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Cuphead Body 2

10 of the Hardest Current Gen Console Games That You’ll Probably Love

Like a Challenge?

Cuphead Body 2

Games are meant to be fun. But that doesn’t mean that they always have to be a walk in the park.

While it’s sometimes rather nice to go on a power trip, dismissing tens of enemies with a single swing of your sword in a game like Dynasty Warriors, for example, quite often the most rewarding experiences are those in which victory is earned, not simply given.

There are plenty of games available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One that will make you tear your hair out in frustration at times, but there are only so many of them that are actually worth the pain. We think the following 10 games fall into that category. They are the hardest current generation console games that you’ll probably love.

Dirt Rally

Genre: Racing
Available on: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Difficulty rating: 10/10

Dirt Rally is maddening. You can be speeding across a stage like a pro, setting the pace time as you throw your car skillfully from one corner to another, and then THWACK! Your rear end hits a stray wooden post at the side of the track, sending your vehicle into a violent spin that results with you ending up in a ditch. Back on the track, you’re informed of a 12 second penalty for the recovery of your car, and with that, your lead is gone. You’re now a loser, and it’s all because of one little wooden post at the side of the track.

There’s no rewind feature in Dirt Rally, and challenging AI comes as standard. To win, you’ll need to master your chosen vehicle, know the track you’re driving on inside out, and then push yourself to the limit. The problem is, pushing yourself to the limit often has disastrous results.

Dirt Rally is quite simply the hardest racing game there is. Every time we play it we turn the air blue – we can’t help it. Still, despite being monstrously difficult, we always go back for more.

Read our review of Dirt Rally.


Cuphead Body 3

Genre: 2D Shooter
Available on: Xbox One
Difficulty rating: 9/10

Ah, Cuphead. Beautiful, beautiful Cuphead. Why do you have to hate us so?

Cuphead looks amazing. It sounds great too. But then it has to go and spoil it all by making us want to go and mash our heads into a brick wall, repeatedly.

You need a lot of patience to beat Cuphead. You need to learn the attack patterns of its bosses, master the art of parrying, and choose the correct weapons for the job. Even then, though, you’re likely to die time and time again until everything just falls into place. Many have already overcome the challenge, but a recent patch that re-balances the weapons and eradicates many pesky glitches has made the game even harder. Oh, and don’t bring up simple mode. You can’t beat Cuphead in simple mode so just don’t.

Read our review of Cuphead.

Dark Souls 3

Genre: Action adventure
Available on: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Difficulty rating: 9/10

Dark Souls 3, just like Demon’s Souls, Bloodborne, and the two other Dark Souls games that came before it, is a bloody hard game to beat. It’s magnificently rewarding though.

Perhaps more so than any other game on this list, overcoming a challenge in Dark Souls 3 fills you with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment, making your perilous adventures through Lothric worth all the hardship. Plus, it’s incredibly atmospheric too.

For fans of both action adventure games and RPGs, Dark Souls 3 is a must, even though it may have you cursing from time to time. And at least you can simply grind for Souls to level up and perhaps make things a little easier for you if you’re finding a boss a tad too difficult.

Read our review of Dark Souls 3.

Trials Fusion

Trials Fusion

Genre: Racing
Available on: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Difficulty rating: 7/10

Trials Fusion is all about balance and precision. As such, it can be brutally hard for those who just don’t have the knack.

Trials Fusion eases you gently into its career, initially letting you race through levels which pose little challenge. About half way through, however, it starts to throw seemingly insurmountable obstacles in your path that you can only really learn to overcome via trial and error. It’s frustrating, but the pick-up-and-play nature of the gameplay keeps you going back for more. Well, until you reach the game’s final set of levels, which are so fiendish that they may have been created by the Devil himself.

It may drive us up the wall, but every once in a while we still go back to Trials Fusion. We just can’t help ourselves. It may be one of the hardest games out there, but it’s also an absolute blast to play whether you’re victorious or not.


EVERSPACE Hardcore 2

Genre: Space shooter
Available on: Xbox One
Difficulty rating: 8/10

Everspace is hard, but being a roguelike that’s to be expected, isn’t it?

A space shooter developed by Rockfish games, it probably won’t be hostile ships and gun emplacements that most often put an end to your interplanetary escapades though; rather, your lack of fuel.

Everspace is as much about resource management as it is about being an effective pilot. As you zip around deep space you need to pay heed to your surroundings, scavenging anything that may be useful while fending off attackers. And when you’re ready to push further on your adventures you better make sure you have enough fuel in the tanks, otherwise you might just find yourself meeting an unfortunate end.

