Best First Bosses in Video Games

Its common to find a video game that features bosses as among the biggest obstacles you face in the game. While they may get progressively harder and more impressive to look at as you play through, but it should be worth mentioning how the 1st boss in any game could set up a game entirely.

Which 1st boss do you think stood out the most in video games?
The Top Ten
1 Poseidon - God of War III

To be personally honest, more than half of this list could be covered simply by God of War bosses. Considering how the franchise has some of the best bosses ever in video games, its hard to argue otherwise.

But man, when you know the first boss in the third game happens to be none other than the Greek God of the Seas, Horses and Earthquakes, you know it is about to go down real hard. Fighting Poseidon almost feels as if you're watching a cinematic cutscene in itself, considering the graphical power the PlayStation 3 had during its time. To top it off, Poseidon is also fighting Gaia, mother of Titans simultaneously alongside Kratos (The player character). You fight Hippocampi the sea-horse at the same time and when Poseidon does get serious, it sets up God of War III masterfully. His appearance, demeanor voice, attacks and the tone of the battle is unlike any ever seen in a first boss battle.

When you defeat Poseidon, you are invited to a horror treat as Kratos pummels the Greek God with his bare fists, all shown in Poseidon's point of view, culminating with Kratos blinding Poseidon and then snapping his neck and leaving his body to collapse onto the sea below... which causes a gigantic tsunami that floods most of Ancient Greece. Yeah, I think I know what first boss battle is the most hardcore and cinematic after fighting Poseidon.

2 Valus - Shadow of the Colossus

After playing Shadow of the Colossus, Valus was going to be on the list. The way its set, the size of the boss, the scope and setting and the music is just pure cinematic. Furthermore, Valus is the first thing you fight in the entire game, thus it does come off as somewhat of a surprise.

At first, Valus seems like something you'd feel uneasy about, considering the size. Then you get to its leg and stab it there. There, the music becomes more dramatic and you eventually start climbing all the way up to its head. The colossus attempts to shake you off, but you hold on, wanting to resurrect your love. So you drive your sword into Valus's head a few times and the colossus drops its club before it falls to the floor, lifeless. This is all accompanied by a somber track and the fact that you get impaled by some shadowy substance that comes out of Valus's corpse makes the moment more darker. You also start to quest whether killing Valus was worth it as the game progresses. Overall, the fight against Valus it an amazing example of storytelling and building up Shadow of the Colossus. The entire fight feels dramatic and each moment is built up very well.

3 Ghirahim - The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Ghirahim is the central antagonist of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. He is an immensely powerful Demon Lord born from Demise's sword. He aims to capture Zelda, the reincarnation of the Goddess Hylia, and use her to free his master, Demise the Demon King.

The main villain of a Zelda game also happens to be the first boss, but its memorable in a unique way.

Ghirahim appears the moment you're about to complete the first dungeon, he introduces himself to Link (The player character), presents his motives and feelings and declares hell "beat you within an inch of your life" before the fight begins. Ghirahim is a pretty tricky boss, a nice example of how a boss is defensive while the player is offensive (A notable role reverse if you notice how Zelda bosses normally work). You have to strike Ghirahim at a precise timing and direction without the Demon Lord catching your sword, which he could take and use it on you. After some damage, Ghirahim calls out a rapier and a proper swordfight begins. He is rather tough to overcome, considering his attacks are fast, deal sizable damage and is defensive when needed. A great first boss overall, managing to establish Ghirahim's character and the tone of the latter dungeons as Skyward Sword progresses.

4 Parasite Queen - Metroid Prime

While a relatively easy boss, the Parasite Queen is large, intimidating and appears after traversing a spaceship facility littered with dead space pirates and Parasite specimens, somewhat akin to a Horror Movie. This is what makes the Parasite Queen a rather good boss; it builds up and sets up what is to come for the latter bosses in Metroid Prime.

5 Skelter Helter - No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle Skelter Helter is an assassin appearing in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. He seeks revenge against Travis Touchdown for killing his older brother, Helter-Skelter, in the first game. Armed with a complex beam weapon resembling a revolver with a sword attachment, he confronts Travis in a battle... read more

No More Heroes is known for having some really good bosses. Its interesting to note that Skelter Helter is the brother of another assassin named Helter Skelter whom Travis (The player character) killed order to become a high-ranked assassin before the first game even begins. So naturally, Skelter is looking for revenge, thus the fight is set in the very beginning of the second game.

