|Bloodborne Bosses Ranked|
After about a year since I first played the game and several subsequent playthroughs over the course of the game over that time, I have come to a personal conclusion that Bloodborne is my personal favorite game that I have ever played. As a result of seeing periodic appreciation for the SoulsBorne franchise on the site and boss rankings of Dark Souls 3 and 1, I've decided to throw my opinion in the ring about how I would rank the boss encounters of Bloodborne. Note that I did not include Chalice Dungeon bosses as I still have not fully got the handle over that mechanic nor have I reach Queen Yharnam.
21. Witch of Hemwick: Wild goose chase busywork. There is no way that playing hide and seek with a recycled character model while avoiding shadow summons can be classified as a good fight, if even one at all. To add insult to injury, your only deaths in this fight would result from some cop out difficulty with the binding attacks the witch pulls out of her ass halfway through. Go in with zero insight and just forget this one happened.
To Starve the Cross
20. Celestial Emissary: Another hide and seek mob boss but I’m willing to give some leeway to an otherwise terrible and effortless fight. At least the true mob leader becomes distinct and the bare minimum of a threat during phase 2. Plus watching the celestial mobs bumble around like walking jello is charming on some level. Still, fundamentally lazy and bereft of challenge.
|3||The Danse Society|
19. Living Failures: Basically take the Celestial Emissary add three more of them and make each a health sponge that would be right at home in Destiny or The Division. The only thing tested here is patience in tedium and when you consider the rest of the bosses added in The Old Hunters, it stands out like a repulsive blemish on an otherwise masterful DLC.
|4||At the Gates|
The Red in the Sky Is Ours
18. Shadows of Yharnam: In all honesty this isn’t all too tough of a fight from the get go, but the camera does seem to shit the bed here more than any other time in the game. Turns what could be considered tolerable into a boss encounter I dread on each playthrough. Also fuck the giant snakes in Phase three of the fight, thats some cheap shit, especially when your auto lock camera has been in use for the whole fight.
17. Micolash: On the fight perspective, basically take the Choir member you fight in Byrgenwerth and add a game of tag to pad out the fight. With only two attacks and ridiculously contrived chase sections, I’d consider Micolash as bad of a boss as the Witch of Hemwick. On the other hand, his significance in the universe’s lore is quite interesting and while creates more questions than answers, really get your head going about the the true inner workings of the School of Mensis and what they actually want to accomplish.
America's Greatest Hits
16. The One Reborn: From what I’ve gathered from my time playing the game and skimming some theories online, The One is essentially the School of Mensis’ attempt at creating a Great One themselves. Obviously this failed and only went to create an abomination of rotting flesh and filth. Very cool concept in itself to show the fanaticism of the School but the fight itself is actually very odd. Odd in the sense of the boss itself is not the true danger of the fight but rather the residents of Yarhar’gul hurling fireballs at the player from the balconies above the arena. More of a challenge of environmental awareness than a boss fight itself. Still rewarding in its completion but honestly feels more like a test than a fight.
|7||Sun Devoured Earth|
Good Memories Are The Hardest To Keep
15. Mergo’s Wet Nurse: The first of the three possible final boss encounters, the Wet Nurse has a very anticlimactic fight. The lumbering movement and easily telegraphable attack patterns creates a boss that is pretty piss easy. Yeah each hit will do a substantial amount of damage and any mistake would probably lead to a death, but that’s so unlikely to happen anyways with what a pushover the Wet Nurse is.
From Filthy Tongue Of Gods And Griots
14. Rom: I know that I am part of a minority when I say that the fight with Rom was actually decent. The baby spider fodder did add some annoyance and challenge, but most importantly it gave a means of flexibility to the fight itself, leaving you the option to eliminate her kin or just make a mad rush at Rom alone. In addition to the fight, Rom is a very intriguing figure in the Bloodborne mythos, with her ascension from human to Great One being a validation of the extreme measures the people of Yharnam take in order to become one with the Gods. Despite this, Rom’s pure silence on the matter basically puts their reasoning behind their extreme actions back at square one.
13. Cleric Beast: While essentially an optional boss battle, practically every Bloodborne player encountered this guy as their first big fight. Despite being imposing to the Souls, newbie especially for a first boss, the cleric beast itself is a very fulfilling fight without ever jump to the realm of being unfair attack wise. The fight does an amazing job of show players the ropes of boss encounters and at times gets more fun than nerve racking. However, the Great Bridge is a huge pile of shit for a boss arena, especially for a large creature like the cleric beast. Expect the environment to be a bigger hazard than the boss itself as the camera craps the bed and your character could get locked into a corner pretty much guarantying death.
