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Dammit, we want you to tell us stuff! Stuff like the hardest game you've ever played.

This isn’t some marketing survey or whatever. It’s an emotional investment in you. Yes, we’re interested in knowing you, Kotaku reader person. You probably know enough about us — more than you even want to, we’re sure. But, hey, we’d like to know about you, too.

Anyway, here’s today’s question...

What is the hardest, toughest, most stupidly bastard difficult, pain in the arse game you've ever played?

I'm not talking about games that are difficult simply because they only give you one life, or they don't let you save, or because they're simply broken in some way. I'm talking about games that are designed to be hard without being cheap.

So for me, it's got to be Ikaruga. It's not just the complex waves of bullets that demand inhuman reflexes to avoid. It's the polarity mechanic that simply does my head in. Bullets come in two colours and you can switch the colour of your ship to match, thus becoming immune to like-coloured bullets. Easy in theory, a complete mindfuck in practice.

Oh, and let me throw in Ghosts 'n' Goblins for the runner-up spot. It still gives me nightmares.


    I'm going for Battletoads. The game wasn't broken at all, it just required you to memorise a few levels back to front and then play them perfectly.

    Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins will be on many lists, and just when you think they couldn't make it harder the PSP version Ultimate Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins was ball crushingly ridiculous.

      I've never played Battletoads. Maybe I should try it this weekend...

        Dial a friend as it can be played Co-Op

        Still one of my fondest gaming memories back when I was a teenager trying to beat the racing levels with my cousin.

          Oh it's even harder playing Battletoads co-op with a friend.

          Angry Video Game Nerd explains why:

          It's a great game, but whoa, it was tough!

    For me, it would have to be Black. I just couldn't get past level two on it.

    I gave Ghosts 'n' Goblins a try once, that was an interesting day.

    There's always I Wanna Be the Guy.

    Yh Battletoads for NES. OMFG thats was insane. And all Donkey Kongs country for SNES. Passing was easy, collecting everything was a whole other ball game.

    Battletoads ... I know its already been said but it was the first thing that came to mind given the subject matter.

    The Shin Megami Tensei series.

    Most of them are incredibly challenging. Especially Lucifer's Call which will probably wipe your ass all day long with its constant and tricky battles.

    Batman Returns on the lynx, jaysus that game was unforgiving, it is the only tim eI have ever thrown a controller/console in frustration. Great game though, but, ARRRRRRGGGGHHHH!

    Battletoads is something I will agree on for sure! Memorizing the exact levels in order to know what is coming and how to get around it was frustrating at the best of times :P

    Ninja Gaiden on the PS3 was tough at first, but then I learned how to block and grit my teeth like Arnie at the start of Conan.

    Ridge Racer Revolution was tough, too, because it was a shitty, broken racing title. Sorry, two bites at the cherry there.

    Im going to put in Trials HD for different reasons to most of you. This game in essence is actually quite easy. You get to have some 500 faults (lives) and 1/2 hour to complete a level that when done right, will take less than a minute. The difficulty gets thrown in when trying to get up in the rankings. I was competing with a dude from the UK (xo ACAB ox) and we went back and forth for weeks competing for different tracks.

    It got to a point where to win the track for that week (semi organised competition), we would have to get a time in the top 30 and got to a point where I got a 10th place globally, only to have him get 7th.

    To get these times, I would be spending 5 hours per week on a single track and I ill have to say, missing your mark by literally 0.002 of a sec is insane.

    Totally rewarding, but if ou choose to make it difficult, it will be one of the hardest games you can play (just because the competition is so damn good).

    Shout out to Fellow Aussie Lestropie for being the best... check him out!

    I made it to about top 300 or so but that was my limit... Now sitting at about 600ish and dont think I can do too much about it!

      I love Trials, I suck at it though, just getting to the END of some of the hardest tracks literally drives you to tears! Much keyboard slamming ensued in that game. :(

        Hey mate, If you ever wany any advice, I am happy to help. I have zero faulted all but the last 3 extreme tracks and have only got 1 or 2 faults on them. Just can't bring myself to get them down yet.

