You can look at video game achievements from a few different angles. On one hand, it’s great to have something to show for pulling off remarkable feats in a game. On the other, some achievements are so difficult to attain that you have to grind for hours just for a meaningless accolade.
Different games take different stances on trophies and achievements. Telltale’s story-driven adventure games tend to give out all of their rewards just for completing chapters of the games: Play to the end, and you’ll get them all. Other games aren’t so generous, making players strain and reach for every one, or in some worst case scenarios just endlessly waste time doing what amounts to a chore simple for the achievement that says you did it.
Those are the ones we look at below. Here are some of the trophies and achievements that are ridiculously difficult to earn.
1. Metal Gear Solid 4 – Platinum Trophy
Are you ready for an uphill battle? To get the platinum trophy in Metal Gear Solid 4, you have to play through the game no fewer than eight times. You have to pull off all kinds of crazy feats, including obtaining the Big Boss Emblem. How do you get that? Oh, just play through the game on the hardest difficulty, without dying, without alerting any guards, without killing anyone, and without using any health recovery items. All that, and you have to do it in less than five hours. Good luck.
2. Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter – World Champion
Games don’t tend to have achievements like “World Champion” anymore, and for a very good reason: They’re impossible for the vast majority of players to earn. To get the “World Champion” achievement, all you have to do is climb to the No. 1 slot on the universal leaderboard — meaning you have to be better at the game than anyone else in the world. I mean, come on.
3. Rock Band 2 – The Bladder of Steel Award
One of the more absurd and downright player-hostile achievements in gaming is Rock Band 2‘s “The Bladder of Steel Award,” a reward that unlocks when you complete the Endless Setlist 2 without pausing or failing a song. That might sound reasonable until you learn that Endless Setlist 2 lasts for six and a half hours. Bladder of steel indeed. Afterward you might want a game to play on the toilet and take your mind off things.
4. Dead Rising – 7 Day Survivor
If you think the “Bladder of Steel” achievement sounds imposing, check out this one. “7 Day Survivor” has a similar premise, except that you have to play for 14 hours. Making matters worse, you have to play in Infinity Mode, which means your health drains gradually and you have to eat food to replenish it. But food doesn’t respawn, so for the entire 14 hours you have to keep killing enemies and hoping they drop food. By the way, saving is forbidden.
5. Halo: The Master Chief Collection – LASO Master
The description of this one belies the absurd amount of challenge it takes to complete it. It reads, “Complete the LASO playlist for every Halo game.” What that actually means is that you have to complete all four Halo games on Legendary Difficulty — which is an incredible feat in its own right — with all of the skulls enabled, each of which makes the game harder in its own special way. If you’re planning to attempt this achievement, prepare for the grind of your life.
6. Demon’s Souls – Soldier’s Trophy
To snag the Soldier’s Trophy in Demon’s Souls, you must collect all of the unique weapons and shields in the game. The only problem is that many of them can only be crafted once you’ve obtained several other weapons and leveled them up to their highest potential — something that takes a great deal of time and requires all kinds of resources. Hope you like grinding in one of the toughest games ever devised.
7. Mortal Kombat – My Kung Fu Is Stronger
To earn this achievement, the description says you need to “gain mastery of all fighters.” That sounds somewhat imposing, but not nearly imposing enough to signal what’s actually required. To get this one, you have to do the following with each of the 27 “Kombatants”:
- Get 100 victories
- Perform 100 -alities
- Land 150 X-Rays
- Spill 10,000 pints of blood
- Play as the character for 24 hours
Sure, you can cheat your way to victory by using a dummy opponent and by leaving your console on overnight during a match, but it’s still a heck of a time investment.
8. Gears of War 3 – Seriously 3.0
The “Seriously” achievements in all of the Gears of War games are notoriously tough to earn, but this one might be the toughest. Earning it requires you to reach level 100 and collect every Onyx medal. You don’t really have to worry about leveling up because earning the Onyx medals will get you to 100 no problem.
The Onyx medals are a major pain to get, though. There are 65 of them, and they require you to do a laundry list of repetitive tasks. One requires you to execute 100 opponents who have killed you five times in a row without you killing them in between. Another requires you to participate in 30 Gears Events, while another asks you to be the last person on your team to die 3,000 times. The list goes on and on, and most of them are enormous time sucks.
9. Limbo – No Point in Dying
The creepy platformer Limbo is basically designed around death. It throws all kinds of incredibly unfair challenges at you so you can learn where they are and avoid them next time. The “No Point in Dying” achievement only unlocks if you can complete the game in one sitting, without dying more than five times. What that means is you have to practice playing through every section of the game until you memorize what’s going to kill you and when. Then you have to use that knowledge to pull off a near-perfect play-through. Good luck.
10. Goat Simulator – The Flapmaster
Remember that insanely frustrating mobile game Flappy Bird? It was big around the time Goat Simulator came out, so the developers decided to include a playable spoof of the game inside Goat Simulator. To play it, you just trot up to an in-game arcade cabinet and give it a try. The thing is, the game-within-a-game is even harder than Flappy Bird itself because the physics and hit detection aren’t as forgiving. To earn “The Flapmaster” achievement, you have to score 10 points in the game. That might not sound too tough, but just give it a shot. Chances are, you’ll be tearing your hair out before long.