We’ve all been there. We all have that one boss who made us pull our hair out or try
and throw our controller through the screen. Then again, some boss battles are just so cool that they stay with us, that we can look back on fondly. These are the battles that we can recount to our friends how we stayed up for hours on end with nothing but pretzels, energy drinks, and either anger or determination to sustain us. How we would spend hours on end trying to beat these guys. How we would rage when some bullshit killed us, or how we would celebrate when we finally killed the goddam asshole that was holding us up. This here is my subjective list of personal favourites. For the sake of diversity I’m not putting Bowser on this list because…..come on; we all know he’s there.
- The Reaper, Mass Effect 2:
This boss makes the list because we are finally coming face-to-face with a Reaper. You know, that evil alien race we’ve spent the last few weeks of our lives hearing about? You finally get to see the thing up close. You finally get to see what makes the Reapers tick. You also get to see what the alien Collectors were doing with all the humans they had been capturing.
Spoiler alert: it’s gross.
Turns out the Collectors were liquefying the captured humans to help create the body for the new Reaper. Add in that little tidbit of information and you have the makings of a great fight. The atmosphere the fight takes place in was awesome and the skeletal Reaper form was suitably creepy. When you take into account the totally badass end run leading up to this fight and the sense of hopelessness you get when you see the cut-scenes of your crew fighting valiantly to give you time and it makes one of the best climaxes to a game I’ve seen in some time.
- The End, Metal Gear Solid 3:
This one may not be the most action packed, but it more than makes up for that with tension. The purpose of this confrontation is to find the enemy sniper known only as “The End.” By and large this fight is largely stationary. You are in a sniper duel and you have to find your enemy in the forest. The only problem is this guy is camouflaged insanely well. You’re forced to use various means to find this guy. You can try and follow his footprints, you can track his breathing with your directional mic, and you can even try and spot his pet bird that is flying around. You can also try and find him by looking for the glint of the sun off his sniper scope, but if you see that chances are he’s seen you. This fight takes place over three separate areas of map so it’s quite diverse in how you want to go about finding him. This entire fight is nerve wracking as you will have no idea where he is for the longest time, and you can’t risk moving too much or else you’ll give up your position. However, what makes this encounter truly unique is that you don’t even need to do it. Earlier in the game you can kill him from a distance, or you can set the Play Station clock a head by a certain time and the guy will die of old age. I don’t recommend it though as you’d be missing out on a hell of an experience, but just having the option is cool.
- The Colossus, Shadow of the Colossus:
Now, some of you may think that it’s cheating to give a spot on the list to a game that is essentially based around boss fights. However I couldn’t just ignore this game. I know that many people will have their own favorites but for the purpose of this list I’m going to limit it to the very first Colossus. I know there are more challenging Colossi or even flashier ones out there, but this one stands out because it is the first.
I am choosing the first Colossus because that was our gateway into the game. That was our first eye-opening experience in this world where these giants walk the earth. This first battle was what made me sit back and really think about the task ahead of me. I remember coming around the corner and seeing this first Colossus, walking around, and freezing. I looked at this thing and asked “how do I even begin to beat this. Rather quickly I said to myself, “I don’t know. I have no idea.” Through various trial and error methods you eventually figure out how to defeat these things. And that’s why the first Colossus is on this list, it was more of a puzzle than a fight. It made you rely more on intelligence than strength which was a rather new experience for me at the time. Not to mention this battle really set the tone for the game moving forward.
- Ganon, Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker:
Ah yes, my favorite boss fight from my favorite Zelda game. This entire fight was so cinematic. From Ganon giving a rather touching speech before the fight, to the impending sense of doom as the water pours down around you, to Link and Zelda teaming up one last time to take down the mad tyrant, and of course, Ganon’s deranged laughter as his plans fall apart around him. This was one of the more visually stunning fight’s I’ve seen from the Legend of Zelda series. The fight itself was fast paced and tension filled as the player engages in a swordfight with Ganon the likes of which hadn’t been seen in the series before. The player is pushed to keep Ganon at bay while still trying to defeat him. Oh and how does Link beat Ganon? Is it by sealing him away again? Or banishing him to some other dimension? Hell no, Link stabs Ganon in the face with the sword. In the god damn face. Seriously, that shocked me the first time I saw it. This Link was a stone cold killer. Cute graphics be damned, this was one kid you didn’t want to mess with.
- Emerald Weapon, Final Fantasy VII:
Seriously, fuck this guy. If you’ve played the game you know what I mean. This guy can go die in a fire, except that won’t work because this fucking guy lives under the fucking water. You have to find him in the ocean, and if you don’t have the proper piece of equipment ready you only have 20 minutes to kill him. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem, but this guy has an obscene amount of health to go along with his ludicrous attack power. Even if you do have the equipment to fight underwater if you don’t have the Knights of the Round summon you are in for a long, and bullshit filled, experience.
Now, all of that isn’t to say that this boss battle isn’t worth it, it’s still super cool. This is still one of the more iconic fights from the game. Besides, there are more annoying fights in the game; Ruby Weapon for example. Anyone who has played Final Fantasy VII through will have had a few run-ins with this guy. While the fight is long, and you will suffer throughout, it is so goddam worth it when you finally kill that thing.