The 10 Hardest Achievements

Achievements and trophies are usually a nice addition to a game. They add a fun incentive to play parts you might not have tried before and replayabilty to those you have. Though sometimes, these challenges can go over the top and have the opposite effect. Here are the achievements (in no particular order) that will make you tear your hair out and stuff it in the disc drive so that you never have to go near it again.

Brass Balls – Bioshock (100G, Gold Trophy)

Although many games seem to enjoy inflicting hours of pain and suffering upon the player by introducing an achievement for completing each task under the hardest difficulty, Bioshock is much more sadistic in nature. The same rule applies: survive the game with seemingly superhuman AI and you’re rewarded, but this time through, you’re not allowed to enter the vital vita-chambers. As these are usually your main way of healing, you have to rely on skill and hoping that someone left half a chicken bone lying around before they headed off into crazy-land. Not only is food relative scarce, but it’s never quite enough to heal a drill through the forehead. In order to clear this challenge, you’ll no doubt find yourself saving every time you turn a corner.


Bladder of Steel – Rock Band 2 (25G, Gold Trophy)

I know that many people can become obsessed with games such as Rock Band 2, but this is really taking it too far. Rather than being a test of skill, this achievement challenges your sheer tenacity as you’re required to play through all 84 songs without failing and without any sort of pausing. Harmonix have straightened out the road completely, so you’re unable to cut corners by disconnecting your controller or anything else you though would be clever. For best possible results, make sure you have a close friend nearby to feed you and hold a bottle to your crotch as it’s going to take an insanely long time. And for just 25G, the six hours of non-stop plastic-performance just isn’t worth it.


Little Rocket Man – Half Life 2: Episode 2 (30G)

Garden gnomes are cute right? They just sit there all day trying to catch fish in your dried up pond and you can’t help but smile at them. But just how cute are they when you have to carry them through a whole game? That’s right, this achievement requires the player to pick up a gnome at the beginning and lug him around for hours. It wouldn’t be so bad if this little fellow could actually be stored in your inventory or wasn’t easily breakable. Instead, you have to tuck him into the corner while you fight the numerous enemies and drag him along on your personal adventure. No doubt you’ll get emotional in the end though, as you watch him fly off on his very own, space adventure. Until you remind yourself that his virtual little feelings are essentially meaningless. Stupid dwarf.


Heroic Survivor – Killzone 2 (Gold Trophy)

Yet another game decides to throw you to the sharks with no life belt, though this seems to offer a nicer reward for your troubles. Sure, in some areas it may feel like a bit of a breeze, yet when you’re trapped in a swarm of trigger happy, well programmed Helghast with only a moronic partner to aid you, it becomes more of a nightmare. It certainly doesn’t help that bullets seem to rip you apart like a paper bag, meaning that you’ll have respawned a ridiculous amount of times before you even approach the end of the game. This particular test of skill can become so frustrating that anyone achieving this trophy should get a marching band outside their house rather than just a small, virtual ‘well done’ from the developers.


Late Boomer – Super Stardust HD (Silver Trophy)

What may seem a simple task to begin with has become a living hell for players all across the world. How hard could it be to have 15 bombs at your disposal? Well, as it turns out, extremely. Far too difficult for the measly silver reward it provides. Due to the small number you can collect from ships (just two are given for each one sacrificed), this challenge requires you to follow ships around the map, dodging all the asteroids and enemies as you go, hoping that you’ll meet a second on your journey. Bombs are restricted purely to blowing up these bomb containers and so surviving long enough to collect enough is borderline impossible. If your finger happens to slip part-way through you can be sure you’ll have to start again, as any big movement will result in death. Oh come on Housemarque, have you no soul?


7 Day Survivor – Dead Rising (20G)

This battle royale with zombies is one of the more realistic in its genre in that it’s extremely difficult to survive for a prolonged amount of time in such an enclosed area with hundreds of flesh-hungry beings swarming around you. Now, of course, trying to make your character survive for a whole week of real-time would be far too difficult (and would probably turn you into a makeshift version of the very enemy you’re trying to avoid, as spending 168 hours without sleep can’t be good for your body), so all the game asks is that you survive for a week of Frank’s life. Which is still about 14 hours in the real world. Now try doing that while hunting for food wielding just a teddy bear as your weapon. On second thoughts, I think I’d much rather give up and join in with the undead hordes. They’d probably give me more points anyway.


