10 Video Games Designed To Totally Screw With You

Has any game ever topped the Psycho Mantis boss battle? 

Psycho Mantis metal gear solid

Some men just want to watch the world burn. And, it turns out, so do some games, who absolutely delight in making gamers’ lives an absolute misery in the name of entertainment.

Because video games hate you. Apparently.

By their nature, video games should be challenging – otherwise you might as well go play ‘sitting-on-the-couch-not-doing-anything’ for the rest of your life. Sometimes, though, that challenge goes way beyond trying to hop from one platform to another (or doing anything in Assassin’s Creed; a stealth game seemingly designed to prevent you from being stealthy).

In fact, there are plenty of games that delight in messing with your every move until you wail in agony. And that, my friends, is when you stop beating video games; that’s when the video game has beaten you.

Whether it’s breaking the fourth wall, convincing you that your computer has crashed or demanding that you acknowledge your own, true insanity, these are the games that were designed to totally mess with your mind, make you question reality - or just hurl your controller through the screen.

10. Left 4 Dead’s A.I. Director 

Psycho Mantis metal gear solid

Valve’s four-player zombie FPS is the bench mark on which all other undead co-op shooters are based. Tight level design, easily identifiable characters and solid gunplay mechanics all wrapped up in a game that rewards co-operation and teamwork.

Orchestrating everything behind the scenes is a concept known as the 'A.I. director' (where the game is constantly thinking "If X happens, do Y") who in this case, clearly hates you. If it thinks you’re having an easy ride, it’ll spawn more and more enemies until you start to feel the pinch. Occasionally it’ll throw you a bone, placing health items and projectiles into the mix, but mostly it feels like the director just wants you to suffer.

The AI director even goes so far as changing the map, blocking entrances and forcing you to take alternate paths to reach your destination. And if it does that in a simple video game, imagine how malicious artificial intelligence will be when it finally takes over the world, Skynet-style.


Word-wrangler and video gamer on the rocks. Once completed the original Resident Evil in 1 hour 4 minutes. Prefers Irish coffee over any other kind. Former movie trailer writer, now rehabilitated. Wrote the viral videos for the movie Watchmen. Likes sarcasm, cynicism, smoking and you.