Top 10 hardest optional bosses in the Final Fantasy franchise
When it comes to Final Fantasy, there’s one thing that has become a rich tradition: infuriatingly difficult superbosses. Optional bosses are a common occurrence, and re-releases of iterations of the Final Fantasy series tend to slide in their own extra-special combat options. Not all of these bosses are created equal, however.
As with all lists, this is the opinion of the writer, and the difficulty of these bosses will depend on the player. There will always be someone who can find a cheap way to defeat a powerful foe, and that’s perfectly fine.
Final Fantasy has a long history of difficult superbosses
The first-ever secret boss in Final Fantasy was Warmech, hiding deep within the lair of Tiamat. It only appears in one pathway and has an incredibly rare chance of even showing up. Secret bosses/superbosses in later games would offer direct, rational ways to find them instead of having the player grind and hope they appear.
Any optional boss in the Final Fantasy franchise is capable of being on this list, including those from the re-releases and remasters. This creates far more interesting possibilities compared to just vanilla, common picks for the hardest optional bosses in the series.
The only games that aren’t mentioned on this list are the MMOs.
This means that an honorable mention goes to Final Fantasy XI’s Absolute Virtue. A full alliance of 18 players took 18 hours just to defeat this boss. It is a horrifying monstrosity and was too difficult to overcome.
Top 10 hardest optional bosses
- Chronodia (FFI)
- Iron Giant (FFIII)
- Neo Shinryu (FFV)
- Omega Weapon (FFVI)
- Ozma (FFIX)
- Trema (FFX-2)
- Proto-Babil (FFIV)
- Warmech (FFI)
- Vercingetorix (FFXIII)
- Penance (FFX)
10) Chronodia (FFI)
In the 20th Anniversary remake of Final Fantasy I, this superboss awaits in the Labyrinth of Time. What makes it interesting is that it has different versions, depending on which of the seals are broken within the Labyrinth.
A terribly powerful foe, Chronodia is capable of one-shotting party members and has a wide assortment of spells and abilities to unleash on the Warriors of Light. If the player unlocks blue seals, the boss becomes even more powerful. Red seals, on the other hand, weaken her.
She has a powerful attack, can lock Commands with Seal, and will not hesitate to use full-party instant-death spells like Warp. However, she’s lowest on the list because Chronodia can be weakened if players choose to do that. But where’s the fun in that? Go for broke and find the ultimate form of Chronodia!
9) Iron Giant (FFIII)
The Iron Giant is a frustrating boss to unlock in the remakes of Final Fantasy III. Players have to defeat all of the Eureka bosses, open 80 percent of the treasure chests, and complete the Mognet side quest, which will require having a character that has a level 99 job as well.
The Iron Giant is a beast with frightening physical attacks, and even at max level, it’s not an easy encounter. It has plenty of HP, and it can shred party members, even if they have 9999 HP.
Going in prepared is of the utmost importance with this boss.
8) Neo Shinryu (FFV)
In Final Fantasy V Advance/Steam versions of the game, Neo Shinryu waits within the Sealed Temple. For players who want to pick up the Ultima Weapon, they must first best Neo Shinryu.
He’s not the only boss in this particular dungeon, but his use of status ailments and instant-death attacks makes him one of the most terrifying bosses in the whole game. He also immediately hits himself with Mighty Guard to grant himself Protect/Shell/Float. He does have a weakness, Old, thankfully.
When he perishes, he double-casts Giga Flare and Meteor, so he may still win, even if he loses; Neo Shinryu’s quite the petty boss.
7) Omega Weapon (FFVI)
Another re-release boss, Omega Weapon appears in Final Fantasy VI Advance and in the Steam/mobile ports of the game. He’s one of the two optional superbosses, but he grants no reward on your victory. He has overwhelmingly powerful attacks, high stats, and the second-highest HP in the game, but there’s one more thing that makes him annoying.
The party must defeat him three times. Merely beating him will cause Omega Weapon to regenerate, and so the party must whittle him away a few more times. Few things are more frustrating than defeating a boss, and doing it again and then dying is one of them.
