Gamasutra has a list of what they believe to be 20 of the most difficult games ever created. As you may have guessed, most of these games were released in the 8-bit era. Many popular game series make the list, including The Legend of Zelda and Monkey Ball.

Difficulty in video and computer game development has been on the outs for some time. If a player possibly cannot complete Action Adventure Game X, so the thinking goes, the designer has failed. Most MMORPGs feel like they can be played on autopilot; in fact many can, a fact dear to some players' hearts. When Ninja Gaiden came out and turned out to be a stiff challenge some players were up in arms. That ever-so-quotable Tomonobu Itagaki said that hearing player cries made him want to make the game even harder.

Ahem. Setting aside what we might think of his statement, certainly, difficulty in a video game must be handled carefully. Nothing attracts the ire of those fickle game bloggers quite like them getting their asses handed to them by a game. And it is possible to make a game arbitrarily difficult without too much effort. Increase monster attack strength, decrease player health, remove resources and adding more foes, there are just the most obvious ways a game can be made harder, and it doesn't take any great skill to add them.
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  • 0
    Revenger of Wastelan Aug 25, 07
    Lol... i never played any of those games.
    • 0
      Dio Aug 25, 07
      Maybe because most of them are NES games?

      I'm really surprised that Zelda II didn't make the list. I personally found it to be much harder then the original LoZ.
  • 0
    Solid Snake 4Life Aug 25, 07
    Zelda is on the list... so I'm not just stupid.
  • 2
    Gotenks Aug 25, 07
    Oh man I remember Blast Corps. It was a difficult game but I manage to get through it. Legend of Zelda was a toughie to. But I recognize some of the games. Some I played but not enough to know how hard they were.
  • 0
    Ninmecu Aug 25, 07
    I wasen't surprised to see Defender up there...That one was a hair ripper >_
  • 0
    Miss Razz Aug 26, 07
    I'm surprised Shadow of the Beast isn't up there. That was a toughie retro game >_>

    Good to see an LoZ game up there. To be honest, I think they're all incredibly difficult. Even trying to figure out what to do next can take many hours, if not days.
  • 0
    Solid Snake 4Life Aug 26, 07
    Not Twilight Princess but I guess that might be experience that caused it for me.
  • 0
    tornjinx Aug 26, 07
    Wow, i remember a lot of those games. I am really surprised that Zelda II didn't make it, that was a really hard game for my.
  • 0
    Storm Aug 26, 07
    Ninja Gaiden's not technically on the list...what the hell? Some real old games on there. I wouldn't say that the LoZ game listed is that difficult, but meh.
  • -2
    BANDITO ATTACK Aug 26, 07
    you can pick up any random 20 NES games and get a list of the top 20 most difficult games.

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