The Top 7... Most satisfying one-hit boss kills

Bosses are always hard. They require more hits than regular enemies, carry energy bars that turn out to be a clever disguise for yet more energy bars and go to work every day after a breakfast of spinach and girders. That's a high-iron diet if ever we saw one. And iron is HARD. Anyway, some games just like to be different and let you best their biggest baddies with one single shot. Here are the seven games that do so most satisfyingly…


Every entry here is from the end half of a game, so watch yourself!


7: Bayonetta

This was possibly the moment that tipped our review score over to that coveted '10'. As the game nears its epic conclusion, a spectacular boss encounter boils down to a single bullet. But what a bullet it is. For starters, it's actually Bayonetta's lipstick. Secondly, it's still warm from being kept between her rather large mammary glands (we're reminded of Ivy). Thirdly, once it's been fired, you control it in super-slow motion. Fourthly, you then get to dodge shards of glass like a goalkeeper at a particularly unfriendly local derby. Finally, you get to plant it right between the eyes of evil Father Balder. Boom! Headshot! Oh, and it's all delivered with the brilliant line:

Above: Bayonetta is all kinds of awesome

And that's that. A magnificent moment that embraces everything great about videogames, delivering it in dazzling high definition and encapsulating the very essence of the game you've been wowed by for the past 10 hours or so. A team as precocious as Platinum Games knows how to put a cherry on the best cake we'd tasted in ages, and this is one hell of a tasty cherry. Kamiya, we salute you.

See it happen:


6: Super Mario Bros

Mario makes another Top 7 list, but it's little surprise. This was one of the first recorded instances of a one-hit boss kill, so it has to go in. You don't even really hit Bowser yourself, just kill him via one hit to the bridge that he's standing on with a handy axe. Oh, didn't you know? Yup, that switch at the end of the bridge is, upon closer inspection, an axe. When you watch the video in slow motion, you'll see that - while not animated - Mario in fact cuts the small chain/rope that's holding the bridge across. Only took 25 years to make sense... perhaps some depiction of that event taking place would have helped? In fact, so much like a button is said axe, the DS version of the fight just has a button. D'oh.

Above: First it was an axe. Now it's a button. Honestly, Bowser would do well to throw out both of them

Still, what a nasty way to go. Suddenly plummeting downwards towards lava must be pretty scary, even if you are a terrifying turtle/monster hybrid. It's worse on the DS, of course, because you see bones emerge after Bowser's first dunking, before sinking into the magma, never to be seen again. Man, that's macabre. Still, it is a list of one hit kills, after all, so there has to be some killing. Sorry, Bowser.

See it happen:

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  • ShokuaHyuga - January 6, 2011 4:47 a.m.

    Saddler wasn't nearly as hard as Salazar, and my favorite one hit boss kill has to be Ganondorf's death in "Twilight Princess", even though it wasn't one of the main characters who delivered the final blow.
  • awesomesauce - December 29, 2010 5:46 p.m.

    i thought in mgs3 where you can kill the end early was awesome.
  • PastorOfMuppets - November 6, 2010 12:20 a.m.

    Taking out the the final "father" the doctor from Hitman: Codename 47 was a good one as well.
  • super0sonic - November 4, 2010 9:28 p.m.

    Why not the first assassins creed? One thing i love about the game is that the boss's were not just there fight but getting close enough to them to kill them. I don't know what it was but it was really satisfying.
  • Heyexclamationpoint - November 4, 2010 12:06 a.m.

    Spider-Man didn't kill Mysterio though, thus it doesn't go on the list.
  • g4m3rk1dd - November 2, 2010 6:58 p.m.

    you can slap the guy at the end of fable 2 i hear...kills him...
  • Clovin64 - November 2, 2010 6:08 p.m.

    The Bayonetta one was the best. And of course Leon didnt fool around with Ashley at the end of Resi 4. Clearly Ada is the lady for him. Ada > Ashley.
  • philipshaw - November 2, 2010 6:08 p.m.

    I have to agree with number 1 but I don't know why The Boss from MGS3 wasn't on here
  • Ded - November 2, 2010 9:27 a.m.

    Bayonetta's lipstick has written on it: "BALDER & ROSA 19.3.1394 WITH LOVE UNTIL THE END OF TIME" Meaning it was probably a gift from Balder to Bayonetta's mother, and her mother must have given it to her. Now she's giving it back to Balder :D NERRRRD!
  • phoenix_wings - November 2, 2010 4:27 a.m.

    Personally, I love the endings of the various Hitman: Blood Money levels if you do the levels well enough to make it look like an accident. There's no greater pleasure than pushing some snobby vineyard owner out of a balcony, or blowing up some playboy's hot tub with some carefully placed C4. Or...just pushing him off of another balcony. And the animations make it seem kind of funny. And there's nothing wrong with that.
  • dunc12 - November 2, 2010 3:20 a.m.

    Pruman has it with FEAR, I had forgotten about that, but it totally deserves to be on this list!
  • DonNatzi - November 2, 2010 3:03 a.m.

    The bullet in the Singularity picture, looks surprisingly like a penis.
  • The_Tingler - November 2, 2010 2:24 a.m.

    Totally agree with Bakakaba and DarkTone who beat me to it just a few minutes ago - when I read the title I thought Bob the Goldfish from Earthworm Jim would definitely be in there. That was superb. Well done for including Singularity though, a fantastic game that got absolutely zero love from Activision. They buried it in order to kill off Raven or downgrade them to a COD map pack developer. Unless Black Ops utterly blows me away I'll vote for Singularity as the best FPS of this year, at least in single-player.
  • NightCrawler_358 - November 2, 2010 2:17 a.m.

    haha in New Super Mario Bros i just saved a gigantic mushroom and plowed through dry bowser, bowser jr and whatever other freaks with bowser in its name. I was kind of dissapointed, but i was glad i was done that extremely annoying level.
  • DarkTone - November 2, 2010 2 a.m.

    Wheres Earthworm Jim?
  • bakakaba - November 2, 2010 1:57 a.m.

    The one that everyone seems to be missing is the one in Earthworm Jim, the original genesis version. As gamesradar pointed out in their article on best water levels, the original down the tubes levels in EJ were broken and super fucking hard and nothing gave me more delight then or since when I finally beat them after like the 50th try to find that the boss is nothing more than a goldfish in a bowl that you shoot and leave for dead as he gasps and flops around on the floor.
  • KaiokenKid - November 2, 2010 1:46 a.m.

    Where the hell is the one shot "jackpot" kill to the final boss in DMC 3? I loved Dante and Virgil coming together to do that.
  • soren7550 - November 2, 2010 1:08 a.m.

    I think that Modern Warfare 2's one-hit kill is better than CoD4's. I mean, Soap ripped that knife right out of his chest and nailed that bastard in his eye with the knife he tried to kill Soap with! That's just pure awesome bad-assery right there. (and why I believe Soap MacTavish is better than Chuck Norris)
  • buttercupforpresident - November 2, 2010 12:37 a.m.

    Mysterio from Spider-Man 2
  • blu_dud - November 2, 2010 12:24 a.m.

    WTF WHERE IS DEMON'S SOULS?... oh wait, you guys are NOOBS!