-head experience, that’s why! Obviously I speak of my own history with the game. Battle Toads is an undoubtedly tough game. Frustrating? Obviously! However, not so annoying as the next title in the list.
In 3rd place we have Super Ghouls N ‘Ghosts.
Want to scream in rage at the end of a game? Play Super Ghouls N ‘Ghosts! The recipe is simple. Take a knight out on a picnic wearing tights (no kidding), have the devil steal his fiancée (or whatever that damned pixelated abomination is) and throw the player against the most frustrating level design possible at the time. Super Ghouls N ‘Ghosts can make you shiver in demonic bloodlust before you even realize. The various mobs on-screen have one goal, to kill you as quickly as possible, and the game mechanics, since we’re talking about SNES, is not as responsive as the user would like or need. And the end? When you think you’ve finished the game and saved the princess, Super Ghouls N ‘Ghosts takes a cue from Mario and tells your entire effort and endeavor was an illusion from Satan to trick you, and you have to finish the game a second time see the end! How can you be so sadistic Capcom? Really? What sadism is that?!
2nd place: I think the inclusion of Contra in this top will surprise nobody.
Any of the games, anytime, anywhere, can make you cry out of spite that you didn’t manage to shoot faster. Let’s face it… How many of you have finished this game without the Konami Code and Spread Gun?
The Genesis is grotesquely difficult, and what appeared on the SNES was created by Big Lucy himself. Contra is by definition a tough game. However, when you’re done, nothing and nobody can take that sense of accomplishment away. Nor the whole in your pockets caused by replacing 20 joypads.
I suppose 1st place has to go to a game that much harder than Contra, right? I Wanna Be The Guy is it!
This game was created with one thought… to make you lose your mind, while the developer is laughing like a maniac in the background, mocking you and your zombie-like skills you try to pass the first level. It’s the kind of game that throws convention out the window in favor of something that has nothing to do with anything familiar. Items that fall up, a boss character from another game if everything would stop here, that would be so nice! I Wanna Be The Guy has one final purpose: to dance on your nerves while laughing at your tears, during which you’re living an apoplexy crisis!
Honorable mentions go out to From Software’s Souls series, as well as Megaman 9.