Final Boss Battles That Challenged No One

The final boss in any video game should be a herculean task. After slicing and shooting through a half-dozen deadly minibosses, traversing large swaths of dangerous terrain, and finally making your way into the final chamber, you expect a challenge—a barrage of magic missiles or a rain of barely-avoidable, laser-firing tentacles. When the final boss is a total washout, it's hard not to be disappointed. A real gamer earns their victory, and having that satisfaction yanked out from under you in the final moments of a game you poured hours into is a total buzzkill. Here are some games that totally skimped out on their final boss fights.

Super Mario Bros. - Bowser

It's not easy to criticize a classic like Super Mario Bros., but it has to be done. After dozens of excellently designed levels and predictable battles against Bowser as a miniboss, one might expect his final fight to be a little different. Our princess won't be in another castle this time, but the ultimate Bowser is just more of the same. He's not even protected by a clever, labyrinthine castle level like World 7-4, and once you reach the king of the Koopas, all you have to do is jump over him. Forget it if you have a mushroom in Mario's guts, because you can just run right through him without missing a step.

Super Mario World - Bowser

Bowser makes a second appearance on the list because he might be an interesting character, but he's not usually a very good boss. He accidentally kills himself in Super Mario Bros. 3, but his attempts at villainy in Super Mario World are the worst. While Bowser flies around in his weird, unthreatening clown bulb (called the Koopa Clown Car), he throws the easiest enemies in the game at you—when he's not accidentally dropping power-ups. Hit him six times with the trash enemies he throws around, and he's done. The whole final battle takes roughly one minute, all while Bowser is plugged into the least dignified video game vehicle of all time.

Fable II - Lucien Fairfax

The original Fable ended with a dragon. Fable 2, however, ended with an old guy who could be killed with a music box and a single bullet. When Lucien Fairfax goes into his villain monologue in the game's final scene, you can end the game just by firing a single bullet at him. If you decide not to shoot and listen to his whole spiel, one of your pals will shoot him instead. There's no way around the anticlimactic one-shot battle, which is narratively sound, but quite unsatisfying as a gun-toting hero (or villain, depending on your choice). Killing a boss should be harder than feeding your dog a Snausage.

ClayFighter - N. Boss

Clay Fighter is a pretty mediocre game, as far as the contemporaries of Street Fighter II are concerned. What it lacked in complex gameplay it made up for in interesting graphics, a fun soundtrack, and a lot of weirdness. Every fighter was created and animated from actual clay, which made for a surprisingly visceral experience, but as soon as you reach the final boss—simply named N. Boss—the illusion is shattered. N. Boss isn't much more than a ring of digitally-created circles that jumps around and throws other fighters' junk at you, presenting no challenge, and absolutely no visual interest. It's shameful, last-minute trash.

Borderlands - The Destroyer

The final boss of Borderlands was so bad that it spawned a meme. A cycloptic, monolithic, alien god that contains Pandora's Box sounds like a badass final battle, but the entire experience consisted of shooting at designated weak spots, hiding behind pillars to dodge tentacles, and repetition. The reward? Nothing. Players were so crestfallen that Gearbox acknowledged them in the intro to Borderlands 2, citing something about "tentacles and disappointment." It's an ending that makes sense in context, but gamers want loot and a challenge, not the crushing letdown of reality.

Final Fantasy Legend - The Creator

By the time you get to the end of Final Fantasy Legend, your Game Boy has probably fused to your hands (and murdered your battery collection). Your warriors find out that everything they've been doing has been part of a game designed by the Creator, who is some kind of weird, top hat-wearing goth. As you gear up to engage in the epic battle against a force that can create and destroy worlds—a game bug allows you to kill it with a single hit. As it happens, a weapon called Saw was programmed backwards, so it instantly kills anything stronger than your warrior, because this Final Fantasy apparently happens in Bizarro World.

Shadowgate - The Warlock

Perhaps it's unfair to ask for a challenging boss battle for a point-and-click role-playing game, but when you enter a room with a powerful warlock summoning an enormous dragon from some kind of hell-pit, you have a pretty good reason to get excited. All it takes, though, is one click to zap the dragon with your magic staff and the game is over. Of course, it's all about the journey rather than the destination, but a little bit of destination is always nice too. Even a little more of that pixelated dragon would have been nice.

