Having compiled a list of my top ten games not too long ago, I thought it was time to ponder that classic gaming trope – the final boss, the big cheese, the one who will end the world as we know it if you, the brave adventurer, does not stop them.
So, without further adieu, let’s take a look at what makes my personal top ten final boss list:
10: Andross (Star Fox)
Polygon Head (aka Andross) is the main antagonist in the Star Fox series and his first appearance in the first Star Fox game would go on to become the standard by which all other appearances perform. Andross shoots lasers at you, spits blocks at you, and tries to suck you in to boot. On the easiest of difficulty settings he’s a fairly easy boss – on the hardest setting, he provides a considerably greater challenge. Later incarnations (especially that of Star Fox 64) introduce new features, such as giant hands that try to swipe you, and his transformation into a giant brain after you defeat his first form. All in all, he’s a straight-forward boss in the Star Fox games I’ve played.
9. Bowser (Super Mario World)
Despite the scale of the journey to get to Bowser in Super Mario World (it can either be a lengthy one or a very brief one), there was a great sense of excitement and exhilaration the first time my friends and I reached Bowser, now equipped with a weird flying machine. As a final boss goes, he’s actually quite easy, but it was more a case of the satisfaction of getting to him and beating him that makes him memorable.
8. Bowser (Super Mario 64)
Now we’re cookin’. Bowser is more challenging this time around, in this 3D environment, with new attacks and a new way of dealing with him.
7. King Boo (Luigi’s Mansion)
I was sorely tempted to say this too is a Bowser fight, as King Boo is wearing a Bowser suit, but in the interests of accuracy, it’s better to describe him as King Boo.
6. Demise (The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword)
As an immensely frustrating boss, there is much satisfaction to be had when you finally drive your sword through his chest. Also, once you figure out a means of fighting him, he becomes a little easier than he first seems.
5. Ganondorf (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
The first half of this battle is quite fun – the second half is thrilling. The first of the 3D Zelda games delivers a final boss battle that feels epic and gives you a real sense of ‘the world is at stake’.
4. Young Bowser (Yoshi’s Island)
This is a beautiful game and the final battle is suitably exciting and fun. It keeps you on your toes!
3. Saddler (Resident Evil 4)
It feels like a looooong journey to finally face off properly against the fiend that wants to use weird parasites to control the world. It’s enjoyable (to say the least) to finish him off.
2. Bowser (Super Mario Bros)
Yep, we’re going right back to where Super Mario truly began. The final Bowser battle isn’t going to win awards by today’s standards, but when you’re 10 years old, and you’ve struggled to reach him, let alone beat him, to finally dunk him in the lava is a wonderful feeling.
1. Ganondorf (The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past)
It may well not come as a shock that my favourite boss is from my favourite game. Your showdown with Ganondorf for the salvation of Hyrule is the culmination of an epic quest that spans two worlds and a great deal of exploration, puzzling solving and monster battling. It is fitting that the battle is not too easy – Ganondorf employs a variety of attacks and keeps you on your toes. I always enjoy this fight!