10. Dark Link (Ocarina of Time)
Although another memorable battle with Dark Link also appeared in Zelda II, the one in Ocarina of Time still stands out. Dark Link is technically a mini-boss, but he remains one of the best battles in the game. After stepping into an empty chamber in the Water Temple with only one small island in the middle, Link proceeds to the door on the other side only to see it locked.
Turning around, he comes face to face with his own shadow. This enemy can use the same sword slashes that Link can, and can be a tough customer to face head on. He can even jump on your sword, stopping you mid-slash as he disappears. Using items like the Megaton Hammer, Deku Nuts, or Biggoron Sword can help Link vanquish this shadowy foe.
9. Koloktos (Skyward Sword)
The Ancient Cistern of Skyward Sword has an incredibly fun battle waiting at its end. The automaton uses its multiple arms to cover up its weak core and attack Link in various ways. By using the whip, you can pull the cores out of each arm rendering them useless for a short while.
The second phase of the fight has Koloktos pulling itself out of the ground and gaining the ability to run after Link. It also pulls multiple cutlasses that it can attack with. The same principle applies with using the whip, but now Link can pick up one of the giant cutlasses and use it to cut off the boss’ parts. Koloktos is a fun battle with a fast pace and some required precision, along with an incredibly satisfying conclusion.
8. Zant (Twilight Princess)
The Usurper King and self-proclaimed King of Twilight serves as the central villain for much of Twilight Princess. His infamous role culminates with a multi-part battle at the end of the Palace of Twilight.
Each phase of this battle switches between locations in the previous dungeons of the games. Link has to employ different strategies during each phase, and the even has some subtle changes to match the boss battles from the different areas. The battle culminates in a sword fight between Zant and Link on Hyrule Field, with the castle looming in the background.
Zant’s battle shows just how unstable this villain really is, especially after his defeat. Spanning six different phases, it ends up being one of the most diverse of the series.
7. Gleeok (The Legend of Zelda)
Gleeok has appeared in multiple Zelda games at this point, but the battle in the very first Zelda is still one of the most memorable. Gleeok was one of the most engaging fights of the original, and also happened multiple times. Link has to make his way around the arena dodging fireballs, while trying to vanquish multiple dragon heads. Eventually, Link has to face down a four headed version, making the battle even more challenging.
6. Demon Lord Ghirahim – Third Battle (Skyward Sword)
Zelda has no shortage of memorable villains, but the eccentric Lord Ghirahim still stands out. Another villain that the hero has to face multiple times, Ghirahim’s fight finishes on the third battle at the Sealed Grounds. The Demon Lord captures Zelda and begins the ritual to summon the Demon King, summoning a horde of minions to stop Link in the process.
After beating off the onslaught, Link comes face to face with the villain as he summons platforms high above the Sealed Grounds for them to do battle. In traditional fashion, the battle goes through three phases, with Ghirahim’s attacks becoming more and more deadly. The villain can only be damaged by thrusting Link’s sword into the gem situated in Ghirahim’s chest. The climax is a fitting final battle between the hero and the Demon Lord.
5. Masked Mechanical Monster: Goht (Majora’s Mask)
Goht is a fittingly unique boss battle for one of the most unique Zelda titles around. Every battle in Majora’s Mask makes use of the transforming mask system of the game. The Snowhead Temple is built around using the Goron mask, and this battle is no different.
Goht actually turns into more of a race than a battle, as the giant mechanical monster dashes around a circular track at high speeds. Link must turn into a Goron and use his roll to chase after the monster and attack it with Goron Link’s spikes. Pots with magic jars are dotted on the sides to replenish Link’s magic energy. The boss can fire lightning bolts to stop Link, and will even wait to ambush him if the player falls to far behind. The battle with Goht manages to use the unique mechanics of Goron Link in an incredibly fun way.
4. Twilit Fossil: Stallord (Twilight Princess)
This unforgettable battle takes full advantage of one of the most unique items in Twilight Princess, as Link battles the giant skeletal boss of the Arbiter’s Grounds. The battle is certainly a spectacle as Link is forced to attach the spinner to the side of the arena as Stallord sits in a shifting circle of sand. The player has to detach themselves from the wall in order to attack Stallord’s spine three times, all while dodging Staltroops.
After finishing this and inserting the spinner into the lock in the middle of the arena, the second phase starts. Here, Link and Stallord’s head speed around a pillar on the tracks. Catching up to the head and striking it allows Link to have a chance to attack the sword stuck in the Stallord skull. Ever increasing amounts of blade traps on the tracks only make things more difficult. This intense battle is perhaps the best in all of Twilight Princess, and really stands out for its unique mechanics.
3. Agahnim (Link to the Past)
The Zelda series is full of evil sorcerers for players to battle, and Agahnim serves as the first secondary villain in a Zelda game. The magic wielding villain has a strange link to Ganon, and is responsible for many of the woes Hyrule faces in Link to the Past.
Link faces down Agahnim twice in the game, with the second ending at the top of Ganon’s Tower. During these battles, Agahnims magic must be deflected back at him in order to cause any damage. Two of his three attacks can be blocked and reflected with the Master Sword, while one can only be dodged by standing directly next to Agahnim. Striking the sorcerer directly only ends up in a nasty electric shock. For an added challenge, the player can even use the bug catching net to throw the magic spells back. This is of course more difficult than just using a sword, but adds an interesting challenge onto the battle.
2. Twinrova (Ocarina of Time)
Ocarina of Time definitely has some incredible boss battles, but the end of the Spirit Temple holds one of the best of the series. It starts out simple enough as the twin witches Koume and Kotake try and blast link with their respective elements while Link clambers around platforms.
The Mirror Shield has to be used to blast each sisters element blast back at the other. Once they’ve been defeated, a surprise is in store for players when the two merge into Twinrova. This combination can use both attacks, and the Mirror Shield is still integral in defeating the boss.
Three consecutive blasts of the same element must be absorbed into the Mirror shield before Link can unleash a blast to knock Twinrova to the ground. The two part battle requires some careful dodging and blocking as one of the standout fights in Ocarina of Time.
1. Ganondorf (Wind Waker)
Ganon is of course the number one villain of the Zelda series any way you look at it. Link has faced him countless times in the series, but the most memorable has to be the showdown at the end of the Wind Waker.
The final battle literally takes place on the top of an underwater tower, setting an epic tone with the scenery alone. Ganon draws two swords and continues to do battle with Link, as you try and dodge around his strikes to get your own in when possible. The battle itself is suitably grand, but what really makes this the most memorable of the series is the way the battle ends. As Link combines his power with Zelda’s Light Arrows, they finally get the leg up on Ganon.
The battle ends as Link leaps into the air and back down, driving his sword squarely into Ganon’s forehead. It’s a shocking and brutal end to a colorful and whimsical game like Wind Waker. At the same time, it helps highlight some of the darker story elements that Zelda can hit at times. The incredible scene is by far the most memorable ending to any battle in the entire series, and truly gave you the feeling of having vanquished the ultimate evil.
What are some of your favorite boss battles from the Zelda series? Let us know in the comments. And check out our full Legend of Zelda series ranking over here!