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These bosses were some of the best bits in Kingdom Hearts! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today, we're counting down our picks for the "Top 10 Kingdom Hearts Boss Battles!"
For this list, we're taking a look at some of the best boss battles we've endured across the Kingdom Hearts franchise!
Subscribe to WatchMojo—Ranking Pop Culture Since 2006
#10: Oogie Boogie—Kingdom Hearts
One of the most awesome parts of the Kingdom Hearts games is being able to face off against some of our favorite Disney villains. For Nightmare Before Christmas fans, the fight against Oogie Boogie was a real treat with its own tricks! Much like Jack's confrontation with Oogie in the film, the environment is creepy and vibrant, and Oogie's board demands you be aware of your positioning. However, the best part of this fight is in the second stage when Oogie becomes a giant manor and you have to climb him a la Shadow of the Colossus... well, minus the annoying stamina meter.
#9: Maleficent—Kingdom Hearts
In her regular form, Maleficent isn’t much of a challenge so long as you’re keeping a good eye on everyone’s health bars. Of course, the real show comes later on! When she turns into her dragon form, Maleficent can deal a lot of damage in just a few hits. This is a fight that demands you be on your toes and think quickly. It may not be the same exact fight as the one we saw in Sleeping Beauty, but like its source material, it manages to replicate the epic scale and thrilling experience.
#8: Phantom—Kingdom Hearts
One of the coolest bits of the first Kingdom Hearts was revisiting areas and discovering secret boss fights. The fight against the mysterious Phantom has resonated with fans for just how crazy it can get. There’s a lot of telegraphing to process, and Phantom’s unpredictable patterns can make it hard to read or predict what he’s about to do. This was one of those fights where you couldn’t just go in fully equipped; you needed to have a general plan, a backup plan, a backup plan to that backup plan, and so on. In other words, this was a real test of skill and patience!
#7: Terra-Xehanort—Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
There are many dramatic and tear-jerking moments in the Kingdom Hearts series, some of them being the boss fights themselves. The first moment that comes to mind is when Aqua is forced to fight Terra, who has been possessed by Xehanort’s heart. In addition to the tragedy behind this battle, Terra-Xehanort will prove to be a formidable foe thanks to his attack power and range. Get caught in one of his combos, and he’ll make quick work of your health bar! Hopefully you’ll have mastered all of Aqua’s moves and perfected your cartwheeling by this point.
#6: Dark Riku—Kingdom Hearts
This one was painful in more ways than one… It always hurts to see friends fight, and this is especially true during the fight against Riku. Sora and Riku have been friends for a long time, and you can tell Sora cares deeply about his best friend, which makes this fight the most emotional on this list. It’s also one of the hardest boss battles we’ve endured! Riku’s attacks hit hard and can cover most of the area. On top of that, the small area doesn’t give you much room to dodge. So, you’ll have to stay nimble and attack when the fight slows down a bit.
#5: Cloud Strife—Kingdom Hearts
It’s so nice to see our spiky-haired eco-terrorist make an appearance! Unfortunately, we’re sad to say that he doesn’t pull off any of his moves from Final Fantasy VII. No Omnislash here! However, that doesn’t mean he’s a pushover. Cloud is a speedy fighter, and if you aren’t quick on dodging, you’re going to have a bad time. You can even lose this fight and the story will still keep going thanks to the arrival of Cerberus, but you can return the Coliseum later in the game and face him and Leon (a.k.a. Squall) at the same time. Which is pretty awesome.
#4: Axel—Kingdom Hearts II
Part of what makes Axel such a memorable character is his wild personality and wicked voice. So, what better way to match his extreme behavior than fighting him inside a ring of fire?! Not only does this fight give quite the visual spectacle, but it’s also a dramatic one. Like Sora and Riku, this is a battle between former friends, and the music captures Axel’s frustration and sorrow. The piece of resistance here, however, is that Roxas gets to wield TWO Keyblades! [Axel saying: “TWO?!”] That’s right, Axel, and we’re ready to bring the smackdown on you!
#3: Sephiroth—Kingdom Hearts & Kingdom Hearts II
This one was a little less surprising. Hey, if Cloud Strife is moping around, the infamous one-winged angel is lurking close by. Nevertheless, this was still an awesome encounter! Sephiroth is one of the most iconic villains in the Final Fantasy series, and in the Kingdom Hearts series; he’s one of the most difficult. In the first game, he has five health bars, and in Kingdom Hearts II, he has 15! In addition to his insane reach (thanks to that overcompensating sword of his), almost all of his attacks can end you in just a couple of hits. Good to see our lethal pretty boy hasn’t gotten rusty.
#2: Lingering Will—Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix
Were all of these bosses too easy for you? Are you craving a real challenge? Something that’ll kick your teeth in or make you throw a controller? Then, get a load of Lingering Will. Appearing in the final mix rerelease of Kingdom Hearts II as a secret boss, he’s notorious for being the absolute hardest boss in the franchise! With a whopping 17 health bars, Lingering Will can take you out with the greatest of ease. He can quickly trap you in a combo, leaving you with only a fraction of your health. This is a tussle that will demand your undivided attention and top performance. Good luck surviving the whole 20 minutes!
Before we reveal our top pick, here are a couple honorable mentions:
- Chernabog—Kingdom Hearts
- Roxas—Kingdom Hearts II
#1: Xemnas—Kingdom Hearts II
Typically, we don’t like it when a boss battle drags on, but when we’re going up against Xemnas, this fight was one of the most awesome experiences in the Kingdom Hearts series. In the first phase of the battle, we get to see Keyblades and lightsabers clash! Then, there’s a brief sequence where you chase after Xemnas while slicing through freakin’ buildings! Just when we think it’s all over, you gotta fight him again while he rides on a giant dragon-like Nobody! This was one of the most satisfying and epic boss battles in gaming, and we’d happily do it again.