Video games are now one of the biggest and most widely spread entertainment mediums. The quality of games and the amount of money used in making them are both astonishing. The beauty of games is that they can be so diverse; from exploring fast, open worlds to shooting through hordes of enemies, it offers everything.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of video games are the boss battles. Many games give us memorable and challenging boss fights that stay with us long after we put down the controller. However, everything has an opposite end and video game boss battles are no exception.
There are also games which feature boss fights that are a complete drag, too unbalanced or simply bland. We look at 15 of the most guilty ones on this list.
1. The Destroyer – Borderlands
Borderlands came out of nowhere in 2009 and surprised everyone with its unique art design, RPG elements, loot and humor. People didn’t really have much of an expectation from the action-adventure game until its release, but the perceptions later changed. The game, developed Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games, received highly favorable reviews from each and every critic aggregating nearly 85 rating points out of 100. Borderlands was released for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.
Although Borderlands is an impressive game, the final boss fight is very disappointing. The final clash of the game is with The Destroyer, and the fight is very unrewarding and non-challenging. This is enough to leave every player who spent 50+ hours in the game disappointed. The Destroyer can be easily beaten in the game as its weak points are clearly visible. The beast doesn’t even make an effort to change its position when it is attacked.
The developers did learn from their mistakes and improved on this part in their sequel Borderlands 2, which went on to be a bigger hit.
2.The Sorcerer – Shadow of the Colossus
Shadow of the Colossus was initially released in 2005 for PlayStation 2 and later re-released for PlayStation 3 in 2011. The action-adventure game was developed by Team Ico and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. Shadow of the Colossus was one of the highest ranked games in 2005 with an average critic score of 91% in GameRankings. Although the game is a great one, it is not without flaws.
The game is one of my personal favorites and I enjoyed the game until the very end, i.e. facing the penultimate colossus. The final colossus, called the Sorcerer, disappointed me aplenty. The Sorcerer stands in a stationary position, unlike the other bosses in the game, and fires energy bolts at you. The Sorcerer also makes you run, jump, dodge, and duck around him. The real irritation of this part is when you get hit by a bolt and sent flying. Once you recover and try to stand up you’ll get hit by another bolt, and this repeats for a number of times. You can just imagine the frustration.
In case you get out of the situation, your next step would be to climb on top of him, which will keep you away from the bolts. However, for some reason you are forced to jump from his back to his left arm and tumble down to the ground most of the time. This happens mostly because of the unresponsive controls and the Sorcerer’s furious shaking. There’s a strong possibility of most players giving up at this point but if you can somehow stick to colussus’ left arm, climb up and hit his pressure point with a knife, then attack his other arm with a bow you’ll be able to beat the mighty opponent. This will definitely require some practice, though.
3. Rodrigo Borgia – Assassin’s Creed 2
Another boss that is featured in this list is Assassin’s Creed 2‘s Rodrigo Borgia. There is no doubt that Assassin’s Creed 2 is an wonderful game but it is the final boss fight that frustrates me. The game, which is a sequel to the 2007 release Assassin’s Creed, was developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. The game was well received upon its release and got scores of over 90 out of 100 in Metacritic and GameRanking aggregates.
Assassin’s Creed 2 has a very anti-climatic end with Ezio letting Rodrigo Borgia live. There was nothing Ubisoft could do as they would have lost historical accuracy if he was killed. This made the final battle frustrating as Ezio couldn’t kill his enemy, although he sought for revenge for a very long time. The fight between the two, which occurs in the Vatican chambers, is also a fist fight, which should have involved much more as both of them possessed Godly powers. This is certainly very depressing.
4. Lucien – Fable 2
Fable 2 was released in 2008 as an Xbox 360 exclusive. The game was developed by Lionhead Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios. Fable 2 was set nearly 500 years after the original Fable, which released in 2004. Although the game received positive reviews from the critics the final boss fight disappointed many fans.
Fans complained that the ending of the game was really poor as the final showdown didn’t possess any challenge at all. Lucien, whom you need to fight at last, isn’t a good villain at all. You have no reason to seek revenge against him as he hasn’t harmed you at all. The ending is so fast that you shoot him once, he falls down, then dies. How can we not be disappointed with such a pathetic end to a great game?
5. The Human Reaper – Mass Effect 2
Another great game with a poor ending. Mass Effect 2 is a great game that won many awards including ‘Best Xbox 360 game’ and ‘Best RPG.’ The game developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts was released in 2010 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. The near perfect game had only one flaw, and that was the ending which left most of the fans disappointed.
Mass Effect 2 is very gripping until the final boss appears. The suicide mission before that is awesome and has great consequences in the Mass Effect universe. You need to choose your best team who is assigned different tasks for the mission, and everything goes on perfectly until the Human Reaper appears. First of all, the looks of the boss is not appealing at all. The Human Reaper looks like a normal human, which is less than frightening. The fight against him is also not challenging as he can be killed quite easily.
6. Liquid Ocelot – Metal Gear Solid 4
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was released exclusively for PlayStation 3 in 2008. The action-adventure and stealth game was developed by Kojima Productions and published by Konami. The game, which received much critical acclaim, is a sequel to both Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2. The game also received various accolades including ‘Game of the Year’ awards from many publications.
