Top 5 Hardest Games in the World 2024

Welcome to the world of hard-core gaming! In our article, we dive deep into the world's most difficult games to master. All of these games need extraordinary skills, tactical thinking, and a never-ending amount of persistence. Keep reading to find out all about these extremely challenging games and earn some enticing wins!

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This page is written by
Cameron Murphy
Cameron MurphyOnline Casino Expert
Fact checked by
Rebecca Mackay
Rebecca MackayHead of Content
According to our Editorial Guide

1. Go Game

go game

Photographer: Ma Xiaoliang

Inventor: Emperor Yao

Go is an abstract strategy board game for two players in which the goal is to surround more territory than the opponent. It is one of the oldest board games in the world. Its actual origin remains a mystery.The conventional Go board has 361 points and a grid of 1919 lines. Beginners frequently use smaller 99 and 1313 boards, while archaeological evidence suggests that the game was once played on a 1717 grid board. Boards with a 19 to 19 structure became the standard of the game in the 5th century CE in Korea and the 7th century CE in Japan.

Go is a challenging game, despite its simple rules. In comparison to chess, Go features a wider board with more options for play and lengthier games, and many more options to consider per move. The number of proper board places in Go is believed to be over 2.1 by 10170, far more than the number of atoms in the known, observable universe, which is considered to be around one by 1080.Go is a competitive game in which the goal is to encircle a larger total area of the board with one's stones than the opponent. The players place stones on the board to map formations and potential territories as the game progresses. Contests between opposing formations are often very complex, resulting in formation stones expanding, decreasing, or becoming wholesale capture and loss.

A fundamental principle of Go is that at least one open point along the group's edge, known as freedom, must remain on the board for a group of stones. One or more freedoms in a group are called an eye, and even if surrounded, a group with two or more eyes is not captured. Unconditionally, they are described as alive organizations. The overall strategy is to expand one's area, target the opponent's vulnerable groups, and keep an eye on one's life status. Group freedoms can be counted. Capturing races, or semeai, are situations in which mutually antagonistic groups must capture one another or die. In a capturing race, the team with the most freedom will be able to capture the opponent's stones in the end. The key issues in Go are capturing races and elements of life and death.

2. Magic: The Gathering

magic the gathering

Source: Valery Voennyy.

Inventor: Richard Garfield

The Gathering is a famous collectable card game requiring two or more players to recreate a battle between wizards. The game, which is based on fantasy, has enchanted tens of millions of followers thus far. This is commonly accomplished by attacking your opponent with a combination of lands, creatures, and spells from a card deck. Players begin with a hand of seven cards and draw a new one each round, during which time they might engage in combat and perform spells. This contains a lot of fantastic worldbuilding. Every card has a particular effect on the game, and there are over 2,000 rules and 19,000 cards, resulting in endless variations.A basic game of Magic involves two or more players fighting as strong wizards known as Planeswalkers in combat. Each player has their deck of cards, either one they built themselves or drew from a limited supply for the tournament. A player begins the game with a "life total" of twenty and loses when their life total reaches zero. If a player is forced to draw from an empty deck, they may fail. Furthermore, some cards detail additional methods to win or lose the game.

Players shuffle their decks before drawing seven cards to begin the game. On each player's turn, they draw a card, tap their lands and other permanents to gain mana as needed to cast spells. They also engage their creatures in a single attack round against their opponent, who may block the attack with their creatures, and then complete other actions with any remaining mana. Tapped resources stay tapped until the start of the player's next turn. This may leave them without land to draw for mana to cast spells in response to their opponent's assaults or creatures to block attacks, forcing them to plan for their opponent's turn. A player can perform most actions like the "Stack," a concept related to the stack in computer programming. Either player can react to these actions with other activities, such as counter-spells; the stack proposes a mechanism of rectifying complex interactions that may result in certain situations.

3. Chess


Source: Andrew Unangst.

Inventor: Commander Han Xin

Chess is a board game for two players that is both enjoyable and competitive. Regarding kindred games like xiangqi, it is sometimes referred to as Western or international chess. After evolving from similar, much older games of Indian and Persian origin, the modern form of the game emerged in Southern Europe during the second half of the 15th century. Chess is one of the most popular games in the world today, with millions of people playing it at home, in clubs, online, by mail, and in competitions. Chess is an intellectual tactical game in which no information is hidden. It is played on a square chessboard with an 8-by-8 grid of 64 squares. Each player controls sixteen pieces at the outset (one controls the white pieces, the other controls the black pieces): one king, two rooks, one queen, two knights, eight pawns, and two bishops. The game's goal is to checkmate your opponent's king, which means that the king is under imminent attack (in "check") and has no possibility of escaping. A game might also result in a tie in a variety of ways.

