With the blockbuster console experiences we have nowadays, it’s easy to forget the humble arcade roots from which our games come from. Back in the halcyon days of the arcade, games were designed for one purpose only: To force kids into wasting as much money as possible. Forget quality, it was all about the challenge. When games initially began being ported onto consoles from the arcade machines, the absurd difficulty came with them. As such, here are the the top ten most difficult retro games that come to mind.
10. Power Rangers
This one is more of a personal entry for me, as it was the first game I ever played back when I got an original brick Gameboy in my youth. Looking back on it recently, I can’t actually believe I was able to beat the game at the age of four. I like to consider myself pretty proficient with a controller these days but, in comparison to my younger days, I’m clearly little more than a husk of my former glory. Seeing this game in action recently has put me to shame, and it certainly earns a place on this list because of this.
9. Abe’s Oddysee
A lot of the entries on this list require skill and dexterity, but Abe’s Oddysee is one of the few games that required a lot of though as well. Combining the most satisfying but gruelling elements of the platformer and puzzle genre, Abe starts out easy only to toughen up later. Rather than going for a difficulty curve, Oddworld Inhabitants went for a difficulty wall with Oddysee. By the time you got to Scrabania things really started kicking off. Bad times all around.
8. Street Fighter 2: The World Warrior
Bison! Why is it some characters totally suck when you play them, but absolutely destroy when the AI gets their hands on them? Street Fighter has a tendency to throw out these characters, with that bastard Seth being the perfect example of this in the recent Street Fighter 4. M. Bison was even worse though, with his throw alone being able to take off half your health if you were unfortunate to get caught in it. The rest of the game was easy enough if you knew what you were doing, but Bison was always trouble.