The Most Difficult Game Ever Made, Ranked

Choose the game you think is the most difficult!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on May 11, 2024 06:24
Many avid gamers seek the challenge of playing what could be considered the most difficult game ever created. Determining which game holds this title is no small feat, given the vast differences in gameplay, strategy, and individual skill levels. A ranked list based on community voting provides a dynamic answer derived from a broad spectrum of player experiences and opinions, which helps to create a more accurate reflection of the gaming community's views on difficulty. By participating in this voting process, each voter contributes to a more nuanced understanding of what makes a game particularly challenging. This not only assists other gamers in finding games that match their skills and challenge desires but also enhances the community's engagement with these formidable games. Whether you're a seasoned player or new to the world of challenging games, your vote impacts and shapes this evolving list.

What Is the Most Difficult Game Ever Made?

  1. 2

    Super Meat Boy

    A platformer celebrated for its precise controls and challenging levels, requiring both speed and strategy to master.
    • Release Year: 2010
    • Developer: Team Meat
  2. 3


    A beat'em up/platformer known for its brutal difficulty, especially during the infamous Turbo Tunnel level.
    • Release Year: 1991
    • Developer: Rare
  3. 4


    A classic run and gun game, famous for its high level of difficulty, where players battle through enemies in a variety of environments.
    • Release Year: 1987
    • Developer: Konami
  4. 5

    I Wanna Be The Guy

    A notoriously difficult platformer known for its unfair death traps and precision jumping.
    • Release Year: 2007
    • Developer: Michael "Kayin" O'Reilly
  5. 6

    Ghosts 'n Goblins

    A classic platformer famous for its unforgiving difficulty, requiring players to complete the game twice to truly beat it.
    • Release Year: 1985
    • Developer: Capcom
  6. 7


    Known for its 1930s cartoon aesthetic and brutal boss battles, Cuphead is a run and gun game that is as difficult as it is beautiful.
    • Release Year: 2017
    • Developer: Studio MDHR
  7. 8

    Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy

    A punishing climbing game, famous for its difficult controls and philosophical voiceover, where players attempt to climb a mountain using a hammer.
    • Release Year: 2017
    • Developer: Bennett Foddy
  8. 9

    Kaizo Mario World

    A series of three fan-made ROM hacks of Super Mario World known for their incredibly high difficulty level.
    • Release Year: 2007
    • Developer: T. Takemoto
  9. 10

    Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

    An action-adventure game by FromSoftware, known for its steep learning curve and demanding combat that rewards precise timing and patience.
    • Release Year: 2019
    • Developer: FromSoftware

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most difficult game ever made. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or game is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 179 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each game once every 24 hours. The rank of each game is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Difficult Game Ever Made

Dark Souls
Rank #1 for the most difficult game ever made: Dark Souls (Source)
Game developers have always sought to challenge players. They create games that test skills, patience, and determination. Some games, however, push these limits to the extreme. These games are often labeled as the most difficult ever made.

Developers design these games with various elements that contribute to their difficulty. One major factor is the level design. Complex and intricate levels require players to master precise movements and timing. Each section of the game demands careful planning and execution. One wrong move can lead to failure, forcing players to start over or lose significant progress.

Another aspect is the enemy design. In these games, enemies are relentless and unforgiving. They have advanced patterns and behaviors that players must learn and adapt to. The margin for error is minimal. Players must react quickly and accurately to survive encounters. This constant pressure keeps players on edge and heightens the overall challenge.

The mechanics of the game also play a crucial role. Often, these games have unique mechanics that are difficult to master. Players need to understand and utilize these mechanics effectively to progress. This learning curve can be steep, and the game does not always provide clear guidance. Players must experiment and learn from their mistakes.

Additionally, the lack of checkpoints or save points adds to the difficulty. In many challenging games, progress is only saved at specific points. This means that failing near the end of a long section can result in having to replay a significant portion of the game. This can be frustrating, but it also adds to the sense of accomplishment when players finally succeed.

Another factor is the high stakes involved. In some games, the consequences of failure are severe. Players may lose valuable resources, progress, or even permanent character death. This creates a high-pressure environment where every decision matters. Players must weigh their options carefully and think ahead to avoid costly mistakes.

The community around these games also contributes to their reputation. Players often share their experiences and strategies online. This creates a culture of competition and camaraderie. Players push each other to achieve greater feats and share their triumphs. This sense of community can be motivating, but it also highlights the game's difficulty as players compare their struggles and successes.

Despite the challenges, these games have a dedicated following. The sense of accomplishment from overcoming such difficult obstacles is unmatched. Players feel a deep sense of satisfaction and pride when they finally conquer the game. This feeling drives many to keep playing and improving their skills.

In conclusion, the most difficult games ever made are a testament to the creativity and ambition of game developers. They challenge players in ways that few other games do. Through complex level design, relentless enemies, unique mechanics, limited checkpoints, and high stakes, these games push players to their limits. The community and sense of accomplishment further enhance the experience. While not for everyone, these games offer a rewarding and unforgettable challenge for those willing to take it on.

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