Goro – Mortal Kombat

Goro is Mortal Kombat history. Taking him away would be like taking… someone important away from something else that’s big and popular. Not only is Goro one of the oldest bosses but one of the hardest. He may play second fiddle to Shang Tsung, but that doesn’t mean he won’t mess you up.

C’Thun – World of Warcraft

Once upon a time, C’Thun was considered the most difficult raid boss in World of Warcraft. Since then, he’s been replaced. But his reputation lives on. Found in the temple of Ahn’Qiraj, C’Thun was the last stop for many a player who wanted to beat all the bosses the game had to offer.

Yellow Devil – Mega Man

Yellow Devil was famous for his melting, sludgy body that had the ability to split into different pieces and shoot around the screen. In other words, famous for being annoying and difficult to beat. You’d find him in Mega Man, among several other annoying and difficult-to-beat bosses. Tip: go after his little red eye.

Skolas – Destiny: House of Wolves

The final boss in Destiny: House of Wolves’ Prison of Elders challenge is the mighty and brutal Skolas, who makes mincemeat of opponents with his ground-smashing and teleportation tactics. Throw in a Scorch Cannon and you’re really in trouble. Just a few swipes will have you knocked out.

Dracula – Castlevania

Castlevania: beloved OG. Dracula: a much-hated villain. This Dracula isn’t your typical Hammer House bore, he can turn into a beast that bounces around shooting fireballs at you. You’ll find him at the end of this 1986 game and never, ever beat him. Trust us.

Dark Link- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is a bit of a lark if we’re honest. A lovely, little game that doesn’t cause too much stress. And then you meet Dark Link and all of that goes down the pan. Dark Link copies all your moves and even your appearance. You are quite literally picking on someone your own size. It turns out that doing so is quite hard!

M. Bison – Street Fighter II

Ever since M. Bison’s first appearance in Street Fighter II, he has been known as one of the toughest opponents of the franchise. This dude, you’d have to imagine, was responsible for several arcade riots and breakdowns. At the very least, a stern and cheesed-off throttle of the machine.

Mike Tyson – Punch-Out!!

Mike Tyson originally had his name on the box of this game before the team lost rights to the boxer’s name and had to rebrand it as Punch-Out!! Tyson remained in the game, as the boss, though he was renamed Mr. Dream. The one thing that remained the same: he was unbeatable.

Through the Fire and Flames – Guitar Hero 3

The video game boss doesn’t have to be physical. It can be abstract or conceptual. Through the Fire and Flames is a terrible song, but its insane technical guitar work turned it into a bit of a meme back in the 2000s. On Guitar Hero 3, players can attempt this DragonForce tune at their own discretion. Complete it on difficulty and you are one talented player.

Spider Mastermind – Doom 2016

The Spider Mastermind’s weak spot is her head. Take out her brain matter and it’s problem solved. This is easier said than done when she’s swinging her arms at you like no tomorrow and causing irredeemable damage. Move around the arena as much as possible and stop trying to shoot the bombs. Dodge them and persevere.

Majora – The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

It’s hardly a shock when the final boss in The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask turns out to be Majora but it’s abilities are quite the sting. Majora has three forms to defeat: Majora’s Mask, Majora’s Incarnation, and Majora’s Wrath. Defeating all three earns you the biggest, braggiest bragging rights.

Azazel – Tekken 6

Tekken, behind Moral Kombat, is probably the most famous fighting franchise of all time. Tekken 6 does not pale in comparison to its older siblings, mostly down to the presence of Azazel, the main antagonist of the entire game. To come out on top against this fearsome foe, you’ll ned patience, skill, and three to four working days.

Bowser – Super Mario 64

Bowser has always been a tough cookie to beat, but in Super Mario 64, he takes the cake. Whether he’s employing his stomp, headbutt or fire breath, you don’t really stand a chance. Try to recognise when a certain attack is failing to incur damage and then fight back!

Ultimecia – Final Fantasy VIII

Ultimecia is a really good, and annoyingly tough, baddie. She’s also toxic. Literally. She has the ability to kill Guardian Forces in seconds and steal a character’s spell stock, therefore disabling your offensive and defensive manoeuvres. Have a breather before taking her on. Maybe meditate. Or just don’t do it.

