Hideo Kojima understands the need for amazing boss battles in a video game. This is why every international incident in the Metal Gear Solid universe is caused by a diverse mix of soldiers, who possess a range of unique super powers that will be fun to overcome. The missions also tend to involve at least one battle against a giant robot. All of the stealth stuff goes straight out of the window when it’s time for a mecha to be shot in the face with a missile.

The Metal Gear Solid series has provided some of best boss battles in video game history. We are here today to celebrate the greatest foes in one of the best video game franchises of all time. From the sniper battle in the ruins of an ancient city to the psychic who broke all of the rules of gaming.

Here are the 15 Best Metal Gear Solid Boss Battles!

15. Quiet

The Quiet Metal Gear Solid Metal Gear Solid: The 15 Best (And Smartest) Boss Battles

One of the most frustrating boss battles in the Metal Gear Solid series is the one against The End in the third game. You must face The End in a sniper battle that stretches across several massive areas. This battle will take forever, as he is incredibly hard to find, and will flee at the first sign of danger.

The battle against Quiet in Metal Gear Solid V was an attempt at doing The End boss battle correctly, and they succeeded on all fronts.

Quiet is a sniper, who can turn invisible at will. You will stumble into a battle against her when you travel through the ruined city of Aabe Shifap. The sniper battle against Quiet takes place in a single location, with many areas for you both to hide in and to use as cover. This battle is tense, with every flash of her scope bringing danger and death. Searching for Quiet within the dilapidated ruins of a city, while trying to get the drop on her (before she spots you) makes for one of the most exciting shootouts in the series.

14. Tigrex & Rathalos

Tigrex Rathalos Monster Hunter Metal Gear Solid: The 15 Best (And Smartest) Boss Battles

There is no doubt that Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker was inspired by the design of the Monster Hunter series. Monster Hunter was huge in Japan at the time of its release, after all. Peace Walker was a mission based game, where the levels were all broken up into smaller areas. The game encouraged local play between up to four players, which was almost required for some of the bosses.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker was also involved in a cross promotion with Monster Hunter Portable 3rd. This meant that Big Boss was given the chance to fight against the two most iconic beasts from the Monster Hunter series; Tigrex and Rathalos.

The bosses in Peace Walker are mainly large vehicles, that move slow enough to be hit by rockets. Tigrex and Rathalos are fast moving enemies, with an array of long range attacks. They are the most difficult bosses on this list, yet the satisfaction that comes from defeating them makes it worthwhile. This is the only chance you will get to fight dragons in a Metal Gear Solid game.

13. Grey Fox

Grey Fox Metal Gear Solid Metal Gear Solid: The 15 Best (And Smartest) Boss Battles

As the Metal Gear Solid series progressed, hand-to-hand combat became a lot more effective. In the first two games, Snake & Raiden possessed only a few melee attacks, and they were inferior to every weapon in the game. The only time that melee combat felt like it belonged was during the battle against Grey Fox in Metal Gear Solid. 

Throughout Metal Gear Solid, Snake witnesses a mysterious sword wielding figure, who can turn invisible at will. This person is revealed to be Grey Fox, who was a villain from the previous game. Snake thought he had killed him in Metal Gear 2. He was revived in secret, however,  and transformed into an awesome cyborg ninja.

If you try using a firearm against Grey Fox, then he will either dodge the bullets or deflect them with his sword. The secret to defeating him involves beating him in hand-to-hand combat. Snake has to use his paltry punching combo to try and defeat a vastly superior foe. This mirrors a similar battle from Metal Gear 2. All of the advanced technology has to be thrown aside, in order for two old enemies to measure each other in the most basic form of fighting.

12. Fatman

Fatman Metal Gear Solid Metal Gear Solid: The 15 Best (And Smartest) Boss Battles

The Dead Cell unit from Metal Gear Solid 2 contains some of the most bizarre enemies in the series. You have Vamp, who is literally a vampire (or a guy who uses nanomachines, as was revealed in Metal Gear Solid 4). There was also Fortune, who possessed the power of luck, which meant that bullets missed her and bombs would diffuse themselves.

