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What Is the Hardest Kingdom Hearts Game?

Despite their look, some of the Kingdom Hearts games can offer a serious challenge at times. So, out of the whole catalog, which Kingdom Hearts game could be considered the hardest?

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When discussing the difficulty of Kingdom Hearts games, it’s important to note that each subsequent installment offered players increasing utility and options to tackle challenges. Despite maintaining a level of difficulty, the added tools and mechanics made later games more manageable.

However, if we’re talking about the games on standard difficulty, the original Kingdom Hearts stands out as the hardest in the series. The difficulty spike in Kingdom Hearts is particularly noticeable in the late game, starting at the infamous Riku fight in Hollow Bastion. This battle is notorious for its challenge, pushing many players to their limits.

I can’t count the number of times I had to continue at this point. Each time having to endure the entire cutscene again before attempting the fight once more. The frustration of facing Riku, with his aggressive combat style and powerful attacks, sets the stage for the last act of the game.

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In Kingdom Hearts, the limited mechanics and fewer options for recovery or countering enemies contribute to its difficulty. The combat system is straightforward, with basic combos and limited magic spells compared to later titles. This simplicity, while charming, also means that players have fewer strategies to rely on during tough battles. The game demands precise timing, careful resource management, and a good understanding of enemy patterns.

While no Kingdom Hearts game is particularly difficult overall, the original game’s age and limited mechanics make it stand out as the most challenging. The lack of advanced mechanics that future games introduced, such as Reaction Commands in Kingdom Hearts II or Flowmotion in Dream Drop Distance, means players must rely more heavily on their fundamental skills.

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Hardest Kingdom Hearts Boss In the Entire Series

However, it’s essential to note that this excludes bonus bosses. In terms of sheer difficulty, the title of the hardest boss goes to the Lingering Will in Kingdom Hearts II. This optional boss fight presents an extreme challenge, testing the player’s mastery of the game’s mechanics and pushing them to their limits.

While later Kingdom Hearts games provided players with more tools and options to overcome challenges, the original Kingdom Hearts remains the hardest game in the series on standard difficulty due to its late-game difficulty spike and limited mechanics. The experience of battling through Hollow Bastion and beyond is a testament to the game’s enduring challenge and appeal.

Kingdom Hearts is now available on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC via the Epic Games Store and Steam.

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Cory Dinkel
Cory Dinkel is a freelance writer for Siliconera since 2023. An award-winning digital journalist, he has worked for local and national news outlets for nearly a decade. His favorite genre is the JRPG and he will not be taking questions during his "There is Not a Love Triangle in Final Fantasy VII" speech.