I have encountered various boss fights in my years of gaming and at times some of them have made me want to pull my hair out or uninstall the game but then there are other times when the boss fight is enjoyable and leaves the taste for more. Most of my choices are emotionally driven and in some way or other tied to the story and journey of the protag. This list encapsulates the boss fights I would replay over and over again. Join me as I count down from ten. Warning there may be spoilers ahead, I have titled the games the bosses featured in so read on at your own risk!!
10. Chocobo Eater – Final Fantasy X
At number ten I have featured more of a comical boss fight than anything. During your travels on the Mi’ihen Highroad in final fantasy X you encounter a monster that has been eating chocobos. I have added this boss purely because my favourite mythical creature of all time is the Chocobo and being able to seek revenge for all the devoured chocobos left this a very memorable boss for me.
The combat is a bit lacklustre and didn’t pose any great challenge but again with every HP hit I cheered with joy. One thing you don’t mess within my world is chocobos. It’s also the perfect opportunity to try out your party at that point and see what skills you have and what works best.
Ultimately though this receives a spot on the list as a note of honour to all the devoured chocobos. May they rest in peace.
9. Laughing Octopus – MGS4: Guns of the Patriots
Laughing Octopus is one of my favourite bosses in the metal gear series and has made its way onto this list. I enjoyed it thoroughly due to her emotionally damaging character background and her abilities. Laughing octopus exhibits her strength as mimicry. Wearing a stealth suit she mimics the environment in the boss fight area this includes hiding in a painting and posing as a mannequin. Therefore, resulting in the player needing to be alert and aware of the environment. Sound is also essential in the fight as Laughing octopus can also mimic a person’s voice as if presenting as them. For example, my favourite trick was she presenting as metal gear Mark II and imitating Otacon.
Artistically I found the defensive ink attack that laughing octopus displays as a graphically well-done move. Complementing the octopus nickname fully. Laughing octopus releases ink in the same way an octopus would attempt to escape the players’ attack. Even thermal vision could not be used at this point. The same liquid would ebb from her body during the fight at points giving away her location. For example, if she was hidden in the rafters she would drip the inky liquid causing the player to be alerted to her location.
When I encountered this boss I achieved the outcome of killing her but there is an option to subdue her. I just felt I couldn’t take any chances. Who knows where else she might have turned up again. One of my Favourite bosses or not, I like to limit how much I have to actually fight her and I’m sure solid snake would be in agreement.
8. Shadows of Yharnam- Bloodborne
The shadows of Yharnam were the first bosses in bloodborne that I had not beat on my first or second try. I was thrown off by the amount of them and how fast-paced the fight was. I was determined to not fall at this hurdle though and began to work out each opponents pattern. The combat was exciting with each shadow killing the survivors amplifying their attacks. Killing the shadows in a certain order can leave the player with an advantage. Before long I had successfully defeated them.
Overall, they land a spot on this list for being fast-paced, challenging and making me put in the work. They will always be memorable to me as being the first boss fight in bloodborne that I struggled with.
7. Demonettes- Medievil
Now whether you have played the remake of Medievil or the original the majority of players will remember the various skill mixes of bosses. One boss fight that infuriated the life out of me as a child was the demonette fight. To set the scene the boss fight takes place with two demonesque creatures firing projectiles at you as the boss arena (a levitating chess board platform) twists and turns and disappears.
This was a fight for ranged weapons only which in Medievil is a range of crossbow, lightning magic and arrows. The fight would be simply straightforward if it were on a stable platform but the player has to be mindful at all times that they won’t end up falling off the edge or falling victim to a disappearing tile. Personally, for me as an adult replaying this I saw the clever ingenuity of an interactive boss arena and having that layer of difficulty made me feel more accomplished when I finished the fight. My inner child was definitely cartwheeling as I expertly clicked that a range fight would be better and put my newfound adult gaming skills to use. Alas, this is definitely a nostalgia factor for me and others don’t often see this boss fight this way and instead often describe it as unnecessarily difficult.
6. Moonlight Butterfly – Dark Souls
I know, I know, I know. You’re probably reading this like “Moonlight butterfly, really???” Let me explain my reasoning and then if you still think it’s an odd choice that’s fair enough! My first dark souls’ playthrough had me gasping for life after every boss fight and feeling like I had just scraped by each one. Then came the optional boss moonlight butterfly. To me, this was a breath of fresh air. The game was already stunning prior to this. However, a boss with the colour scheme, aesthetic and soundtrack that Moonlight butterfly had warmed my soul. After constant intense fights a one-sided and range fight was just what I needed at the moment in time. The lull helped me get back on track in my playthrough.
5. Gol and Maia – Jak and Daxter Precursor Legacy
Jak and Daxter are one of my all-time favourite games and the final boss hits my personal halfway mark for favourite bosses due to the fact I really wanted to kick Gol and Maia’s butts at this point. They have been harassing and making things difficult the entire game for our protag Jak! Kidnapping the sages, refusing to reverse Daxter back into a human and terrorising the folks of Sandover village. Revenge was just what was needed to finish this game off. The fight starts with Gol and Mai getting into a giant dark eco powered mech and beginning to fire projectiles at the stage you are on.
