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Top 10 Hardest Mini Games in Video Games

Top 10 Hardest Mini Games in Video Games
VOICE OVER: Ricky Tucci
And here we thought mini-games were supposed to be fun. For this list, we'll be looking at the most difficult or frustrating micro challenges in video games. Our countdown of the hardest mini-games in video games includes Junimo Kart from “Stardew Valley” (2016), HaKox from “Xenosaga Episode III” (2006), Funderwall! from “Mario Party 7” (2005), Traditional Japanese Dancing from “Like a Dragon: Ishin!” (2014), and more!

Script written by Johnny Reynolds

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Hardest Mini-Games in Video Games. For this list, we’ll be looking at the most difficult or frustrating micro challenges in video games. As per usual, we’re only including one game per franchise. Which of these mini-games did you hate playing through? Is there something we left off? Share your thoughts in the comments!

#10: Funderwall!

“Mario Party 7” (2005)

“Mario Party” isn’t exactly the most balanced series in Nintendo’s catalog. But when it comes to testing pure skill and reaction time, nothing really matches ‘Funderwall!’ The free-for-all has everyone climb a wall as Bowser waits at the top. While you try to avoid spike balls in your way, the big bad’s minions fly around trying to spray you with fire. However, chances are very good none of you are going to win. The fire often comes faster than your character can move while your opponents are bound to get in your way, whether they be computers or other players. With little to no margin for error, the ‘Fun’ in ‘Funderwall!’ is not to be taken literally.

#9: Slime Climb

“Fall Guys” (2020)

A battle royale consisting of platforming mini-games was a genius idea. “Fall Guys” has enjoyed multiple seasons’ worth of content updates, yet one of the mini-games guaranteed to knock out a ton of players has been present since the beginning. ‘Slime Climb’ has everyone work through various, connected obstacle courses as the slime below constantly ascends, swallowing up the level and anyone unlucky enough to be left behind. For many of us, the constantly rising hazard adds a hefty dose of stress to any jump. And considering the mini-game is rather long, that stress will be a constant companion. If your nerves or skill level can’t cut it, you’ll be searching for a new lobby rather quickly.

#8: Mushroom Derby

“Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars” (1996)

In any normal Mario game, we’d be ecstatic to race on the back of our favorite dino pal. But taking Yoshi out to the tracks in “Super Mario RPG” isn’t exactly exciting. Once Mario arrives on Yo’ster Isle, he can help his green companion in beating the cocky Boshi in a foot race. In order to do so, you must alternate pressing the A and B buttons along with the music’s rhythm. That is much easier said than done considering there are lots of instruments and several pauses, and since Boshi is much faster. Even with three cookies to give Yoshi a boost, players have been confused and angered by this deceptive mini-game for years.

#7: Junimo Kart

“Stardew Valley” (2016)

“Stardew Valley” lets you live out your greatest farming dreams, but there are other ways to pass the time. The in-universe arcade game, “Junimo Kart,” is a minecart platformer consisting of nine stages. While the difficulty level starts out alright, things quickly go off the rails in more ways than one. The majority of tracks feature strategically, and annoyingly placed hazards and jumps. Not only that, but some elements are procedurally generated. There’s a high chance you’ll mess up at least a few times. While there are checkpoints, extra lives aren’t easily earned. Once you’re out, it’s back to the very beginning. And here we thought “Donkey Kong” had the hardest minecart levels. Speaking of…

#6: Donkey Kong Arcade

“Donkey Kong 64” (1999)

It may seem odd, since “Donkey Kong” is a full, actual game. But it did appear as a mini-game in this N64 entry, and it is much harder than normal. DK finds it inside the Frantic Factory level and must beat it to earn a Golden Banana. What makes it harder is having only a single life for all four levels. Naturally, if you die, it’s back to the start. It’s certainly doable for the persistent, but there’s a much harder, and completely mandatory, second round. Mario now has two lives, but all hazards move with such speed, it’s really just giving you false hope. But beating this gets you the Nintendo Coin, an item required to reach the final boss.

#5: Traditional Japanese Dancing

“Like a Dragon: Ishin!” (2014)

Formerly known as “Yakuza,” the “Like a Dragon” series features an insane amount of mini-games, some of which are actually pretty bizarre. However, the hardest we’ve come across is the Traditional Dancing from “Ishin!” The easier songs won’t be a problem, but completing all of them is a major challenge. Harder songs divide your attention between opposite sides of the screen. While the left is for directional inputs, the right is for the face buttons. Of course, being more challenging songs, the notes also come extremely quickly. It may not be so bad if its structure were like all other rhythm games. But it was designed to overwhelm, and does so wonderfully.

#4: Tiger! Tiger!

“Xenoblade Chronicles 2” (2017)

Some of the toughest mini-games in existence can be found in JRPGs. And they usually involve a fair amount of grinding if you want all the prizes they have to offer. Inside Tora’s House in “Xenoblade Chronicles 2,” you can play ‘Tiger! Tiger!,’ an undersea platformer with 5 levels. As you descend, you must avoid enemies and the environment in order to safely collect the treasure at the bottom. You must then make it back up with no way to attack. There isn’t a lot of space to move in, so you’ll likely be taking a lot of hits, which affects your score and what loot you get. Unfortunately, it’s the best way to upgrade Poppi, one of the artificial blades.

#3: Goron Dancing

“The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages” (2001)

Although its counterpart, “Oracle of Seasons,” also features a dancing mini-game, “Ages” has the hardest one by a mile. And of the two eras in that game, the Dance Hall of the Past offers the greater challenge. Link must copy the three moves of the Goron (Left, Right, or posing) at the exact right moment. You have to do it once for the story, but every time after that is either due to your own sadomasochism or an extreme desire to 100% the game. Platinum difficulty is a nightmare, requiring perfect rhythm for eight rounds of fairly long sequences. Doing so is the only way to earn the powerful Bomber’s Ring, but there’s still only a chance that will be your reward.

#2: HaKox

“Xenosaga Episode III” (2006)

In “Xenosaga Episode III,” you’ll need a whole lot of patience to make it through HaKox. The puzzler places your characters on paths, and it’s up to you to make sure they reach their goal as they continuously walk on. There are six levels of difficulty, with Master being the hardest. As the levels go on, you’ll have to deal with multiple characters, moving blocks, varying perspectives, traps, and a whole lot more. If too many of your characters die, you may as well restart because you’ll only move on if a certain amount makes it. It’s a huge pain to make it through all of these levels, so props to the players who have done so.

#1: Jump Rope

“Final Fantasy IX” (2000)

To be perfectly honest, “Final Fantasy” has so many hard mini-games, they could make up their own list. The tenth entry’s Blitzball draws the ire of many players. But when it comes to an absurd level of difficulty combined with sanity-testing tedium, there’s no topping a simple game of jump rope. You can easily find two girls playing the game in Alexandria. Players must get the rhythmic jumping exactly right, with rewards earned at intervals of 20, 50, 100, 200, 300, and, quite frankly absurd, 1,000 jumps. Speed increases with each reward and one misstep makes you start all over. It may not be a varied mini-game, but it is undeniably a hard one.
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