What are some of the Hardest NES games that you have officially beaten yourself?


Well-Known Member
Sep 25, 2013
Wii U
What are some of the hardest NES titles that you have officially beaten. Just getting to the end of these games would be an accomplishment in and of itself. But to actually say that you've beaten it, is a much bigger accomplishment. Also, NO Game Genie or emulators or tool assist's of any kind, were used for any of these. All of these I am talking about actually playing the original NES cartridge on the original NES system, with absolutely no modifications of any kind. The official, original game. With that said, here we go.

Here are some of the hardest NES games that I have beaten..

Battletoads - My brother I used to play this a lot. We got used to it. Over time, it wasn't as hard to us at it was for most people. It wasn't "easy", by any means. But we were able to beat it a couple of times.

Mega Man - A lot of people consider the first game in the series the hardest. Personally, I loved part 3 the most. I thought 2 was good, but I liked 3 much better, in every category. That said, my brother was a huge Mega Man fan. Much bigger than me, (and I liked Mega Man). So we played these games a lot, and have beaten every Mega Man game we have played. (I lost count of how many times I've beaten part 3)

Double Dragon 3 - My brother and I put a lot of effort into this game. We loved playing part 2 a lot. So we were excited for this game. We didn't beat it right away tho. We took a lot of tries. We've only beaten it once, tho. But hey, once is enough for this list.

The Karate Kid - I've actually beaten this game many times. What I find funny is that I have actually gotten worse at this game over time. As a kid, I had at least an 80% success rate in this game. I could beat it on almost every play through. However, the older I got, and the longer between plays that I'd try it, I got worse and worse, and couldn't get as far, or beat it again. I haven't played it in a long time. But, when I first started playing it, I used to be able to beat this alot. Most of it was awkward timing. Now, I don't know what it's doing.

Yo! Noid - I've only beaten this game once. I got really good at the pizza minigame, after playing it so much. Also, I've gotten really good at certain levels, since I had to play it over and over again. Eventually, my friend and I did beat it. Of course, I beat it fair and square, and he beat it with a game genie. So I'm one up on him for this one. Tho, to be fair, I owned it, and he would just borrow it from me. So he didn't put nearly as much time into it as I did.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - I've beaten this game about 3 or 4 times. Of course, I've lost count of how many times I've had to start a new game. I liked this game, overall. But it was overly difficult at times. When we first got it, getting to Mecha-Turtle on level 3 was an accomplishment. Then, getting to the Airport, and maneuvering through the sewers was big spot to get to. Then, the train yard was the biggest spot. Beating the Technodrome wasn't too, too hard. I've lost on that part a couple of times. Just getting to it was a pain in the butt. Also, navigating through the technodrome was a pain too. Shredder himself, however, wasn't so bad. But man, getting to him sure was. I've beaten it a couple of times, and I'm happy with that.

The Simpsons: Bart vs The Space Mutants - I've beaten this once, but my cousin's have beaten this multiple times. In fact, my cousins helped talk me through this game. Telling me where to go, what to get, and what to use on what. Things like that. If it wasn't for my cousins, I wouldn't of been able to beat this game. But they played it so much that they had the game pretty much memorized. So they talked me through it.

Contra - My brother and I played this enough times, and I have some good hand-eye coordination, that we have been able to beat this multiple times. In fact, I've lost count how many times we have bene able to beat this game. Also, when this game came on the Wii Virtual Console, a while back, my friend had told me that he had never beaten it, that it was always too hard. I told him that my brother and I used to beat it all of the time. He didn't believe me. So we started a 2 player campaign. Sure enough, he ended up dying out in the middle of the game, and then just watched me play the rest of the game, where I beat it right in front of him. He was impressed, to say the last. So I have not only beaten this game multiple times, but, I have beaten this game the most recently out of all of the games on this list. I don't think it's as hard as people think it is. I think it's mostly about timing and reaction, and not about difficulty.

