Typically at the end of each level, you’ll encounter an obstacle like a boss. But what is a boss? Are they the ones holding your paycheck? Close. A boss is an enemy or a group of enemies that deals more damage and high HP, and beating them clears the current stage and opens a new one. At the end of the new level lies another boss, the cycle repeats up to the very last level where the most powerful boss, the final boss resides. You’ve only beaten the game once you’ve beaten the final boss.
Final bosses come in many forms and some of them are very bad in terms of gameplay. They may look flashy and the death of the boss can severely impact the story of the games, but if you squint your eyes and judge them by difficulty, they’re very easy. To illustrate, Honey’s Anime has compiled 10 final bosses that are so easy, no effort was needed. Let’s do this!
10. Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII
- System: PS1, PC, Android, iOS, PS4
- Publisher: SquareSoft
- Developer: SquareSoft, SCEA
- Release Dates: September 7th, 1997
Shinra Electric Company, Jenova, Mako Energy, the Lifestream, SOLDIER, the story of Final Fantasy VII is one huge tangled web and ultimately centers on the antagonist Sephiroth, the One-Winged Angel. After beating countless bosses, visiting towns and cities around the world, explored the depths of the ocean, after winning Chocobo races, and after Cloud cross-dressed this one time, Cloud and his band of freedom fighters are now fighting the most powerful being in known existence.
Sephiroth has multiple stages and they’re very challenging even if your characters are maxed out. Each form is powerful than the last, and once you’ve reached his second form and the orchestral music kicks in, you know this form, called Safer-Sephiroth, is gonna be epic and can kick your ass. After taking several Supernovas to the face, you finally have taken down this angelic monstrosity. But wait, there is still one more final battle! Cloud descends further down the planet through the Lifestream and there he finds Sephiroth in his human form. This battle is just between Sephiroth and Cloud and whoever wins will decide the fate of the planet.
Unfortunately, this is a cinematic boss battle where everything is on autopilot. Cloud can quickly access his Omnislash Limit Break (regardless you’ve learned it or not) and use it to end Sephiroth. If you don’t use Cloud’s Limit Break, Sephiroth will attack and Cloud will counterattack, killing the once revered war hero and mighty angel. Regardless the final boss is a disappointment or not, the final death scene is perfect for ending such a massive game like Final Fantasy VII.
9. Atoq Navarro from Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (Uncharted: El Dorado no Hihou)
- System: PS3
- Publisher: Naughty Dog
- Developer: SCEA
- Release Dates: November 16th, 2007
The Uncharted series is one of the PlayStation's finest games with fast-paced action, heart-pounding set pieces, memorable characters and witty dialogue, especially the banter between Drake and the supporting cast. Think of Uncharted as the modern take on Indiana Jones—Treasure hunter Nathan Drake has discovered a diary that details the location of the legendary city of gold El Dorado, and with a thirst for adventure, Nathan sets out to find El Dorado and uncover its secrets.
Treasure hunting and platforming aside, Uncharted is a third-person cover shooter where you hug walls tightly like you would hug your mother and shoot at the bad guys in between shots. The final mission will have you storm through a lot of cannon fodder until you reach the main antagonist Atoq Navarro, who is a mortal human and… normally humans are less intimidating than giants, monsters or ghosts.
In the final stand against Navarro, fighting him like you usually do is not an option because he can one-shot you as soon as you poke your head out of cover. This is counter-intuitive because you’ve been poking your head out to shoot people since the beginning, so this random shift in gameplay was jarring. Anyway, you’ll soon figure out that you have to switch locations between shots and once you’re in close proximity of Navarro, you beat the crap out of him with two easy quick time events to end the rather quick encounter. What were you expecting from a human final boss anyway? Navarro takes a whiff of a virus found within the treasure and turns into a vampire-like creature so he becomes agiler and can take more punishment? Nah, that’s too unrealistic!
