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The Hardest Games on Switch

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These are the hardest games on Switch

Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection 3 (1)

Some players shy away from a challenge. Others, however, revel in them.

Most games these days try to cater for all audiences, offering multiple difficulty levels that tweak things such as enemy health and the number of checkpoints available. Some developers, however, are adamant on making their games hard. They want to push players to their limits and then perhaps even further. If that sounds appealing to you and you own a Nintendo Switch, then you’re probably wondering what the hardest games on the format are.

For that reason, we’ve put together a list of the hardest games on Switch. Each and every one of these will surely test your gaming skills, and perhaps even your patience. The quality of them though, will mean that even when you’re frustrated you’ll return to them time and time again. They’re all hard, maybe even unfairly so at times, but you’ll want to overcome the challenges they throw at you. So, take a gander. You might just find your next gaming obsession.

Want to support GameSpew? If you decide to buy any of the games on this list, please consider doing so via our affiliate links, included below each entry. It won’t cost you anything extra, but we’ll get a small slice of the purchase.

Hotline Miami Collection

Hotline Miami 2 Review

Genre: Action
Difficulty rating: 7/10

Bundled together on Nintendo Switch, Hotline Miami and its sequel are hard.

In each mission you’ll enter an environment and have to kill every single enemy without being killed yourself. If you die you have to start again, or at least from a checkpoint, and one hit is all it takes. Needless to say, you’ll find yourself dying a lot.

Thankfully, the responsive controls and dependable mechanics of both Hotline Miami and Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number keep you going back for more, even if you do fail often. And then there are the games’ soundtracks to consider; filled with tunes that are so banging, you’ll be nodding your head and tapping your feet as you mercilessly slaughter your adversaries.

So, if you’re up for a challenge, you should definitely check the Hotline Miami Collection out. They’re certainly a couple of the hardest games on Switch, but you’ll be having so much fun that you won’t really care.

Read our review of Hotline Miami Collection

Buy Hotline Miami Collection on Amazon

Trials Rising

Trials Rising 1

Genre: Racing
Difficulty rating: 8/10

Just like all the other Trials games, Trials Rising is all about balance and precision. As such, it can be brutally hard for those who just don’t have the knack. Even worse, on Switch, the lack of analogue triggers makes everything more of a hardship.

Trials Rising eases you gently into its career, initially only letting you race on tracks which pose little challenge. As you make your way through its leagues, however, it starts to get harder and harder, until eventually the challenge it poses seems insurmountable. It’s frustrating, but the pick-up-and-play nature of the gameplay keeps you going back for more. Also, there are some handy tutorials to help you this time around, too.

It drives us up the wall sometimes, especially on Switch, but Trials Rising is a game we can’t help but love. It’s simply a blast to play, even if you’re not very good at it.

Read our review of Trials Rising

Buy Trials Rising on Amazon

The Messenger

The Messenger 4

Genre: Metroidvania
Difficulty rating: 8/10

The Messenger is a funny game. Honestly, it really is hilarious at times. When it’s not making you laugh, however, it’s likely to be making you curse under your breath.

A 2D platformer in the vein of Ninja Gaiden that eventually becomes a full-blown Metroidvania, The Messenger truly is challenging. It eases you in gently, but before you know it you’re being asked to overcome some crazy platforming sequences and take on bosses that really want you to die.

The Messenger will make you mad. It will make you want to throw your controller or even possibly your Switch across the room. Stick with it though, and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts. You won’t be getting a medal or a trophy or anything, but you’ll feel like a better player. You’ll be able to act all smug, and there’s nothing better than that. It’s one of the hardest games on Switch, but we like it.

Read our review of The Messenger

Buy The Messenger on Amazon

Dark Souls Remastered


Genre: Action adventure
Difficulty rating: 8/10

Dark Souls is a classic, and the remastered version of it is available on Switch for your gaming pleasure.

