There are definitely levels in Deadly Shadows that emphasize that “trial and error” style of stealth game design to the point of arguable absurdity. While there’s at least one other stealth game for the Xbox that better represents that style of difficult game design, Deadly Shadows is certainly an appropriately challenging example of this genre.
14. Doom 3
Various Doom 3 mods released over the years, as well as the game’s BFG Edition, have made it easy to forget just what the base Doom 3 experience was actually like. Fortunately (depending on your perspective), the Xbox version of the game is always there to remind you why this game was so controversial and surprisingly challenging.
Doom 3‘s odd blend of FPS action and survival-horror mechanics means that it’s basically a Doom game where you have to consider previously foreign concepts like ammo management (as well as the game’s infamous flashlight, which, in this version, remains unattached to the guns). It’s a generally challenging game that becomes especially brutal at higher difficulty settings.
13. Full Spectrum Warrior
Full Spectrum Warrior is a strange little strategy action game that almost feels like a blend of the earlier Rainbow Six titles and the later XCOM games. It sees you control two squads of troops and coordinate their movements in such a way that allows you to effectively outflank the game’s various enemies.
Full Spectrum Warrior‘s somewhat strange gameplay is certainly part of the reason it’s challenging, but this is another example of that kind of trial and error style gameplay that really forces you to make mistakes in order to find the best path forward. It’s (obviously) not the most difficult Xbox experience, but it does offer a rather unique kind of challenge.
12. Jet Set Radio Future
The Jet Set Radio games dared to be different at a time when most other “extreme sports” titles were trying to be Tony Hawk. They were bold, beautiful, often brilliant, and, for our purposes today, surprisingly difficult.