6) Ozma (FFIX)
Ozma, the floating ball of colors, lights, and death, definitely deserves a spot on this list. It has tons of HP and, like all of its predecessors, has incredibly strong attacks. The AI for Ozma is also quite smart. If the players build for elemental resistances, it will instead use non-elemental attacks and batter them.
Final Fantasy IX’s Ozma is clearly one of the strongest foes in the franchise. It cannot be harmed by physical attacks unless the Friendly Enemies sidequest is completed, making the fight even harder. Players who aren’t aware of that are going to have a very bad time.
5) Trema (FFX-2)
At the end of Via Infinito in Final Fantasy X-2, players will find an unassuming old man in the robes of the Yevon clergy. An Unsent, Trema can demolish the party of heroes with a volley of physical attacks. They can also inflict status ailments.
In the original version of the game, he could be cheesed out thanks to the Cat Nip accessory and how it functioned. This was corrected in later releases of the game, so no more critical HP Gunner, Cat Nip, and Gunner’s Trigger Happy combo. Unfortunately, players now have to work through Trema’s frustrating health pool and overcome his powerful attacks.
4) Proto-Babil (FFIV)
The 3D remake of Final Fantasy IV for the Nintendo DS and PC has a terrifying boss on the Lunar Surface. However, it can only be fought in New Game+. Players first have to steal the Dark Matter item from Zeromus in a normal playthrough.
Proto-Babil has Ninth Dimension (Instant death) and the Light of Babil attacks. The latter can deal 9999 damage, even if someone is wearing an Adamant Armor. It can also counter-attacks that the Giant of Babil’s CPU has access to Laser Barrage and Object 199.
When it reaches a certain threshold of HP (280K), it starts using a 20K heal and then its ultimate attack, Divine Judgment, which hits for about 6K HP.
There aren’t many bosses more frustrating than Proto-Babil.
3) Warmech (Final Fantasy I)
Naturally, Warmech had to make an appearance here. Its difficulty lies in how hard it is to find, much less defeat it. Also known as “Death Machine,” it has a 3/64 chance of being found in the Flying Fortress’ final bridge area. Warmech has extremely powerful attacks, especially on the NES; Atomize can potentially wipe a party out in one blast, and Warmech regenerates every round.
Now, the later versions of this boss are much easier to deal with, but in the NES version, the granddaddy of superbosses is not to be trifled with. Warmech also often gets a pre-emptive attack in and just kills a party off before they can even react.
2) Vercingetorix (FFXIII)
The final Cie’th Stone Mission features a truly potent boss in Final Fantasy XIII. Incredibly fast, Vercingetorix can buff itself, drop status ailments on the party, and can even drop 27 attacks at once.
If that wasn’t annoying enough, after 30 minutes of fighting, he will hit the party leader with Doom. With 15M HP, he's got far too much health to be messing around. The lower his HP gets, the more wings he sprouts, which increases the number of times Wing Shear can hit.
None of his attacks are elemental-based either, so there is no defense to use other than high stats.
1) Penance (FFX)
Penance from Final Fantasy X is frustrating again, and not just in itself. Players need to already have defeated all of the immensely powerful Dark Aeons. Penance has 12M HP, its arms regenerate, and has two forms, so the fight is already long and tedious. Like any other good superboss, it also has overwhelmingly powerful attacks.
It absorbs elemental damage, and its ultimate attack, Judgement Day, hits all party members for 99,999 damage and 999 MP. Its first form also has Auto-Protect, but the Celestial Weapons ignore that.
There are some ways to make the fight easier, such as keeping its arms defeated. They are the source of Penance’s powers. If the right arm uses Mighty Guard, for example, it can heal 100-400K HP on a turn.
Final Fantasy has so many fascinating optional bosses throughout its history, but these are among the most deadly and frustrating to deal with. Many of these bosses offer sneaky ways to make them easier; however, that can depend on the version of the game the player is using. Either way, if a Final Fantasy fan is looking for a challenge, their search has come to an end with these bosses.