• Wii U games offered challenging gameplay with unique features, encouraging players to overcome difficult obstacles.
  • Titles like Bayonetta 2 and New Super Luigi U provided tough challenges, testing players’ skills and abilities.
  • The system’s library included games with varying levels of difficulty, appealing to gamers seeking a tough gaming experience.

Despite the Wii U not performing quite as well as Nintendo would have expected both critically or commercially, the system did still acquire a pretty massive catalog of games over its lifespan. Unlike its predecessor which primarily revolved around making use of its groundbreaking motion controls, the Wii U didn’t lean quite as heavily into its gimmick features, meaning that many developers were simply dedicated to making the best games possible that didn’t need to be toned down in difficulty to accommodate for these sorts of built-in features.


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As a result, the Wii U ended up having more than a few challenging titles which range from moderately difficult, to downright brutal at times. The Wii U may be considered the black sheep of the Nintendo family of consoles, but for anyone who loves overcoming a seemingly insurmountable challenge in their games, these titles are worth giving a go.

6 Bayonetta 2

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.63

Bayonetta kicking an enemy into a grinder

Bayonetta 2
October 24, 2014

After the enormous success of the now-iconic hack n’ slash title Bayonetta, Platinum Games went all out for the sequel, making it even more vibrant, fun, and much more challenging than the first. In classic Bayonetta fashion, the game kicks off by throwing the player right in the middle of a large swarm of enemies, encouraging them to pick up on the controls naturally rather than having to go through a lengthy tutorial.

The jump from 30 to 60fps means that the action is much faster paced this time around, making it much harder to pull off a successful Witch Time dodge, which is an essential technique for taking down some of the tougher enemies, including the arduous bosses. Speaking of bosses, Bayonetta 2 features some of the toughest ever seen in a hack n’ slash game, with the gigantic Valor and multi-limbed Loptr being just a few infamous examples.

5 New Super Luigi U

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.64

Luigi jumping across multiple platforms with piranha plants in the background

New Super Luigi U
August 25, 2013

Nintendo EAD


New Super Luigi U is quite a fascinating game, in the sense that it’s the first time that Nintendo has ever re-released one of their games just for the sake of ramping up the overall difficulty. Now of course, there are a few other changes that help make the experience new, such as switching out Mario for Luigi, who both play very differently from one another, but the game ultimately revolves around its elevated challenge, which can get pretty unforgiving at times, even for the most experienced of platforming fans.


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Though Luigi can jump slightly higher than his brother, he’s also much harder to control, feeling very slippery and slightly unresponsive when moving across a surface. Many of the levels have been re-designed with this in mind, as Luigi must try to navigate across tiny platforms and hordes of enemies, all while trying to avoid taking any damage by accidentally sliding into someone, or off the stage entirely. Getting through the game is therefore already a huge challenge, but anyone who wants to experience the game at its most unforgiving should try collecting all the Star Coins along the way to see how tough things can really get.

4 The Wonderful 101

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.84

Superheroes attacking a robot in Wonderful 101

The Wonderful 101
Nintendo Switch , PlayStation 4 , Microsoft Windows , Wii U , Amazon Luna

August 23, 2013

Platformer , Action-Adventure , Beat ‘Em Up , Strategy , Adventure

The core gameplay of The Wonderful 101 is pretty easy to get to grips with, but what really elevates the difficulty is how varied each level is, with the majority of them featuring unique gimmicks that make it hard to ever predict what’s going to come next. Additionally, the game is constantly introducing new enemy types who are often always harder than the last, especially when they’re able to throw out heavy attacks that can disable blocking, leaving the player wide open to receive a barrage of lethal attacks from the enemy.

The regular enemies might already be pretty tricky to take down, but this goes double for the bosses, many of whom have multiple health bars that will need to be taken out before they’re down for good. Pair this with a very expensive upgrade system, and it results in an incredibly unique and fun, but still very challenging, Wii U title that unfortunately didn’t receive as much credit as it should have because of the system it was released on.

3 ZombiU

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.86

Zombie being electrified

November 18, 2012

Ubisoft Montpellier

Survival Horror

It may have been released as a launch title for the Wii U, but ZombiU was far from an easy game to jump into, even though it may have just looked like yet another zombie survival game on the surface. The truth is, ZombiU‘s gameplay places a lot of emphasis on immersion and realism, meaning that finding supplies and weapons is incredibly difficult, but considering just how durable the zombies are, it means it’s often a much better idea to avoid them entirely instead of trying to clear them out.


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If the player does make the mistake of getting surrounded by a group of flesh-hungry zombies though, the character they’re playing as will actually become a member of the horde after they’ve been killed, with the player then assuming the role of a different survivor. To reclaim all the resources, items, and weapons that they had been acquiring up to that point, they will therefore need to find their zombified body to take everything back for themselves, but this is much easier said than done considering just how gigantic the swarms are in this game, making survival very difficult as a result.

2 Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.88

Gameplay screenshot from Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
February 21, 2014


At this point, it feels as though Nintendo is always trying to one-up itself with each Donkey Kong game to see whether it can make the next one more challenging than the last, and it’s fair to say that Tropical Freeze most certainly follows this trend. DK feels a lot heavier in this game than usual, which makes reacting to enemies and leaping across massive gaps a lot harder and far less predictable. Added to this, the game also just has a lot happening on the screen at once, which can make focusing on the level at hand a challenge, especially when some of the backgrounds are important to watch out for since they will influence the stage later on.

Aside from the main levels, the game is also packed with plenty of additional content which is often considered to be even more difficult to complete, especially the extra levels and time trials. The game was considered so hard that Nintendo even had to introduce an easy mode in the form of Funky Mode which was made available for its later ports. This just goes to show how brutal many people found Tropical Freeze when it was first released for the Wii U.

1 Cloudberry Kingdom

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 4.39

Small man jumping across platforms with lots of environmental hazards

Cloudberry Kingdom
July 30, 2013

pwnee studios

Any game that features procedurally generated levels always has a chance of becoming very difficult to complete because of how unfair the actual design of the levels can be, but usually, there are at least some sort of restrictions built in that ensure the areas never become too arduous or unfair. Cloudberry Kingdom doesn’t exactly work this way, as while all of its levels are randomly generated, they are also made to adapt to the player’s skill level and their in-game character abilities, meaning that if the player is performing well, the levels will just keep getting more and more outlandish in their difficulty.

Not only will the actual platforming sections be spread much further apart while also being a lot smaller to land on, but most of the levels will also be littered with environmental hazards, sometimes to an absurd degree, which can make even the simple act of jumping over a gap a very risky venture. Admittedly, the game is designed to be as difficult as possible, and it’s without a doubt very unique in how it plays, but Cloudberry Kingdom isn’t for the faint of heart.


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