12. Darkbeast Paarl: While the area preceding the fight with Paarl instills the greatest sense of helplessness in the entire game with all enemy mobs practically one shot killing you, his presence as the zone’s boss is underwhelming. Paarl can pretty much be beat by sticking to his underbelly and is very easy to wear down into a visceral attack with his bolt attack needing to be initiated when he is a sitting duck. While his moves are a bit tough to telegraph, he leaves a lot of breathing room for recovery. The only semblance of challenge one would have with this fight would be on its first attempt, as the trek through Hypoean Gaol is enough to psych you out into failure.
11. Moon Presence: The Moon Presence, while quite a pushover in the fight itself, merits the player with a huge sense of accomplishment upon its defeat, especially if you defeat it on your first try as I did. While this Great One is quite swift and moderately aggressive, the Hunter’s Dream boss arena is humongous giving you plenty of room to assess the battle and fight. When all is set and done, your reward with the game’s hidden ending is more than well deserved. While that might be all fine and dandy, the amount of speculation and questions raised by the Moon Presence towards the Bloodborne lore open up the game’s mythos to much greater possibilities.
|12||Fire On Fire|
10.Amygdala: By the time one reaches the midpoint of the game, they will practically be seeing these guys everywhere across the Gothic cityscape of Yharnam. While these beings are never encountered as enemy mobs in the game, they do act as dangerous environmental hazards with the ability to take you out in a single hit with tracking energy attacks and a frenzy lock. The Amygdala you actually face in combat is actually the true Great One among its many kin as it watches over what seems to be the land of Loran, which entirely succumbed to the fate that Yharnam is looking to follow in its wake. The fight itself is quite easy but that is mainly due to you entering the fight with prior knowledge of how the Amygdala attacks as the hazards intimated by the Lesser Amygdala’s hint towards the bosses moves. The defeat of the boss not only culminates in a combat victory but also acts as a wonderful payoff to earlier struggles in the game.
An Empty Bliss Beyond This World
9. Laurence: While Laurence’s design is not exactly worthy of a character so important to the lore as himself, the fight itself rights pretty much every wrong of the Cleric Beast fight and then goes the extra mile to make it more exciting by the tenfold. Laurence is essentially a fight against a considerably more aggressive Cleric Beast in a much better arena (essentially the same as Vicar Amelia’s) with an additional phase to boot. Don’t get fooled of this being a rehash however, as Laurence is one hell of a tough combatant. Personally I see this fight as the forefather of the two fights with Gundyr in Dark Souls 3, with each of the second encounters being among the most fast paced and exhilarating fights in the game.
Pulling Down the Sky
8. Gehrman: With the required final boss battle against the Wet Nurse being a complete letdown to your entire journey, the choice to fight Gehrman once you complete the last area of the main game is less of a optional proposition and more of a required choice for some semblance of a fulfilled ending to the game. Gehrman is a culmination of your past hunter on hunter combat experiences, testing your handle on the core concepts of what separates Bloodborne for the other SoulsBorne games, being agility and aggression. You could play on the defensive and bait for parries but a single error will have you dead in the dirt. Mixing up how you approach his each attack keeps both you and the game itself at bay, with each movement having the possibility of making or breaking the entire fight. Gehrman has arguably the deepest and most tragic backstory among all of the other characters of the game.
7. Blood Starved Beast: The most repulsive thing in the game, don't try to argue that. The beast’s back skin is entirely peeled and draped over its body to the point where it wears it like a coat. Even though it is only the third boss you face in the entire game, the Blood Starved Beast was where many just gave up on the game due to the fight alone. The risk of slow poisoning and the Beast’s agility do insight much to careful about but I honestly never had a tough time with the fight. In fact, I find it among one of the most fun in the entire game and something I look forward to in each playthrough I do. The fight is in what is essentially the most forgiving boss arena in the entire game and the boss’ moveset is not to hard to get a handle under. What makes this boss so infamous is how brutally it punishes player mistakes or mindless aggression. Its in this fight that then first time SoulsBorne players, such as myself, learned the franchise’s golden rule of patience for the first time.