Skelter is a pretty tough 1st boss, especially is someone is playing in Bitter (Hard) Mode. His weapon of choice and appearance is pretty much discount Cloud Strife with that Buster Sword-esque beam katana and Skelter's hair and clothing. He also has a cool looking revolver (Which would be rather impractical in real-life) to he's pretty well varied too. Despite this, he's still a pretty good boss and the moment you kill him, some dark revelations begin to take place, setting up No More Heroes 2 in a more darker direction than its predecessor.

6 Twilight Thorn - Kingdom Hearts II

The Darkside from Kingdom Hearts was a considerable honorable mention thanks to its intimidating appearance, considerable attacks that could harm the player character heavily, but are not too hard to dodge and how it sets up the first game overall. The Twilight Thorn in the direct sequel plays a similar role, but it also helps to incorporate some unique game mechanics into the fight, making it more cinematic and noteworthy to notice. That, and the Twilight Thorn is also one of the toughest first bosses if you're playing Kingdom Hearts II in a harder difficulty.

7 The Great Mighty Poo - Conker's Bad Fur Day The Great Mighty Poo is a fictional character appearing in the 2001 video game Conker's Bad Fur Day. He is a giant, opera-singing pile of feces that appears as a boss in the sloprano chapter.

The boss track is already memorable enough. This boss is one of the few examples of Toilet Humor done right (I hate Toilet Humor mind you) and the fight is accessible and simple to follow. You just throw tissue onto the Poo's mouth whenever he tries to sing a high note. The fact that the music gets more and more intense as the Poo takes more damage also helps a lot.

Such a stupid boss, yet I honestly can't fault it because it's stupid in all the right ways

8 Colossus of Rhodes - God of War II

Well, its God of War II, so its to be expected. It's a giant statue of the Greek God of the Sun Helios, enchanted by Zeus (Unbeknownst to Kratos. You fight the statue as you traverse through the first level and the fight progressively gets more dire as you're suddenly starting to lose your powers. Eventually, you are given the Blade of Olympus by an eagle and you pummel the statue until you wind up in the statue's interior. There, you dismantle it while defeating hordes of lesser enemies and finally destroy the statue by destroying it from within.

After that, well let's say some deep stuff happens that sets up God of War II in a tone that's more darker and intense than the first (Which was already both those to begin with anyway). That, and the Colossus of Rhodes is still a seminal example of a first boss in video games.

9 Berial - Devil May Cry 4

Sure Dante was the first boss, but he felt too much like a warm up and most of the fight was more of an guideline in how to play.

Berial is where you really begin to feel like you're fighting a proper boss for the first time. His intro and dialogue set up the fight pretty well. The boss's design and concept is already cool enough, but it adds in that he is pretty challenging, especially in harder difficulties. Don't get fooled into thinking he's a close-ranged fighter because he has a sword, because he's got a fast long-range face-missile that could do a good amount of damage. At times, his flames may disappear in the middle of the battle, prompting you to use some button commands to do some large damage, but not before Berial regains his flames, which he uses to enhance his physical attacks and are needed for some new ones. Overall, a tough, but entertaining boss.

10 Big Bob Omb - Super Mario 64

Again, an easy boss, although it is one that sticks out. Big Bob Omb is rather big and his dialogue is presentable for a Mario boss. As the primary objective of your very first power star, it is a pretty good way to establish Super Mario 64.

The Contenders
11 Sans - Undertale Sans or Sans the Skeleton is a character in the 2015 RPG Undertale created by Toby Fox. He is a lazy, pun-loving skeleton who is a supporting protagonist in the "pacifist" and "neutral" routes of Undertale, and a heroic antagonist/final boss of the "genocide" route. He is known for his incredibly difficult... read more
12 The Root Pack - Cuphead
13 Napstablook - Undertale Napstablook is a secondary character from Toby Fox's 2016 RPG, Undertale. He is the cousin of Mettaton, who left him in order to become famous. Due to this, poor Blooky has crippling depression.
14 Rollanratl - Wario Land: Shake It!
15 False Knight - Hollow Knight

While the Gruz Mother could be technically counted as a boss, this feels like the first actual boss, and I personally fought this guy first on my playthrough. It teaches the basics of only hitting when there's an opening and not violently swinging at it, as its shockwaves can punish you if you do that, it also is just a generally fun fight.

16 Flowery Woods - Kirby Triple Deluxe
17 General "Princess" - Miitopia
18 The Sausage Santa - Runner3
19 Moskito - Rayman
20 King Arthur - Sonic and the Black Knight
21 Sand Scorpion - Sonic and the Secret Rings
22 O'Chunks - Super Paper Mario
23 Big Time Beagle - Ducktales: Remastered
24 Walker - Nicktoons: Unite! Walker is a fictional character in the American animated series Danny Phantom created by Butch Hartman for Nickelodeon.
25 Dino Piranha - Super Mario Galaxy
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