Video games have become a cultural phenomenon. One could've scarcely predicted the impact that this entertainment medium would have over the rest of the world, especially when one considers just how much ire said medium used to deal with way back when the concept first became a reality. However, fast-forward to 2018, and things are now completely different. Instead of the cheap and shallow imitations of player-driven experiences that were thrust upon us, we now live in a gaming landscape that's incredibly varied and entertaining. From the dominance of platformers and RPGs, all the way to the focus we have on open world games in today's day-and-age, gaming has evolved like how.
A great way to illustrate this change would be to talk about one of the many elements of video games that have stayed constant since time immemorial — boss fights. Large-scale epic encounters at certain points of a video game have existed for quite some time, providing gamers with endless entertainment as they figure out the best way possible to deal with such an imposing threat. It's a concept that has developed by leaps and bounds, ever since its inception. Nowadays, a game that markets itself as an action game but fails to deliver on the combat encounters is pretty much doomed to fail from the get-g0. This has led to developers putting in all their hard work, sweat, and tears to create riveting boss fights that have been etched in the minds of players lucky enough to witness greatness unfolding before their very eyes — along with less-than-perfect encounters that players would rather forget. Here are 15 of the most powerful and challenging boss fights, couping with 10 weaklings who weren't worthy of our time.
25 WEAK: Witch Of Hemwick (Bloodborne)
The last place that one would look at when the topic of conversation drifts towards easy bosses in video games is the Soulsborne series. After all, this series is known for having incredible challenging boss fights that truly test one's nerves as a gamer.
However, the Witch Of Hemwick is an exception,
We say this because the boss fight is an absolute pushover that poses little to no problems. The fact that it's completely optional and still incredibly easy is a slap in the face of gamers who were seeking out a worthy challenge.
24 STRONG: Orphan Of Kos (Bloodborne)
However, just because Bloodborne has an incredibly easy boss fight doesn't make it an easy Soulsborne entry in the slightest. If anything, one might argue that this game is actually the hardest Soulsborne game out there.
Just take a look at the challenge of its expansion, The Old Hunters.
This DLC features a boss fight at the end which is touted as one of the hardest boss fights to ever grace the series as a whole. Orphan of Kos is an incredibly fast and damaging boss that will test all the skills you've honed as a Bloodborne player.
23 STRONG: Ancient Dragon (Dark Souls 2)
While the Orphan of Kos might be a very hard boss, at least the encounter is fair. The same can't be said for one of the hardest bosses in Dark Souls 2, the Ancient Dragon.
His damage output is so high that one shot can take all your health.
It's an encounter that left most players tearing their hair out as they tried to figure out the best strategy that could be implemented to get rid of this anomaly. This boss is hard for all the wrong reasons and encompasses everything that is wrong with Dark Souls 2 as a whole.
22 WEAK: Old King Coal (Banjo Tooie)
The Banjo Kazooie series is one of the most iconic platforming series of all time, featuring a cast of colorful and lovable characters as they traversed a number of excellent stages that truly showcase what excellent level design is all about.
However, the boss of Glitter Gulch in Banjo Tooie isn't exactly an imposing fiend. The boss fight features a timer as well, but don't worry — Old King Coal is vulnerable to pretty much every attack and will go down swiftly and easily.
21 STRONG: The Burst (Furi)
Honestly, this entire list could be flooded with boss fights from Furi, save for the first and last one. After all, there aren't many boss rush games that truly do justice to this niche, but Furi is a diamond in the rough that you should definitely check out.
One of the boss fights in the game is a sniper called The Burst, and is definitely one of the hardest — and most enjoyable — encounters in the game. It also signifies a turning point in the game, since you can definitely take care of any boss once you lay waste to this frustrating entity.
20 STRONG: Ultimate Alma (Ninja Gaiden)
One of the major aspects of Furi is pattern memorization for all of its bosses — something that rings true for the hardest boss of Ninja Gaiden, Ultimate Alma. Any player who wishes to tackle this imposing challenge better be ready for a multitude of frustrating deaths that can honestly leave you bald with all the hair you'll pull out over the course of this encounter.
However, if you decide to take the high road and persevere, then you'll be able to take care of what is undoubtedly one of the hardest video game bosses of all time.
19 WEAK: Gary (Bully)
Yes, we get it — the whole point of the last fight in Bully was for it to be a cinematic encounter as Jimmy finally gets his revenge and wipes the floor with Gary, who was plotting his downfall from the moment our antagonist stepped into Bullworth Academy.
