Games with Iconic Final Boss Battles (Spoilers much?)

For some reason or other, these are the games whose final bouts within the main storyline stuck out the most to me. It might be the gameplay, it might be the difficulty, it might be something else altogether. When a game knows how to not make its last fight anticlimactic, I'd say the developers have done a damn good job in that respect. Naturally, spoilers ahoy, in spades.

List items

  • Fighting Nyx is a unique exercise in both endurance and philosophy. If you're not prepared for it ahead of time, both in items and with manipulating the AI's battle tactics, it's a battle that could very well kick your ass well before you're done. It is, after all, a 14-part fight. But what stuck out to me the most was Nyx's series of monologues that would pop up in-between phases. Detailing the meanings behind the arcana themselves, they serve as a very poignant summary of your journey up to that point. A very fitting end to a very, very good game.

  • The lead up to colossus number sixteen is already poignant as it is. Agro has gone, plummeting to fates unknown. If you didn't feel alone in the game's world up until the fate, chances are it's going to start happening then if it occurs at all. But then you reach the last colossus and, predictable as it may be, it's still truly a monstrous beast to behold, since, hey, it's a bloody tower. By that point, you've taken down your fair share of large colossus, but the last one topples them all in sheer height. The battle itself might be somewhat frustrating at times, but for a game that involved lots of climbing, there really is no other way to finish it than to reach the summit of its own version of Everest... and then proceed to stab it repeatedly.

  • Admittedly, how iconic the final boss battle is in Devil Survivor is fairly dependent on what route you take. But if you're like me and ended up going one of the harder routes on your first go, the sheer difficulty of it and what the culmination of those efforts represent in the plot line is enough to justify adding it to the list. Fighting Babel and doing a Mega Man-style boss rush is damn hard if you don't go into it with the right mindset. I even wrote a guide for it, especially since information on it was sparse when I played it so soon after the English release. But once you beat it, you get a real sense of accomplishment. Taking out those demons should be hard; you're trying to be the bloody king of them via coup de tat, after all.

  • Henry is a character that doesn't get as much development in the game as he probably should have, but fighting him and watching the events that ensue thereafter is a nonetheless satisfying experience. He's Travis' rival for a reason and it shows. Other bosses in the game may have been my favorite ones, but it's still hard to not find the duel with Henry a memorable one, assuming you did everything necessary to unlock it ahead of time.

  • Comparatively speaking, the final boss battle in Persona 4 doesn't quite reach the same epic scope as 3's scuffle with Nyx, but it's still a great battle nonetheless. Superb battle themes specifically made for it, coupled with some nice personal tie-ins with the Social Links you developed made for a great fight. Plus, cliche as it might be, dear old Souji Seta still looks like a goddamn badass upon just tossing those glasses before dealing the final blow. It's one of the many things that helps nicely wrap up a very superb RPG.

  • High tier levels aside, the actual mechanics of the battle with Red might not be all that different from any other fight in the game, but it's still special because you get to fight THE protagonist from the previous generation of Pokemon games, the guy who started it all. There's very little lead up to the actual fight to the extent that it'd be a side quest if it was any other trainer, but since it's Red, you know you're in for something special.

  • It's a ten-minute long surgical fight to the finish, but every second of it is exhilarating, thanks in no small part to Shoji Meguro's soundtrack making sure you were at the game's climax. It's not an extremely difficult surgery, especially compared to the stuff available in the epilogue, but it's still a fun medicinal battle to wage nonetheless.