Top 10 Hardest Mario Bosses

The Top Ten
1 Bowser X - Mario & Luigi Bowser's Inside Story

No contest, Bowser X is the hardest boss the Italian plumber has ever faced. What, he isn't a plumber anymore? Well, he's always a plumber in my eyes. You can't stop me!

Back on topic, let's list the reasons why Bowser X destroys the other fights in the Mario series in terms of sheer difficulty. Bowser has 7,000 HP, and you're on a turn limit. While the turn limit seems generous with a maximum of 35, the other factors of this fight don't make it so forgiving.

Firstly, Bowser X does insane damage, able to kill one of your bros in a few hits. Sometimes he's able to one-shot you. If Bowser X doesn't kill your other bro outright, you have to waste a turn reviving. Bowser also takes away your special items, which means you have to make as much use of them as possible.

In other words, you need to master avoiding Bowser X's attacks (which make Cackletta's Soul's attacks seem tame in comparison) and master each special attack's mechanics. Or you could be like me and not care about it. I've got other games to play. Go ahead and be a sadist if you want, and use the Challenge Medal while you're at it.

2 Cackletta's Soul - Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

Starts you off at 1 HP, and then spits a big energy ball towards you. It was really intimidating, and I died quite a bit. However, since I've owned that game for about eight years, I could just kill it in a matter of five turns.

The attacks that the Soul has are really hard to time, such as when Cackletta freezes time, foreshadowing the altitude of the lasers shot by just a split second. All in all, harder than any boss I've faced in any Mario game, and I'm halfway through Dream Team.

When I first saw this boss, I was very disturbed. Cackletta is instant nightmare fuel. But if you want to 100% complete Superstar Saga, don't say I didn't warn you.

If you want to speedrun through this boss fight, you are sadly mistaken. Cackletta's Soul starts off by dwindling your health to one. Then she usually attacks first. And if you do manage to score a major blow on her, there's a good chance she will just heal up.

This boss is popularized as the hardest for a good reason.

3 The Shadow Queen - Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door The Shadow Queen is the overarching antagonist and final boss of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. She is widely considered one of the most difficult bosses in the Paper Mario series.

Without the help of the Shadow Siren Vivian, this boss is impossible. Her attacks do so much damage! She can charge herself, making her even more devastating, and hit you, killing you almost instantly!

A boss so powerful you have to correctly choose a perfect ratio of health, flower power, and badge power throughout the game to even have a chance at winning. If you don't, you will never win.

She takes as long as Princess Shroob, hits as hard as Cackletta, and unlike Bonetail, you can't do a Danger Mario profile. If you die, you are punished with 10 minutes of cutscenes.

4 Culex - Super Mario RPG

Nothing falls even close. If more people had played Legend of the Seven Stars, then this guy would be #1 by a huge margin. The fact that Cackletta's Soul, Bowser X, and Shadow Queen are even close, let alone called harder than this guy, shows how few people ever played Legend of the Seven Stars.

Bowser X is only hard because of the turn limit, but he is not bad if you get to level 55 with decent stats and set. Shadow Queen is actually decently hard. Cackletta's Soul is just about getting past the first turn, eating max nuts, and not sucking.

5 Elder Princess Shroob - Mario and Luigi Partners in Time

The Elder Princess Shroob started out small, with a few irritating attacks, like the football charge and fireball cannon. However, she heals.

The next form, however, can kill you in a hit. You need to destroy the gold crown with copy flowers or trampolines to be able to injure the main body. Use mix flowers to knock off the limbs. After an incredibly long and tedious battle, you have the choice: die or have that massive beast die.

I remember struggling so hard with this boss the first time I tried. I did not connect the fact that the gold crown on top of her head reduced the power of my attacks so drastically. That, and it's three consecutive boss fights.

6 Bonetail - Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

Bonetail should be stronger than the Shadow Queen. It's much harder to beat him after going through 99 floors with stronger and stronger enemies. If you fail to beat him, you will have to go through the Pit of 100 Trials again!

Bonetail is about as difficult as the Shadow Queen. The only real difficulty is just getting to him. I feel like people hate this because of the pressure the Pit of 100 Trials puts on the player.

Bonetail can inflict every status ailment in the game on you with his breaths, has one of the few unblockable attacks, and you have to go through 100 trials before him. Cackletta's Soul, Shadow Queen, and Elder Princess Shroob are all hard, but he's just as hard.

