The penultimate moment of every videogame: The boss battle. This is what you spent all those hours leveling up, gathering gear, or killing enemies to get to. When a final boss fight is done right, it can be something that sticks with you for years. These eight boss battles do exactly that, and they’re all picked by our amazing community. Fair warning – if you haven’t gotten to these bosses, there may be some spoilers here for you!

Special thanks to Escapist community member Caramel Frappe for starting the thread!

Hades (God of War 3)
First mentioned by: Ihateregistering1

The Lord of the Underworld isn’t a trivial encounter, even if you are Kratos. This fight was a long one, requiring you to decipher multiple types of attacks. As you fight Hades and try to pull his armor off, you’ll be facing not only his attacks, but the grasping hands of Hades’ minons. As the fight progresses, Hades will change tactics, summoning phantom Cerberuses and causing chains to shoot from the ground. Once you finally defeat him, Hades will fall into the River Styx, and you’ll be able to retrieve his helmet and then swim through his torn body to escape.

The Riftworm (Gears of War 2)
First mentioned by: Elfgore

You spend a decent amount of time in Gears of War 2 traversing the insides of a giant Riftworm. Just as Delta was about to be lifted out of a landing zone, the Riftworm swallows their King Raven, and they wind up inside. THey lose Carmine to the creature’s digestive enzymes (called Nemacytes), but the rest of Delta pushes through and finds all three of the creature’s hearts. Once they’re all destroyed, the team cuts its way out using the chainsaws on their rifles, and then nearly drown in the wave of blood that rushes out. It’s messy, but it’s also pretty darn cool.

The Master (Fallout)
First mentioned by: KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime

The destruction of The Master is one of the player’s main objectives in the original Fallout. He is the creator and leader of the super-mutants, and his grand scheme is to turn every human into a super-mutant, as they are the most adapted to survive in the Wasteland. Apparently he isn’t aware that all the female super-mutants are sterile, and in fact you can bypass fighting him if you convince him of this fact. Instead, he’ll kill himself. Killing him face-to-face is a bit tougher proposition, as he has access to twin gatling lasers and an almost unlimited number of super-mutant minions. More than all of this, it’s the fact that he’s not entirely evil that makes The Master so memorable. You can understand his goals, and under the right circumstances, even sympathize with him. But in the end, you’ll find a way to bring about his demise, even if it means setting off another nuke.

Mimiron hardmode (World of Warcraft – Ulduar)
First mentioned by: AuronFtw

Taking on Mimiron in hardmode was one of the hardest challenges in Ulduar. By pushing the big red button on the wall, you’ll not only give a 30 percent damage and health boost to all his vehicles and bots, you’ll make flames begin spawning around the room that move toward the nearest player. Every 30 seconds, more fire spawns. Frost bombs begin going off, and other adds will slow casting, deal damage, and more. Insta-kill explosions and multiple targets make this one of the more complicated encounters you’ll find.

Mr Freeze (Batman: Arkham City)
First mentioned by: Uncle Comrade

Unlike many bosses in the Arkham games, defeating Mr. Freeze isn’t just about avoiding his attacks and then striking back. Instead, he’ll adapt to any attack that you try, meaning that each attack will only work once. While you only need to come up with three different attacks on the easiest difficulty, playing on hard will raise that number to eight. Meanwhile, Mr. Freeze will be tracking you, firing his ice gun at you, and sending out scout drones to keep tabs on you. He’ll even chuck a few frost grenades your way, just for good measure. Head-on attacks are no good here, but if you’re patient and creative, you should be able to take him down.

The End (Metal Gear Solid 3)
First mentioned by: M0rp43vs

How hard can it be to kill a man who’s a century or so old, especially if you’re Snake? Pretty hard, it turns out. The old man is a master sniper, and he’ll be looking to tranquilize Snake and capture him, not kill him. It can be a super frustrating battle if you aren’t prepared. If you can find The End’s parrot and kill him, it will make it more difficult for him to track you, but you’ll still have to find the old man. You can do that using thermal goggles and looking for footprints, or by seeing the reflection off his scope. If you manage to defeat him, you’ll get his Mosin-Nagant sniper rifle, and if you hold him up, you can get his Moss camo as well.

Quadraxis (Metroid Prime 2)
First mentioned by: Malbourne

The gigantic securtity drone guarding the Ing Hive, Quadraxis is the third guardian of Dark Aether’s planetary energy. Samus takes it on in phases, having to cripple its four legs, then take on its flying head. Once she defeats the head, she has to ramp off the crippled legs to get atop the head and set off bombs to cripple it. The multiple phases of the fight, and the varied attacks that Quadraxis employs, make this one of the best boss fights in all the Metroid games.

Ganondorf (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker)
First mentioned by: Solaire of Astora

The sword duel against Ganondorf is one of the great moments in the Legend of Zelda series. A frantic sword duel, the fight features Ganondorf swiping at Link as jumps around the area. If Link can keep Ganondorf from looking at Princess Zelda, she’ll blast him with a Light Arrow, leaving Ganon vulnerable to Link’s attacks. After a phase where Zelda is knocked unconscious and Link is fighting through parries, he’ll have to use his Mirror Shield to bounce Zelda’s Light Arrows into Ganondorf. Once Ganondorf is vulnerable again, Link can finish him off, embedding the Master Sword in Ganondorf’s head. The villain turns to stone and vanishes beneath the ocean with the sword still lodged there.

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