5 of the toughest challenges in gaming

hardest video game challenges god of war kratos

Whether you’re looking for intimidating boss battles, perilous platforming levels, or you’re the sort of gamer who just enjoys making things needlessly hard for yourself, you’re in the right place. We have been guilty of all the above, and so here’s our curated selection of super-tough gaming challenges for you to take on.

Just remember, you don’t have to do any of these, because none of them are essential for completing the story. But you do get some serious bragging rights (and a round of applause from us) if you’re able to complete them.

hardest video game challenges cuphead game logo

Whether you’re looking for intimidating boss battles, perilous platforming levels, or you’re the sort of gamer who just enjoys making things needlessly hard for yourself, you’re in the right place. We have been guilty of all the above, and so here’s our curated selection of super-tough gaming challenges for you to take on.

Just remember, you don’t have to do any of these, because none of them are essential for completing the story. But you do get some serious bragging rights (and a round of applause from us) if you’re able to complete them.

1. Do a pacifist run of Cuphead

Try it out in: Cuphead

hardest video game challenges cuphead platformer

Cuphead is easily one of the toughest games we’ve ever played, but we love it anyway for its gorgeous 1930s-inspired cartoony art style and glorious soundtrack. The regular game is tricky enough, considering it’s mostly made up of multi-stage boss fights, but if you want to add an extra layer of challenge, try doing a pacifist run without firing a single shot in any of the platforming levels. You’ll get some special goodies if you do.

2. Battle Sans in a genocide run

Try it out in: Undertale

hardest video game challenges undertale sans boss fight megalovania

You think you can handle bullet hell games? Wait till you see the boss battle with Sans, the amiable skeleton side-character who was pretty nice to you all the way through your regular playthrough. But now that you’ve decided to go totally evil and made sure to slaughter every monster unfortunate enough to cross your path, he’s finally turned up to stop you with one of the toughest boss battles we’ve ever encountered. That said, the soundtrack for this one is epic.

3. Clear Pitioss Ruins

Try it out in: Final Fantasy XV

hardest video game challenges ffxv final fantasy xv 15 pitioss ruins

Just getting to this optional dungeon is a challenge in itself. You’ll need to land your flying Regalia on the smallest landing strip ever built, battle your way through some incredibly strong monsters (be warned: there are multiple Malbodooms), and then take on a super-tough, multi-stage platforming challenge in which gravity will occasionally go out the window and almost everything is designed to kill you. Good luck!

4. Battle the Demon of Hatred

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Sekiro is full of scary boss fights already, and none of them are what we’d call a pushover. But there are optional boss fights too, if you want to prove yourself as the ultimate master of Sekiro’s combat system. One of the hardest is the Demon of Hatred, whose every hit (and it feels like he can hit you from anywhere) does eye-watering amounts of damage.

5. Defeat the Valkyrie Queen

Try it out in: God of War

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In order to reach the Valkyrie Queen, you’ll need to have defeated all eight of the regular Valkyries, all of whom require a new strategy, a will of iron, and a whole lot of patience. Naturally, the Valkyrie Queen is the toughest one yet, and she makes even Kratos – who could probably have torn a troll in half with his bare hands even before levelling up throughout the game – look like a total weakling.

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