Fatman was the third member of Dead Cell, and he may have been the most unusual of the bunch. He was an incredibly fat man, who shot around the battlefield in a pair of rollerskates. Fatman was a master of explosives and would plant bombs all across the battlefield.

In the wrong hands, the Fatman fight could have been silly. The creators of Metal Gear Solid 2 managed to make it exciting, due to the literal ticking clock element of the battle. Raiden has to find all of Fatman’s bombs and freeze them before they explode. This will force Fatman to break cover, giving you an opportunity to take a shot at him. The fight against Fatman is one of the most nail-biting challenges in the series.

11. Colonel Volgin

Colonel Volgin Metal Gear solid Metal Gear Solid: The 15 Best (And Smartest) Boss Battles

Colonel Volgin is one of the main antagonists of Metal Gear Solid 3. He was involved in the plans to build a pre-Metal Gear military machine, called the Shagohad. The Soviets would have been better off investing the money in investigating Colonel Volgin, as he possesses a set of electric-based super powers that he supposedly has had since birth.

When Naked Snake faces off against Colonel Volgin, he has to contend with his electric attacks. Colonel Volgin can fire bolts of thunder, as well as shroud his body with electricity. He can deflect bullets with a magnetic shield, as well as use those same powers to fire ammo from his fingertips. The fight against Colonel Volgin is similar to a battle against Magneto from X-Men or Electro from Spider-Man.

One of the easiest ways to defeat Colonel Volgin involves a trick that most players likely won’t think of. You can grab Volgin using CQC and throw him to the ground. This will give you a few seconds of time to fire bullets into him, without his powers shielding him from harm. Most players likely won’t think to try and grab the guy who is covered in electricity.

10. Laughing Octopus

Laughing Octopus Metal Gear Solid Metal Gear Solid: The 15 Best (And Smartest) Boss Battles

The Beauty and the Beast unit from Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was a highly promoted aspect of the game. These were a unit of female soldiers that used highly advanced technology on the battlefield. When the game came out, however, they were mostly a disappointment. Raging Raven and Crying Wolf were just regular boss battles (shoot them more than they shoot you), and Screaming Mantis was just a rehash of the Psycho Mantis battle from Metal Gear Solid. 

By far the most interesting Beauty and the Beast boss battle is the one against Laughing Octopus. She uses a camouflage suit, combined with a set of robotic tentacles. Laughing Octopus can disguise herself as one of Snake’s allies, which she does to lead him into traps. She can also blend in perfectly with any background, which makes her almost impossible to see. Solid Snake has to battle someone who is better at stealth than he is. It is up to the player to work out the secret to discovering her location.

9. Solidus Snake

Solidus Snake Metal Gear Solid Metal Gear Solid: The 15 Best (And Smartest) Boss Battles

Metal Gear Solid 2 introduced a swordplay mechanic in the final few hours of the game. Raiden is given a high-frequency blade, which vibrates at a speed that allows it to cut through anything. The sword is mapped to the right analog stick, which allows you to swing the blade in a direction that doesn’t need to be relative to your current movement. Raiden has to escape from Arsenal Gear, while using his high-frequency blade to cut through any soldier that gets in his way.

The final boss battle of the game is against Solidus Snake. He is another clone of Big Boss, who was also a previous President of the United States of America. Raiden must defeat him in a sword fight, on top of the Federal Hall building. The battle against Solidus Snake is kind of like fighting Doctor Octopus, as he wears a battle suit with metal tentacles that he can use to strike you. Solidus can also fly across the screen, leaving a burning trail of fire behind him. As the player, you have to learn how to overcome all of Solidus’ gimmicks and strike him down with your sword, which is the only weapon you have left.

