by Robert Wery

Happy National Boss Day! Let’s celebrate some of gaming’s most memorable (for better or worse) bosses. Be warned, this article contains potential spoilers.

Bowser - The OG. Following the beloved Italian plumber throughout the Mario series, Bowser nefarious scheming is a staple; no matter how many times he’s thwarted. He’s donned many different forms and costumes, but stomping the King Koopa never gets old.

GLaDOS - Cold and uncaring, GLaDOS spends the entirety of Portal trying to kill you with complicated lethal puzzles, or insulting your intelligence. Her deadpan mockery follows taunts you from start to finish, and it’s especially satisfying to come out on top in the end.

Handsome Jack - Borderlands is a series with many memorable characters, but no villain in it stand out quite as much as Handsome Jack. And it's not just because of how he insults you and belittles you throughout the game, very much like GLaDOS or Wheatley do in Portals 1 and 2. It's his cunning plans and acts of deception and merciless attitude that start to come out as the game progresses, and his constant belief, that HE, is in fact the hero of the story, that make him one of the most compelling villains to date.

Sans - Sans seems like a goofy background character, always hinting at something deeper, but has the potential to be the hardest boss battle in Undertale. If you decide to go through the game killing everything you encounter, you have to take him on in a true test of reflex and perseverance. geeettttttt dunked on!!!

The Butcher - Originally from the first Diablo, the Butcher is one of the most memorable enemies in the series with his iconic bull rush to take the player by surprise. “FRESH MEAT.” That sound, accompanied by the sudden bull rush of the Butcher makes for one of the more memorable bosses in Diablo. That accompanied with his dogged persistence to murder you often had even the most wary players scrambling for safety.

Rebel Flagship - Some could argue this as one of the hardest bosses in gaming, depending on your particular playthrough on the roguelike FTL. Beating the Flagship requires a ship and crew in top shape as well as numerous sacrifices in order to shut off its weapons.

Gandhi - You’ve built up a magnificent civilization from the stone age all the way through the tech tree up to future tech. You’ve stood strong against warmongers looking to spread their power across the world map, and made some fast allies along the way. But in a hilarious plot twist by way of coding error, the historically peaceful Mahatma Gandhi cranks up his aggression from 0 to 255 by threatening nuclear warfare, resulting in one of gaming’s more ironic “final bosses”.

Ornstein and Smough - By the time we run into this duo in the game, we’ve developed a bit of a sense of confidence. We’re in a groove, we can handle a boss, even a duo, just focus one down then move on to the other. You down one of them, and suddenly the other is one reveals a whole new set of moves on steroids, spanking and taking your confidence down a peg or four.

Goopy Le Grande - Though he’s not a particularly fearsome or difficult boss, Goopy Le Grande from the early levels of Cuphead claims a spot on account of his classiness. When the match begins, he takes the time and effort to give the player the ol’ tip of the hat (head?) as a sign of respect. You don’t see that kind of class anymore, unlike Hilda Berg’s HAHA’s. So uncivilized…

Navi - Hey! Listen! Though we never unfortunately get the opportunity to fight her, Navi is one of the bossiest pieces of $h!t in gaming. Her incessant chirping in your ear demanding you drop whatever you’re doing because Saeria needs help in the Lost Woods but you’re busy getting Epona at Lon Lon Ranch and you don’t feel like doing that, so SHUT. UP.

It’d be a crime to call this a definitive list, and we know there are many others that deserve at least an honorable mention, so reply with your favorite or most memorable boss or boss fight on Twitter and Facebook!

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