Putting a game on Hard Mode should be a way for a player to challenge themselves, and usually it does just that.
There are countless games where the highest difficulty setting is practically designed to swiftly deliver misguided souls to a Game Over screen: Doom's Ultra Nightmare, Metro 2033's Ranger Hardcore and The Last of Us' Grounded modes, to name but a few.
The thing is, no matter how good a game might be, without any challenge it feels hollow and robs players of a sense of accomplishment, and as a result we find ourselves constantly fiddling with the difficulty settings to find our own personal sweet spot where challenge meets experience.
Except... what happens when Hard Mode really isn't that hard?
In theory, it shouldn't be a disappointment. After all, if you're better than the toughest challenge that the developers set for you, shouldn't you be proud?
When Hard Mode is too easy, we're left feeling robbed and dissatisfied, especially after getting all geared up for a proper challenge.