8. Jacknife from Mirror’s Edge
- System: PC, Xbox 360
- Publisher: EA DICE
- Developer: EA GAMES
- Release Dates: November 11th, 2008
Mortal humans make for bad final bosses. How do you make them challenging and at the same time make the fight believable? This problem plagued Mirror’s Edge and the final boss Jacknife. In Mirror’s Edge, the main gameplay is parkour--move around rooftops, by jumping climbing, etc. Movement is very fluid if you can seamlessly chain together your runs, jumps, slides, and grabs. There is combat with guns, but it’s so clunky that you’ll end up getting killed instead. Movement is key in Mirror’s Edge.
Around mid-way through the game, it is fully established that Jacknife was responsible for the events surrounding Mirror’s Edge. After taking down armed guards and a couple of servers to unlock the next path (wink wink that’s a tip right there), you led Faith up the rooftop with Jacknife taking your sister Kate as a hostage. As Jacknife boards the helicopter, your goal is to catch up with them and save your sister. The sequence is a short parkour through boxes, dodging gunfire and jump off the building and grab onto the helicopter. If the jump and grab links, Faith will proceed to kick Jacknife off the helicopter and into his death, and the final encounter is concluded.
You can’t do much with gameplay that’s focused on parkour, but it would’ve been nice you fight Jacknife--a former runner--while the two of you hanging for dear life. Maybe add quick time events for a more cinematic feel, and give Jacknife a less pathetic closure as the game’s final antagonist. Oh well...
7. Frau Irene Engel from Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
- System: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
- Publisher: MachineGames
- Developer: Bethesda Softworks
- Release Dates: October 27th, 2017
In the New Order, you, William "BJ" Blazkowicz disfigured her face and she wasn’t happy about it, and in the New Colossus, Irene Engle has been promoted to Lieutenant General and her main objective is to hunt down the Resistance and get her revenge on BJ. Irene eventually found where he was hiding and killed one of his closest allies and eventually got BJ killed by decapitation. Fortunately, BJ survived by sewing his head on to a new body (don’t ask how that worked) and he’s back bringing Hell and Doom to the Nazi Regime and settle a score with Irene.
After a series of long cutscenes and intense encounters with giant robot dogs and mechanized soldiers, you and your crew took control over Irene’s flying fortress and it’s a metaphorical sign that Irene’s power is dwindling. Your next objective is to kill Irene and this takes you backstage of a live talk show with Irene as a guest. BJ sneaks past the guards eventually leading you to the front stage and kills her with a hatchet to the face just by running forward and attack. And that’s your final boss.
It’s disappointing for a self-aware and self-parodying game series like Wolfenstein with all its robot Nazis, massive flying ships, and ridiculous weaponry to end with just a press of a button. One would expect Irene would run away (probably with her hand still chopped off) and pilot a huge tank or robot for one final and exciting showdown, but nope, the encounter ends with just one fatal blow to the head. But I guess the long and intrusive cutscenes found throughout the game foreshadowed how the New Colossus will end. But hey, Irene is another mortal human and, yeah, them hairless apes don’t make for good final bosses.
6. M. Bison from Street Fighter V
- System: PS4, PC, Linux
- Publisher: Capcom
- Developer: Capcom
- Release Dates: February 16th, 2016
The Street Fighter games have several bosses, but M. Bison (or Vega in the Japanese version) is the main final boss the player must defeat in order to get the ending of your character. M. Bison is super aggressive and the AI can cheat by allowing him to execute special moves in quick succession like in Street Fighter II, or has an almost-unblockable super art that covers the entire screen found in Street Fighter Alpha 3. And with the added pressure of winning two rounds against him, one slip up can be fatal.
In Street Fighter V’s story mode, however, M. Bison is the easiest to beat thanks to his less aggressive AI and you can beat him in one round, eliminating the chance for him to make a comeback. Once you beat him, the game ends with a long cutscene and that’s it. M. Bison will not revive or come back in a more powerful form, or anything that will extend the fight. It’s like the guy in charge of the story scenarios is that player who set the matches to end in one round, set the difficulty to easy so they can get everyone’s ending cutscene very quick...
