In celebration of the Final Fantasy series turning 30 in 2017, we've been taking a retrospective look at all sorts of the series' high and low points, first ranking a top 10 of the all-time best Final Fantasy boss battles.
In a series full of creative boss designs and revolutionary battle systems, picking a top 10 proved a huge challenge, but like any long-running series, not everything can be perfect. Indeed, Final Fantasy is no stranger to its share of overpowered boss battles that rely too heavily on luck or grinding your characters, rather than on strategy or ability preparation.
While the boss battles are often one of the most enjoyable elements of the enduring JRPG series, there's no denying almost every fan has at some point run into 'that one boss' who just wouldn't go down, or one who constantly one-shotted us with a dirty, indefensible attack.
As with the aforementioned best of, this list will only focus on main series entries (no sequels, spin-offs or tie-ins allowed) and will examine not only the battle itself, but the placement, balance and challenge presented by the enemies.
10. Gerogero – Final Fantasy VIII
This first entry takes the number 10 spot for the crime of being a
one-hit-win boss battle.
After a hugely exciting mission jumping across the roof of a speeding train, avoiding sight and sound sensitive guards, and swapping out dummy carriages for the real thing, Squall and his compadres come face to face with President Deling in an attempt to put a stop to Galbadia's attacks.
Unfortunately, the president is in fact a fake, manifesting itself as the hideous Gerogero monster.
Now, if you're a disciplined player, you might have resisted the one-hit-wonder and tried to battle the creature as Square Enix had intended – countering crippling status effects and constantly healing strong physical attacks.
Or, you realised he was a zombie creature and that healing magic hurts it. Cue throwing down a single X-Potion (instant full heal), and the blubbering mass melted away.
Gerogero isn't the only boss in Final Fantasy to commit this crime, with FFVI's Phantom Train and FFVII's GI Nattack both guilty of the same sin – but coupled with this battle flaw, Gerogero is one of the least memorable in design and impact.