Devil May Cry is a franchise with a lot of highs and lows, from the combat (See DMC2, for example), the music, the levels… And most importantly… The bosses.
Since there’s so many diverse bosses across the Devil May Cry franchise, I’ve decided to limit myself to a top 10 – Any game in the series is fair game! One form per game as well to keep things fair, so multiple encounters with slight differences have to decide which variant of the fight is best!
Please note there are spoilers for Devil May Cry 5 in this article.
Artemis starts this list off strong with a fast-paced bullet-hell-inspired battle that takes center stage in a large, coliseum-like arena – Artemis herself harkons back to the weapon of the same name from Devil May Cry 3, firing purple light beams in sporadic array, summoning various satellites to flank you and try to catch you offguard – Thankfully, however, these satellites more than likely will just end up missing you due to their circular shots; Artemis herself, however, is far more imposing, using super-speed charges, charge attacks and light rain that will absolutely shred you if you’re caught off guard… Just make sure to get in close and lay the smackdown!
The original ruler of the Fire Hell, Berial is a demon of considerable size and indominable strength; encountered extremely early into Devil May Cry 4, Berial attempts a similar role to Cerberus, albeit this time around it’s a bit fairer – Berial easily stands tall above the surrounding buildings, crushing them with every attack spilling Red and Green Orbs for you to collect throughout the fight, and often opts for larger AOE strikes as opposed to smaller, more precise attacks; one thing that I expressly remember from this duel is Berial teaching the player that Nero can wear out even the tallest and strongest of opponents, and can toss them around with his Devil Breaker like toys!
Bob Barbas, first boss from the somewhat controversial DmC: Devil May Cry on this list, stands out as a purely unique boss in DMC’s history, being near-entirely platforming and gimmick-based, but without the annoyance factor – The fight begins with you entering a twisted digital hellscape parodying popular Fox News’ branding, as Bob hovers in the center of a circular arena as a demonic floating head (With some seriously impressive voice acting to boot); throughout the battle, Bob will spawn small buttons on the floor which are required to lower his shields to create an opening… But after taking some decent damage, Bob will teleport Dante into an improvised police chase CCTV feed from the view of a report helicopter, spawning various foes for you to tackle with the new unique camera angle – It was a nice nod to the camera style of DMC1, and something that hasn’t been quite replicated (Or even attempted) in any DMC title before or after!
Beowulf, the Lightbeast, and big-bad of Temen-ni-gru; sealed away by Sparda himself due to his power, this great foe poses an incredible threat to any avid Devil May Cry 3 player on their first, second, third, fourth and fifth playthroughs! And then some! Beowulf has a huge variety of different ranged and melee attacks, from swipes, jumps, AOE attacks, projectile attacks, and bullet-like strikes… For myself, Beowulf posed a huge threat to my first playthrough, blocking my progress for a decent while due to that damn feather attack – The fact that the demon runs away after your battle, only to be killed and later bound to Vergil is an extra kick in the teeth, having all that pain endured throughout your fight pushed right back at you once more in Vergil’s second encounter…
Gee Joe; how come mom let you have two DmC: Devil May Cry bosses in this list?
Drekavac is technically cheating here, acting as a mere enemy in DmC: Devil May Cry, but God damn does he act like a boss… Drekavac is a warrior-like demon that weilds two katana-like blades, parrying every single one of your strikes until you find that golden opportunity to strike and evade his teleportation – Drekavac is, in a single word, intimidating, and I don’t think there’s quite been an enemy in DMC history quite like Drekavac… Here’s to you my masked buddy… Shame we’ll never see you again.
Cheating twice in one list? Gasp.
Shadow may be another minor enemy, and may have made a re-appearance in Devil May Cry 5, but he started off far from docile – This shapeshifting terror hounded Dante throughout his journey through Mallet Island, introducing players to one of the few enemies in Devil May Cry 1 that can transform to attack – Snapping spiked jaws, spinning guillotine blades and spiked porcupine-like spikes when hit; this ferocious feline has ended many-a Dante Must Die run.
Credo stands out from the rest of Devil May Cry 4’s bosses, being a pure 1-on-1 fight similar to Vergil of past titles, with a huge variety of moves, attacks and counters to really push you to your limits; the corrupted brother of protagonist’s love interest Kyrie, Credo achieves angel-like demonic powers thanks to the Order of the Sword, and uses them to lay the smackdown on Nero. What ensues is a battle of pure fun, tossing spears between the two, countering sword strikes, dodging huge AOE slashes and more – Also benefiting from an amazing battle theme… Credo; here’s to you bud.
A newcomer this high on the list? How? Well, earnest reader, Cavaliere Angelo encapsulates everything I love about DMC bosses – Fair damage, fair attacks, plenty of chances to block and counter, and rewards great strategies! The best part as well is that unlike most bosses, Cavaliere Angelo only gets better when you go to refight him; making use of King Cerberus here can lead to some stupidly cool counters by bouncing you off Angelo over and over and over again… God I cannot wait to fight Cavaliere Angelo on higher difficulties.
The legendary fight between brothers culminates in a breathtaking battle of brotherly love, fit with both siblings going feral at eachother in their Sin Devil Triggers; God this fight gets me all kinds of giddy. Vergil brings his absolute A-game here, slicing through dimensions, bullying you in the largest difficulty spike in the whole game… It’s just a shame that the fight is reused a second time just with Nero – Here’s hoping that Vergil makes an appearance in the Bloody Palace mode and is even tougher.
All that cockiness from the first encounter… Gone.
Here we go. The fight that so many fans remember – The final clash between Dante and Vergil at the entrance of Hell, this moment was extremley significant for the series, seperating the two brothers for years to come, ending in a battle to the near-death, and in my eyes (Excluding Bloody Palace Dante in Devil May Cry 4), the hardest fight in Devil May Cry history – Even casually on Devil Hunter mode, I still struggle with this fight, and it’s so easy to be punished by Vergil’s relentless fury…
So what did you think of the list? Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments!