ByMatt Walz, writer at
Avid comics and video game enthusiast and aspiring creator of wonderful things.
Matt Walz

Self-imposed challenges have been a staple of gaming for quite some time. Many of them are pretty timeless - like the ever-popular speedruns - and people are completing them in games new and old. Here are five of the best gaming challenges ever made. Oh, and an extra little treat at the very end: a brand new challenge for Pokémon fans!

5. The Pacifist Run

Pacifist Runs are pretty simple. The player attempts to complete a full game while harming no enemies, or only enemies that are absolutely necessary. Pacifist runs are popular in games like Super Mario World and The Legend of Zelda.

4. The 3-Heart Challenge (The Legend of Zelda Series)

This challenge is exactly what it sounds like. In order to complete the 3-Heart Challenge, players must complete the game with only the original 3 hearts. Ocarina of Time remains one of the most popular games in the series, and, appropriately, one of the most popular for this particular challenge.

3. The Odd Controller Challenge

Over the years, many games have come packaged with unique controllers, and over those same years, gamers have integrated them into challenges. Peripherals like the Dance Dance Revolution dance pad and the Dreamcast fishing rod were integrated into self-imposed nightmares ever since their introduction.

2. The No-Look/Blindfold Challenge

Another self-explanatory challenge, this one involves players completing games with their back turned or a blindfold over their eyes. Everything from Ocarina to Super Punch-Out to Super Mario Kart have been completed with eyes off the screen.

1. The Nuzlocke Challenge (Pokémon)

Perhaps the most famous gaming challenge ever is the Nuzlocke Challenge. It has a pretty significant set of rules (read all the rules here), but the basic idea is that the player can only catch the first Pokémon they find in each area, and if one faints, it must be permanently boxed or released. For an extra challenge, there's even the Multilocke challenge - where you hook up multiple Nuzlocke games to one controller!

Bonus Round: The Now Loading Pokémon Challenge

This one's simple: all you gotta do is catch and use only blue-colored Pokémon the entire way through, including your starter. "Why is it so important?" you may ask. They're blue, our logo's blue... it's just important, okay? Trust us.

Of course, if you're looking for even more of a challenge, you can find an expanded version here.


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