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Bosses are a cornerstone of gaming and one of the most important aspects in so many of our favourite games.

Beating the boss can be the hardest part of any game; the crescendo at the end of hours of strife, the rock-hard cherry on top of a hours and hours of gameplay.

Although if you think about it, bosses are actually also seen to be a huge failure in gaming, they are often dumped in an adventure or level because... well... it's a video game, and video games have bosses. Not only that but they are more than likely always defeated, right? You gotta git gud, after all!

All jokes aside though, where would you be without bosses? Finishing levels with a whimper and a quiet walk to the next world? Not having Bowser appear out of nowhere at the end of a level on Mario Bros., it just wouldn’t be the same without him.

As the years go on, bosses are becoming better than ever before, having all types of mixed abilities, making beating a boss harder and harder. I would be careful when choosing your approach if you are wanting to finally beat the boss!

With all that being said, what exactly makes a good gaming boss?

We think that to make a good boss, they need to have the following:

  • A fair range of attacks, this then keeps the game nice and fresh for the players.
  • Making the boss unusually large. Bigger is the better!
  • Creativity in a boss is key! No-one likes a forgettable boss.
  • Lastly, a weak spot or vulnerability that can be exploited. We all love when we find their weak points, usually glowing eyes or gaping wounds will suffice.

All of the below have been carefully chosen by the gamers in Nzgameshop's offices. They have all been judged based on their skills, difficulty, weaknesses and last but not least, memorability. So without further ado, here are our top 10 hardest gaming bosses...

10. Dr Wily (Mega Man Series)

Wily was Dr. Light's partner and friend, and helped him create a series of humanoid robots to help mankind, though the world ignored his contribution. Jealous, he reprogrammed the robots for combat, seeking to use them as weapons to assist him in taking over the world, with the exception of the childlike robots Rock and Roll. He appears everywhere and makes you want to throw your console in the bin he’s that good! He is most gamers arch enemy when it comes to the Mega Man series and rightly so...

9. Grunty (Banjo-Kazooie)

Gruntilda, or Grunty for short, is a wicked witch with magical spells capable of doing anything, even going as far as death! She enjoys rhyming, which really annoys Grunty's three sisters as they really dislike her rhymes. Gruntilda spent the entirety of the N64 classic Banjo-Kazooie teasing you with her witty rhymes, but the final showdown may just wipe the smile from your face. It’s a good job you saved all those Jinjos, because The Mighty Jinjonator proved extremely useful.

8. Senator Armstrong (Metal Gear Rising: Revengence)

Armstrong wasn't always a bad-ass boss. When he was young, he used to play college football for the University of Texas, in which he excelled at the game. Years later, he later joined the United States Navy, which sacrificed his chances of going pro. By the time of 2018, Armstrong became a senator for the state of Colorado. The mixture of hard hits and wrestling moves he brings to the battle makes it very challenging to beat. When up against Armstrong, you really need to think out your moves otherwise it could be your last.

7. Liquid Snake (Metal Gear Solid)

Liquid was born in 1972 as a result of a top secret black ops project initiated by the patriots known as "Les Enfant Teribles". Shortly after birth, Liquid is sent off to the United Kingdom where he eventually joins the S.A.S. where is skyrocketed up the ranks. Many gamers struggle defeating him, spending hours trying to beat him. Only few gamers figure out his attacks and eventually defeat him as this guy pulls out all the cheap moves!

6. Yellow-Devil (Mega Man)

"Bumo... Bumomomo! Bumomo Bumomomomo Bumo!". Yes, another one from the Mega Man series but this boss is probably the most memorable out of them all. Yellow Demon, is a gigantic yellow robot, the first combat robot created by Doctor Albert W. Wily actually. If you are wanting vicotry in this boss battle, timing is key in beating the Yellow Devil, every one of his attacks needs to be avoided then you only have a short moment in being able to manipulate him.

5. Mike Tyson (Mike Tyson's Punch Out!)

"Hey! Is this kid a joke? Where's the real challenger?". For the first part of the game, Tyson will throw nothing but one-hit knockdown uppercuts, and if he connects, Mac will get an instant ticket to the canvas. Because of this, your timing had to be perfect when battling him. Every hit had to be precise enough if you wanted to win. After all, the game was even named after him, that’s when you knew it would be hard!

4. Nameless King (Dark Souls 3)

The Nameless King is an optional boss enemy in Dark Souls 3. During the first part of the boss battle, he is named "King of the Storm," until the wyvern he is riding is killed. Which then begins the second phase where his name changes to "Nameless King." Trying to beat this guy was one of the toughest boss fights in all of Dark Souls 3. His weapon is so speedy and powerful, making it one hell of a battle that many gamers fail to defeat!

3. Shao Khan (Mortal Kombat)

Shao Kahn is one of the most celebrated villains in video games. While he is noted as a difficult boss, publications and critics have praised his design, in-game abilities, and mannerisms—particularly his tactic of mocking and taunting players. Khan is the Emperor of the Outworld, he fights brutally and is completely relentless when it comes to his battles. He isn’t the friendliest boss that you will come across...

2. Sephiroth (Kingdom Hearts)

He is labeled as one of the most powerful villains in the Kingdom Hearts series. Sephiroth is portrayed as a master swordsman, wielding a long blade known as the Masamune meaning that just one hit from Sephiroth can be a big threat to your hit points. His hits make him a legendary boss in Kingdom Hearts. He gives players a really hard time in trying to beat him, a boss not many can say they have successfully beaten.

All of the above were difficult but none more so than Emerald Weapon from Final Fantasy VII...

1. Emerald Weapon (Final Fantasy VII)

We all know that another great boss from Final Fantasy is Ruby Weapon but Emerald beats all. What makes it so much harder to beat than all the other bosses from Final Fantasy is the restriction that the boss imposes on the player! Because Emerald Weapon is only found at the bottom of the ocean, the fight can only last for 20 minutes and even if the player gets around the timer, they still need to face the boss in all its terrifying glory.

We hope you enjoyed our pick of the top 10 hardest bosses, chosen by our very own gamers here at These have been picked out especially for you but we’d love to hear your top 10! So what’s the hardest boss that you’ve gone up against and was you successful? Let us know on our social media with #nzgameshopbosses

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