The Hardest NES Games Ever Made

Although NES games are completely obsolete by comparison with the most wanted titles from nowadays that require tens of gigabytes of space on the drive, many gaming enthusiasts have started their journey with the legendary 8-bit console. Not to mention that without the Nintendo Entertainment System console, the highly-realistic games that we all know today would have never existed.

The NES console was the culprit for numerous hours of gameplay, and it was renowned for some incredibly hard games. Many experts complain that most of the games released in the latest years are too easy to pass, which means that the developers might have something to learn from the 8-bit console from Nintendo. We’re happy to present our own selection of what we consider to be the hardest games ever made for NES:

Battletoads (1991)

If you like beat ’em up games where challenges occur at every step, you should try this game without hesitation. Battletoads brings the player to a huge variety of situations where he has to adapt rapidly and where dangerous beasts occur at every step. The game is 30 years old, and it still has plenty of fans.

Tiny Toon Adventures (1991)

Here we have the first Tiny Toon Adventures game to be released for a console. Whether you’re a fan of the animated series or not, you should try this game if you’re into Mario-like titles at a higher level of difficulty. Tiny Toon Adventures for NES is very demanding for the player, as it’s enough in most situations to have your character touched once to lose a life. However, you can grab a heart-shaped icon that will allow your character to die after it’s touched twice.

Batman (1989)

This game takes the cake first and foremost for its unforgettable soundtracks. A masterpiece for its time, the Batman game for NES consoles was also very demanding for the player. Each level tests your skills at maximum, where any wrong step can get the Caped Crusader doomed. Batman is ready to solve things the hard way with a wide variety of weapons, but his opponents will be at least as prepared as him. The bosses are also epic in this game, and the last of them will be none other than the Joker as he brings along his bag of dirty tricks. Feel free to convince yourself of all that by playing Batman for NES!

Super Mario: The Lost Levels (1986)

Here we have a 1986 side-scrolling platform game that was developed and published by Nintendo as the first sequel to Super Mario Bros from 1985. The Lost Levels has a much greater difficulty, and it’s a ‘must-play’ for anybody who is a fan of the famous little plumber.

Super Contra (1988)

We’re voting for Super Contra without hesitation as the hardest game for NES. The player from this intriguing virtual experience is surrounded at all times by all sorts of enemies that don’t seem to be fans of giving flowers to girls. The player only has a gun by his side, and once his character gets touched, it means losing a life. You’ll only get 3 lives for the start in this game, so there’s no room for error.

Feel free to tell us in the comment section about your own personal selection of the hardest NES games. You can also tell us about what game from our list you don’t consider that deserves to be mentioned. Surely there are tons of other NES games worth mentioning for a roster like this, and the 8-bit console from Nintendo will live forever in the hearts of many of us.

Tonia Nissen
Based out of Detroit, Tonia Nissen has been writing for Optic Flux since 2017 and is presently our Managing Editor. An experienced freelance health writer, Tonia obtained an English BA from the University of Detroit, then spent over 7 years working in various markets as a television reporter, producer and news videographer. Tonia is particularly interested in scientific innovation, climate technology, and the marine environment.