5. Bowser from Super Mario Bros.
- System: NES, SNES, Arcade, Famicom Disc System, GBA, Switch
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release Dates: October 18th, 1985
You encounter Bowser in every world and as you progress, he will become aggressive with higher frequency to throw his breath and toss a barrage of hammers. At this part of the game, any player who has already beaten the 7 lesser forms of Bowser already figured out that there are exactly 4 ways to beat him. One jumps over him with good timing, two is run under him as he jumps, three is to hit him with the fire flower power up and four is get hit by him while Mario is in super mushroom form and use the few seconds of invincibility to pass through Bowser and hit the axe.
Now, one might think that this is a bit unfair because Super Mario Bros. is a straightforward game, but if you compare Super Mario Bros. to other arcade games’ bosses, Bowser is a tad too easy and wouldn’t rake in the quarters like bullet hell and beat ‘em up games. You are most likely to die due to environmental hazards than getting killed by Bowser, so this is a perfect example of the beating levels are harder than fighting the actual boss.
4. Sauron from Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
- System: PC, Linux, MAC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Publisher: Monolith Productions
- Developer: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Release Dates: September 30th, 2014
If you strip down the story of Shadow of Mordor, it’s basically a story of revenge of one guy losing his family to some guy in black. Talion and his family were sacrificed and he survived thanks to a wraith possessing him, preventing him from dying. This wraith is none other than the Elf Lord Celebrimbor. With his newfound wraith powers, Talion and Celebrimbor march across the scorched land of Mordor and find the man who killed him and his family.
The gameplay of Shadow of Mordor strongly resembles that of the Arkham games where you use combos, dodges, and parries to take down the army of orcs, and you also take them down using stealth complete with “Detective Vision”. But the bread and butter of Shadow of Mordor is the Nemesis System that makes orc encounters interesting and even does orc politics like finding weaknesses within the hierarchy and implant your own controlled orcs to take over. That’s very cool and all, but we all know why we all play Lord of the Ring games in the first place is beating the crap of Sauron.
Nearing the end, and after beating a boss with a mechanic ripped off from the Mr. Freeze fight in Arkham City, your expectations for a Sauron final boss battle was now lowered. Were you wrong for losing expectations? Nope. Sauron shows up at the end and all you do is press a few buttons in a quick time event. And the button prompts aren’t even hard due to the game slowing down giving you time to react while baking a wedding cake at the same time. Was it really that hard to program an AI who essentially a big guy in armor carrying a mace?
3. The Didact from Halo 4
- System: Xbox 360
- Publisher: 343 Industries
- Developer: Microsoft Game Studios
- Release Dates: November 6th, 2012
Bosses in Halo games aren’t that plenty nor special, but they were trying. Halo 3’s 343 Guilty Spark final boss battle was a letdown, in terms of difficulty, and with a pair of huge shoes to fill, new Halo developers 343 Industries was poised to meet expectations and exceed them… especially crafting the final mission to perfection. It’s a no-brainer to end your games on a high note, after all.
So a few years after Halo 3, Master Chief and his AI partner Cortana were caught in another conflict, fighting enemies new and old. Further down the plot, the duo accidentally released the Didact, an ancient warrior and former supreme commander of the Forerunner military, and he serves as the main antagonist of the game. The Didact kicked your ass and he is shown to be extremely powerful with telekinetic powers and a smart tactician. He has Jedi-like powers, looks intimidating, so a final encounter with him should be interesting… r-right…? WRONG!
Cortana stopped the Didact on its feet, Master Chief quickly recovers from a previous attack, rushes towards the boss and planted a bomb to weaken the Didact. What happens next? Was the didact severely wounded and leveled the playing field? Nah. After the blast, the Didact was disoriented and… well… he fell to his death. Add the Wilhelm Scream and his death is pathetically funny. Hey, good job there, 343 Industries. You made Halo 3’s final boss more exciting than Halo 4’s.
