×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The longest boss fights ever in video games

There's nothing like an overly long video game boss fight to make you want to pull out your hair in frustration. You know what we're talking about—the kind of boss battles that are so hard, so long, and so ridiculous that you want to scream, "just die already!" From intense action-packed fights to protracted battles lasting 18-plus hours—yes, really—let's take a look back at some of the worst and longest boss fights ever in video games.

Yiazmat - Final Fantasy XII

The Final Fantasy franchise has a notorious reputation for its ridiculously hard bosses—and for good reason. The dragon Yiazmat from the 2006 single-player RPG Final Fantasy XII is just one famous example. Proving that numbers have absolutely no meaning to Square Enix, Yiazmat weighs in with over 50 million health. In contrast, the average character facing this beast might have anywhere from 8,000 to 12,000 health. His insane amount of hit points, special abilities and devastating attacks make Yiazmat particularly difficult to beat.

Once you get Yiazmat to 50 percent health, all attack damage against him is capped at 6,999 HP—which turns this boss fight into a protracted battle. Even worse, Yiazmat can fully heal himself if he manages to cast certain spells. Extremely skilled gamers might be able to beat Yiazmat in about an hour—but most players will need at least 3 or 4 hours to to get the job done.  He was watered down slightly for the 2017 remastered version of FFXII, but the original Yiazmat will wipe the floor with you unless you have the right gear and a solid strategy.   

The End - Metal Gear Solid 3

Unlike many of the other intense boss battles we've listed, the final encounter with The End in Metal Gear Solid 3 is more a test of your skill and endurance—especially on your first playthrough. The End's sniper rifle might be fitted with tranquilizer darts instead of bullets, but one wrong move will still put an "end" to your game. This fight requires stealth, finesse, and patience as you try to track The End while avoiding detection. Most players should expect to spend a good two or three hours on this fight their first time.

If all that sneaking around sounds boring, you can always use one of the many cheats and workarounds available to take the easy way out of this boss battle. You can snipe The End early during a cutscene, use the Konami Code on your map screen to reveal his location, or even get him to die of old age by saving the game and turning your console off for a week. If you want to acquire The End's moss camo or modified Mosin-Nagant rifle, you'll have to defeat him non-lethally—which presents a whole new set of challenges. While these are all fun Easter eggs, absolutely nothing beats the thrill of defeating this legend the old-fashioned way—if you have the patience to do it right.  

Boss Rush/Yami - Ōkami

It may be one of the most highly rated action-adventure games of all time, but Ōkami also has one of the most dreaded final boss sequences of all time: the "boss rush." In this kind of final boss battle, a player must square up for a rematch with all of the previously defeated bosses before going on to face some final big bad for the ultimate challenge. Ōkami stays true to the boss rush tradition; at the wreckage of the Ark of Yamato, you must fight and defeat all of the major demons from the game again before you even see the final boss.

Once you've gotten past the boss rush, you're then pitted against Yami—the demon leader who helped kill all of the gods long ago. As you might expect, the fight against Yami takes forever, as she shifts through multiple forms and phases along the way. Although Ōkami got a remastered HD release in December 2017, this sequence of fights is just as difficult today as it was back in 2006 on the PlayStation 2. Between the boss rush and the protracted battle with Yami, expect the Ōkami endgame to take you at least two or three hours to complete—assuming you don't fail and have to start the fight over.

Nyx Avatar - Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3

In the 2006 RPG Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3, you do battle against the demon Nyx twice—and the second time around is a doozy. As might be expected from a battle with the personification of death itself, Nyx offers up quite a few challenges for players. In the final battle of Persona 3, you go up against the avatar of Nyx, who has the appearance and traits of your classmate Ryoji Mochizuki. Throughout the fight, the Nyx Avatar will shift through fourteen different "Arcana." For those unfamiliar with Persona 3, that means you must battle this boss through fourteen phases to defeat it.

Even if you manage to get to the final phase, things can still turn against you in an instant. In her final form, Nyx Avatar has abilities that reflect all attacks and deal heavy damage. Additionally, extremely unlucky players might get hit by Nyx's charm spell—which can let her trick one of your party into giving her a full heal. Count on this fight taking at least an hour or more to finish, especially on your first playthrough or with an underpowered party.

Abyssion - Tales of Symphonia

The one saving grace of Abyssion from the 2003 RPG Tales of Symphonia is that he's completely optional. If players were actually required to defeat Abyssion, you'd probably find a lot more people giving up on Tales of Symphonia out of sheer frustration. In the setup to this boss fight, Abyssion sends you to retrieve the a set of cursed weapons called the "Devil's Arms." He claims he plans to lock these horribly evil weapons away in some deep dark place forever. Oh, and by the way—the Devil's Arms might try to turn you insane, but everything will be just fine if you just don't listen to the voices. Riiiiiight...

