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** All games from ''VideoGame/MarioKart64'' onwards, with the exception of ''VideoGame/MarioKartCuperCircuit'', have four difficulty levels: 50cc, 100cc, 150cc and Mirror Mode (the latter known as Extra Mode in ''64'' itself). The first three are available from the start, while Mirror is unlocked once you win all Gold Cups in 150cc. ''VideoGame/MarioKart8'' received an extra level (200cc) via a post-release update, and can be unlocked at the same time as Mirror.

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** All games from ''VideoGame/MarioKart64'' onwards, with the exception of ''VideoGame/MarioKartCuperCircuit'', ''VideoGame/MarioKartSuperCircuit'', have four difficulty levels: 50cc, 100cc, 150cc and Mirror Mode (the latter known as Extra Mode in ''64'' itself). The first three are available from the start, while Mirror is unlocked once you win all Gold Cups in 150cc. ''VideoGame/MarioKart8'' received an extra level (200cc) via a post-release update, and can be unlocked at the same time as Mirror.


** All games from ''VideoGame/MarioKart64'' onwards have four difficulty levels: 50cc, 100cc, 150cc and Mirror Mode (the latter known as Extra Mode in ''64'' itself). The first three are available from the start, while Mirror is unlocked once you win all Gold Cups in 150cc.

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** All games from ''VideoGame/MarioKart64'' onwards onwards, with the exception of ''VideoGame/MarioKartCuperCircuit'', have four difficulty levels: 50cc, 100cc, 150cc and Mirror Mode (the latter known as Extra Mode in ''64'' itself). The first three are available from the start, while Mirror is unlocked once you win all Gold Cups in 150cc. ''VideoGame/MarioKart8'' received an extra level (200cc) via a post-release update, and can be unlocked at the same time as Mirror.



* ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'' and [[VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes2DesperateStruggle its sequel]] have three difficulty levels: Sweet, Mild and Bitter. In both games, Bitter is accessible upon first completion. The second game also has an extre difficulty level (Special) for the ''Bizarre Jelly 5'' GameWithinAGame, which requires completing Hard Mode without losing a life.

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* ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'' and [[VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes2DesperateStruggle its sequel]] have three difficulty levels: Sweet, Mild and Bitter. In both games, Bitter is accessible upon first completion. The second game also has an extre extra difficulty level (Special) for the ''Bizarre Jelly 5'' GameWithinAGame, which requires completing Hard Mode without losing a life.


* All ''VideoGame/MarioKart'' games from ''[[VideoGame/MarioKart64 64]]'' onwards have four difficulty levels: 50cc, 100cc, 150cc and Mirror Mode. The first three are available from the start, while Mirror is unlocked once you win all Gold Cups in 150cc.

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* ''VideoGame/MarioKart'':
** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioKart'' has two difficulty levels at first (50cc and 100cc). Obtaining Gold Cup in the three standard Cups will unlock Special Cup, and obtaining Gold there will unlock 150cc ([[EasyModeMockery obtaining Gold Cups in 50cc won't unlock anything, not even Special Cup]]).
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All ''VideoGame/MarioKart'' games from ''[[VideoGame/MarioKart64 64]]'' ''VideoGame/MarioKart64'' onwards have four difficulty levels: 50cc, 100cc, 150cc and Mirror Mode.Mode (the latter known as Extra Mode in ''64'' itself). The first three are available from the start, while Mirror is unlocked once you win all Gold Cups in 150cc.



* ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'' and [[VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes2DesperateStruggle its sequel]] have three difficulty levels: Sweet, Mild and Bitter. In both games, Bitter is accessible upon first completion.

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* ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'' and [[VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes2DesperateStruggle its sequel]] have three difficulty levels: Sweet, Mild and Bitter. In both games, Bitter is accessible upon first completion. The second game also has an extre difficulty level (Special) for the ''Bizarre Jelly 5'' GameWithinAGame, which requires completing Hard Mode without losing a life.

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* ''VideoGame/UphillRush'': Each cup has an easy, normal, and hard mode. You start with easy, to unlock normal you must beat easy, and to unlock hard you must beat normal.

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* The [[HarderThanHard Nightmare difficulty]] in ''VideoGame/QuakeI'' is hidden in a secret location in the HubLevel. [[spoiler:The pool you dive into to enter episode 4 (even if you're in the demo, which locks you to episode 1) has a beam under it that you can land on, leading to the Nightmare portal.]]

