Top 10 Hardest NES Games – AVGN Clip Collection

Mike Matei / October 10th, 2013

This is a new thing we started called “AVGN Clip Collection”. It’s a look back at highlights from the series, each with a top 10 theme. (They will continue until the new year.) These are the picks for the hardest NES games that the Nerd has reviewed so far.


  • jorsh zavala

    October 10, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Frist? yeeey!

    • jorsh zavala

      October 10, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      lol i misspelled first time and is ruin forever!

      • jorsh zavala

        October 10, 2013 at 7:16 pm

        I played 9 out of 10 of the games on this list except for mr.jekyll and mr.hide.
        hard ass games for real!
        today games are soft except for demon souls and AVGN the video game ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • October 12, 2013 at 1:23 am

        No, no, no. Not the first. The freaking Frist! There is no way you can beat that!

  • mrpamonha

    October 10, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    I tought Ikari Warriors would be there.

    • Mario Hinojosa

      December 27, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      He hadn’t played that game in a Nerd Episode yet. These Top Tens are clip collections of episodes he’s already uploaded.

  • natedog

    October 10, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    try platoon, that game is hard as hell, never made it past stage one. I wonder what the rest of the game is like?

    • BrandeX

      October 11, 2013 at 1:29 am

      Good point, I had that Platoon game also. I wonder if James will ever add it in an AVGN episode?

  • October 10, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Awesome! I could not tell you how often while watching through the AVGN episodes I hear James describe something as “hardest this” “hardest that” “one of the hardest” “hardest ever” etc… And I just think to myself “Wait, he said that about another game didn’t he?” But now, we at least get to know what truly are the hardest yet for the NES. Great compilation video, very entertaining as well as useful.

  • Ninzilla

    October 10, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    I wonder if I’m on the first page of comments…

  • taykel

    October 10, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    I do not like playing a very hard game!

  • October 10, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Great video! Damn! 3 VIDEOS IN 1 DAY! You guys rock! Thanks for this! I really hope your making an AVGN Halloween special this year James to keep with the tradition! Regardless, it’s been a kick ass day at Cinemassacre!

  • Jason Adkins

    October 10, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Good one Nerd!

  • Kieran St James

    October 10, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Hey, thanks for a new AVGN video!
    Even if it is just a clip show, it’s a nice recap.

    Now to get updated on Monster Madness! I’ve been gone for a few days, now I get a marathon! YAY!

  • Iron65

    October 10, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    Nice ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ace

    October 10, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    I love how there is ample swearing and lamentation throughout the list until we reach #1. Words do not exist to express the horror…

  • Lanlost

    October 10, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    Great video.

    James, this makes me think that after the movie (or hell, sooner) you should STOP AVGN as we know it and come back with Super AVGN, in the spirit of the 16-bit days. Even if it’s not another bazillion years worth of episodes (man, it’s hard to believe how long it’s actually been) I feel like this era deserves the spotlight if only for a short while.

    Also, It’d be awesome to have a feature like this in the middle of the AVGN movie (like this being this top 10 clip) and then a “back to our heroes…” old style wipe.

    I keep forgetting that you said at one point there will be a review in the game so maybe that will do =P

  • Joker83

    October 10, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    Yes, I needed a little nerd in my life

  • October 11, 2013 at 1:35 am

    Im surprised Transformers for the Famicom wasn’t on there. I tried it the other day and damn the avgn review was on point on that game.

    • Ivan187

      December 8, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      I assume he was only talking about the CLASSIC NES.

  • October 11, 2013 at 1:37 am

    but needless to say, it was a great video! you keep on delivering goodness and entertainment. keep it up Nerd!

  • October 11, 2013 at 1:39 am

    Great, James. A greatest hits collection. I guess the Nerd has peaked. I think the reviews of Hammer Films and Universal Monster Movies is pretty tapped out too. I love the vignettes, James. Watching them is a part of my daily activities. But maybe it is time to branch out. For your own sake. By the way, you sure look young in some of those videos.

  • captainthrall

    October 11, 2013 at 2:04 am

    i love how this video is just a big compilation of the nerd dying 1 million times bwahahahah

  • Aaron1375

    October 11, 2013 at 2:22 am

    Nice list…I always enjoyed your review of Street Fighter 2010 as it made that game to be really intense and I played it and it was hard as hell, but really fun. I also played Silver Surfer and I really don’t see why it is considered to be so hard. Maybe it was because your video I knew what I could and couldn’t touch. I actually found it fun, the only annoying level for me was the Firelord stages. I got through a few stages without dying on my first try.

  • Pulloff

    October 11, 2013 at 3:03 am

    LOL. he had to have jeckle and hyde for number 1. We all know how the AVGN feels about that game. that was worth watching.