Spiritual sequel to PlayStation-exclusive Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls Remastered takes the formula and refines it. It plants you in a dark fantasy world, nudges you in the right direction and then leaves you to fend for yourself. Facing off against countless powerful adversaries, you’ll need to keep your wits about you if you wish to survive.

Unless you’re some kind of gaming god, you’ll undoubtedly die, die and then die again, but you’ll be so invested and drawn into the adventure that you’ll keep going back, ever increasing your skills until you emerge victorious. And that’s why the Dark Souls games are so good – the rewarding feeling you get when you finally topple a boss that’s been troubling you for hours is immense.

If you have a Nintendo Switch and are seeking out the hardest games for it, consider Dark Souls Remastered a must-have.

Read our review of Dark Souls Remastered

Buy Dark Souls Remastered on Amazon

Hyper Light Drifter

Genre: Action
Difficulty rating: 9/10

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, let alone on Switch. 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

Buy Hyper Light Drifter on Amazon


Cuphead 1 (1)

Genre: 2D Shooter
Difficulty rating: 9/10

Once an Xbox console exclusive, Cuphead has inexplicably found itself on Switch, and we think Microsoft did it on purpose. You see, behind Cuphead‘s colourful and alluring exterior is pure hell in video game form.

A brutally hard 2D shooter that largely forgets about the bits usually found between bosses, Cuphead goes easy on no-one. Spread across a world map you’ll find a large number of boss fights, each of which will push you to the very edge of human endurance. And don’t even think about touching that easier difficulty option, as you ultimately won’t be able to take on the final boss and complete the game.

Bringing a friend along for the ride doesn’t make it any easier, either. With two players on screen there’s twice the chaos, and each player will also do less damage. Still, you’ll have fun trying to defeat Cuphead‘s creative foes until you lose the will to live. For that reason, it deserves its place on our list of the hardest games on Switch.

Read our review of Cuphead

Super Meat Boy Forever

Super Meat Boy Forever

Genre: 2D Platformer
Difficulty rating: 10/10

Super Meat Boy Forever is the follow-up to the fiendish Super Meat Boy, also available on Switch. And if you like hard games, you’d be wise to check both of them out.

Narratively taking place a few years after the events of the first game, Super Meat Boy Forever finds the eponymous hero and his partner, Bandage Girl, once again in pursuit of Dr. Fetus, suspecting him of kidnapping their child, Nugget. You probably won’t care about the game’s story, however. It’s the gameplay you’ll be invested it.

Super Meat Boy Forever makes numerous changes to the Super Meat Boy formula. It’s got snazzy new visuals for one, making it more appealing to the eyes. There’s also autorun, making the action more intense and fast-paced. And finally, levels are now randomly generated, making each and every playthrough different. Needless to say, Super Meat Boy Forever will really keep you on your toes.

You’ll no doubt fail countless times, but if you love overcoming the odds, you really ought to consider adding Super Meat Boy Forever to your Switch library.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection

Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection 2 (1)

Genre: 2D Platformer
Difficulty rating: 10/10

Playing Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection, you get the feeling that its developers hate you. Why else would they make it so unfair at times?

This latest entry in the Ghosts ‘n Goblins series keeps the old-fashioned gameplay but modernises other aspects. The visuals, for example, are bang up to date, making good use of the RE Engine to keep your eyes glued to the screen. And there’s a new upgrade system too, allowing you to purchase new spells and abilities to help you in your fight against the demon realm.

Honestly, though, Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection is probably the hardest game we’ve played on Switch. There’s an easy difficulty, but it doesn’t allow you to access all of the game’s content. So, if you really want to complete it, you’ve got to step up and prove yourself. On the hardest difficulty, it’s absolutely insane. At times, you’ll wonder if the section you’re stuck on is even possible.

If you’re after the hardest games on Switch, look no further: Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection really will test your skills, and perhaps even your patience. Still, we can’t help but admire it. It’s simply got a hell of a lot of charm.

Read our review of Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection

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