The baddest of the big bads.
We’ve fought a lot of monstrosities from the depths of hell (literally) in DOOM games over the years, and some of the most intimidating of these have come in the form of final bosses. With DOOM Eternal right around the corner and promising even more epic battles against the forces of hell, now is the perfect time to look back on some of those that have already come. In this feature, we’ll be ranking all the final bosses in mainline DOOM games from worst to best.
#5. CYBERDEMON – DOOM 3
DOOM 3 catches plenty of flak from many series fans because of how different it was from its predecessors, with the game adopting a slower survival horror approach as opposed to the bombastic, in-your-face action DOOM is otherwise known for. And while many of those criticisms are fair, there’s still a lot to love in this game- sadly, the final boss fight against the Cyberdemon is not one of those things.
The fight against this beast does not do justice to it intimidating physical appearance. Though it’s equipped with a rocket launcher that can do devastating damage if it hits you, avoiding those hits is actually pretty easy- you just have to make sure you stay on the move, keep out of its line of sight, and use the spires around the Hell Hole for cover.
Keep killing the little enemies that spawn while doing so, and turn around every once in a while to fire off the Soul Cube- rinse and repeat just a few times, and the boss fight is over. Cyberdemons have appeared as major enemies in DOOM games quite a few times over the years, but this encounter in particular has to be one of the most disappointing against one of them.
#4. ICON OF SIN – DOOM 2
The Icon of Sin has a special place in the hearts of DOOM fans for many reasons, the primary being that John Romero’s head is literally the final boss in DOOM 2. But though the boss has a strong legacy and remains a popular one among the DOOM fanbase to this day, the actual fight is not the most difficult- if you play your cards right.
The biggest threat this encounter poses is not actually the Icon of Sin itself- it’s all the other demons that spawn around you. From Arch-viles to Pain Elementals to Revenants, there’s quite a bit that you have to contend with, so staying on the move and staying alert is pretty important. It’s just a little disappointing that the boss itself doesn’t pose too much of a threat itself.
The Icon of Sin is literally a giant head on a wall, and it doesn’t take too many shots to bring it down- just three shots with the rocket launcher, that’s pretty much all that’s needed. Sure, the other demons do make things a bit more complicated, but by and large, this fight can be dusted off with ease pretty quickly.
#3. MOTHER DEMON – DOOM 64
Unlike the Icon of Sin and the Cyberdemon, DOOM 64’s Mother Demon can be a pretty tricky boss encounter. For starters, she’s got some impressive attacks up her sleeve, from a flame trailer to her homing rockets, and both of these can be pretty devastating if they hit you. If you don’t manage to successfully dodge these, you’re toast.
Thankfully, keeping your distance from her is a good strategy that makes those dodges pretty easy to pull off. It doesn’t take a lot of shots with the Unmaker to kill her- of course, that depends on you having received all three Demon Keys beforehand, without which the Unmaker is unusable.
If you do find yourself in that situation, relying on the BFG 9000 is your next best bet, because even with more powerful weapons – like the rocket launcher – it can take quite a lot of shots to take the Mother Demon down. It also doesn’t help that she’s quite agile, which just makes the fight that much trickier.
#2. SPIDERDEMON – DOOM
The Spiderdemon was the perfect intersection between ingenious visual design and solid execution of mechanics. Visually, its weird, twisted form was horrifying to behold, and the actual fight against it did complete justice to how threatening it looked. It might not be the toughest boss fight in the series, or even the game itself, but it posed more than a semblance of challenge.
Its chaingun attack is nearly impossible to avoid, especially at close range, which means keeping your distance and keeping on the move is almost crucial in this fight, something that the ledges on the edges of the battlefield come in very handy for.
Defensively, the Spiderdemon isn’t the most formidable foe out there. Weapons like the BFG, the rocket launcher, and the Plasma Rifle are particularly effective against and, and it doesn’t have a ton of health, so if you know what you’re doing, you can actually get through the battle pretty quickly.
#1. SPIDER MASTERMIND – DOOM (2016)
DOOM (2016)’s final boss fight against the Spider Mastermind is an amazing tribute to the original game, and not just for the obvious reasons- it also excels as an actual boss fight in more ways than one, from its visual design to the context surrounding this encounter to the actual mechanics of the fight itself.
The Spider Mastermind has a pretty big pool of health, which means that it takes a hell of a lot of shots from multiple weapons to bring it down. Switching out your weapons constantly and making smart use of the ammo at your disposal to attack its weak points is key. Meanwhile, the fight also requires players to keep moving around, thanks to the Spider Mastermind’s own mobility.
And it’s not just a bullet sponge- it has plenty of deadly attacks of its own that keep you on your toes. From being able to electrify the ground to sweeping at you with its legs, from launching deadly projectiles at you to firing off a barrage of lazers, from using spike bombs to raising up pillars from the ground, the Spider Mastermind has more than enough up its sleeve to give you a very quick and painful death if you’re not paying attention.