One of the age-old debates surrounding the video game industry has been: 'how hard should a game be?'
It's clear that some amount of challenge is important for gamers to feel immersed and get that sense of accomplishment when they are able to successfully defeat a boss or level, however, make a game too difficult and players will become frustrated and end up quitting things midway.
It's certainly the case that most video game genres have seen things swing towards the more accessible over the years.
As well as gaming becoming more accepted and commercial (widening the net to more players), the invention of things like save functions and the emergence of cheats and walkthroughs online has certainly helped players crack games that would have left them stumped back in the day.
But, that isn't to say all titles have followed this trajectory. There are plenty of examples out in the industry of games being released that are so unforgiving and purposefully difficult, that only a select few dedicated fans have been able to conquer. With that in mind, here are 10 unforgiving video games hardly anyone has been able to beat.
10. Cuphead (2017)
When Cuphead was first teased and then released in 2017, most people thought the game was going to be little more than a cushy homage to the classic American rubber hose style of the animations. Instead, what players got when they picked up the Studio MDHR title was one of the most infuriating and toughest games ever made.
With players taking control of Cuphead and his brother Mugman in a quest to repossess spirits and pay back a debt owed to the Devil, the game is mainly made up of boss battles that require intense concentration and quick reactions. The clunky eight-direction firing radius and distracting (albeit undeniably superb) visual styles and theme tunes are also a distraction players have to deal with.
The emphasis on muscle memory and exhausting the 'retry' button certainly helps Cuphead feel like a retro title but has led to some extremely small completion numbers from players. Just 12.5% of all players have completed the game on 'Normal' difficulty on PC, however, that number drops to just 1.2% when it comes to players that have been able to conquer the 'Expert' mode.
On consoles, that number drops even further, with just 7% of Xbox users completing the game.