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Highlights

DC games known for intense difficulty can offer a rewarding challenge for players seeking a tough gameplay experience.
Catwoman offers gamers a tough experience full of technical difficulties and highly challenging levels.
Titles like Batman: Return of The Joker require precise gameplay and skill to overcome tough enemies and unforgiving level design.

Hundreds of DC games have been released over the years, and while all of them differ greatly in their actual quality, there are more than a few that have become renowned for their difficulty. In fact, some of these titles are even considered to be among some of the hardest in their respective genres, which gives a good idea of just how brutal an average playthrough can be.

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Because of how immensely popular superheroes have become in modern times, it means most developers try and make their games a little more accessible in order to appeal to as many fans as possible. This wasn’t always the case, though, as there was once a time when these types of games held nothing back. Some DC games can be incredibly difficult to fully complete, but they are still well worth trying out for anyone who loves the original source material.

7 Batman: Chaos In Gotham

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.66

Platform: Game Boy Color Release Date: February 2000 Developer: Digital EclipseSoftware

Released alongside The New Batman Adventures TV show, Chaos in Gotham is a side-scrolling platformer for the Game Boy Color that sees Batman trying to clean up Gotham’s streets after numerous villains break out of Arkham Asylum. Though the game’s mechanics aren’t anything too out of the ordinary, what really ramps up the difficulty more than anything is how tight and restrictive the actual platforming sections are. It’s not uncommon to see one or two thugs standing on very thin platforms that Batman will need to use in order to navigate through each area, which can be incredibly annoying since the Caped Crusader doesn’t have many ways to actually take them out for good.

Because the game came out for the Game Boy Color, it also means that the screen size is quite limited, which also adds some intensity to the unforgiving areas. This can make the gliding sections particularly brutal since Batman moves so fast that it’s far from easy trying to guide him through the tiny gaps that appear throughout the stage. All of this makes for a truly challenging experience that can be especially satisfying to overcome.

6 Catwoman

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.75

Platforms: GBA, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC Release Date: July 2004 Developer: Argonaut Games

Catwoman didn’t exactly receive great reviews upon its release in 2004, partly because of its visuals and length, but especially because of the technical issues, which unintentionally dialed up the overall difficulty by quite a bit. Though Catwoman is tasked with making her way across plenty of challenging platforming sections throughout a playthrough, the unpredictable camera angles mean it’s never easy to know when and where to jump while swinging off a ledge, which can easily result in a game over screen.

The game also includes quite a few enemy types who can be a real nightmare to deal with, especially those with firearms who are capable of stun-locking Catwoman if they manage to get a few shots off. The game is far from unplayable, and it actually has some great humor and character moments, but in terms of the gameplay, it’s hard to imagine it was ever intentionally designed to be this difficult to complete.

5 Batman: Return Of The Joker

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.52

Platforms: NES, GBA, Sega Genesis Release Date: December 1991 Developer: Sunsoft

Even though Return of the Joker only features seven stages in total, each one is packed full of lethal enemies, tricky platforming sections, and on some occasions, a menacing boss enemy who will appear at the end of the level. Despite his anti-gun policy, Batman does at least come equipped with a wrist projectile that can be used to deal with anyone who gets in the way, but because of how fast and agile the enemies are, it means actually doing this is much easier said than done.

This already makes the game quite difficult, but there’s also the fact that Batman only has three lives per stage, so even the smallest of mistakes can prove to be pretty costly. The key to making it through some of the harder late-game stages is acquiring as many energy capsules as possible since these will make Batman invisible for a brief period, but players will need to be quick as this will only last for a few seconds.

4 Superman (1987)

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.77

Platform: NES Release Date: December 1987 Developer: Kotobuki Systems

Superman for the NES is a platformer beat ’em up hybrid where players must travel across Metropolis while taking out endless amounts of thugs and criminals as they go. Despite how immensely powerful he’s known to be, Superman can feel a little weak in this game, even against the most basic of enemies who will take more than a few of his mighty punches to be taken down. This can become a real problem once they start bunching up into groups.

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In order to make use of Superman’s special powers, such as heat vision and super breath, players must collect icons throughout each stage, which will usually be dropped by enemies. However, these drop very infrequently and shouldn’t be relied on to make it through a stage in one piece; otherwise, things can easily end up going horribly wrong.

3 Batman: The Video Game

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.94

Platform: NES Release Date: February 1990 Developer: Sunsoft

Often touted as being one of the hardest games released for the NES, Batman: The Video Game forces players to master all of its systems and mechanics to stand any chance of making it through to the end. One example of this is the wall jump, which Batman can use to reach higher platforms, but it can take a bit of getting used to because of how precise it needs to be. Speaking of higher platforms, almost every level in the game features a lot of verticality in its layout, meaning that a simple slip-up can easily send Batman right back to where he started if players aren’t careful about their movements.

Throughout the adventure, players will come up against some fearsome boss enemies from Batman’s rogue gallery, such as Killer Moth and Firebug, but by far the hardest to take down is the final enemy of the game, The Joker. Not only does he come equipped with a long-barrel revolver, but the Joker is also capable of calling down lightning, which can easily sap away Batman’s health while also keeping him at bay. This makes for an agonizingly difficult final challenge.

2 Superman (1992)

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 4.3

Platforms: Sega Mega Drive, Game Gear, Master System Release Date: December 1992 Developer: Sunsoft

The 1992 Sega Mega Drive Superman game is yet another 2D platformer, but what made the game feel so much more demanding in difficulty than many of its peers is the absurd level design. One moment, Superman will need to fly up a building while avoiding rocks being dropped on him and enemies with jetpacks shooting him from all angles, while the next, he’ll be flying through space while trying to take out a swarm of drones with nothing but his laser vision.

Needless to say, this game’s levels are incredibly unpredictable, which makes the whole experience pretty hard, but another factor that contributes to this is the lightning-fast speed of the gameplay itself. There’s barely ever any time given for players to plan their next step or properly organize themselves as everything happens so fast. Because the screen is always so busy, it makes the whole game feel like a chaotic thrill ride where the brakes have been completely removed.

1 Superman 64

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 4.4

Platform: Nintendo 64 Release Date: May 1999 Developer: Titus Interactive

Superman 64 was one of the earliest attempts at making a fully 3D open-world superhero game, and while it’s definitely a little rough around the edges, a lot of people have started to warm up to the game over the years. Still, alongside being hugely ambitious for the time it came out, Superman 64 also garnered a lot of criticism for its difficulty, which can be downright unfair at certain points. This especially applies to the chase missions, where players must glide Supes through a specific number of rings that will sometimes appear entirely off-screen or will feature a brutally unforgiving time limit that gamers must abide by.

Then there’s the combat sections, which are also far from easy because of how gung-ho a lot of the enemies are, paired with the fact Superman often feels like he’s gliding along an ice rink when flying around in a small environment. Superman 64‘s infamous difficulty has actually made it one of the most popular Superman games ever made since it’s become somewhat of a challenge for people to see if they can reach the end without cheats.

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“}]] DC games have never been known for pulling their punches, and this especially applies to these brutally difficult titles.  Read More