10 Best Boss Battles In Final Fantasy History - Ranked

And no, Sephiroth isn't at number one...

Final fantasy bosses
Square Enix

2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the long-running and much loved JRPG series, Final Fantasy.

With World of Final Fantasy having been released at the tail-end of 2016, the first of three planned FFXV DLC episodes set to arrive later in March and the FFVII remake currently in progress, the series is still going strong.

For 30 years we've been chasing maniacal villains, riding chocobos, making (and sometimes losing) close friends and summoning mystical, often temperamental, guardians to our aid, yet one of the most standout series staples are the boss battles.

Along with leading graphics and some of the best musical scores in gaming, the Final Fantasy boss battles are famed for both their challenging difficulty and their memorability – so much so, in fact, that choosing a top 10 from the countless incredible battles proved one of the greatest challenges yet.

Because there are so many great battles, and with so much subjectivity influencing which ones we love and remember better than others, I'll only focus on main series entries (no sequels, spin-offs or tie-ins allowed) and try to balance the challenge of the battle with the emotion, investment and atmosphere, including everything from the music to gameplay innovations that totally surprised us at the time.

10. Emperor Of Hell – Final Fantasy II

Final fantasy bosses
Square Enix/SoulStryder210

The FFII story wasn't particularly compelling, the characters two-dimensional, and some of the boss fights used cheap tactics to become frustratingly difficult.

The saving grace though, was main villain, Emperor Mateus.

He is a constant threat throughout the game, intelligent, witty and menacing – sort of a less manic version of Kefka. However, unlike many villains, death wasn't the end for Mateus. After being killed, Mateus goes to Hell, challenges the Devil, WINS, and then becomes the ruler of Hell.

As you do.

He then forces his castle up from Hell into the world of the living, where he challenges your party in the final showdown.

The setup is just the half of it. The music is ominous and Mateus' design is superb. Like most final bosses, he hits hard, has high HP and has a huge range of powerful magical attacks. He also replenishes his health to the value of half the physical damage he does to your characters. He's tough, but that's what makes an epic battle!

(If that's not enough, in the Gameboy Advance remake it turns out he actually split himself into 2 when he died. While 1 conquered Hell, the other conquered Heaven, setting up for another epic showdown).


Writer, aspiring author, and I won't stop travelling until I've seen it all. Whilst I might take a break now and then to rant about politics or muse over philosophy, I'm not afraid to roll up my sleeves, buckle down, and spend some solid hours gaming!