Top 25 Most Difficult Boss Fights

Elden Ring

Boss fights in video games can run the gamut. Some fights feature great ideas, while others can be unnecessarily brutal. We looked at a popular online gaming forum to find out which bosses gamers have had a lot of trouble with over the years. The results feature an eclectic bunch ranging from games that might be familiar to smaller known titles.

1. South Park: The Fractured But Whole – Cartman

South Park: The Fractured But Whole
Image Credit: Ubisoft.

While fighting Cartman, he likes to change the rules to whatever suits him at the moment. Cartman starts off immune to the “chill” effect and can utilize random status effects. If he decides to do so, Cartman can even make himself immune to damage for a time. If Cartman decides to summon a shield, he can also ensure any attack against him ricochets back to the player.

2. Soul Calibur III – Night Terror

Soul Calibur III Night Terror
Image Credit: Namco.

Night Terror features several tactics that give it an advantage in battle. It combines maneuvers from Nightmare and Siegfried. One example features Night Terror's ability to repel attacks while flying. At the same time, another one showcases an eye-beam projectile that can be avoidable. Night Terror also has the distinction of being the most powerful character in the game.

3. Street Fighter IV – Seth

Street Fighter IV Seth
Image Credit: Capcom.

One thing that makes Seth such a challenging boss fight centers around his ability to copy attacks and powers from other fighters. This means Seth can send a fireball your way like Ryu or stretch his arms like Dhalsim for a long-ranged attack. Utilizing some of the best aspects of each fighter adds a whole new layer of challenge to this battle.

4. Undertale – Sans

Undertale, Sans
Image Credit: Toby Fox.

Some gamers on Reddit pointed out that Sans changes the game's rules, making it hard to be effective in battle. For starters, he performs the first move in the fight. Some of his attacks won't take out the party but will bring it down to one hit point. During the second portion of the battle, Sans can cancel attacks to utilize other strategies. This fight also features no checkpoints and introduces new mechanics to which the player must quickly adapt or risk losing the battle.

5. Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep Final Mix – Mysterious Figure

Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix Mysterious Figure
Image Credit: Square Enix.

This battle becomes instantly challenging due to the different powers this figure possesses. He can turn invisible and send a whip towards your character, pulling him closer. One of his combos can deplete the character's health to one hit point. The Mysterious Figure can also reverse time to restore his health. If the spell “Doom” gets cast, the player only has a few seconds to survive. If he casts it four different times, the player's character will cease to exist. The worst part revolves around the incidents when this figure casts this spell four times in a row, essentially wiping out your character.

6. Kingdom Hearts 1 – Sephiroth

Kingdom Hearts Sephiroth
Image Credit: Square Electronic Arts.

Sephiroth can utilize his powers to drain your health immediately in the blink of an eye. Sephiroth uses his oversized sword to attack from a distance. Before the battle begins, the player should equip “Second Chance.” Failure to do so will result in your character getting eliminated instantly if Sephiroth utilizes his “Sin Harvest” spell. Sephiroth can also use Omnislash from Final Fantasy VII to carve up the player.

7. Mortal Kombat 2 – Shao Khan

Mortal Kombat II Shao Khan
Image Credit: Midway.

Not only does Shao Khan provide a tough challenge in Mortal Kombat 2, but he will actually mock the player repeatedly. Shao Khan possesses more power than anyone in the game and can quickly send the player flying across the screen, depleting a large portion of health in the process. Many of the attacks thrown at Shao Khan become ineffective, so a different strategy becomes required to defeat him.

8. Metal Gear Solid – Psycho Mantis

Metal Gear Solid - Psycho Mantis
Image Credit: Konami.

The battle against Psycho Mantis still holds up as a tough battle due to his “mind reading” capabilities. Psycho Mantis seemed to be able to anticipate your maneuvers and counter appropriately. Nothing worked against him as a result. Once the trick to defeat him becomes clear, the fight completely changes. This particular fight still gets mentioned today because it features something no one has seen before, whether in Metal Gear Solid or otherwise.

9. Pokémon Legends: Arceus – Volo

Pokémon Legends Arceus - Volo
Image Credit: Nintendo.

Designed around having a 6v6 maximum, this fight breaks those rules. It utilizes eight Pokémon in this battle with no chance to heal your party. Due to the combat mechanics in the game, the seventh and eighth Pokémon also get to act immediately, which means these Pokémon double up on attacks while the player stands there helplessly.

