Whenever we play a game that focuses on combat and is full of enemies that can use incomprehensible powers, we are excited to fight them. Final Fantasy has always focused on big boss battles full of spectacle, and now that the series is completely focused on action, it creates even more anticipation for boss encounters.
To be fair, FF16 isn’t difficult, but some fights offer a bit more of a challenge, or are still memorable simply because of the spectacle surrounding them. So, between monsters, dominants, and deities, which bosses shine the most during your adventure across the continent of Valisthea?
This article contains spoilers for Final Fantasy 16.
Honorable Mention: Notorious Marks
In addition to all the world-saving adventures, you have access to a hunting board that gives you the locations of dangerous enemies throughout the land; Notorious Marks. We won’t focus on them here, as there are a lot of them and they’re basically normal enemies turned to eleven or reskinned bosses like the Kusa Beast.
Still, they offer an extra challenge to the game, and hunting them rewards you with many items such as crafting materials. In addition, we already have an article dedicated to their locations. If you want to find them, you can see them here.
10 Liquid flame
A simple boss as it is nothing more than a large flaming monster that you face while hunting for the Mothercrystal. There is no particular plot around him; he’s simply called there to fight you, and Shiva helps by blocking the battle area with his icy powers.
It’s still a fun encounter where the creature throws out giant attacks that force you to stay on the move as much as possible. Even though the creature is only a summon, there are some compelling twists between Jill and the flame summoner, making this one of the most interesting story moments in the game.
9 Benedict and Garuda
Our first fight with the dominant boss, Benedikta, is one of the best encounters, especially when you fight her normal form, half form, and then her fully prepared as Garuda. The fact that it also temporarily takes Torgal out of the fight is a very low blow.
As it happens at the beginning of the game, this is still an introductory moment about how most of the Dominants will be treated, and shows the true essence of Clive’s power. It’s an inviting moment, especially when you can play as Ifrit and fight Garuda.
8 Barnabas and Odin
Jump towards the end of the game, we have Barnabas and his base form, Odin. It’s a fun encounter, especially since he’s basically Ultima’s right hand. However, considering how Barnabas is the best fighter, the lack of difficulty really hurt the entire encounter.
He totally overpowers Clive in the cutscene and beats you in your first real encounter because that’s what the script says, but when you finally do face him for good he’s pretty easy compared to the others here. Regardless, his demeanor during the fight and the overall spectacle make it a cool fight to watch.
All told, the right hand of Ultima’s right hand, Sleipnir, is a more fun fight. It’s also not difficult and not much spectacular, but his teleportation and agility make him a little more annoying.
Although he acts on behalf of Barnabas, we see him messing things up in the plot, such as encouraging Kupka to fight us, and Sleipnir’s general charisma making him stand out more than his king.
In Norse mythology, Sleipnir is the name of Odin’s horse, known for its agility.
Typhon is a boss that literally comes out of nowhere. It appears after the destruction of the first mother crystal and causes some major consequences to our main gang.
It’s still a pretty fun boss encounter, and you have a lot of room to plot during this fight, which is helpful given his large area attacks. Ifrit returns here, much like Garuda, but his controls are much more fluid, showing us that Clive is finding his way.
5 Dragons, in general
We were going to mention the White Dragon boss, but since all dragon enemies behave the same, let’s talk about them all. They are more like mini-bosses and lack spectacle; it’s just an encounter that can happen.
They deserve some credit for adding a much needed difficulty spike to their encounters. It’s not much, but it’s noticeable, and it’s a place where you can die if you don’t pay close attention to combat.
Another good example of a difficulty jump in a game is Behemoth. There’s a bit more going on than most fights, with the creature summoning meteors during combat, and its overall size giving it considerable range with its attacks.
Basically, it’s also a fight where you can die if you’re not careful. Finally, it shows us a wonderful moment when Clive and Joshua fight together, although not alone.
3 Kupka and Titan (Plus Titan Lost)
Hugo Kupka is one of the more interesting villains, although he’s not that big of a deal compared to Barnabas or Ultima. Only his personal motivations make him a good villain – after all, personal stakes usually develop characters better.
Not only does he give us an intense fight like himself, but the Titan fight is one of the most anime-like moments since the boss is so gigantic that Ifrit looks like a bug. There is beautifully choreographed combat throughout.
Titan may have been one of the most anime-like fights, but Bahamut trumps that. It’s you as Ifrit and your brother as Phoenix, fused together and fighting in space against a dragon almost as powerful as Donald Duck himself. Need more?
This fight focuses much more on performance than difficulty, but it’s still one of the most epic moments of the entire game, making it a wonderful addition. Not to mention Dion is an amazing character; having more of him is always good.
1 Ultima and its transformations
The best was definitely saved for last. Ultima makes few appearances throughout the game, but appears a lot towards the end, with more fights and transformations that make things more epic each time.
The highlight of these encounters is with Ultimalius – his final form – where he uses the same dominant powers as you, has wonderful demonstrations of how to defeat him with the same powers, and is also the hardest fight in the main story. The final confrontation here is pure excellence.
NEXT: Final Fantasy 16: Complete Guide and Walkthrough