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Hardest Boss Fights In Final Fantasy

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Hope from Final Fantasy 13 and Vivi from Final Fantasy 9

The epic Final Fantasy franchise has released many great games throughout its years, and with each game comes brand-new characters, both heroes and villains. While the protagonists of the stories are always a big hit with fans of Final Fantasy games, there are plenty of antagonists that should be given credit for making the games as fantastically exciting as they are.

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A story game is only as good as its boss fights, which is why there are so many great ones throughout the games. These bosses push players to their very limits, forcing them to bring a powerful well-rounded party with a wealth of abilities to take them on. As long as players weather the storm and sneak in damage over time, even the strongest bosses in the series will be toast, although it will require quite a lot of tries.

Updated on March 4, 2024, by Ritwik Mitra: The name Final Fantasy carries a lot of weight in the gaming industry. The name is synonymous with genre-defining industry trends and groundbreaking advancements in technology that accompanied some of the best games in the series. While the recent batch of Final Fantasy games have started following trends instead of forming them, that shouldn’t take away from the allure of the series in the slightest. There are many things this game does best, and crafting incredible boss encounters is one of them.

23 Bahamut

Mega Flare Is A Huge Pain

Bahamut (Final Fantasy 4)

Final Fantasy 4

Released
July 19, 1991

Developer(s)
Square

Genre(s)
JRPG

Bahamut is a boss who can seem downright undefeatable at first glance. While he doesn’t have any traditional attacks, what he does do is cast Mega Flare, a powerful attack that hits all parties for so much damage that it’s bound to kill them off in no time at all.

It can feel downright unfair, but players can turn the tables on Bahamut pretty easily if they have Reflect. However, if they don’t have access to this spell, then having high defenses and weathering the storm is the only way to deal with this one-hit wonder boss.

Tips On How To Defeat Final Fantasy 4’s Bahamut

  • Cast Reflect to make the fight a breeze.
  • Maintain high magical defenses to withstand Mega Flare.

22 Emperor

Status Effects And High-Level Magic Can Hit The Player Hard

Emperor (Final Fantasy 2)

Final Fantasy 2

Released
December 17, 1988

Developer(s)
Square

Genre(s)
JRPG

The Emperor is the final boss of Final Fantasy 2, a game that is universally derided by the masses for having an odd leveling system and not really being a ton of fun to play through. As a result, having to grind up the party’s stats all the way to the max to even stand a chance of beating the Emperor is a pretty major challenge.

It doesn’t help that the Emperor hits like a truck, using high-level spells and inflicting many status ailments on the party. Both offense and defense need to be balanced for players to get through this encounter by the skin of their teeth.

Tips On How To Defeat Final Fantasy 2’s Emperor

  • Have high evasion on every party member.
  • Use either the Blood Sword or the Ancient Sword to maximize damage.
  • Boost the party’s defense with spells as much as possible.

21 Cloud Of Darkness

This Boss, Coupled With The Grueling Final Dungeon, Is A True Test Of The Player’s Skill

Cloud of Darkness in Final Fantasy 3

Final Fantasy 3

Released
April 27, 1990

Genre(s)
Adventure

Final Fantasy 3 is a title that almost feels like a puzzle game at times, forcing players to use certain jobs and status effects to get through its levels. The job system is also pretty restrictive and doesn’t really let players maximize certain aspects without sacrificing other stats and abilities.

The final dungeon of this game is extremely long and littered with some of the toughest foes in the game. In the end, players get to face off against the Cloud of Darkness in a tough battle that becomes all the more grueling since they have to weather the massive and lengthy storm before even getting a chance to tackle this boss.

Tips On How To Defeat Final Fantasy 3’s Cloud of Darkness

  • Have a healthy stock of recovery items to get through the final dungeon.
  • One white mage in the party is mandatory, and two of them make healing even easier.
  • Casting support spells is extremely important to minimize overall damage.
  • Buff all warriors and offensive mages to make the most of an attack.

20 Yunalesca

Zombie Fools Players Into Becoming Vulnerable To Death

Final Fantasy 10 Yunalesca

Final Fantasy 10

Released
December 17, 2001

Genre(s)
JRPG

Final Fantasy 10 is a game that is notorious for doubling down on its challenge when it comes to bosses. Yunalesca is one such encounter that can be especially grueling, especially thanks to her Zombie status affliction, and is pretty annoying. Of course, the instant Death spells will also be annoying for obvious reasons.