10. Sifu – Yang

Sifu Yang
Image Credit: Sloclap.

Sifu can be a challenging game, but this boss fight takes it to the next level. Throughout the adventure, the player can pick up different abilities that will last the entire game. While going through the game, investing in your character's progression becomes necessary. Once the battle with Yang arrives, though, that doesn't matter. Yang becomes immune to much of what your character has built up throughout your adventure, adding a layer of challenge to the battle.

11. Dark Souls – Bed of Chaos

Dark Souls - Bed of Chaos
Image Credit: Bandai Namco Entertainment.

This battle sounds like it could be pretty easy. However, that isn't the case. To attack the weak spot, your character must run across the room. The issue here revolves around the player getting bombarded with attacks that aren't seen ahead of time due to the game's camera. In addition to that, the floor can disappear at any time, and if the player falls, that means instant death.

12. Doom Eternal – Dark Lord

Doom Eternal - Dark Lord
Image Credit: Bethesda Softworks.

During this fight, so much gets thrown at the player that winning can be challenging. This boss will spawn other enemies to deal with besides the boss himself. During the battle, instances occur where the Dark Lord can heal himself by damaging the player. The trick comes when he can also heal himself when the player successfully lands an attack. Most of the battle revolves around staying alive and waiting for the perfect opening amidst the chaos. If the player's timing falters, the Dark Lord might get fully healed and put the player back at square one.

13. The Witcher III: Wild Hunt – Toad Prince

Witcher III Toad Prince
Image Credit: CD Projekt.

The Toad Prince can produce several toxins that can be deadly to the player if not appropriately handled. Players must use potions here to fend off these effects while also boosting the player. Using cursed oil on your blade can also be an effective strategy since it gives the sword bonus damage in this fight. Playing defense — being able to dodge when needed and evade attacks — also becomes a key component in this fight. Never stand in front of the Toad Prince for long unless your character wants a good tongue-lashing as a result.

14. Final Fantasy XII – Yiazmat

Final Fantasy XII Yiazmat
Image Credit: Square Enix.

This boss battle has many different problems. For starters, Yiazmat has 50 health bars with one million hit points. Each of Yiazmat's physical attacks has a slight chance of immediately knocking out one of the members of your party. Once Yiazmat's health reaches the 50% point, your attacks only deal half as much from that point on. If the player keeps his distance too much, Yiazmat takes the opportunity to heal himself. His damage output increases significantly once at ten health bars and almost defeated. The possibility also exists that Yiazmat will cast Reflect on your team, so any attempt at healing your party actually heals him instead. Due to this boss's excessive health and the give and take required throughout this battle, it can take multiple hours to complete.

15. Final Fantasy Tactics – Wiegraf

Final Fantasy Tactics-Wiegraf
Image Credit: Sony Computer Entertainment.

Wiegraf utilizes some maneuvers in this fight that can give the player problems. For starters, Wiegraf has a ranged attack that can do almost twice the damage as other attacks. During the final battle, Wiegraf also has a complete set of Diamond equipment, adding another layer of challenge. Some of his abilities include Counter, Martial Arts, Safeguard, and more. A good strategy and some planning will be the only way to defeat Wiegraf.

16. Diablo IV – Uber Lilith

Diablo IV - Uber Lilith
Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment.

The preparation required to fight Lilith will keep players busy for a long time. Once the fight begins, players will need several defensive abilities to survive. Additionally, categories such as Vulnerable Damage, Critical Strike, and more need to be as powerful as possible. Towards the end of the fight, Lilith will take to the air and attack in a triangle formation. These maneuvers will result in instant death to the player unless appropriately equipped. One piece of advice about this fight: don't try until your character hits Level 100.

17. Resident Evil 3 Remake – Nemesis

Resident Evil 3 Remake Nemesis
Image Credit: Capcom.

For a really tough challenge, take on Nemesis on Inferno difficulty. In this fight, Nemesis can stun-lock the player and immediately eliminate everyone unless the dodging skill gets used perfectly. One little screwup results in your character getting eliminated. This incredibly tough battle will wreck anyone at any time. One way to fight back revolves around making sure your defensive skills remain high.

18. Etrian Odyssey 3 – Abyssal God

Etrian Odyssey 3 Abyssal God
Image Credit: Sega.

