We’re all too familiar with the frustration that follows another defeat at the hands of a formidable boss. But what if we told you some video game bosses are even more formidable? From the realms of Legend of Zelda and Ghost of Tsushima to Sekiro and the Dark Souls Trilogy, we present to you a compilation of the most challenging video game bosses who’re masters at swordplay.
10 Toughest Video Game Bosses
#1: Isshin Ashina — Sekiro
Isshin Ashina reigns supreme as an exceptionally challenging boss in Sekiro. What sets him apart is the fact that players can only win by skillfully combining all the techniques and knowledge acquired throughout their journey. Isshin stands as the ultimate test, incorporating elements of all the mini-bosses and adversaries faced within the walls of Ashina Castle.
The reason why Isshin is an absolute nightmare is due to the three-stage battle of escalating difficulty that awaits. From lightning-fast sword strikes demanding nimble evasion to skillfully countering his lethal spear thrusts, Isshin will even strike you down with thunder. Beating Isshin ultimately boils down to one crucial aspect — Your parrying skills. The triumph of defeating him is an unparalleled sense of accomplishment we don’t often encounter in video games.
#2: Malenia — Elden Ring
Picture one word when you think of Malenia — Despair. She’s one of the toughest bosses to beat in Elden Ring and just about any other video game out there because of her hellish combos. What makes her a formidable adversary is her ability to heal each time she lands a blow on you.
So, beating her boils down to remembering all of her moves, combos, and skills. You can then devise strategies to counter her unrelenting attacks. But the challenge doesn’t end there — Brace yourself for the moment she falls only to rise again, presenting one of the most gruelling battles in the realm of video games.
#3: The Nameless King — Dark Souls 3
The Nameless King is an optional boss battle in Dark Souls 3 for a good reason. It unfolds in two phases. First, you face off against The Nameless King’s pet dragon where keeping your distance is futile. In fact, the minute you’re out of the mount’s reach, it’ll take flight to hunt you down. As for The Nameless King himself, he hits fast and hard. A single blow can spell instant doom.
#4: Starscourge Radahn — Elden Ring
Starscourge Radahn is an absolute behemoth of a demigod capable of moving the stars. Yes, you heard that right! Radahn showers anyone unfortunate enough to cross paths with him with celestial projectiles. So, not only is this fight a cinematic experience, but also a formidable one because Radahn wields two large swords. Keeping your distance is also not advisable because he can unleash the aforementioned stars upon you.
#5: Ganondorf — The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker
Link and Ganon have fought many battles throughout The Legend of Zelda games. But the one against Ganondorf in The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker takes the cake. It’s a memorable boss fight because Ganondorf finally has a personality and it’s far from virtuous.
Throughout the game, Ganondorf actively harbours animosity towards Link and Zelda, showing no hesitation in causing harm. Defeating Ganondorf becomes all the more satisfying, although his relentless barrage of attacks with his twin blades is anything but amusing.
#6: Sephiroth — Final Fantasy 7
Sephiroth is a popular Final Fantasy villain because of his devastating attacks. The boss fight is held in an impact crater and following the events of Final Fantasy 7, he descends from the Sky to kill Cloud and his companions. Not only is the soundtrack immersive, but the visuals on the PlayStation 1 were also one of the best of its time.
Watching his ultimate attack, Supernova, thrash the solar system on its way to decimate Cloud is impressive. This attack is a literal planet destroyer — Let that sink in for a second. So, dazing and preventing him from performing his attacks is quite integral to beating the fight.
#7: The Tengu Demon — Ghost of Tsushima
The Tengu Demon boss fight is part of the Mythic Tales which makes this boss battle different from your usual fights. Putting it simply, you’re not fighting a human but a supernatural adversary. Unlike most opponents, this demon favours heavy swipe attacks that are unblockable in many cases.
The Tengu can easily be beaten back like a dummy if you capitalise on its weakness — Its sluggish strikes. Also, it can control crows which will try to disorient players. In most cases, this worked a little too well because this attack targets a wide area.
#8: Jetstream Sam — Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance
Jetstream Sam is a formidable opponent regardless if he’s armed or not. Unlike other enemies in the game, he won’t switch up his movesets too much. However, you should be scared of his sheer power, speed, and agility which will dominate players the first dozen times they engage Sam in battle.
Just when you think disarming him would grant you an edge, he switches up the tempo to dominate the battle even more. Jetstream Sam’s biggest strength is his unforgiving aggression, which he displays throughout the fight. If you do defeat him, you’ll be rewarded with his powerful sword.
#9: The Spirit of Yarikawa — Ghost of Tsushima
Spoiler alert! Yarikawa is far from a spirit sent by your enemies to haunt Jin Sakai. Rather, her attacks are as mesmerising as they’re deadly. You’re the superior warrior because the Yarikawa clan has previously rebelled against the Shimura class and lost! But you’ll work for the win with the fight beginning with an assassination attempt on Jin.
She lunges, stabs, jabs, and then withdraws swiftly when you’re on the offensive. If you haven’t mastered dodging and parrying yet in Ghost of Tsushima, then this boss fight is the best opportunity for you to hone those skills. This optional boss fight is worth the hassle because you’ll be rewarded with the Dance of Wrath after defeating her. If you’re still thirsting for a sword fight, there are other tough boss battles in Ghost of Tsushima to check out.
#10: Emma — Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Emma stands out among the game’s bosses for her complete unpredictability. Recognising her attacks before she executes them is essential, or you’ll find yourself without a fighting chance. But the fight doesn’t end with her defeat. Instead, Isshin Ashina takes up the mantle, turning the encounter into one of the most brutal battles in the game. He’ll toss you around like a rag doll until you memorise his attacks and respond with precision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Is the Hardest Boss in Super Mario?
Bowser is the hardest boss in Super Mario. We say this because he has been consistently pissing off players throughout the Super Mario games.
How to Beat The Hand of the King in Dead Cells?
You can beat The Hand of the King by aiming for a particular build. Get weapons that damage enemies over time, weapons that freeze or stun opponents, long-range weapons, or melee weapons that are enhanced by the skill or weapon that deals damage over time.
Who Is the Hardest Video Game Boss?
The honour of the hardest video game boss ever belongs to a lot of video games. This includes Isshin Ashina, Senator Steven Armstrong, and Sans.
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