10 Times An In

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At some point in every gamer’s life, they’ve come across the dreaded in-game timer. A timer can be an excellent tool to add tension to some of the direst situations possible, but often timers simply serve as a nuisance to players. The inclusion of a timed section in a game otherwise lacking in them is something that can throw even expert gamers for a loop.

While timers are often associated with specific genres of gaming, they do tend to creep into genres in which players may not exactly be accustomed to working with a time limit.Things get even tenser when the in-game timer forces you to make quick decisions that actually have a significant impact on the rest of the game.

10 Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros NES Title Screen

Speedrunners may be able to beat the original Super Mario Bros in only a handful of minutes, but any gamer looking to try the game without a guide is in for a steep challenge. Some of the toughest challenges come from the game’s many castle levels.

The timer for most levels is more than enough for players to reach the goal, but world 7-4 throws unsuspecting players for a loop. The player must navigate a maze of corridors in order to find the right path forward. Trying to do this multiple times without taking a death is tough before you factor in the ticking clock.

9 The Legend Of Zelda: Majora's Mask

Young Link Goron Link Deku Link and various protagonists from Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask

In a game that has a constant, anxiety-inducing timer, Majora's Mask creates a unique challenge with its three-day system. The entire game has had many players pulling their hair out over the tight time limit they have to accomplish various tasks.

Whether players attempt to finish side quests or one of the game’s main dungeons, they’ll always have one eye on the clock. Should a player run out of time, the moon will crash into Termina. There are few things worse than making it near the end of the dungeon, only to run out of time and have to redo the entire thing.

8 Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 Salvador Bullymongs

Borderlands 2 has some of the best side missions available in any game, but it also has some of the most frustrating when it comes to the game’s timed missions. The sprawling maps and powerful enemies can make racing against any kind of timer a difficult task, especially if you’re playing solo.

The mission, “Arms Deal” in particular has been a thorn in the side of many gamers for the tight time limit and sheer area that must be covered while dealing with enemies.While it feels great to finally complete, the multiple failures thanks to there not being enough time is sure to discourage some players.

7 Driver

Driver PS1 Cover Art

An example of a horrible timer that’s been complained about in every corner of the internet, Driver’s tutorial section makes the game one of the most difficult to start. Many gamers have argued as to whether or not the issue is the short amount of time on the clock, adjusting to the controls of the game, or a mixture of both.

While few games have had tutorials even remotely similar, it seems to be a sure thing that developers know that timed tutorials aren’t a good idea. The long list of maneuvers may not seem intimidating at first, but that’s what most players think before they spend an hour attempting a tutorial.

6 Superman 64

Superman 64 Video Game

It’s likely that when most people think of Superman, one of the last things that comes to mind is flying through a bunch of hoops. Superman 64 is one of the most difficult and frustrating superhero games ever made and a large part of that is due to the strict flying levels.

Players are tasked with flying through a course filled with rings, but you are only allowed to miss a few before you get an instant fail. The short time limit causes players to rush, which then causes them to miss rings, creating a sickening cycle in the minds of many gamers.

5 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

vice city protagonists walking

The Grand Theft Auto series has become known for its tough missions, and things only get harder when players have a time limit. The series seems to struggle with crafting top-of-the-line flight missions, and Demolition Man is an example of that.

With a seven-minute time limit, things may not seem so bad at first, but things get bad in a hurry. Players must fly a small RC-helicopter around to plant bombs as various enemies attempt to hinder your progress. Even players who know what they’re doing tend to just barely have enough time to complete the mission.

4 Final Fantasy 6

Final Fantasy 6 Kefka Fight

The final battle against Kefka from Final Fantasy 6

When an RPG asks the player to complete an important task within a tight time limit, gamers who have forgotten to save will be sweating. In Final Fantasy 6, the player will eventually come across an enormous fire in the town of Tzen. This is the game’s way of adding Sabin back to your party, but it’s not easy.

Unprepared players may have a tough time rushing through the burning building to save a young boy in the time limit. The worst part is that the timer will continue counting down while the player is inside of encounters.

3 Dead Rising 2

Dead Rising 2 screenshot

The Dead Rising series did an excellent job of bringing lots of new flair to a genre that often feels oversaturated. While the game’s zombies aren’t exactly the most imposing force in existence, the fact that the entire game is centered around timed missions certainly makes the idea of getting grabbed or slowed down a scary one.

Everything from side quests to the main story all ties back into an in-game timer. Should you fail to meet time requirements, the player is likely to miss out on experiencing boss fights, unique survivors, fun quests, and even wind up getting a game over.

2 Simpsons Road Rage

Homer giving Barney a lift in Simpsons Road Rage

In a game that amounts to a Crazy Taxi clone, Simpsons Road Rage is all about getting from point A to point B within the tight time limits on offer. While there are other cars on the road to avoid, the real struggle will come from racing across Springfield.

The player chooses their favorite character and must take various recognizable characters to wherever it is they want. Sometimes, players may luck out and get a location just a street over, while sometimes they’ll have to spend a whole minute out of their minute and five seconds left on the clock to deliver a citizen.

1 Final Fantasy 7

Emerald Weapon timed super-boss fight

The Final Fantasy series is home to plenty of secret boss fights, and one of the most iconic can also feature a serious time limit. The various Weapon fights from Final Fantasy 7 are some of the hardest fights that the game has to offer.

In particular, the Emerald Weapon which must be fought underwater has a twenty-minute time limit. Players can find a way to mitigate the timer, but without the help of a guide, that isn’t the simplest thing in the world. A boss with a neverending health bar and a ticking timer is sure to create plenty of anxiety for gamers who take on the challenge.

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