When it comes to video games, challenging the boss found at the end of each stage is what every gamer strives for. Whether it is part of regular gameplay or discovering a secret boss, there is no greater thrill worthy of testing one’s skills as a gamer.
Some bosses are made so powerful and near godlike that even expert players are left pulling their hair out of frustration. In these cases, these types of bosses require players to come up with complex strategies to beat them. Furthermore, the skill of being able to control the character to evade and counter the movements of a boss is also a key factor.
However, as exhilarating as it sounds, players must keep in mind that they should never set their expectations too high. Contrary to what some might think, not all video game bosses are considered difficult. Certain video game bosses can be beaten within seconds of challenging them, or are so poorly designed that their attack patterns become predictable and can easily be countered.
As a result, fighting these types of bosses can be a real let-down for players. It's even worse when these simple bosses are found in what should be amazing video games. Nothing is more dangerous for a game’s reputation, than having a poor boss that fails to meet expectations.
Thankfully, for wherever there are easy video game bosses, there will always be difficult bosses to balance things out.
Here are 13 Video Game Bosses That Are Extremely Difficult To Beat (And 13 Way Too Easy).
26 Easy: Shredder - TMNT 1
Whether its the films or the TV series, the Shredder will always be the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' greatest foe. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Shredder’s incarnation in TMNT 1 for NES.
Unlike some of the other bosses in the game, like the Technodrome, defeating Shredder is an easy task. While Shredder can deal massive damage, that’s only if the player lets him.
The easiest way to beat Shredder is by knocking him off the main platform. From there, all that’s left to do is prevent him from getting back on the platform by attacking him right as he jumps.
How the mighty have fallen.
25 Difficult: Mike Tyson - Mike Tyson Punch Out
The 1987 NES classic Mike Tyson Punch Out, features one of the most difficult bosses in video game history. Who better to give players a run for their money than Mike Tyson himself?
To beat Tyson, players require both quick reflexes and well-placed timing to counter, block, and deliver a direct blow to this boxing titan.
A single misstep can lead to a game-over as just one of his uppercuts is enough to KO the player.
For players attempting to take on this boss, don’t expect to beat him right away. After all, not even the real Mike Tyson could beat him.
24 Easy: Penguin - Batman: Arkham City
In Arkham City, it is possible to face Penuin at his club, the Iceberg Lounge.
When the player comes to confront Penguin, they must first take out his army of goons, get around his hidden traps, and defeat a reanimated Solomon Grundy. While Grundy does present a challenge, technically, he is not the stage’s final boss. That honor goes to the Penguin.
Unfortunately, the only thing Penguin can do is launch missiles. Not only are they easy to dodge, but they don’t cause that much damage upon contact. When you finally get within striking distance, all it takes is a few well-placed shots to take Penguin down.
23 Difficult: Motaro - Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3
When it comes to Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, there is no shortage of powerful fighters. However, the beastly Motaro is in a league of his own.
Even the mighty Goro is basically a toddler when compared to this monster.
Unlike Goro, there is no way to interrupt Motaro during combat. As a result, Motaro is free to deliver as many blows as he wants. Even if the player manages to create some distance, this hardly slows Motaro down.
Even if distance is made, Motaro can teleport to the player and once more resumes his frenzied assault.
22 Easy: Werner Werman - Cuphead
With its unique animation reminiscent of old Disney films, Cuphead brings with it some interesting challenges. In their quest to free themselves of their debt with the devil, Cuphead and his brother Mugman, must confront several bosses throughout the game.
Several of these bosses, which includes the Devil himself, are indeed challenging. However, there are also those that are weak and easy to beat, such as Werner Werman.
As the fight with Werner progresses, the stage becomes bigger as he powers up to try and destroy the game’s protagonists. Instead, this has the opposite effect. Werner actually makes it easier for Cuphead to dodge his attacks and inflict damage on him.
21 Difficult: Absolute Virtue
Absolute Virtue is one of the toughest bosses in the Final Fantasy series. Its threat level is so high many have put it in the same league as Penance from Final Fantasy X. In addition to its overwhelming attack power, Absolute Virtue has the power to regenerate itself.
On average it takes about 18 hours for players to defeat Absolute Virtue.
Eventually, the stress of spending so much time fighting bosses like Absolute Virtue forced the game’s developers to decrease its original difficulty and impose a two-hour time limit.
20 Easy: The Covetous Demon - Dark Souls II
The Dark Souls franchise is known for producing some of the most powerful and difficult bosses ever made. However, from time to time, even this legendary franchise produces a boss so easy, that even rookie players can beat it.
The Covetus Demon is just one example. Despite its enormous size, the Covetus demon from Dark Souls II is an extremely lazy boss. In addition to its slow movements, the Covetus demon is also limited to a close range and predictable fighting style.
Aside from the occasional long-range jumps, there is not really anything to be concerned about regarding this demon.
19 Difficult: Dragon Slayer Ornstein and Executioner Smaug - Dark Souls
Unlike the oreviously mentioned Covetus Demon, Ornstein and Smaug from Dark Souls I are bosses that players should be wary off.