Die, and you’ll start to start back from square one. Though you do get to spend your hard-earned credits in the perk shop to make your continued adventures that little bit easier.

Read our review of Everspace.

Redout: Lightspeed Edition

Redout 1

Genre: Racing
Available on: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Difficulty rating: 8/10

Redout: Lightspeed Edition, 34BigThings’ alternative to Wipeout, is brilliant, no matter what format you’re playing it on. Progress past its first ship class or so, however, and it becomes obscenely difficult.

Everything hurtles along so fast that even the most basic of corners requires the reflexes of a ninja to negotiate like a pro, and then you’ve also got chicanes, loop-de-loops and massive jumps to contend with. It wouldn’t be too bad if the AI would just go a little easier on you, but no, it doesn’t care for you or your feelings, it just wants to make you weep as you graze the side of the track and all your competitors blaze past you on the last lap of a race.

Despite being brutally hard though, Redout: Lightspeed Edition is one of our favourite racing games. One day we will master it, but until then we’ll just admire its glorious visuals and dream.

Read our review of Redout.


Genre: Rhythm
Available on: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Difficulty rating: 7/10

Thumper isn’t the hardest game on this list, but it’s sure to have you cursing as you screw up and have to retry the stage you’re on for the twentieth or so time.

Described as a rhythm violence game, Thumper is all about music, reflexes and brutal physical impact. As you speed headlong into an endless void you only need to think about one analogue stick and one button, but don’t let that give you the idea that you’re going to be for an easy ride, because Thumper is anything but.

You need to be able to keep up with the game’s breakneck pace to even stand a chance of succeeding, and then you’ve got terrifying bosses to deal with. Thumper‘s nine levels will have you going back again and again, just to feel the adrenaline rush that it never fails to provide.

Available on pretty much every format there is, Thumper may not be a walk in the park, but it’ll certainly raise your heart-rate in a similar fashion.

Read our review of Thumper.

Hyper Light Drifter

Genre: Action
Available on: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Difficulty rating: 10

If the idea of a 2D Dark Souls floats your boat then Hyper Light Drifter may just be right up your street. For most though, it’ll just prove to be a test of patience.

Obscure; that’s probably the best word to describe Hyper Light Drifter. It really doesn’t tell you anything, leaving you to painstakingly figure things out for yourself. And once you’ve overcome that hurdle there’s the combat; brutal, unforgiving combat.

Hyper Light Drifter‘s combat requires patience, precision and skill. Get it wrong and you’ll quickly be overcome by even the most commonplace enemies. And there’s no levelling up either; the only way you can gain the upper hand on your foes is to get good and maybe upgrade your health capacity and equipment.

It’s very easy to get frustrated with Hyper Light Drifter. It’s one of the hardest games we’ve ever played. Stick with it though, and you’re quite likely to find a game with a lot of soul.

Read our review of Hyper Light Drifter.


Genre: Metroidvania
Available on: PlayStation 4
Difficulty rating: 9/10

Thunder Lotus Games’ Sundered is very easy on the eyes. Every screen is like a work of art. It plays well too, for the most part. Things just fall to pieces when the hordes show up, unfortunately.

While Sundered‘s bosses put up a good fight once you’ve found them on the labyrinthine game map, it’s the random moments in which hordes of enemies descend upon you that pose the greatest challenge. Honestly, they’re unrelenting.

You’ll have small fry whizzing around your feet, hulking brutes trying to hammer you and snipers trying to take you out at range all at the same time. The combat system is fairly robust, but sometimes it just doesn’t gel with the amount of carnage happening onscreen. The result is often death, which isn’t the end of the world, though it does eventually begin to grind you down. For those up to the challenge, however, Sundered is likely to be utterly compelling.

Rise & Shine

Genre: 2D Shooter
Available on: PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Difficulty rating: 8/10

Developed by Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team (yes, really), Rise & Shine is a comical 2D side-scrolling shooter with a formidable difficulty level.

You’ll spot one video game parody after another as you shoot down your foes with a limited but inventive arsenal, but while the brunt of the action won’t prove to be too challenging its bosses can quickly induce uncontrollable rage.

Rise & Shine‘s final boss is understandably the hardest of them all, though the barrage of enemies you need to overcome just before taking it on is also likely to make you swear a lot. And once you’ve beaten it you can play through the game again in Iron Man mode. Go on, give it a try. We dare you…

Read our review of Rise & Shine.

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