Throughout the Borderlands series, there have been a ton of bosses to take down and loot. With so many bosses, there is bound to be a difference in quality among them all. Some of these boss fights are just exhilarating, intense, and most importantly, rewarding. On the other hand, certain ones are just no fun whatsoever.
Whether it’s because they’re extremely cheap, or they don’t live up to their namesake, these bosses are a drag to get through. You probably groan as you know you’re about to face them again in later playthroughs. To be fair, most of the Borderlands bosses are designed quite well for the looter-shooter genre, but there will always be a few duds along the way. Here are the five best bosses in the Borderlands series, as well as the five worst.
10 Worst: Tyreen The Destroyer - Borderlands 3
On her own, Tyreen isn’t what you’d call a “bad boss fight,” but it also isn’t very good. However, in the context of the story, it’s a massive failure. You’re told that opening this vault will unleash one of the most powerful beings in the universe. Instead, you just get a semi-large tentacle creature with Tyreen’s giant face attached to it. It isn’t intimidating in the slightest.
The fight itself is even worse, where the boss goes immune to all damage every time you take away a third of its health. This can work for balancing issues, but the length of immunity has no set time and can range from a few seconds to almost a minute. This makes the final boss not even fun to farm, even though it has some of the best loot.
9 Best: Aurelia - Borderlands 3
Aurelia is the most visually stunning boss in Borderlands 3. It was a true treat to be able to go up against another capable Vault Hunter, especially one who is arguably The Pre-Sequel’s most OP character. Players may have technically already faced off against other Vault Hunters like Nisha and Wilhelm back in Borderlands 2, but those two fights were not on the same scale as Aurelia.
It feels as if Aurelia is constantly spamming her action skill on you, making you realize how all those countless bandits must feel when you do it. The fight itself isn’t too difficult, but it isn’t a cakewalk either.
8 Worst: The Destroyer - Borderlands
Despite being the start of a hugely successful franchise, the original Borderlands is infamously remembered for having one of the worst endings in gaming history. Most of that can be attributed to The Destroyer. This final boss is just a giant, ugly tentacle monster with a ton of health. It pretty much boils down to only numbers as you’re constantly shooting away its health.
You’re going to need some of the best loot in the game too. It is even possible to actually run out of ammo during this fight. You’re essentially just shooting at a wall that happens to have one of the biggest health bars in the game. It's not a true test of skill, it's actually just a test of your patience.
7 Best: The BNK3R - Borderlands 2
After leading an all-out assault on Hyperion to obtain the Vault Key, you are eventually tasked with fighting The BNK3R, a giant high-tech aircraft designed by Handsome Jack. The BNK3R is the perfect mix of being difficult but fair. It has a decent amount of health, but that’s forgiven since there are multiple critical spots.
Blowing up the BNK3R’s turrets can be extremely satisfying as it not only looks cool, but it can do a good amount of damage to its health. Seeing it finally destroyed, mixed with Brick’s hilariously evil laugh, is a gratifying ending to this memorable boss fight. You can also loot "The Bitch" from this boss, one of the best SMGs in Borderlands 2.
6 Worst: Jackenstein - Borderlands 2
One of two bosses on this list from Sir Hammerlock’s Big Game Hunt DLC, Jackenstein is one of the most frustrating fights in the whole series. What makes this fight a chore to get through is that Jackenstein only has one spot on him that will do damage, which are the transformers on his back. Hitting him anywhere else will then cause the bullets to ricochet back to you.
If that wasn’t difficult enough, Jackenstein is extremely quick, requiring you to have extreme precision with all your shots. This creates a disadvantage for certain characters like Salvador, Krieg, and Gaige, who can do insane damage output but aren’t known for their accuracy.
5 Best: Handsome Sorcerer - Borderlands 2
The Handsome Sorcerer in the Assault On Dragon Keep DLC is a tremendous payoff to the highly praised expansion. Considering Handsome Jack isn’t farmable and you can only defeat him once, it’s satisfying to be able to fight him again and again in the DLC, even though it’s just a fantasy villain version.
He may be a tough fight, but he rarely ever feels cheap. You’re going to need at least one of every elemental type equipped on your weapons since each phase he goes through, he will be granted a different immunity. Of course, your best bet is to always aim for his face. Farming can be convenient as well since the path to his arena is very short walk from the fast-travel station.
4 Worst: Badassasaurus - Borderlands 2
From a story perspective, Badassasaurus being an unfair boss fight makes sense. After all, its created by Piston, a guy who’s been clearly cheating the entire Badass Crater of Badassitude tournament. What better way to cheat than to fight your final opponent inside a giant mechanical T-Rex on wheels?
Still, from a gaming standpoint, this boss fight sucks. Even the tankiest characters like Krieg and Salvador will have an awful time since the projectiles are relentless. Due to this, there’s really no great strategy for any of the Vault Hunters. Badassasaurus pretty much has to be cheesed in harder difficulties, even with the best gear in the game.
3 Best: The Agonizer 9000 - Borderlands 3
The Agonizer 9000 is a difficult yet somewhat trivial boss fight. The only way to truly do damage is to hit its critical spots (unless you’re FL4K). This may sound annoying, but it’s anything but. After hitting a certain crit spot for so long, it will eventually go away, requiring you to move on to another.
This adds a ton of maneuvering, especially since the arena is basically part of the boss. Everything around the arena is trying to kill you, which makes it both intense and exhilarating. We hope that future DLCs expand on these types of bosses because it’s definitely the best one in Borderlands 3.
2 Worst: Voracidous The Invincible - Borderlands 2
Rabid Stalkers are among Borderlands 2’s most annoying enemies, if not the worst. They’re fast, relentless, tanky, and just plain irritating. Voracidous The Invincible, from the Big Game Hunt DLC, is basically a rabid stalker, only in raid boss form with a ludicrous amount of health. While we understand a raid boss has to be extremely challenging, they still need to be doable.
Voracidous just feels almost impossible for most players. To make things worse, you have to also fight Chief Ngwatu. With his shield active, this makes Voracidous completely impenetrable. It’s not a matter of “this is tough but I can do it if I try hard enough.” It’s more of “I literally can’t do this. This is not fun at all.”
1 Best: The Warrior - Borderlands 2
Out of all the games in the series, Borderlands 2 was the one that knew exactly what a final boss should entail. The Warrior is a giant alien beast that sure knows how to make an entrance. It's a grandiose fight that’s visually stunning and the boss itself packs quite a punch.
Many of The Warrior’s attacks are deadly, but they never feel unfair. It’s also very satisfying to unload on its vulnerable chest and get a ton of critical hits. It’s a great balance of being a hard but manageable fight, especially when farming it. You’ll want to farm it as well because it usually drops the best loot outside of the raid bosses.