Git gud: 30 of the hardest Xbox achievements ever

By Luke Albigés,
Everyone has their own opinions on what achievements can and should be, and that's a big part of what makes this community so interesting. For me — and seemingly quite a few others — achievements are at their best when they serve as a payoff at the end of a particularly challenging task. I fondly remember high-fives being shared and beers being cracked after I beat Through The Fire And Flames for the first time, and more recently, the dopamine hits when I was on the home stretch of the Cyber Shadow completion were just incredible. In the last month or so, we've talked about grindy achievements, we've rolled the dice with luck-based achievements, and even discussed our beloved online achievements... now, it's time to turn our attention to a selection of the very hardest achievements that Xbox has to offer.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Gamescom

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - GOTY EditionSekiroThe Sekiro achievement in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - GOTY Edition worth 236 pointsAll achievements have been unlocked.

Given that we decided to use the Cursed Phrase™ in the article title, it's only proper that we should kick things off with a FromSoftware game, even though this is technically one of the easiest achievements on the list. Gulp. Don't let the numbers fool you on this one, though — while a decent 8% of players on TA might have polished off Sekiro in its entirety, that number drops to just 2% in the wider scheme of things on Xbox, plus you need to consider several other factors. For one, fans of Souls-like games are getting pretty experienced with them by this point, making each feel that much less daunting, while From's games are notorious for their difficulty, meaning there are many people out there who simply won't try them at all. Since most of the mainline Souls game have one particular build or another that busts them wide open, Sekiro felt like the best representative for FromSoftware games, one where skill and timing rule (even if there are still a few cheese strats with certain prosthetics) and one mistake can be lethal. Good luck doing this (or indeed any Souls game) 100% without a guide, too...

Crypt of the NecroDancer

Crypt Of The NecroDancer review screenshot

Crypt of the NecroDancerImpossible, Right?The Impossible, Right? achievement in Crypt of the NecroDancer worth 70 pointsComplete "All Zones Mode" with solo Coda

When we see an achievement that has a 0% unlock rate not just here but on Xbox, period, it's usually safe to assume it's just another of those horrible broken unobtainables. That's unlikely to be the case here, though — there are a handful of unlocks on PlayStation, and the requirements are just that bloody difficult that frankly, it's not that surprising that nobody on Xbox has done this. Coda combines the negative traits of three other characters (Aria, Bolt, and Monk), meaning she can never go over half a heart and dies in a single hit, dies if she collects any gold (and every enemy will drop gold when killed), dies if you miss a single beat, and must move at double speed. Only 5% have tracked players have even beaten All Zones mode with default character Cadence, so you can probably see now why all those extra conditions would hold folks back from being able to complete this "probably impossible" (in the game's own words) challenge. If you want to feel even more inadequate, here's speedrunner SpootyBiscuit smashing a Coda clear in under five minutes while casually chatting to his viewers. Absolute scenes.

Deathsmiles

19/04/14 - Top Five

Deathsmiles (JP)Secret AchievementThe Secret Achievement achievement in Deathsmiles (JP) worth 780 pointsContinue playing to unlock this secret achievement

Deathsmiles is somewhat notorious for its savage The True Tyrant achievement, but the Japanese version of the game actually has a DLC achievement that is even harder than that one. You still have to play pretty much flawlessly — which is going to involve weaving between quite a few bullets — and on the hardest difficulty, but while The True Tyrant allows you to theoretically take the odd death and even use continues after meeting the conditions to challenge secret boss Bloody Jitterbug, this one asks for a max difficulty 1CC (one-credit clear, so beating the game with no continues at all). This is also done on the Mega Black Label V1.1 edition, which introduces a number of changes (including a controllable familiar), and we've heard reports that despite the description, this achievement may actually require not losing a single life. That's certainly true in the later stages (where dying will reset the stage rank from 999 down to 3, voiding the achievement), but if one of the four TA members who have this unlocked happen to be reading this, let us know!

Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition

DMC

Devil May Cry 4 Special EditionHouse Of PainThe House Of Pain achievement in Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition worth 536 pointsClear all Bloody Palace stages with all characters.