7 Bowser in the Sky - Super Mario 64

I worked so hard to defeat him in two days. The first and second bomb throws are not too hard, though they can sap your power, and then Bowser turns the arena into a star. The best tactics to use are different from Fire Sea Bowser, and that is why it is so difficult. This is a great boss fight, and I would love a remake of it in another game.

The most difficult Bowser: hard to avoid flames, harder to catch him by the tail, tedious to shoot him in the right direction towards the bombs.

If you think this boss is hard, try beating it with a Wii Pro Controller where the A button is messed up and the control pad barely works!

8 Phantamanta - Super Mario Sunshine

Phantamanta in Sirena Beach is a giant manta ray that leaves behind electrical slime and splits into more rays every time you spray him. The order of division is up to six, with a cleft into three at the final stage, meaning that you will ultimately need to deal with ninety-six little mantas to fight.

Even worse, when only the small ones remain, they turn pink and actively chase you. When going to refill FLUDD, you will find that the water pools are electrically charged.

The Phantamanta is very hard to defeat unless you stand on top of a tree. If you battle it alone, it splits up and attacks you from behind and all kinds of things like that. It is so hard to beat.

9 Tabuu - Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Wait, wait, wait, what! Number 12? Tabuu can defeat all of the other bosses on this list in one blow. That is, if one of them is not just Sonic in disguise. I mean, really, this needs to be number one in the top 10 hardest bosses. Tabuu was number one!

Tabuu should be number one. I died a lot and couldn't dodge his one attack where he gets those wings and practically uses dark pulse on you.

The boss was hard for me, and it took me 10 attempts to defeat him. In my list, I think this should be number three.

10 Smithy - Super Mario RPG

Smithy should be higher on the list than Bowser in the Sky. I could very easily beat Bowser in the Sky compared to Smithy.

The Contenders
11 Bouldergeist - Super Mario Galaxy

Now, you can argue the same for Cackletta's Soul being hard, but oh boy, here's a news flash. If you survive her first attack, you can just use a nut to heal yourself, making it a long and tedious fight that actually took me 30 minutes. However, you can't just get your 6 life back on a daredevil run. Nope.

And here's the funny part: Bouldergeist was already a tricky boss, but now he's even harder because if you slip up, it's game over. I died about fifty times on this one boss until I finally overcame him.

Everyone has their own experiences, but let's face it, it was undeniably hard to beat, no doubt. We can't deny that, unless you're that guy who's like, "Noah, what are you talking about? I've been playing Mario since I was 2, and now I can't lose to anything in this game ever." And all that.

12 Antasma X - Mario and Luigi Dream Team

This boss was super hard! It's not every day that you have a boss that can take away your special attacks and get several extra hits on you if he hurts you!

13 Dreamy Bowser - Mario and Luigi: Dream Team

This guy is hard! First, you most likely want to disable the arms. If you don't, then you're in trouble. The right arm makes it so that most of the time you can't do damage to Bowser or his arm. The left arm is equally bad. Guess what? One second you have two players, the next you don't. He grabs Mario and Luigi, and you can't use BP.

Then, even if you disable those arms, you still have to beat Bowser himself. He can still use moves even with the arms disabled, like a hammer attack where you have a second to react. Even if you react correctly, he still hits the other bro. Another attack where timing is everything is when he shoots fireballs, then splits in two and shoots even more fireballs. Then there's the attack where he runs at you and shoots three rays of fire.

And don't get me started on the minion attack. He spawns a bunch of his troops while he goes and eats, which heals him tremendously. Then the troops run at you, and even if you dodge them, Bowser pounds the floor. Then there's the Shy Guy ship. Again, timing is everything. They shoot cannonballs that you shoot back. So hard!

14 Dark Bowser & Dark Star Core - Mario and Luigi - Bowser's Inside Story

You can't inhale the stupid Fawful spider unless you improve Bowser's speed a lot throughout the game. Nice soundtrack, though.

Have most people forgotten this boss? It took me legitimately years to beat. Sure, after you beat them once, it gets easier, but that is only because I'm now a very experienced gamer. It felt like forever, but I must go to bed.

This boss would've been easy. I simply had trouble inhaling the dumb Dark Star Core.

15 Fiery Gobblegut - Super Mario Galaxy 2

I rented Super Mario Galaxy 2 from my town's rental store. I did a great job getting through World 1. Then I came to the world's boss. You have to punch his red things (easier said than done!).

