The 5 Most Difficult Games in the World

Updated October 6, 2023

Playing games can be a great way to pass the time, get to know new people, get reacquainted with old friends, or spend time with family over a weekend.

There are moments when a casual game such as bingo or Go Fish is exactly what you are in the mood to play. Such games are perfect when you want to talk with others and enjoy their company while playing the game as entertainment.

Other occasions call for a greater challenge, which is when the hardest games ever may be the ones you want to play. You may have friends who are as competitive as you can be about games, resulting in a lot of friendly rivalry. Playing harder games can bring out the best in everyone, provided you keep things cordial.

If you are searching for the next exciting game to bring to your game night with friends or family, or you want to master a tough game by yourself, we have put together a list you may appreciate. Below is our ranking of the five most difficult games in the world.

Difficult Games to Play

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1. Go

An abstract board game that dates back to the Zhou dynasty in China, Go is more than 2,500 years old. Despite being such a classical game, Go is still very difficult for someone to learn and master.

There was a time when Chinese scholars were expected to master Go if they were to be considered elite thinkers in society. Nowadays, the game is all about having fun and engaging in friendly rivalries with friends and family.

The beauty of Go is that with a table and pieces in black and white, you do not need very much to get started. The game may have a similar appearance to checkers if you have never played before, but it is very different in its strategy and gameplay.

2. Magic: The Gathering

If you ever get a chance to meet someone excited about Magic: The Gathering, ask them to explain the basics of the game. Such fans of the card game series could easily spend hours explaining the various aspects of playing a round of Magic with friends or participating in a local tournament.

A unique game in that it involves fantasy and cards, Magic: The Gathering is a game where you use wizards with special abilities to do battle against your enemies. Each card may have a different wizard on it, allowing you to make specific moves in response to what your opponent is doing.

You cannot play this game without having spent hours learning about its various intricacies and characters. For instance, someone may enact a spell against you that only one of your cards can counter, but unless you know what card to play, you will lose that particular round.

Magic The Gathering

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3. Chess

Even though many kids learn to play chess in elementary or middle school, the game is extremely difficult to master at a higher level. Chess is one of those games that anyone can play at a basic level, but to be considered a true chess player, you may have to spend hours playing against real or AI opponents.

One of the advantages of learning chess over the other games on this list is that you do not necessarily need to join a club or have your friends play against you all the time to get better. You can download an app on your phone, play against the AI, and continuously raise the difficulty level until you are a master at the game.

4. Texas Hold’em

If you visit any popular casino in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, you will find the most crowds near the poker area. People love to play and watch Texas Hold’em because the game is as challenging as it is entertaining and intense.

The concept of poker is simple: you are meant to get the best card combination on the table to win a particular round. Mastering the art of when to call, raise, or fold can take a very long time. Many people can play poker all their lives without feeling as though they are very good at the game.

Texas Hold’em

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5. Bridge

Another card game that you can play at game night with your friends or at a casino, Bridge is one of the most challenging card games in the world. A four-player game that involves a lot of trick-taking. You play bridge by splitting up into two teams of two people.

The goal is to make the most points after all the tricks and rounds are complete. Each hand involves dealing, bidding for the tricks, and then playing the hand and scoring the results.

If you have never played before, you may want to watch a video on the rules and basic strategy before you battle against your friends at game night!

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