It is actually very tough to criticize great games such as Metal Gear Solid 4, which is technically flawless, but one single thing that bothered many is the fight between Solid Snake and Liquid Ocelot. This final fight is uninspired and not impressive at all. These two old enemies fight in the same old animation in a dramatized manner. Even though there would be some who would oppose my views, I’ll still suggest that it could have been made much better.
7. Necron – Final Fantasy IX
Final Fantasy IX‘s Necron features next in our list of worst boss fights in video games. Final Fantasy IX is the ninth installment of the legendary series and was awarded positive reviews by most of the critics. The game, which was developed and published by Square was released in 2000/2001. Although, the game was a great one, a lot of fans complained that the final boss fight was not up to the mark.
Final Fantasy IX is a very long game where the players need to hunt for chocographs, explore, level up, collect Zodiac coins, master synthesis and do a lot more for an excess of forty hours. After going through all these tasks, the players need to face Necron, a creature which was conjured out of Kuja’s hate, fear and his thrive for destruction. Necron has actually no relation to the game and it feels like it was being thrown into the game for the last fight. Even if Necron gives a tough challenge, that last fight was deserved by Kuja. This anti-climatic ending is what disappointed many players, including myself.
8. The Starchild – Mass Effect 3
This is the second Mass Effect game that makes its way into this list. It seems like BioWare didn’t learn from their previous mistake. Mass Effect 3 is without a doubt a great game with a marvelous story, nice gameplay, controls and graphics. The game received critical acclaim and had great reception upon its release. The only thing in it that could have been much better was the fight with the Starchild.
In this case it will not be honest to blame only the Starchild. The protagonist in the game, Shephard, will also need to share the criticisms as he goes out of his character to react in this scene. BioWare made attempts to fix the issue with this by adding DLC, but they couldn’t fix it completely. Although the issue was resolved to some extent, the anti-climatic nature of the game’s ending still remained.
9. Bed of Chaos – Dark Souls
Dark Souls is an action RPG which was released in 2011/2012 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. The game was developed by From Software and published by Namco Bandai. The game is the second installment of the Souls series with 2009/2010’s Demon’s Souls being the first one. The game was received with positive reviews upon its release with critics praising it for the deeply rooted lore, fair difficulty and its combat depth.
The bosses in Dark Souls are mostly scary creatures and you can beat them after you get accustomed to the pattern. However, Bed of Chaos is just an opposite case. It is a plant-like creature which is not so easy to deal with. Although it only needs to be whacked three times to destroy, it is not an easy task at all. Bed of Chaos uses its long limbs to full potential to hammer you and create big gorges in the floor. This is one of the most irritating creatures you’ll find in Dark Souls to fight against.
10. Hoyt – Far Cry 3
The final boss fight in Far Cry 3 is a surprising and frustrating one. There is no doubt that Far Cry 3 is a great game which received a lot of critical acclaim. The gamed developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft was released in 2012 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.
The final showdown in Far Cry 3 is with a villain named Hoyt. You’ll be surprised to know that Hoyt comes out of nowhere for the final fight as he has nothing to do with you prior to that scene. Far Cry 3 has already a great villain named Vaas, who is a psychopath. It was Vaas who does all the evil work in the game by kidnapping you and your friends, but for some reason Ubisoft didn’t stick with him for the final battle. Very surprising.
11. Lawrence Barrett – Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a cyper-punk themed game which was released in 2011. The third-person shooter was developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and PC. Deus EX: Human Revolution is a great game which provides nice upgrades and abilities according to your style of play.
The can also be played stealthily, but one thing you cannot avoid are the boss fights. The first boss in the game is Lawrence Barrett, whose hand turns into a mini gun. Barrett has also an unlimited supply of grenades which make it more frustrating. You’ll definitely have to acquire some patience to kill him.
12. Nihilanth – Half-Life
First-person shooter video game Half-Life was released back in 1998. The game was developed by Valve LLC and was published by Sierra Games for Microsoft Windows. Half-Life is the first game of the series where players need to play as Dr. Gordon Freeman.
Half Life has got some good bosses against that are very interesting to fight, but the lamest of all is Nihilanth. Nihilanth appears in the game when you are already accustomed to the game’s environment. It is a big floating fetus-like creature that can easily be destroyed by shooting the big ball of energy inside its head.
13. Hive Mind - Dead Space
Dead Space is one of the most frightening games I have ever played. The game developed by EA Redwood Shores and published by EA was released in 2008. The game received worldwide critical acclaim and was followed by two sequels, Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3.
Dead Space is a great game to play with great bosses and fights. However, things are quite the opposite in the case of Hive Mind. Hive Mind is a Necromorph which attacks in a particular pattern. It is quite simple to figure out that pattern and kill Hive Mind.
14. Navarro – Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
Uncharted: Drakes’s Fortune is the first game of the largely successful Uncharted series. The game was developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. The game was initially released in 2007 for PlayStation 3 and was re-released in 2015 for PlayStation 4. The game received several accolades from various reviewers and sold 1 million copies in the first ten week of its release.
Although, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is a great game, defeating the main boss is quite frustrating. The bad guy called Navarro could be beaten only after a dreadful series of events that happens way too fast. This is a bit harsh because throughout the whole game you kill baddies by single head shots or well placed grenades. The ending of game after killing Navarro is great if you are a romance lover, otherwise it adds to your frustration.