    Guitar Hero and Rockband.
    I will never have the time and patience to master hard let alone expert. And let's just forget all about the upcoming 'Pro' mode in Rockband 3.
    If i treat these games like singstar them i can enjoy them, otherwise forget it.

    Manic Miner on the C64! I could never, EVER get the jumping timed right when I was a kid!! I think I failed every time to get off the first level without losing a life.

    As an adult, I'm even worse now so there'd be no hope.... :)

    Final Fantasy 10; when you were collecting the final weapons (dodge lightning 200 times for lulu, and WIN THE CHOCOBO RACE FOR TIDUS). It is the first time i've thrown my controller at the tv out of frustration. yes. i have. =[

      I remember that. I managed to do both and at that point, I couldn't be bothered getting the Sigil for Wakka's ultimate weapon.

    Kid Icarus on NES or Ikaruga on 360 hardest I've played. Ninja Gaiden Black on the xbox is probably the hardest game I've finished.

    Rainbow 6: Vegas on the hardest difficulty. Wasn't just hard, also some pure bullshit. Like enemies spawning out of nowhere behind you and killing you in one shot.

    Scoring the fastest time (pc) on Dirt 2 - battersea bridge, in world rank times was way hard. Took me a week, playing 14 hours a day to pull it off. I've not checked in ages though, I'm too scared to waste another week of my life reclaiming it. :)

    Battletoads. That was back in the day when I had no other games to play and spent months trying to master this game. If it wasn't for a friends game genie I never would have seen anyone beat it. I certainly enjoyed my time with it but it's definately a game I will never try to beat proper!

    battle toads, ghost n goblins and ninja gaiden on xbox... all of those games raped me, but none mroe than batman returns on lynx... i completely agree with peter up there... i couldn't even clear the first level!

    There was something on my first computer, it was in 3 colours (orange, green and black) and was kind of an 8 bit platformer built around some kind of pyramid raiding story... and the soundtrack was the snake charmer theme on high repeat.

    I can't remember for the life of my the name of it... but I still get the sweats when I hear that tune.

    The two hardest games I’ve ever played are Back to the future 3 & 2 on the Sega master system. The first level in part 3 is this brutal timed side scrolling horse riding minigame. Not only to do you need to have battletoad like reflexes to know when the hell you need to jump, but things seemingly attack you all the time. I’ve never been able to pass the first level, this one time I got really far only to have the timer run out.

    Have a look for yourself

    And back to the future 2 was just deigned to break TV screens

    Good News Everyone... sorry for not really being gaming news or related to this post. I could have said that the game relating to this show was the hardest thing I have ever played but that is a lie...

    If you think I was excited about Backbreaker, you aint seen nothing yet!. Tonight (today?) in the US, the first episode of Futurama returns after 7 long years of waiting... I was only waiting for Backbreaker for 3 years!

    That is all. Sorry to try to Hijack this post but was too excited to go and find TAY (Talk amongst yourselves)... Please forgive me!

      I think you mean the second episode, the first episode back went on air last week in the US


        I am excited, just not up to date. I heard about this ages ago but completely forgot to keep informed. Of well, that is 2 eps I will have to 'aquire'....


    Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz xD
    There are also various other games I've rage-quitted on, 2D Mario is surprisingly very difficult for me.

    Ninja Gaiden on xbox. Especially as a fresh faced 15 year old who totally didn't understand anything beyond button mashing.

    One game I have been replaing receintly which is keyboard-snappingly hard is the Mega Man series. The levels with the blocks that vanish/appear over a bottomless pit are a prime example. There is pretty much no way to do this without trial and error.

    Probably Ninja Gaiden (standard, never played Black) on Xbox. Devil May Cry 3 (original, not the dumbed down special edition) probably comes second, but still really doesn't compare. I finished Gaiden, but man, did I have to work for it! One of the few games that makes you feel like a badass for conquering it.

    On the other hand, if we want to talk about one particular section of a game, I've STILL yet to beat Sephiroth on Proud difficulty in Kingdom Hearts 1. That 2 to 2 and a half minute cutscene you have to watch EVERY SINGLE TIME you choose to have another go at him, only to have him 1 or 2 shot you cheaply, DESPITE the fact that you're at the highest level possible and have the best keyblade and stat boosters equipped, might be the major deterring factor though. ^^

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