I do love ranking things, and thanks to Final Fantasy, I’ve found myself dwelling lately on what my absolute favourite boss fights of all time are. I’ve limited myself to one entry from each game (Not franchise), and in this and my next two features I thought I’d definitively answer what the top 15 boss fights of all time are for me. Of course, this list is personal to me, but I want to hear yours in the comments and on Twitter @MaliceVER. Let’s get into it!
Spoilers ahead for almost every game on this list, though there are no games from this year featured.
‘The hated boss who beats you down, and beats you down, and never lets up… Yeah. Big bad Guzma is here’. With easily the best boss theme music in the history of Pokemon games (Yes, better than Cynthia… Just.), Guzma is a Bug Type trainer and the leader of the main antagonist group of the 7th Pokemon games’ generation, Team Skull. As with all Pokemon villains, he doesn’t get anywhere near as much screentime as he deserves, and while he’s not the only antagonist to undergo a redemption story at the end, Guzma does so in such a positive way that it brings him across as a deep and complex character, just trying to succeed in the world the only way he knows how. By being the biggest baddest badass the world has ever seen!
To bring up his battle theme again, I’ve spent ages listening to it loop on YouTube, and it’s just a shame that when he appears as one of the pool of characters to challenge your Champion title after defeating the Elite Four, his Team Skull theme no longer plays.
A boss fight that is exclusively a quick time event as one of the best of all time?! ‘Alexx you’re taking the piss!’ I hear you cry. Well, before I played it myself I’d have agreed with you, but I was in total disbelief that the Telltale Guardians of the Galaxy game thought I’d believe it was making me face the Mad Titan himself, at the beginning of the first episode of the game! How wrong I was. With the combined strength of the Guardians, you don’t just injure or inconvenience Thanos, you kill him, stone dead. Thus the events of the rest of the game are set in motion, in what I think just clinches it to be my favourite of the Telltale games, but that’s a story for another time.
I’ve sung this game’s praises before, and now here I go again! Dante’s Inferno is a gloriously violent and disturbing gorefest. The main man himself, Lucifer, appears multiple times throughout the game to torment and goad Dante, and to make out with Dante’s hot dead wife. When he appears in traditional black goat form at the end of the game, he presents a very real challenge with his varied assortment of abilities to keep players on their toes and trying to anticipate his next moves.
This fight ends with a quick time event that concludes with Dante blasting Lucifer into the ground with a Kamehameha-esque attack of Holy energy. It’s tremendously satisfying to watch Lucifer attempt to persuade Dante into joining him before the latter promptly plays his trump card and escapes Hell, from within the heart of Lake Cocytus itself, right under the Devil’s nose.
It’s a shameless plug, but I used Lucifer’s ‘The Faithful has lost the Faith’ speech as the opening to my Galactic Pollution EP (Available now on YouTube at Void Euphoric Records) and if that isn’t a reason to check it out, then I don’t know what is.
Speaking of music…
Anyone who has played this level will know exactly why this is so good, and if you haven’t you couldn’t possibly imagine. Luckily for you, I am here to explain it to you. I touched on Aaero in my ‘Best Indie game graphics’ article last week, and this fight is one of the main reasons it got a mention. The building bass bump of Revenge by Habstrakt & Megalodon as your player ship innocently drifts along heralds its coming, and without warning the side of the mountain you are passing erupts, and the Mechanical Spider springs forth.
Of course, Aaero is a rhythm game, so if you haven’t got that down yet then you will be ruthlessly demolished by the awesome arachnid. This level is the only one in the game to switch the camera on you occasionally so you have to fire forwards and backwards to secure victory, which you will doubtlessly do many times as this is one of the best levels in the game, that nobody who experiences it will forget in a hurry.
A perfect balance of skill and adrenaline, the Mechanical Spider deserves to be talked about so much more, and Mad Fellows games have created a truly remarkable and unforgettable creature.
Regardless of player gender (I played through Odyssey as Kassandra) the sibling you don’t choose will become the main antagonist and enforcer for the Cult of Kosmos, that haunts your character throughout the story in the form of the legendary and sadistic warrior, Deimos. Appearing multiple times throughout your Odyssey, you finally face your long lost sibling atop Mount Taygetos in the games final story mission. They battle you ruthlessly, with a fury against you that the others you face in the game could not comprehend, as your mother watches on in horror.
Defeating them once and for all will give you the final choice of the game, to let them live, or execute them for the monstrous crimes they have committed. I opted to spare Deimos, returning him to his birth name of Alexios, and recruiting him as a lieutenant on my ship so I could battle side by side with him in the multitude of ship battles that inevitably take place. I appreciate it when a game construes a way for you not to kill a boss you don’t want to (If you don’t want to) and finds a way for them to stick around for the post game.
Assassins Creed: Odyssey is well on its way to becoming one of my favourite games of the generation, and I will never forget the majestic spectacle of this showdown that works so well as the conclusion to the main storyline.
Thank you for reading Part 1 of my top 15 boss fights of all time, and Part 2 will be with you very soon. Thank you for reading, and check back on Respawning later for the following two parts. Catch you later!Become a Patron!