10 Video Game Difficulty Modes You Must Complete Without Dying Once

Death comes at a heavy price in these games.

iD Software

Difficulty in games is a fickle thing; whether it's the discussions brought about by every FromSoft release or the classic games of old that gave players a battering.

Back in the days of the NES and Genesis, games were often punishingly difficult so they would take longer to beat. There was only so much game you could squeeze onto an 8-bit or 16-bit cartridge Once you lost all of your lives, it was back to the start unless you had a password to spare. As the industry has hit the mainstream, there was somewhat of a reluctance to inject a level of challenge

Modern games have come up with new ways of punishing the player. With the concept of running out of lives having been confined to the annals of history, brutal difficulty instead manifests itself through specific modes reserved only for the most skilled or masochistic of players.

Here are ten of the most brutally punishing difficulty modes that allow no margin for error. If you've beaten any of these on your playthroughs, you can count yourself among the very best players in the community.

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A tough but fair writer and critic broadly covering games, movies and just about every type of entertainment media. Spent a good part of the last seven years blogging and more recently, making amateur videos under "The Cainage Critique". You can follow my work on my website and my YouTube channel at