The Devil May Cry series is notorious for its high level of difficulty. Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening was even ranked at the top of worldwide list of hardest games of all time due to many players rage quitting it. While you could slip through the normal missions, getting past bosses is another kettle of fish.
However, we’re not just judging the difficulty of these bosses as “hard-hitting”; instead, we’re considering the bosses that had the most impact on players. Even bosses who weren’t enjoyable can qualify here, since these are memorable regardless if good or bad, and we’ve also given weight to the emotional impact certain bosses had on us in listing these 10 hardest-hitting Devil May Cry boss fights.
10 Vergil - Devil May Cry 5
We won’t be mentioning the gameplay for this fight, because the hard-hitting part here comes from the story. Nero was revealed to be the son of Vergil, thereby making this entire plot a family affair.
Nero would burst out of the ground in his true demon form and stop Dante and Vergil from battling. It was the first time in the series we saw genuine affection from one character to another, making the fight between Nero and Vergil one that hit us hard in the feels. Although we did complete the battle, it was only because we wanted to see Nero and Vergil hug it out later on; that didn’t happen, but it doesn’t make this fight any less emotional.
9 Beowulf - Devil May Cry 3
Only those who played Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening religiously knew how to beat this freak show without feeling the inevitable rage at getting clobbered around. Beowulf was a highly erratic fight, one where he would stand stationary for a few seconds to lure you in and then begin stomping around, not giving you a good position to collect yourself.
Making it even worse was how Beowulf would then begin charging head on around the area, before settling far away and flinging large boulders your way; it was almost impossible dodging more than one of these. The key to beating him was blinding him in his only eye, but it took a long time to figure this out.
8 Mundus - Devil May Cry
This is the most layered fight that Devil May Cry has ever hit us with. The battle firstly started out with a weird style that reminds a person of Galaga, with Dante having to hit projectiles on the flying Mundus. The fight would then shift to a hard surface, as Mundus’ monolith size required slashing through Dante’s unlocked Sparda sword. Let’s not forget the horrifying true form of Mundus either.
There was a sense of epic grandeur attached to the Mundus boss fight, and every attack had extra oomph that we felt resonate through the screens. It feels even more special today after we’ve played Devil May Cry 3, which gives us more motivation to want to end Mundus.
7 Arkham - Devil May Cry 3
Taking down a blob is always harder than it looks, and it was evident here too with Arkham, who would turn out to be a nuisance to fight. His blob form would constantly invite you in for an attack, but would take a stab at you surprisingly quickly when you did oblige.
Once you got the hold of the fight, Arkham would retreat into the ground, forcing weird tentacles to take out, which would give him an opening to pounce on you unawares. At least the fight got better once Vergil walked in, after which the player had an option to summon Vergil for certain attacks so that Arkham didn’t have complete control of the battle.
6 Nelo Angelo - Devil May Cry
There was something about Nelo Angelo that made him so intriguing. In each of the three times we fought him, he had a similar style to Dante. Unlike the rest of the bosses, Nelo Angelo fought like someone who had a conscience and personality of his own - of course, he would turn out to be Vergil all along.
The fights with Nelo Angelo were tough, but since he resembled Dante’s style so much, it took a bit of getting used to being around him and then understanding the key to beating him. Why we feel it was such a hard-hitting boss was because of the sentiment attached to this fight.
5 Nightmare - Devil May Cry
Some boss fights are very difficult, but their difficulty factor is what makes them worth remembering; this guy lived up to his nightmarish name and is the worst boss you can encounter. Back when we didn’t have walkthroughs on the internet, Nightmare would take weeks to beat.
Being something of a goo-like creature, you needed to light up sigils on the walls to attack Nightmare, and then go for its weak spot, which was evidently a glowing sphere that repeatedly had to be attacked. What made Nightmare so anger-inducing was that you just couldn’t stand close to him for too long, meaning attacks were scarce and the light sigils would reset, making this an arduous process.
4 Sanctus - Devil May Cry 4
Based on how quickly you caught on the tactic required for this fight, it could either be straightforward or just extremely annoying. Sanctus would remain in the air for the duration of the battle, and the player would need Nero to shoot at the cylinders floating around with Sanctus.
Once shot, both cylinders could be grappled upon, allowing Nero to level and attack Sanctus. However, this was easier said than done, as Sanctus would frequently send down lightning-based attacks, which would refresh the cylinders back to his advantage. When near death, Sanctus would unleash mega attacks; being hit by one would cause the life bar to reduce by about halfway through!
3 Agni And Rudra - Devil May Cry 3
This is the kind of high octane boss fight the Devil May Cry series prides itself upon, and it easily was the most entertaining one from the third game. Both Agni and Rudra represented different elements, which meant beating them required some smart strategy.
They would both fight at the same time against Dante, but using the Cerberus nunchucks against the fire element enemy would easily take him out, rendering the remaining enemy vulnerable. Their constant charges headfirst looked intimidating, but it only required a little dodging and immediate use of swords. All in all, this was a great adrenaline rush of a fight.
2 Vergil - Devil May Cry 3
Considering Vergil’s main attribute is supposed to be his speed, charging at him in this fight was a fool’s thought. And Vergil sure did make life difficult for players in the last confrontation we had with him in Devil May Cry 3.
Using the stinger on Vergil was basically asking him to jump and stab back, and this strategy would never work. It would take a little reading of Vergil’s tactics to understand that he was waiting for Dante come to him. You needed to use this to your advantage by equipping Beowulf and heading for Vergil; rather than attack, though, the player needed to dodge Vergil’s counter-attack and then start their offensive barrage. Making this fight even better was how by this point we were fully invested in the Dante/Vergil dynamic, and there was a certain finality about it.
1 Dante - Devil May Cry 4
Maybe it’s appropriate that the series protagonist would be the hardest boss we’d encounter, because Dante sure made us sweat in our boots when we locked up with him. Dante would waste no time in going for the attacks, with an onslaught of quick movements that would consistently drive Nero back, taking away the player’s attacking position and handing Dante another chance to strike fast.
The only way to survive this fight would be by using Nero’s demonic arm when Dante was close by, which would serve as the breaker required to get Dante off his feet. Slashing or shooting at Dante was 100% a route to getting killed, because this guy just wouldn’t let up. In Dante Must Die Mode, fighting the protagonist was nightmare-inducing.