The toughest computer games to complete include Ghosts N Goblins and Dark Souls

New research has revealed the hardest games to complete ever made – and the results may surprise you.

Although many gamers like a challenge, more and more games are being designed to offer a smooth, easy experience to players. In recent years, fans of an 'expert' difficulty level have had to turn to indie and retro games to get their hardcore gaming fix – until now.

Researchers at Casino En Ligne have compiled data from thousands of games to rank them by their difficulty.

This included information such as the number of hours required to complete a game, the percentage of players who quit before completion, and the popularity of walkthroughs online.

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Topping the list is 1985 arcade games Ghosts n Goblins, a notoriously difficult run-and-gun shooter from an era before handheld game controllers existed. After that, the hardest games ever are:

  • Dark Souls
  • osu!
  • Battletoads
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Cuphead
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  • Ninja Gaiden: Black
  • Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts
  • Mega Man
  • Castlevania

These are shortly followed by Bloodborne, Dark Souls II, and Demon's Souls, meaning five of the top 20 most difficult games belong to Japanese developer and pioneer of 'Souls' style combat, FromSoftware.

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The study indicates that Bloodborne and Dark Souls walkthroughs are the most searched for on Google, with between 14,000 and 18,000 queries a month. Anyone who's ever been poisoned by a rat 30 times in a row on Dark Souls will confirm just how hard their games can be.

Difficult games are now considered part of a rising trend in 'masocore' games, i.e. 'masochist' and 'hardcore'. This typically refers to games that are designed to challenge players with tricky mechanics, precise timing, and near-impossible scenarios.

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They attract big followings on Twitch and Youtube, where players challenge each other to 'speedrun' through the games at extreme difficulty levels.

While most games take between 40 and 60 hours to complete, some of these titles take upwards of 1,600 hours to complete to 100% – or 66 whole days. That's a lot of time spent swearing.

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