Gwa-ha-ha! So, you want to get closer to EGM’s 200th issue?
You will have to get through us first, for we are the top 10 bosses of
all time! Whether we intimidated you with our stunning looks, finished
off your game in dramatic fashion, or just straight up kicked your
ass…we are the best of the best, and we shall not let you pass.
Enough talk, have at you!
10 – Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! (NES)
If Iron Mike winked at you back in 1987, it meant that with the next
punch, your world was going to end. If the former heavyweight champion
winks at you now, it probably means that he wants to rip out your large
intestine and wear it as a tie, or perhaps a tasteful scarf.
9 – Stage 3
R-Type (Arcade, many consoles)
Any boss can pop up at the end of a level; this one is the level. A
giant battleship that filled the entire screen back when 4-inch-tall
monsters ruled the arcades, this bad boy can fry you with its
thrusters, smash you into a wall, or straight shoot you down. Respect.
8 – De Rol Le
Phantasy Star Online (DC/XB/GC)
A barrage of purple energy balls. Gut-piercing tentacles. A
skin-scorching laser beam. It’s no wonder you need one, two, or three
other friends to help take down this unpredictable, water-dwelling worm.
7 – Alma
Ninja Gaiden (XB)
One of the few bosses from the current generation of
consoles to make the list, Alma earns her spot by separating the men
from the boys in one of the hardest games ever made. Many a ninja has
fallen to this femme fatale, but
surviving means that you are among Ninja Gaiden’s elite.
6 – Nemesis
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (PS1/DC/GC)
“S.T.A.R.S.!” Being hunted room to room for hours by this giant
freak scarred us for life (in a good way). Note: Nemesis was knocked
down two spots for his appearance in Resident Evil Apocalypse.
5 – Seven Force
Gunstar Heroes (Genesis)
Back in the day, an action game wasn’t an action game unless you
broke a sweat battling its bosses. Seven Force, a robot that possessed
a whopping seven different forms, helped keep several couch potatoes
from sporting love handles (at least for the time being).
4 – The End
Solid 3 (PS2)
The lengthy sniper showdown with the elderly End is the
quintessential Metal Gear Solid experience: a lethal game of
hide-and-seek where you must use sight, sound, and technology to track
down the old fart…and to avoid being caught yourself.
3 – Mother Brain
Super Metroid (Super NES)
When it comes to epic endings, you can’t do much better than the
climax of Super Metroid. Mother Brain’s first form jogs the memory of
battles past, but what unfolds after her true form rises is the perfect
finale to an already sublime experience. What’s truly amazing about the
event is that it happens without the characters speaking a single word.
2 – Psycho Mantis
Metal Gear Solid, MGS:
The Twin Snakes (PS1/GC)
By committing a narrative faux pas and breaking the fourth wall, MGS
mastermind Hideo Kojima gave us one of the most uniquely memorable boss
fights ever. Psycho Mantis can read our minds (actually, our memory
cards), mess with our TV sets, and anticipate our every move.
1 – Sephiroth
Final Fantasy VII (PS1)
Is it his luxurious flowing hair? His 7-foot-long sword? The green
glow of his eyes? We may never know why we love Sephiroth so much, but
we do know that thanks to what he does to Aerith (see pic), he’s
unquestionably the most memorable villain in role-playing game history,
and the EGM staff’s unanimous No. 1 boss of all time.
There’s just something undeniably cool about fighting a giant ball of dead bodies.
(Super Mario series)
None of Mario’s meetings with Bowser have been that noteworthy, but we still love the guy’s never-give-up attitude.
(The Legend of Zelda series)
Link’s main adversary just missed the list, but that last fight with
Ganondorf in Ocarina of Time (N64) still deserves a shout-out.