After you finally gather all of the weapons, Abyssion turns on you in a sudden yet inevitable betrayal–and the true boss fight begins. He can use many of your own skills against you, and many of his spells do truly incredible amounts of damage. Unless you get extremely lucky or have a high-level party, a successful Abyssion fight will probably take an hour or more.

Mael Radec - Killzone 2

This fight may not take as long as some of the others, but the boss fight with Mael Radec in 2009's Killzone 2 feels like it takes forever—especially for a first-person shooter. Instead of a long and protracted battle seen in some turn-based games, the final fight with Killzone 2's Helghast commander is a heartstopping 30-plus minutes of bullet hell. The first challenge you must deal with is figuring out how to defeat the multiple waves of soldiers Radec throws at you throughout the boss fight. Each wave is successively harder, and the final one consists of relentless waves of elite Helghast soldiers with rocket launchers.

Finally, Radec comes after you himself—forcing you to stay on your toes if you want to avoid getting scragged. He's an expert in both long-range and up-close combat, and his armor can withstand even a rocket launcher blast. Even worse, Radec comes equipped with both a teleporter and a personal cloaking device, which makes it child's play for him to suddenly attack you from behind when you're least expecting it. Prepare to respawn lots of times before you get the timing and strategy on this boss battle right.

Darth Vader - The Force Unleashed II

The entire plot of the 2010 action game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II revolves around the conflict between Darth Vader and a clone of his former Sith apprentice, Starkiller. After the clone goes rogue and escapes Vader's grip, the two clash on several occasions—culminating in a final boss fight with Vader at the game's end. The fight lasts for three phases that get progressively harder—and more repetitive. All said, the final boss battle with Vader isn't extremely difficult, but the mechanics of the fight are mind-numbing.  You spend the entire time ineffectually hacking at him, which is interrupted by a cutscene where Starkiller shouts something whiny, followed by fights with waves of clones. It may not be the longest on our list in minutes, but this fight with Darth Vader definitely drags way too long.

Lord Kazzak - World of Warcraft

Back in the "Vanilla" era of World of Warcraft, it was possible to taunt certain raid bosses and get them to chase you all over Azeroth. Many players took advantage by frequently kiting the demon Lord Kazzak from his spot in the Blasted Lands to the Alliance capital of Stormwind City. The walk probably took an hour or more, but their patience paid off once Kazzak reached the walls of Stormwind. Lord Kazzak cast a debuff that healed him for 25,000 HP every time it damaged a player. He instantly regenerated 70,000 HP every time he killed a player, pet, or totem. After a few minutes wreaking havoc and slaughtering low-level characters in Stormwind, Lord Kazzak started casting endless Shadowbolt volleys at anyone nearby.

These combined factors made Kazzak essentially invincible any time he paid a visit to Stormwind. Even high-level players wielding the legendary "Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker" were no match for him. As a result, Lord Kazzak would rampage around the city for hours while characters fled in terror or threw their puny attacks his way. The griefers who brought the boss to Stormwind could sit back and enjoy the chaos and destruction until a GM finally showed up to get Kazzak out of the city. Blizzard eventually got tired of the pranksters and patched the game to prevent bosses from wandering too far from their spawn point.

Absolute Virtue and Pandemonium Warden - Final Fantasy XI

If you've ever played a MMORPG, you're probably familiar with long nights spent trying to take down a difficult raid boss. Over the years, the Final Fantasy XI MMO has offered up two prime examples of extremely long boss fights. The megaboss Absolute Virtue was first introduced in late 2004. But every time a group managed to defeat it, the devs would patch the game to fix alleged "bugs" with the boss—thus nullifying these previous strategies. Even after Square Enix released an Absolute Virtue hint video in 2008, players still couldn't figure out how to reliably beat it. Despite the game's warning to play in moderation, a top FFXI GM claimed a legitimate Absolute Virtue kill could take 18 hours or more. Yes, you read that right.

Because Square Enix apparently loves to torture their players, they continued this ridiculous trend with their next FFXI big bad, Pandemonium Warden. In August 2008, one guild spent 18 hours battling Pandemonium Warden through 20 different stages—before finally giving up after players started passing out or getting physically ill. One player involved in this attempt estimated actually defeating the boss would have taken them another 2 to 5 hours. Within two weeks of this incident, the developers drastically reduced the difficulty of Absolute Virtue and Pandemonium Warden. They also implemented a two-hour despawn timer on both bosses to prevent future marathon battles. Despite these changes, it still took another five months for a guild to finally defeat Pandemonium Warden.