Challenging games not only test the player's skill, but each brings their own sense of difficulty. This allows the developers of these titles to express difficulty in a number of different ways. At the same time, each of these titles is bound together by their increased difficulty. How they implement this difficulty can be quite different. This can be seen through mechanical depth or the need for vast knowledge of the game. As well as many other factors. Today, we hope to celebrate these titles with our picks for the 5 Hardest Video Games of 2023.
5. Lies of P
We are starting off today's list of the most challenging video games of 2023 with Lies of P. While the combat in the game was a tad more forgiving than more traditional Souls-like games, this title was still quite hard to overcome. In Lies of P, as is the case in many titles like it, players find themselves facing off against massive, difficult bosses in tests of skill. The combat in the game manages to strike a fine line between accessible and challenging, as one wrong move can prove to be your doom. This emphasis on the perfection of the player's movements and timing makes this game quite daunting for more casual fans.
That said, the game also incorporates many mechanics to make things somewhat easier for the player. These mechanics include returning some of the health of the player back to them for attacking and many other things. Even with this buffer, however, the bosses in the game pose a real challenge to the player and will require them to pay the utmost attention to not only their actions but the boss's actions as well. In short, Lies of P is, without a doubt, one of the most demanding video games of 2023.
4. Blasphemous 2
We are continuing on with our list of the hardest games of 2023 with Blasphemous 2. Serving as a sequel to the original Blasphemous, Blasphemous 2 is a challenging Metroidvania game with a distinctly dark art style. As is the case with many games within this genre, players are sent on a side-scrolling adventure through hostile lands. In doing so, players will encounter many bosses that will not only test their mettle but their patience as well. The game itself takes a nonlinear approach to its storytelling, meaning there is always a new path to go down.
The combat for the game has been dramatically improved since its predecessor. This is something that becomes rather evident from the game's opening minutes. Players have a plethora of weapons that they can use to defeat their foes, but it is their skill that will truly set them apart. A shining aspect of the game is its boss battles, which are grand spectacles that require the player's utmost attention to complete. So, if you are someone who enjoys challenging video games, make sure you check out one of the hardest games of 2023.
3. Darkest Dungeon II
We are staying somewhat in the same vein for the next entry on our list. Here, we have Darkest Dungeon II. While, in some ways, this title saw a bit of a departure from its foundations in Darkest Dungeon. One aspect that no doubt remained was its difficulty. The emphasis on party-based mechanics incorporated with the psychological aspects of the game certainly makes for a winning combination. The game features a more fleshed-out combat system, as well as several improvements to the mechanics around these systems as well.
There is a significant amount of player choice within Darkest Dungeon II. Even as players face off against ever-increasing terrible foes, they are able to tune their party's abilities in order to mitigate the danger. That said, this game is still very much challenging, perhaps even more so than its predecessor. This, coupled with the game's Affinity system, makes for a journey that players aren't going to forget anytime soon if they choose to battle the game's many dangers. To close, Darkest Dungeon II is one of the hardest games of 2023 and is simply fantastic.
2. Remnant II
We are straying quite far with our next entry. Here, we have Remnant II. Serving to improve upon its predecessor in many areas, Remnant II, for many, is a stellar game with phenomenal design. The game allows players to work together in cooperative mode or go solo. Both of these choices have different outcomes based on several factors. These factors include things such as the base skill of the player, their experience with third-person shooting, and much more. What remains the same across the multiple ways to play the game is its difficulty.
Whether you choose to play with friends or alone, the bosses in this game are no joke. These are challenges that, through their replayability, players can return to again and again, with each playthrough being somewhat of a learning experience as each run informs the next run. The game also is very mechanically rich and features an astounding amount of skills to learn. In doing so, players are able to customize their character builds wonderfully. In closing, if you are looking to play one of the hardest games of 2023, check out Remnant II.
For our final entry on our list of the hardest games of 2023, here we have Returnal. While the game might have released in 2021, 2023 saw its PC release. And with said release, a whole new market of players got their hands on the game for the first time. What they found is a game that not only has a near-infinite amount of replayability but a game that weaves that replayability into its narrative beautifully. In Returnal, players will have to use their reflexes and skills in order to survive on a hostile planet.
In doing so, players can find themselves up against massive bosses, waves of enemies, and much more. Each of these threats poses its own challenge in a way, requiring the player to adapt to what is put before them. The shooting mechanics in the game are buttery smooth and feature an incredible amount of variety. Players have a number of weapons to choose from, each with their own strengths and weaknesses as well. All around, if you are looking for one of the hardest games of 2023, give Returnal a try.
So, what's your take on our picks for the 5 Hardest Video Games of 2023? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.