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The Hardest Games on PS4

These are the hardest, most difficult games on PS4

While most games are made so that the majority of those who buy them can easily see them through to their end, there are some on PS4 that dispose of such pleasantries.

In such games, victory has to be earned though skill or sheer grit and determination. They’re happy with you dying, or failing, time and time again until you’ve mastered their mechanics and pushed your abilities to your limits. Some will emerge from such games elated and enriched. Others, however, will simply admit defeat and give up. So, what are the hardest games on PS4?

There are many games available on PS4 that will make you turn the air blue and possibly throw a controller across the room, but only a limited number of them are actually worth the frustration. Want to know what they are? We’ve put together a list of the hardest, most difficult games on PS4 that you may choose to challenge yourself with. Click through and find out what they are. If you dare…

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

Trials Rising

Trials Rising 1

Genre: Racing
Difficulty rating: 7/10

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.

Trials Rising eases you gently into its career, initially only letting you race on tracks which pose little challenge. As you makes 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, 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


Genre: Rhythm
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.

There’s not much else like Thumper on PS4. It 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

Buy Thumper on Amazon

Elden Ring

Elden Ring 3

Genre: Action RPG
Difficulty rating: 7/10

The first of multiple games developed by FromSoftware on this list, Elden Ring is undoubtedly one of the hardest games on PS4. But thanks to its open world format, you at least have a fighting chance.

Head straight through Elden Ring‘s story and you’ll find yourself having a difficult time indeed. In fact, some might consider it the hardest game on PS4 for that reason. The fact that you can go away, explore, and considerably power yourself up to totally obliterate a boss on your return, however, means that while Elden Ring is hard, it appears at the lower end out our list.

So, if you’re after a challenge, Elden Ring will provide you with one. But you’ll never find yourself feeling like you’ve hit a brick wall. It’s just one of the reasons why we think it’s not only one of the hardest games on PS4, but also one of the best.

Read our review of Elden Ring

Buy Elden Ring on Amazon



Genre: Action RPG
Difficulty rating: 8/10

Exclusive to PS4, Bloodborne offers an entertaining twist on the Dark Souls formula.

Taking away the crutch of a shield, Bloodborne forces you to avoid attacks rather than block them. It also encourages you to play more offensively, allowing you to restore a little bit of the health wiped out by an enemy’s attack if you quickly land a counter strike.

Get past the hard as nails first hour or two of Bloodborne, and you’ll find it getting a little easier. It remains challenging throughout though, and its bosses will really cause you some aggro, but the fantastic visuals and engaging gameplay will pull you through. Also, Bloodborne just oozes atmosphere. If you have a PS4, you must try it.

Buy Bloodborne 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 fully 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 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.

Read our review of The Messenger

Buy The Messenger on Amazon

Dark Souls 3

Genre: Action RPG
Difficulty rating: 8/10

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.

Like many of the other games 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

Buy Dark Souls 3 on Amazon

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time

Crash Bandicoot 4 5 (1)

Genre: Platforming
Difficulty rating: 9/10

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time may look like a kids game, but trust us, try to fully complete it and it will make you rage. Simply making your way through all of its levels is also a considerable challenge.

With jumps that are awkward to judge, enemies that will surprise you and challenging sections that require you to make use of multiple powers with pinpoint accuracy, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time can be very frustrating to play. You’ll die time and time again, sometimes taken back quite a distance thanks to its checkpoint system. And there’s one level in particular where it’s not unusual for players to die hundreds of time before achieving success. Needless to say, if you’re going for 100% completion, be prepared to tear your hair out.

We like Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. We really do. But at times it simply feels unfair. Still, if you’re after the hardest games on PS4 and have a lot of patience, be sure to give it a try.

Read our review of Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time

Buy Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time on Amazon

DiRT Rally 2.0

Dirt Rally 2 1

Genre: Racing
Difficulty rating: 9/10

Just like its predecessor, DiRT Rally 2.0 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 landed with a hefty time penalty for the recovery of your car, which is now severely damaged, and 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 2.0, 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 2.0 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 2.0

Buy DiRT Rally 2.0 on Amazon


Nioh 1

Genre: Action RPG
Difficulty rating: 9/10

Nioh 2 may be out now – and it’s undoubtedly a better game – but in terms of difficulty, it just doesn’t match up to its predecessor. When it comes to the development of Nioh, we can just imagine Team Ninja looking at Dark Souls and saying to FromSoftware “Here, hold my beer!”.

Nioh is brutal. It’s undoubtedly one of the hardest games on PS4. It is faster and more challenging than anything FromSoftware has developed bar the recent Sekiro. But it’s so, so good.

Featuring a stance system that lets you change your offensive and defensive capabilities on the fly, as well as a Ki Pulse manoeuvre that allows you to restore some of the stamina expended on attacks, Nioh‘s combat has unrivalled depth. It’s that depth that eventually becomes a real barrier to your progress though. Fail to master Nioh‘s mechanics, and its bosses will simply eat you up and spit you out.

Read our review of Nioh

Buy Nioh on Amazon

Hyper Light Drifter

Genre: Action
Difficulty rating: 10/10

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 PS4. 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: 10/10

Cuphead has inexplicably found itself on PS4, 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 PS4.

Read our review of Cuphead

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice


Genre: Action adventure
Difficulty rating: 10/10

Take the Dark Souls formula, remove the RPG elements and ask players to parry incoming attacks rather than avoid them – that’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice in a nutshell.

The fact that Sekiro‘s combat is so different to that of Dark Souls makes it all the more fiendishly difficult. We’re used to dodging when we see an enemy readying up an attack, whereas in Sekiro you have to stand your ground and parry the blow instead to succeed. And if you do come up against a boss who’s repeatedly kicking your ass, you can’t simply grind out some additional levels in the hope it’ll give you just the advantage you need. In Sekiro, your only option is to get good.

Sekiro is possibly the hardest game on PS4 right now. Though thankfully it’s also probably the most rewarding to master if you’re up to the challenge. And did we mention that it looks absolutely beautiful?

Read our review of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Buy Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice on Amazon

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