There was no way Dante was sitting this list out, but deciding which particular achievement was not an easy task. I had DMC5SE's Worthy of Legend (S rank all missions on all difficulties) for the longest time, but between some overlap with an achievement coming up in a bit and this one requiring even more character knowledge, I pulled off a last-second one-frame cancel. Bloody Palace is 100 floors of increasingly challenging enemy waves, and even just getting through it on one character is impressive (the individual character achievements are all at 5% or below), so doing all five is kinda nuts. As well as needing enough experience with the game to learn both your abilities and those of enemies, you'll also have needed to play enough to unlock and upgrade every useful ability, maxed out health and Devil Trigger gauges, and invested in the Super costumes where possible. Kudos to anyone with the Smokin' Sick Style to pull this off.

Slain: Back from Hell

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Slain: Back from HellHeart Of SteelThe Heart Of Steel achievement in Slain: Back from Hell worth 1018 pointsDefeat the game without losing a single life.

Several years ago, there was a sudden influx of ultra-challenging 2D action games cut from the same cloth as the original NES Ninja Gaiden titles and earlier Castlevania games, but few were quite so challenging as Slain. It's telling that of the game's 30 achievements, two of the four most common unlocks relate to dying a certain amount of times, with the majority of the rest of the list below 5%. While others were taking that retro style and challenge then reworking it for a modern era, Slain opted for a more warts-and-all approach, which can make it feel pretty clunky if you're not used to the classics that inspired it. Needless to say, then, that a deathless clear of such a gruelling game was always going to be a bit of a steep request, and only 66 players here on TA have managed a flawless run.

Asteroids & Deluxe

Asteroids

Asteroids & DeluxePlatinumThe Platinum achievement in Asteroids & Deluxe worth 344 pointsScore 250,000 pointsAsteroids DeLuxe - Normal difficulty

You'll be seeing a few retro games on this list, and with good reason. Most of the coin-op classics weren't designed to be fair or balanced — they were designed to gobble up quarters in arcades, and that level of arbitrary difficulty can prove almost (or, in some cases, entirely) insurmountable. Our first nasty blast from the past is Asteroids, and when the titular space rocks in the Deluxe variant award a maximum of 100 points each upon destruction, racking up a quarter of a million points was always going to be far beyond the limits of most players' skill and patience, even with bonus points up for grabs from other sources. Judging by the Twin Galaxies leaderboard for the coin-op version, achieving a score of over 250,000 would technically place you in the top five Asteroids Deluxe players in the world, and while TG might have taken a bit of a credibility hit in recent years, this still serves as an excellent benchmark for just how demanding this achievement is.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater Remaster

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2Got ThereThe Got There achievement in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 worth 588 pointsComplete all "Hard" Get-Theres.

Precision and control are the order of the day here, and while a chimp with a controller would eventually be able to load into the right custom level and pop the score-based achievements in THPS 1+2, ain't no ape unlocking this one. The hard versions of the Get There challenges require you to hit extremely specific lines, and your manual and/or grind balance gauges will usually be twitching like mad long before you reach the finish line. Each will likely take dozens of attempts to learn and eventually perfect, and the hardest ones are almost guaranteed to rob you of hours at a time — some of these things are savage. There's one on each level, so just 19 in total, although I'm pretty sure the word 'just' there will cause an involuntary eyeball twitch in anyone who has endured this ordeal. The Bullring one alone is probably enough to make you hate video games for the rest of your life...

Cloudberry Kingdom

19/04/14 - Top Five

CloudBerry KingdomShenanigans!The Shenanigans! achievement in CloudBerry Kingdom worth 497 pointsComplete Chapter 7

There are few more universal concepts in gaming than that of the 2D platformer, but easy to understand and easy to beat are two very different things. Lots of indie platform games skew towards the harder end of the spectrum, often inspired by the popularity of stuff like the Kaizo Mario ROM hacks that have been massively boosting the difficulty of the Nintendo classics for years. Cloudberry Kingdom might have plenty of levels, but they feel almost soulless compared to the genre's fiercest and finest, lacking that satisfying flow and feeling of having been designed by experts, for experts — often, it just feels like more obstacles have been chucked haphazardly onto the screen with each new stage. By the time you reach the last few levels, things kinda get out of hand. You can barely see the screen for things that will kill you, the stages themselves are way longer, and even the guide orb you've been relying on up to this point can't be bothered to finish these revolting levels, leaving you to muddle through on your own. Only a dozen TA folks have put up with Cloudberry Kingdom's nonsense enough to earn this.

