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If you miss Battletoads and think that modern projects are for casual people, this list of 10 Most Difficult Video Games will make you think otherwise.

1Dark Souls


Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows.

A series of Dark Souls by Japanese company From Software has gained fame due to complexity of their games. Gamers are used to rule explanations, settings where you can save a game at any moment or change difficulty. This is not about Dark Souls.

Here, even the simplest enemies can kill you with couple hits. You can save only at fires. As a result, you will run around searching for them while you are pursued by crowds of ferocious undead and harsh warriors in heavy armor. The amount of healing estus flasks is limited, and traps and ambushes await at every step.

However, Dark Souls is not only represented by ruthless fights in which you would better not make a mistake. There are lots of picturesque and amazing places: dark and majestic Lothric Castle, cold and beautiful Ariandel and sunny Anor Londo.

If you are new to the world of Dark Souls, start playing with the third part. It is the most beautiful and challenging.

2Bloodborne


Platforms: PlayStation 4.

The heir and successor of the Dark Souls series from the same developer. The mechanics of Bloodborne resembles Dark Souls, but there are significant differences: the pace is much higher. You find yourself drawn into a frenzied and aggressive battle with crowds of enemies in which you have no way to retreat. No shield, no heavy armor — your Hunter has only melee weapons, a virtually useless musket only good for parrying enemy attacks, a coat and a triangular hat.

The creators of Bloodborne are clearly inspired by the film “Van Helsing” with Hugh Jackman: a hunter exterminating monsters in a dying city, vampirism, atmosphere and the appearance of the protagonist. The dynamism of the action rolls over, the imagination of developers who created monsters knows no boundaries.

Bloodborne is a good reason to buy PlayStation 4 even if you do not consider yourself a console fan.

3Demon’s Souls

Demon’s Souls

Platforms: PlayStation 3.

This game is the ancestor of Dark Souls and Bloodborne. Despite its considerable age, Demon’s Souls still looks interesting and exciting. The player is trying on the role of a nameless warrior who must free the distant Kingdom hidden in the mists from evil demons and its obsessed ruler.

Many players would say that Demon’s Souls is harder than the next Dark Souls games. At each level there are only two save points, the ability to heal is limited (estus has not been created yet), the enemies are strong and reborn after each of your death.

Demon’s Souls remains one of the most exciting games for PlayStation 3. The dark Medieval, dragons, evil undead, and huge and dangerous demons will appeal fans of dark fantasy. If you have tried playing Dark Souls and Bloodborne, imbued with the spirit of these games and want to see where it all began, Demon’s Souls is here for you.

4Cuphead


Platforms: Xbox One, Windows, macOS.

One of the terribly difficult games. Hybrid of “run and gun” and platformer with beautiful graphics in the style of old Disney cartoons.

Here you have to manage two cuphead brothers who lost to the devil in the casino and were forced to chase up debts from poor fellows. However, the latter does not intend to say farewell to their souls, so it will not be easy to fulfill the mission of the brothers.

Cuphead is, for the most part, represented by boss fights. You will need a very fast reaction, firm keyboard and a lot of patience to deal with them. And, of course, a considerable share of luck, because the opponents attack in a completely unpredictable manner. Mistakes and delays are not allowed, otherwise a battle will start over again.

5Dwarf Fortress

Dwarf Fortress

Platforms: Linux, Windows, Mac OS.

When you first open Dwarf Fortress, you are likely to have a thought: how do you play it? The problems in the development of the project begin with its graphics. ASCII looks like a code from the Matrix. But you can get used to them. When you do, instead of strange letters you will see forever drunk bearded dwarfs with hammers and picks, trolls from underground caves, arrogant elves, ferocious goblins and fire-breathing dragons. Well, if you cannot decode flickering characters and symbols, you can download the version of the game with a screwed-up hand-drawn graphics.

When the basics of gameplay will be mastered, the fun begins. You along with seven dwarves have to build a mighty underground fortress in the distant wild lands. The game world is randomly generated, and each time you will have to wait for more and more dangers. Dwarves can die of hunger and thirst, if you do not master agriculture and livestock. And they can be killed during the siege by goblins or undead under the leadership of necromancers.