Wood Man – Mega Man 2

Does anyone remember playing Mega Man 2? Yes? Well, then you definitely remember the irritating force of nature that was Wood Man. This robot will make your life hell with its implausible range of attacks. To take him down, you’ll need to land 14 normal shots, which is a bit like saying to land a plane, you just need to lower it to the ground.

Lavos – Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger’s final boss is Lavos. He’s a malevolent alien parasite with a bottomless appetite for inflicting misery on the world. Naturally, you want to rip him to shreds and save your planet. Lavos has other plans and you won’t know about any of them.

Sans – Undertale

Good news: there are a few ways to complete Undertale. Bad news: if you take the Genocide Route, you come up against Sans as your final boss. And he is one brawny opponent. His attacks come thick and fast and usually with blaster skulls. Bring a spare pair of underwear for this one.

Seth – Street Fighter 4

Street Fighter lore has it that Seth is the CEO of SIN, a weapon division of Shadaloo, which tells you everything you need to know. This boss is aggressive and damaging and isn’t afraid to let you know about it. He first appeared in 2009 and proved to be one of the franchise’s toughest foes.

Dirge – Shadow of the Colossus

Released in 2005, Shadow of the Colossus continues to charm gamers 18 years later. The boss at hand, unnamed, is referred to as Dirge by fans of the game. Dirge can be found in the Forbidden Lands near quadrant B4. A wormy figure, he is dangerous as all hell but he can be bested by targeting his glowing eyes.

Nemesis – Resident Evil 3

The main villain and boss of Resident Evil 3, Nemesis appears throughout the game thanks to his ability to mutate after each attack, which makes life really fun and enjoyable for the player! Of course, each mutation is harder to defeat. His final form is honestly not worth the hassle. Save yourself the broken TV screen.

Ginso Tree – Ori and the Blind Forest

Not the most traditional fight of the bunch, in Ori and the Blind Forest, players must complete several rounds of puzzles in order to escape the Ginso Tree. The rules are strict and complex. If you touch the water as it rises, you’ll have to start the level over. We won’t shame you for choosing easy mode on this one.

Enchantress – Shovel Knight

Enchantress sounds like somebody you’d root for. Alas, she’s the main antagonist of Shovel Knight and defeating her is not easy. But you have to if you want to save Shield Knight. By the way, Enchantress is only vulnerable in one location. And she has a knack for hurling objects your way. They hurt. A lot.

Kai Leng – Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect has its fair share of big and brutal extra-terrestrial villains but the most powerful is actually a human. Kai Leng can withstand just about anything, including your pithy attacks (minus Cyro powers). Go in, get your backside whooped, take notes, and go again. This is not a boss that’s going to be taken down in half a dozen attempts.

Mewtwo – Pokemon Red

A genetic recombination of Mew’s DNA, Mewtwo was one scary customer. All you ever heard was “Mewtwo this”, “Mewtwo that”. You doubted his existence until you finally saw him in the flesh across Pokemon Red and Blue. You certainly didn’t doubt his power when he ran through your squad in under a minute.

Shao Kahn – Mortal Kombat 3

Mortal Kombat 3 is one big build-up to Shao Kahn but that doesn’t make it any easier. This is one of the hardest boss fights you’ll ever be unfortunate to experience. There aren’t a lot of tips but we’ll say this: dodge his attacks as much as possible (obvious), catch him in the middle of a Shoulder Ram, intervene with an uppercut and follow up with your best combo move (very helpful).

Ghost of Lady Comstock – BioShock Infinite

Don’t even try getting past the Ghost of Lady Comstock in BioShock Infinite. It ain’t gonna work. Even if you manage to come away relatively unscathed, there’s a second battle to follow up the first, and it’s unforgiving. Lady Comstock’s ability to resurrect the dead around her only worsens your odds of making it out alive.

Psycho Mantis – Metal Gear Solid

Forget just “hard”, Psycho Mantis is terrifying on a good day. Infamous for his mind powers, at one point he asks the player to place the game controller down so he can move it with his mind (or rumble settings). At another point, he reads the mind by tapping into your memory card save data and commenting on select Konami games.

Absolute Virtue – Final Fantasy XI

NM’s, or Notorious Monsters, are rife in Final Fantasy XI. The hardest? Inarguably Absolute Virtue, which fans of the long-running franchise still maintain is the longest to defeat. Fighting him fairly is hard enough but Absolute Virtue has a penchant for spawning suddenly and KO-ing you in one hit.

Ballos – Cave Story

Cave Story’s Ballos is its greatest antagonist and hardest, appearing in one of gaming’s most difficult-ever boss fights. Even if you make it to the end of Cave Story and defeat Ballos on the first go, you have to endure him for a second round and it’s much harder. Shoot for the eyes, guys. That’s all you can do here.

Antheon – Destiny

Destiny players are tasked with protecting the Earth from several alien races. If they navigate Gorgon’s labyrinth undetected, they’ll come face to face with Antheon in the Vault of Glass. This is the last person you want to come across. A pushover, he is not.

Wizpig – Diddy Kong Racing

Released for the N64 in 1997, Diddy Kong Racing follows the titular characters and his friends who attempt to defeat the mighty Wizpig by winning a series of zany races. Wizpig must be defeated twice during the game, once on dry land and again in space. Weirdly, the first race is harder.

Whitney – Pokemon Gold

Surely a Pokemon gym trainer who’s not a member of the Elite Four isn’t one of gaming’s toughest bosses of all time? Yes, in fact, she is. Whitney is equipped with a Miltank whose tactics are enough to infuriate a Buddhist monk. Get past her and her clan, and Pokemon Gold is yours for the taking.

Ares – God of War

Released in 2018, God of War puts players in the responsible shoes of Greek God Kratos and asks them: can you defeat a dozen really hard bosses and keep your sanity? Most can’t, especially by the time they reach Ares, the fighter’s fighter. This sneaky piece of work makes you question why you ever picked up a controller in the first place.

Alma – Ninja Gaiden

Ninja Gaiden, released in 2004, follows the quest to recover a stolen sword and avenge the death of your clan, Ryu Hayabusa, a master ninja. Players face countless enemies and difficult levels before they meet the final boss, Alma. Defeating her is a nightmare. Alma is lighting quick, strong and intelligent.

Senator Armstrong – Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance

In Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance, players control a cyborg called Raiden who takes on the mighty Desperado Enforcement. But that’s not the craziest thing. The game’s final boss, Senator Armstrong, is one of the strangest and greatest you’ll ever meet. This politician has increased his strength thanks to the nanotechnology implanted inside him.

Orphan of Kos – Bloodborne

Released on the PlayStation 4 in 2015, Bloodborne follows a hunter during his travels through Yarnham a Gothic-looking Victorian city teeming with a deadly blood disease. Watch out for the Orphan of Kos, who will attack and impale you from every angle (though his favourite is from the right). Spoiler alert: you can’t watch out for him.

Sephiroth – Kingdom Hearts

Nope, Sephiroth is not overrated. He really is that good. Or bad. He is a boss after all. In Kingdom Hearts, he can block almost all of your offensives and – as if you weren’t disadvantaged enough – can counter in the space of a nanosecond. If you want to stand any chance of defeating him you’ll have to attack him from behind (extremely difficult).

Emerald Weapon – Final Fantasy VII

In Final Fantasy VII, players can choose whether they want to take on the Emerald Weapon or not. What are you gonna do? Chicken out? Not an option (it’s an option). If you do take him on, you’ll be transported underwater in a submarine to meet this subterranean boss. You have 20 minutes to take down his one million HP, which may seem like a long time, but really, you need 20 hours.

The Nameless King – Dark Souls III

For some people’s money, Dark Souls III’s Nameless King is the hardest video game boss in history. First, you have to beat his pet dragon, and that itself is tantamount to climbing Mount Everest with broken legs. Then the King himself is a giant fridge of a man whose fast and devastating blows turn the most veteran of gamers into jelly.