The part that I really struggle with is when he goes underground (peaceful, isn't it?) and then he pops up right under you, which is extremely hard to dodge! I spent the last 2-3 days playing the game trying to beat him (which I didn't). Curse you, Bowser Jr., for having such a hard boss to beat (even though Bowser Jr. is my favorite Mario character).

16 Fawful Express - Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story

You're telling me I'm limited to using only Bowser's fire breath? That attack uses the DS's horrible mic? Joy. Oh, and if I try to punch the hill golem instead of lighting it on fire, the boss will heal itself? Double joy. Not to mention that this fight has a time limit that basically asks you to play at least near perfectly or get a game over. I had more trouble with this boss than I did Daredevil Bouldergeist and Cackletta's Soul combined.

I remember a few years ago this boss gave me trouble because you can only make two mistakes, and that's it. If you don't win quickly enough, you will fall off the cliff and die. You can't punch the train because it is very low, so you have to burn it, which means you can't crush the train.

17 Shrewd Possessor - Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon

I hate you, ice monster. Even if I were to win in one try today, the pain you've caused over the years is too much to excuse. I love a good boss fight, but this one's not fun, out of place, and just plain frustrating.

It's so hard trying to shoot his ice shields because they constantly spin!

Try it in the car. Then come back to me and tell me how hard it is to get three stars.

18 Bowser Jr. - Mario and Luigi Dream Team Bowser Jr., or sometimes simply Jr., is a video game character who appears in Nintendo's Mario franchise as the secondary antagonist. He is the youngest son of the series' primary antagonist, Bowser.
19 Giant Baby Bowser - Yoshi's Island

One of the best bosses ever. I love Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island, one of the best Mario games ever for too many reasons!

20 Dark Bowser & Fawful - Mario and Luigi Bowser's Inside Story

I've been stuck on Dark Bowser for over a year. Seriously, I'm not exaggerating. If it's taken me this long, only to get that far, I'm never going near Cackletta's Soul.

High attack, high defense, moves that mess with your mind and take advantage of your instincts, and a timed fourth phase. This boss is hard.

I really hate his attacks. Plus, Fawful heals himself constantly.

21 Giant Bowser - New Super Mario Bros. Wii

The final fight with Bowser in New Super Mario Bros. Wii is the hardest final boss in the entire series! In the second phase, Bowser grows humongous and chases you down the hallway while shooting incredibly big fireballs. Later on, magma waves appear as well, so you need to keep track of Bowser, his fireballs, the lava flows, and an already impossible platforming challenge all at the same time!

I remember my sister and I were playing while my dad was watching. We played co-op and stepped on the button, sending Bowser into the lava. I thought it was over, but my dad told me it wasn't. I rescued the princess, but it turned out I rescued that annoying Kamek instead. He made a giant Bowser that took over the whole screen. It took my sister and me a whole day to beat him.

22 Ludwig Von Koopa - New Super Mario Bros. Wii Ludwig Von Koopa is a villain in the Super Mario Franchise. He is the self-proclaimed leader of the Koopalings and has a pompous and arrogant personality. He is said to have all the powers of the other six Koopalings. He can clone himself, cause earthquakes, teleport, and shoot lightning bolts from... read more

It's hard just getting to him in the final boss fight for World 7.

Very hard. You are on three tiny platforms, and he shoots like five fireballs at a time.

23 Dark Star X - Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story

The added fact that you have a limited time to beat him, along with the invincibility segment and the increased HP, attack, and defense, just makes this boss a pain in the rear.

Antasma X was way harder than this guy. It's only his stupid invincibility that makes him hard.

24 Shadoo - Super Paper Mario

When you destroy yourself going down the Flopside Pit of 100 Trials and finally get to the 100th floor ready to fight the boss, the most annoying thing happens. He makes you go down the pit all over again! I'm not joking. Also, you better stock up on items for his fight because he does a lot of damage if you get hit.

The game was the best, the music was the best, the story was the best, and the bosses were the best. And by that, I don't mean that they were the easiest.

You must be prepared! Each has 100 HP, with 10 attack, but Mario's hammer, Luigi's high jump, and Bowser's attacks all do 20 attack each. And you have to go through the Flopside Pit of 100 Trials twice.

25 King Boo and Bowser - Luigi's Mansion

Admittedly, this is the only ghost in the game that I couldn't beat.

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