10 Most Brutally Difficult NES Games EVER

There's difficult, there's hard, then there's Nintendo Hard.

Contra NES

The Nintendo of today is very much a warm and fuzzy family alternative to its closest console competition. With mascots such as Mario, Kirby and Zelda leading the platform to major success over the years, though the games within these franchises may have had some tough spots, none were what you would consider "Nintendo Hard".

For the uninitiated, Nintendo Hard is a special term applied to only a handful of games in the 8-bit era when the NES reigned supreme. Saying these games were a touch difficult is an incredible understatement because, in reality, they were brutally unforgiving.

It's the kind of difficulty that inspired the masochist likes of Super Meat Boy today, and only the sickest individuals can take any form of joy from playing them.

If you managed to complete one of these games, there was no joy to be found, only relief, as the husk of your former self coldly stares back at the TV wondering if it was all worth it.

Whether they were ports of arcade games designed to chew coins or they were so badly developed games that they became unintentionally difficult, these are some of the hardest NES games that require you to be at your absolute button-pressing best.

10. Mega Man

Contra NES

Capcom is such a storied and diverse game developer that it has many jewels in its crown from its great success through the years.

One of those is 1987s Mega Man for the NES.

A game not expected to do much on release, Mega Man ended up starting what must be one of the most prolific games franchises ever, with over ten entries in the main series, and spin-off series such as Mega Man X, Mega Man ZX, Mega Man Zero, and Mega Man Legends.

With all that in mind, there's a fair chance you've played a Mega Man game or twelve, but don't let the sweeping nostalgia fool you, the first Mega Man has some terribly difficult boss battles.

Despite probably being what you could consider an 'entry level' Nintendo Hard game, Mega Man's boss fights will leave you frustrated.

In particular, Ice Man and Elec Man are two devilish little blights you're forced to beat by jumping, shooting, and praying to God you miss their erratic and unpredictable fire patterns.

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Avid writer of nonsense. Can often be seen in his natural habitat watching far too many films and not enough TV. Occasionally plays on the Xbox and Megadrive whilst chastising himself for not writing more.