8 Stressful Video Games That Make You Sweat

The killer is in the room.

dishonored game
Arkane Studios

Some people play video games to escape reality, some play them to experience a story told through a unique medium, and some play them just to stress themselves out.

It sounds weird when you really think about it, but then, our species has had this odd obsession with making their hearts race in a way we can't really get anymore ever since we clawed our way to the top of the food chain.

Video games made to induce stress and frustration walk a very fine line, having to make their content just difficult and obtuse enough to provide a challenge that makes the player sweat, while still being competently made enough that it doesn't cross that line into just flat out pissing people off.

And for those that WANT to piss people off, well, we'll get to those special cases.

These games are the ones that found that perfect balance, making you clench your teeth so hard that your dentist can practically smell how rich they're about to become, but still making you come back for more.

8. Dark Souls

dishonored game
FromSoftware

The original Dark Souls is world famous by now for being one of the most hostile game experiences ever coded, with tricks and traps around every corner specifically designed to make the player feel unsafe.

No moment of rest can be trusted, no empty space can truly be used to relax for very long, and even the smallest, most basic enemy, can kill you fast.

The game teaches you with disturbing efficiency that NOT keeping your shield up at all times is a recipe for an immediate demise. You can't even open a chest without the fear that one of them might be a mimic that will kill you within seconds for the crime of thinking you were safe for half a second.

There's an almost troll-like glee to how this game messes with you, which is probably how it became so popular so fast, as gamers would share it with their friends as a joke to watch their reactions as they get charbroiled every five seconds. The fact that, beyond that, the game is actually really damn good, is what then sustained that initial popularity.

Dark Souls, as a result of that initial wave, is however condemned to the bottom of this list, since anyone going to buy it these days is pretty savvy to what awaits them. But that doesn't change how stress-inducing the experience of going through Lordran is to this day.

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John Tibbetts is a novelist in theory, a Whatculture contributor in practice, and a nerd all around who loves talking about movies, TV, anime, and video games more than he loves breathing. Which might be a problem in the long term, but eh, who can think that far ahead?