The Super Nintendo provided players in the 1990s with some of the finest games ever created, as well as a variety of the most challenging ones. Some of the games were really the same, while others were arguably too taxing on a player’s patience to be considered among the greatest on the system.
There were also some Super Nintendo games that weren’t very demanding in general but had some brutally difficult levels inside their usually digestible limits. Those are the levels that stick with those who played, not only because they were difficult, but also because they had to be played over and over again to be defeated.
1.Tubular – Super Mario World
Getting through all 96 levels of Super Mario World is a lot of fun, but it can also be a lot of work at times. There are many levels on Chocolate Island and in the Valley of Bowser that take a lot of patience, perfect accuracy, and many trips to the Top Secret Area to get plenty of extra lives, but the Special Zone is where Mario tales are really made.
All of the Special Zone levels are hard, but Tubular is even worse than the others. In this one, the Power Balloon is the big thing, and it’s not very fun to use. When you add in how hard it is to move around and how many things you have to avoid, this level is nothing but painstaking chaos from start to finish.
2.Rocket Rush – Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble!
In the Donkey Kong Country games, there are plenty of levels that are hard. In general, this task mostly makes the games better and more fun to remember. But a few levels go above and beyond to keep players humble, and in doing so they cross the line from “wow, this is hard” to “am I even having fun anymore?”
Rocket Rush, the last level in Donkey Kong Country 3, may be the best example of this kind of line-crossing. Players steer a barrel rocket through tight spaces while trying to keep control of the awkward ship. The key is to train your muscles to remember what to do, but that doesn’t mean you’ll win.
Learn more about Drift Hunters here!
3.Stage 8 – Super Castlevania 4
Fans of the Castlevania series like to be scared and often enjoy it, but the final stage of Super Castlevania 4 doesn’t give fans the kind of fear they can enjoy. It’s more like a complete lack of fear.
Stage 8 is a marathon of enemies, hurdles, traps, tricks, poison pools, eyeballs that drop at odd times, flame-spewing skeleton creatures, moving spike platforms, and a Frankenstein’s Monster boss at the end that is surprisingly easy. Sure, he’s pretty easy to get to, if you can find him…
4.Extra 1: Poochy Ain’t Stupid – Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
It’s interesting that a lot of the games that everyone agrees are the best in Super Nintendo history also have some of the hardest levels. Fans don’t always agree on the really hard games because they’re so hard, but Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island manages to appeal to a bigger audience by offering a fair task that still includes some brutal levels near the end.
In Yoshi’s Island, the Extra levels are really out of this world. In the first one, Poochy Ain’t Stupid, players have to get Poochy the dog through an obstacle course full of fire while keeping him safe. It’s like adding another ball to a difficult spinning act, which makes it even harder and more frustrating than most other stages.
5.Stage 6 – Contra 3: The Alien Wars
Anyone who likes games that are really hard should try at least one Contra game at some point in their lives. Each of these games takes you on a dangerous journey through worlds full of monsters, bullets, and huge, cruel bosses.Contra 3: The Alien Wars, a 16-bit classic by Konami, is one of the best and most difficult of these games.
True masochists can turn Contra 3’s difficulty up to “Hard,” which makes the game harder all the way through and gives them an expanded final level that is one of the hardest video game gauntlets ever made.
6.Final Stage – Super Return Of The Jedi
All of the Super Nintendo Star Wars games are great, but that has become less obvious over time, in part because they are all so hard. The graphics are great, the level designs are cool, and the link to the movies feels real, but the constant Game Overs make it very hard to enjoy any of these things.
If a fan is determined enough to get to the last level of Super Return of the Jedi, that level will be the hardest of all. Getting away from the Death Star in the Millennium Falcon is a hard job full of Mode 7 chaos that hurts your eyes and makes you sick. Part of the problem is that the same images keep popping up. Players don’t know how far they’ve gone or when they’ll finally be free, so they just have to hang on and try not to die.
7.Stage 7 – Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts
There’s no way to avoid this 16-bit Capcom classic when talking about the hardest games on the Super Nintendo, or hard games in general. Even though it’s one of the best and most popular games on the computer, all players must go through a certain amount of pain when playing this game.
Sardius, the final boss, is very hard on his own, but getting to him by clearing Stage 7 may be even harder. The level isn’t easy on its own, but having to get through it with the weird bracelet tool makes it even worse.