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Repeating this boss becomes even more annoying when players realize that the cutscene preceding this encounter is unskippable. It’s a cruel joke that punishes players even more for making headway in this fight only to suffer a needless game over.

Tips On How To Defeat Final Fantasy 10’s Yunalesca

  • Wallop her in the first phase and set up defenses before resuming the attack in her second and third forms.
  • Do not dispel Zombie for a while until Yunalesca casts Death on the entire party.
  • Alternatively, party members should have natural protection from Death, Confusion, and Zombie to make this fight easier.

19 Seymour Flux

A Difficulty Spike That Comes Out Of Nowhere

Final Fantasy Boss Fight Seymour Flux

Final Fantasy 10

Released
December 17, 2001

Genre(s)
JRPG

Seymour’s Flux form during the third battle against him in Final Fantasy 10 is the toughest mandatory fight in the game. His signature attack, Total Annihilation, can wipe out entire parties if they aren’t strong enough. His magical and physical defense is very high, and Breaks don’t work against him.

When the boss starts charging up Total Annihilation, players should be sure to cast Shell or use a Mighty guard to protect the highest HP characters and pray they survive.

Tips On How To Defeat Final Fantasy 10’s Seymour Flux

  • Set all Aeons in full Overdrive. This is the key to winning the battle.
  • Use Zombieproof gear to avoid unnecessary damage.
  • Keep tanks in the front and Yuna in the back, and swap out to have Yuna heal/resurrect the party when needed.
  • Use Bio, as Seymour Flux is weak to poison.
  • Have Kimahri/Auron/Tidus use Cheer after poisoning the enemy.

18 Zeromus EG

A Tougher Version Of The Game’s Final Boss

Zeromus EG in Final Fantasy 4

Final Fantasy 4

Released
July 19, 1991

Developer(s)
Square

Genre(s)
JRPG

The GameBoy Advance remakes of the first few Final Fantasy games are certainly quite interesting. While these titles had to make some concessions on the portable, fans were more than happy to play these titles on the go and enjoy the wealth of new content added to these updated releases.

One such addition to the GBA games includes new post-game content that features a wealth of powerful superbosses. Zeromus EG is one such boss that takes no prisoners, being way harder than the game’s actual final boss.

Tips On How To Defeat Final Fantasy 4’s Zeromus EG

  • Use all the new commands and items provided in the post-game content.
  • Use Abel Lance to enjoy the chance of an easy, if somewhat unreliable, victory.
  • The Grimoires are extremely useful against him.
  • Kill quickly in the late stage to avoid a flurry of hard-hitting physical attacks.

17 Omega Weapon

The Dreaded Terra Break Has Broken Many Controllers

Final Fantasy Boss Fight Omega Weapon

Final Fantasy 8

Released
February 11, 1999

Genre(s)
JRPG

This crazy superboss has over one million HP and sits at level 100. At the start of the fight, Omega Weapon will use an attack that immediately kills characters with a level divisible by 5. Its Megiddo Flame attack deals incredible damage as well as its Light Pillar and Terra Break. It can also drain the party’s HP by 75% with its Gravija spell.

The boss is tough and definitely has some game-changing moves, but memorizing its attack order and using potions at the right times will help players win the battle. Players shouldn’t be discouraged if they don’t win the first time.

Tips On How To Defeat Final Fantasy 8’s Omega Weapon

  • Make sure each character has 9,999 HP.
  • Be prepped with as many Megalixirs as possible, plus high-tier spell stocks and Meltdown and Aura.
  • Equip Auto-Haste, Auto-Protect, and Spd-J on each character.
  • Haste through the battle by focusing on limit breaks.
  • Use Defend or Holy War to survive Omega Weapons’ deadly “Terra Break.”

16 Necron

A Tough Final Boss That Comes Out Of Nowhere To Bombard Enemies With Status Effects

Final Fantasy Boss Fight Necron

Final Fantasy 9

Released
July 7, 2000

Genre(s)
JRPG

The final boss in Final Fantasy 9, Necron, is the embodiment of Death itself. After concluding that life only exists to pursue death, he decides to destroy absolutely everything. His power is grand, and he can unleash multiple attacks in a single turn to really knock down unprepared players.

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He can heal himself to keep the battle going for a while, though his many health-shattering offensive moves might end the battle pretty quickly. Though he’s a worthy final boss, he can be taken down with a strong party, a bit of strategy, and practice.

