So i occasionally like to search through peoples 'top 10' lists of varying kinds and tried doing a 'hardcore' games list with epically tragic results. Out of the 3 i had seen 2 included mmo's which had no real pvp in them at all or were ridiculously 'non-hardcore.' Only 1 of them included titles that where made before the 2000's which i feel is the biggest error, as 'hardcore games' mostly died about 10 years ago.
Well get ready bishes, because a real list is comin at ya!
10. Gran Turismo 3. So many cars, tracks, scenarios, classes, and everything else inbetween, that by the time you were towards the end of this game almost anyone would define you as 'hardcore' just for going the distance. Quite possibly the last real racing game ever made as well.
9. Contra. even with the world famous 30 lives codes this game was the very definition of hardcore. A long campaign that required perfection through its long arduous levels. Just one misplaced move and splat, your at the beginning again.
8. Final Fantasy 7. I almost didnt include this in the list at all, but remembering seeing dozens of my friends that all had hundreds of hours invested into the game that were still competing against each other verbally, and all but a handful failing to get the top end gear or kill the best bosses made me finally put the game on the list. I think everyone at the time was thoroughly impressed by what this game had to offer, even the hardest core guys of the age. Just how long did it take you to get your gold chocobo?
7. Red Orchestra. Just the maps, kits, and ballistics system set this game apart from all others. No other game has had gameplay that represented so many elements of combat like this game. It eventually was over run by hackers and cheats, but this game was THE game to play for serious gamers for a long time.
6. Bionic Commando. Another simple 2d side scroller from way back, but this game was just viscous. Grappling and swinging, possessing a gun and using the claw as a weapon were simple enough, but made for some super difficult sections that i know only a handful ever made it past.
5. The Arma Series. Personally i have my grudges against the games (as on the tech side its the crappiest game i think ive ever seen that didnt get sued for faulty products) but arma requires you to travel 20-30 km at a time either on foot, by car/vehicle or by air (or you can tow your ground vehicle to the location by tow hook), and find real ways to assault the objectives that you just wont find anywhere else. The raw skill involved in this game can be like no other fps ever before, and for the foreseeable future.
4. CounterStrike. I didnt get too much into these, as i had been too busy practicing my rts micro during its time, but counterstrike had a huge cult following of really serious gamers that would compete regularly like no other fps has done since. These guys took themselves fairly seriously and the world has not known a culture like it since, despite all following games trying to recreate its atmosphere and community while failing horribly.
3. Warcraft 3. Uber competitive, nonlinear gaming in a world of only linear games remaining. This game had an experience system, 3rd party npc's on about every map, and more balanced races and units plus in its day the best servers in the history of the genre. Its top end of gameplay is more in tune with the top end of chess players of the world, and was about as popular at its height.
2. Starcraft 1. The game that brought me over to the computer, the national sport of Korea, and still one of the fastest games and largely competed over game in history. Personally i moved over to and prefer wc3 but i still have to pay homage to the king.
1. Donkey Kong. Widely regarded as the most difficult game of all time with 99 levels of total insanity. They are still making movies about the top echelon of gamers playing this, and i dont think we'll ever see another game where everybody knew the title and everyone played it back in the day, but only a very small select few could beat it or even get toward the last 1/3rd of the game.
So what are you favorite hardcore games, and what does being 'hardcore' mean to you? Imo it means games that require something from you to play that the gamer next to you just might not have in them. It requires either tenacity or raw skill to complete that most people just dont have. Several other titles should probably have made the list like armoured core, or the galactic civs or even the common mario or sonic games but 10 is not a whole lot of space to work with. But what are some of your favorites and why? What games did you think required more thoughts or skill?