- 1+ 172- 33A side scroller, beat 'em up with already near impossible villains, Battletoads was also two player so you were tempted to join in with a buddy resulting in almost no room on the screen, constantly bumping into one another, and general madness.
- 2+ 137- 34Another game legendary for it's simultaneous difficulty and fun, Castlevania seemed to find all your weaknesses in every moment and exploit them. It's hard to explain just how hard Castlevania is and why, but play it and you'll quickly see.
- 3+ 143- 37Ghosts'n Goblins was a side scroller that used its gameplay to scare the crap out of you. Constant ghosts and... goblins... leaping out, causing you to fall to your doom. It's insanely hard to get to the last level, much less complete it.
- 4+ 159- 48Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start. When a game is famous for making cheat codes commonplace on major consoles you KNOW it's hard. Play it with NO codes. Three lives for all 8 levels. Even the frickin' SCREEN moves to spite you. That waterfall level man...
- 5+ 87- 15This game was apparently designed with absolutely no regard for its target audience, the vast majority of whom no doubt tossed their controllers down in frustration. Playing with action figures is so much easier, after all.
- 6+ 101- 31Even more difficult than its already daunting predecessor, Ghosts'n Goblins, Ghouls'n Ghosts threw even more enemies at you, had a moving landscape, and every jump required pixel perfect accuracy or you were DONE. Sometimes in just a single hit.
Then there was the ending of the game... which put you right back in the beginning again, making you complete it twice to truly beat the game.
- 7+ 132- 53Why it was hard: Early opponents were super fast and hard enough (though they had a prettyy conspicuous X on their weak spots). Once you got to the big boss - Mike Tyson - it was near impossible. Your punches did practically nothing to him and HIS punches ended the fight. You'd have to dodge every one of his blows and land dozens of your own.
- 8+ 108- 40Well let's just say that every Mega Man after (and there are many) added things to make gameplay easier. Every cool upgrade was really only relevant towards one specific boss. The jumping modes were merciless and since you couldn't save, all those barely won victories had to be redone every single time.
- 9+ 120- 48This game is so hard, Nintendo executives blocked its release in the United States. Booby trapped power ups, flying enemies, gusts of wind, hidden Goombas designed to pop up for a quick kill, and even POISONED MUSHROOMS. Nothing is sacred.
- 10+ 96- 34The famous top down style of the first Zelda was replaced here with a traditional (and all the rage at the time) side scroller. Not only was this side scroller so impossibly hard... but you only got three lives and no saves. Not to mention how hard the Dark Maze in Death Mountain was.
- 11+ 71- 39Not only are you fighting endless hordes of your enemies, you must also satiate your blade, or IT will kill you. This means no rest, no pacing yourself, CONSTANT fury, and fighting through the whole game.
- 12+ 62- 33As a follow-up to the legendarily difficult Castlevania, this sequel naturally doubled down on the difficulty. It's still not as touch as its predecessor, but maybe it only feels that way because it's what we expect.
- 13+ 49- 30The entire series is hard, but this one in particular has bosses so hard that it can make even longtime serious gamers question their prowess.
- 14+ 55- 41This game was so hard it resulted in letters and emails of complaint from furious gamers claiming it was impossible. It wasn't, but man, did it require inhuman patience and resilience.
- 15+ 38- 29Actually being the Herald of Galactus would be easier than riding the cosmic waves to triumph in this licensed Marvel game.
- 16+ 27- 19Yet more heroes in a half shell, forcing gamers to confront enemies even more dangerous than the Foot Clan.
- 17+ 9- 5Even in early game, almost amazingly difficult monsters, and not to mention bastard moves like making you walk an eternity from town to town.
- 18+ 28- 27Just imagine Robert Louis Stevenson attempting to play this needlessly difficult game. First, he'd have to get over the techno-wizardry of television, and the side scroller's 1988 graphics, but then even the 19th century writer would get annoyed by its laggy controls.
- 19+ 30- 39There's a reason millions of these ended up buried in an landfill. Anyone who tried to actually beat this gaming abomination probably wasn't surprised to find that it ended up being a full-blown environmental catastrophe.
- 20+ 17- 27Hey you guys remember Jaguar? No... okay. Even though AVP was Jaguar's finest hour, the graphics made shooting and aiming... troublesome. That and you're facing ALIENS and PREDATORS which, if you've seen the movies, aren't exactly easy to take down. Just don't play as a human because you aren't getting anywhere that way.