The best boss battles of 2010

A good boss battle is like a fine wine. Refined, elegant in it's exectuion and quite likely to kill you fourteen times on the spin. Wait, scratch that last one. Unusally, 2010 has seen a string of games with bosses that not only didn't suck, but actually proved to be some of the biggest highlights of their titles. So if you're keen to go back and reminisce about fighting feral tigers in casinos or popping a deity's eyeballs like juicy grapes, keep on a reading.

God of War III

The brilliant boss: Poseidon

What better way to start an epic Greek adventure centred around murdering your mythical old man than by fighting the God of the Sea? The answer, younglings, is squashing said sea god’s eye holes to bits with your revenge-obsessed thumbs.

Above: Here's one we mutilated earlier

Before Kratos treats Poseidon to a bit of impromptu eye surgery, though, the pair embark on the game’s most epic battle. Aided by the titan Gaia, Kratos must first beat the seaweed out of a bunch of water crab, horse… eh, things, before the H2O-lover will show himself.

It’s the sheer scale of the fight that makes it so memorable. Clambering over Gaia while you avoid Poseidon’s attacks as the titan scales Mount Olympus should be Webster’s new dictionary definition of epic. And previously mentioned eye-gouging should probably get a nod when the book gets to ‘Ewww’.

Above: Hulking great blades of death beat glorified, horse-shaped puddles every time


The brilliant boss: The spider

If we were handing out an award for the best boss introduction of 2010, Limbo’s horrific arachnid would win ‘horrendously spindly legs’ down. So here, have a smiley face sticker, spidey. While its legs sprouting from a tree and trying to impale you is unnerving, it’s got nothing on what’s to come. Over the spell of 20 minutes the eight legged freak pursues you with all the determination of a hairy T-1000.

When it finally catches you, it spins you up in webbing, seemingly leaving your haunted-eyed boy to meet his virtual maker. Thankfully, you manage to break free of your sticky cocoon. Of course, like anyone with a restraining order knows, perseverance is key, and it’s not long before the beast tracks you down again. Each time it does, it’s low reverberating score chills our spine like it’s been coated in liquid nitrogen. Still, the product of all our worst childhood fears or not, it’s ultimately no match for a kid that knows how to wield a shitting big boulder.

Dead Rising 2

The brilliant boss: Snowflake

Now, before you accost us in the streets and try to mutilate our faces with boxing gloves that have had pocket knives cellotaped onto them, we’ll concede that most of the psychopath battles in Dead Rising 2 are pretty miserable. Hell, even fighting Snowflake, an escaped performing tiger, ain’t exactly a hoot and a half. But come on. You’re fighting a frigging tiger in a casino full of zombies… usually with a bloody big burning stick. How could we leave out a fight with such a badass concept?

We’ll admit to being a tad disappointed with the colour of Snowflake’s coat. After all, any self-respecting, man-eating stripey bastard that turns up in a Vegas-style resort should be white. End of. We’ll move past our colour complaints, though, because this is the only boss on the list where you’ve got the option of saving the soul you’re beating on. If your inner WWF enthusiast is having a squirm at the thought of putting the hurt on a innocent animal, Chuck can simply win the beast over with a few tasty steaks. He can then escort it back to the warm embrace of the safe house, and even give it to his kid as an appallingly negligent pressie.


The brilliant boss: The Argus robot

In spite of what Batswana duelling midgets might say to the contrary, size is important. Why, one could even say it matters. And one would be correct if one was talking about blowing the mechanical bits off a screen-filling monstrosity like Vanquish’s Argus robot. A droid dastard of such towering proportions, not even a Predator-style minigun can scratch its surface, only Sam and his Matrix-shaming suit can stop the artificial a-hole.

And stop him he does. Capturing our hearts in the original Vanquish demo, the staggering scale of the fight warrants the first Argus battle a mention. Switching forms like the world’s most unwholesome Japanese Transformer, the best moment comes when Sam blows its arms to bits by shoving its own missiles back up through its hands. But as we’ve learned from Jason Voorhees and other sociopathic professional stabbers, video game bosses rarely do down quietly into the night. And later in Vanquish you’re attacked by two Argus robots.

Above: Time to break out the Batswana duelling midgets, we’d say


  • spawny0908 - December 28, 2010 12:36 p.m.

    Bayonetta's should be all of them. There was not one boss battle in that game that wasn't epic! Other than that good list.
  • rut4000 - December 28, 2010 12:39 p.m.

    I agree with Spawny0908, Bayonetta took bosses to a new level of cool, and hell yeah Poseidon was awesome, what a way to reintroduce the trilogy. Good List. x
  • Rub3z - December 28, 2010 12:52 p.m.

    Dude... I think you should have given No More Heroes a mention. The giant fighting robots? That, or the samurai dude. That was one hell of a fight, presented in glorious, no-strings-attached fashion. You didn't even have to hack through a bunch of other guys to get to him, it was just one-on-one upon a cliffside arena, with the glorious setting sun the only audience. I loved that fight.
  • NappyAfro - December 28, 2010 12:59 p.m.

    Aww, they chose Iustitia from Bayonetta? That fight was probably one of the boring bosses in the game. He was creepy but it was very straight forward boss to defeat. Temperantia,The Cardinal Virtue of Temperance or Father Balder are are easily more exciting than him.
  • Felixthecat - December 28, 2010 1:12 p.m.

