There’s nothing better than a good boss fight. In 2019, bosses were kind of a big deal — the biggest games of the year featured big boss battles, and that’s pretty exciting. For awhile, boss battles were being scrubbed from the record, seen as too outdated to survive an evolving video game landscape. That’s turned around, and we’ve got so many awesome boss fights, I couldn’t stop at just 10.
Here are the 14 most memorable boss battles of 2019. Some are ridiculously hard, some are totally unique, while others are just frustrating enough that I couldn’t forget them. We’ve already covered the 10 best secret bosses — so we’re only talking about bosses you’ll have to face in the following games. To limit myself, I only picked one boss per game. If I didn’t, this list would be way, way longer.
Now crack your knuckles and get hype, because here are the best bosses of 2019.
Isshin, the Sword Saint (Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice)
The ultimate test of skill and the hardest boss of 2019 is undoubtedly Isshin, the Sword Saint — a truly terrifying final boss, and the culmination of all the sword-fighting skills you’ll learn in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Hell, Isshin might be the hardest boss of the decade, but there’s something incredibly rewarding about finally taking this cocky jerk down.
It’s all about the learning process. The common experience most people seem to share with Isshin is crushing defeat after crushing defeat — slowly learning more skills, eventually countering his lightning-fast attacks, and finally becoming a true sword master that can topple him. Like basically everyone else that experienced this gripping battle, I thought this fight was impossible on my first tries. When I finally defeated him, Isshin could barely scratch me. There’s nothing better.
Mr. X (Resident Evil 2)
Mr. X is the revelatory new enemy that completely changes the flow (and fear) of Resident Evil 2. Mr. X, the hulking, invincible tyrant that hunts Claire and Leon throughout the Police Station. He’s become an iconic horror character — just check out his memetic mods. There’s no permanent solution to stop Mr. X. He just keeps coming — even if it means bursting through walls and kicking down doors.
What makes Mr. X special is that he never gives up. He never despawns, and he never retreats. You can only stun him temporarily, then he’ll be back on his feet — his massive footsteps signaling that he’s searching for you. You’ll hear his footsteps everywhere you go, and an errant gunshot will instantly alert him to your location. He’s a truly unique foe, and the scariest one on our list.
Check out even more of the best boss battles on the next page.