Top 10 One-on-One Battles,
I’m sure I’m not alone in the opinion that a fight with a good boss can be one of the most enjoyable parts of any game. These encounters are nearly always used and built as tests of the player’s skill, where you really get the chance to show your ability. While there are many types of enjoyable boss fights in gaming, one of my favorite types, if not the best to me, is the one-on-one match. A one-on-one battle against an enemy who is very comparable in strength to the player character carries a thrill and sense of accomplishment that can’t be found in other fights. To honor that kind of boss, I’m going to list the top 10 one-on-one boss battles here. Naturally, some of these entries will give fairly heavy SPOILERS for their respective games, so you were warned.
Important Note: I’m just saying it to be sure people see it. THERE WILL BE SPOILERS AHEAD. YOU WERE WARNED.
(This is just the first part. If you want to see more, they should be in the related videos afterward.)
10.) Protagonist vs. Elizabeth (Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3)
To start out the list, we have the battle between the main character of Persona 3, known as Minato from the manga of the game, versus the attendant of the Velvet Room, Elizabeth. Despite the fact that Elizabeth helps Minato throughout the game, she doesn’t hold anything back when the challenge is made. She is a bonus boss and requires very good strategy to even come close to winning. She gets to attack two turns to every one of yours, hits very hard, can fully heal herself once, and will instantly kill you if you try to nullify her attacks or bring any other party members. I’ll be the first to admit that this is an ordeal, but it’s hard to think of a time when I felt as much satisfaction as I did when I finally beat her. That feeling and the fact that she takes such careful strategy when many RPG bosses are simply beaten by leveling high enough land her my number 10 spot.
(This is the 2nd part of the fight with the most important parts.)
9.) Lucas vs. The Masked Man (Mother 3)
I hesitate to call this one a “battle” in the traditional sense, because you cannot attack, at least in any significant way. Lucas is unable to hurt The Masked Man much in this fight, as he has finally learned that The Masked Man is actually his long-lost brother, Klaus. Also, The Masked Man will instantly kill your entire party besides Lucas at the start of the fight and will continuously do so if you try to bring them back, basically making it a one-on-one match. The only thing you can do is defend and wait, as most attacks attempted merely make Lucas hesitate at the thought of attacking Klaus. This fight is won through storyline means and, out of all the fights on my list, has some of the heaviest meaning behind it. In the end, The Masked Man begins to hesitate as well and eventually kills himself to stop the fighting. It is truly storytelling through gameplay and, even though I had to defend for quite a while before finally winning, the feelings behind the fight got to me and continue to do the exact same thing every time I battle The Masked Man.
(This is the first part of the battle. The second should be linked in the related videos.)
8.) Player Character vs. Darth Malak (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic)
The fight with Darth Malak at the end of Knights of the Old Republic is an enjoyable and complete one. You finally get to the middle of the base where Malak is waiting for you and have the usual pre-fight banter before getting down to the nitty-gritty. Starting the fight, it quickly presents itself that Malak is definitely a tough fighter who hits hard and uses the Force whenever he can, but you can still manage as long as you keep watch on your health. Then, Malak stops to both compliment and insult you before sucking the life out of one of the captive Jedi around the room to refill his own health to full. From there, it’s a dash to somehow destroy all the canisters holding the Jedi before going back to finish Malak, this time fighting without his backup plan. You trade blows back and forth, defeat him, and continue on to the ending, on either the light side or the dark side. It’s a satisfying final fight with enough challenge to be appropriate for a villain who was built up as much as Malak and make it feel like you really accomplished something from Malak’s defeat.
(Skip to about 9:30)
7.) Link vs. Dark Link (Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
We all know this fight well. From the infamous Water Temple comes an equally infamous boss. Sure, it may be officially called a mini-boss, but Dark Link was tough enough to be considered the most difficult boss in the game. Fought in a fittingly mirage-based room, Dark Link copied your every sword move, but seemed to improve upon each of them. Among other respones, if you tried to do a thrust, he jumped on top of your sword, stood there mocking you for about 2 seconds, then slashed you for good measure. Facing him with the same sword strikes he was equipped with made Dark Link a very difficult foe, although there are some simpler ways of taking care of the boss involving magic abilities or the Megaton Hammer that are still fairly difficult. I didn’t use them in my initial efforts and victory though, due to my lack of knowledge in that department at the time. Due to that, I had quite a difficult time with the guy, even if it was fun. Dark Link would be higher on the list, but there was too much annoyance associated with him compared to the other fights that are ahead of him.
6.) Nathan Drake vs. Zoran Lazarevic (Uncharted 2: Among Thieves)
Most third-person and first-person shooters aren’t known for their bosses. In fact, generally, the bosses in these games tend to be rather lackluster for a variety of reasons. However, the final battle against Zoran Lazarevic is a deviation from that norm, to say the least. It manages to use the third-person gameplay style of Uncharted to make a fun, although tricky fight. Trying to shoot this guy directly will only make you die quickly, and the only way to really do damage is to shoot the explosive sap (it makes sense in context) around the fighting arena as he passes by it. Of course, he is chasing you the entire time with a shotgun and constant cluster grenade tosses, meaning you are constantly on the run, shooting behind you to try and hit the sap when Lazarevic is near it. This is one of the most hectic boss fights I’ve ever been in, with things exploding all around and I loved every moment of the action.