Hardest Nintendo Switch Games Published By Sega


  • Sega and Nintendo, once rivals, now offer some of the toughest games on the Switch, challenging players with complex gameplay mechanics.
  • From demon-taming in Shin Megami Tensei to brutal puzzle sequences in Catherine, Sega has created some truly challenging experiences on the Switch.
  • Persona 5 Royal’s long gameplay hours and difficult dungeons make it one of the toughest JRPGs on the system, pushing players to their limits.

Among the earliest adopters of the Nintendo Switch, Sega has been responsible for some of the best games on the platform. It’s ironic considering that Sega and Nintendo spent the entirety of the ’90s at war, but those tumultuous days are long gone, and the two Japanese giants are closer than ever. And in the still-growing roster of Sega-published Switch games, many of them have been the most difficult.


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Through its vast library of established IPs and a few new creations, Sega has been delivering difficult experiences on the Switch since 2017. Whether it’s through the punishing task of demon-taming in the Shin Megami Tensei series or the hair-pulling challenge of Super Monkey Ball, Sega has been no stranger to hard games on the Switch.

6 Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.52/5

meemee from monkey ball rolling on a course

Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania

Super Monkey Ball has a long and storied history with Nintendo, having first graced the GameCube back in 2001. In 2021, Sega published a remastered version of that and several other Super Monkey Ball games. In this outstanding collection of three different games in the series, the amount of content available and how it challenges the player in unique ways is truly stunning.


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In the main stages, precise movement is the key to surviving, as the player guides the adorable monkeys inside transparent spheres. These meticulously designed stages are some of the most stressful things ever put in a video game, requiring patience and perseverance. The mini-games are also an absolute blast, with some truly taxing events like bowling, golf, and racing. It’s an altogether fantastic package, one that is both charming and endlessly difficult.

5 Shin Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.63/5

demi-fiend talking to pixie

Shin Megami Tensei 3

October 12, 2004


Shin Megami Tensei is already a franchise with a long-standing track record of being quite difficult, something that can be traced back to this very game. SMT3 was originally released on the PS2 in 2004 and gained a reputation as being one of the most punishing RPGs of all time. It was a well-placed sentiment, as this brutally difficult game made its way to Switch in 2021.

Set in the aftermath of an apocalyptic event known as Conception, SMT3 is a tremendously challenging and complex RPG that often leaves the player feeling hopeless. Catching the series’ trademark demons can be outrageously difficult, and some of the boss encounters can be trying even for SMT vets.

4 Catherine: Full Body

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 4.02/5

vincent solving a puzzle in catherine


July 26, 2011


When Atlus isn’t tormenting players with catching demons in the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona franchises, they’re putting out some pretty unique experiences. One of the best examples of that is an upgraded version of a 2011 game known as Catherine: Full Body on the Switch. While it included a few bits of new content, the overall package remained firmly intact.

Catherine: Full Body is a dark, complex puzzle game about a man named Vincent trying to maintain a series of relationships. These manifest in the form of highly difficult puzzle sequences, where the player must move blocks around an ascending tower to make it to the top. It is a highly addictive experience, as the quest to clear these towers becomes even more advanced throughout the game.

3 Unicorn Overlord

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 4.10/5

a battle scene from unicorn overlord

Vanillaware has slowly become one of the unsung heroes in the industry, as their partnerships with Atlus and Sega have shown. But one of their absolute best efforts is a spectacular tactical strategy game known as Unicorn Overlord, which launched on the Switch in 2024. As with many games in this genre, the key to everything is managing difficulty spikes and not giving the player whiplash.


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This is something that Unicorn Overlord does exceptionally well, as it utilizes a phenomenal sense of evolving challenge. Unit composition and making smart moves on the grid become paramount to the player’s success, tasking the player with managing several different resources. It’s a wonderful game that can be quite daunting but is worth the effort put into it.

2 Valkyria Chronicles 4

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 4.16/5

a battle scene from vc4

Valkyria Chronicles 4 was Sega’s last effort to save the franchise from obscurity, and while it didn’t quite work out that way, none of that stopped the fourth entry in this SRPG series from being one of the toughest games on the Switch. This tactical, turn-based strategy RPG features an escalating challenge that is right at home with the handheld nature of the Switch, as many of the levels are somewhat long, and the portability is a perfect fit.


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It’s a truly magnificent SRPG, featuring the best level design in the franchise to date and the way it ups the difficulty over time is one of its best features. The initial stages in VC4 offer varying levels of challenge, but it handles the spikes in difficulty in a far better way, as the player is eased into the tougher battles and skirmishes. It’s an excellently designed game that tasks the player with some pretty brutal maps and is one of the best games on the Switch.

1 Persona 5 Royal

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 4.27/5

the phantom thieves confronting kamoshida

Persona 5 Royal

March 31, 2020

Atlus , P-Studio


After Sega acquired Atlus in 2013, they began a partnership that has resulted in some of the industry’s best games. One of the best games that came out not long after the purchase was Persona 5, which was later ported to nearly every platform under the sun, including the Switch. The upgraded version, known as Persona 5 Royal, maintained all of the original game’s brilliant design and one of the key aspects was the difficulty.

Persona 5 Royal is a long game, and over the nearly 100 hours that one can sink into it, this stunning JRPG will challenge the player in a multitude of different ways. The dungeons, known within the game as Palaces, that the party infiltrates are filled to the brim with demons and dangerous bosses. Getting caught by a Shadow will raise the security level, which makes exploration and escaping alive far more difficult. P5R also challenges the player with some very difficult boss battles and some classic trolling from the demons, all key elements in what makes this JRPG one of the toughest games on the system.


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