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The World’s Most Popular & Challenging Games 

by Tim

The current video gaming zeitgeist has led to unprecedented interest in the sector. Now more than ever before, individuals who have never shown an interest in gaming are doing things like watching eSports tournaments and playing casual titles on their smartphones. It’s helped generate interest in gaming at almost every level.

But that doesn’t mean the average person is going to delve deep into competitive gaming. In fact, many titles on the market for mobile, PC, and console are designed for casual play. That means that newcomers can learn the ropes relatively quickly and start having fun—no crazy learning curves involved. 

But this trend doesn’t mean that all gamers want to take a mellow approach. In fact, PC games, card games, and tabletop games have long been the focus of hardcore gamers who want to challenge themselves. Rather than become proficient at their chosen game, they want to push their minds to the limit in terms of quick decision-making, analytical skills, and even memorization. 

Let’s dive into the world of popular and highly challenging games, covering traditional and modern titles alike.


Since the late 1970s, poker competitions have slowly become global staples within the gaming industry. Today, players can cut their teeth playing with online platforms that are fully virtual, then go on to qualify for major events like the World Series of Poker and European Poker Tour from satellite tournaments. But just because the game is accessible, that doesn’t make it easy. 

Even looking at a list of terms highlights just how involved the game of poker is. On top of learning strategies, rules, and hand rankings for each poker variation, players must also contend with ‘tilt’. Tilt is when a player’s emotional state starts to derail the game, which can lead to less-than-ideal outcomes when playing online or in person.

Elden Ring

This RPG video game was based on the success of Dark Souls—long considered the most difficult video game ever created. So, what makes this open-world game so challenging? First and foremost, developers kept difficulty in mind when producing the game. Navigating an open world, players must build a weapons arsenal that helps them take on boss after boss.

However, the true challenge is focusing on long and difficult boss battles. In other words, players must be capable of a high degree of concentration as they move from one battle to the next. Similarly, they must be able to create the right attack sequences quickly.

Elden Ring


This straightforward point-and-click PC puzzle game is based on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. Despite the fact that it’s based in an imaginative world and includes less-than-impressive graphics (from the early 90s), players might not expect to encounter multiple mind-bending puzzles. However, it’s renowned for stumping legions of players. 

That’s because each challenge encountered requires a multi-pronged approach—usually based on hints that were dropped earlier in the game. One challenge, for example, requires players to stuff an octopus into a toilet, and then lure a man to use it by feeding him prunes.


This ancient board game has been around for millennia and is still played around the world. Back when it was first conceptualised in East Asia, it was used to teach noblemen the art of strategic thinking. In the game, players must surround enemy markers with their own pieces.

Sounds simple? The game is actually highly complex because there are so many strategies that players can use. Despite the fact that the game has been around for thousands of years, there’s no straightforward solution. Most games require hours of diligent and concentrated thinking.

Talos Principle

Let’s cover one more of the greatest and most challenging puzzle games ever.  This game includes a narrative, which makes it popular with more players—but there are also tactical challenges. In other words, mind-bending puzzles are only one part of the magic.

On top of that, players must also contend with things like jump pads and even clones. Though the game includes unlimited deaths without punishing players, it won’t necessarily help them advance to the next level.

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