Best Boss Fights

As a staple ingredient to the play experience, boss encounters are regarded by many as a measure of a game’s overall value. Simply stated, we play for the epic, not the mundane. Without further ado, here are the best boss battles in the world of gaming.

Earthbound – Gigyas

After a lengthy journey through a myriad of crazy locales, Earthbound pitted the player up against the ultimate evil force, Gigyas. Gigyas was so hardcore that it appeared only as a slew of swirling colors in the fight screen background. What made this battle so awesome, though, was the way it ended. Throughout the fight, the party managed to do only minimal damage to Gigyas, and eventually, the crew WOULD die. It was Paula’s “PRAY” ability that saved the day. After using the skill, the player viewed short scenes of various characters from earlier in the game as they prayed for the party’s safety. After each cut, Gigyas would receive heavy damage, leading up to the massive killing blow dealt by the prayer of the player, whose name had been entered in the very beginning of the game. I killed Gigyas…cool.

Resident Evil 4 – Krauser, El Gigante, Del Lago, Saddler, Right Hand, It

Resident Evil 4 blew everyone away when it was released back in January 2005. Some of the best parts of this game, besides EVERYTHING, were the boss fights. In my first draft of this list, many of these were included separately, but I decided to lump them together, because my list was honestly pretty boring. In any case, most of the battles in RE4 featured huge enemies in unique settings, and required some interesting slaying methodology, utilizing the game’s excellent context sensitive commands. Of all of them, the interactive cinematic knife fight vs. Krauser stands out as the most unique and most riveting. It consists only of timely button presses and quick reflexes, but is ultimately one of the most intense sequences in the game.

Shadow of the Colossus – The Colossi

This game, to me, is a masterpiece. In a great example of truly innovative game design, Shadow of the Colossus contained 16 enemies. Each one was a boss battle lasting at least 10 minutes, and combined puzzle, platform, and action elements to bring the beast down. They were so huge that we see fit to call them Colossi, and the game’s protagonist must scale the creatures themselves in order to launch his assault.

Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!! – Mike Tyson

Many people consider the defeat of Mike Tyson to be one of the top video game accomplishments of all time. This is due to the simple fact that he is one fierce warrior. For a minute and a half, he delivers his dreaded Dynamite Uppercuts, which floor Little Mac instantly. Later, his barrage includes powerful hooks and rapid jabs, not to mention Dynamite Uppercuts thrown into the mix, just for fun. I am thankful I only fight Mike Tyson in video games.

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time – Ganon(dorf)

As the end of TOoT drew near, Link climbed Ganondorf’s tower to finally do battle with the evil menace. The fight with human Ganondorf was a grand one in itself, with the classic ping-pong -ing of magic spells, followed by light arrows and finally the slice of the master sword. The real battle was yet to come, however, and only after defeating Ganondorf and fleeing the crumbling tower was Link faced with the hulking beast known as Ganon. The two engaged in mortal combat within a ring of fire among various piles of rubble, and when the final blow was dealt to the face of the of the loathsome Ganon, the player knew that all had been settled – all was right, once again.

God of War – Hydra

For a game that began with this fantastic a boss fight, it is a shame that God of War included so few of them. The Hydra battle at the very beginning of this game was the high point of the gameplay experience. Set upon a wrecked ship on the sea, in the midst of a thunderstorm, Kratos was faced with not one, not two, but three heads of a hydra at once. Only after pinning the two smaller heads with suspended harpoons, was Kratos able to climb to the top of the mast to engage the largest of the three. The battle raged on, and Kratos finally managed to impale the Hydra on the broken mast. It was an exhilarating encounter for the gamer, since it employed God of War’s signature sequences of context sensitive commands, as well as direct combat, in a cinematic presentation worthy of Hollywood.

Metal Gear Solid 3 – The Boss

What a dramatic finish to a superb game. The battle with The Boss is an epic one. Before the fight, the Boss delivers an emotionally charged speech about the state of the world, the placement of power, and the manufacture of conflict. She calls for “the operation” to begin, and the two have ten minutes before MiGs perform an air strike on the area. Student and teacher face off in a field of flowers, using every means to emerge victorious. The player can use any combination of guns, grenades, mines and CQC to defeat his mentor in this intense two-person war. “Let’s make this the greatest 10 minutes of our lives, Jack.” -The Boss

Conker’s Bad Fur Day – Great Mighty Poo

Last on this list is perhaps the most humorous of all boss battles. Conker enters the dung beetles’ hideout, and is compelled to feed sweet corn to a strange voice arising from below. He is then greeted by The Great Mighty Poo, an opera-singing pile of dung with sweet corn teeth and feces-slinging arms. Luckily, Conker is equipped with copious rolls of toilet paper, which are the bane of the shit monster. With each successive papering, he bursts into a new, more fervent song, each more distasteful than the last, until Conker manages to flush the deuce away. It is wonderfully satisfying.


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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