Bionic Commando - This game was awesome. My brother and I loved playing this game. We played it so much that we have gone to every single place that we could go to, and we knew where to go and what to get and what to do next. We pretty much had this whole game memorized. This was one of our favorite NES games. I still have the sound effects playing in my head. We also had the timing on when to shoot Hitler's chopper at the end too. We never missed that. Good times. We've beaten this game multiple times.

Blaster Master - Another NES classic title. My brother and I have also beaten this game many times too. We used to mess around in this game a lot, for no reason. Jumping out of the vehicle with the little guy, and having him roam around the map. The worst was when we got to an area where we couldn't get back to the vehicle. That sucked. But as far as the game goes, we've beaten this game multiple times too.

Ninja Gaiden - Hard, hard, hard game. I couldn't tell you how many times I've had to replay this game, over and over, and over again. One mistake, and that's it. But I have beaten this game once, which, again, is enough to make this list. My brother has beaten it 2 or 3 times. But I was only lucky enough to beat it once. What a proud day that was. So I definitely remember that.

Solomon's Key - Another title where my cousin's pretty much walked me through it. They owned the game first, so I used to play it when I was over at their place. They pretty much had the puzzles memorized. They had already beaten the game, and gotten used to most levels, before I even played it once. So I was guided through most of it. Still, I did beat it.

Friday the 13th - I remember not knowing what to do in this game for a long time. I'd just wander around most of the time. But a friend of mine was able to beat it, and showed me what to do. So that made it easier. On my own, I may have eventually figured it out. But my friend told me how to beat this game. So I did.

Castlevania - I've beaten this multiple times. I can't beat it every time. In fact, given the number of times that I've beaten it compared to the number of times that I've played it, and I have an absolutely terrible "win percentage". However, I have done it, so that is an accomplishment.

Marble Madness - This is a game that my brother and my cousins and I had put a lot of time into. We really liked playing this game. We sucked, at first. Mostly. But after a while, we got used to the physics and the level layout, and it became a race to the finish, basically. We didn't come close to beating this at first. But in the end, we could beat it on a regular basis.

Bubble Bobble - My brother and I loved playing this game on the Commodore 64. We played it a lot on the Commodore 64, and beat it many times on there. So, years later, when we got the NES version, we already knew what to do, where to go, and how to beat every level. So we breezed right through the NES version.

Here is a list of some of hardest games that I have gotten close to, but never beaten..

Punch Out - I have made it up to both Mike Tyson and Mr. Dream (depending on the version that I was playing at the time). However, I don't recall ever beating him. I know a friend who did beat it, right before my very own eyes. But I don't recall ever beating this game myself.

Ghosts 'n Goblins - Again, I've seen people sitting right next to me beat this game. However, I don't remember beating it myself. I remember getting really far into the game. But I don't remember actually beating it myself.

The Adventures of Bayou Billy - I've gotten really close on this game. I actually liked playing this game. A lot of people I know hated this game, but I enjoyed it, for what it was. I liked the music, too. I played it quite a bit, actually. Never beat it, but I did get close a couple of times. I liked the car driving parts. Reminded me of a Rad Racer meets Spy Hunter type of game. Plus, it had the "FPS" gun parts, in an Operation Wolf sort of way, with the light gun. So this game had variety, for me. I played it enough to get to the last couple of levels on a regular basis, even then final Mansion level. But never actually beat it. Always lost at the end.

Rygar - I don't recall ever beating this game, however, I do remember putting a lot of time into it. I liked playing this game, and remember getting a good distance in this game. I don't recall exactly where I got to in this game, but with the amount of time that I put into this game, I couldn't of been too too far from the end. I don't think I made it too the final level tho. I can't say for sure tho. But I know that I've never beaten it. So I can say that.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit - My friend had this game, and Dick Tracy, and we pretty much wasted an entire "sleep over", playing these two games. We stayed up all night trying to beat both games. We just restarted and restarted each game. In the end, we got used to both games, mostly. But were never able to beat it. We got a respectable distance into each game, but just wasn't able to beat either of them.

