Ornstein and Smough – Dark Souls
We start off this list of memorable boss fights with the O.G. dynamic duo, Ornstein and Smough.
The Soulsborne series is rife with plenty of great and memorable boss fights but it’s hard to beat the impression Ornstein and Smough left on many Dark Souls fans.
They pair off wonderfully in a boss fight with both characters making up for their counterpart’s weakness. They’re relentless, aggressive, raise your blood pressure, and really make you work to get that victory.
You can’t even be mad at their difficulty because their boss fight is so perfectly balanced. Nothing seems unfair nor does anything seem like a sudden surprise.
The Dark Souls series tried numerous times to get the O & S formula right in other boss fights throughout the series but they only really got close enough with the incredible fight Sister Friede and Father Ariandel give you in Dark Souls 3.
The End – Metal Gear Solid 3
Talk about incredibly unique, this particular boss fight spans the course of three separate zones in a crazy sniper battle. It’s something only Hideo Kojima could make work in the best way possible.
Your movements have to be perfectly calculated to make sure you don’t get hit by The End’s attacks and you have to move around in a way that lets you make your way towards him to even hit him.
And, in Metal Gear Solid style, he gets you in your feels throughout his boss fight, making your heart hurt in that special Kojima way. Don’t even get me started on the feels feast with The Boss.
The Marker – Dead Space 2
Dead Space 2 has really weird, disturbing, and chilling moments and I’m not just talking about that eye scene. The final fight with the Marker is memorable mostly with how much stuff it throws at you.
Beneath a sepia color filter, hordes of necromorphs try to come for your neck while the Marker tries to psychologically hurt your feelings. Need I say more?
You also need to balance your time and ammo between the enemies and the Marker itself so a lot is going on throughout the entire fight.
But finally getting through that sequence is such a breath of fresh air especially since there’s only one QTE between you and the end of the game.
Tuchanka Reaper – Mass Effect 3
It’s hard to describe the sheer awesomeness that surrounds the entire fight around the Reaper on Tuchanka. Not only do three races band together to take down one of the baddest enemies in the universe, but they also call upon the mother of all Thresher Maws to finish it off.
Everything suddenly turns into a giant Godzilla-esque fight that you simply get to watch and enjoy from a very dangerous position.
Honestly, the Reaper fight on Rannoch gets pretty close to this fight in badass-ness especially since it’s just Commander Shepard vs. a shrieking, intimidating enemy.
However, so much more is added to the Tuchanka fight with the alliance between the Turians and Krogans, the crazy run between the Reaper’s legs, and the fantastic battle between the Reaper and big mama Thresher Maw.
The Riftworm – Gears of War 2
Not a lot of games can say that they’ve had an entire level within the bowels and insides of a giant death worm but Gears of War 2 can. That, in itself, already makes the extended fight with the Riftworm very memorable.
From cutting massive blood vessels with your chainsaw to avoiding noxious stomach acid, this entire fight is practically Gears of War’s version of what happened in Monstro for Pinocchio.
It keeps up with the blood and gore aspect that the game series is known for, even with the anatomy of a huge Riftworm.
Gehrman, The First Hunter – Bloodborne
Nothing compares to finding out that the final boss (minus the Moon Presence, of course) is none other than your guide, caretaker, and friend.
He doesn’t want to fight you but, out of duty, he stands from his wheelchair and joins the hunt one last time.
The boss arena is gorgeous, the lore behind this fight is meaningful and heavy, and everything surrounding the lead up to and encounter with Gehrman is practically poetic cinema.
Don’t even get me started on his chilling and amazing line, “Tonight, Gehrman joins the hunt.”
Bloodborne is full of amazing boss fights but the final battle with Gehrman just gets you in both your human feels and your gamer feels.
The Stranger – God of War (2018)
In God of War, our first encounter with Baldur, or “The Stranger”, is full of crazy moves, multiple phases, and a dynamic battle arena. It’s also literally the first boss fight in the game.
Something that makes this fight particularly memorable is the fact that big bad Kratos, the literal god of war, seems to have met his match in this random guy who just showed up at his house. Kratos has to use everything in his arsenal just to make him leave.
This encounter is also the game’s fighting tutorial, introducing the player to the mechanics they’ll be using throughout the rest of the game. It’s a unique and fun way to teach players how the game will work.
It also is a wonderful introduction to all the wild things we’ll encounter within this masterpiece of a game.
Xemnas – Kingdom Hearts 2
This final battle with the king of anger and hate is chock full of dynamic sequences, numerous enemies, and like 80 boss phases. Honestly, it’s what you’d expect out of Kingdom Hearts.
From giant dragons to random kings sitting on thrones to the final big baddie himself, this battle is memorable mostly because of its uniqueness, excitement, and entertainment.
I would also like to mention the laser spam that you have to button mash to get through because that, in particular, is impossible to forget and difficult to pull off.
This fight also gets bonus points for allowing us to control
my husband Riku because that was just icing on the cake.
Ganondorf – Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
There are many Ganondorf fights to pick from but our final encounter with him in Wind Waker is the best. Arguably the game with the best Ganondorf, Wind Waker doesn’t disappoint with this particular battle with our greatest enemy.
Our fight with Ganondorf is set in front of a beautiful backdrop reminiscent of the game’s elemental theme and it’s coupled with an intense soundtrack that practically gives you heart palpitations.
Add in a few feels surrounding the entirety of Ganondorf’s character and you get a final battle worth remembering.
Also, it’s hard to forget that Link literally shoves his sword into Ganondorf’s head.
Red – Pokemon Gold/Silver
We finish this list of memorable boss fights with Pokemon Gold/Silver. Here we are casually going through a mountain only to have an encounter with the Red, our O.G. boy from the first Pokemon game. In this battle, he doesn’t let up nor does he take it easy on us.
Beating Red on your first attempt is a feat all on its own and to those of you who’ve done it, we salute you.
Red’s got an arsenal full of strong Pokemon that can take a beating and deal one just as well.
Like many of the other boss fights on this list, this particular battle is memorable because it invokes emotions in you whether good, bad, or anxious. I’d say it’s the latter because Red’s ready to end your entire existence in the blink of an eye.