Top 10 Hardest Mario Bosses

The Top Ten
1 The Shadow Queen - Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door

Oh my goodness... Seriously? What I did was give my self a WHOLE TON of jump power and used Vivian for veil when she was charged up... Easy fight but I will admit I died once... I find it irritating when you die because you Have to go through the Eteranal Cutscenes Of Doom again

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.

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!

She takes as long as princess shroob, hits as hard as cackletta, and unlike bonetail you can't do a danger mario profile. And if you die you are punished with 10 minutes of cutscenes.

2 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 off the reasons why Bowser X destroys the other fights in the Mario series in terms of sheer difficulty. Let's start with the fact that Bowser has 7,000 HP, and you're on a turn limit. While the turn limit seems generous, with a maximum of 35 given to you, 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. And 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 have mastery on avoiding Bowser X's attacks (Which make Cackletta's Soul's attacks seem tame in comparison) and a mastery on each special ...more

To reach Bowser X, you must do Boss Rush. You have 35 turns to kill Bowser X, and six enemies before it. Once there, Bowser X does ridiculously powerful attacks, and even eat your Bro. Items, and won't spit them out until 5 turns pass. And don't forget his 7000+ health, limited healing items, and almost unavoidable attacks. This should be #1.

This should be number 1. They start giving you a recommendation of level 50, which takes around a week to reach. This is so impossible while you still didn't reached this point, making this battle just not right. Well.

I already got Rainbow Rank only to find out that the "reward" for that was a compliment from the end of the game. They now expect me to get to level 50 just to beat this Bowser? INSIDE Bowser?
Almost as cheap as Cackletta...

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

Cackletta's Soul is by far the hardest boss in the entire Mario franchise, and that's coming from someone that played almost every Super Mario game to date. I first played Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga in 2017, but I just recently played it about a month ago, and I STILL struggled with this boss... what a fight

Can take long but you can have it so you can win before she grows her arms and head but you need a lot POW to do this. Also in the remake you can turn on easy mode to balance things out.

Cackletta's Soul is 100+/100 hard (and Mario & Luigi: Superstar saga is average to good).

The Shadow Queen is 100+/100 hard (and Paper Mario: The Thousand ear Door is bad).

Elder Princess Shroob is 100+/100 hard (and Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time was mainly great).

Culex is 100/100 hard (and Super Mario RPG: The Legend of the 7 Stars is unbelievably great).

Bowser X is 100+/100 hard (and Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story is mainly bad).

Phantamanta is 100/100 hard (and Super Mario Sunshine is average to bad).

Bowser in the Sky is 74/100 hard (and Super Mario 64 on the N64 is beyond perfect/the DS version is average to good).

Bonetail is 100+/100 hard.

Tabuu is 96/100 hard on Easy, 100/100 hard on Normal, 100+/100 hard on Hard, 125+/100 hard on Very Hard and 150+/100 hard on Intense (and Super Smash Bros. Brawl is mainly perfect).

Fiery Gobblegut is 89/100 hard (and Super Mario Galaxy was a mainly average to good game).

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 8 years, I could just kill it in a matter of 5 turns. The attacks that the soul have 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 1/2 through with Dream Team.

4 Culex - Super Mario RPG

Only reason why Culex isn't #1/2 is because not many have played that are on here...

Culex is crazy, unless you have lazy shell armor!

Putting Bouldergeist a few ranks above this is... Unbelievable!

I haven't beaten him yet, but I sold the seed for Lazy Shell armor, so I may have screwed my self over, but you have no chance to dodge Culex. P.S Did you know that it's playing FF4 (I think) music in the background?

Harder than hell. Took me like 50 times to beat him, but that guy with the lollipop in partners in time took me ages as well.

This guy is impossible! How could Squizzard beat him? How could anything beat him? I strongly disagree with this list.

5 Elder Princess Shroob - Mario and Luigi Partners in Time

The elder princess shroob started out small, with a few irritating attacks, like 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.

At least in the NA release, the second phase has 3,000 HP, with an obnoxious gimmick that only lets you actually attack EPS for about 2 turns every 5+ turns! Not too bad if you knew there was a 3 stage boss battle coming up, and were prepared, but if you weren't, then good luck, especially if you run out of 1-ups, and are down to the babies...

I remember struggling so hard with this boss 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 its THREE consecutive boss fights.

Her Transformed form took me About a whole Year to beat and the worse part of this boss fight is that when you die, You have to fight Her Sister and her first form again.

6 Bonetail - Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door

Bonetail should be stronger than Shadow Queen. It's much hard 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 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 threw 100 trials before him. Cackletta soul, shadow queen, and elder princess shroob are all hard, but he's just as hard

Ok seriously, Phantamanta is above this. Bonetail is (so far) the only boss I haven't beaten on this list other than Cackletta's Soul (which is currently #1). I made it to Bonetail twice and failed both.

Now you see how bowser feels after this. At least you get a gift for winning. He is weak and so are you. Shadow Queens new option of touture: the 100 pit trials. One loss then back to floor one...