6. Father Gascoigne: You would think that Father Gascoigne would just be an pushover as he is the first required boss you encounter in the game. Gascoigne is most like the first Hunter on Hunter fight players experience in the game, with his first phase feeling like a PvP battle due to utilization of a slightly modified Hunter Axe moveset. On your first fight with the boss you will probably have your ass served to you on a silver platter as a level of agility on a boss or let alone an enemy has yet to be seen in the game. It’s a pretty spectacular introduction to the pace of Bloodborne’s combat after previously becoming attuned to the increase of enemy quantity put your way. On subsequent battles, Gascoigne’s first 3/4th’s of the fight become effortless to beat, but once the final phase of the fight starts with Gascoigne, the fight goes into overdrive as he transforms fully into a beast with a completely new moveset and aggression that can easily kill players that are not careful.
5. Vicar Amelia: Simply put, Vicar Amelia is the quintessential Bloodborne boss. Beastly, fast paced combat that manages to be fair and challenging. Through each of my encounters with Amelia in various playthroughs, I at no time felt as if my failed attempts were a result of being cheesed by shitty rng or being locked into a corner of the boss arena. Amelia does have a vast amount of attacks and combos to keep you cautious and on your toes but the possibility of her healing herself well into the battle forces you to be aggressive despite her unpredictable nature.
|18||Planning for Burial|
4. Orphan of Kos: By every means the toughest fight in the game. Kos is so goddamn aggressive and diverse in his attacks that you would be lucky to even get a chance to squeeze in a blood vial heal. While fight wise, Kos gets the blood running to a level where only the best Souls bosses can hold a candle, he is doesn’t hold the same weight of lore for me on a personal level that two of the previous DLC bosses do for me, as their characters were left to so much interpretation in the main game, whereas Kos was only mention briefly. I will not say more about the boss’s lore as it plays a huge role in the story of the DLC, but just know that the deadliest adversary you face in the game wields a placenta with more finesse than any hunter does with their most prized weapon.
L'Autopsie Phenomenale De Dieu
3. Ebrietas Daughter of the Cosmos: The best boss fight in the main game and what I truly feel is the what your whole journey has led up to, even more so than seeking Paleblood. You finally encounter and attempt to slay the Great One who is the source of the Healing Church’s Old Blood as well as the Scourge of the Beast once and for all. Ebrietas made me feel both at home and challenged with the style of the fight. The battle itself reminded me a good bit of the fight with Ganon at the end of OoT, with all its weight in payoff and difficulty. While the fight never takes me more than 3 attempts to complete usually, the battle itself is beyond intense every time, with finding and taking advantage of short windows of weakness in the boss being exhilarating to successfully pull off. The fight is essentially the marriage of the best boss conventions found in non Souls game with those within the franchise itself.
2. Lady Maria: While fighting Gehrman initially seemed to be the ultimate culmination of your Hunter on Hunter combat, the fight with his first pupil Maria makes what is a final boss fight feel like preparation toward the fight against her. Strength builds are going to have an absolute nightmare her as Maria moves and attacks with such dexterity that heavy blows are near impossible to pull off. In addition to that, the fight goes beyond a glory PvP match and adds in additional Blood based attacks for Maria to punish you with while on the defensive and preventing the player from solely baiting her for an opening. While she does got down quicker then Gehrman, I definitely had a much more exhilarating and down to the wire fight than any other hunter-esque fight in the game.
1. Ludwig The Accursed/Holy Blade: The best boss fight in Bloodborne as well as possibly the entire franchise. The absolute level of difficulty and resilience Ludwig exhibits is jaw dropping, especially in his first form. Ludwig’s aggression outmatches practically anything seen in the series, which he does 100% deserve due to his great significance to the lore. Being the first hunter of the Healing Church, Ludwig like all of his higher ranking associates succumbed to the plague at a more intense level due to their purer hearts. As you can infer, Ludwig became a cleric beast, just like how Laurence and Amelia did. Yet Ludwig’s case is a bit unique as he still keeps some grasp of his human self, despite becoming such a inhuman beast for the most part. He seems to attribute his last scraps of sanity towards his Holy Moonlight Blade weapon, as in the second phase of the fight where he uses it, Ludwig begins to speak and stand upright like a regular human while he fights and behaves...
(continued) ...fights and behaves akin to a rabid beast on all fours without his weapon. Ludwig two phases each have distinct styles from one other, force the player to adapt their strategy significantly more than any other of the game’s fights. Its a test of skill and every sense of the word and acts as the perfect evaluation of ones worthiness to delve into the phenomenal Old Hunters DLC and put clarity on the character of Ludwig who the hear about in the main game.