Top 10 Hardest Third Person Shooters Ever

Top 10 Hardest Third Person Shooters Ever
VOICE OVER: Riccardo Tucci WRITTEN BY: Ty Richardson
These tough Third-Person Shooters will definitely test your skills. For this list, we're looking at third-person shooter games that gave us a bit of a hard time whether it was through controls, AI, and/or level design. Our countdown includes “Gears of War” (2007), “Jak II” (2003), “Control” (2019), “Kid Icarus: Uprising” (2012), and more!

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today, we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Hardest Third-Person Shooters! For this list, we're looking at third-person shooter games that gave us a bit of a hard time whether it was through controls, AI, and/or level design. Which game gave you the most trouble? Let us know down in the comments!

#10: “Control” (2019)

When you think of Remedy Entertainment and their previous games like "Alan Wake", you don't really expect them to belt out a game as challenging as "Control". How is "Control" so tough? Well, for starters, you do spend quite a bit of time fighting enemies with only a measly pistol before you get your first power. But the biggest hurdles are the random difficulty spikes scattered across the game. Hordes of enemies will spawn in for what feels like ages, and bosses would either attack with untamed ferocity or bug out and forget how to navigate the area properly. "Control" is by no means a terrible game; just be prepared to run your head into a wall during certain portions of your campaign.

#9: “Metal Arms: Glitch in the System” (2005)

"Metal Arms" was an experience that felt tough but fair overall. However, for the parts that were anything but fair, well, we were tearing our hair out. The thing about "Metal Arms'' is that it loves its big rooms and loading them up with enemies. We're not saying "there should be less". No, the difficulty stems from which enemies it places in said rooms. The average Milbot won't give you many problems, but mix in Titans, Zombie bots, Guards, and maybe a couple of scientists? That's when you better have stocked up on grenades and ammo.

#8: “The Thing” (2002)

"The Thing" is an incredibly unique game. Yes, it plays like most of your other third-person shooters in terms of controls, but it isn't shooting you'll have to worry about. Part of the challenge lies in making sure you don't appear suspicious to your squad members. Taking too long to perform a certain action or mindlessly shooting things can eventually lead to a squad member thinking you're the titular creature and end up gunning you down. Play it smart and consider your comrades if you want to make it out alive.

#7: “Ratchet & Clank” (2002)

Funny thing about "Ratchet" is that just about every game in the franchise is, for the most part, pretty easy. At least, everything from "Going Commando" onwards. So, why are we picking on the original game? Well, it's mainly because of how different it plays compared to the more evolved sequels. You only have four hit points to spare, and there is no strafing to help you in aiming your shots. You pretty much have to spray and pray with most of your weapons. Thankfully, lobbed weapons like grenades do come with a reticle on the ground to show you where your it’ll land before you toss. But yeah - expect many, many awkward fights.

#6: “Kid Icarus: Uprising” (2012)

Now, we might be cheating with this one a bit as "Kid Icarus: Uprising" functions on a completely different level than the other games on this list. Prior to a mission, "Uprising" allows the player to set the difficulty they want and offers greater rewards the higher they go. Needless to say, the game gets insane when you start going above the 6.0 or 7.0 difficulty. At certain points, "Uprising" almost turns into a bullethell game, and if you haven't gotten a grasp on the controls, you best be ready to die. A lot.

#5: “Jak II” (2003)

Sure, some of us would like to see “Jak & Daxter” come back in some way, but after playing “Jak II”, we’d like to tack on an asterisk to that wish. See, when it wants you to play it as a platformer, “Jak II” plays just fine. But when it wants to be a shooter? That’s where it stumbles. Like the first “Jak & Daxter”, aiming can be a real hassle as Jak will aim by his own accord. This can make combat frustrating at times. It doesn’t help that despite giving you more health than the first game, enemies will still shave off two portions of your eight-count health bar. So, you’re basically playing “Jak 1” but with extra seasoning to make the combat grueling.

#4: “Resident Evil 5” (2009)

Oh, boy… “Resident Evil 5” was certainly something else. To be fair, it isn’t a hard game in the same way as some other. The shooting is fine, the enemies are tough but fair, and the puzzles aren’t super complex. When playing co-op, it’s a decent game. When playing solo, though, that’s where the migraines come in. This is mostly because of how stupid the AI is. Sheva will frequently get in the way of your shots and mindlessly run into the enemy hordes. It can make the game so frustrating that you’re better off tackling the whole thing with a friend.

#3: “Risk of Rain 2” (2019)

“Risk of Rain 2” is an interesting case when it comes to the genre of roguelikes. Whereas most roguelikes still follow a linear structure with their difficulty and make things harder the further you get into your run, “Risk of Rain 2” ties its difficulty to a timer. The longer you take to find the exit and finish the boss, the harder the game gets. There is no time to be wandering around aimlessly and farm for XP. You need to get in and get out as soon as possible. Of course, if you absolutely want to make it difficult for yourself, by all means take your time.

#2: “Gears of War” (2007)

The “Gears of War” games overall are some of the most challenging shooters you could play. But good lord, are they incredibly satisfying to play. Of them all, you might struggle with the very first “Gears” as it really pushes you to be accurate with your shots. There are times where it feels like ammo is scarce, and your AI companions fail to do any real damage to enemies. In a sense, the game pretty much forces you to become a one-man army, and it will either make or break you.

#1: “Returnal” (2021)

This is no case of recency bias! “Returnal” is absolutely the hardest third-person shooter we have played and one of the hardest shooters you can play right now. In every room, every combat encounter is just littered with bullets flying from all directions. Spatial awareness is the key to survival here, and one slip-up can bring an end to your run before you realize where you went wrong. And despite all the challenges, all the trials and tribulations it puts you through, “Returnal” will keep you coming back for one more run again and again.