The Hardest Video Games To Complete

2,608 votes 450 voters 49,614 views 25 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Vote up the hardest games to complete and add any that truly ruined your life

Video games are supposed to be hard. That's the whole point. Why play a game you can just breeze through in a few hours. The best video games should be challenging and engaging. But sometimes a game comes along that is nearly impossible to complete. What are the most difficult video games to beat? Vote up the hardest games to complete below.

Why would these video game developers make a game that's near-impossible to defeat? These games spank you seven ways from Sunday, making you wonder why you ever played them at all. Of course then you restart and go at it all over again. One of the games on this list was so tricky and hard to complete that Nintendo execs didn't even release it in America.

Vote up the games that broke controllers, shattered televisions, and ruined childhoods. The hardest video games that were more than just a challenge - they were games that were almost impossible to beat.

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  1. 1
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    A 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. 2
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    Ghosts'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.

  3. 3
    + 138
    - 36

    Another 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.

  4. 4
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    - 53

    Up, 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. 5
    + 89
    - 19
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    Photo: Freebase

    This 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. 6
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    - 32

    Even 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. 7
    + 135
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    Why 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. 8
    + 112
    - 43

    Well 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. 9
    + 122
    - 50

    This 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. 10
    + 98
    - 36

    The 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. 11
    + 73
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    Not 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. 12
    + 64
    - 36
    Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
    Photo: Nintendo

    As 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. 13
    + 50
    - 31

    The 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. 14
    + 59
    - 42

    This 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. 15
    + 40
    - 31

    Actually being the Herald of Galactus would be easier than riding the cosmic waves to triumph in this licensed Marvel game.

  16. 16
    + 27
    - 19
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Yet more heroes in a half shell, forcing gamers to confront enemies even more dangerous than the Foot Clan.

  17. 17
    + 31
    - 27
    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Just 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.

  18. 18
    + 9
    - 7

    Even in early game, almost amazingly difficult monsters, and not to mention bastard moves like making you walk an eternity from town to town.

  19. 19
    + 1
    - 0
  20. 20
    + 1
    - 0
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