Tips On How To Defeat Final Fantasy 9’s Necron

  • Auto-Regen is highly efficient for healing in between attacks.
  • Equip a White Mage and a character who can use Auto-Life.
  • Be fully prepared for any and all outcomes of Necron’s “Grand Cross” (Use plenty of Phoenix Down, Revive, Life, and Magic Tag).

15 Ruby Weapon

Forces Players To Enter The Battle With Two Dead Party Members With Its Tentacles Wreaking Havoc

Ruby Weapon from Final Fantasy 7

Final Fantasy 7

Released
January 31, 1997

There are two notorious superbosses in Final Fantasy 7 that are an absolute pain to defeat. One of them appears in the desert near the Golden Saucer.

This boss, Ruby Weapon, is a pretty tricky beast to battle. It hits like a truck and only the highest-leveled players with the best materia can hope to take down this massive threat.

Tips On How To Defeat Final Fantasy 7’s Ruby Weapon

  • Enter with two dead party members so that they don’t get ejected at the start of the boss fight.
  • Either focus on the main body or deal with the tentacles first — don’t be on the fritz.
  • Go into the fight with the best equipment and the highest level to make things substantially easier.

14 Hades

Uses Status Attacks And Employs A Devastating Attack Called Doomsday To Annihilate The Party

Final Fantasy 9 Hades Fight

Final Fantasy 9

Released
July 7, 2000

Genre(s)
JRPG

Final Fantasy 9 harkens back to the classic roots of this series, making for a strong nostalgia trip that also has its fair share of superbosses.

One of these bosses, Hades, must be defeated to unlock his secret synthesis shop, but that’s easier said than done.

Tips On How To Defeat Final Fantasy 9’s Hades

  • Have as many immunities on all party members as possible.
  • Use Shadow nullification or absorption to deal with Doomsday.
  • Alternatively, hit Hades with extremely powerful attacks to prevent him from using Doomsday in the first place.

13 Iron Giant

Deals Immensely High Physical Damage

The Iron Giant in FF3

Final Fantasy 3 (3D Remake)

Released
November 14, 2006

Genre(s)
JRPG

Developer
Matrix Software

Before the Pixel Remaster came into existence, the only way that players could enjoy Final Fantasy 3 was via the 3D remake. It’s a fairly tough game, with both DS remasters upping the difficulty, which was quite welcome. This 3D remake also added a superboss called Iron Giant, a popular Final Fantasy enemy that has never been deadlier.

His attacks are pretty simple but extremely deadly. Meteor is already a deadly spell as is, but it’s when Iron Giant starts using Swipe that players will really be in for a tough time. A proper strategy is key to defeating this hardy foe, and a lack of the same will see players completely overwhelmed by the sheer physical might of this superboss.

Tips On How To Defeat Final Fantasy 3’s Iron Giant

  • Protect is a must to reduce the damage of his hard-hitting physical attacks.
  • Ribbons and Onion Armor equipment prevent status effects from hampering the party.
  • Magic should be prioritized since his regular Defense is off the charts.
  • If players are above Level 93, then the Onion Knight job is a must-have here.

12 Long Gui

Immense HP And A Wealth Of Damaging Attacks Makes This Superboss A Pain To Deal With

Long Gui monster in Final Fantasy 13

Final Fantasy 13

Released
March 9, 2010

Developer(s)
Square Enix

Genre(s)
JRPG

Final Fantasy 13 takes a stupidly long time to open up. The game’s linearity is a reputation it garnered justly, and fans were irritated to follow straight lines for hours on end in an adventure that felt too repetitive for its own good.

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So, when players are able to explore the area of Gran Pulse, they’ll be starving for some exploration. However, in their travels, they might stumble upon the dreaded Adamantoise that can decimate their party in one fell swoop. However, a tougher variant of this enemy exists that many people feel is one of the hardest bosses in Final Fantasy history. The Long Gui is a palette swap that appears in the world after players complete a total of 62 missions given by the Cie’th Stones.

Tips On How To Defeat Final Fantasy 13’s Long Gui

  • Fang, Sazh, and Vanille are the ideal party for this battle.
  • Use a Trio Of Sentinels to mitigate the damage Long Gui deals at the start of this battle.
  • Summon an Eidolon before Ultima is cast to avoid its immense damage.
  • Inflicting the boss with Imperil is a sound strategy.
  • Death is the best way to cast damage to a staggered Long Gui.

