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5 most difficult video games of the 2000s

Some video games are known for their incredible difficulties (Image via Capcom)
Some video games are known for their incredible difficulties (Image via Capcom)

Video games have shifted from what they used to be once in the late 80s and the early 90s. The new millennium has seen some truly revolutionary titles across all the genres that have been released.

Some have tried to make it easy for players to progress and enjoy the game, although difficulty levels can always be cranked up. Fans particularly remember others for their default difficulty to start with.

These five video games take players back to the 2000s when they were released, and each of them has its own unique offerings. One factor that groups them is the overall difficulty levels.

There could have been better releases than these titles in terms of quality. However, the challenges these games throw are next to none.


Top five most challenging video games from the 2000s

5) Demon Souls

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Elden Ring is the most recent hype as the IP has become the largest one in video games since 2016. One has to go back to the origins with games like Demon Souls that kicked off the soulslike genre to seek the origin.

Back in the day, Demons Souls' reception was limited because the game was a PS3 exclusive. However, it quickly gained fame for the difficulty the players had to endure.

There are the usual enemies and bosses found across the maps. Each of these bosses, in particular, is a major hindrance and can become a nightmare to deal with. However, the threats to the players don't end with them, as the environment is notorious.

Things like rolling boulders can end a player's endless frustration. The game is 5th on the list because, as difficult as it is, it can still be reasonably handled once the player levels up.


4) Shinobi

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This is a video game whose difficulty originates from the player's weapon. As expert ninjas, players have to tackle different enemies across different levels, and in their journey, they use the Akujiki sword.

This sword has to be satiated with souls, and it even feeds on the player's health pool. One can say that it's the perfect example of a "double-edged sword." Due to this feature, players are always in a rush to kill enemies to ensure that their own life doesn't end.

Killing enemies can sometimes become quite difficult, especially when players also have to tackle difficult platforms. Shinobi is one of the hardest video games launched on the PS2 in the 2000s. However, there are perhaps no other games whose difficulty arises from the weapon being used.


3) Devil May Cry 3

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Fans of the more modern Devil May Cry video games might not remember just how hard the 3rd installment of the series is. Devil May Cry 3 was released in 2005 and featured a younger Dante as the lead character.

However, the overpowering youth was nowhere to be found as the game is considered the most difficult game of the entire series. For starters, the game's easy mode isn't available at the start of the original release. Players had to die three times in normal to access the easy difficulty.

In Devil May Cry 3, the situation becomes progressively harder as players go deeper into the game. In simpler terms, while the enemies and bosses go stronger, the player weakens.

Capcom had notched up the difficulty levels by +1 in the North American release but later returned to a universal setting. This is the biggest statement about how difficult Devil May Cry 3 was at release.


2) Rainbow Six Vegas

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FPS video games have been accused of making things easy for players in recent times. Features like automatic recovery of health and taking several hits before going down have made shooters simpler in modern times. If someone truly wants to test their mettle against AI, Rainbow Six Vegas is a good shout.

The game isn't a great tactical shooter, but it provides hardcore treatment to the players. Things like automatic health recovery don't matter because a couple of shots are enough to take someone down.

The ease of killing and getting killed means that players must proceed tactically. Movements and features that are quite common with modern games like Rainbow Six Siege inherit from games like this one. The emphasis put on players to preserve their life makes it a great experience on the one hand and a nightmare on another.


1) Ninja Gaiden Black

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Ninja Gaiden Black is easily one of the most difficult games ever released and ramps up on the original release. The Black version is a remake of the original game and its DLC and adds more flexible options for the players.

However, the greater options come with a twist as the game mocks players for playing in an easier setting. In the harder settings, Ninja Gaiden Black truly tests the skills of every player.

The difficulty arises from how quick and damaging the enemies are, and the best way to counter that is nothing but to be simply quick enough to counter the moves. Ninja Gaiden Black is a true test of the players' reflexes without relying on any gimmicks for insane difficulty.

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Edited by Yasho Amonkar
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