8. Metal Gear Sahelanthropus

Metal Gear Sahelanthropus Metal Gear Solid: The 15 Best (And Smartest) Boss Battles

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain dragged the stealth-based gameplay of the previous titles of the series into an open world setting. You now had more options than ever before in completing missions. This was further enhanced by the ability to call in support from helicopters. They could provide you with any equipment or vehicles that you needed at the time… for a price.

The final battle against Metal Gear Sahelanthropus gives you numerous ways in which to take down the giant mecha. Your only objective is to knock its health bar down to zero. How you go about this is completely up to you. You are free to use a vehicle (like a tank) or call in support from Diamond Dog helicopters. If you are a fan of the older Metal Gear Solid games, then you might just want to load up on rockets, and take it down yourself. The game allows you to craft your own final confrontation, without forcing you to follow instructions to the letter.

7. Chrysalis

Metal Geat Solid Chrysalis Metal Gear Solid: The 15 Best (And Smartest) Boss Battles

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker was heavily inspired by the Monster Hunter series. This is most clearly seen in the boss battles, which mostly involve fighting vehicles and giant robots. These machines are damage sponges, and you will be required to fire endless missiles into them, in order to succeed. Peace Walker almost expects you to use the four player co-op option for boss battles, in order to make them less tedious.

The best boss battle in the game is against the Chrysalis. This is a giant drone, that is powered by an A.I. that is based on the mind of The Boss. Chrysalis is one of the few flying opponents in the series. As it soars past, it will sing in the Boss’ voice. You will have to work out Chrysalis’ attack patterns, as it hums a lullaby in the voice of a dead woman. Unlike the rest of the robot battles in the game, the battle against the Chrysalis is one of skill, rather than survival.

6. Liquid Ocelot

Liquid Ocelot Metal Gear Solid Metal Gear Solid: The 15 Best (And Smartest) Boss Battles

Revolver Ocelot is one of the most complicated characters in the Metal Gear Solid series. He can be a friend, advisor, or enemy, depending on the game he is in. His motives seemed to switch at a moment’s notice, and he was always one step ahead of the player, no matter whose side he was on.

The final encounter with him in Metal Gear Solid 4 earns Ocelot a place on this list. The player is led to believe that Revolver Ocelot’s personality has been taken over by Liquid Snake. Solid Snake has to face off against Ocelot on top of a battleship. The game suddenly shifts genre, going from stealth to fighting. The player must defeat Ocelot in a punching match, that involves both technical combos and button mashing. It is a fitting end to the saga of Solid Snake, as it brings everything full circle. The final fight of the game is the same as the last confrontation Snake had with his brother, in Metal Gear Solid. 

5. Metal Gear Rex

Metal Gear Rex Metal Gear Solid: The 15 Best (And Smartest) Boss Battles

The Metal Gear Solid series was preceded by two other games. The first game in the series was released in 1987 on the MSX and the NES. This was followed by a sequel in 1990, which was released on the MSX2 in Japan. Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake would not see an official English release until 2006. As such, the vast majority of fans got their start with Metal Gear Solid on the PlayStation, as this was the game that helped the series break into the mainstream. This means that the first Metal Gear encountered by fans was usually Metal Gear Rex.

Solid Snake must battle Metal Gear Rex near the end of Metal Gear Solid. Rex absolutely towers over Snake. It outmatches the player in terms of firepower and defence. You have to learn the machine’s weakness (from Otacon) in order to defeat it. While most of the other Metal Gear battles in the series are more impressive on a technical level, there is no denying that Rex was memorable for its time. This battle is still loved by those players who were lucky enough to play the original Metal Gear Solid upon release.

4. Senator Steven Armstrong

Senator Steven Armstrong Metal Gear Solid: The 15 Best (And Smartest) Boss Battles

If someone tried to make an anime based on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, it would probably look like the Senator Armstrong boss battle in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. 

