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The 15 Most Difficult Video Games To Beat, Ranked By Gamers

Updated October 13, 2020 28.3k votes 5.8k voters 402.8k views15 items

List RulesVote up the games that you're sure you'll never 100% beat.

If you hope to one day garner respect in convention showrooms and internet forums, there are a few video games you should say you've played. These titles are pillars of the industry, and some are nearly unanimously referred to as the best games of all time. However, there's a big difference between playing these difficult to beat games and actually finishing them.

If you're hoping to experience the best and hardest games of the last two console generations, be prepared to devote well over 100 hours to a single title. The hefty commitment can make some players feel the need to fudge the truth a little bit, as there are only so many hours in a lifetime. 

A number of different factors compel people to lie about beating videogames. Some games are so challenging that they're almost impossible to beat, whereas others demand literal weeks of a player's life. This has only become more true as games have grown in size, as modern blockbusters offer countless hours of content to keep players hooked. Weigh in with your opinions on the toughest video games to finish. 

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  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 15 Most Difficult Video Games To Beat, Ranked By Gamers
    Photo: Bethesda Game Studios

    Even after defeating Alduin, the World Eater, there's still so much to do in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Players can embark on a plethora of side quests, guild missions, and other tasks that will keep them exploring for well over 200 hours.

    After the game was released, Bethesda put out three expansions packs — Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn — that add even more content to an already sprawling game. Hearthfire gives players the option to build houses and adopt children, which means that one could theoretically live a virtual life in the game forever.

    To top it all off, Skyrim's Radiant Quest System — which generates quests for you based on your progress in the game — insures that there will always be something to accomplish in the game.

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  • Even in an age where the average blockbuster game clocks in at around 80 hours, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is still abnormally massive. Speedrunners have been able to reach the credits in about 25 hours, but this feat requires a completely bare-bones playthrough. Factoring in the countless side quests, contracts, and hidden events strewn throughout the game, the average player will spend around 200 hours making their way to the end (and that's optimistic). 

    Discounting all the planned encounters, another big factor in The Witcher 3's unbelievable length is how vast the game's world is. The continent is separated into several different regions with cities, towns, and villages spread throughout. Every town has an eclectic population of NPCs to interact with, and the wilds are filled with hidden treasures and treacherous caverns.

    To 100% the game, you must explore every last corner of this gigantic world.

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  • In order to 100% Grand Theft Auto V, you need to do a lot more than simply finish the story, which is very long to begin with (there are 69 story missions in total, all of which feature optional bonus objectives). You also need to complete 20 strangers and freaks missions, 14 random events, 42 hobbies and pastimes, and 16 miscellaneous tasks.

    Then there are the collectible in-game challenges, such as time trials, stunt jumps, hunting missions, and hookups with random strangers. If you're hoping to complete the game, you better start sharpening your virtual tennis skills. 

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  • Batman: Arkham Knight is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 15 Most Difficult Video Games To Beat, Ranked By Gamers
    Photo: Rocksteady Studios

    In case you're not aware, the true antagonist of the Batman: Arkham series is its collection of Riddler trophies, which are strategically hidden all throughout Gotham. While you can choose to ignore these collectibles in the first few games, Arkham Knight forces you to find all 243 of its Riddler trophies to reach the true ending, which is still a cliffhanger. 

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