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The 10 Hardest Video Game Levels of All Time



The Hardest Video Game Levels of All Time

If something’s too easy, then generally, it’s not worth it, and the reward is usually pretty underwhelming.

However, the video games listed below are sure to have you on your knees wishing for “easy,” as they’re absolutely nuts on the difficulty spectrum.

Brace yourself, as these levels go way beyond the realms of difficulty you might be used to.

Here’s a list of the 10 hardest video game levels of all time.


The 10 Hardest Video Game Levels of All Time

This list of the hardest video game levels, and figures mentioned below, have been compiled from various sources around the web, such as The Gamer, What Nerd & Twinfinite.

These are the 10 hardest video game levels of all time:


10. Tree Tops – Spyro The Dragon


You might be surprised to learn that Spyro The Dragon has one of the hardest video game levels of all time, considering its fun appearance and gameplay. However, we can assure you it does.

Tree Tops is a level in Spyro Reignited that contains many different platforms, divided by gigantic gaps, which makes it extremely difficult to progress through the level.

Spyro has to try and use speed boosters and ramps to help him across. However, most of the time, that just won’t cut it, and you’ll have to try and chain some of the ramps together to keep them steady enough to jump across.

If that sounds like fun to you, and you think you’ve got what it takes, pick up a copy of Spyro Reignited, either on the PS4 or Xbox One, and give it a bash!

P.S. Let us know how many times it takes to complete.


9. Rainbow Road – Mario Kart Wii


Often perceived as one of the most enjoyable games to play, Mario Kart Wii’s Rainbow Road level will quickly turn that perception into a never-ending nightmare!

Rainbow Road has seen a fair few overhauls in its time and always seems to be just as hard as before.

The hardest level is the final track of the Special Cup in Mario Kart Wii, and it has a Super Mario Galaxy theme. Its difficulty lies in its non-existent safety features, like safety railings, an abundance of Dash Panels, which will cart you off into space if you’re not careful, and it’s overall fast-paced nature.

The course includes several 90-degree turns, boost pads, a wavy road segment, and a half-pipe.

Mario Kart Wii was developed and published by Nintendo and is the sixth installment in the series.

It was released worldwide in 2008 on the Nintendo Wii and quickly became the second best-selling game of all time!


8. Assault – Hotline Miami

Hotline Miami is a shooter video game by Dennaton Games.

It was published by Devolver Digital and released on Microsoft Windows in October 2012.

The game is set in Miami in 1989 and follows the story of a silent protagonist dubbed, “Jacket,” who’s been instructed to take care of the local Russian Mafia.

It’s played from a top-down perspective and involves extreme violence, stealth, and strategy.

The game gets tough at the thirteenth level, “Assault,” which takes place in a police precinct containing tons of deadly corrupt police officers.

However, it’s not just the sheer number of police officers and enemies you’ll encounter that makes it difficult. It’s also that the game crashes when certain moves are performed, or you’re pushed out of the building by an enemy.

And, that means you’ll have to start all over again. Good luck with this one!


7. Through The Fire And Flames – Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock


If you fancy yourself as a bit of a guitar wizard, then we welcome you to try and finish “Through The Fire And Flames.”

The game was released in 2007 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation II & III, and the Nintendo Wii.

It’s the third installment in the Guitar Hero series and is described as a music rhythm game.

In simple terms, players take command of a guitar-shaped controller and try to keep up with the scrolling notes displayed on the screen. They can either be lead, bass or rhythm guitar, but the aim of the game is to follow the song perfectly, without hitting any dud notes or missing them entirely!

By the time you get to the seventh hardest video game level of all time, you’ll be pretty up to speed with the game and understand what you need to do.

However, nothing will prepare you for the absolute hammering you’ll get from this level. Unless you’ve spent years developing finger speed on a real guitar, then you haven’t got a hope in hells chance.

With that said, do try and let us know how you get on!


6. Dam Level – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


Cowabunga dude! Apologies, we just can’t help ourselves as we’re massive turtle fans!

Moving on, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was the first TMNT video game and was released on the NES in 1989.

The game was released by Konami and published in North America by Ultra Games.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is based on the animated series and follows the turtles (Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello) on their mission to claim back the “Life Transformer Gun” from their arch-nemesis, Shredder.

Once you get to the “Dam Level,” you’ll already be tearing your hair out. And then when you realize its an underwater level, you may as well tear the rest of it out as it’s a pain in the backside.

You’ll direct your turtle through an aquatic environment, dodging obstacles and disarming bombs.

Sounds easy enough, right?

Well, the walls are electrified, and you’ve only got two minutes on the clock. So have fun, good luck, and try not to succumb to the pressure and frustration this level brings.


5. Mike Tyson Fight – Punch Out


The next hardest video game level is Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!

It’s a sports fighting video game that was developed and published by Nintendo in 1987 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

The game features a small player called “Little Mac,” whose mission is to work his way up through the ranks of the World Video Boxing Association.

After fighting his way to the top, Little Mac has the chance to win a final “Dream Fight.” However, it’s not going to be that easy, as his opponent is the heavyweight champ, Mike Tyson.

