Video game bosses have been there for as long as video games as an art form have existed. They serve as the hurdles to test players’ aptitude for gaming and test their skills and know-how about a particular game. If you can’t beat a certain boss, that just means that you aren’t qualified to head further into the game. Well, that was the basic principle of video game bosses at least.
Nowadays, some boss battles are no longer just hurdles—they are concrete, towering walls! Instead of challenging bosses, games today are peppered with near-unbeatable ones. True, the same existed before, but it is more evident than ever in today’s gaming landscape. Do not get us wrong, however. We love to be challenged more than the next guy, but some of them are just borderline unfair.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the hardest video game boss encounters in history. The bosses on this list aren’t just out to test your gaming skills, but also your patience and willingness to push through. In fact, the mere mention of some of them later below may spring the memory of many from when they crushed their controllers due to frustration.
Without further ado, here are our picks for the top 5 hardest video game bosses in history.
Top 5: Emerald Weapon – Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII’s Emerald Weapon boss is so challenging it became the parameter of whether you are truly a Final Fantasy completionist or not. This infuriating, giant, robot-creature can take thousands and thousands of damage without even budging. In addition to having to deal with a literal 1 million HP, players are expected to finish the encounter within just 20 minutes!
This makes the Emerald Weapon boss fight a true test of fortitude, concentration, and speed. Players have to be precise with every command they order and their characters should at least be near max level to at least have a chance against this monster.
Thankfully, the Emerald Weapon boss fight is completely optional. It is up to you whether you want to subject yourself to its punishment or not. Push through it, however, and you’d feel so delighted you’d forget all the frustrations you accumulated.
Top 4: Lingering Will – Kingdom Hearts 2
You wouldn’t necessarily think a light-hearted game series like Kingdom Hearts would have some of history’s hardest boss encounters, but you’d be wrong. This series has insanely tough secret bosses that even series veterans have trouble dealing with. To demonstrate, look no further than the Lingering Will boss fight in Kingdom Hearts 2. This boss is so tough, several series diehards are still hoping to beat it one day.
Lingering Will is infamous for forcing players to utilize every tool that they may have accumulated throughout playing the game. Beating this guy can sometimes feel impossible. Even if you already are at max level and in possession of the game’s ultimate weapon. He is extremely fast, has tons of HP, is very powerful, and is pretty unpredictable. Beating the Lingering Will should just be the test to become a keyblade master!
Top 3: GNA, The Valkyrie Queen – God of War: Ragnarok
If you think Sigrun from 2018’s God of War reboot was already hard, you haven’t seen anything yet. God of War: Ragnarok’s GNA puts the previous game’s toughest encounters to shame. We dare go as far as to say that this is the hardest boss fight in the history of God of War itself! Despite possessing the best gear in the game, and maxing out all of Kratos’ skill tree, you’d more than likely have trouble beating GNA still.
GNA, as an optional final boss, is the true test of skill for anyone who played God of War: Ragnarok. You’d have to be a master of all the game’s elements to at least stand a chance against the Valkyrie queen. There is no shame in failing even after 50 times (we did). Even seasoned veterans are having trouble with this one.
Top 2: Absolute Virtue – Final Fantasy XI
The very mention of Absolute Virtue should already send shivers down the spine of Final Fantasy XI players. This purple monstrosity was a nightmare for everyone back then because of how tough it is to beat. Believe us, this one is for those that truly want to drive themselves to the point of insanity and do not mind losing hours and hours of their precious time.
Indeed, MMORPG bosses are notorious for being extremely tough, but this one is just way too much. In fact, it went undefeated for years—that is a wonder in itself right there! It was only when the developers themselves felt the agony of what they have created that defeating Absolute Virtue became possible. The team behind Final Fantasy XI released a patch lowering the boss’ HP considerably while adding a two-hour limit.
But even after that, Absolute Virtue remains a menace. You really have to be a master of the game to be able to defeat this one.
Top 1: Nameless King – Dark Souls 3
A list of hardest bosses isn’t complete without at least including one from the infamous Dark Souls series. In fact, you can argue that you can fill out a list just like this with bosses from FromSoftware’s masterpieces alone. Nevertheless, we decided to include just one for diversity’s sake. And what do you know, it is what we believe is the hardest video game boss in history. Bow down to the Nameless King…well, you’d certainly do that willingly or not.
This extremely tough boss puts the intimidation levels to the max right off the gate. He arrives straddling a giant dragon in a foggy, plain area. And with the iconic music blasting, as he arrives, it isn’t hard to find yourself stunned for a few seconds at his arrival.
The encounter is challenging from the get-go. His dragon packs a lot of damage and is very hard to predict. Those that manage to slay the dragon should certainly feel proud of themselves, however, the true fight is just starting. As tough as his dragon is to beat, fighting the Nameless King himself is even tougher. One mistake and you’d see yourself repeating the whole nightmare encounter again.
Words can’t describe how truly challenging beating the Nameless King is. You only have to try it out for yourself to see what really makes this encounter special. Dark Souls 3’s Nameless King stands atop the pantheon of cruel, punishing, and controller-breaking video game bosses.