The Abyssal God has many tricks to try to win this battle. These include counterattacks, starting with a fixed pattern and then becoming unpredictable, and penalizing for using buffs in your inventory. The player must worry when the Abyssal God goes into defensive mode, where it will quickly strike back if the player attacks. Oh, and the Abyssal God can heal himself. Getting it to use its offensive form becomes critical since, although he can unleash deadly attacks, the Abyssal God's defense drops dramatically.

19. Elden Ring – Malenia

Elden Ring Malenia
Image Credit: Bandai Namco Entertainment.

Malenia features several different tactics that turn this fight into something that gives players trouble. For starters, Malenia can regenerate health if she gets hit. Malenia also has instances where she can heal if her attacks are successfully blocked with a shield. On the offensive side, she hits like a Mack Truck and can move fast. Being able to adapt to her attacks can be challenging enough, but having to deal with her continually replenished health, alongside having different phases, means this battle can be exceedingly tricky.

20. Octopath Traveler II – Galdera

Octopath Traveler II Galdera
Image Credit: Square Enix.

Ensuring your party has appropriately leveled up will be a determining factor in this battle. During a point in this battle, Galdera can apply a Reflection barrier. While this banner remains up, Galdera becomes immune from elemental attacks. The strategy will be key here, one of them being to use skills such as “A Step Ahead” so that the party can perform extra actions. Galdera can sometimes perform up to four actions in a row, which could mean certain doom unless preparations have been set. The party also has support units to deal with, and these should be the primary focus of your attention before your party gets taken out.

21. Final Fantasy VII – Ruby & Emerald Weapon

Final Fantasy VII - Ruby & Emerald Weapon
Image Credit: Sony Computer Entertainment.

These two weapons have the capability of ending the fight before it can really begin. Additionally, being adaptable will be the key to these battles. The player can spend days preparing for the fight with Ruby, only to have party members ejected initially and unable to participate. Other attacks might prove ineffective against these weapons, so the player must be able to think quickly when the time comes and hope for a bit of luck.

22. Hollow Knight – Markoth

Hollow Knight - Markoth
Image Credit: Team Cherry.

Fighting Markoth on the “Pantheon of Hallownest” proves to be quite a challenge. He has weapons that spawn off-screen, which means the player has no time to react to try and dodge them. Markoth can also teleport on top of your character at any point. Random teleports and spinning shields challenge the player while simultaneously trying to avoid his attacks and stay on the platforms. This battle features a lot of moving parts at the same time, making it an incredibly challenging sequence in the game.

23. Banjo Tooie – The Hag 1

Banjo Tooie Hag 1
Image Credit: Nintendo.

A drill-equipped amphibious tank, the Hag 1 can give players a lot of trouble. For starters, it has a lot of health and can spit enemies at the player. On top of that, it can utilize poison gas and lasers. The Hag 1 also features magic attacks and some quiz questions. This fight definitely keeps the players on their toes, not knowing what will happen next.

24. Street Fighter III: New Generation – Gill

Street Fighter III: New Generation - Gill
Image Credit: Capcom.

Gill doesn't take very much damage but can sure dish it out. His “supers” basically amount to instant counters to attacks. He can also resurrect himself when the player defeats him. With this in mind, his moveset can cause players many problems.

25. Final Fantasy VIII – Omega

Final Fantasy VIII - Omega
Image Credit: Square Electronic Arts.

Omega has the capability of taking out your entire party with one hit. Omega's health points sit at one million, which means defeating him can be a big challenge. Omega absorbs all elements, which can take away a lot of your party's firepower. If the player can't correctly anticipate moves coming up, the party can be instantly wiped out. A unique offensive strategy utilizing potions remains a great way to deal with Omega. In contrast, the defense junctions must be set up correctly if the player hopes to survive and beat Final Fantasy VIII's most demanding boss.

Author: Brandon Hofer

Title: Freelance Contributor

Expertise: Entertainment Industry, Video Games, Sports Entertainment


Brandon Hofer is a California-based writer who covers the entertainment industry. More specifically, Brandon has covered the gaming industry since 2006, attending and covering the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) every year. Brandon has also attended the Games Developer Conference, Penny Arcade Expo, and various events put on by publishers and developers. Brandon has worked with numerous studios, including Xbox Game Studios, PlayStation, Nintendo, Ubisoft, THQ, Activision, Electronic Arts, and more. Over the years, working with those studios has also allowed Brandon to work with iconic franchises such as the NFL, WWE, and the UFC. Thanks to that experience, Brandon also covers what goes on in the world of sports entertainment, primarily WWE. Brandon's work can be found on Wealth of Geeks as well as Muck Rack.