Ender Dragon – Minecraft

Minecraft doesn’t end? Yes, it does. Kind of. To get the Ender Egg in this classic you have to face off against the Ender Dragon, the biggest monster in the game. It requires just a teensy tiny bit of patience, and by “teensy tiny” we mean “a lot”. Go into this fight with plenty of friends and armour.

Viper – Titanfall 2

Titanfall 2’s campaign keeps you on your toes, and not just because of the giant robots. The mission design constantly forces you to try new things if you want to survive, and its boss fights are particularly good at this. The most memorable fight in Titanfall 2 is against a boss called Viper. It pits you against an enemy that seems all but unbeatable at first glance, and it takes a few tries to find your way through it.

Vortex Queen – Ecco the Dolphin

Ecco the Dolphin is an odd duck, and not just because of its anthropomorphic aquatic protagonist. The series, which launched in 1992 and has spanned five sequels, has always been known for striking a balance between puzzle-solving and exploration. The game’s world is huge, and if you do manage to find your way around, though, you’ll still have to contend with a variety of deadly enemies and tricky boss fights.

One of Ecco’s most challenging moments comes relatively early on in the story. As Ecco travels through the ocean depths, he quickly spots a massive green head emerging from the sea floor. It turns out that this is Vortex Queen, a monstrous being. She’s both intimidating and creepy: she looks like something straight out of a Halloween nightmare, and she attacks by launching deadly jellyfish at Ecco – making her difficult to get close to without getting hurt.

The Prospector – Inscryption

On the surface, Inscryption appears to be a fairly standard escape room game. Sure, it’s got some pretty impressive production values and a cool story that unfolds across multiple acts, but at its core, it’s a series of puzzles that you have to work through in order to progress. The first act, the Prospector phase, plays out like a mini-escape room in and of itself.

The Prospector is a character who shows up out of nowhere and forces you into an unusual card game where your soul is on the line. If you win, you go free; lose and you die. He also features a mechanic that prevents the player from playing certain cards. In this encounter, the player will be racing against time to develop a strategy that can overcome this disadvantage and defeat the Prospector before time runs out.

Malenia, Blade of Miquella – Elden Ring

It’s a testament to the quality of FromSoftware’s Elden Ring that its optional boss is this memorable. Malenia is a master of the hidden dash attack, and she’ll use it at every opportunity. Her strikes are lightning-quick and cover a wide area, making it difficult to dodge them all. If you block her attacks, she’ll heal herself for the damage you take – which is part of why her health bar is so much longer than other bosses.

The Waterfowl Dance attack is her most brutal move, an acrobatic series of dashes that can only be dodged if you’re not locked into your own animations (or at least not attacking). Once you’ve seen it once, there’s no way to predict when she’ll do it again.

Sister Friede – Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel

There are many tough bosses in the Dark Souls series, but perhaps none as daunting as the three-phase fight with Sister Friede at the end of Dark Souls 3’s first DLC, Ashes of Ariandel. Even on its release, Friede was considered to be the best boss in a game already replete with difficult boss fights.

Friede is a pain in the neck for a number of reasons. Her first phase involves her disappearing and then reappearing to grab you and deal massive damage. It’s all about staying calm, not running around like a headless chicken, not taking too much damage from her grab attack, and not getting caught out by her invisibility.

Yozora – Kingdom Hearts 3: Re:Mind

Sure, Kingdom Hearts III has its fair share of tough bosses. The game is an action/RPG, after all, and it wouldn’t be much fun if every boss was a pushover. But the one who stands out as the real test of skill for the most seasoned players is Yozora, who you’ll fight at the end of “Re:Mind,” an expansion that’s available through the game’s DLC pass.

Yozora, like many other KH3 bosses, can be pretty tough to beat – but there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of success. First, remember that, as with other Kingdom Hearts bosses, Yozora teleports around and can inflict status effects on Sora that make it difficult to attack or heal. His attacks are also difficult to predict and usually unblockable. He even steals your health and items!