7 Bowser in the Sky - Super Mario 64

This does not deserve to be, even in the top 10. This boss is hard the first time, yet the second time, it is easier. The rotation, timing, and dodging is part of this. One of the hardest techniques to dodge, must be the multiple flames.

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

If you think this boss is hard try beating it with a Wii pro controller that the a button is messed up and the control pad barely WORKS!

Well, remember, Super Mario 64 is the best video game in the world. Not the DS version. And Bowser in the Sky was amazing!

8 Phantamanta - Super Mario Sunshine

So many people say this is the hardest Mario boss fight ever but I think he's easy. Just stand in the ocean so that electric goop does not bother you and mash the A and R buttons.

I I watched Bricks O Brian's gameplay of Super Mario Sunshine, and when he was fighting Phantamanta, Mario tripped over a wall into some murky water. He almost died!

Phantamanta in Sirena Beach is a giant manta ray that leaves behind electrical slime and splits into more rays every time you spray him. And the order of division is up to 6, with a cleft into 3 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. And 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

First off, Tabuu is not a Mario Boss.
So his placement is automatically not a factor.
And even if he was, Tabuu is not the hardest out of Mario's collection of Bosses.
All of his moves are easily avoided except the "instant-death wave", as I like to call it.
Even on Intense Mode, if you memorize the patterns it is not that bad. I would say that Bowser X and Bonetail are harder with a proper level, and if Intense Mode is aloud, being underleveled would be too. And I will tell you right now that those 2 Bosses will make cake of you if you are underleveled. Not only that but along with Tabuu, both Bonetail and Bowser X have you weakened after a hard journey before fighting them. Tabuu has Boss Rush, Bonetail has The Pit of 100 Trials, and Bowser X has the Boss Medley. So the argument of "Tabuu is harder because of the boss rush" is invalid for those 2 Bosses.

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 a disguse 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 were 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 3.

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.

Uh... Smithy is nothing compared to Culex.

Yeah I definitely agree

The Contenders
11 Antasma X - Mario and Luigi Dream Team

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

Why is this so low?

12 Bouldergeist - Super Mario Galaxy

Kingfin is way harder than him. I find Bouldergeist easy. However I did really struggle on his daredevil run when I first played 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 and heal yourself making it just a long, tedious, fight that actually took me 30 minutes. But you can't just get your 6 life back on a daredevil run, nope.
And here's the funny part, bouldergeist was a tricky boss already, but now he's harder with the fact that if you slip up, game over.
I died about a whopping fifty times on this one boss until I overcame him.
Everyone has their own experiences but let's face it, it was at least hard to beat no doubt, we can't deny that.
Unless you 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.

Coming from the Ghostly Galaxy which is located in the Kitchen, this boss does not dissapoint. He is overall my favorite boss in the series and might even be in the whole Mario franchise. This boss has the right amount of difficulty to make the game more interesting. His first phase is pretty straight forward. What you have to do is hit the bomb boos which he summons, at his rock body. After doing this three times you meet his second phase. Whats diffrent about this phase is that he has arms and now could do more moves using them. Most are his fist punch, growing rocks, and his hand slam. Normally you get 3 or 6 lives depending on the amount of star bits you have. But on daredevil you cannot decide. You will only have 1 and you will have trouble.

Anyone who didn't vote for Bouldergeist either has never fought him or fought the normal version of him and thought he was easy. The harder version? The Daredevil Run. Yep. Daredevil Run. For Bouldergeist. I think it was luck that let me beat the Daredevil Run... On my 30th try (or something like that).

13 Dreamy Bowser - Mario and Luigi: Dream Team

This guy is hard! First you most likely would like to disable the arms. If you don't then your in trouble. The right arm makes sure that most of the time that you can't do damage to Bowser or his arm. The left arm is equally bad. Guess what. One second you have to players, the next you don't. He grabs Mario and Luigi and you can't use BP. Then even if you get those arms disabled, you got to beat Bowser himself. He can still use moves even with arms disabled like a hammer attack that You have a second to react and even you react correctly he still hits the other bro. Another attack where timing is everything so he shoots fireballs and then splits in two and shoots even more fireballs. Then where he runs at you and shoots 3 rays of fire. And don't you dare get me started on the minion attack. He spawns a bunch of his troops while he goes and eats which heals him tremendously and then the troops run at you and even if you dodge then Bowser Pounds the floor. Then that shy guy ship. again ...more

This isn't ranked high on the list because the game is new. This guy isn't as hard as Cackletta's soul or EPS but he's still difficult because his attacks do about 103 damage on each hit and you can't attack him until you destroy his right arm. His left arm will grab one of the bros so you will be unable to do bros. Attack. He will also heal himself including his arms which will bring them back to normal. He can also send troops to help him.

