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Not every Final Fantasy boss is equally satisfying; here are the best and worst (Image via Square Enix)

5 most exhilarating final bosses in Final Fantasy (& 5 that were utterly disappointing)

In the Final Fantasy franchise, it is important for a game to end with a bang. Have a classic, powerful boss, defeat it, and wrap up the story in a satisfying way. Unfortunately, there are quite a few bosses in the Final Fantasy series that make no sense or are just incredibly disappointing, compared to the rest of the game.

Sometimes the boss makes sense, the challenge is high but suitable, and the ending is satisfying. It takes a lot to create a truly epic last encounter. Most of them leave the fans happy, but this isn’t always the case.


The most enjoyable final bosses in the Final Fantasy franchise


5) Ultimecia (FFVIII)


Ultimecia made perfect sense as the final battle for Final Fantasy VIII. She was an incredibly powerful sorceress with a goal to compress time and space and make herself a living god. She casts incredibly powerful spells like Bio, Quake, and Meteor, but perhaps the scariest of all is her ability to absorb fallen party members.

Being able to take party members out of the fight completely can mean that, if the party isn’t careful, they could be stuck with only the weakest members of the team. She’s powerful, deadly, and worthy of being the first female main protagonist in the franchise. The Dark Cloud does not count, as it is genderless, despite having a female form in some iterations.

4) Chaos (FFI)


It was a really fascinating turn that Garland wound up being Chaos the whole time. He essentially forced a time loop onto the planet so that he could live forever. A massive and powerful demon, he is the first of the franchise’s final boss battles. Like many other bosses, he has a powerful area of effect spells, and hard-hitting physical melee blows.


He’s not an especially complicated boss to fight, but he is a boss that can heal himself and has an instant-death spell (Earthquake), making him more than formidable. Chaos absorbs other fiends to create a wealth of power for himself and makes a grab at immortality. However, unfortunately for him, the Warriors of Light can stop him.

3) Zeromus (FFIV)


Zeromus is an ancient Lunarian spirit living on one of the blue planet’s moons. The source of all evil, his corrupting force, led to Golbez’s rise, the mind control of Kain, and so much more. He is the personification of malice and ill-will, taking on the form of a gargantuan beast after the Crystal shines its light on him.

While Zeromus is a powerful and challenging boss, he’s not especially complex. That doesn’t make him a bad encounter, though. His two galactic-themed abilities, Big Bang and Black Hole, do tons of damage and nullify all buffs, respectively.

He counters any spell or spell item used on him with Nuke, and when his life is running low, can repeatedly cast Meteo. His goal is to cause suffering and destroy all life, and he’s got the power to do it.

2) Safer-Sephiroth (FFVII)


Safer-Sephiroth has one of the most iconic boss themes of all time, that’s for sure. Only perhaps bested by Kefka’s “Dancing Mad”, Safer-Sephiroth is easily one of the best boss fights in the franchise’s history. This Final Fantasy VII boss has a variety of forms to challenge, with incredible spells to challenge the party.

As One Winged Angel plays in the background, Safer-Sephiroth casts Supernova as one of the most awe-inspiring spells of all time. He summons a star from the void, obliterating entire planets as it hurtles towards the party.

The ending was amazing, with the duel between Cloud and Sephiroth, and all together, it just felt satisfying to battle such a powerful foe and emerge the victor.

1) Kefka (FFVI)


Most final bosses in the franchise have a goal. To become a god, or to live forever, or to right some kind of perceived wrong. Kefka is the epitome of Chaotic Evil. Gestahl experimented on Kefka before the Magitek system was perfected by Cid. This broke the court mage’s mind, leaving him irrevocably evil and maniacal.

Kefka is one of the best final bosses in Final Fantasy history. He is irredeemably vile, even if it is not entirely his fault. He seized control of the most powerful magic in Final Fantasy VI and uses it whenever he feels like it. In the actual battle, he does not hesitate to use whatever means are at his disposal.

He can reduce the party's HP to 1 and can almost immediately follow it up with powerful attacks like Havoc Wing or Ultima. He can mute/blind the entire party with Trine and has a wealth of other powerful skills like Vengeance, Forsaken, and Hyperdrive. Even after besting him, the world is broken, but people come together to try to make the best of it. It’s the most satisfying ending in the series.


The most lackluster bosses in Final Fantasy history

5) Ardyn (FFXV)


Let’s be clear: Ardyn is a terrific character, and is one of the most well-designed, well-fleshed-out characters in Final Fantasy XV. His reason for being evil makes perfect sense, and he has some of the best one-liners in the game. He makes perfect sense in every way. But he is one of the weakest boss fights of all time.

He is essentially just a really disappointing clone of Noctis. Some people are into it though, and it can make for some interesting moments in combat. But ‌fans were expecting more from Ardyn Izunia. He may be an exceptional character, but his boss fight was anything but. Even the cutscene leading up to the battle was incredible.

4) Braska’s Final Aeon/Yu Yevon (FFX)


There is plenty of discussion and debate on which boss was the last battle for Final Fantasy X: Braska’s Final Aeon or Yu Yevon. Yu Yevon is the “last boss,” but it is a cake walk that is easier than it should be.

Short of purposely inflicting petrification on oneself, it’s not possible to lose to Yu Yevon. While heartbreaking and emotionally satisfying, the Braska’s Final Aeon fight is also a joke. Considering how easy it is to pick up at least one ultimate weapon, it’s easy to just breeze through the whole fight, battering Jecht with 99K damage.

An emotional moment, with a really disappointing fight to go alongside it. It makes sense in the grander story, but in the moment, the fight feels lackluster.

3) Orphan (FFXIII)


Final Fantasy XIII is a divisive game, but one of the things that frustrated players was the overwhelming amount of jargon the game comes with. This complicated the game and made the story harder to follow. Orphan’s lore and background isn’t adequately explained in the game, which further makes the boss harder to understand or relate to.

It’s also a boss that can be defeated in one hit, though the window for making that happen is very low. Orphan can be inflicted with Death, but it isn’t a sure thing, and again, it’s only got a brief moment where it can happen. The boss fight is either ‌too short or frustratingly lengthy, and is just a letdown at the end of the game.

2) Necron (FFIX)


If the credits had rolled after defeating Trance Kuja, this would have been an entirely different conversation. Necron was only briefly and vaguely mentioned in Final Fantasy IX, and is perhaps the most forgettable boss in Final Fantasy history. Sure, he has an awesome look, but the decision to slap a boss on after a satisfying conclusion to the story made zero sense.

Necron, of course, has access to some of the most powerful magic in the game. The -aga spells, Grand Cross, Neutron Ring, Flare, Holy, Meteor, and more. It is just a shame that such a cool design was wasted in a spot where it wasn’t needed.

1) Emperor (FFII)


The Emperor of Pandaemonium is a powerful boss, that’s for sure. The problem with him is that he felt more like a superboss. So much prepwork had to go into doing battle with the Emperor, and that’s only part of the problem. He had attacks that drained HP, making the fight take even longer than it normally might.

Being forced to heal, sometimes with multiple party members, just to keep up with the life drain damage the Emperor was doling out in Final Fantasy II made it easily one of the most frustrating encounters in the series’ history. There is nothing wrong with the challenge, but the Emperor feels pretty unfair unless players put in a serious effort.

Final Fantasy has a rich tapestry for final bosses. They come in all shapes and sizes, each with their own goal or desire. Many of them are memorable, but some of them players desperately wish they could forget.

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