Play in hard mode

The games listed here require players to do more than just hack through mindless enemies

AS 2023 is preparing to be the biggest video game year after 2020 with a great start in the recently released Empty room Remake, here are some of the games considered by many to be the most difficult contemporary games on PC and consoles.

Darkest dungeon

Darkest dungeon is a grim side-scrolling dungeon crawler that assigns players to a pre-made team of adventurers.

Each dungeon is procedurally generated and filled with a variety of traps and unique items to discover, and packed with enemies.

Progressing through the dungeons will cause the torch that players are equipped with to burn out. The darker it gets, the weaker the party gets, and the weaker they get, the less of a good time this adventure becomes as the gameplay shifts towards being beneficial to the myriad enemies and beasts that dwell in the darker borders of dungeons lurk.

Darkest dungeon perfectly balances the risk-reward ratio; The deeper players go, the higher the risk of everyone in the group dying, but the reward is a valuable treasure.

fear & hunger

Similar to Darkest dungeonbut much, much more difficult with a much more complicated story and design.

The game places the player in a fantasy world with only one goal, depending on the starting character chosen. There are no hand holding and gameplay tips. Progress is made through trial and error.

The game is a tough, soul-crushing RPG filled with interesting characters, screwed-up enemies, macabre nudity, a rich mythology of ancient deities, and a plethora of options to navigate the world and choices that lead to multiple endings.

In fear & hunger, anything can and will kill the player, especially with its random coin toss mechanic deciding the outcomes of various scenarios. In combat, enemies can destroy limbs of characters, effectively reducing combat effectiveness and even navigation, i.e. if the player character’s legs are chopped off, they effectively have to crawl around slowly or start a new game and try again. The continuation, Fear & Hunger: Termina was recently released.


Don’t be fooled by the graphics of the 1930’s mid-20th century cartoons, or by the beauty of the animation and creativity, or even the delightful soundtrack; Cuphead is an excruciatingly difficult game.

Mix run-and-gun gameplay with bullet hell and fast-paced platforming sequences, Cuphead is essentially a boss rush game; You rush from one boss to the next, hoping to take down each one without dying. Cuphead requires concentration and precision.

Dark Souls, Bloodborne and Elden Ring

As part of the Souls umbrella, these FromSoftware games have shaped and defined what makes a 21st century video game difficult, and each serves as a blueprint for other games from other studios trying to emulate what FromSoftware has done.

These games, beautifully rich in atmosphere, design, and world-building, are utterly masochistic and sadistic.

Sekiro: Shadows die twice

Like the previous games under the Souls umbrella, Sekiro was also developed by FromSoftware.

The reason it’s not grouped with the rest is because the game is so hard that it exists on a completely different realm than its cousins. Despite sharing similarities with the above, Sekiro is a single player game.

In a Souls game, players can summon allies – controlled either by AI or other real players – to help them get through difficult areas and bosses. That doesn’t exist in Sekiro.

Whether you like it or not, or you’ve died over 30 times, you’ll have to persevere to defeat this giant monkey boss with its different stages.

Sekiro has players who control Wolf, a shinobi using both samurai and ninja tactics set in medieval fantasy Japan. Mastery of the game’s sword and parrying mechanics, as well as the use of various ninja tools, is essential, as is absolute patience and an unyielding willpower not to give up.

The game is unforgiving, especially when it comes to defeating the last, most absurd boss in gaming history, but players who beat the game will never question their “game skills.” Play in hard mode

Caroline Bleakley

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