AOL's gaming site, GameDaily.com has just released its list of the top 10 hardest video games of all time.
"Not only are these games almost impossible to beat," the Web site claims, "but will inevitably end with you or your fellow gamers cursing, throwing controllers or kicking chairs."
No. 1 on the list was the Ninja Gaiden series, which is, for me, practically impossible to deal with on Xbox 360.
Here's their list.
10. Contra series (Konami)
Contra is one of those holy grail franchises that poses a challenge for all who approach it. The two NES games were hard to beat, unless you were one of those people that used a code for multiple lives. Then came the sequels Contra III: The Alien Wars on SNES (a monster on the hardest setting) and Contra: Shattered Soldier, a game that's so frustrating we still haven't beaten it. (We've gotten close, though.)
9. Defender (Williams)
As the last line of defense for Earth, you've got an awful lot to tackle in Williams' arcade classic. Mutants have overtaken the planet, and they're sucking up innocent people. Not only must you blast these creatures into oblivion, but you also have to rescue falling civilians. Later stages are incredibly demanding, especially with the introduction of the smaller swarm ships. Don't say we didn't give you a heads up.
8. Devil May Cry 3 (Capcom)
In Devil May Cry 3, the "hard" difficulty setting from the Japanese version became "normal" in the States, and Capcom then introduced a new difficulty mode called "Dante Must Die." It was so overwhelming that Capcom had to introduce an easier Special Edition to calm down the gaming community.
7. God of War series (SCEA)
To breeze through God of War games, choose the lightest difficulty and enjoy the cakewalk. For the rest of us, there's God mode, which punishes players with enemies that don't hold anything back; just wait until you face the serpents. Oh, and don't expect God of War III to be any easier.
6. R-Type (Irem)
R-Type leads the pack of nearly impossible shooters. When this game first hit arcades in the late '80s, people kept slamming quarters down for a chance to take on the Bydo Empire with a small spacecraft. It's still a pain in the butt, especially the recently released Xbox Live Arcade game R-Type Dimensions. (Unless you're a wuss and take the easier route.)
5. Ikaruga (Treasure)
Speaking of unbelievably hard shooters, we can't have this list without this Treasure classic. Ikaruga has a twist to its shooting techniques, as you'll switch between two colors and absorb enemy bullets to fire charged shots. You'll need to acquire power-ups, as enemies unleash beautiful, firework-style destruction. Good luck getting past level five – or even level three.
4. Mega Man 9 (Capcom)
Most Mega Man games have their fair share of frustrations, most notably Mega Man 3 on the NES and the Mega Man X games on the PlayStation. Nothing, though, comes close to what you'll face in Mega Man 9. This downloadable game for Xbox Live, Wii Shop Channel and PlayStation Network hurls everything it's got at you, from fire-throwing flowers to tricky spiked floors to crazy boss battles. There's also a list of Challenges to complete, some of which are borderline insane. One even requires you to survive a boss battle for 10 minutes.
3. Battletoads (Tradewest)
The designers at Rare were either mad scientists bent on breaking our spirits or freakin' geniuses testing our physical limits when they produced Battletoads on the NES. Maybe it's both. Either way, this wild platforming game has several tasks for you and a friend to complete, including speeder bike chases, snake riding, beating up baddies and surfing. Few have seen the game's conclusion.
2. Ghouls n' Ghosts series (Capcom)
Ghosts n' Goblins is without question one of the most difficult video game series of all time. Its lead character, Arthur, valiantly attempts to save his love, only to die repeatedly at the hands of numerous monsters. Super Ghouls n' Ghosts for the SNES is a real test, requiring you to go through the game twice before it ends. Many a controller died beating that one.
1. Ninja Gaiden series (Tecmo)
Finally, we come to the series that will bring you to your knees and make you cry for mercy. Since its debut on the NES, Ninja Gaiden introduced tough enemies and even tougher bosses. Over the years, it's only gotten harder. Ninja Gaiden Black is ridiculous with its enormous list of challenges to complete and tricky bad guys. Ninja Gaiden II on the Xbox 360 only increased our stress levels, with monsters so vicious we punched holes through walls