Dick Tracy - Much like Roger Rabbit, I've put my fair share amount of time into this game. I've gotten a respectable distance into the game, but never actually beat it. Not exactly sure how close I was to the end, but I'm sure that it couldn't of been too far, given how far I went into the game.

Ghostbusters - We got pretty "far" into this game, considering that most of it is repetitive. We've made it to the final boss once or twice. But it was always that staircase leading up to the final boss that got us. My brother and I have beaten this game on the Commodore 64, which, by the way, is the better version, even tho it's mostly the same. However, we have never beaten the NES version. We've gotten close, by making it to the final boss. But we have never beaten it.

Die Hard - I remember doing fairly decently in this game, overall. But I have never quite been able to beat it. My "feet" meter always went low, and I always ended up taking too much damage from the enemy guns. I remember getting pretty far, but never actually beat it.

Metal Gear - Another game where, after many, many tries, I ended up getting really, really far into. But I fell just short of beating it. I got a lot of stuff, and did a lot of thigns. But I never quite bit it. Such a shame. Sometimes, I just didn't know what to do or where to go. Or, I figured out what to do or where to go, but didn't have the health to go much farther. Close, but no cigar.

Here is a list of some of the rest of the hardest games that I haven't gotten close to..

Silver Surfer - I gave up on this after a while. I didn't even come close. For anybody's who has ever played this, you know why. No need to go into much detail on this game.

Top Gun - There are only 4 Missions in this game, and I have never, ever, ever, made it to Mission 3. Not once. I could land on the aircraft carrier (every blue moon), after Mission 1. But I have never been able to refuel after Mission 2. My friend has, but he couldn't beat Mission 3. I couldn't even make it to Mission 3. So I could only barely make it halfway through this game. The actually Missions I could do alright on. The landing was a pain. But the refueling part I was never able to do. I think that if I could of gotten past the refueling part, then I could of probably of beaten Mission 3 and, by extension, Mission 4. But I have never been able to make it there, so I'll never know now.

Gauntlet - We played this game a lot on the Commodore 64, and have beaten it on there. I didn't play the NES version very much tho. And when I did, I never got too, too far. I got farther in the N64 version, as I put more time into that version than the NES version. So, I've beaten the Commodore 64. Got close to beating the N64 version. But didn't come any where near beating the NES version.

Cobra Triangle - I didn't play this game much, so I don't remember much about it. I know that I hear a lot of people say how hard this game was. I never owned this game, but I have rented it before. I don't remember getting too far. If I was able to play this a lot, I might of been able to put a dent into it, if not able to actually beat it. But nope, I never even got close. But that's mainly because I never really played it to begin with.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back - I own both Star Wars games on the NES, and wow, I don't think I've come close to beating either of them. I remember popping in Empire Strikes Back and having trouble with the first level. I think I've only been able to make it to the second level, before calling it quits for another game. However, I did do better on the SNES version. So there's that.

Ikari Warriors - This is another game where my brother and I used to destroy on the Commodore 64. We've beaten Ikari Warriors and Ikari Warriors 2 on the Commodore 64 a lot. However, we never really played the NES version that much. And when we did, we didn't get very far. I think it was mostly because we had already beaten it multiple times on another system. But, also, this version felt harder to us. So we gave up on this early. Didn't even come close to beating the NES version.

Dragon's Lair - Yeah, didn't even come close. Don't even need to go into any elaborate details on this one. Everybody, I'm sure, already knows why I never got close in this game.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Again, didn't even come close. I gave up on this a long time ago.

Milon's Secret Castle - I never had this game, so I didn't get to play it much. And what I do remember playing of it, I don't remember getting very far into the game.