Chef Saltbaker – Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course

Chef Saltbaker is a brutal end boss. He’s the final adversary in The Delicious Last Course, the only expansion for Cuphead; and he’s a fitting one. With four phases and a variety of attacks, Chef Saltbaker is a formidable foe. But if you can beat Saltbaker, you can beat anything – which is why The Delicious Last Course is so satisfying to finally finish.

This chef has no gimmick: he simply requires all your skills (and abilities) to be on point in order to succeed. No matter what phase you encounter him in, he’ll do everything at his disposal to stop you: from firing off scalding hot soups and tossing around flaming loaves of bread to using his knives like claws or even a grappling hook – plus a few other surprises! This is where it gets tricky.

King Dice – Cuphead

King Dice, the final boss of Cuphead, is the hardest fight in the game by a long shot. First, you must play his sadistic board game. Then you get to fight three mini-bosses who will try to destroy you. Then, if you survive that, you get to fight King Dice himself.

His combat style is unique from other bosses in the game, and each mini-boss gives you a chance to practice his pattern before you have to face him again with a health bar. Even his music is great!

Pandemonium Warden – Final Fantasy XI

Most video games have bosses with a certain degree of difficulty. But sometimes, even for an experienced player, a boss encounter can be genuinely impossible. That’s what happened in Final Fantasy XI when the Pandemonium Warden’s 20 forms and long battles became too much to handle.

Back in 2008, a group of players became so frustrated by the boss battle that they literally gave up after 18 hours of fighting. By the time those players gave up, however, they’d only beaten a tenth of the Warden’s 20 forms.

Lingering Will – Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix+

We love a good secret boss, like the Lingering Will from Kingdom Hearts 2. These fights are often challenging and make you feel like you’re fighting in the trenches with the series’ most hardcore fans. Secret bosses are also a lot of fun to discover since they usually have a unique fighting style that feels dramatically different from anything you’ve previously experienced in your journey.

But we find it frustrating when a game adds a secret boss that is fundamentally unfair. This can be especially frustrating if you’re trying to get 100% completion on your first playthrough – no one wants to have to grind away for hours just so they can take down an arbitrary boss.

Absolute Radiance – Hollow Knight: Godmaster

Absolute Radiance is not only Hollow Knight‘s most difficult boss, but she’s also one of the game’s most unique. Like many of the bosses on this list, Absolute Radiance is the final foe not in a main game but in an expansion – specifically, Hollow Knight’s free Godmaster content pack.

Her attack rate is already pretty high, but when she enters her second phase and speeds up, you can barely move while she’s attacking you – and the best way to avoid getting hit is to dash away, which makes her attacks even harder to dodge!

Fume Knight – Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King

At first, the Fume Knight feels like a simpler version of Artorias, the boss from Dark Souls 1 that every player faced and feared. The knight’s armor is similar, with a few extra flourishes here and there, and he uses a similar sword and shield.

The similarities don’t end there. The Fume Knight attacks with the same kind of sweeping moves that make Artorias such a frightening opponent. But the Fume Knight has more tricks up his sleeve than his predecessor did, making him even more terrifying to fight. His second sword allows him to attack from every angle, so you can’t just follow his offhand to anticipate future swings.

Valkyrie Sigrun – God of War

God of War (GOW) is a series known for its scale, grandeur, and epic boss fights. You might think that would make the final fight against Sigrun – the Valkyrie Queen—rather underwhelming. After all, she is just one person. The gameplay isn’t particularly complex or unique; it’s just a matter of getting the timing right on your attacks.

Sigrun is one of the most challenging bosses in GOW because she is not only powerful but she fights like every other Valkyrie that you’ve already defeated. She has all their abilities so you have to master the previous Valkyrie fights to defeat her.

Jaws – Jaws

Jaws is the name of a shark with a taste for divers in a classic NES title called Jaws. The player takes control of a scuba diver and is sent out to find and kill this great white shark before it has the chance to attack Amity Island again.

If you mess up once during this sequence, you will get a game over and have to start back at the beginning of the level. The only way to avoid this is by memorizing when Jaws emerges from beneath the water and using that information to time your attacks perfectly.