DJ Hero

hardest xbox achievements

DJ HeroTurntable PerfectionThe Turntable Perfection achievement in DJ Hero worth 1111 pointsEarn 5 stars in every mix on expert difficulty.

Rhythm action games naturally demand a lot of skill, and learning an entirely new peripheral adds a whole extra layer of challenge on top of that. While not the first game to feature a turntable controller (Beatmania represent), DJ Hero's decks still had their own unique quirks to learn — scratches, taps, crossfades, effects, and more all need to be mastered if you want to five-star these amazing mixes, and the trickiest ones require you to be the real deal on the wheels of steel. At higher difficulties, scratch patterns go from being completely freestyle to being precise directional flicks and stutters, coming thick and fast and often coupled with taps and/or fader work to really ramp up the challenge. While most of the incredible soundtrack has a solid backbeat to help guide you, The Scratch Perverts' Beats and Pieces near the end of the setlist instead tosses you a set of increasingly fast scratch and sample passages, upping the tempo just as you start to find your flow. The bitty nature of the track makes learning the patterns that much more taxing than usual, and even if you managed to spin your way to five stars on most songs in the game, chances are it'd be this terrifying track and/or Groundhog gatekeeping this achievement.

Virtua Tennis 3

19/04/14 - Top Five

Virtua Tennis 3Gold in all AcademyThe Gold in all Academy achievement in Virtua Tennis 3 worth 657 pointsClear all the academy mission with gold medals

Despite seeming simple at surface level, Sega's arcade tennis series has always had a surprisingly high skill ceiling, and this achievement basically asks you to get up on tiptoes and try to touch it. The Tennis Academy sets you up with training matches with specific targets that must be met three times within three minutes, whether that be winning points with a particular type of shots, pulling off extended rallies, or — in the case of the one that tripped most people up — pulling off three back-to-back smashes three times. The issue with these kinds of requirements is that they depend entirely what your opponent does. After all, if they don't pop the ball up for you, you can't exactly smash it back at them, can you? While this could feel like a matter of luck, levelling up your player and learning how to control the court gave you a slight edge, and persistence and patience proved to be the key factors. Out of almost 26,000 players on TA, only 55 have fully graduated from this arduous academy.

The War of the Worlds

hardest xbox achievements

The War of the WorldsI Am Arthur ClarkThe I Am Arthur Clark achievement in The War of the Worlds worth 725 pointsComplete the game in one sitting without dying

Here's another example of an achievement that many assumed must be bugged for the longest time, as the first pop didn't come until over a year after release. Deathless achievements are one of the most disliked types out there, and it turns out they're even worse when the game they appear in controls so horribly that staying alive can sometimes seem more luck than judgement. Only two tracked players (from an admittedly small player base of less than 500) had the patience to see this slog through, and even though there's a ridiculously detailed walkthrough on the site, the chances of anyone coming for this are a million to one — we haven't seen a legit unlock in over seven years, and the mediocre adventure has been delisted for even longer than that.

Battle Fantasia

hardest xbox achievements

Battle FantasiaPerfect HeroThe Perfect Hero achievement in Battle Fantasia worth 673 pointsCan you survive the Apocalypse Flame?

Fighting games are often seen as an almost impenetrable genre for newcomers, loaded as they often are with complicated inputs, baffling terminology, and precise mechanics. Since the advent of achievements, that been just another thing for rookies to worry about — achievements like Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3's Master of Tasks for nailing more or less every character-specific exhibition combo are understandably daunting, and this one here is just as bad in its own way. The achievement description sells this one a little short, as does the actual requirement. The task is to beat the final boss of this fantasy fighter without taking damage on the hardest difficulty, but what that doesn't tell you is that to do so, you'll need to parry everything End of Deathbringer throws at you, including a screen-filling 22-hit super move. Admittedly the parry timing here is a lot more lenient than in, say, Street Fighter III: Third Strike, but this one will still take a lot of practice and a lot of attempts, as a single dropped parry means it's all over.