However, players who were seeking out a challenging encounter will be particularly displeased to find out that the last boss fight of the game is an absolute pushover. Thankfully, the cinematic nature of this fight takes away from the disappointment of having such an easy final boss.
18 STRONG: The Invincible Adult Arachnid (Serious Sam 3)
Now, it might technically be cheating to add a strong boss that isn't even a boss per se. However, we will give the benefit of the doubt to Serious Sam 3's in-game DRM protection. Basically, if the game detects a pirated copy, then the guilty gamer will be assaulted by a huge scorpion that simply cannot be beaten.
Thus, the Invincible Adult Arachnoid takes the prize for being the only boss on this list that is actually impossible to beat... that is, if you don't use console commands.
17 STRONG: Absolute Virtue (Final Fantasy XI)
Whoo boy — stepping into the world of JRPGs to talk about some of the hardest bosses opens up a door that should stay closed, to be honest. After all, JRPGs are notorious for having incredibly challenging super bosses that can wipe the floor with you if you're not careful enough.
However, Absolute Virtue from Final Fantasy XI is an entirely different beast. Not only did the original version of the boss take 18 real-life hours to beat, but the challenge was so time-consuming and mentally damaging that Square Enix was actually lambasted by the media for adding something so sadistic.
Thus, the boss was later nerfed in a later patch to quell this media outcry.
16 WEAK: Papu Papu (Crash Bandicoot)
The recent reboot of Crash Bandicoot is an excellent title that gamers should try out, especially if they are fond of platformers but haven't played this classic trilogy. However, don't expect the first boss of this game to pose a major challenge.
We say this because Papu Papu is actually more of a Pa-pushover, with easily avoidable attacks and low health. With only three hit points, this boss shouldn't be that much of an imposing challenge, even for new gamers.
15 STRONG: Sephiroth (Kingdom Hearts)
Time to vault over to the other side of the spectrum and talk about a beloved game in the form of Kingdom Hearts, which came out of nowhere to give gamers one of the freshest ARPG experiences in a long time.
In the first game, players who have frequented the Arena can actually choose to take part in an optional battle against none other than the One-Winged Angel. However, be wary — Sephiroth is no pushover, and can easily wipe the floor with you if you aren't ready to handle this encounter.
14 STRONG: Valkyrie Queen (God Of War)
Pattern memorization is a common trope across most hard boss encounters, and boy do you need to keep this in mind while fighting the Valkyrie Queen. This boss is the hardest encounter in the new God Of War and utilizes the attacks of all the Valkyries you've fought so far.
The fact that it's got three times the HP of a normal Valkyrie should be enough to prove just how intimidating and challenging this encounter is, serving as a great way for players to prove their mettle as masters of the new combat system in the reboot/sequel of an iconic series.
13 WEAK: Cloud 'N Candy (Yoshi's Story)
An enemy so easy that you can lick it to oblivion — that's a great way to describe the easiest boss in Yoshi's Island. Of course, it also happens to be the first boss of the game, thus propagating the trend of the first boss in any platformer being the weakest of the lot.
We weren't kidding when we said that this boss can be licked and licked until it is defeated — that's the actual strategy to defeat this boss.
12 STRONG: Omega Weapon (Final Fantasy VIII)
Time to delve back into the genre of JRPGs and talk about two of the hardest and most iconic super bosses in the Final Fantasy series. The first boss we'll talk about is none other than Omega Weapon from Final Fantasy VIII.
Featuring a litany of highly damaging attacks that can wipe the floor with you, Omega Weapon should not be taken lightly at all. While its attack pattern is fairly predictable, the fact that it can whip out a physical attack in the middle of this pattern can truly throw you in for a loop.
11 STRONG: Emerald Weapon (Final Fantasy 7)
Time to move one step back from the game mentioned above and talk about its predecessor, Final Fantasy VII. One of the most iconic video games of all time, it would be remiss to talk about some of the hardest video game encounters and not mention the nightmare that is Emerald Weapon.
It's a boss with a timer that punishes you for equipping too much Materia, believe it or not. Your strategy needs to be extremely well-planned if you wish to even put a dent in the one million hit points of this super boss.
10 WEAK: Death (Dante's Inferno)
It's funny how an entity named "Death" poses little to no challenge in combat. This is exactly the case with this encounter in Dante's Inferno, which seems imposing but is deceptively easy. Oh well, what else can one expect with the first boss?
