So what is a boss battle? Unless you’re a non gamer (and if you are what are you doing on this site?!) then you know a boss is more or less a test of skill. Something to make you use all the abilities you’ve gained up until that point in an epic battle! Or sometimes they’re just a massive mountain in the middle of an otherwise flat road designed purely to ruin your day and wreck your controllers as you twist them apart in a furious rage… So here’s a list to prepare you in advance for some of the most annoyingly hard boss fights I’ve ever come across.

10) Metal Gear Sahelanthropus (Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain)

Now I’m going to start by saying Sahelanthropus Isn’t actually a difficult boss. A few well-placed rockets will drop this baby blue bot in a few minutes then its home to Mother Base for scones and tea. The problem lies with the complete lack of preparation you have for the battle, Taking place immediately after a very sneaky mission you get plopped right down in front of the murder bot with most likely a standard rifle and a sidearm leaving you to fire near useless rounds at the monstrosity while waiting for the rockets you ordered to finally turn up and in that time you can watch as Sahelanthropus smacks you around with its myriad of weapons.

9) Sephiroth (Kingdom Hearts II)

Sephiroth is a classic game villain we all know him and we all know what he did… but in his main game he’s not a difficult boss. Hell ive had harder math’s tests. Now that all changed in Kingdom Hearts when old lengthy bangs himself made an appearance as an optional boss. With an insane amount of health and the ability to attack multiple times in one turn he will ruin you life faster than you can say “YOU KILLED ARIES YOU SILVER B*STARD!”

8) Psycho Mantis (Metal Gear Solid)

A classic in video gaming history Psycho Mantis is a battle purely designed to mess with your head. Again not exactly hard but takes a long time to work out exactly what you need to be doing. With the classic controller switcheroo and changing camera perspectives the fight makes you question everything about the game and for a release in 1999 it was a staggering bit of gameplay. Trying to win this fight was like trying to solve a crossword while its on fire and Terry Crewes is hitting you…with the crossword.

7) Motaro (Mortal Kombat III)

There are some legendary sub bosses in the MK franchise. Goro, Kintaro hell even Noob Saibot springs to mind but most people forget about the monstrous metal tailed centaur that is Motaro. Easily forgettable because of his lack of fatalities and apparently random placement in the roster the four-legged freak was still a force to be reckoned with. Taking up almost half the screen so his attacks have ridiculous reach and being able to reflect all projectile attacks makes him not only difficult but bloody annoying as well. Now since I’m done writing about him I’m also going to be done thinking about him for a good long time and thus explains why not many people know or care that he exists.

6) Vortex Queen (Ecco the Dolphin)

What’s that? An article on hard bosses and I mention Ecco the Dolphin? If you found that funny then clearly you’ve never played the game before. The Vortex Queen is one of the most terrifying creatures ever seen by mankind and that could be the reason she’s so damn hard to beat! You spend the entire battle dodging her screen wiping attacks and being distracted by the gigantic Ridley Scott Alien face staring at you screaming non-stop. First time I tried this fight I was 8 years old and it left me broken and incapable of sleep for some time. Now that I’ve had to remind myself of this again I need several minutes alone to cry and cleanse my damaged psyche.

5) Yiazmat (Final Fantasy XII)

Every boss worth their salt has a health bar. Some take it a stage further and have 2 maybe even 3 if they feel like being super scary. Yiazmat on the other hand laughs at these puny red bars having the hefty figure of 50 health bars. YES! 50! And each one has 1,000,000 health points. So it’s not really a case of difficulty just the length of time and the sea of attacks he can throw your way while you’re slowly whittling away health like a murderous lumberjack. To soften the blow you can leave the arena and come back after a rest to see that his health hasn’t recovered at all but why would you do that? Wouldn’t that be a sign of weakness? So no! For pride you stay and fight! For hours…

4) Mike Tyson (Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!)

Mr. Tyson was a fine boxer back in the day but I’m pretty sure he didn’t have tomahawk cruise missiles as fists. However, his game self is capable of wreaking mass destruction on your feeble body as you try to fight while rethinking your life choices up until that point. Punch-Out! Is a difficult game most of the time (Bald Bull I’m looking in your direction…) but Tyson himself brings a whole new level of pain and misery with a massive jump in difficulty and speed leaving you struggling to keep up as he wrecks your life your spirit and your thumbs as you try to fend him off. To this day I’ve never met a person who could actually best Iron Mike so it’s only by a technicality that the game came out in the “Nintendo hard” era that he doesn’t top the list!

3) Nightmare (Metroid: Fusion)

Metroid games are choc full of difficult bosses. The whole franchise is an endless run of long corridors leading to giant rooms with bosses that barely fit inside them which begs a lot of questions about how said beasties fit into them but anyway moving on. Nightmare! This gigantic metal monster harasses you for a few levels flying by in the background as a scary silhouette and when you finally have to fight Nightmare can unleash so many laser blasts it’s like you’ve gone back to Contra. Gravity is another enemy in this fight as the massive monster can use its powers to make the screen wobbley and leave you struggling to jump and your missiles falling down at your feet. Your only respite is a small ladder to cling to which requires insane timing to avoid any of his attacks and if you miss you’ll be pinned in the corner as every possible bit of danger heads your way. If that’s not enough for you then when you’re finally winning Nightmare transforms into a floating orb of death flying at you at an annoyingly high speed and rinsing your health leaving you a jabbering mess as you go back to whatever your last save point was and decide if you really want to beat the game anyway.

2) Monsoon (Metal Gear Rising: Revengance)

So throughout Metal Gear Rising you run about at full speed slicing baddies into ribbons like its going out of fashion. Now what would happen if you met a bad guy who was totally immune to being slashed with a bloody long sword? It’d suck right? Meet Monsoon. The most evil cyborg since the Terminator (from the first one…not cute kitten Arnie from 2 onwards) With his segmented body Monsoon can split apart and move around your sword swings and even more annoyingly her can sling his sai wielding hands at you from a massive range. With a near broken block system anyway Rising punishes you even more with Monsoon being able to throw over 14 attacks in quick succession which trying to block requires several degrees in thermodynamics and some type of clairvoyance. What makes it even worse is only 2 levels after you beat him you have to fight him AGAIN! The only redeeming part of this fight is the fairly sick music you get blaring in the background so you know…silver linings and all that.

1) Sans (Undertale)

Undertale is an interesting game by anyone’s standards but being able to either speak nicely with the various monsters on go on a massive murder spree is a pretty wild morality swing. If you choose to go down the genocide route then near the finale you’ll be forced to fight Sans. Throughout the game the hoodie wearing skeleton pops up here and there spinning banter and basically being the comic relief. This all changes if you’ve been murdering his friends though (I know! Weird right!?). He’ll confront you and provide the biggest challenge of your life raining bone related death on you turn after turn and all you can do is try to survive and heal your massive wounds. Think you can fight back? Think again because Sans dodges everything you throw at him until enough turns have passed and trying to survive this long will take absolutely everything you have. So beforehand you need to stock up on every health item you can fit in your tiny pockets and pray to whatever god you have that Sans will be merciful in his massive murder spree.