Tempest

hardest xbox achievements

TempestTurmoilThe Turmoil achievement in Tempest worth 25 pointsReach the random wavesEvolved game - Normal difficulty

Considering it's been almost 14 years now and we've not seen a single legitimate unlock, it's starting to look like this one might transcend simply being difficult and actually be impossible. It's a pretty rough port of the early Eighties Atari arcade game by all accounts, and while the best coin-op players are able to comfortably reach level 99, nobody has even managed to come close in the Evolved version on Xbox 360. Even if they could, the final checkpoint comes at level 81, meaning you'd still need to ace 16 levels from that point to reach the random waves which start at 97. The Evolved version is just an unreadable mess once things start to get hectic, so this one will most likely never be unlocked properly. Real talk, though: Tempest has always been absolute garbage anyway, so nothing new here.

XCOM 2

The Lost in XCOM 2

XCOM 2ValhallaThe Valhalla achievement in XCOM 2 worth 449 pointsBeat the game on Commander+ difficulty in Ironman mode

Strategy games like XCOM can be punishing enough just to play through normally, so slapping extra conditions on a run to make it even more brutal is nothing short of masochism. Commander difficulty gives enemies extra health and better sight lines while making your new recruits a little weaker, plus your hit chance with attacks is reduced (which is the last thing you want to hear when even 95% feels closer to 50% at the best of times). On top of that, you'll be dealing with Ironman mode, meaning you only have a single auto-save to work with, so can't save-scum your way back to a couple of missions before everything went south. You can still save-scum individual turns, and you'll probably need/want to if and when your best troops get murdered out of the blue, but even with that slightly cheesy advantage, this will still take expert knowledge of the game, solid resource and time management, and just enough luck to be hitting as many of your shots as possible while enemies whiff theirs. Just over 1% of the TA player base has managed this, but we wonder how many fell back on the infinite turns glitch to help them get it done...

Spelunky

hardest xbox achievements

SpelunkyLow ScorerThe Low Scorer achievement in Spelunky worth 114 pointsComplete the game without collecting any treasure. No shortcuts.

Spelunky is ridiculously hard, to the point that it can even seem unfair at times. It's not, of course, although the procedurally generated levels can certainly feel that way when a cheekily hidden dart trap blasts you into an enemy which in turn bounces you into a spike pit, taking you from full health to dead in one fell swoop. Just reaching the end of this indie favourite is something to brag about, and doing so without picking up a single piece of treasure is not something most would be foolhardy enough to attempt. Not being able to use the shop at all (well, unless you fancy making an enemy of the shopkeeper and his shotgun) means you'll be going into the later stages undergeared unless you stumble across a few lucky finds in crates, and it's all too easy to pick up a little bit of gold without knowing or meaning to, so you really need to tread carefully. And be clued up enough to get through Spelunky. Broke. This one's for veteran spelunkers only.

Outlast 2

outlast 2 review

Outlast 2MessiahThe Messiah achievement in Outlast 2 worth 1413 pointsFinish the game in Insane Mode without reloading the camera battery

Horror fans will probably recognise this one, as a version of it has appeared in both Outlast games now. Insane mode is hard enough on its own, as the toughest difficulty with no saving allowed at any point, so you have to go from start to finish in one clean run. Messiah demands even more, however, and like Energiser before it, asks you to beat Insane mode without ever recharging your camera battery. That will require expert energy rationing, knowing precisely when you need to use the light and when you can feel your way around or learn to get through safer sections in the dark. Just over 200 TA users have pulled this off, with several of them being kind enough to then share their knowledge in some great guides, so be sure to give those a look if running around in the dark is your idea of a good time.

Super Meat Boy

hardest xbox achievements

Super Meat BoySecret AchievementThe Secret Achievement achievement in Super Meat Boy worth 42 pointsContinue playing to unlock this secret achievement

Okay, so this probably isn't even the hardest achievement in Super Meat Boy considering I'm A Golden God requires you to do all of the gruelling Dark World levels and grab all the bandages while you're at it. Still, this one is undeniably iconic, and the sheer difficulty spike for when it appears in the game means that it's one many people will never forget, whether they managed to beat these tricky secret levels or not. The fiddly stages are designed to encourage, nay demand, using The Kid's novel double-jump mechanic to cheat death or make emergency U-turns in the spike-lined passages, and getting your head around how The Kid handles is just the first challenge. You've then got to apply that skill to three different level styles, although the first is arguably the most challenging — the other two are more about dealing with cycles, via minor movements in the first and quick well-timed dodges in the second. Unlike other bonus stages, character ones offer infinite attempts, which probably explains why an impressive 6% of TA players have managed to tame these tricky trials.

DoDonPachi Resurrection

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DoDonPachi Resurrection (EU)Secret AchievementThe Secret Achievement achievement in DoDonPachi Resurrection (EU) worth 1359 pointsContinue playing to unlock this secret achievement

Sure, we've already seen one bullet hell shmup on here, but seeing as how every Cave shooter has achievements that barely anyone has been able to pull off, is it really so surprising for another to show up? DoDonPachi is arguably a little more 'traditional' (for want of a better word) than Deathsmiles, although you're still going to see entire screens exploding with colour, most of which will probably kill you. This is another Black Label DLC achievement, again with crazy conditions to face a super boss — zero deaths, perfect boss kills, minimal bomb usage, collecting a bunch of bees (obviously), and reaching the second loop. It's basically all of the requirements for the base game's Humanity's Triumph (which only 16 people here have unlocked) with a bunch of extra stipulations layered on top, so it's plain to see why that number drops to just six with this achievement. Anyone with a legit Cave shmup completion on their tag is an absolute maniac, and we love them for it.

Robotron: 2084

hardest xbox achievements

Robotron: 2084Wave 100The Wave 100 achievement in Robotron: 2084 worth 1084 pointsMake your way to wave 100 using default settings

While Midway's arcade classic was something of a revelation back in its day, the waves of more refined twin-stick shooters that have come in the four decades since it first dropped mean it's really starting to show its age. A product of its time in terms of its punishing difficulty, few these days would have the mental stamina to even make it as far as Wave 10, let alone ten times as far. An important game, for sure, but just not a pleasant one to play today — it's all garish colours and grating overlapping sounds, a far cry from the aesthetic delights of more recent descendants like Geometry Wars. As with the other ruthless retro games on this list, unlocking this to become TA's 34th Robotron master would be an exercise in dedication and while a run can reach Wave 100 in under an hour, it'll take you hundreds of hours of trying and failing to get to that point.

FaceBreaker

hardest xbox achievements

FaceBreakerMad Skillz Yo!The Mad Skillz Yo! achievement in FaceBreaker worth 136 pointsComplete Brawl for it All on Impossible difficulty with any character

What is it about EA boxing games that makes them attracted to these lists like moths to a flame? Noticing that Midway's hugely popular Ready 2 Rumble series had been dormant for the best part of a decade, EA smelled money and made a play for the oddly lucrative comedy boxing market. It did not go very well. FaceBreaker is ugly, unwieldy, and ultimately devoid of the sheer fun that made the Midway games of old such a blast. AI opponents fight dirty at the best of times — you see it in a lot of lesser fighting games, where a CPU opponent will literally just decide that they are going to win — so beating all of them consecutively on Impossible difficulty was never going to be a simple task. To this day, just 86 people have lifted the title belt (thank goodness EA had the foresight to supply more than one this time...) and with servers dormant and the game long since knocked out of the store, that number is never going to get much bigger.

Dustforce

hardest xbox achievements

DustforceMaster of the Custodial ArtsThe Master of the Custodial Arts achievement in Dustforce worth 598 pointsScore double-S in all original single player levels

Hold up, what's so hard about cleaning? Well, according to Capcom, doing a good job of sweeping up should require pinpoint movement almost beyond what is possible with a controller, so little wonder this achievement for mastering the art has a remarkable 0.06% unlock rate on Xbox. The TA hardcore fare much better at 2.86%, but bear in mind that's still only 11 dedicated parkour sweepers from a small player count of under 400. This one is another case of 'practice makes perfect,' as you'll need to replay stages over and over to get your route down and nail some of the trickier techniques. It's a fun game to play casually, though going for the completion will basically require you to take on a full-time role as a digital janitor for a good while. Maybe you're into that kinda thing, though?

Metal Slug 3

hardest xbox achievements

Metal Slug 3Final Mission MasterThe Final Mission Master achievement in Metal Slug 3 worth 505 pointsComplete Final Mission without any miss.

