5 Super Mario Bros. 2: The Lost Levels
Super Mario Bros. 2: The Lost Levels is truly a legendary game. It is so difficult that Nintendo didn’t even originally release the game to Western audiences. Company officials deemed it too challenging for gamers not in Japan. What’s so challenging? Try poison mushrooms and random gusts of wind that can stifle your character’s movement just long enough for a quick death. U.S. players can tackle the game now, though, by downloading it through the Wii’s virtual console feature.
Battletoads, developed for the NES, seems like a typical scrolling fighter game. But there’s a catch. The game allows you to play with a friend. But it also allows you to accidentally kill that same friend. Inevitably, as you’re fighting through the waves and waves of enemies swarming you, that happens. And when it does? Both the toad that is killed by friendly fire and the toad that did the killing have to start over at the beginning of the current level. If that’s not enough, Battletoads doesn’t have any “save” features.
3 F-Zero GX
The futuristic racing series F-Zero featured plenty of challenging games. None, though, caused as much grief as F-Zero GX for the GameCube. The problem? There are just too many obstacles. Even the most skilled of video-game racers will smash into walls or opponents. And it’s no fun to watch your car’s energy bar steadily sputter into nothing. If you can survive the obstacles? Try racing the evil Black Shadow in story mode. Guaranteed, you will lose.
2 Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts
In Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts, designed for Nintendo’s Super NES, you portray valiant Sir Arthur as he battles, well, ghosts and ghouls. The problem? You have little control of Sir Arthur once he leaps into the air. And in this game, he leaps all the time. You never know if Arthur is going to land on a ghost or a ghoul. And when he does? He’s just about dead. That’s right, just two touches from an enemy — and there are an awful lot of them coming at you at all times — and your heroic Sir Arthur meets his end.
1 Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz
Many of Nintendo’s most difficult games were actually created for its older systems. Not so Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz. In this game created for the Wii, you control cute monkeys inside clear balls who race each other to the finish line. Don’t be fooled by the cute factor, though. This is one challenging game. The reason? It’s nearly impossible to keep your monkey from falling off the edges of the game’s various racetracks. It doesn’t help that the world of Banana Blitz is coated in spikes just waiting to fling your ball-encased monkey to its doom.