This week I want to ramble about my favourite boss fights from Final Fantasy – Again, like last time, this is exclusive to the games I’ve played (X, XII, XII trilogy, XV) so don’t expect to see bosses from outside of those entries. If you do have any that should make this list, however, let me know!
Nobody is as surprised as I am that from the entire Final Fantasy XIII trilogy, a boss fight from the middle child of the series is getting a mention here. There are some remarkable encounters across the trilogy, but I have to say, Jet Bahamut tops it. The transformation of game antagonist and all-round swell guy, Caius Ballad, he is joined by two other incarnations of Bahamut, namely Amber Bahamut and Garnet Bahamut.
After the powerful setup, the fight mostly boils down to beating Amber and Garnet back until you can hack away at Jet, which as a boss fight is definitely nothing new. However, taking place at the end of a story revolving around time travel coupled with the battle taking place on the shores of Valhalla itself, this is a momentous battle in the XIII trilogy that is not to be missed!
You know how Final Fantasy likes dragons, airships and often springing boss fights on you? Combine those three and you get the fight with Evrae. A majestic yet ferocious dragon that confronts your party en route to the city of Bevelle. You fight Evrae on the deck of your airship, miles and miles up among the clouds, alternating the ship between close and long range combat.
It’s a real treat to watch Wakka hurl his blitzball hundreds of feet to deal damage to Evrae, for the ball to then bounce back into this waiting hands as if he does this sort of thing all the time. Not one of the most difficult fights in Final Fantasy X, but certainly one of the most memorable.
The greatest boss fight music of any boss fight of all time (Don’t @ me, I’ll fight you). One of the greatest boss fight arenas of all time. One of the greatest new powers introduced for a boss fight (Again, don’t @ me). The Hydraean versus the True King. Leviathan versus Noctis.
Everything about this battle is beautiful. The crashing waves against the devastated buildings, the conveniently placed warp points that Noct can flit between and the constant looming presence that Leviathan casts over all in sight. As a spectacle it defies words, as a fight it defies reason, and as an experience it is an absolute must for anybody who in anyway is interested in Final Fantasy.
Deep in the depths of the Ridorana Cataract, a fearsome foe waits. At the very bottom of the lighthouse, in the aptly named ‘Hell’s Challenge’ you will face one of the most memorable boss fights in Final Fantasy XII, Shadowseer. A being of boundless darkness, who can summon four other formidable boss beasts you encountered earlier in the game to aid it in battle, this is a long gruelling fight but with an ever escalating feeling of excitement as it throws all of its ancient might at your party.
The arena for the battle is incredible, with dark flowing waters around the edges and the Shadowseer moving almost as if it’s a puppet on strings. There is a sinister undertone to this showdown that carries on even after it is vanquished, leaving you wondering if you have truly defeated it at all.
The final showdown of the Final Fantasy XV story is a blast to watch or play. I’m not going to go heavy on story spoilers in this one, but rest assured that Noctis has more than enough reason to want to see Ardyn stopped and killed. The ruined city providing the backdrop and Ardyn’s occasional sly one liners (‘The pain will prove your mortal’ being the absolute best) cement this showdown as one of the biggest in Final Fantasy history, bringing arguably the best entry in the franchise to a climactic and dramatic conclusion.
Honourable mentions to Barthandelus (FF XIII) as I love his reveal speech, Judge Magister Gabranth (FF XII) as he’s just awesome and Ravus (FF XV) for being a real challenge that provides a satisfying conclusion to his character arc.
Those are my top five favourite boss battles in Final Fantasy. Let me know yours in the comments and during the inevitable Summer game drought looming, you should absolutely consider playing one of these truly outstanding games. Thanks for reading and I’ll be back soon with another Final Fantasy article.Become a Patron!