I always find it amusing that the Neo-Geo Arcade Archives titles are almost all quick and (relatively) easy completions, considering the arcade firm's roots in making games designed to devour credits by the dozen. Chief among those — especially now that devious arcade owners can't fiddle with DIP switches to make fighting game bosses practically impossible — would be the Metal Slug games, which feature some of the best pixel art animation in gaming, almost as an intentional distraction to get you killed more often. These are some super tough games, and the 2-3-hour Metal Slug 3 completion estimate on the site is honestly laughable. Beating the game without continuing is likely way beyond most players' abilities to ever do, let alone within a couple of hours, as is this one for beating the chaotic final stage without losing a single life.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Halo MCC

Halo: The Master Chief CollectionLASO MasterThe LASO Master achievement in Halo: The Master Chief Collection worth 485 pointsComplete each individual game-specific LASO playlist for every Halo game.

This one should need no introduction but for the benefit of anyone who isn't up to speed with the adventures of Mr Halo, LASO stands for 'Legendary All Skulls On' — the hardest difficulty mode, with all additional modifiers activated, basically. What those actually do varies somewhat from game to game but typically, you'll be dealing with stronger, more aggressive enemies, no HUD, less ammo, reduced/no checkpoints, and a whole lot of other stipulations to make this A Very Bad Time Indeed. We say that, but Halo has long been a game at its best when it's most challenging (which is why many see Legendary as the best way to play Halo), although this daunting task might be a step too far for some less ambitious Spartans. Hell, the Reach LASO achievement is even called "Why Do This To Yourself?", although it's worth noting that only the first four numbered games' LASO runs are needed for this. Only. Predictably, this is the rarest out of all 700 achievements in The Master Chief Collection by some margin, with only the individual LASO ones and a handful of multiplayer achievements even coming close.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Screen images for TA Review

Metal Gear Rising: RevengeanceStormbringerThe Stormbringer achievement in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance worth 423 pointsComplete story mode on Revengeance difficulty with all S rankings.

Oh look, Luke's talking about Revengeance again, that's weird. Hey, it's not my fault this game is so damn good, and it just so happens to have a bloody hard achievement, too. Quite a few, actually, but this 1% apex challenge is the big one, so we'll focus on that. Revengeance difficulty doesn't mess around but since you can't take any damage in most fights in the game if you want to S-rank them, the fact that even most rank-and-file grunts can two-tap you probably won't matter too much. You'll want to have blitzed the main game a few times and scored as many upgrades as you can before attempting this, and your parry game is going to need to be on point as well. Once you're confident in your ability to style on the toughest of fools, start running individual chapters on Revengeance difficulty and work your way up to S ranks on each — just be sure to save the final level for last, as this will only unlock after clearing File 7 with an S when all previous levels have also been S-ranked. Try not to get too into the music and get yourself killed, too. That has never happened to me, honest.

Green Day: Rock Band

hardest xbox achievements

Green Day: Rock BandA Very Troubled YoungsterThe A Very Troubled Youngster achievement in Green Day: Rock Band worth 341 pointsComplete all of Tré's Greatest Hits.

As challenging as a lot of rhythm action achievements are, there aren't too many others out there that ask you to mimic an actual professional drummer, so this needed a mention. This one would have you nail 74 increasingly tricky drum solos and if you're not at a level where you can nail pretty much any Rock Band drum part on Expert, that just isn't happening. Many of these will take a lot of practice, so don't be shy about slowing parts down as you get your head around sticking, footwork, and general movement around the kit. You're practically learning to play the drums for real if you go for that achievement, which is kinda cool — thanks purely to Rock Band games, I'm actually almost competent behind a real kit these days, and it's rare that an achievement grind comes with transferable skills like this. It works the other way to a degree, of course, so if you already play drums, there's a nice rare achievement here for you just waiting to be popped.

I Am Bread

I Am Bread

I Am BreadTurophileThe Turophile achievement in I Am Bread worth 1830 pointsA++ all Cheese Hunt levels.