  • Taylor85

    October 11, 2013 at 4:00 am

    Good list james, but you missed DRAGONยดS LAIR! That game is imposible!

  • horrorshow

    October 11, 2013 at 4:45 am

    I’m not sure about this idea as you won’t be able to include games you’ve played and not yet might do a top 10 weirdest Nes games which would be interesting and you have reviewed quite a few but there are other really strange ones that should make the list that you haven’t covered- Zombie nation or monster party for example.

  • The Shamster

    October 11, 2013 at 5:44 am

    Who else thinks they’ll use ideas from these insanely hard games on the sequel to AVGN Adventures? (which is hard enough!)

  • October 11, 2013 at 6:59 am

    I figured Transformers would have made the list, considering it’s one of the hardest games James has ever beat (at least, that’s what he said to us). Maybe since it’s on the Famicom it was disqualified? ๐Ÿ™

  • moldy_tomato

    October 11, 2013 at 8:19 am

    I know difficulty is subjective; someone finds some game way more difficult than others do.
    But I have to ask if the games were arranged based on difficulty, because of how high Silver Surfer is on the list.
    Personally, I don’t think Silver Surfer is very difficult at all; I found Gradius to be much harder for example, and it belongs to the same genre.

    • Sammit

      October 11, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      I agree with you that Gradius is more difficult than Silver Surfer. But the Nerd didn’t do a review on Gradius and this is a list of hardest games he’s reviewed.

  • BladeRunner

    October 11, 2013 at 11:12 am

    this is pretty cool!

  • October 11, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    I beat Ninja Gaiden and Turtles. ahah

  • genju

    October 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Hey James, something about Ghosts N’ Goblins that you never mentioned in the review. When you beat it (for real, not counting the BS illusion excuse) for the first time and get Game Over, you can choose to continue. If you do, you get to fight the final boss over again. If you beat him again, you start from the beginning and the enemies move twice as fast. Imagine… Ghosts N’ Goblins where enemies move twice as fast.

  • Sammit

    October 11, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    He probably didn’t include Transformers because it’s for the Famicom. Or maybe it would have been number 11. I was surprised I didn’t see Dragon’s Lair on this list, but that game isn’t hard after you memorized all the obstacles. These games are all hard even if you memorized everything that happens in them.

  • GameDudeMat

    October 12, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Check out this easy broken NES fix!

  • Jarkko

    October 12, 2013 at 9:23 am

    We REALLY need a Nerd review of AVGN Adventures! That is one difficult game! But good! In the most frustrating way!

  • October 12, 2013 at 11:38 am

    I thought for sure Double Dragon 3 would be in the top 5.

  • October 13, 2013 at 2:30 am

    so happy we have another full month of movie reviews. sadly i enjoy a marathon of them, so i hold back and watch all in 1-2 days. when i see a “other than movie review” i get excited. little sad with this vid. i know you’re way busy, but either have mike post something new or maybe hold off on these kinds of vids. it was a good vid (maybe a nice one in december), but filler vid for non review fans of movie reviews… no comps during your fantastic run of movie reviews. when this great movie run is done, make a few silly quick reviews of stuff u don’t like, to tide us over for when next years great monster madness vids come out.

  • October 13, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    I was surprised to not see Captain planet on this list. While these are all hard as shit, I really enjoyed playing most of these, save for TMNT and Jekyll

  • Ben_from_G-town

    October 14, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Nice little compilation. It should tide us over for a while, methinks. ๐Ÿ˜› As far as hard games, you should review Eternal Champions for Sega Genesis, sometime! I don’t know how many fighters you do, though.

  • October 15, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    I still feel like I’m the only one on the planet who likes the first turtles game.

  • skwij

    October 17, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    I’ve beaten some of these. Maybe I’m a better gamer than I thought… Thanks for the video!

  • xZombie1x

    October 17, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    I wouldn’t say Jeckyl and Hyde is hard. More like impossible. I’m sure someone out there has played it and beaten it on a real NES with no Game Genie or PAR. This game is random as fuck. The difficulty and patterns seem to be completely random. Also, that cane is more useless than Aquaman on land.

  • October 18, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    Trust me me james in the castlevania series i can feel your pain.

  • November 2, 2013 at 9:29 am

    I want to play the CastleVania games

  • November 11, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    James make a top 10 easiest NES games

  • March 7, 2014 at 6:44 am

    If Ninja Gaiden’s supposed to be on the list, it should be replaced with Ninja Gaiden 3, one of the most unforgiving localizations to experience. Double damage taken from enemies, limited to 5 continues and no password system.

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