The Uncanny X-Men - Yeah, this game was tough. But mostly because of the controls, and character designs. Well, and the enemies and level layout. Actually, yeah, this game was just horribly made from top to bottom. Making it more difficult that it rightfully should of been. Still, as it stands, I didn't even come close to beating this game. I don't remember beating level one, to be honest.


I'm sure that there are plenty more to list. But I'll leave it at this, for now. And then go back and add more later.

With that said, what hard NES games have you been able to beat. Even if just once. An accomplishment is an accomplishment. So feel free to share your experience with some of the hardest NES games out there.
Karate Kid was very hard indeed. Never tried beating Ikari Warriors, but Ikari Warriors II: Victory Road was ridiculously hard.
Yeah, like I said, I got worse and worse at Karate Kid. As a kid, I could dominate in that game. But as a grown up, I suck at it now. I used to be able to beat it all of the time. Now, I can't. And Ikari Warriors. Man, that used to be one of my favorite games on the Commodore 64. I had a blast with that. They actually made a 3rd Ikari Warriors. Ikari 3: The Rescue. (Not even Ikari Warriors 3, just Ikari 3)Never beat that too, tho honestly, I didn't play that much either.

However, the Ikari Warriors are still around today. Of course, they aren't in their own franchise anymore, but they are still around. I'll give you a clue, if you want to guess..

Ikari Warriors was made by SNK, and the two character's names are Ralf and Clark. .. Got it yet???

Give up?? Ok, I'll tell you..

Ralf and Clark, from the Ikari Warriors games, have gone on to two other SNK franchises. They made a cameo appearance, as playable characters, in a couple of Metal Slug games. However, today, they are most well known for being in the popular SNK fighting game series, King of Fighters. Yep, you read that right. Ralf and Clark from King of Fighters are the exact same Ralf and Clark from the original Ikari Warriors games. It's true. Look it up if you want. They have been a mainstay of King of Fighters for years now.
Ikari Warriors, ABBA to respawn.

I also beat Super Mario Bros. without dying or using any warp pipes.

I also beat Castlevania 2 Simon's Quest for the NES,

Double Dragon 2 on single player hard mode.

The Legend of Zelda when I was 7 years old.
I actually thought Rygar was medium difficulty personally. Punch Out was hard until you got the hang of dodging quickly. Contra, I agree, was hard without the 30 life code. Double Dragon 3 was close to impossible! Kudos for beating that one, because I got too frustrated to finish it. Ghosts and Goblins is an evil spawn of hell game that I nearly threw into the wall a few times.
My list of hard games that I personally beat are as follows:
Castlevaina 3
Contra(no 30 life code)
I think I beat Milon's Secret Castle once.
Wait, you guys thought Ninja Gaiden was hard??? Have you all forgotten about "Jump and Slash"? I remember the ability being so overpowered, the game developers actually had to omit it from the sequels, just to make them fair. The only time you lost its advantage was in the last level, when you had to fight 3 consecutive boss fights, and the game drained your remaining ability points for scoring after each boss, but all you had to do was die and run through the level again, and the game would skip the bosses you already dropped, unless you had to use a continue, which were also unlimited. (You didn't have a continue limit until Ninja Gaiden 3.)
That's quite an impressive list of NES games that you've beaten. I've never owned a Game Genie and quite frankly that would take away the joy and satisfaction of beating games that are hard as nails. I'm all about playing a game repeatedly until I get good enough to reach the ending with my own skills. Some of the games that I've beaten on the NES are Contra, Castlevania, Star Soldier, Blaster Master, Ninja Gaiden I, II & III, Shatterhand and Shadow of the Ninja.
Someone else who played WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT and came to understand HOW ANNOYING that game was. It truly wasn't hard; the gimmicks and mechanics made it hell in a cartridge. I loved the movie, with Dick Tracy and Roger, but the game? My dear lord, I don't think I ever beat it.

To this day, I have played the others and beaten them (mostly, don't notice some names like Ikari Warriors). But Roger! Nemeesssis.