A Boy and His Blob - The Emperor

A pile of sludge named Blobert comes to Earth to find a boy in order to help him save his planet from an evil emperor who's forced the entire population to live on candy, which actually sounds like the best election platform ever—and how to make millions of dollars off of insulin. When Blobert eats jellybeans, he turns into different, cool things, so his aversion to sugar is completely off-base and he probably just has a problem with authority. When you get to the final boss, all you have to do is toss Blob a single jellybean. He'll turn into a jack and knock a convenient bottle of vitamins onto the Emperor, and the world is saved. Because storing poison on a precarious shelf right over your head is the Blobolonian way.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - The Hand of Sauron is a QTE snoozefest

Throughout all of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Talion stabbed his way across the land and killed orc after orc in an effort to bring him closer to those who murdered his family. He learned ancient skills and developed into a highly efficient killing machine, capable of blending into the shadows and using supernatural abilities to dispatch enemies. It's pretty disappointing, then, to see that his final battle with the Hand of Sauron (or the Black Hand), is nothing more than a QTE-fest. All you have to do is match the prompts on the screen and—boom—you win. Thrilling, right?

Gears of Wars 2 - The Lambent Brumak

Are you good at holding down buttons and waiting until something dies? That's exactly what happens when you fight the Lambent Brumak, the final boss in Gears of War 2. All of your adventuring and all of the Locusts you've cut through pales in comparison to this epic boss fight, right? We hope you enjoy throwing down a couple Hammers of Dawn in between watching cutscenes, because that's all you're getting from this eventful boss fight.

Batman: Arkham Asylum - The Joker is a joke

Batman: Arkham Asylum is a fantastic adventure through one of the most iconic locales in the Batman mythos, Arkham Asylum. The game puts you in the boots of the Dark Knight himself as he punches his way through a very long night. While most of the boss fights you encounter against the various members of the Rogues Gallery have a lot of flavor, the final fight with the Joker is nothing more than three phases of the same thing. The monstrous Joker jumps down to swing at you as you roll away, he sends out goons, you Batclaw him towards the ground to pummel him...and then repeat. Not for nothing, but the Clown Prince of Crime's fight is a huge joke.

Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones - The Dark Prince runs

What makes the final boss fight in Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones interesting is that the Prince is essentially fighting the darkness within himself. And given that the Prince has incredible agility, combat prowess, and, oh yeah, the ability to manipulate time, you'd think that the fight would be incredible. But what actually happens is that, after you defeat the Vizier, you just run after the Dark Prince and chase him down a bunch of platforms before deciding to stop fighting him and get back to Farah, the Prince's love. It turns out the Prince just had to let his Dark Side go, rather than try to get it to submit. Cute.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - Big Smoke goes up in smoke

The technical 'final boss' of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is Big Smoke, who rocks body armor and has an actual health bar. It's not too difficult to bring down the man who betrayed the Grove Street family and all of his friends, since you'll probably be equipped with enough firepower to occupy a small sovereign nation at that point in the game. Just let the bullets fly and watch the traitor's health bar go down. It's as simple as that.

Undertale - Sans gets rocked

In the "Genocide Route" of Undertale, Sans stands as the final boss. He can actually do a lot to try to kill you off, but all you have to do is survive until he falls asleep out of boredom. If you can do that, then dragging the bullet box to the "Fight" option will trigger two attacks, one that misses and one that inflicts 9,999,999 points of damage on the bonehead. He'll start squirting blood from a fissure in his head and you'll be able to lord your victory over him.

BioShock - Atlas, a.k.a. Shoot, Drain Adam, and Repeat

One of the worst betrayals in the history of gaming has to come from Atlas/Fontaine and his manipulation of Jack Ryan. Sure, we might have felt reassured by that Irish brogue when he guided us around the drowned city of Rapture, but when we learned of his true nature, all bets were off and he had to go down. It's almost laughable, then, that his boss fight involved little more than burning him down with our weapons and then draining him of his ADAM whenever he tried to power up again. For someone who looked like a fallen god after getting pumped full of genetic material, he didn't pack much of a punch. In the end, a bit of help from the Little Sisters and a few well-timed shots were all it took to get this joker to go down.