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

3: Vanquish

The newest game to make the list contains a superb one-hit kill. Granted, it does occur after a stupidly difficult boss fight against two 'bogeys' (sometimes a handkerchief just isn't enough, right kids?), but the final sequence begins against a foe who is alive, aggressive and moving freely.

Above: Sam Gideon has a lot of trouble with bogeys throughout Vanquish. Vapour-release tissues would help

So what if they're only puppets controlled remotely by your real enemy? The scene gets more dramatic every time we see it. Down, apparently out, the ARS suit malfunctioning after the release of the safety valves... everything's going wrong for Sam Gideon. But to block the bogey's attack, dodge four surely lethal blows and snatch the fiend's own weapon is brilliant. The reticule is almost impossible to control - you can see in the video that it was only on 'red' for a single frame before I pulled the trigger. Boom! Down he goes... and a hundred inferior shoot-'em-ups with him.

See it happen:

2: Singularity

Unlike Bioshock, which blows its load prematurely with its Atlus revelation midway through, Singularity saves its biggest hit for the end, which is undoubtedly the best place for it. The whole game boils down to one bullet from your gun as you stand before the supposed good guy and the supposed bad guy. Your decision here and subsequent actions in the past will determine the future that's actually your present. If that's not confusing, I don't know what is. Either way, this one-hit kill has causality written all over it.

Above: They say somewhere there's a bullet with your name on it. Viktor Causality Barisov looks worried

My first decision was to do the 'right thing' by killing the bad guy, Demichev (pictured on the right), and then heading back to 1955 and shooting my other self before he could screw up the timeline. It looks like you've really wiped yourself from existence for a second as you both fade away, but the game then returns you to the helicopter ride at the start. You fly past a huge statue of your buddy Barisov wearing the Time Manipulation Device. Your character, Renko, then looks at his left hand - most likely experiencing a massive moment of deja vu. Nice touch.

Secondly, you can kill Barisov and choose the evil ending. The end sequence is suitably grim, but just goes to show the consequences that can come from a single choice. Brilliantly, the third option arises if you decide to shoot both men in the head. With all memory of the Time Manipulation Device dying with them, you are left to rule the world. That's the selfish ending – and one that yields a silver trophy for being such a damn smartypants.

But while all three of these choices with the men standing before you are awesome, it's the game-ending self-kill that earns Singularity its place in this Top 7. Seeing yourself struggle in through the flames with the young Demichev over your shoulders, it's a harrowing moment as you align your sights, pull the trigger... and effectively kill all three of you with one shot.

See it happen

As for the deed itself, whoever you decide to shoot, it's one of the most realistic gunshots in gaming. There's nothing fancy here - no lava, rockets or eleborate death throes. One bullet = one dead dude.


  • 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!

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