The Best Boss Battles In Gaming In 2023

There are a lot of aspects that go into making an excellent video game, and one of the most important is having thrilling boss battles. Thanks to how dynamic gaming is, there are so many diverse ways to pull off an excellent boss battle, and 2023 was filled with some of the best in years.

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Whether you’re battling a brand new boss or taking on one that’s been causing trouble for years, the year was filled with more great action than most were able to experience. Some games even rose above the trend of only having excellent final bosses and packed their games with great boss fights.

11 Shang Tsung

Your final battle against Shand Tsung in Mortal Kombat 1 might be the most epic final encounter in the series’ history. With the existence of your entire universe at stake, you take your chosen character to battle in order to defeat the villainy of Shang Tsung (and Quan Chi).

You don’t get any help in this battle, but Shang Tsung is able to call on Quan Chi for help, meaning you need to master your chosen character. Even the seemingly all-powerful Liu Kang wasn’t able to stop him, but you can, as long as you avoid that button-mashing.

10 Venom

It would be nearly impossible to ignore Marvel’s Spider-Man 2’s Venom for a list like this. You have such a massive battle with the villain, with both Spider-Men no less, and it’s a massive battle from start to finish.

Even with the combined might of two Spider-Men fighting against him, it still seems like Venom might win, especially when he suddenly sprouts wings. The roughly twenty-minute battle (when including cutscenes) is one of the most epic of the year, making it a great boss battle and a great final boss battle.

9 Colgera

Tears Of The Kingdom did a lot of things right, and one of those things was the creative boss battles that they added in. One of the absolute best, and likely the one you experienced first has to be Colgera.

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The boss of the Wind Temple, though also fightable in the Depths, has you squaring off against it in the sky. Going through portals to combat Link, you’ll need to make sure you’re well equipped to take out Colgera’s armor to land the key shots in order to actually defeat the massive beast.

8 Leviathan Remnant

This year may have seen the remake of Dead Space launch, but that doesn’t mean that the developers weren’t interested in adding anything new to the game. One of the best new additions is also one of the best boss fights of the year, the tense fight against Leviathan Remnant.

Having to fly through space in order to actually fight the beast, the fight is tricky and requires you to keep a watchful eye on your oxygen levels. Needing the help of cannons to actually destroy the monster only goes to show how out of his depths Isaac Clarke truly is.

7 Darth Vader

It’s usually safe to assume that if Darth Vader is in a game, he’s going to have a big impact in some way, and that’s the case for Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. When you take control of Cere to take on Darth Vader, that might have just been the high point of the game for you.

Darth Vader is as imposing as he ever is, constantly pushing the attack. Despite his brief appearance, this boss battle asks you to employ all of your skills while Vader throws more and more at you with each phase as the room around you crumbles to ruin.

6 Ultima

Walking up to fight Ultima in Final Fantasy 16 looks like you’re walking up to a Dark Souls boss, and you’re in for a similar level of challenge. There isn’t one thing that stands out, and instead, the entire fight is near perfect in every single regard.

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Whether it’s the battle itself, the haunting soundtrack, or the underrated story, your battle with Ultima feels fitting. With some of the best visuals in the series, the fight is gorgeous and will linger in your mind long after it’s done.

5 Bowser

While some Bowser fights are better than others, it’s easy to say that Super Mario Bros. Wonder’s Bowser fight is up there with the best of them. Starting out simply, with you needing to use the floor to hop up to bop Bowser, things get tricky in a hurry.

With different phases that see Bowser unleashing different attacks, and even different floor movements for the battle stage, the fight is always dynamic. It is strange, creative, and also surprisingly tough, so you’ll need to be an expert to topple Bowser.

4 Pesanta

Pesanta lets out a shriek before fighting Ada Wong

The excellent Pesanta boss fight from the Separate Ways DLC for Resident Evil 4 is one of the best in the horror genre for 2023. The beast is so much more agile this time around, and it’s capable of killing Ada faster than you might think.

Now walking on hind legs, Pesanta is horrifying as it lunges toward you, and it can feel like a massive bullet sponge. You’ll need to keep your distance, be ready to dodge, and be stocked up on healing items if you want to stand a chance against it in this long fight.

3 Ganondorf

The final battle with Ganondorf in Tears Of The Kingdom is a thing of beauty. While some may have fair criticisms of the game, there aren’t many people complaining about your bombastic clash with Ganondorf.

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Starting out as a battle similar to that of a Dark Souls boss, the fight quickly takes a variety of turns. Eventually, Ganondorf becomes a massive dragon, leading to a massive sky fight in which you ride dragon Zelda to finally kill Ganondorf. The whole thing can be described in one word, epic.

2 Krauser

The re-done knife fight with Krauser in the Resident Evil 4 remake is marvelous. While some people will love the original quick-time event version of the fight, many others couldn’t jive with it, and now, the fight requires you to rely on your own skill.

Taking cues from the previous fight, you need to act fast to parry Krauser and lash back with attacks of your own. Combine that with a great verbal back and forth from both men, and the fight here with Krasuer has only been improved upon.

1 Bahamut

Final FAntasy 16 - Bahamut Boss Fight Cutscene

When asked about the best boss of the year, it wouldn’t be a surprise to hear most people mention Bahamut from Final Fantasy 16. The way the fight takes place, seeing two massive beasts clash is awe-inspiring.

It is easily one of the most cinematic fights in video game history, and if you experienced it, you probably agree. Whether brawling as Ifrit, flying as Pheonix, or moving at the speed of light as Ifrit Risen, the fight is one of the most ambitious any game series has ever taken on, and each phase will keep you engaged with a brand new twist.

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