11 Emerald Weapon

An Underwater Battle That Punishes Players For Equipping Too Many Materia

Final Fantasy 7 Boss Fight Emerald Weapon

Final Fantasy 7

Released
January 31, 1997

The player has 20 minutes to win the battle against this underwater boss in Final Fantasy 7. Its powerful Aire Tam Storm attack takes the number of Materia equipped on each player and multiplies that number by 1,111, then deals that much damage to each player.

Its variety of Emerald attacks, plus the time limit, and the Materia disadvantage make Emerald Weapon one of those bosses that will make players rage with frustration after attempting to win for the 4th time in a row, even when playing with the strongest characters in the game.

Tips On How To Defeat Final Fantasy 7’s Emerald Weapon

  • Level up the team to at least Level 80 (Preferably Level 99).
  • Stock up on Megalixirs, Mime, and Underwater Materia.
  • Use W-Summon to cast 2 instances of Knights of the Round. Continue double-casting the summon with Mime.
  • Keep healing, even overhealing. Being fully healed will guarantee that the team stays alive long enough to take down the high HP Emerald Weapon.

10 Omega

Uses Fiery Attacks To Incinerate Parties

The Omega battle from Final Fantasy 5. It is using Rocket Punch on Bartz. Lenna is collapsed on the ground.

Final Fantasy 5

Released
December 6, 1992

Genre(s)
JRPG

Omega is one of the hardest superbosses in Final Fantasy history, with this iconic enemy being able to take out unprepared players in no time flat. It boasts a wealth of powerful attacks, including the annoying Wave Cannon attack that is whipped out every other turn and is guaranteed to take out half of a character’s maximum HP.

Suffice it to say, it’s important to maintain high health at all times during this fight to not get taken out in two turns. Omega’s only weakness is lightning, and landing physical attacks on it is a pain because of its high evasion and defense. Players need to be really patient and prioritize healing the party instead of dealing damage, making for a long and challenging encounter that is certainly winnable but not without its fair share of trials and tribulations.

Tips On How To Defeat Final Fantasy 5’s Omega

  • Keep all party members at full health all the time.
  • Use equipment that either resists, nullifies, or absorbs fire-based attacks.
  • Ribbons and other equipment that protect against status effects are crucial.

9 Warmech

The First Ever Superboss In The Series That Can Appear Out Of Nowhere To Wreck The Party

Warmech Final Fantasy Boss Fight

Final Fantasy (1987)

Released
December 18, 1987

Developer(s)
Square

Genre(s)
JRPG , Adventure

The very first Final Fantasy started the trend of having nearly unbeatable bosses that take tons of time and strategy to defeat. In the original Final Fantasy, Warmech is quite the formidable foe.

It’s rare to find and typically gets a preemptive strike, which could easily take down a party member right at the get-go of the battle. It can heal itself and regenerate at the end of each round, so defeating it quickly is no easy task. It’s important to enter the boss fight well-equipped and high-leveled.

Tips On How To Defeat Final Fantasy’s Warmech

  • Start off the battle with Blink or Invisira.
  • Use Haste on the fighters.
  • Equip a White Mage to focus solely on healing the party.
  • Get the characters as high-leveled as possible before heading into battle with Warmech.

8 The Five Archadian Judges

A Ridiculously Hard Mob Battle That Requires Immense Micromanagement

Judge Gabranth from Final Fantasy 12

Final Fantasy 12

Released
October 31, 2006

Genre(s)
JRPG

Final Fantasy 12 was a new step for the series, using everything it learned from its previous entry to deliver a unique game that is highly underappreciated. The Zodiac Age edition added an extremely tough encounter with the five Archadian Judges in the game that players get to fight at the end of the game’s Trial Mode.

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Suffice it to say, this encounter is no joke and will lead to a quick game over unless players have the best Gambits and highest stats to deal with their damaging attacks.

Tips On How To Defeat Final Fantasy 12’s Five Archadian Judges

  • Use the combination of the Nihopalaoa accessory and Remedies to debilitate most of the judges with negative status effects.
  • Judge Ghis has the lowest HP and should be the party’s first focus in battle.
  • A Gambit should be set in place that constantly casts Dispel on buffed Judges, which also prevents the party from being hit with Shock.
  • These strategies can be relaxed once at least two Judges are down, but the party should still be on their toes for any sudden damage.

