Best and Worst Boss Fights?

Having just finished Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time for the second time, I was struck by how bad the final boss was. While the game is brilliant and is not really about combat, the final boss is terrible(more on that below).

Anyway, it got me thinking. What are the best boss fights and what are the worst?


Dragon God from Chrono Cross: This battle kicked my butt for a few days of gameplay. He’s awesome, hard, and memorable. This was one of the best games I’ve ever played and he is one of my long lasting memories.

Ganon from Twilight Princess: I know, people usually choose Ocarina of Time for Ganon. I prefer the fight at the end of Twilight Princess. You chase him on your horse and fight him hand to hand. He’s pretty hard, but amazing looking and fun.

Zecht from Final Fantasy X: He’s huge and the music rules. It was so unexpected, hard(if underleveled), and awesome. Granted, the final boss is wimpy, but it doesn’t matter.

El Gigante from Resident Evil 4: Oh, come on! This dude defined huge and scary boss for me. In a game that rocked from beginning to end, this guy was one of the defining moments.

Gilgamesh from Final Fantasy V and XII: He’s hilarious and hard in both games. Also, he has one of the best songs in game history.

The Vizier from Sands of Time: This guy basically hides behind a curtain and has you fight clones of himself. They are all weak and vulnerable to the most basic attacks.

After you defeat his clones, you hit him once and it is game over.

Easiest and Lamest Boss.

Andross from Starfox Adventures: I never beat him. Way too hard, mainly because poor controls made it too hard to avoid getting sucked into his mouth. I felt like I was playing a non-patched version of the game. I hated this fight.


Ikaruga Boss Fight: video

Okami: The end-game sequences are just great at setting up the final confrontation


Knights of the Old Republic II: Way too easy…and…where are my party members!?


Persona 3: Nyx Avatar The last boss in this game is epic and has epic music. It’s also a marathon boss fight. I had the best Persona with some awesome abilities and it still took me at least a half-hour to win the fight. And it was still challenging.

Twilight Princess: Stallord While the last boss fight is pretty cool, I absolutely loved this fight. I thought the item you got in the dungeon was pretty lame until this boss fight happened. Then it RULED. In fact, Twilight Princess had some of the best Zelda bosses in the series.

Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island: Baby Bowser I love the last boss in this game too. The first part is cute and adorable, and the second part is FRIGHTENING AS HELL. Plus, epic music once again.


Final Fantasy 9: Necron Ugh. I hated this boss, mostly because it makes no sense. The last boss of the game…and he just randomly appears at the end and decides he wants to kill you. No reference to him for the entire rest of the game. Just…let’s tack on a random guy at the end to fight you. Bah.

I’m sure I can think of plenty more but I’d have to look at my collection.

One of my fav. boss fights isn’t really a boss fight, but a “last level” sorta thing…

I loved the final level of X-com. The entire final level series was AWESOMELY fun, and the first time I played it, it litterally took me a good 6 hours of intensely going thru the levels piece by piece, and I won with only 3 guys left, and everyone else either lost or insane. DEFINATELY one of my favorite final battles ever for it’s epic feel to it, and how it came down to the wire.

The Halo 2 boss fight suuuuuuuuuuuuuuucked.

There was an old arcade game called Rolling Thunder. I was able to reach the last boss, but could never defeat him. No matter what I did, I could not inflict damage on him. I still wish I could play that game and win it.

Best: the floaty-fire-throwing thingy at the end of the Legend of Zelda 2. I loved it.
Worst: The giant robot in Bionic Commando. By sheerest luck, I managed to defeat it on my second attempt: basically, you fall a long way, and at a certain point during the fall, you have to shoot the robot’s cockpit. If you miss that one shot, game over.


The Boss at the end of Hellgate London was pretty wimpy. Of all of the big bads that I had to beat, I found him to be one of the easiest.

Worst: Far Cry.

A series of 3 ridiculously hard encounters, a last huge room full of snipers and rocket-grunts, and one regular guy with a pistol as the final enemy. That was horrible game design.

Bad: Doom II.

A room with loads of respawning enemys, and you have to ride up an elevator and fire a rocket at the exact right moment at a wall to even hit the boss. That was just lame.

Nice: Star Control II

The Sa-Matra was a nice Boss - first you had to destroy a series of shield generators, and then fly your main ship (modded to giant bomb) into the unprotected station.

Great: Bioshock

Ryan was a great boss, really got me off guard. :wink:

The first Big Daddy was pretty tough, and though there was no real outstanding boss (the last one was good, but not that good), I really enjoyed all of them - they were really characters, not just generic bad guys.

Max Payne had a nice boss - the last encounter was hard, but not too bad, and the ending was pretty satisfying.
Warning Forever is basically just a series of pretty good boss fights. I never made it past #13 or 14 or so.

If you ran out of ammo, it really licked. That NPC with the sniper rifle helps a ton though.

That’s actually what I’m complaining about. The first time I played through, when I got to that fight, I struggled at first, trying to figure out what the game expected of me, occasionally falling off the platforms, all the usual stuff when you’re working on a level. Eventually I settled into the whole jump, whack, beam, zoom, whack again, back off, change level, jump back, whack, etc, wearing down the boss and expecting, sooner or later, to deal him the fatal blow. And then there was the crack of the sniper rifle, and the level faded into the cutscene: the NPC had sniped the boss.