But despite all this Dwarf Fortress will open up unimaginable space for creativity. You can build huge castles of obsidian, ice and glass, catch creepy monsters, create cunning mechanisms. You can build anything you want!

6Don’t Starve


Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, iOS, Android.

Interesting sandbox-survival. You have to stretch out as long as possible in a harsh painted world, where you were sent by a cynical and snide demon named Maxwell. And here you are chased to death by everything.

Your first enemy is starvation. And it is already difficult to cope with it. You can pick berries, but this is not enough. During the hunt the prey is always slipping away. You do not have enough food and firewood, and winter is coming.

Camp planning, food production and cooking, sewing clothes and maintaining fire – all need to be done at the same time. As a result, you do not have a minute to rest. Autumn changes to cold winter when it is astonishingly difficult to survive. Winter changes to rainy spring, and then to scorching summer. Experiencing all the misfortunes, your character gradually goes crazy, and madness along with imaginary monsters can kill him just as well as natural disasters.

But worst of all in Don’t Starve is night. After all, in the dark you will find a cruel Charlie which can be kicked out only by fire. And nothing will help if at the critical moment you do not have a torch.

7Sunless Sea


Platforms: PlayStation 4, iOS, Windows, Linux, macOS.

This is video game which captivates by great atmosphere in the spirit of the novels by China Mieville. Somehow, London was stolen by bats and carried it underground. Now the city is on an island around which a vast underground ocean full of dangers. You are the captain of the ship, who explores the depths for unknown purposes. Stock up on provisions and fuel. And leave.

Thanks to the beautiful gloomy soundtrack and leisurely gameplay, Sunless Sea seems to be quite a relaxing and meditative game. But do not let yourself be fooled: the game is very difficult, and only few will reach the final scene. You can become a victim of sea monsters or pirates, be attacked in the port, fail an important mission, run out of fuel and stay drifting in the sea without light and the ability to reach the shore. You may even go crazy and eat your team.

The only thing that depresses in the Sunless Sea is English localization. It is extremely complicated and oversaturated with English stylistic devices. You can probably find a fan-made translation which is quite good, but not all quests were translated. In any case, you will need to read a lot and carefully. If that does not scare you, welcome aboard, captain.

8Salt and Sanctuary


Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, Windows, Linux, macOS.

Salt and Sanctuary can be called Dark Souls in 2D. Here, in the same way you need to kill monsters and try to bring the collected salt from them (similar to souls in Dark Souls) to the sanctuaries (like fires). You are only placed in a flat two-dimensional space.

The game looks good and has an attractive atmosphere. Locations are various, bosses are unusual, opponents are rather difficult. You will have to pay more attention to character development and equipment: many enemies will win only with a certain build.

You will see “You are dead” as often as in Souls. This is facilitated by extremely strong and tricky bosses which are extremely difficult to kill on the first try flavored with inconvenient gameplay.

9Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Android, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Windows, Wii U, PlayStation Vita, Linux, macOS.

This game is extremely unmerciful. The main character is a piece of bleeding meat. Literary. Levels consist mainly of circular saws. To overcome them, you will need an unremarkable reaction.

The pace of Super Meat Boy is very high. You will run, slide, jump, crawl, leaving behind bloody traces. Any touch to trap or enemy kills. There is no scale of life here.

At each level (there are 350!) the protagonist must get to his girlfriend, meeting on his way such fun things like spikes, saws, rockets, lava and salt. The latter is not particularly nice to touch when your muscles are not covered with skin.

10Nioh


Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows.

Nioh takes place in Japan of the XVII century where an English sailor named William settles in. To survive, he will have to learn how to handle a katana just like a real samurai.

Battles in Nioh require a remarkable skill. Stands, fast, medium and strong kicks, rolls and jumps – each enemy demands different strategy. Nioh reminds of Ninja Gaiden which is also famous for its mind-blowing complexity.

In addition to the difficult battles in Nioh there is a good story, atmospheric music, and attractive mythology: bosses-youkai migrated here from traditional Japanese myths and legends.

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