Perhaps one of the quintessential experiences one could have when playing video games is throwing one’s controller in a fit of absolute rage. From the early days of the medium to today, gamers have had no shortage of moments facing off against opponents way out of their league. This list breaks down the hardest video game bosses that have tested player patience throughout the years. Be warned that these entries do include some light spoilers.
Hardest Video Game Bosses: Ornstein and Smough (Dark Souls)
In any list breaking down the hardest video games bosses ever, Dark Souls‘ Dragonslayer Ornstein and Executioner Smough will almost assuredly appear. To be quite frank, these guys suck. They’ll gang up on players from the very beginning, with Smough swinging his massive hammer every other second and Ornstein constantly shooting out golden beams all in a small, destructible cathedral.
A great deal of strategy is needed here, as killing one results in the other devouring his comrade’s soul, doubling in size, and expanding his abilities. Each yields great rewards, though the best prize lies with the fallen Giant Ornstein, who is a lot harder to defeat than Giant Smough. Regardless, players will undoubtedly be sweating profusely when up against these guys.
Hardest Video Game Bosses: Ruby and Emerald Weapons (Final Fantasy VII)
Each possessing over a million health points, the Ruby and Emerald Weapons in Final Fantasy VII have tested players for many, many years. Even with the game’s strongest sword, each opponent requires an immense amount of patience. The former is immune to physical attacks, meaning fans have to rely solely on magic to defeat it. Whirlsand can remove a player’s best caster in a second, rendering the entire battle pointless from that point on.
The latter enemy is even harder to topple as a countdown timer limits the entire battle to just 20 minutes. Found in the very bottom of the ocean, Cloud and his crew will run out of air should they be unsuccessful in chopping down all of the Emerald Weapon’s 1 million heath points. This guy shoots out a bunch of lasers that take out most of one’s health in one go, too. Good luck with these two.
Hardest Video Game Bosses: The Nameless King (Dark Souls III)
Should players ever feel like the bosses in Dark Souls III are subpar compared to other challengers in the series, the Nameless King is always around to prove them wrong. After ringing the bell at Archdragon Peak, the monarch will appear atop a gigantic winged beast called the King of Storms. Together, the two swoop down, emit surges of lightning, and breathe tongues of fire toward fans.
Once that grueling battle is over, players can take on the Nameless King, who is at full health with nary a scratch on him yet. Harboring impressive range and a variety of quick moves, users will be paying a visit to the ruler much more often than they originally anticipated.
Hardest Video Game Bosses: Sephiroth (Kingdom Hearts)
Sephiroth is arguably the greatest video game sadist of all time. Ruthlessly setting towns on fire and bringing about the end of the world in Final Fantasy VII, this one-winged angel is at his best when others are at their worst. This can’t be more apparent than in his appearance in the original Kingdom Hearts. Found in the Olympus Colosseum, players should only approach Sephiroth after completing every task that grants them the game’s maximum health bar.
Three back-to-back swings from Sephiroth is all it takes to defeat Sora, and getting hit by one of the angel’s fiery death traps takes out half of the boy’s health. This guy teleports behind users and follows up with a flurry of chops, each impossible to deflect unless players roll out of the way in the last possible second. Here’s hoping Kingdom Hearts 3 includes another Sephiroth boss battle that’s just as hard—I mean memorable—as the first one.
Hardest Video Game Bosses: Mike Tyson (Punch Out)
The Nintendo Entertainment System’s Punch Out is memorable for a lot of reasons. One reason is how notoriously hard it still is to defeat the game’s final boss, Mike Tyson. Based off the pugilist of the same name, Tyson’s moves are seemingly unpredictable, meaning players will have to careful analyze each and every detail should they want to eventually land a finishing blow. It’s much more likely for Tyson to land such a punch first, however, as the man’s uppercut can knock out players in just one hit.
Hardest Video Game Bosses: Ultimate Alma (Ninja Gaiden Sigma)
Ninja Gaiden Sigma is a notoriously difficult game. This is best evidenced in Ryu’s encounter with Ultimate Alma, a levitating snake-woman-thing that flies around the field at dizzying speeds. She whips out projectiles and zips them toward players as they fend off goons behind them, requiring users to input commands spasmodically. Alma then gets in close and crunches up Ryo in a ball before smashing him down to the ground. Oh, and she can also control bits of the environment too, so that’s nice.
Hardest Video Game Bosses: Virgil (Devil May Cry 3)
From the outset, Devil May Cry 3 sets to out-style every title in the series that came before it. This is perhaps most evident in Dante’s battle with his brother, Virgil, as each sends a flurry of sparks flying each time their katana blades and bullets make contact. Virgil’s health regenerates if Dante doesn’t inflict damage in a certain time window, meaning players have to constantly push forward while avoiding incoming attacks. It doesn’t help that each one of Virgil’s swings takes a good chunk out of Dante’s health bar.
The result is one of the most stressful and frenetic video game bosses the industry has seen so far, one that constantly keeps fans glued to the screen and their hearts nearly beating out of their chests.
Video games will probably always provide fans a diverse array of challenges to test the limits of their eye-hand coordination. Of course, it’s always great to go back to those titles from our childhood that were particularly frustrating for us back then, just to see how much we’ve truly improved.