Boss fights have been an integral part of video games for almost as long as video games have existed. As a test of how well you’ve learned the mechanics and systems of the game, and as culmination of encounters that have brewed for large sections of the game – if not the entire game itself – these set piece moments serve an important purpose in any experience. However, as the years have gone by, boss encounters have also changed considerably, and traditional boss fights, which were once the norm, have grown less and less common. Many times – most of the times, in fact – such “interactive cutscenes” can be quite disappointing, and can’t stand as proper substitutes for actual fights, but there are times when these cinematic encounters prove to be just the right fight for the game in question, and are executed very, very well. In this feature, we’ll take a look at fifteen such excellent interactive boss encounters in games.
There are spoilers ahead for all games mentioned in this feature. If you see us beginning to talk about a game you don’t want spoiled, skip ahead to the next entry.
Uncharted has tried its hand at traditional boss fights, but its fair to say that it hasn’t always worked out. As the series grew, though, it embraced its strengths as an interactive, cinematic adventure, and started that working into what would otherwise have been traditional boss fights as well. The final encounter between Nate and Rafe at the end of Uncharted 4 was a culmination of that. The dramatic fight between the two of them, after tensions boiled between them throughout the entire game, was tense and exciting, with the burning ship loaded with Henry Avery’s treasure serving as the perfect backdrop. It proved to be a fitting conclusion to the journey.