Hey, dammit, I said, I wanted to do that. So I went around again. This time, I’m going to be even more focused, playing riskier, attacking more frequently; I don’t want to have the victory essentially taken away from me. But the result was the same: the NPC sniped the boss after a couple of minutes, and game over.

This on the heels of the incredibly lame “sorry, you don’t get to drive the big spider vehicle, the NPC will do it and you just tag along” level, and the last hour of Halo 2 was just a massive anticlimax.
Okay, forgot to mention a Good:

It’s not a “fight,” because it’s a driving game, but racing against the Eurotrash guy with the eye patch at the end of Midnight Club 2 was the highlight of the whole game. All four of the races are just insane, beautifully designed and lightning paced, ridiculously difficult but not impossibly so. Especially the “four unordered points spread all across Paris” level. Best race in the whole game, totally wide open. All four races occupy that much-coveted degree of difficulty where you quickly get to a point where you’re just barely losing over and over; you can’t quite win, but you don’t really get frustrated either because you know the victory is almost within your grasp, if you could just have one fewer crash or one more slightly cleaner jump landing. Great fun. The game’s a few years old and I still spin it up occasionally just to play these races.

Great: FFVI. It wasn’t hard, but who can deny that awesomeness that is Kefka?

Bad: Pretty much all Tekken or Streefighter final bosses. It’s more of a fault of the genre though.

Great: Dr.Robotnik, especially the end of 2 and Sonic3+Knuckles after collecting all the Chaos Emeralds. Hyper Sonic was just too cool.

Oh, God, Rolling Thunder was frakking impossible.

You got to the final boss? Then you, my dear friend, are a better gamer than me. I found the last level(set of levels) to be nearly impossible.

By the way, they did release it on some Namco collections for the PS2.

Here’s the ending, if you care.

Rolling Thunder ending Go toward the end to see the actual lame ending.

Now, if only I could find a video of the ending of the PC Might and Magic I: Secret of the Inner Sanctum, a game I never finished in 1987.

Bowser in Super Mario Galaxy (any of the three fights). The battle itself was quite fun (with the whole running around the planet thing), but what totally sold it was the amazingly epic soundtrack, with choir and all – amazing.

Loved just about all of the boss fights in Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. None of the battles that required the use of the item you got in that particular temple felt gimmicky (as opposed to the Twilight Princess battles - I was particularly annoyed by the sudden intrusion of a freaking skating game in the middle of my LoZ boss fight, and I handed the Double Hookshot battle off to my brother because that was exhausting).

Chrono Trigger has a number of memorable boss fights, IMHO, but the ones that definitely stick out in my mind were the first battle against Magus (best boss music in the game) and the first time you fight Lavos–even in a replay, you can tell that the game ramped up the difficulty of the battle for that “oh shit we’re all going to die” feeling, and then the cutscene that happens afterward is one of the most emotionally powerful scenes in the game. (Does it make me a bad person because I go: “Yay, FINALLY, I can switch (SPOILER) out of the party now!”)

As far as a fun boss level goes, I have fond memories playing the Shu-Wu alliance in Dynasty Warriors 5 at the Battle of Chi Bi. It’s so fun when everything goes right and you set the clueless Wei naval forces on fire. :smiley: (And it’s just as fun playing the Wei campaign, because then you get to thwart their schemes and overrun everything.)

I was really hoping this OP would be interpreted more literally.

I give you a phrase guarenteed to strike fear into the heart of any long time arcade gamer:



Sinistar haunts the nightmares of gamers, his hunger building until one day the stars will be right…

For worst it’s tougher. The real worst ones are simply unmemorable. The guy who fires a bunch of shots until he opens his weak point for no good reason, for example (everyone from dinosaurs to interstellar warlords have yet to figure out that they shouldn’t expose their one weak point for some reason). I’m going to go with the Icon of Sin from Doom 2.

The Doom bosses aren’t that impressive in play but are cool in design; the Cyberdemon and Spider Mastermind at least look neat. The Icon of Sin? It’s a wall. A flat wall. And you ride a pillar up and shoot a rocket into a hole at the top of it. The only cool thing about it is that if you cheat and walk into the hole you see that you’re blowing up John Romero’s severed head. While every gamer dreams of doing such a thing in real life in actual play it just isn’t that interesting.

While perhaps not really imaginative from a game design standpoint, I really liked the boss fights in Painkiller, mainly because of their enormous size – when I encountered the first one for the first time, I didn’t even try to fight at first, I just didn’t think my little guns were up to the task.

You’re welcome.

And yeah, I could never even get close to the last boss either. I was always better at Shinobi anyway.

Eh, I was happy that they tried a new concept. The Cyberdemon is too easy, the Spider Mastermind wasn’t too hard if you had enough cover. They could have innovated another large boss with a different kind of weapon, but I’m glad they didn’t just make a boss with the same old gun or launcher to fight. Plus, you could get a rocket in on the way up and on the way down if you timed it right.

As for me, I kinda liked Mewtwo in Pokemon Puzzle League. The match would go on forever.

Great: final battle against the mothership in Earth Defense Force 2017. There’s a video here of someone taking it on at “Normal” difficulty. The fight is truly insane; it’s hard to even keep track of where you are. But man, is it a rush.

Not fun: the final demon in Bullet Witch. Not that it’s hard or anything, but it takes about a half hour to beat the damned thing, even operating at peak efficiency. It gets pretty tedious.