Though sub-bosses aren’t as assertive as... er... dom-bosses, you’d be wise to respect them - some are ruthless, and won’t think twice about crushing you long before you’ve even sniffed that end-of-level baddie.
In fact, due to the nature of them being sub-bosses, we often psychologically trick ourselves into letting our guards down because “surely they wouldn’t make this overblown minion that tough, right?”
We’ve all been there - we think to ourselves, “I’m going to keep all of these healing potions for the level boss, because I don’t want to waste them on some lame sub-boss”, and we slog through one of the hardest fights in the game without healing, then when we reach the actual boss, we smash through it like a claw hammer through my sister’s favourite toy.
Often a great sub-boss is a recurring baddie who dogs you throughout the game, getting more ruthless and powerful with each battle. Other times, they’re the player’s evil equal - a vile doppelgänger who shares your moveset and counters your best abilities. And sometimes, they’re just... well, just loads more interesting than the actual baddie; someone who's likely a one-dimensional moustache-twirler who only gets screentime in the final few minutes.
No, the bosses REALLY worth hating, are the following.
10. Goro - Mortal Kombat Series
They talk up Shang Tsung in Mortal Kombat as this invincible, timeless sorcerer with powers beyond our meagre levels of perception, a final baddie who will inevitably crush our resolve and cost us an entire pocket money’s worth of ten pence in the arcade machine.
Yet, when you reach the doddery old codger, it’s like watching Colin MacGregor in the UFC octagon versus Victor Meldrew, as you plough effortlessly through the coot on your first try.
The same can’t be said of the game’s miniboss, though - Goro, the four-armed behemoth uses equal parts brute strength and bull***t to absolutely annihilate you, tanking hits and blitzing through your health bar in a few hits.
Though later games would feature equally enraging minibosses (Kintaro, in particular, was off the charts in terms of ability to get you screaming at the screen), at least those games also had tough final bosses too (Shao Khan was no pushover).
No other game in the series had such a huge gulf in power between its mini-boss and final boss - going from Goro to Shang Tsung was like going from a radioactive mega-evolved Vin Diesel... to punching an elderly whippet.