How did a meme game find its way onto this list, you ask? Well, if you make a game that is almost impossible to control by design, chances are that completing any kind of timed obstacle course is going to be a bit of an ordeal. This achievement sits at a minuscule 0.01% on Xbox and only creeps up to 0.21% here on TA, but as with quite a few of these, there's a superb guide should you fancy your chances to join the yeasty elite, which sounds way grosser than it was supposed to. Time is of the essence here — it's actually the only thing that matters towards your grade — so routing and control are everything. It's a challenging task whichever way you slice it, and we raise a toast to the 31 people on here who have rounded up all the cheese in record time.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Wolfenstein II - gameplay reveal

Wolfenstein II: The New ColossusMein lebenThe Mein leben achievement in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus worth 804 pointsBeat the game on "Mein leben" difficulty

Time for another FPS challenge now — we're holding onto Mile High Club as it's basically a speedrun achievement so has a date with a future feature, but this one has it beat in terms of actual difficulty anyway. Mein Leben difficulty isn't unlocked until you beat the game once, although you're going to need a lot more experience than that in order to make it through this. You see, Mein Leben cranks everything to its hardest possible setting, then gives you just one life and no saves. Brutal is not the word. Actually, yes it is. It's precisely the word. Although you can beat The New Colossus in under four hours, this is going to be an incredibly stressful time, and there are some pretty notable choke points where a run can just die. You'll need bucketloads of knowledge and skill to make progress here, and a steely resolve for when you inevitably get booted back to the title screen. Unsurprisingly, it's another 0.01% unlock on Xbox, and even the brave troops of TA can only claw that up to 0.14%.

Persona 4 Arena

hardest xbox achievements

Persona 4: ArenaC'est Magnifique!The C'est Magnifique! achievement in Persona 4: Arena worth 1723 pointsComplete Score Attack Mode with all characters.

This achievement is pretty sneaky, as it's fairly unassuming at surface level — lots of fighting games have unlocks for doing stuff with all characters, so how hard can this one be? Well, 'very hard' would be the answer to that. Score Attack mode sets the difficulty to Hell mode, disables match interruputions (so you can't just hit Start on a second pad when you're about to lose), and puts all 13 opponents in their Unlimited modes, giving them all manner of ludicrous buffs. Factor in the fact that this in an ArcSys fighter so every character handles completely differently (good luck learning the entire cast) and you should be able to see why this is such a rough achievement. There's another savage one on the list too, for completing all 30 challenges with every character, although both were stripped out for the updated rerelease, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax.

Vanquish

hardest xbox achievements

Vanquish (Xbox 360)Secret AchievementThe Secret Achievement achievement in Vanquish (Xbox 360) worth 461 pointsContinue playing to unlock this secret achievement

Platinum brings the pain once again, with a set of combat challenges that have been known to break the strongest of human wills. While there's technically an element of luck to how the various enemies will behave, it's a Platinum game so of course the lion's share of getting this done comes down to basic mastery of the game's systems and a game plan on how best to deal with what Vanquish's challenges throw at you. Once again, we've got a selection of kick-ass guides on the site, but knowledge is only half the battle here — you'll need experience as well, so expect to see these challenges more than a few times. Oh, and Vanquish also has a deathless run achievement, because why wouldn't it?

Trials Fusion

hardest xbox achievements

Trials Fusion (Xbox 360)Is There Anything You Can't Do?The Is There Anything You Can't Do? achievement in Trials Fusion (Xbox 360) worth 479 pointsCompleted every Track Challenge in the first 8 Events

Let's close this out on a high, and with one of the most comprehensive guides I think I have ever seen on TA. Quite a few of these 120 challenges, particularly the earlier ones, are pretty easy, but the ones that come later... phew. Pulling off specific stunt requirement while still earning medals? Completing the hardest course in the game on an invisible bike? Zero-faulting Extreme tracks? Yeah, it's all there, and unless you're an absolute Trials god, you honestly stand no chance, which is why we only have just over 150 dirt bike demons on-site who have managed to tick off all 120 and earn this achievement.

Those are some absolutely crazy achievements right there, so kudos to you if you've managed to score even one of these. Got something to not-so-humble-brag about? Know of any more punishing achievements that should sit among these at the top end of the achievement difficulty scale? As ever, get involved in the comments, sharing your triumphs, suggestions, or whatever else!
Luke Albigés
Written by Luke Albigés
Luke runs the TA news team, contributing where he can primarily with reviews and other long-form features — crafts he has honed across two decades of print and online gaming media experience, having worked with the likes of gamesTM, Eurogamer, Play, Retro Gamer, Edge, and many more. He loves all things Monster Hunter, enjoys a good D&D session, and has played way too much Destiny.