Isshin, Sword Saint – Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the kind of game that makes you feel like a badass when you’re on a roll. You’ll be slicing and dicing through waves of enemies in this action-adventure game, until out of nowhere some master swordsman will come in with an unblockable attack that will kill you instantly, knocking you down to your last sliver of health.

The final boss of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a huge, multi-phase fight with the Sword Saint, Isshin Kurosawa. This is not an easy fight; it’s one of the hardest in the game. Isshin is fast and unpredictable, throwing out unblockable magic and swords that do a ton of damage.

Ludwig – Bloodborne: The Old Hunters

Bloodborne: The Old Hunters is a DLC pack for the popular 2015 game Bloodborne. This expansion includes a new boss fight against Ludwig, the first hunter of the Healing Church. He’s not too difficult if you learn his patterns and know when to dodge, but that’s where the first half of the fight ends, as Ludwig becomes lucid and gains a giant holy blade.

What makes this such an interesting fight is that if you let too much open space develop between you and Ludwig, he’ll use long-distance attacks on you – many of which have homing capabilities that make them far more dangerous than they initially seem. However, getting too close will also result in your demise.

Omega Weapon – Final Fantasy VIII

It’s no surprise that the hardest bosses in Final Fantasy games are often optional because players can choose to avoid them. This is true of Omega Weapon, a boss that’s optional only in the sense that you have to complete a side quest before you can even encounter it.

No other boss in FFVIII creates as much drama or builds up as much tension as Omega Weapon does. It takes an enormous amount of effort just to access it – you have to complete a time-based side quest at Ultimecia’s castle – and once you do manage to get there, it takes another side quest to unlock.

Artorias – Dark Souls: Artorias of the Abyss

The first time many players meet Artorias the Abysswalker, he’s in a cutscene. He’s the final boss of a new piece of DLC for Dark Souls, and it feels like an impossible fight. His sword slices through enemies like it’s nothing, and he takes several hits to take down. He fights like a player, dodging roll after roll while cutting the player down with his own set of attacks.

Artorias is a ferocious opponent with incredible reach and power. He’s also an incredibly challenging boss, using a wide variety of attacks from different directions and forcing players to make split-second decisions about whether they should retreat or advance.

Doom’s Bride – Catherine

Doom’s Bride is terrifying. She’s the boss of the third level of Doom II, and she crawls after you – slowly and deliberately. She’s not clumsy or random in her movements, though – she knows exactly where you are at all times. When she catches up to you, she brandishes a knife instead of a bouquet and stabs you to death.

The most difficult part about beating Doom’s Bride is surviving her tornado attack. The tornado will come without warning, and getting hit by any of the falling blocks results in instant death. Doom’s Bride is definitely an adrenaline rush if you can keep your cool long enough to beat her.

High Dragon – Dragon Age II

The High Dragon represents the most challenging fight in Dragon Age II. Easily the toughest enemy in the game, you’ll need to be prepared for a long, hard battle if you want to come out on top.

The dragon will also periodically send young dragons after you, so be prepared to take care of them while you deal with their murderous parent. You can counterattack these little guys by running up and smacking them with your weapon, which will stun them long enough for you to attack them.

Spider Guardian – Metroid Prime 2

As most Metroid Prime players have figured out by now, the Spider Guardian is a giant spider-like creature that hangs out in Morph Ball mazes. He’s vulnerable to attack when he’s in his little tunnel, but if you go after him directly he’ll quickly scamper off to another part of the maze and you’ll have to track him down again.

In order to actually defeat him you need to first lure him into a specific part of the maze using bombs and various switches, then plant bombs behind yourself so you can make it back to safety fast enough before the blast sends Spider Guardian hurtling back towards you.

General Raam – Gears of War

The final boss of the first Gears of War is General Raam, a Locust leader who bears down on you relentlessly with his own mobile turret. He’s tough to kill because he’s covered in armor that your bullets can’t penetrate, and there are no other spots on his body that are vulnerable.

If you’re playing alone, you have to use the environment to take off that armor, and even then it’s not enough. The only way to beat him is to shoot off all of his armor and then take out the rest of him. If you’re playing in co-op, one of you can distract him while the other shoots. It’s much easier with a teammate helping you out.