When I expected to beat antasma very hard, This boss really surprised me, I though I'm done with the game and battling Bowser himself, But, Believe me, this boss took me a lot of times and its much harder in the Hard mode, every time I take down the arms, he summons the minions and then heals, EVERY time I take the arms both of them, the only thing I do now is destroying the Right arm, then damaging Dreamy Bowser, YOU need to do your best at the Br os. a ttack, 2 Mistakes on it and bam, Dreamy Bowser summons, then Heals, by the way, good luck on it if you don't level up properly or don't have the best Br os. a ttack, you'd wish you have them before the battle...

He's the only boss in the whole game I have not beat without easy mode I always get so close but then he brings out his koopa corps plus his shy guy airship when you finally beat the airship Bowser makes another one! Argggh!

14 Shadoo - Super Paper Mario

When you destroy yourself going down the Flopside pit of 100 trials and finally get down 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 lots of damage to you if you get hit.

It is easy if you use Bowser and use your flames to knock them back and use barry to defend yourself the annoying thing that you have to do the pit twice. I had 90 hp, and 34 attack with Bowser, and it was not too hard, and it was pretty easy when I was flaming at it.

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 have 100 hp, with 10 attack, but mario's hammer, Luigi's high jump, and bowser's attacks all are 20 attack each. AND you have to go through the flopside pit of 100 trials TWICE.

15 Firey Gobblegut - Super Mario Galaxy 2

I rented SMG2 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 then done! ) But the part that I really lose on is when he goes underground (peaceful, isn't it? ) then he pops up right under you which is extremely hard to dodge! (DRAT! ) I spent the last 2-3 days of my days with the game trying to beat him (which I didn't) CURSE YOU Bowser JR! FOR GETTING SUCH A HARD PET TO BEAT (Even through Bowser Jr is my favorite Mario character. )

This boss is easy. He's pretty much identical to his original form other than the flames. I always defeat him by running in circular motions.

This boss is hard but I beat it twice.

He is tricky without the life shoot.

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 that 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 is it. If you don't win quick enough, then you will fall off the cliff and die. And 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.

The 3ds remake made this boss battle much easier as Nintendo removed the use of microphone support and now you tap Bowser on the touch screen at the right time. I even beat all the giant battles in the game including this one on my first attempt.

This guy was fen harder for me because I had the pathetically tiny baby mic on the original 3ds and I couldn't even get it to work for so long! I used bout 5 retry clocks to!

17 Shrewd Possessor Ghost - 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 as his ice shields because it constantly spins!

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

Time limit bosses. Time limit bosses everywhere.

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.

Annoying in many ways

This is SO hard to me

19 Bowser and Kammy - Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

Grodus is a difficult boss but as soon as you defeat Grodus you go straight into Bowser and Kammy's fight without being able to refill your HP and FP. Kammy also keeps giving her and Bowser health as her turn so it takes forever to beat them.

20 King Boo and Bowser - Luigi's Mansion

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

That battle was easy

21 Giant Baby Bowser - Yoshi's Island

And 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!

What kind of a name is 'Giant Baby Bowser'?

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.

Um don't mind the previous comment Ludwig is really hard and that was 3 years ago when I had bad grammar so yeah...

If you are saying ludwig is harder Bowser I was stuck Bowser on for 10 days you hear that!

He isn't that hard. I found the Bowser, Kamek, and rematch with Lemmy harder.

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

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

What makes this boss hard isn't necessarily the risk of dying in a hit, although the attacks are very strong most are easy to avoid, the problem is that when you have to do it for six hours straight without making too many mistakes it gets infuriating, a lot of the time due to some of the status conditions you won't even get to deplete fawfuls health and you'll have to do another 15 minutes of fighting dark bowser then doing fawfuls legs and glasses and then you get 1-2 turns of attacking him with specials.

I'm basing this on the DX version solely though, as in the DX version animations and attacks are much, much slower and fawful has more health.

In total the boss took me 12 hours to beat with two deaths, not counting the deaths it took 6 hours to beat. If you get hit by an attack (as mario or luigi) you have to heal which wastes an attack turn on fawful and thus forcing you to go through the long tedious cycle ALL OVER AGAIN. Just when you think the boss couldn't get ...more

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. If tant firever but I must go to bed. ):

Can't inhale the stupid Fawful spider unless you improve Bowser's speed a whole bunch throughout the game. Nice soundtrack, though.

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

24 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 will 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 siter and I were playing and my dad was watching. My sister and I played co-op and we stepped on the button and bowser was in the lava. I was thinking it wasn't over and my dad told me it was, I rescued the princess, but I really rescued that annoying drunk turd Kamok. He made a GIANT bowser taking over the whole screen and it took me and my sister a WHOLE DAY to beat him.

It's hard because you have to dodge attacks and do plat forming and make sure not to fall in the lava. How to make it harder: Don't use the Propeller Mushroom or bring along a friend or 2. Or 3.

This is only hard in multiplayer and not single player because you have to flee from him. 2 other players make it a nightmare

25 Tower Power Pokey - Paper Mario Sticker Star

I hate this fight a lot he just keeps healing and healing and HEALING

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