One of the most dangerous things about them is that players must fight them both at the same time.
While slow, Smaug’s attacks deal massive damage to the player, and Ornstein easily makes up for Smaug’s lack of speed.
Furthermore, even if the player manages to beat one boss, their essence and power will just be absorbed into the other.
Thus, regardless of who the player takes out first, the threat level remains unchanged.
18 Easy: Honda Tadakatsu - Nioh
As an ancient Samurai warrior, one would expect Honda from Nioh to be difficult to beat. However, this is only true if players decided to face him head on.
In terms of combat, Honda is a difficult boss to beat through force and fighting alone. However, the ideal way to beat him is by using brains instead of brawn.
The best idea is to target Honda’s weak points, which are located throughout the map in the form of three crystal structures. If the player manages to find and destroy these three crystals, then Honda will be defeated instantly.
17 Difficult: Caroline and Justine - Persona 5
Once the player finishes Persona 5 and starts New Game+, they can fight both Caroline and Justine anytime after reaching a certain point in the game.
However, these two are no pushovers. Just like the game’s main protagonist, both Caroline and Justine can summon different personas and use their abilities. Additionally, each one has 8000 HP.
With every turn that passes, the fight becomes more challenging. What makes them even more dangerous is that the player must defeat them both at the same time.
If only one is knocked out, the other will revive them with half their full health.
Even at half strength, they are still a noticeable threat to the player.
16 Easy: King Knight - Shovel Knight
Upon reaching the end of the Pridemoor Keep stage in Shovel Knight, the player will encounter one of the eight knights that serve the Enchantress. However, even though he is one of the Enchantress' minions, King Knight’s difficulty is very low.
All King Knight does is jump around, sometimes performing the occasional charge attack. Not only is he easy to avoid, but all Shovel Knight needs to do to beat him is jump over and hit him with a shovel until his life drops to zero.
Even though he claims to be a king, he did a poor job acting like one.
15 Difficult: Ruby Weapon - Final Fantasy VII
Following the defeat of the Ultimate Weapon in Final Fantasy VII, the player unlocks the chance to face two of the game's strongest bosses. The Ruby Weapon is one such boss.
As a land-based weapon designed to face alien threats, one can expect the Ruby Weapon to put up quite the fight.
Ruby Weapon is highly resistant to physical attacks, forcing the player to rely on mostly magical and stun inducing attacks. However, Ruby Weapon possesses the ability to use Whirlsand, which allows it to eject one or two members from your party.
Finally, the player must be ready for a drawn-out battle as it possesses over 1 million HP.
14 Easy: King Bob-Omb - Super Mario 64
While annoying, the sentient bombs in Super Mario 64 can be quite troublesome. When the player eventually confronts the king of these sentient creatures, who is several times bigger than a normal one, you’d believe that it can cause instant death via a powerful explosion.
However, such fears can be put to rest, as Bob-omb’s threat level is even lower than his minions. Not only does he move extremely slow pace, he doesn’t summon any of his subjects to fight for him. Beating him only requires the player to pick him up and throw him three times.
Unfortunately, even the explosion that he gives off after his defeat is just downright pitiful.
13 Difficult: Sam - Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
In Metal Gear Rising: Revengence, Jetstream Sam is one of the game’s most challenging bosses. With his cybernetic enhancements, clashing swords with him will require the player to put all their skills to the test.
As his name suggests, Sam’s movements are both quick and precise.
Due to the speed at which he moves around, it is difficult for most players to follow.
All they can do is assume a defensive strategy to counter his frenzy of powerful attacks.
In this fight, patience is key, as the player must get used to Sam’s speed and attack at just the right moment he leaves himself open. However, even then Sam will not go down easy.
12 Easy: Death - Dante’s Inferno
In almost every game featuring an embodiment of the Grim Reaper, Death, is expected to be a fearsome opponent. In Dante’s Inferno, while the game’s version of the reaper certainly looks menacing, it’s a different story once the player actually fights him.
From the start of the battle, it becomes easier to predict his attack patterns. As a result, the player can easily block and parry his assault and deal damage in the process. In the end, he is easily defeated - and with his own weapon, to boot.
What’s more, the way he pleads for his life in his last moments is unbecoming for a Grim Reaper boss.
11 Difficult: Rodin The Infinite One – Bayonetta Franchise
In either game of the Bayonetta franchise, it is possible to challenge Bayonetta’s ally, Rodin, to a battle by purchasing a platinum ticket for ten million halos.
In Bayonetta, he appears as the angelic Father Rodin and in Bayonetta 2, he becomes Devil Rodin.
In either game, Rodin demonstrates an immunity to stun and can easily take out Bayonetta with just a few hits.
As Devil Rodin, the first phase of the battle will start in his human form. Upon reaching his second phase, he transforms into Devil Rodin and becomes just as powerful as his angelic counterpart.
10 Easy: Colonel Autumn - Fallout 3
In Fallout 3, the game frequently makes references to the elusive Colonel Autumn. From behind the scenes, he manipulates several events that leaves the player scrambling to survive.