7 Ozma

Punishes Well-Prepared Parties With A Dose Of Meteor

Final Fantasy Boss Fight Ozma FF9

Final Fantasy 9

Released
July 7, 2000

Genre(s)
JRPG

The toughest boss in Final Fantasy 9 and one of the toughest bosses in all the Final Fantasy games, Ozma changes the way it attacks based on the player’s party set-up. Ozma has some pretty powerful attacks that can take out party members in a single blow.

The giant colorful orb can heal itself as a counterattack, dragging out the battle and giving it more time to defeat its enemies. Ozma also limits the number of attacks that players can deal with before it delivers one of its own. With preparation, practice, and patience, Ozma can eventually be taken down.

Tips On How To Defeat Final Fantasy 9’s Ozma

  • Equip Quina and Steiner for their high damage, HP, and counter abilities.
  • Input commands during Ozma’s turn, rather than on the party member’s turn, to prevent its ATB gauge from instantly filling up.
  • Be prepared to heal all party members after Ozma’s devastating blows.
  • Use Auto-Life on all applicable characters.

6 Wiegraf & Belias

The Point Where Most Final Fantasy Tactics Players Either Rage Quit Or Persevere Against All Odds

The Wiegraf & Belias boss fight in Final Fantasy Tactics

Final Fantasy Tactics

Released
June 20, 1997

Developer(s)
Square

Final Fantasy Tactics is a game where poor strategy can be a player’s demise. Saves in this game also need to be made carefully, and a single mistake can cause players to be trapped in hell for all eternity as they try to take down Wiegraf with Ramza alone, followed by an infamously tough fight with Belias.

Without high levels and proper equipment, the player will be completely and utterly destroyed by the duo. This boss is what filters the men from the boys in Final Fantasy Tactics, and players who defeat this encounter will have mastered everything required to play till the very end of a fantastic experience.

Tips On How To Defeat Final Fantasy Tactics’ Wiegraf & Belias

  • Use the Chameleon Robe to exploit a glitch and prevent Wiegraf from using his Holy Knight attacks.
  • Dragoon Ramza can spam Jump for severe damage on both bosses.
  • The entire party should level up equally. Otherwise, Belias and the Archaeodaemons scale up to Ramza’s level and deal severe damage to underleveled characters.

5 Neo Shinryu

A Ridiculous Boss Fight That Becomes Invulnerable At Random Intervals

Neo Shinryu in Final Fantasy 5

Final Fantasy 5

Released
December 6, 1992

Genre(s)
JRPG

Final Fantasy 5 is a game where mastering the Job system was paramount to doing good at the game. The innovative nature of this mechanic meant that players could mix and match commands from numerous jobs after a point to become so impossibly strong that most normal enemies wouldn’t stand a chance against them. However, Neo Shinryu is no ordinary foe.

This superboss was added in the Advance version of Final Fantasy 5 and will make most people tear their hair out. It’s certainly not an enemy to be taken lightly, and strategic planning is of the essence to even stand a chance of besting this foe.

Tips On How To Defeat Final Fantasy 5’s Neo Shinryu

  • Perfect equipment is paramount for victory, with recommendations being Apollo’s Harp, Dragon Lance, Force Shield, and lots of Ribbons.
  • Players should cast Float before the battle to avoid Earthquake.
  • It’s very important to use Dispel when Neo Shinryu casts Mighty Guard.
  • Timing attacks are imperative since the boss becomes invulnerable at certain points.
  • The final combo of Giga Flare and Meteor is deadly, so players should definitely have the Hide command
    on one party member
    to survive this attack

4 Penance

A Superboss That Requires A Perfect Party To Achieve Victory

Final Fantasy Boss Fight Penance FF10

Final Fantasy 10

Released
December 17, 2001

Genre(s)
JRPG

After defeating all of the Dark Aeons in the game, players have the option of fighting Penance, the toughest superboss in Final Fantasy 10. With 12 million hit points and four detachable, powerful arms with their own HP, Penance is quite the foe to go up against.

After dealing a total of 19 attacks to the superboss, it will use its ultimate attack, Judgement Day, which takes away 99,999 HP and 999 MP from all party members, effectively defeating them all. However, it can only unleash this attack when both its arms are still active.

Tips On How To Defeat Final Fantasy 10’s Penance

  • Max out all character stats before initiating the battle with Penance.
  • Equip Auto-Haste, Auto-Potion, and Auto-Protect to keep characters alive in battle.
  • Utilize Rikku’s Trio of 9999 to enhance Potions so that they restore 9999 HP.
  • Attack the arms right before their turn to prevent them from attacking.
  • Dispel immediately when a party member is hit with Immolation.

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