Chess as we know it now began in the nineteenth century. FIDE, the International Chess Federation, now governs chess competitions worldwide (International Chess Federation). Wilhelm Steinitz became the first universally recognized World Chess Champion in 1886, while Magnus Carlsen is the current World Champion. Since the game's conception, a vast corpus of chess theory has emerged. Chess composition contains artistic elements, and chess has affected Western culture and art and linkages to other subjects such as mathematics, computer science, and psychology. The creation of a chess-playing machine was one of the early computer scientists' aims. When Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov in a match in 1997, it became the first computer to dethrone the reigning World Champion.

4. The Campaign for North Africa

The campaign for north africa board game

Source: Kotaku. Photo owner: Charles Picard.

Inventor: Richard H. Berg

It's a game that's all about logistics. It is highly detailed in a way that no other game has come close to matching. If the complete rules are used, players keep track of each plane and pilot during the three-year campaign. Each counter on the board, which represents a ground unit, is made up of several units that are recorded on logs. Supplies are tracked and distributed meticulously.

The Campaign for North Africa has been dubbed the world's longest board game, with a full game estimated to take 1500 hours to complete. "If you and your group meet for three hours at a time, twice a month, you will finish the campaign in around 20 years," reviewer Luke Winkie said. It's also been dubbed the most complicated wargame ever created, with the often-cited example (included in SPI's advertising) of Italian forces requiring additional water supplies to prepare pasta. The map board is 9.5 feet (3 meters) long. The instructions indicate ten players divided into two teams of five persons. Each team consists of a Front-line Commander, Logistics Commander, Commander-in-Chief, Air Commander, and Rear Area Commander. However, the game is theoretically a two-player game. CNA was launched in 1976 by a group of developers, with Richard Berg in charge of the massive map. Redmond A. Simonsen provided cartography and graphic design.

5. Bridge

bridge game

Photographer: Atmán Victor.

Inventor: Harold Vanderbilt

The bridge is a 52-card trick-taking card game. Four players play it in two competing partnerships around a table in its most basic form. Bridge is one of the most popular card games globally, especially among seniors, with millions of people participating in clubs, competitions online and with friends at home. The World Bridge Federation is the international regulating organization for competitive bridges, with several other bodies overseeing the sport on a regional scale.

There are several deals in the game, each of which goes through four stages. The players are dealt cards, and then they must "call" (or "bid") in an auction to take the contract, which specifies how many tricks the contract-winning partnership (the declaring side) must take to get points for the deal. And during bidding, partners try to communicate with their hands, such as overall strength and suit distribution. After that, the cards are dealt with the declaring side attempting to fulfil the agreement and the defenders attempting to prevent the proclaiming side from accomplishing its purpose. Rubber bridge is the most common casual variety. Still, most club and tournament play use some variation of duplicate bridge, in which the cards are not re-dealt each time, but the same deal is played by two or more sets of players (or "tables") to allow for comparison scoring. Bridge is a trick-taking game for four players with thirteen tricks per deal. Rubber bridge, which is more prevalent in social play, and duplicate bridge, which allows for comparable scoring in tournament play, are the two most popular versions of the game. A standard 52-card deck is used to deal thirteen cards to each player.

Our Verdict on the Top 5 Hardest Games to Master

These games require patience, skills and, above all, determination to master. If you're drawn to the punishing difficulty of Go, the preciseness of Magic: The Gathering, the strategic thinking of Chess, the relentless combat in The Campaign for North Africa or the complex gameplay of  Bridge, we're sure you will have a gaming experience to remember while pushing your limits. While these games might be really difficult, a sense of accomplishment and tremendous satisfaction awaits those who manage to beat them. So brush up on those gaming skills and master these gaming giants!

FAQs About Hardest Games to Master

What makes a game hard to master?

This is an interesting one. We believe that the hardest games to master require high skills, strategic thinking, have complex mechanics and, above all, unforgiving difficulty.

What is the hardest type of game?

This is quite subjective. It depends on the experience of the player and their skill level. However, we think that Real Time Strategy games (like The Campaign for North Africa) and Puzzle games (like Go) can be among the hardest to master.

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Cameron Murphy

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An online casino expert of 12 years, Cameron Murphy knows the ins and outs of Irish online casinos. Cameron specialises in online casino reviews, gambling regulations, and providing quality content on ...continue reading

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