At the feet of every great video game hero lays the battered remains of a great video game boss. They’re the essential Yin to your protagonist’s Yang, the driving force behind the adventure, and the yardstick by which our gaming skills are measured (and eventually mastered).
Ever since the Phoenix mothership burst into arcade parlours in 1980, the boss has been an enduring staple of the industry. Where would Link be without Ganon? Or Cloud without Sephiroth? Or Kratos without vital internal organs? (Not a ‘boss’ per se, but he really seems to hate those things.)
From Jumpman’s first tussle with Donkey Kong, to Solid Snake’s mental showdown with Psycho Mantis, the boss battle has provided some of gaming’s most memorable moments... along with its fair share of headaches.
It seems that for every thrilling boss finale, there’s a tedious boss fizzer, along with scores of cheap tricksters and dirty fighters. Often, the climactic showdown will be more trouble than it’s worth, and may even ruin the game they 'star' in.
In the following slideshow, we take a look at some of the worst bosses ever to limp onto gamers’ screens. Whether due to poor programming, hammy dialogue or a botched design, these bad guys are bad for all the wrong reasons. Some are piss-weak posers, others are shameless cheats. A few simply fail to be menacing in any way whatsoever. Whatever the flaw might be, they’re all broken in one way or another — a bit like the controllers they’ve caused us to hurl away in disgust.
So instead of the most diabolical video-game villains of all time, we're proud (kinda) to present the worst video-game bosses of all time.