Top 10 Most Notoriously Difficult Retro Video Games

You thought that your last boss fight was gruelling so you brag about it to your friends. Before you declare yourself the ultimate gamer however, you should try these notoriously difficult titles. Beware, many a controller and joystick have been the brunt of frustration over the years.

1. Punch-Out!!
Although this 1987 game itself isn’t difficult, it’s infamous for its final fight against the pixel version of then-real life World Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson. The player controls Little Mac who wants to go up the boxing ranks.

2. Ninja Gaiden
This is one of those games that test your patience. The player takes on the role of half-dragon half-human Hayabusa Ryuu. Ladies, you should let your boyfriends play this game and watch their reaction every time the character dies.

3. Souls Series
During particularly challenging fights, some of us pause the game to regain composure. But in Demon’s Souls, the first installment of the series, it won’t even give you that reprieve. When you die, you return to the beginning of the level with a lower health bar.

4. Contra
Eight levels sound too easy, but with only three lives, trying not to get hit seems unfair. It was also the game that made cheat codes popular. Why? Because it’s just that difficult to complete without cheating.

5. Battletoads
A lot of players place this within the top 3 of the most difficult games. The players guide the toads in their quest to defeat the Dark Queen and her mutants. It may look like any other platformer but the game has only three continues and no saves.

6. Ghosts ‘n Goblins
Think evading the enemy is your specialty, huh? If you’re a bit on the masochist side, in this game your character Arthur can die after two hits. Test your button-mashing skills by evading traps and getting past enemies to rescue Princess Prin-Prin.

7. Faster Than Light
This spaceship simulator sounds cool but once you find out that you’re in-charge of the entire crew and the ship operations, your opinion might change. Once you lose all your crew or your ship is destroyed, you’ll have to start all over again. It doesn’t matter if you have a saved game because it will be deleted.

8. Super Meat Boy
Rescuing a kidnapped girlfriend has never been this hard. The animation looks cute, but it’s not so cute anymore when you have to get through 300 levels with near-perfect reflexes and god-like patience to start over and over and over again.

9. F-Zero GX
Love racing games? Try your luck with winning against other competitors or controlling Captain Falcon until he defeats Black Shadow and Deathborn. The obstacles alone are a test of patience. There’s no smooth driving in this game.

10. I Wanna Be the Guy: The Movie: The Game
Once you get over that crappy name for a game, you’ll notice that this game must have been designed solely to make people’s lives miserable. Only memorization from trial-and-error can get you through.

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