From the pioneering days of Quake and Duke Nukem 3D, through the rise of the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises, and onto modern powerhouse productions like DOOM Eternal, the First-Person Shooter genre is a gaming staple that has entertained millions. And with the need for lightning-fast reflexes, pin-point accurate aim and godlike situational awareness, shooters have also posed some of gaming’s toughest challenges.
We’ve visited these blood-soaked arenas before (view the list here) and every pick made remains a top choice. But a few deserving classics did not make that list, and with new shooters constantly entering the market and the rise of the throwback shooter producing fertile new ground to explore, it's time for a fresh round of inductees into the pantheon of soul-crushingly difficult levels.
This list will focus on single-player titles rather than the Battle Royale format or multiplayer arena shooters. Also, each level must be clearly-defined, so we won’t be looking at open-world centric examples like Far Cry or Crysis. We are assuming that each level is being played at the higher difficulty settings and, lastly that it is being played for the first time, because everything is easy when you know where all the secrets are.
So prepare to rage - and weep - as we fight our way through ten more legendarily difficult levels in first-person shooters.
10. Nar Shaddaa Streets - Star Wars: Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Jedi Outcast is fondly remembered by fans for being the Star Wars game that finally gave players the chance to wield a lightsaber and fulfil their childhood fantasy of being a Jedi Knight. But if there’s one thing players will quickly want to forget it’s the level where you first get to use said lightsaber, Nar Shadda Streets.
Set in a giant durasteel canyon, you find yourself taking on the role of the proverbial fish in a barrel as you are forced to navigate narrow, horribly exposed walkways while being shot at from all corners of the map by pin-point accurate snipers armed with weapons capable of disintegrating you in two hits.
You’re no better off indoors: the level has an inordinate fondness for grenade-chucking Grans, often leaving rooms liberally sprinkled with ping-ponging thermal detonators. And when you inevitably sprint out of the room in panic, do remember to watch your step, because it’s a long way down. Oh, and don’t forget the snipers.
All this adds up to a nerve-wracking, torturous gauntlet of a level that will have you bashing your keyboard in incandescent rage. You'll need Yoda’s patience and Han Solo’s luck to get you through this one.