Maneater – Demon’s Souls

The Maneater is a boss that has a lot going for it. It starts off by appearing to be an easy fight but then introduces a second Maneater at the one-minute mark and plenty of ways to die in the surrounding environment.

The first way to easily defeat this boss is to stand near the fog door and fire arrows at the first Maneater as it enters the arena. The first Maneater uses a variety of attacks: swipes, a lunging attack, and a power-up that raises its defense and damage output.

Liquid Snake – Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid has a variety of memorable boss battles, but the Liquid Snake fight stands out for a number of reasons. First: it’s a fistfight. Compared to most boss battles, which take place in the context of some kind of action game, this one is stripped down to fundamentals. You have to punch, dodge, and block.

After defeating the armed tank Metal Gear Rex, you then have to fight its pilot… using stodgy PlayStation 1 controls to perform close-quarters combat as the game counts down. So close to the end of the game, a game meant for stealth, you get stuck with a fistfight and a timer that feels unforgiving.

Yuki-Onna – Nioh

Nioh is a game about Samurai fighting monsters in the late 1500s, but it doesn’t feel like your typical fantasy game. Where most of these games focus on magic, technology, or a blend of the two, Nioh takes a much more grounded approach to its monsters and combat.

Yuki-Onna is one of the toughest bosses in Nioh, and possibly one of the toughest bosses you’ll ever have to take down. To say that fighting her is a challenging experience would be an understatement; she feels like a constant barrage of attacks with little time to breathe. That kind of intensity is what makes fights like these so rewarding once you finally win, though.

Deathshead – Wolfenstein: The New Order

You’ve spent the whole game taking down Nazis, one by one… and now, you’re up against Deathshead himself. He’s the personal nemesis of B.J. “Terror Billy” Blazkowicz, and in Wolfenstein: The New Order, he’s got a mech that can do some serious damage to you.

The fight is a fun nod to Wolfenstein 3D, despite the fact that it’s still pretty difficult. It’s easy to get disoriented by the fire bursting from all around you, so make sure you keep your bearings and don’t let yourself get burned.

Darklurker – Dark Souls 2

Although Dark Souls 2 is a difficult game, the bosses can be beaten by anyone who understands their weaknesses. Darklurker is a perfect example of this; she’s one of the toughest bosses in the game, but she also has weaknesses.

Darklurker, the second-to-last boss of the game, is one of the toughest in Dark Souls 2. The fight can be made much easier with the right strategy and equipment. When you encounter her, she’s a winged angelic entity. However, when she reaches half health, she splits into two entities. This is when things get serious. She has two main weaknesses – lightning and fire.

Baal – Diablo II: Lord of Destruction

The final demon you face in Diablo II isn’t just a powerful foe, he’s the last line of defense for the Hells. The final boss battle with Baal is an epic showdown that serves as a fitting climax to a great game.

By this point in the game you’ve seen just about everything Diablo and his brothers have to offer, but Baal is something else entirely. This fight is special not only because it’s challenging, but also because it requires you to be well-rounded.

The Batomys – Valkyria Chronicles

The developers behind Valkyria Chronicles and other RPGs like the Trails series and Ys, have a long history of innovative designs that are still used in games today. One such standout is the Batomys tank in Valkyria Chronicles, which is actually an obstacle as much as it is an enemy – it’s effectively a boss fight that lasts multiple rounds.

It’s literally impossible to destroy it in one turn, so you’re stuck fighting for as long as it takes to wear it down. Even further, you have to contend with its turrets; they can aim at members of your squad even if they aren’t in a direct line of fire with the tank itself, meaning you can get shot from off-screen no matter where you are on the map.

Guildenstern – Vagrant Story

There’s no question that Vagrant Story is a tough game – the toughest thing about it is its final boss, Guildenstern. He’s got big moves and he can punish you with regular blows if you slip up. If you miss the split-second button prompt that lets you deflect some of the damage, you’re dead.

The problem here is that your skill as a player isn’t being tested at all. The only way to win is to memorize exactly what Guildenstern does, and even then, you still may not be able to win without taking damage.