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Attempt The Impossible

How hard a game is considered to be depends on who is playing it. A three-year-old tackling Zelda will struggle. But equally a new-to-games-parents will find Mutant Mudds quickly gets beyond them. The games in this list are known for being difficult. They wear the difficulty as a badge of honour. "None shall pass," except this with the will, time and belligerence to get good enough at this particular activity to beat the high bar the game sets.

This might be grappling with the flying mechanics in Rocket League, getting endlessly lost trying to find the next guardian in Shadow of the Colossus or coming up with the right tactic to get enough money for the ship you need in Elite. Of course, some of these games can be made easier, but to play them at their best is to ramp up the difficulty to max (crushing on The Last Of Us for example) and let them give you all they've got.

This list includes 292 games from the last 34 years, with 3,433 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to take on a mountainous challenge.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to R 18+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Brain Game, Collecting, Communication, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy, Traversal and World Building
Total Likes: 3,433
 

 

Get To The Orange Door

Release Date: 30/05/2019

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Get To The Orange Door (GTTOD) is a platform game where you run, jump and shoot your way through minimalist levels. Movement is parkour in nature, meaning that you use architecture, street furniture and other objects to get an advantage when getting...

Elden Ring

Release Date: 25/02/2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Elden Ring is a role-play game set in a fictional world created by fantasy novelist George R. R. Martin, with a focus on combat similar to Demon's Souls and an open world with real time and weather like Zelda Breath of the Wild.

The Last Of Us Left Behind

Release Date: 14/02/2014

Platforms: PS3 and PS4

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

The Last of Us is a survival adventure game where you play Joel, a father figure, looking to protect a girl in his care, Ellie. The game creates a fimlic and emotional experience that extends beyond the usual zombie shooting to offer an interactive...

Graveyard Keeper

Release Date: 15/08/2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Graveyard Keeper is a funeral-themed role-playing game where you are the caretaker of a local cemetery. You make choices about how to lay out the plot, what services to offer and generally how to make money from your unusual enterprise. The pixilated...

Drink More Glurp

Release Date: 06/08/2020

Platforms: PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Drink More Glurp is a wacky sports game where you take turns to play athletic challenges. The twist is that you have to control your over-long arms with a separate joystick and your body is a wheel you can roll along on if you lift your arms right up....

Don't Starve

Release Date: 23/04/2013, updated in 2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Don't Starve is an open-world survival game. Here it’s the environment and enemies, rather than other players, that you work with. You need to find and develop food, weapons and shelter to survive. It’s enjoyable because it’s hard, so repeat-plays...

Hades

Release Date: 06/12/2018, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Hades is a fighting game where you battle your way through dungeons to escape hell and the clutches of Hades. You play as Zagreus, the son of Hades and through the game you'll meet many recognisable greek gods like Zeus, Athena and Posiedon who will try...

Cuphead

Release Date: 29/09/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Cuphead is a running, jumping and shooting game that looks like an old Mickey Mouse cartoon. You play on your own or with someone else and work across the screen, jumping gaps, shooting enemies and avoiding projectiles.

The Long Dark

Release Date: 22/09/2014

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

The Long Dark is a thoughtful exploration-survival game where you have crash-landed in the icy Canadian wilderness after a global disaster and must find a way to survive. Through exploring, crafting and fighting you must look after your body...

Conduct Together (Series)

Release Date: 06/12/2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Conduct Together is a strategy game where you control toy trains along the overlapping train tracks. Each train can be started and stopped with a specific button. Other buttons change different points. The aim is to transport the people from one station...

Osu!

Release Date: 16/09/2007, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Osu is a rhythm action game where you tap the screen in time to the music similar to the Elite Beat Agents games. This starts as a simple challenge but develops in speed and complexity. At higher levels, the games is an esport with people competing to...

Rocket League

Release Date: 28/08/2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Drive futuristic cars to score goals with an oversized football. It’s another game that sounds ridiculous but is actually a huge amount of fun to play and requires a lot of expertise. What’s not obvious from the start is the level of control that...

Teardown

Release Date: 29/10/2020

Platforms: PC

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Teardown is a strategic game where you plan and execute a heist in fully destructible environments. Your objective is to claim the key cards that are hidden around the map. However taking one triggers the alarm, giving you only sixty seconds before...

Subnautica (Series)

Release Date: 11/04/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Subnautica is an open-world adventure where you explore the ocean on an alien planet after crashlanding. You collect resources and fight creatures to survive. This enables you to establish an underwater base, gain new craft and equipment and explore...

Return of the Obra Dinn

Release Date: 18/10/2019

Platforms: PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 13+ year-olds

You play a shipping company agent assessing what happened on board a fictional East India Company ship where all the passengers have all mysteriously died. Exploring the ship, you can revisit the moment of death for each body in order to identify each...

Celeste

Release Date: 23/01/2018, updated in 2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Celeste is a platform game that requires players to use jumping and climbing moves to ascend an increasingly challenging two-dimensional mountain. You play Madeline, who is, perhaps unsurprisingly, haunted by self-doubt at the task in hand. She presses...

Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Series)

Release Date: 11/03/2015, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Both Ori and the Blind Forest and Ori and the Will of the Wisps place you in control of a diminutive elfish spirit called Ori. You run, jump and solve platforming challenges to progress through the world. As you do new powers are unlocked that allow you...

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy

Release Date: 06/11/2017

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy is a strange game about movement and momentum. You are tasked with climbing a mountain. However, your only means of locomotion is a hammer that can stick to objects and drag you forwards.

Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach

Release Date: 16/12/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach is a survival-horror game where you explore a vast pizzeria and shopping centre while hunted by a murderer. In addition to continuing the intricate and multi-layered story of the previous games, this is the first...

Phantom Forces (Roblox)

Release Date: 31/08/2015

Platforms: Mac, PC, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Phantom Forces Roblox is a popular shooting game on Roblox. Phantom Forces isn’t available on iOS or Android. It's a shooting game played in an online arena in teams. Although it looks simple, it offers a high-skill challenge similar to [link to...

Hot Lava

Release Date: 19/09/2019, updated in 2022

Platforms: Apple TV, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Hot Lava is a running and jumping game where you mustn't touch the floor because it's covered in lava. It takes the childhood playground game online as you work to cross nostalgia-filled maps on your own or with other players

Phasmophobia

Release Date: 18/09/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Phasmophobia (Phasmophobia VR) is a horror survival game where you and your team investigate paranormal activity. It focuses on creating a realistic world built to get your heart racing, through interactive ghost-hunting equipment and teamwork.

Rust

Release Date: 08/02/2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Rust (also, Rust: Console Edition) is an online survival game set in the wilderness. You explore, gather and craft materials to manage hunger, thirst, health and protection. The preparation is to ward off the threat of bears, wolves and (more commonly)...

Geometry Dash

Release Date: 13/08/2013, updated in 2017

Platforms: Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Geometry Dash is a running, jumping game. It features over 20 stages where you play as a customisable small cube, which you used to dodge 2D obstacles to the rhythm of electronic music using a single button to control the cube. If you hit any of the...

Hollow Knight (Series)

Release Date: 12/06/2018, updated in 2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Hollow Knight is a game where you run, jump, and battle your way through the underground kingdom of Hallownest. It’s not uncommon for platform games to invest in the environments through which you pass, but the haunting depths in this game contain...

Thousand Threads

Release Date: 30/07/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Thousand Threads is an open world game of consequences. You are free to interact with the world, animals and people however you like, give, take, save, kill, inform, hide, befriend, betray. But how you do this will have ongoing and unavoidable...

The Eternal Cylinder

Release Date: 30/09/2021, updated in 2022

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

The Eternal Cylinder is a strategy game where you survive by evolving your creatures to adapt to the environment. Your herd explore a strange world filled with exotic lifeforms and environments. All the while a menacing firey cylinder rolls towards you.

The Forest

Release Date: 30/05/2014

Platforms: PC and PS4

Forest is a survival horror game where you are the only passenger to live after a plane crash. You explore a mysterious forest to find food, shelter and safety but soon have to battle strange cannibalistic people.

Freddy Spaghetti

Release Date: 15/12/2020

Platforms: PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Freddy Spaghetti is a running and jumping game. But you play a piece of spaghetti rather than a person. The game simulates the pasta’s physics as you use two trigger-buttons and a joystick to steer the main character across a wide variety of levels,...

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Release Date: 18/08/2020

Platforms: PC and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Microsoft Flight Simulator (Microsoft Flight Sim 2020) is the latest flight simulator game in the long running series. Along with a huge range of aircraft you can learn to fly, the game recreates the entire Earth using textures and data from data maps...

War Thunder

Release Date: 21/12/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

War Thunder is a shooting game where you drive a range of vehicles in warfare combat. Similar to Wargaming's World of Warplanes it creates realistic battles on air, land, and sea. The attraction of the combat is that each vehicle or craft’s...

Subnautica Below Zero (Series)

Release Date: 30/01/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Subnautica: Below Zero is an open-world adventure game that follows the original game, Subnautica. You play a scientist on an alien planet searching for clues about the research team that vanished there. What develops is a light...

Skyblock

Release Date: 01/01/2011, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Wii U, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Skyblock is a game played on Minecraft servers where you start on a bare island floating in the sky and must gather resources to thrive and reach other players. It's the Minecraft equivalent to being washed up on a desert island and is hugely popular....

Cities: Skylines

Release Date: 10/03/2015, updated in 2018

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Cities: Skylines is a city-building simulation. It rekindled the attention to detail and ambitious city planning of the Sim City games. You zone buildings, place roads, set taxation, provide public services and public...

Descenders

Release Date: 08/05/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and iOS

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Descenders is a downhill mountain biking game with a focus on skill. In each downhill run, your goal is to score as many points as possible by completing skill based challenges and executing as many tricks and flips as you can, all while you try to...

Shadow Of The Colossus

Release Date: 18/10/2005

Platforms: PS2, PS3 and PS4

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

You play a young man who enters a forbidden land to defeat sixteen massive beings to restore the life of a girl he cares about. It sounds like any other video game, although in fact, Shadow of the Colossus stands apart in many ways.

Totally Reliable Delivery Service

Release Date: 24/06/2019

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Totally Reliable Delivery Service is a package delivery game, where you use different means to get parcels to their rightful owners in the time limit.

Escape from Tarkov

Release Date: 27/07/2017

Platforms: PC

Escape from Tarkov is an online shooting game set in the fictional Norvinsk region in Northwest Russia. You play during a war between two private military companies and join matches to fight others for loot, survival and ultimately escape.

Outward

Release Date: 26/03/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Outward is a fantasy adventure focused on an ordinary character surviving against the odds. There's a focus on realism rather than superpowers or magical abilities. You have to look after your warmth, hunger, fatigue, illness, and thirst as well as the...

Horace

Release Date: 18/07/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC and Switch

Horace is a platform adventure full of nostalgic pop-culture references and British humour. You run and jump through a funny and heartfelt story told by Horace, the game's charming robot protagonist. Adopted by a wealthy family for reasons unknown,...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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