While Death's scythe attacks might have a wide reach, one can easily dodge or block them. Blocking is especially useful since none of Death's attacks can break Dante's block, making him somewhat of a pushover.
9 STRONG: Caroline And Justine (Persona 5)
It seems that the talk of hard bosses is impossible without an extensive mention of JRPGs. Such is the case with Persona 5, which features an incredibly hard challenge in the form of Caroline and Justine, a secret boss in the game that can wipe the floor with you easily.
You need to be at least at Level 60 or higher if you wish to fight in the same league as this boss, and even then don't expect a walk in the park. With incredibly damaging abilities and an All-Out Attack that will wipe out the entire party, you need to stay on your toes for the entirety of this encounter.
8 STRONG: Yiazmat (Final Fantasy 12)
We come back to Final Fantasy with another super boss that is just way too time-consuming. Anybody who's played Final Fantasy XII knows for a fact that Yiazmat is one of the most taxing encounters in the entire game that will test every gamer's patience like how.
The fact that this boss has more than 50 million HP makes it a massive test of a player's patience. Thankfully, you can leave the battle whenever you wish, allowing you to take a breather before you restart your battle with this annoying super boss.
7 WEAK: Lucien Fairfax (Fable II)
Fable II is an excellent western RPG that you should definitely play if you are remotely interested in this genre. However, do keep in mind that the final boss of this game is one of the most worthless bosses of all time.
The antagonist of the game transforms in the penultimate scene and starts monologuing. At this point, you can choose to shoot him and end his jabbering once and for all. Even if you don't shoot, your companion will do it for you.
What a disappointing climax.
6 WEAK: Rais (Dying Light)
Disguising boss fights as quick-time encounters is never a wise idea. Unfortunately, it seems that the creators of Dying Light never really received this memo, since they decided to employ this same tactic... that too for the last boss fight, no less.
Rais functions as a thorn in your side for the majority of Dying Light, and finally getting your hands on him after eons of beating around the bush should've been a satisfying affair. Unfortunately, the design of this encounter means that you don't feel like you earned your victory against this boss, making it quite horrible and unsatisfying.
5 STRONG: The Nameless King (Dark Souls 3)
Surprise surprise — one of the hardest bosses in video gaming history comes from a series we've already talked about, which specializes in incredibly challenging boss fights that can smash you into a pulp if you're not wary enough.
The Nameless King in Dark Souls 3 is one such encounter that can truly throw you for a loop if you're not ready to face him and his dragon (yes, you read that right). You might think that finishing off the dragon means that the fight will become easier, but that's when The Nameless King decides to humble you in a one-on-one encounter for the ages.
4 STRONG: Ornstein And Smough (Dark Souls)
Honestly, it's impossible to talk about the hardest bosses in video gaming history and not talk about the iconic duo of Ornstein and Smough. It's a boss fight that frustrated players unlucky enough to encounter them both without adequate preparation.
From Ornstein's lightning-charged attacks to Smough's incredibly physical power, players found themselves on the edge of their seats as they thought of a viable strategy to best the duo. The fact that the surviving boss absorbs the power of his fallen comrade and comes back at full health should be enough to convince you that fighting these two is a massive challenge indeed.
3 WEAK: Queen Gohma (The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time)
We go back to the trope of a weak first boss with Queen Gohma from The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time. At a glance, she seems like an immense threat who can dish out some serious pain.
However, it's frankly quite stupid just how easy this boss fight actually is.
In fact, if you manage to bring the boss down by targeting its eye, then you can win this fight without even letting her land a single blow by attacking her without any interruptions.
2 WEAK: King Bob-omb (Super Mario 64)
Another victim of the first boss trope, King Bob-omb is a weakling that serves as the first major challenge in Super Mario 64... or so you might think.
The fact of the matter is that he's perhaps the weakest Bob-omb you'll face in the game.
All you need to do is stun the big baddy, pick him up, and throw him. After doing this three times, you've won the encounter. Voila!
1 STRONG: Mike Tyson (Mike Tyson's Punch-Out)
It was inevitable that we would discuss the existence of Mike Tyson at some point or the other on this list. After all, he's one of the hardest opponents you'll ever box in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out.
A single slip-up and you're pretty much doomed to fail.
Players need to be on their toes at all times as they dodge =Mike's moves and attack him during every single opening they can find. Only by keeping this level of vigilance constant across the encounter can they even hope to defeat this behemoth of a boss.