Games That Play Better When You Try Them On Higher Difficulties

Some titles are wired to be more fun that way.

Story Highlights

  • Certain games out there offer a more fulfilling experience when you turn up their respective difficulties.
  • Cyberpunk 2077, for instance, has an otherwise weak endgame that’s not as satisfying in “easy” mode.
  • Similarly, Alien: Isolation offers a different level of terror if you play it on “Nightmare” difficulty.

If you’re anything like me, you like your video games to offer you a top-tier challenge. Going into them in the lowest possible difficulty setting won’t just cut it for you, leaving you dissatisfied with how the overall experience turns out. But here’s the thing: Some titles out there play better when you turn things up a notch, offering more filling gameplay as opposed to trying them out on medium or easy modes.  

I’ve decided to put together a list of these games, so you don’t have to put the work in yourself. More than others, some titles benefit from fantastic optimization when you’re playing them on high difficulties purposely, so make sure to read until the end to leave here knowledgeably well-equipped. 

Better Toughen Up For These Punishing Titles

Do leave a comment down below if you happen to have a contribution to make to the following list. 

1. Alien: Isolation

best steam deck games
Alien: Isolation Is True Horror | Source: Creative Assembly

When you talk about a horror game that actually lives up to its name, Alien: Isolation comes off as the real deal, no questions asked. This is the living embodiment of a game that will require you to keep an extra pair of pants nearby, and God forbid if you were to turn up the difficulty to “Nightmare,” I wish you all the best in this life and the next. 

But then again, you’re not going to get as much fun out of it if you’re keeping it too easy. Some titles are meant to be played on hard, and this is one of them. 

2. Cyberpunk 2077 

Imagine If Johnny Silverhand Was Only A Marketing Tool For Cyberpunk 2077
Johnny Silverhand in Cyberpunk 2077 Is Keanu Reeves | Source: CDPR 

Cyberpunk 2077 is a game that fully deserves its redemption, following its terrible launch in December 2020 when the shooter failed to deliver on expectations. Now however in 2024, the first-person shooter RPG is one of the best action games in the business, made even better when you kick up the difficulty to “Very Hard.”

And when you’re done with the base game, consider delving into Dogtown thanks to Cyberpunk’s one-and-only expansion Phantom Liberty, another successful CDPR venture with a ton of uniqueness to its name. It’s got a brand-new area for you to explore, more quests, weapons, vehicles—you name it.

3. Resident Evil 7 

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Resident Evil 7 Is Terrifying | Source: Capcom

I have memories of Resident Evil 7, but I can’t say they’re fond. This survival horror manages to capture the essence of a truly terrifying atmosphere — better than any Resident Evil game before — which somehow gets even better and more precise as you move higher up the difficulty level. That way, you start becoming more conscious of your resources, with each fired bullet having to be priorly thought of. 

Here’s hoping that the rumored Resident Evil 9 is able to offer something akin to that. 

4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s Next-Gen Update Is Exceptional | Source: CDPR 

CD Projekt Red made it big with the onset of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, sending shockwaves across the industry for the level of quality it offered with the action RPG at hand. Boasting fantastic visuals, great varied combat, and a bustling open-world setting that’s waiting to be explored, I’m of the opinion that the Witcher 3 is best enjoyed when you play it in Death March mode, which is its highest difficulty. 

That way, you start thinking about the steps that you take in toppling your enemies in combat, instead of just randomly hurtling out different spells or sword attacks. The game becomes so much more fun this way, but, of course, you’re going to have a fairly tough time with progression as well. Here are some useful tips and tricks for surviving The Witcher 3’s Death March. 

5. Doom Eternal 

Doom Eternal
Doom Eternal Is Pure Adrenaline | Source: id Software 

There’s glory in tough times, and Doom Eternal seems to be handing out a lot of it. The first-person shooter is nothing short of an evolution for the FPS genre, made spectacular thanks to its terrific, gore-infused, relentless gameplay, enticing visuals, and the protagonist itself, the legendary Doomslayer. I advise firing this one up in “Nightmare” mode because that’s where Eternal will feel like a genuinely challenging shooter.

6. Ghost of Tsushima 

Ghost Of Tsushima
Ghost Of Tsushima Is a Breathtaking Action-Adventure | Source: Sucker Punch

Finally, we’ve got at our disposal here what is otherwise meant to be a relatively tame action-adventure, with amazing scenic views and a beautifully vibrant open world. However, Ghost of Tsushima’s fantastic combat should be really maximized with a higher difficulty level. Once you play it in “Lethal,” it’s like the whole experience changes, and for the better, of course. 

eXputer rated the PC port of the title 4/5, praising its great narrative, cinematic duels, and great optimization for PC.

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Huzaifa, an Online News Editor at, is a video game industry aficionado with a talent for unearthing the juiciest stories for his beloved readers. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Data Science, he dives deep into the abyss of news, meticulously dissecting every tiny detail to serve his audience. When he's not unravelling breaking news, he becomes a master storyteller, conjuring up captivating tales from the depths of his imagination. With a wealth of experience as a Video Game Journalist, he's penned his mighty words for numerous other video game outlets, leaving no video game unturned and no pixel unexplored! Experience: 4+ Years || Education: Bachelor of Science in Data Science || Previously Worked at VeryAli Gaming & TheNerdMag || Covered 100+ News Articles

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