World Champion – Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter (40G)

So you want to be the very best, like no-one ever was? Well unless you spend every waking hour on this game for the rest of your life, I’m afraid you’re not going to be Ash Ketchum. It’s not just Ghost Recon that asks players to be the top of the worldwide leaderboard and unless you get the game and get online within minutes of the release, it’s forever going to be a dream for most people. And anyone who can brag about having this achievement should really think about the direction that their life is headed (which nowadays, is probably straight into internet fame). But seriously, stop trying to grab this achievement and go bake your mother a cake instead. Or adopt a puppy. Anything but this.


Mile High Club – Call of Duty 4 (20G)

As far as bonus missions go, Mile High Club is a fun, yet challenging level. However, ramp up the difficulty, erase all checkpoints and slap a tiny one-minute time limit onto it and it becomes a lot less entertaining. If you’re someone who’s determined to collect every achievement available prepare to be extremely frustrated. As this is only rewarded to those who complete the level in Veteran mode, it’s a severe test of skill, leaving no time for hesitation and absolutely no trip ups. If you do manage to make it to the room in which the VIP is being held, congratulations, but there’s no time to start celebrating as you’ll instantly fail the mission if you don’t land a headshot on the assailant. Oh, and make sure to do it before he manages to pull the trigger on the hostage. Got that? Good, now I’m off to cry into my pillow.


Zone Zeus – Wipeout HD (Gold Trophy)

What is essentially an incredibly fun mode included in this game can be turned into a reflexive nightmare with the introduction of this trophy. Sure, the game starts out nice and slowly, almost as if you’re taking a leisurely drive through the countryside, but getting anywhere near the Zone 75 target requires your ship to go hurtling down the track as though it’s high on meth, all while trying to bash buttons in order to avoid the walls. Like many of the trophies in this game, it’s a very difficult task and probably requires you to be taking something similar substance. Though for a measly trophy, it probably isn’t worth the trouble of finding such a drug. That and it might be a bit of a blur when you next wake up and so bragging to your friends wouldn’t be all that impressive.


Zombie Genocidest – Left 4 Dead (20G)

Now killing zombies in this game is no great task in itself as there are plenty to pick from and none too threatening. However, when the game asks you to kill 53,595 there never seems to be enough around. Not quite the test of skill that make most of the other achievements in this list so difficult, this is more a task of determination, and when you’re clawing off the undead for several hours, that’s something you’re going to need. Although the sensible among you will complete this in short bursts, I’m sure others elsewhere will attempt this in one or two sit downs. Though hopefully by the end of such sessions, these people will be locked up in a padded room and kept away from sharp objects forever. But at least they’ll come in useful when the zombie apocalypse finally shows up on our doorstep.

So if one day you wake up and realise that there’s really no life outside your front door, at least you’ll have these games to keep you occupied. Just make sure you open a window while you’re playing, fresh air is important.

Know any other insane achievements? Have you claimed any of the ones mentioned? Let us know!


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Sian Bradley

Sian is a co-founder of Cubed Gamers, having been around since 2011. When she isn't helping to manage the site, she's exploring every nook and cranny in games to create guides you didn't know you needed.


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  1. Poe 5 September, 2012 at 17:32 Reply

    In Retro Game Master on the Nintendo DS, the final challenge is to beat ALL of the games within the game. That includes an RPG and an extremely hard Ninja Gaiden-style game. It’s the only challenge I haven’t completed for that game. Most of the other challenges are pretty easy, but then they throw THAT at you at the end, haha.

    I haven’t played any of the games on that list up there, but the Guitar Hero one sounds like torture. I wouldn’t even attempt it.

    You can set the difficulty level in Metal Gear Solid 3 (and possibly other Metal Gears) to where if you even get spotted by the enemy just once, the game is over. It’s also a fun challenge to do a no-kill run, which I’ve never been able to do. Mato always accidentally slashes people’s throats when he does CQC against enemies, when all he was trying to do is knock them out for a while. Yeah, the controls are a little weird in that game and they take some getting used to.

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