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, it's 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, the 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 are 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 from Poseidon's point of view. This culminates with Kratos blinding Poseidon, then snapping his neck and leaving his body to collapse into the sea below, which causes a gigantic tsunami that floods most of Ancient Greece. Yeah, I think I know which 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 had to be on the list. The way it's set, the size of the boss, the scope and setting, and the music are just pure cinematic. Furthermore, Valus is the first thing you fight in the entire game, so it does come off as somewhat of a surprise.

At first, Valus seems like something you'd feel uneasy about, considering its size. Then you get to its leg and stab it 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.

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 darker. You also start to question whether killing Valus was worth it as the game progresses.

Overall, the fight against Valus is 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 it's 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 he'll "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 reversal if you notice how Zelda bosses normally work).

You have to strike Ghirahim at precise timing and direction without the Demon Lord catching your sword, which he could take and use against 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 are 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 later 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. It's interesting to note that Skelter Helter is the brother of another assassin named Helter Skelter, whom Travis (the player character) killed to become a high-ranked assassin before the first game even begins. So naturally, Skelter is looking for revenge, setting the fight at the very beginning of the second game.

Skelter is a pretty tough first boss, especially if someone is playing in Bitter (Hard) Mode. His weapon of choice and appearance is pretty much a 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), so 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 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 and considerable attacks that could heavily harm the player character but are not too hard to dodge. 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. The Twilight Thorn is also one of the toughest first bosses if you're playing Kingdom Hearts II on a harder difficulty.

7 Colossus of Rhodes - God of War II

Well, it's God of War II, so it's 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 start to lose your powers.

Eventually, you are given the Blade of Olympus by an eagle, and you pummel the statue until you wind up inside the statue. There, you dismantle it while defeating hordes of lesser enemies and finally destroy the statue by destroying it from within.

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

8 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 into 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.

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 a guideline on 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 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 can 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. He uses these flames to enhance his physical attacks and for some new ones. Overall, a tough but entertaining boss.

10 False Knight - Hollow Knight

While the Gruz Mother could technically be counted as a boss, this feels like the first actual boss. I personally fought this guy first on my playthrough.

It teaches the basics of only hitting when there's an opening and not swinging violently, as its shockwaves can punish you if you do that. It is also just a generally fun fight.

The Contenders
11 Flowery Woods - Kirby Triple Deluxe
12 General "Princess" - Miitopia
13 The Sausage Santa - Runner3
14 Moskito - Rayman
15 King Arthur - Sonic and the Black Knight
16 Sand Scorpion - Sonic and the Secret Rings
17 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.

18 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
19 The Root Pack - Cuphead
20 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.
21 Rollanratl - Wario Land: Shake It!
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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