Boss fights can be some of the best parts of action and adventure games, with mind-blowing boss battles being the highlight of many games. Here are 10 of my favourite boss fights from over the years;
The Boss (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater HD)
I could’ve picked nearly any boss character from Snake Eater for this, but The Boss’ battle was the one that stuck out for me. The idea of fighting a field of pure white flowers, which turn red after The Boss’ death, is an amazing piece of symbolism signifying how she tried to be pure and do what was right (trying not spoil anything here). The fact that Kojima also decided to just have the sound of wind and rustling leaves is a bold move that works in heightening your emotion, with the theme “Snake Eater” only coming in at the end to signify you running out of time.
Metal Madness (Sonic Heroes)
One from my first ever Sonic game. Metal Madness came as an unexpected boss fight for me. It was pretty over the top, with Sonic and pals flying after a giant robot high up above the clouds. The thing that stood out for me here was the music. Crush 40’s rock song “What I’m Made Of” was an amazing fit to the fight and made it and Sonic Heroes itself, all that more memorable.
Ganondorf (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD)
This boss stuck out as one of my favourites for an entirely different reason than many would expect. For those who’ve played Wind Waker, you’ll know that towards the end Zelda fires the final light arrow to kill Ganon. Well for the final shot, I had Zelda behind Ganon, with Link in front, distracting Ganon. As Zelda fired the final shot, Ganon jumped out of the way, leaving Link to get shot in the face with the light arrow, which then killed me, forcing me to restart the battle. I can laugh about this now, but let’s just say I wasn’t laughing when it happened.
Jergingha (The Wonderful 101)
A 3 part boss fight that could have only come from Platinum Games. You play almost any game from Platinum and you can expect an absurdly over the top boss fight. Jergingha is probably the epitome of Platinum’s absurd boss battles. Jergingha (damn, that’s hard to spell) starts out as a brain in a tank, which you have to destroy the support machine keeping ii alive. He (it?) then gains a “Wonder Mask” and becomes incredibly powerful, which is easily the trickiest part of the fight. After that, he then gains a huge (we’re talking size of a smallish country sort of huge here) body and then a punch-out style battle ensues. It’s all madness and took me around an hour to play through the whole segment on normal difficulty, which is ridiculous by any standards of a boss fight.
Quaggled Mireclops (Pikmin 3)
Pikmin 3 had many great (and frustrating) boss fights, but the Quaggled Mirclops fight wins my heart, if only because it’s the one I wasn’t terrible at and the fact that it’s actually kinda cute.
Sanae Hanekoma aka “Panthera Cantus” (The World Ends With You)
Even when you’re pretty beefed up, this fight stupidly tricky to win without losing a lot of health. It’s a post-game boss, something Square Enix seems to do a bit, and it sticks in my mind because I loved Hanekoma as a character and the fact that, even 6 years on from first playing it, I’m still awful at this boss.
Zant (The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess)
In a lot of Zelda games, when you start to near the end of your journey, you find yourself re-facing old bosses but with some sort of special effect over them. In Twilight Princess, this came in the form of Zant, who was a bit crazy. Zant’s boss battle stuck out in my mind because of how easy I found it to replay old bosses and because of the music in the background, which matched Zant’s personality perfectly. It was a bit of an easy fight, but one that sticks out for me.
Dark Dialga aka “Primal Dialga” (Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Darkness)
There are loads of boss fights throughout the whole Pokémon series I could’ve picked for this one. What grabbed me though was an intense emotion that surrounded the whole fight (no plot spoilers here, sorry!) Dark Dialga was also tricky (annoying) because of his powerful “Roar of Time” attack that could hit from practically anywhere. It was also the first time in a while where players had seen a Pokémon with a palette adjustment, which is always nice in the series. Dark Dialga’s theme was also pretty neat too, and still sends shivers down my spine when I hear it today.
Wheatley (Portal 2) and GLaDOS (Portal)
Wheatley is just one of those lovable idiots that you can’t help but like, even when he’s trying to kill you. In a similar way, you come to like GLaDOS in both Portal games. I couldn’t choose which one I preferred more, and both play out in a similar way, with overly dramatic endings. Portal 2’s ending just tops the original, because Wheatley gets blown into outer space and GLaDOS decides to save your life, a bit of an unexpected moment in itself.