Eventually, the player (as The Lone Wanderer) finally comes face to face with Colonel Autumn in the final quest: "Take it Back". However, the anticipation from his reveal does not live up to the expectations. Despite his two bodyguards, Autumn himself is very easy to beat. While he does carry his own weapon, it is not really all that threatening.
In fact, all it takes is a few well-placed shots or a single headshot to take him down for good.
9 Difficult: Nameless King - Dark Souls III
In Dark Souls III, the player must head to Archdragon Peak and ring the bell to summon the Nameless King.
Before players can face him, they must first prove themselves by defeating his mount, the King of Storms. This Drake more than lives up to its name and is just as fearsome as its master.
Only after players defeat his mount will they be able to fight the Nameless King, who retains his full health and power.
With not one but two difficult, fights, challenging the Nameless King is something that only an expert can achieve.
8 Easy: Lucien - Fable 2
As far as most bosses go, Lucien falls under the underwhelming category. Rather than fight someone directly, Lucien tends to rely more on his silver tongue than his weapon when it comes to fighting his opponents.
While the player can choose to listen to his speech, it is pointless to do so. The truth is that fighting Lucien only lasts an instant.
If the player does not want to waste time listening to Lucien’s speech, they can end things with a single blow. Once that’s done, Lucien will fall to his end and that’s pretty much it.
7 Difficult: Spiritual Larsa - Mushihimesama
When it comes to facing Spiritual Larsa from Mushihimesama, the term “no room for error” is taken quite literally.
Larsa is one of the most difficult bosses to fight in this or any game. The reason for this is because when Larsa attacks, she completely covers the screen in energy blasts.
In this bullet hell shooter, the player must carefully navigate through the tiny slips in the energy blasts while firing back to defeat Larsa.
When it comes to this boss, a single slip in concentration can mean instant death.
6 Easy: Quiet - Metal Gear Solid V
In Metal Gear Solid V, Quiet is the name of an elite sniper who initially appears as an enemy to Snake. When the time comes for their confrontation, it appears that she has Snake pinned down.
Normally, the first response would be to retaliate and return fire. However, rather then risk being sniped, there is a safer and much easier way to take out Quiet.
All it takes to beat her is to request a drop point right above her. This causes a crate to literally drop on her head, knocking her out in the process.
5 Difficult: The Reaper - Persona 5
If you thought Caroline and Justine were the game’s only formidable secret bosses, think again.
The Reaper is a level 90 shadow that appears in Mementos after the player stays on a floor for more than five minutes.
It has no weaknesses, is immune to Bless and Curse attacks, and cannot suffer from ailments inflicted in battle.
It can even target the weaknesses of each party member and can even nullify any attempts to create a resistance to them.
While there are possible days where the Reaper can be easily beaten, only the strongest players can beat it when its at its full strength.
4 Easy: The Leader – The Incredible Hulk
The Super NES game, The Incredible Hulk consists of Hulk duking it out with some of his toughest rivals in order to find and defeat the Leader.
Unlike most of Hulk’s enemies, the Leader’s strength lies in his intelligence. Unfortunately, that does little to help him after he comes face to face with the Hulk.
When players finally reach the Leader, all it takes is a single uppercut to beat him and end the game. After fighting foes like Abomination and Absorbing Man in locations ranging from skyscrapers to alien landscapes, we’d expect the game’s final boss to put up more of a fight.
3 Difficult: Valkyrie Queen - God Of War
In God of War, the Valkyiries make up some of the toughest bosses in the game. However, the eight Valkyries are nothing more than practice to prepare you for an upcoming confrontation that puts all the others to shame.
After defeating the Valkyries and bringing them to the Council of Valkyries in Midgard, the player will be able to summon and fight Sigrun, the Queen of the Valkyries.
When facing this monster of a boss, your fights from before will seem minor in comparison.
While the game’s final boss Baldur is certainly imposing, he is nothing compared to this monstrosity that can cut through your defenses and end you with just a few blows.
2 Easy: Mysterio - Spider-Man 2
In the comics, Mysterio is a master illusionist that uses advanced technology, and sometimes even mysticism, to fight against Spider Man.
However, when he appears in Spider-Man 2, he is more of an eyesore than a threat. After catching Mysterio attempting to rob a convenience store, he threatens to destroy Spider Man.
Despite the seemingly large amount of HP he possesses, Mysterio does not put up much of a fight. In fact, he does not attack you, period, and just continues to boast about his impending victory. In the end, all it takes to stop him is a single punch from Spidey.
1 Difficult: Emerald Weapon – Final Fantasy VII
Emerald Weapon is yet another all-powerful boss in the Final Fantasy franchise. Like Ruby Weapon, Emerald Weapon possesses over a million HP.
However, what makes it so much more difficult to beat is the restriction that Emerald Weapon imposes on the player.
Because it is only found at the bottom of the ocean, the fight with Emerald Weapon has a 20-minute time limit.
Once the counter reaches zero, the player will run out of air.
However, even if players get around the timer, they must still face Emerald Weapon and its arsenal of powerful attacks capable of decimating the player’s party in a matter of minutes.
What's the hardest video game boss you've ever beaten? Let us know in the comments!