The game portrays Iron Mike as a giant, which makes things super difficult for Little Mac. If fighting a giant wasn’t hard enough, then remember that you’re fighting Mike Tyson, who, with one quick uppercut, can knock you out.

If he manages to land a single punch, then you’re in trouble. And because of the frequency of his punches, it’s almost impossible to retaliate, which is why the level is so hard.

So, time your punches well and avoid that right uppercut at all costs!


4. The Water Temple – The Legend of Zelda


The fourth hardest video game level of all time is “The Water Temple” in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

The game was developed and published by Nintendo and released on the N64 in 1998.

Players take control of “Link,” as he travels around the magical fantasy land of Hyrule, on a quest to stop King Ganondorf.

Once you get to The Water Temple, you realize that it’s one of those dreaded water levels, like the Dam Level in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The Water Temple isn’t the most challenging level in the game per se, but it’s by far the most frustrating due to the water.

The constant alternating water levels, and having to mess around with Link’s Iron Boots all the time, ads to the frustration. On top of that, the Iron boots make link walk slowly, which is super annoying.

Due to the sheer level of frustration and complaints by gamers, The Water Temple became known as one of the most hated levels of all time, resulting in the 3DS port receiving slight alterations to make it a little easier to complete!


3. Turbo Tunnel – Battletoads


Battletoads is a beat ’em up/platform video game developed by Rare and published by Tradewest.

It’s the first in the series of Battletoad games and was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1991.

In the game, a group of humanoid space toad warriors comes together to form “The Battletoads.” They embark on a mission to rescue their friends from the Dark Queen and put a stop to her evil in the process.

Now, it’s the games third level, Turbo Tunnel, that’s without question, one of the hardest video game levels of all time!

On paper, it looks easy. However, it’s not the third hardest video game level of all time for no reason. It starts slowly with a beat-’em-up section, which isn’t too bad, but then moves on to a driving segment, which is where the nightmare begins.

You have to get to the end of the road while avoiding countless obstacles along the way, but the problem lies in the fact that you have no time to move as you’re driving so fast.

So, if you want to give this a try, then make sure you’re prepared to die several times before you succeed. If you do manage to succeed, that is.


2. Ornstein & Smough – Dark Souls


The second hardest video game level of all time is Ornstein & Smough.

Dark Souls was released in 2011 and is an action role-playing game for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

It’s the second installment in the Souls series and takes place in the Kingdom of Lordran. As a player, you’ll assume the role of a cursed undead character who’s trying to discover the destiny of their kind.

Dark Souls is played in a third-person perspective and takes place in a vast open world, where players can travel between different worlds and explore various paths.

One of those paths will lead you to Ornstein & Smough, one of the hardest video game levels ever.

It’s well known that the enemies in Dark Souls are pretty tough, to begin with, but these bosses are ridiculous.

You’re going to be fighting two bosses at the same time, each with their own abilities.

If you manage to miss a slow hammer blow by Smough, then Ornstiens fast spears of lighting will have you on your knees without a doubt.

The final kick in the teeth comes when you defeat one of them, as the remaining boss absorbs the power of the other and becomes even more challenging to kill.

So, prepare yourself for a long old slog on this one. It’s super tough but well worth it in the end as you’ll of completed one of the hardest video game levels of all time!


1. Aztec – GoldenEye 007


Coming in at number one on our list is the Aztec level in GoldenEye 007.

GoldenEye was one of the first-ever first-person-shooter video games and was released on the Nintendo 64 in 1997.

The game is based on James Bond’s “GoldenEye.” Players take charge of the British Secret Intelligence agent, James Bond, to try and end a criminal gangs plot to cause a global financial meltdown.

As well as the single-player campaign mode, players can also utilize the split-screen multiplayer mode for up to four players at a time.

After eighteen levels, you reach the nineteenth secret Aztec level. It’s one gigantic labyrinth of tight corridors, with enemies lurking behind each one. Unfortunately for you, the enemies are enhanced, meaning they’re twice as accurate and twice as fast as usual.

If that isn’t enough, you’ll also face “Jaws,” who has metal teeth and some of the highest health in the game.

You’ll need to be as accurate as you can, and your reaction times need to be spot on to stand any chance of completing the hardest video game level of all time! Good luck!



We hope you enjoyed our list of the 10 hardest video game levels of all time.

Hard is an understatement. These levels are insane and drove us bonkers.

We still haven’t managed to complete a few of them.

I guess that’s why they’re the hardest video game levels ever.

Don’t forget to read our list of the toughest video game bosses to defeat!

Here’s a quick recap of the 10 hardest video game levels of all time:

  1. Aztec – Goldeneye 007
  2. Ornstein & Smough – Dark Souls
  3. Turbo Tunnel – Battle Toads
  4. The Water Temple – The Legend of Zelda
  5. Mike Tyson Fight – Punch Out
  6. Dam Level – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  7. Through The Fire And Flames – Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
  8. Assault – Hotline Miami
  9. Rainbow Road – Mario Kart Wii
  10. Tree Tops – Spyro The Dragon

What’s your favorite video game level? Leave a comment below.

Matt McIntyre is an SEO consultant and certified marketing strategist. When he's not talking about business or marketing, you'll find him playing Diablo 3 and Halo.

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