2. Lucien Fairfax from Fable II
- System: Xbox 360
- Publisher: Lionhead Studios
- Developer: Microsoft Games Studios
- Release Dates: October 21st, 2008
Lucien’s plans to acquire great power in order to resurrect his family is a noble one, but unfortunately, the Fairfax family has a long history of mental instability, so they don’t make for great leaders... Look at how Germany turned out! *ahem* Instead of using his power to resurrect his family, he decides to become a god instead and remake the world as he sees fit, a world where no one will ever die. Unfortunately, in order to attain this power, Lucien needs the embodiment of the Hero disciplines of old, Strength, Skill and Will.
As the Hero of this tale, you confront Lucien in a chamber where he’s channeling power from the captured Heroes of Strength, Skill, and Will. Too bad for Lucien because, you, the Hero has an artifact that can cancel his channeling spell. There’s no resistance here for Lucien is immobile and all you need to do is press a button to stop him in his tracks. Stripped off his power, Lucien is wide open and you can kill him in one hit. Once he’s dead… he’s… dead… Permanently. Even if you don’t kill him and thought you might get an alternate ending or give him time to recover and attack, one of your NPC friends will kill Lucien for you. Yeah, this boss takes only one hit to kill. Did we mention about mortal humans don’t make for good final bosses?
1. King Allant from Demon’s Souls
- System: PS3
- Publisher: From Software
- Developer: Atlus
- Release Dates: October 6th, 2009
What happened to the land of Boletaria? Under the rule of King Allant XII, he channeled the power souls and brought immense prosperity to Boletaria. However, his thirst for power and meddling with the dark arts became his undoing as a mysterious fog has engulfed the land and isolated the kingdom from the rest of the land. Demons spawned within Boletaria and madness ensued. You are a warrior who managed to survive entering the fog and it is foretold that you are the savior Boletaria has been waiting for.
Demon’s Souls is the very game that brought back difficulty to gaming and was the leading cause of PS3 controller deaths that drove a lot of unsuspecting players mad. Aggressive enemies, deadly traps, massive locations, and powerful bosses, Demon’s Souls will test your skills as a gamer and it will also test your sanity as you die hundreds of times. However, overcoming all odds and defeating the bosses is one of the euphoric experiences a player can attain. Imagine you’re down to a sliver of health and perfectly dodged an attack and land the finishing blow, seeing the victory message “THE DEMON WAS SLAIN” will have you jump out of your seat and yell F**K YEAH!
As you progressed through the game you face foes mightier than the ones you’ve beaten until you’ve faced King Allant himself. In an unexpected twist, the Old King Allant boss you’ve beaten wasn’t the true King Allant. When you return to the Nexus, a new pathway reveals and leads you to where the true king is hiding. You prepared yourself by stocking up healing spices, equip the best armor and upgraded the best weapons. Upon entering the fog gate, you finally see King Allant, but he devolved nothing but a pitiful slime that poses no real threat to you. Is this the mighty king? There’s no strategy in this final boss fight for King Allant poses no real threat. As an act of pity on your part, you swiftly put the once mighty king out of his misery and finally beat Demon’s Souls.
To some players, the final boss is anti-climatic, but to others, the final boss King Allant is a pitiful picture of a man who rose like the gods and fell like the pitiful human that he was.
The point of bosses is they act as a test for the player--a test whether or not you’ve mastered the game’s mechanics. And of course, the final boss is a culmination of what you have learned and mastered. You’ve learned certain enemies are weak to specific elements, you’ve learned that blunt weapons are great against heavy armor while crooked/rusted weapons can cause bleed, or a powerful assault rifle can go through walls, etc.
However, there are exceptions to the rule and it’s just a matter of how you portray the final boss. Is the final boss meant to die in one hit? Is the final boss easy to kill because of story reasons? Or is the final boss based on quick time events? The list has examples of final bosses that are not meant to challenge, but rather they’re meant to evoke a response from the player like empathy or hate or represent the game’s story.
The final bosses here aren’t bad per se, but rather they’re just bad gameplay-wise. No one should feel disappointed the big, final bad guy is easier than traversing the levels.