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* In ''VideoGame/{{maimai}}'', Master difficulty for a song is unlocked by achieving a score of 97% or higher on the Expert chart. Re:Master is unlocked alongside Master if it exists for that song.

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* ''VideoGame/SlayTheSpire'': If you beat the game with a particular CharacterClass you unlock Ascension 1 for just that character. Beat Ascension 1 with that character, you unlock Ascension 2, and so on, up to Ascension 20.

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* Most modern-era ''VideoGame/PhantasyStar'' titles tie difficulty availability to the character's level. The higher your level, the more difficulties you have access to. A few games like ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarZero'' and ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarNova'' tie difficulty unlocks directly to Quest progress, such as requiring you to clear a certain Quest on the hardest available difficulty to unlock the next difficulty for all Quests.

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* VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening: Completing the game on [[HarderThanHard Lunatic Mode]] unlocks Lunatic+, which is similar to Lunatic, but every enemy is randomly given two extra skills, chosen at random from a special pool, these skills are enemy exclusive, and extremely unbalanced, such as one that makes all attacks hit, or regular skills with their activation requirements removed, so they always work.


* ''VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2'': The games have unlockable difficulty settings, which are different between the versions. ''Black 2'' contains Challenge Mode and ''White 2'' contains Easy Mode. These aren't version exclusive, however, as these modes can be sent to other player's games once unlocked.

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* ''VideoGame/PokemonBlack2AndWhite2'': The games have unlockable difficulty settings, settings after beating the game, which are different between the versions. ''Black 2'' contains a Challenge Mode Mode, which raises the level of trainer Pokémon, with the Gym Leaders and Elite Four using held items, having new movesets, and an extra Pokémon on their team. Meanwhile, ''White 2'' contains a Easy Mode. Mode where opponents have their levels lowered. These modes aren't necessarily version exclusive, however, as these modes can but to get the one that your respective title doesn't have, they must be sent from another player with the opposite version who has the mode unlocked on theirs via the "Unova Link" feature. Doing this will also allow the receiving player to other player's games once unlocked.make use of the mode from the start.


* ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'': Completing the game unlocks the hardcore difficulty setting. Beating that in turn unlocks the "insanity" level.

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* ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'': Completing the game unlocks the hardcore Hardcore difficulty setting. Beating that in turn unlocks the "insanity" level.Insanity difficulty.

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* ''VideoGame/TheAngryVideoGameNerdAdventures'': Completing the game on "Old School" difficulty unlocks "Hard as Balls", completing that unlocks "[[OneHitPointWonder Fucking Impossible]]", and completing ''that'' unlocks "[[FinalDeathMode YOLO]]".


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* ''VideoGame/BloodstainedCurseOfTheMoon'': Only Normal difficulty is available from the start, but you unlock the other two depending on how you played the game. If you recruit all 3 party members, you unlock Nightmare mode. If you kill all 3 party members and take their soul powers, you unlock Ultimate mode.

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* ''Franchise/DeadSpace'': All 3 of the games offer a HarderThanHard mode once you've beaten the game.
** ''VideoGame/DeadSpace'' keeps the Impossible difficulty locked until you've beaten the game.
** ''VideoGame/DeadSpace2'' features the Hardcore difficulty where you can only save 3 times.
** ''VideoGame/DeadSpace3'': Unlocks a reworked Hardcore difficulty featuring PermaDeath and two other modes, one of which which disable CoOpMultiplayer and makes the game play more similarly to the previous titles, and one which turns off the MoneySpider effect, forcing the player to craft resources.


* ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'': Beat Normal to unlock Hard, and defeat that to unlock Expert.

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* ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'': Beat Normal to unlock Hard, and defeat that to unlock Expert.Ultimortal difficulty is unlocked after completing Extreme.


Subtrope of UnlockableContent. As mentioned, may lead to FakeLongevity. Related to EarnYourFun, when more skilled gamers find the default difficulty levels too easy for their tastes.

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Subtrope of UnlockableContent. As mentioned, may lead to FakeLongevity. Related to EarnYourFun, when more skilled gamers find the default difficulty levels too easy for their tastes.
tastes. Compare NewGamePlus, in which a subsequent playthrough carries over content earned the first time around; the game may be made more difficult to compensate.

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