The final boss fight utilises all the abilities acquired in-game and gives the player the chance to utilise powers ups such as yellow eco and blue eco. Being overpowered with the blue and yellow eco leaves the player feeling invincible. The boss then sends out minions called lurkers in waves and you must use platforming skills to doge and duck. Again your platforming skills are polished in-game so it gives you a sense of I’ve practised this in-game and now I’m fully utilising it. Furthermore, the boss has multiple phases all with new gimmicks and tricks for the player to adapt to. The constant challenge of waiting for the next stage had me on edge. The boss has multiple phases all with new gimmicks and tricks for the player to adapt to. The constant challenge of waiting for the next stage had me on edge.
The location choice of the fight was a nice ode to the journey that the player had just experienced. The boss fight is featured on the top of a dark eco silo with a scenic view of the world that you have traversed and battled across to get to the finale.
4. Vergil – Devil May Cry 5
So I couldn’t choose between what instance when Nero fights Vergil or when Dante fights Vergil in the final fight. Any fight that includes Vergil will always be a favourite for me. However, the reason this fight ultimately has made it on the list is that it felt like a proper duel. A battle between brothers, a resolution of conflict, a fight that had to happen. The combat was fast-paced like with anything Virgil related. The soundtrack encompassed the fight like a well-fitting glove. The noise of weapons and physical exertion filled the air leaving a promising full immersive experience whilst I was using my headphones.
Furthermore, it felt like a continuation of the final battle of DMC3 with Vergil. Something I was eager to get the chance to do again. I have seen myself go back and replay this battle ensuring I achieve the highest style ratings. There were several other fights from the DMC series I could have included but this had to make my list.
3. Marguerite Baker- Resident Evil 7
When choosing my favourite bosses I went through a list of well-known resident evil bosses to narrow it down. Marguerite made the list due to it being a defining boss in new generation resident evil that genuinely instilled fear in me. I have a strong primal fear of spindly long-limbed creatures and this is exactly what Marguerite morphed into. The fight takes place in an abandoned, bug-infested outhouse and is extremely dark, leaving your visibility poor. Arming yourself with fire and trying to take her on is difficult with drones of bugs attacking you whilst you try and judge where she will appear next. Marguerite sports superhuman strength and speed that will require you to be on top form to win the encounter.
Personally, I like to feel terrified whilst playing horror games and this boss fight has done exactly this. For any Entomophobe like myself, this is a nightmarish fight but one I would recommend and play consistently just to feel that fear again.
2. Nishiki – Yakuza Kiwami 1
Even writing about this boss fight has me in tears. This was a ground-breaking emotional ending to Yakuza Kiwami one that left me questioning my entire existence. Nishiki and Kiryu are brothers, the game has made this explicitly clear that their bond was like no other.
The fight was shirts off exposing both tattoos Kiryu’s Dragon and Nishiki’s Koi Carp. No holds barred and fighting till the end left me reluctantly swinging punches. However, near the conclusion of the fight, I started to realise the reasoning behind it and how it was essential for the characters for Nishiki to be taken down by his brother. At this point in the game, the player should be relatively powered up with most of the skill tree for abilities unlocked. However, I found myself holding off and only retaliating when Nishiki used a powerful move. This dragged the fight on but in my fragile little mind, I was doing the fight fairly and treating this character like the brother they had become. My heart was shattered into a thousand pieces when the fight ended but this really drove home the theme of Kiryu surpassing Nishikiyama and a sacrifice of brotherly love.
1. The Boss – MGS3:Snake Eater
Now, if you thought you were free from further emotionally driven bosses on my list you are very mistaken. In the final and top spot is the last fight in Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater. The final face-off between The boss and naked snake.
The scene is set in a field of beautiful and vibrant white flowers. Perfect for the player’s white camo to be used! The combat that the boss and naked snake utilise is the Close quarters combat that the boss taught naked snake. (Another emotional stake through the heart). The fight like the majority of boss fights in the metal gear series requires patience and defensive tactics. Something that I believe is a strong point in a final battle. I personally like to appreciate the final boss fight and don’t mind if it takes me a while to beat it.
Finally, in the eventuality that the player is successful, they are in for a whirlwind of emotional damage as Snake says goodbye to the primary maternal figure in his life. The cut scene for beating her is hauntingly beautiful and will stay with me as a fond gaming memory for the rest of my life.
And thats a wrap for me!
Thanks for sticking with me through my journey of my personal top ten favourite bosses. I am eager to hear what you guys have as your top ten! Any you disagree with? let me know! (Looking at you moonlight butterfly) Additionally, any you agree with tell me why!!!
25, Scottish, Gaming, writing and cooking 🧑🍳 🎮