    Agreed with most of these comments; Bayonetta's bosses are all absolutely fantastic. Anyway, I'm happy that Gobbleguts got mentioned. While he isn't the hardest boss to take down, he's still kinda scary.
  • Clovin64 - December 28, 2010 1:23 p.m.

    I just want to mention that I took such a dislike towards Madison in Heavy Rain that I deliberatley killed her off during that Doctor fight. Later, Ethan is sitting alone in the motel thinking "Where the hell is Madison?" Ho ho.
  • SuperStingray - December 28, 2010 2:58 p.m.

    I can attest for God of War and Bayonetta having some of the best boss fights I've ever seen. I believe the best bosses are the ones you get to see fall apart as the battle goes on; it's just so much more satisfying than shooting a guy until his health bar hits zero.
  • monsterhunter3rox - December 28, 2010 3:41 p.m.

    i don´t agree with the monster hunter tri part.the online sand dragon Jhen Moran is much more epic.
  • Eliath - December 28, 2010 3:48 p.m.

    First, I would like to say that I enjoyed the article. Second, I know that it's an opinion piece; however, I have to disagree about Lagiacrus for Monster Hunter: Tri. While it is definitely awesome looking, it's not that special to fight. In fact it can easily be taken down in ten minutes later on in the game even solo. It's the poster child for the game, but why not pick one of the end game bosses: Caedeus - the final boss in the single player portion of the game is also an underwater battle. It takes place in a ruined underwater city, it has it's own music (which is bloody epic), and you're about the size of it's eye. Lagiacrus is about the size of Caedeus' head, so no Lagiacrus IS NOT THE BIGGEST UNDERWATER foe in the game, or you never beat the game. It also makes me think of Shadow of the Colossus in terms of design minus the strategic climbing portion from SoC. Deviljho - also has it's own music and is the hardest in the game other than the last boss. It's like T-Rex crossed with Godzilla and pissed off to boot. Alatreon - you start off at the boss. No stage to run around because he's hard enough without having to chase him down. The music is also quite good. Not as good as Ceadeus though. Trying to kill him is hard enough. Trying to break his horns for the rare drops is even harder. It's still not that hard with a good party and can be done in under twenty minutes, but it's still the hardest fight in the game. Lastly, in regards to Lagiacrus taking forever to kill... you're doing it wrong. There. I said it. /endrage I loved the article.
  • Lionzest7 - December 28, 2010 4:26 p.m.

    bored of bayonetta bosses, felt like fighting dmc4's savior for 2 of them. The vehicular based ones were boring and overstayed their welcome. Also got tired of refighting the same bosses again. After playing the game 3 times for achievements I can safely say I don't think they're that cool. Well at least I got 100% on that game. Honestly I liked a lot of the vanquish bosses, the twin holograms at the end and the giant building with guns. I played it on hard first shot, so it was intense. I personally haven't enjoyed a real boss battle since Ninja Gaiden 1/2 and MGS3. Special notes to non-2010 boss battles: Volgin (in base after C4) Inhert (battle in the dark) Lazaravich (a fitting end) Ninja Gaiden xbox/360 every one Bowser *yoshi's Island* Radiant Silvergun EVERY BOSS
  • Dredgon - December 28, 2010 4:32 p.m.

    What about the Human Reaper in ME 2?! Or the Darkness Tornado in Alan Wake, or Cesare in AC: Brotherhood?!
  • Tobio - December 28, 2010 5:19 p.m.

    @Dredgon The AC-games are awesome, but their bosses aren't epic at all.
  • daggertail - December 28, 2010 5:26 p.m.

    The Reaper in ME2 was epic in size, but not in battle. All you did was shoot his arm tanks four times (or just twice if you were quick enough) and then give him the longest laser eye surgery in recorded history, and fight the occasional Harbinger. I mean look at these other entries. You have to run your ass off and get in their face just to stay alive. You can stay in one place for the entire Reaper battle and live ok, rant over. lol
  • Felixthecat - December 28, 2010 6:41 p.m.

    Dredgen probably hasn't been playing video games for that long.
  • TwilightBlaze - December 28, 2010 6:45 p.m.

    Actually, in Heavy Rain, you can gather some evidence and then leave without getting bondaged.
  • Tygerclaws - December 28, 2010 6:48 p.m.

    Eliath said what I wanted to say before I had the chance to say it. Granted, the build up to Lagiacrus was really nice--and being a raging hydrophobe, really fulfilling--and really bloody fun. Really, all the bosses in Monster Hunter Tri was fantastic, but Eliath mentioned most of the best. All I would add would be the Jhen Mohran, the gargantuan sand dragon that you have to first chase down on a sand skiff.
  • Spybreak8 - December 28, 2010 7:11 p.m.

    Runner up Lost Planet 2? Bosses so big like Monster Hunter Tri you need a few friends.
  • Spybreak8 - December 28, 2010 7:20 p.m.

    @daggertail Actually I would say the first time you come across the Praetorian is a better boss fight than the human reaper at the end of ME2. At least you need to conduct better strategy anyway.
  • revrock - December 28, 2010 7:41 p.m.

    Whoa, lots of Monster Hunter rage here... I will admit that some of the boss battles may be tougher or with bigger bosses but the article is "best" boss battles. Maybe it is because Lagi is on the cover of the game but there is just a certain coolness factor to the battle. Therefore, I can agree with its place on this list.
  • RicePuddingUK - December 28, 2010 7:42 p.m.

    Ahem, Where the hell is the Human Reaper from Mass Effect 2?!

Showing 1-20 of 47 comments

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