We play games for a multitude of reasons. Some use them as a form of escapism after a long hard day. Some to reconnect with friends through online multiplayer and MMORPGs, forging stories and memories that will last a lifetime.
There are some of us, however, that use games to challenge ourselves to overcome seemingly impossible tasks.
Thankfully, there are a plethora of incredibly difficult games to choose from. But the games that set themselves out to be difficult, for the sake of being difficult (I'm looking at you Ninja Gaiden) are typically only enjoyed by the true masochists among us.
For us sane people who don't enjoy repeated punishment, these titles are just a sobering reminder of our shortcomings.
That doesn't mean that difficult games cannot be fun. Some of the best games ever made are nails, but they embody so much more than just twitchy controls and nightmare bosses. A well-balanced difficulty, that combines reflexes with intelligence, willpower and blind luck can create a gameplay loop that can be electrifying. Even if it is making you smash your controller.
15. Super Meat Boy
The original Meat Boy was a Newgrounds sensation 10 years ago. The simple flash game where you had to guide an anthropomorphic cube of meat through increasingly difficult levels became an instant classic and became the launchpad for the full-fat experience: Super Meat Boy.
Super Meat Boy tasks you with saving your cube-shaped girlfriend Bandage Girl from the evil Dr Fetus by traversing over 200 deadly levels. All the different maps will have you dodging spikes, crevasses and buzzsaws in a bid to get through. Super Meat Boy runs at an electric fast pace, and death on each level is almost guaranteed. What makes the gameplay loop so addictive is Super Meat Boy's controls and aesthetic.
The controls and maps designs are incredibly tight. When you do inevitably fail on a certain part of a level, it will never be because the controls were twitchy or the map didn't allow you to pull off that move (as much as you will like to tell yourself the contrary).
When you do fail, you know it is because you are missing something. This intrigue drives you to try again, knowing that you will eventually crack this fleshy code.