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|Favourite Souls/Bloodborne fights|
Here's the battles that really get me going. Haven't fought Kos, Laurence, Ebreitas, Gehrman, Mergo's Wet Nurse, most of the Chalice bosses, Blue Smelter, Darklurker or Alonne, so they're excluded.
|1||Coheed and Cambria|
The Color Before The Sun
Kalameet - I honestly didn't expect Kalameet to take the top spot, but when I was eliminating and working out a ranking, I realised that no other boss has tested my patience, forced my to change my style, demanded endless repeats, and ultimately paid off in the way Kalameet did. Maybe it was because I was set on the immensely difficult bonus of cutting his tail off, but this was the peak of Souls I for me. It's a fantastically hard fight that is worth every scrap of energy thrown into it.
Artorias - The boss that pushes the boundaries of what a humanoid fight can feel like. Artorias' size, speed, ridiculously wide moveset and intimidating health bar make for a long fight that can take you down in a second. It might be fair, but the stakes are right up - the degree of concentration needed to take him down is steep, and the intensity of keeping it up for the whole fight makes this one of the best experiences these games have to offer.
|3||Yo La Tengo|
I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One
Abyss Watchers - The first phase of this fight was a risk on the part of Fromsoft - multiway fights have gone in all kinds of directions in the past - but they got it exactly right. The confusion and dynamism of the Abyss Watchers hacking each other, and you, apart already made this a great fight, but the buffed up Watcher you face in the second phase recalls a lot of the Lady Maria fight's greatest strengths in its power and enjoyment. This battle has it all and might have topped the list if it was pitched at endgame. However, although I think it's pretty easy after a few tries, it is just the right level of difficulty to end the early game on.
|4||Queens of the Stone Age|
Lady Maria - Disclaimer: I've still yet to beat Maria. I spent hours hammering away at her the last time I had a chance to play Bloodborne, and although I got within a couple of hits of taking her down, I never made it. As such, I think it'd be unfair to put her any higher. However, this is an absolutely phenomenal fight that escalates perfectly, allows you to play to your strengths, challenges you relentlessly and can claim some of the strongest lore and music in the series.
Brothers in Arms
Ornstein and Smough - These guys are a perfect fight, but I've been through them so many times now that they don't pose the challenge they used to. They get high placement because, well, they're a perfectly structured encounter with very fair difficulty, but I don't get quite the same exhilaration when I take them down.
|6||Bullet for My Valentine|
Sinh - Man, oh man, I wish I'd died to this guy more often just so I'd had more time fighting him. As it was, I had a couple of tentative goes (mostly with summons, over within a minute both times) and then tried him solo for the hell of it, just treating it as a run to learn his moves. What followed was one of the coolest moments I've had playing this series - I felt all the muscle memory I'd learnt ages before for Kalameet return and found myself able to follow him, anticipate his dives, avoid his poison, and 100% rule the fight, without feeling like I had any odds in my favour. The whole Sunken King DLC was fantastic, and ending it with this fight was just perfect. I consider myself a fairly decent but unextraordinary Souls player, but Sinh was one moment when I felt like I could take anything the series could throw at me. Then I took on Fume Knight again...
Nameless King - Like Maria, I haven't had the time to take the King down, but the mechanics behind his two phases, lore, design and atmosphere are easily enough to land him a high placement, based on the experience I've had so far.
Ludwig - Perhaps the best of the lot when it comes to design, Ludwig will have you counting his limbs and various protrusions for days. The first part of the fight is about as intense as Soulsborne gets, while it's breathtaking to watch him draw himself back to composure and focus on you with more consideration. The struggle to survive the first part and then the endurance test of the second draws things out to just the right length.
Laminate Pet Animal
Aava - I heard 'slow boss' and assumed Aava would be a fun pushover. Ha. This guy has a pretty neat moveset and enough mobility to keep you on your toes throughout. It's another design I totally love - a giant snowy tiger firing homing soulmass is a straight win in my book. While his moves can be worked around after a few tries, Aava's still a cool challenge.
Worship and Tribute
Vicar Amelia - While she's a little easy even in a blind playthrough (somewhat redeemed by her healing mechanic), Amelia is a super fun fight that lets you take the upper hand if you have the patience for it and offers a grueling challenge if you don't. I love, love, love the design of the fight (those screams!), and both setting the Laurence fight in the same location and making you cross over it to get to Ebrietas both struck me as reminders of a great showdown in the same way that putting Aldritch in Anor Londo thrills me every time.
