As we round out out Top Ten Games for Hardcore Gamers, we come to games that require not only dedication and commitment, but also actually teach you skills that are applicable outside of gaming. If you are so hardcore as to apply yourself to these games you will soon be capable of something that is actually useful.
Richard Burns Rally - 2004, PS2, Xbox, PC, Gizmodo
Codemasters’ Colin McRae Rally series, is widely considered to be the benchmark for rally sports racing games, but a lesser known game from Warthog Games usurped the legendary racer in 2004, Richard Burns Rally.
For business reasons, (and the death of Richard Burns) a sequel was never made for the game, but a fervent fanbase developed mods and the game continues to bring new features, such as an online competition. Known for its dedication to the sport and its high difficulty if you master this game, you’ll be more likely to be able to handle a rental car on a dirt road at high speeds in the middle of Australia… (should that come up).
Sneak King - 2006, Xbox, Xbox 360
Acquiring this game required that you go into a Burger King in 2006 and order some kind of combo meal (I recall buying the meal and specifically asking not for it to be served, only wanting the game). Had the fast food employees had done their homework and actually played Sneak King, they could have put their stealth food delivery services to the test and pleasantly surprised me with a Whopper.
The game puts you in the role of the Burger King, who sneaks around stalking people, looking into their homes, turning up at their workplace (this was before Facebook had taken hold) and basically being a creep. He then waits for when his subject is most tired and springs a fast food delivery on them. How is this hardcore? Well, beyond giving you tangible life skills, the amount of suspension of disbelief required to get through the game is far beyond that which a mere casual gamer could manage.
Microsoft Flight Simulator – 1982 PC
Falcon 4 and other Microprose games advanced flight simulators to new levels, and, often with large instruction manuals, many would-be pilots picked up the minutiae of how to get a plane off the ground and back again in one piece. (Anyone who has played a flight sim knows that the take off and landing is what it is all about).
Microsoft’s Flight Simulator, which first released in 1982, is certainly the most comprehensive of simulators that can get you a long way to understanding how to fly hundreds of different planes, all around the world.
Sadly, after it was discovered that flight simulators had been used by several terrorists as a training tool, Microsoft had to defend the game. They stated that Flight Simulator, “could only help hone the skills of an already trained pilot” rather than be the sole source of preparation.
This is as hardcore of a simulation as you can get, at least no other simulator matches its depth and duration.