Senator Steven Armstrong represents the state of Colorado, and he also looks like the Angry Video Game Nerd, if he became a pro-wrestler. This politician isn’t content with letting others do the fighting for him, so he ends up dealing with Raiden personally. He relies on both his incredible physical prowess and the nanomachines that turn his flesh into metal.

The battle against Senator Armstrong is about as anime as the series ever gets. Raiden is forced to use the blade of one of his old enemies, in order to try and cut through Armstrong’s metal body. Whilst carving away at the Senator’s massive life bar, he has to dodge fireballs, wrestling moves, and chunks of a building that are thrown at him. This battle starts out silly and goes all the way to awesome. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance proved that the series could have some levity, and just enjoy itself from time to time.

3. Metal Gear Ray

Metal Gear Ray Metal Gear Solid: The 15 Best (And Smartest) Boss Battles

When the original Metal Gear Solid was released, there were numerous rumors about being able to control Metal Gear Rex. These rumors then shifted to the upcoming Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions, where it was revealed that you would be able to play as Grey Fox in a few of the game’s stages. The fans were repeatedly left disappointed by the lack of giant robot action in the Metal Gear Solid series.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots finally gave the fans a brief chance to pilot a Metal Gear. Solid Snake has to return to Shadow Moses Island, in order to retrieve Metal Gear Rex’s rail gun, as it was part of Liquid Ocelot’s plan. He ultimately has to escape from the Island, whilst piloting the remains of Metal Gear Rex.

In order to escape, Snake has to do battle with a Metal Gear Ray. Snake’s Metal Gear is technically inferior to his opponent and is missing its main gun. The player has to use every weapon available to them, in order to defeat Ray. It was the battle between two giant robots that fans had been clamouring for since the first game in the series.

2. The Boss

Metal Gear Solid the Boss Metal Gear Solid: The 15 Best (And Smartest) Boss Battles

Metal Gear Solid 3 is as much about The Boss as it is Naked Snake. The Boss is the woman who is credited with inventing modern warfare. She was the greatest soldier who ever lived, and she was forced to betray the country she loved. Honouring the memory of The Boss is one of the main motives for several key characters in the Metal Gear Solid series.

At the end of Metal Gear Solid 3, it is up to Naked Snake to kill his beloved mentor. Snake must battle a foe who possesses the same set of skills that he does. This makes for one of the most interesting and emotional fights in the series. The battle takes place in a field of flowers, with only a few trees to offer cover. Snake is forced into a conflict against a mirror of himself. You have to use all of your skills in order to defeat her.

The final blow of the battle is against the player, as the game forces you to pull the trigger on The Boss yourself.

1. Psycho Mantis

Psycho Mantis Metal Gear Solid: The 15 Best (And Smartest) Boss Battles

The Metal Gear Solid series earned a reputation for having an awareness of its status as a video game. This started with the original Metal Gear Solid on the PlayStation. Some of the best moments in the game are when the player is spoken to directly. Nowhere is this better done than with the battle against Psycho Mantis.

Psycho Mantis is one of the few people in the Metal Gear Solid universe to possess extrasensoray abilities. Before the battle begins, Psycho Mantis will comment on the saves you have on your memory card. He will talk about any Konami games you have saved (or Nintendo ones, if you are playing Twin Snakes). If you have a dualshock controller, then he will ask you to put it on the floor, so that he can move it with his mind (which he does, through the vibration function). When the fight starts, he will make it look like your TV has switched channels (causing unwary players to go looking for the remote). You cannot actually harm Psycho Mantis until you switch controller ports, as he can only read your mind if the joypad is in the Player 1 slot.

In terms of difficulty, Psycho Mantis is actually pretty easy to beat. The important part of the fight is the effect it had on the player. Psycho Mantis’ destruction of the fourth wall is one of the moments that helped video games grow as an art form, and it left a huge impression on anyone who was lucky enough to experience it first hand.

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