15 PS4 Games That Are So Hard They’ll Make You Want To Chuck Your Controller

Ever wondered what are the hardest games on the PS4? Creating a video game is no easy task, as developers constantly need to toe the line between making a game challenging but also keeping it fun. For a game to work, it has to be just the right level of challenging — obviously difficult enough to make players feel a sense of accomplishment, but not so difficult that it becomes a chore to play. 

Unfortunately, finding the right balance is no easy task. That's not to say a difficult game isn't good or fun to play: challenging games are often classics on any given system. There have been plenty of difficult PlayStation games over the years, but these are the hardest PS4 games of the bunch.

From seeking revenge in Sekiro to chopping down your enemies in Dark Souls III (which is a notoriously difficult franchise), check out some of the hardest popular games to ever grace (or curse, depending on how you see it) the PlayStation 4. How many of these bad boys have you beaten?

Photo: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice / From Software
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  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an action-adventure title from FromSoftware that is set in the Sengoku period of Japan. Players take on the role of a shinobi known as "Wolf," who is on a vengeful quest against a clan of samurai, who attacked him and kidnapped his lord. The game received universal acclaim, and it sold incredibly well, though, there is one complaint, and it has everything to do with its intense difficulty.

    What Makes It So Hard: Sekiro's difficulty lies in its fight mechanics, which work differently from most games. Instead of being all about hacking and slashing like a madman, the game is all about timing. Blocking, posture-breaking, and parrying are the names of the game, and every fight a player engages in has the very likely possibility of ending in failure if a single move isn't timed to perfection. It's radically difficult, but despite this, it's an intense title with an engaging story players loved.

    • Released: 2019
    • Developer: FromSoftware
    • Genres (Video game): Action-Adventure
    538 votes
  • 2
    679 VOTES

    In Bloodborne, players take control of a Hunter in a Gothic, Victorian-era city called Yharnam. The city's inhabitants have been afflicted with a blood-borne disease, and it's up to the player to find the source of the virus while solving mysteries and fighting off various creatures. The game comes off like an H.P Lovecraft meets Bram Stoker's nightmare, and it's challenging to make it from beginning to end.

    What Makes It So Hard: The game is infamous for being one of the hardest ever made, and playing through to the end is an experiment in masochism, but that doesn't mean it's not entertaining. The bosses players face are going to take more than a few attempts to get through, and doing so requires memorizing each boss's unique patterns and fight mechanics. When you finally do beat one, odds are, you'll need to take some time off from playing, as your hands will be too sore to continue. It's that hard.

    • Released: 2015
    • Developer: FromSoftware
    • Genres (Video game): Action role-playing
    679 votes
  • 3
    424 VOTES

    The fourth title in the Souls franchise hit the major consoles back in 2016, and like its predecessors, it received near-universal acclaim from both critics and players. Dark Souls III serves as a conclusion to the series, and it was the fastest-selling game in the developer's history, which helped to make it insanely successful in terms of sales. The two DLC expansions, Ashes of Ariandel and The Ringed City, were exceptional additions to an impressive game that rounded out the storylines and brought the series to a favorable conclusion.

    What Makes It So Hard: Everything about Dark Souls III was praised upon release, but it didn't take long for players to begin complaining about the intense level of difficulty in progressing through the game. The Souls series is known for being difficult, but the level of difficulty was ramped up for the fourth title, which was explained by the series' creator, Hidetaka Miyazaki, who said, "When [we] set the difficulty level… our objective was to make the game possible to accomplish." The game is definitely beatable, but it's going to take a lot of time (and plenty of patience).

    • Released: 2016
    • Developer: FromSoftware
    • Genres (Video game): Action role-playing
    424 votes
  • 4
    291 VOTES
    Photo: Sony

    Nioh was released in 2017 and is set in a fictionalized version of the world as it appeared in the year 1600. Players take on the role of an Irish sailor named William Adams, who is on the hunt for a sorcerer named Edward Kelley. The game moves into the Sengoku period, leading into the unification of Japan by Tokugawa Ieyasu, and the story is impressively told in a game that has only one weakness, and it's the difficulty. 

    What Makes It So Hard: Nioh is complex, and the game requires players to develop a specific type of playstyle to make it through to the end. Being a Souldborne-type game, you already know it's going to be tough, but it's all stepped-up to keep players in their seats longer, and without question, it's a hard game. In order to make it from beginning to end, players will need to fully understand the mechanics, and doing so requires gameplay and study, so pay attention to everything, or you'll find yourself more frustrated than fulfilled by an otherwise engrossing and entertaining title. Most gamers agree that the 2020 sequel, while expanding upon the original in almost every perceivable way, is — for better or worse — much easier.

    • Released: 2017
    • Developer: Team Ninja
    • Genres (Video game): Action Role-Playing
    291 votes
  • 5
    110 VOTES
    Super Meat Boy
    Photo: Team Meat

    With a name like Super Meat Boy, you know you’re in for an adventure. As one of the most popular platformers in recent years, gamers take control of a cube-eque character named Meat Boy who’s determined to track down his girlfriend, who was captured by an intelligent fetus named — you guessed it — Dr. Fetus.

    What Makes It So Hard: For starters, Super Meat Boy's fine-tuned controls mean there’s very little room for error. Timing means everything, and precision is key. That said, the game also has its own unique gameplay mechanics that, for most players, takes a while to get used to. One of the game’s co-creators actually went into detail as to why (and how) they made the game so hard.

    • Released: 2010
    • Developer: Team Meat
    • Genres (Video game): Platform game, Action game
    110 votes
  • 6
    202 VOTES

    Alien: Isolation

    Alien: Isolation
    Photo: Creative Assembly

    Games based on the Alien franchise have been hit or miss since the first film hit theaters in the late 1970s, but every once in a while, a good one slips through. Alien: Isolation is as close as any developer has gotten to putting players into the role of someone being mercilessly hunted by a Xenomorph, and despite being an amazing achievement in gameplay design, it's horribly frightening to play.

    What Makes It So Hard: The whole point of this game is to survive, and the only way you can do that is by avoiding the titular monster throughout gameplay. You have very little in terms of weapons or defenses, so imagine being hunted by one of these things in dark and frightening places. It's insanely hard to avoid a monster bred for its ability to track you down and kill you, so the difficulty coupled with the constant state of fear and paranoia makes it almost impossible to play this game well.

    • Released: 2014
    • Developer: The Creative Assembly
    • Genres (Video game): Survival Horror
    202 votes