Games for masochists

The title of this list is pretty self explanatory. One of my favorite things about video games, is the sense of accomplishment for completing a particularly challenging one. These are the games that take that concept a step further and require complete dedication of your soul, several broken controllers and probably more than a few burst brain cells from yelling at the screen, to truly conquer.
I'm only including games on this list that are difficult by design. Games that are broken by poor coding, glitches or other unfortunate things that would make you probably not want to play it in the first place, don't count. Also, I'm only considering the most difficult challenges in a game that the developers intend you to play (for example, credit feeding on the easiest difficulty for shooters doesn't count. If you don't unlock the True Last Boss, you've technically not conquered the game yet). Many games with maddening challenge have a care-bear mode to pull in sales for the less hardcore. This is probably why so many people enjoyed Ninja Gaiden, despite few of them having actually beaten anything above normal. Once again, artificially inflating difficulty in a way the developers did not intend, does not count.
Also, there are several games which have a reputation for being difficult, but I have not yet played. They may end up on this list in the future (Battle Kid for example).

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Posted by thehideousshrew

ninja gaiden games definitely belong on here.  Maybe perhaps a Megaman game belongs on here. Take your pick, they're all pretty infuriating.

Posted by Solarus

Yeah the original can be pretty hideous to get used to. Especially with the whole limited lives and continues thing. As for the Ninja Gaiden, they're very awesome games and I consider them close to flawless in execution, but I've spent hundreds of hours trying to conquer mission in Ninja Gaiden 2.

Posted by StarFoxA

Don't forget Double Dragon III. If you die a single time you have to completely start over the game, no extra lives, no continues.

Posted by Rowen545

The Angry Video Game nerd comes to mind while I read this list.

Edited by BoOzak

Nice list, cant say i've got the tolerence for bullet hell shooters as they were originally intended to bleed you dry in the arcades but maby on my next cafiene addled gaming spree I might give some of them a try.
..Oh and Kudos for beating Master Ninja, I felt pretty good for beating Ninja Gaiden on hard but the game just laughed at me when I started playing on MN ;( one day though.. one day..

Posted by Solarus

Thanks! I has to spend a pretty significant amount of time playing Ninja Gaiden to eventually beat it on Master Ninja, but it gives a really great feeling of accomplishment. Don't give up!
Bullet hell shooters provide an interesting love-hate relationship. On the one hand, you try the hardest difficulty and can't understand how it would be possible to beat without dying and on the other, you just can't help but try anyway. They're really great games when you get into them.