Champion Gundyr - Perhaps the definitive fast, aggressive Soulsborne boss, Gundyr is a great challenge for new or experienced players and elevates its corner of the game from a curious easter egg to an essential detour.
Burnt Ivory King - This was maybe the only time Dark Souls II's main flaws were turned into advantages - many humanoid enemies piling onto you made for a fantastic experience here. The lore explaining the army and location, the awesome arena, the friendly knights that turn a gank into a fair fight and give you extra incentive to explore the previous area, and the King himself all come together to make for a series highlight.
Soul Cycle II
Soul of Cinder - The final boss to end all final bosses. This is the only time the series got the closing encounter right (I suspect I'll take that back when I fight Gehrman, and you could make an argument for False King Allant), and it's extraordinary. I found myself on the back foot for almost the whole fight and having to adjust to the Soul's changing weapon styles made for a really fun encounter. I still find it a little punishing, which keeps it out of the top ten, but as I go over Souls III more and more, I think my experience with this guy will only get better.
|14||The Flaming Lips|
In A Priest Driven Ambulance
Pontiff Sulyvahn - Although some people rage about Sulyvahn, I took him down first time on my first playthrough (quality) and found him manageable on my second (dex). It's another one of those fights that gives you very little room to breathe, but allows you the occasional second change if you screw up; I liked its aggression and balance and give extra credit to the phantom form that joins in halfway. Sulyvahn's lore is top-notch and having a furious battle in Irithyll Cathedral was very cool.
|15||Children of Bodom|
Follow the Reaper
Matryr Logarius - I best Logarius first time and haven't started another Bloodborne playthorough yet, but that one battle was a relentlessly intense challenge that felt incredibly fair but also punishing. The arena is gorgeous and the conclusion it provides for Cainhurst Castle was very satisfying.
Velstadt - the fight itself is pretty cool but not extraordinary, but it fits so well with the area leading up to it and the hollowed Vendrick that you find afterwards that I couldn't resist including it.
|17||A Lot Like Birds|
Honorary mentions: Aldritch, Gwyn, Darkbeast Paarl, Flamelurker, Tower Knight, Shadows of Yharnam, Capra Demon
|Ranking is pretty fluid and will change over playthroughs. Choosing albums to match the bosses took ages, appreciation appreciated ;] |
|artorias, manus, fume knight, lady maria, orphan of kos|
|Ornstein and Smough|
Dancer of the Boreal Valley
|Wait what, you've beaten The Nameless King and Soul of Cinder but not Maria? You can parry the fuck out of her|
|I haven't actually taken the King down yet (description incoming ;]), but Maria is more to do with how much time I've had to play the game - I haven't been able to use my PS4 for a while now, and I left off having found her and spent a few hours going at it. It felt like a winnable fight for sure, but her second and third phases gave me a bit of grief with the added range.|
|Having only played Dark Souls 1-3, I'd go: |
|Fume Knight is a great fight, but I found it too damn hard to enjoy to its full.|
|fume and kos are the best fights in those games for that reason (to me)|
|What are people's vibes on Ebrietas?|
|cool design like pretty much every boss in that game but boring fight|
O 'n S
|Best main game boss|
|Ah, so not hard as hell? I'm going to do a sweep of Bloodborne bosses when I get my console back, and that's the only one I don't know how to feel about yet.|
|capra demon is the fuckin worst|
|Almost all of the Demon or Izalith related bosses are fucking abysmal in DS1|
|I fucking love how unfair the Capra Demon fight is - that area makes it such an adrenaline rush. The other demon fights are kinda okay because of the arenas and atmospheres but otherwise pretty lame. Oh, and fuck the Bed of Chaos.|
|The whole capra demon fight is a crapshoot whether or not you can roll to the stairs right. Even then the speed of the two dogs is bullshit in such a tight spot|
|I think part of why I love it is that it stays at more or less the same difficulty no matter how good you get - that fight will always be a speedbump on a new playthrough. Also, totally wrecking it on NG+ is always fun...|
|Brilliant list. My top three in no order is Artorias, Lady Maria and Lord of Cinder |
|that's exactly why i hate capra demon lol|
|how can you make a list ranking souls bosses without fighting all of them? Btw all these games are so fun to play. The environments really make these games. |
|The main Souls III thread kicked up and I felt like making a boss list - it's not definitive or final, and will obviously be revised when I've swept the lot of them lol. Such great games.|
|Orphan of Kos is incredible u really need to get to him|
|After ploughing through Scholar of the First Sin, Darklurker Sir Alonne and Fume Knight (whom I hated before but finally got the hang of) would totally make this list.|
|artorias is so goddamn good|
|Such a well-balanced fight|