These are some of the best video games that are better on higher difficulties. Without being unfair or frustrating, these games manage to keep players hooked on their punishing gameplay.
One would expect the game to be frustrating and immensely unfair when they crank up the difficulty level. Maybe the enemies would turn into bullet sponges or beings that can withstand tens of heavy blows from a sword.
Well, these games are just a little different. Instead of being infuriated with absurd new inconsistencies in gameplay, they provide the most satisfying and intense experience with the higher difficulties.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is one of the games that inspired me to write this article. All three main entries of this beautiful yet flawed franchise are hardcore survival horror games. Inventory management, careful traversing, weapon handling, and focus are essential for a player to survive in the harsh world of these games, even if they’re playing on a lower difficulty level.
Yet, gameplay-wise, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is never unfair. Quite on the contrary as you are just as mortal as any other character in the game. The world is dynamic and everyone may be your competitors, and they are as competent as you are.
With the Master difficulty level of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., every enemy becomes faster, more intelligent, and way more accurate with their weapons. In turn, you also deal more damage and become more accurate. It’s fairness at its best.
In a gunfight, there is rarely a window to breathe because your foes are not the traditional and brain-dead NPCs. Ask any player of this franchise and they will tell you that Master is the way to play the games.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat takes this difficulty level a bit differently. While the enemies and you suffer and gain the same disadvantages and advantages, respectively, the HUD and the tips are completely non-existent with Master. It’s the most immersive way to play the game.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Death March difficulty of The Witcher 3 makes it nearly as difficult as the Souls games. But as the combat and progression systems are highly different, The Witcher 3 manages to offer the player its own great and superior experience with this difficulty.
Many players recommend Death March on New Game+, but I believe that it is best with a normal new game. You must utilize every single mechanic of the game in order to emerge as the victor of a battle. Brewing potions and making oils, reading bestiary entries, and carefully gathering items and resources are mandatory for your survival.
Now is a great game to play this game as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt free next-gen update is now available on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. We recommend playing on those systems if you plan on playing on a console as a first-timer.
Fallout New Vegas
The Hardcore mode changes Fallout New Vegas drastically, for the better. And it’s best to try this difficulty on your second playthrough.
With this mode, ammunition adds weight, making it irrational and impractical to hoard a lot of guns and ammo. Managing your thirst, hunger, and exhaustion by drinking, eating, and sleeping is essential for survival.
Enemies are deadlier and the wasteland is truly savage in Hardcore. Your companions, who were invincible in lower difficulties, can now die and stay dead.
Running and gunning is impractical here, and you must pick your fights wisely. Survival is the name of the game.
Resident Evil 7
The Madhouse difficulty makes Resident Evil 7 a drastically different experience on the second playthrough. Enemies are much more difficult to overcome.
One of the best features of this mode is how it changes the locations of items. This promotes exploration and it’s basically essential for you to carefully search every corner of the game.
It also introduces a new currency: Madhouse Antique coins. With these new coins, you can purchase many more items.
Oh, and the enemies are in changed locations as well. Be ready for new jumpscares because you won’t know where they’ll come from in this mode.