8 games that were made to be Unplayable

Think video games are relaxing and fun outlet for pure entertainment? These 10 games may have you rethinking that belief.

Think video games are relaxing and fun outlet for pure entertainment? These 10 games may have you rethinking that belief.


The iconic 1987 run-and-gun action thriller ‘Contra’ is perhaps best known for prompting desperate user to stumble upon the Kanami Codes, an intricate password that afforded the players 30 lives instead the typical 3. While game purists may scoff at the Konami Code and its many followers, most of those who opted to use the code did so not out of laziness, but simply out of sheer desperation for some satisfaction amidst an otherwise great game. Armed with just three lives, most gamers struggle to even reach the first level’s main boss.

Demon’s Souls

When Demon’s Souls was released in 2009, the game carried the look and feel of most game of the era. But certainly not the degree of difficulty. Rather than pandering to current conventions, the game’s developers held true to their convictions in building an intense gameplay experience made without a pause button so players couldn’t break form the action to seek out hints online. As if to douse any hope that players might actually have, all helpful in-game notes came from either ghosts of others who didn’t make it through or loose papers that were left behind.


As the title suggests, 2002 PS2 offering ‘Stuntman’ certainly keeps the players on their toes, demanding a constant alertness and high level of near perfect gameplay. As if navigating through the crazy and elaborate stage designs isn’t challenging enough, there are still the last minute directional changes to deal with, as well as the unique specifications of each of the 20 cars that each require their own particular adjustments. Although often resulting in frustration and taking most players’ 30 minutes or more to simply get through a single stage, gamers keep coming back to Stuntman for its fresh style and fun, challenging gameplay.

F-Zero GX

Racing games rarely find a place among most difficult game lists, then Nintendo opted to launch a series of futuristic and often dystopian racing games, the most renowned of which was ‘F-Zero GX’. Alongside the standard challenge of racing along the track at breakneck speed with opponents trying to knock you out at every turn, there is a series of unpredictable environmental obstacles to take into account and the looming possibility that chunks of energy can simply melt off your car for no particular reason. Chances are you have beaten yourself long before the fearsome black shadow ever had a chance to beat you.

Ninja Gaiden Black

There is something that borders on unfair about the two-pronged assault that the developers of ‘Ninja Gaiden’ launched on unsuspecting gamers, compounding some seriously difficult gameplay with psychological taunting. Nowhere was that more evident than in 2004’s ‘Ninja Black’. A sequel that already proved vexing to players with a gang-style attack mode involving multiplayer enemies and a final boss lacking in any weakness or pattern of behavior. For any player self-loathing enough to lose many times, a less difficult ‘ninja dog’ level would be unlocked to allow easier gameplay.

Mega Man 9

When Mega Man was reintroduced in Capcom with a retro 9th edition of the game in 2008, popular game theory held that the creator was staging a protest over the increasing ease with which games had been treated. Mega Man was always been boasted with tough gameplay, and the 9th edition was no exception. In a stark contract to so many games of the era that offered ‘No Fail’ modes, Mega Man 9 seems to offer an endless barrage of challenging levels and bog bosses to overcome with no clear end in sight.


In 1991, Battletoads came onto the scene as a thinly veiled send-up of the popular teenage “ninja Turtle’ franchise, offering frog heroes with fun names like Zitz and Rash. But dismissing the nes game a silly, juvenile mockery ignored some surprisingly tough gameplay. Not only were ‘extra lives’ and ‘continues’ a rare sight, but Battletoads also enhanced the difficulty through its two-player framework that actually enables the users to harm the characters of their partner. This proved particularly challenging on levels with multiple enemies attacking at once.

Resonance of Fate

The relatively anonymous nature of tri-ace’s 2010 role playing game called Resonance of fate could be attributed to the fact that it was released at the same time as Final Fantasy XIII. But it was also come from a gameplay that was so difficult that many players just game up rather than attempting to forge up on and see what it had to offer. The game came with a unique tri-attack battle system that took some getting used to. Once players feel that they have the structure of the game under control, it would get progressively harder and make gamers question themselves all over again.


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