I only have one real stipulation for this list: One boss per game. I’m not limiting the list to one game per franchise, however, as I feel that would make things way more difficult than they need to be. There are many boss fights that occur throughout the course of a series, and it wouldn’t exactly be fair to myself, or the games themselves, to have to skip including a great fight because another was chosen from the same series.
Other than that, anything is fair game. It doesn’t matter if it’s a story boss, or a post-game “super” boss – it just has to be an actual boss. No mini-bosses or “pseudo” boss fights that turn out to be regular enemies later on, or are just unwinnable battles there for nothing but plot.
Unlike most of my other lists, this one is definitely ranked in order of least favorite, to most favorite. Keep in mind that “least favorite” doesn’t mean I hate the boss fight – it just means I didn’t enjoy it as much as the others.
A note: Obviously, it’s impossible to create a list like this – especially with such a small number of slots – and not omit some bosses. I also can’t play every game ever created, so the bosses that you see here are going to be from games that I, personally, have played. If you have a favorite boss that isn’t listed, chances are, it’s a game I’ve never played, or I didn’t enjoy the fight the same way you did.
So, what goes into my choices? A few things. First and foremost – how fun and enjoyable the battle itself was. If a boss fight isn’t enjoyable, or just feels like an obstacle more than an actual battle, it’s no good. Second comes the tone & atmosphere of the fight. This is most important when it comes to a story boss. These fights should feel like you’re accomplishing something, or that you’re fighting for your life. The mood needs to feel right, not just “here’s the boss, fight it.” This also includes stuff like music – which if the music sucks, it’s going to kill the feeling of the fight.