7 Stress-Inducing Games

Games are a fantastic way to relax, unwind, and escape from the stresses of daily life. However, not all games are created equal when it comes to stress levels. Some games can leave you feeling tense, frustrated, and even on the verge of throwing your controller across the room.

Previously, we did an article titled the hardest platformers and we’re sure some of those titles will make it to the list as well. Even so, we want to explore seven stress-inducing games, broadening from all genres, that offers an intense challenge for players.

So without further ado, let’s start!

1. Dark Souls

Dark Souls stress inducing
Photo Credits: Bandai Namco Entertainment

Known for its punishing difficulty and intricate boss battles, the Dark Souls series has gained a reputation for inducing stress. These games demand precision, patience, and perseverance from players as they navigate through dangerous environments and face formidable foes. 

Despite the stress, the sense of accomplishment upon overcoming challenges in these games is unparalleled though. It is a game that will live on forever and honestly, we love that. These DS games have set the standard for ‘difficult’ games and have even defined a genre themselves.

2. Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy stress inducing
Photo Credits: Team Meat

Making its way from our hardest platformers list, Super Meat Boy is for those that enjoy fast-paced platformers that test your reflexes to the limit.

It is an indie gem packed with precise jumps, deadly traps, and merciless enemies. As you guide the lovable meaty hero through hazardous levels, frustration and stress may ensue. But don’t worry, the exhilaration of completing a difficult level makes it all worth it!

3. Cuphead

cuphead stress inducing
Photo Credits: Studio MDHR

Let’s make it a combo, this game is also another platformer that has grind many gamers’ gears. Inspired by 1930s cartoons, Cuphead is a visually stunning run-and-gun game that offers a relentless challenge.

Its unique and stress-inducing boss battles and pixel-perfect platforming sections, this game can push your skills and patience to their limits. Be prepared for countless retries, but the immense satisfaction of finally defeating a tough boss is simply unmatched.

4. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro stress inducing
Photo Credits: Bandai Namco Entertainment

We could really put all of FromSoftware games here but let’s not be too biased. Still, we need to include Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice if we are talking about games that give rise to our blood levels.

Sekiro is an action-adventure game set in feudal Japan with immersive graphics and exceptional gameplay. Combining intense sword fights with stealth mechanics, demanding precise timing and quick reflexes are sorely needed.

The difficulty of Sekiro can get overwhelming if you are an impatient gamer. Many have even considered Sekiro to be a rhythm game due to its emphasis on timing.

5. Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy

getting over it
Photo Credits: Bennett Foddy

We’ve seen this game all over YouTube and on Twitch. It is possibly the best game to make reactionary content for ‘good’ reasons.

In this unconventional and notorious indie game, players control a man stuck in a cauldron, armed only with a hammer. The objective is to navigate challenging landscapes using only this hammer as a means of propulsion.

Getting Over It is infamous for its annoyingly punishing difficulty and the ability to induce both stress and existential contemplation. If you do want to try this game, you really need to brace yourself for a unique and frustrating experience.


FIFA stress inducing
Photo Credits: Electronic Arts

Where do we even begin with the FIFA franchise? Don’t get us wrong, the older FIFA games are bearable but ever since Ultimate Team and online modes came into the picture, everything changed. For better or worse? We’ll let you be the judge of that.

Generally, sports games are seen as casual and fun, the FIFA series can be surprisingly stressful, especially in competitive multiplayer modes. The pressure to outperform opponents, the frustration of conceding goals.

These intense matches can lead to nail-biting moments and heightened stress levels. Nevertheless, the thrill of victory keeps players coming back for more. Available on many platforms, you can get its latest instalment, FIFA 23 using our PlayStation Store Gift Card here!

7. Only Up!

Only up
Photo Credits: SCKR Games

Developed by a small indie team, Only Up! challenges players with its deceptively simple gameplay of a parkour enthusiast.

The goal is to navigate a character through a vertical maze, avoiding obstacles and collecting gems to ascend higher. With each passing level, the difficulty ramps up, testing your reflexes and decision-making skills.

While Only Up! can be stressful, it offers a satisfying sense of accomplishment when you conquer each level and reach new heights.

If you’re up for a gaming challenge, the stress-inducing games mentioned above will provide you with thrilling experiences that push your skills to the limit. From the brutal battles of Dark Souls to the frustration and triumph of Only Up!, these games offer a unique blend of stress and satisfaction.

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