The more hardcore gamers among us have their claws out. They’ve been grumbling that new videogames these days tend to be all style and no substances—while flashy and technologically advanced, they are just not challenging enough.

While we understand that not everyone wants to dedicate every second of their free time to mastering a new game, here are some modern titles with a learning curve steep enough to challenge even the most skillful of gamers.

Eve Online (PC)

This futuristic Massively Multiplayer RPG set in space has players piloting their spacecraft across galaxies to trade and, more importantly, to fight. Piloting the ship is no easy feat, and just getting the hang of the controls and becoming familiar with the various options takes a while.

If you want to be recruited to a “Corporation”, which is basically a collection of teammates and fellow players, you’ll need to invest some serious time into getting to the point where you actually know what you’re doing. Luckily, there are numerous guides online that can get you up to speed fast.

League of Legends (PC)

league_of_legendsThis Multiplayer Battle Arena (MBA) has you and your allies fighting to destroy an objective on the map. You’ll be playing against another team of five players who are trying to do the exact same thing before you do.

At the moment, there are 127 different characters or “Champions” to choose from, each with unique abilities and lists of moves. The Community sees frequent updates, forcing players to constantly learn new techniques.

An absence from the scene makes it hard to catch up, and believe it or not, some players even resort to paying coaches or having more experienced players play on their account with services like

The League of Legends community is extremely competitive, and noobs shouldn’t expect to be welcomed with open arms. The game has become an E-sports phenomenon, with millions of players worldwide and international tournaments.

Dark Souls / Demon’s Soul Franchise (Xbox/PS4/PC)

This third person action game will have your hero battling monsters, demons and other scary creatures. This is a game that was designed to be as difficult as possible, and even veteran gamers will find themselves struggling to stay afloat.

Its reputation as an insanely difficult game has made it a favorite of hardcore gamers who retain bragging rights for having mastered it.

Civilizations 5 (PC)

Choose a nation and travel over a map to interact with other nations with the objective of dominion in this top down strategy game.

Building your civilization in the game is almost as difficult as trying to do so in real life, and gameplay is very nuanced. You’ll not only be building new cities and conquering others, but even researching which government policies to adopt.

Super Meat Boy (Xbox/PS4/PC)

super_meat_boyAn evil doctor has stolen your girlfriend, and now it’s up to you to save her! If that sounds like a kiddy premise for a game, you’ll be eating your words when you attempt to beat one of the hardest retro style 2D platform games of all time.

Nearly everything will kill you as you jump, run and dodge your way to rescuing your sweetheart. You’ve got unlimited lives, and boy will you need them. Expect to die… a lot. This game requires superfast reflexes and great coordination.

If you’re guilty of complaining that you can’t find difficult enough games, you’re just not looking hard enough. Other than the above, here’s a list of honorable mentions:

  • Kerbal Space Program (PC)
  • KCOM: Enemy Unleashed (Xbox/PC)
  • Starcraft Series (PC)