TGR-Net Top 5 – Hardest Childhood Games

Today, for our Wednesday feature, we’ll be introducing a new type of feature – the ‘TGR-Net Top 5’ – pretty self-explanatory, we’ll pick a topic and go over what we count as our top 5 in that topic or category. Today’s featured topic is the Hardest games from our childhoods. Whether we’re talking insane skill curves, ridiculous speed, or just pure and utter difficulty – this list covers the hardest games that I remember playing during my childhood. Enjoy my frustration and agony and if you remember these yourself – let me know! Also keep in mind that I didn’t play every game, so feel free to comment if you think there’re other games that I didn’t play that you feel fit the bill of ridiculous difficulty.


#5 Megaman 2 (NES)

All of the older megaman games were quite difficult. Megaman 2 is a special case due to one stage: Quick Man. Now, for those who don’t remember, watch below. Quick man’s lasers were brutal, punishing and caused many gamers to have nightmares. Afterall… lasers are supposed to be awesome, right? How could the evil Dr. Wily turn such awesomeness against the hero?!?!?! HOW?!? Not to mention that, as with all megaman games, the final stages of the game were punishing, required perfect reflexes, an understanding of every single previous boss, as well as the ability to think on your feet. Overall, this game definitely earns its #5 spot – but still, being relatively beatable makes this game not take a top spot.

Video by Ch0coDK of Youtube – Link:

#4 Ninja Gaiden (NES)

Ninja Gaiden was just brutally difficult. There was no one part, no one enemy, no one segment that showcased the difficulty. It was just brutal from start to finish. Every aspect of this game showed ‘challenge’ – from the tricky controls and mechanics, to every enemy being cruel and heartless(also note: For some reason… birds hate ninjas. Who knew?), to the unforgiving nature of nearly every aspect of the game. Offsetting that difficulty is the ability to restart a level an infinite number of times if you die, ensuring that at least you don’t have to restart the entire game if you lose all of your lives.

#3 Contra (NES)

Contra was another one of those games where the challenge was just from pure difficulty. Everything in this game was tough. Even regular every day enemies could kill you without blinking twice. The game gave you a nice heartwarming arsenal of uber-weapons… but then gave many similar weapons to the enemies, thus taking away the heartwarming aspect but adding to the face-melting aspect significantly. Even using the famous Konami Code to give you the bonus 30 lives wasn’t enough to make the game easy, and one could still very easily run through those lives if not careful.

#2 Gauntlet (NES)

Gauntlet was a game that started off pretty easy. However, by the time you reached… oh… stage 80 or so… the game was insanely difficult. Not only were there multiple exits – some of which would send you back levels or in different, harder, directions – and sometimes the good exits were hidden under blocks that you either had to know about beforehand or get lucky. But you started getting masses of enemies who attacked so fast they could eat like 100 or more life in a second if you weren’t paying attention, and you got those nigh-invulnerable leeches…. and to add insult to injury… in some stages there was no way to regen life. And even if you played perfectly, your life still degraded over time, so you had to act quick. Altogether, this game was just brutally difficult. I was never able to finish it, and I don’t personally know anyone who did, although I have heard of a few people doing so. I think my highest was level 86 or so.


Which brings us to our #1. The most difficult, brutal, punishing, horrendous game of my childhood. A game that gave me more nightmares, tears and other assorted scary things than any other.

#1 Battletoads (NES)

Battletoads was a game with wildly fluctuating difficulty with one level being relatively beatable and only causing a minor amount of stress followed by a level from hell. Most people who played Battletoads never actually made it past level 3 of it’s I believe 13 levels(I believe I made it as far as 6 or 7). The absolutely brutal difficulty was most apparent in its race stages such as level 3 – seen below. The problem was exacerbated by only having 3 lives per continue(dying sent you back to the last checkpoint) and only having 3 continues per game(using a continue sent you to the start of the level). After running out of continues it was back to stage 1. The game was so difficult that the cheat code only gave you 5 lives per continue. Yes, even the cheat code didn’t make it faesibly beatable. Congratulations to Battletoads – the most difficult game of my childhood – and congratulations to anyone who happened to beat this nightmare of a game.

Video by BrYaN5555 of Youtube, Link:


Hope you’ve enjoyed our first TGR-net Top Five


Written by: Sean

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