Sometimes, the final boss isn't the real big baddie. Sometimes, it's the minibosses of the game that become so iconic they deserve slots on our 10 Best Midbosses list. In today's gaming market, bosses tend to be set-pieces, larger than life encounters that make you feel as if you are inside some kind of epic Hollywood movie. Unfortunately, they also tend to be laden with quick time events and gimmicks that break the normal flow of gameplay. So it's the midbosses that really test your gaming skill, and that's why people remember them. These are the 10 Best Midbosses that are probably remembered more fondly than their final boss counterparts.
When Metaknight wasn’t trying to help Kirby, he was trying to get in his way, allowing him to take slot 10 on our list of the 10 Best Midbosses. Meta is the fastest swordsman in the land, Dream Land that is. He can fly, he wears a mask to hide his identity, and he is essentially the Kirby universe’s version of Batman. Kirby always goes on to fight weird nightmare monsters or giant penguins, but Metaknight was always the coolest fight in the game, should you ever have to cross swords with him.
The Koopalings were sadly forgotten over the years, making way for Bowser Jr. and other iconic Mario characters. Still, they were some of the first mini-bosses we ever fell in love with, piloting air-ships, taking control of castles, and generally getting in Mario’s way. While we tend to remember Super Mario World for capes, Yoshi’s and clown copters, don’t forget that Larry, Morton, Wendy O. Iggy, Roy, Lemmy, and Ludwig were there as well.
Samus has fought many a final boss. Mother Brain, mutated Metroids, weird cyber intelligences, omni dimensional beings, you name it! However, there is only one boss who keeps coming back, and he’s never the final boss. He’s Ridley, Samus’s longtime rival, who has died, resurrected, mutated, been rebuilt as a robot, and died again. Ridley might be the most iconic character of the Metroid franchise aside from Samus and the Metroids themselves.
Alright, I just beat the multi colored ninjas, the nut-punching movie star, and the thunder god with a rice hat, whose next… HOLY CRAP WHAT IS THAT THING? Goro was the second to final boss of Moral Kombat, and he was far more difficult than Shang Tsung ever was. Tsung eventually became a playable character, but Goro forever stayed at the ranks of boss level. His attacks did ludicrous damage and were almost undodgeable. The only way to beat him was to exploit Mortal Kombat 1’s flawed A.I.
Anti-heroes always make great midbosses and that’s exactly what Magus was. For the majority of Chrono Trigger, you were looking for ways to defeat this dark sorcerer and his eventual summoning of Lavos, the world’s destroyer. You fought him on multiple occasions, chased him through time, and only after you gave him a good solid thrashing was it revealed that he wasn’t your real enemy. You could then choose to fight him one last time or add him to your party as one of the most badass characters in RPG history.
What better midboss than Midboss from Disgaea. I mean, it’s right in his name! Even the heroes knew that this character wasn’t anything more than a recurring villain that was inevitably going to pester them throughout their adventure. So they renamed him early on in the game, just so no one got confused. Midboss actually played an important part in Disgaea’s story, but the handling of that story was absolutely hilarious. Since Midboss is so good at his job, we decided to give him the middle slot on our list of the 10 Best Midbosses.
Big Daddy may not have been the final boss of Bioshock, but he sure was the game’s mascot. He was on the cover… of both Bioshock 1 and 2! Players always dreaded running into a Big Daddy in the underwater corridors of rapture. It usually meant that you had to use up a good portion of your bullets and Eve just to take him down. Not only that, but if you let him get near you, you were probably going to die in one or two hits. In fact, the only way you were able to complete this game was by becoming your enemy, the Big Daddy itself.
We don’t really know why fans love Abobo from Double Dragon, but they do. Maybe it’s the tan skin, or the muscles, or the strangely deformed face, but Abobo has one of the weirdest fan followings in the gaming world. Fans like him so much, they made an 8-bit game about him! Abobo’s Big Adventure has Abobo battling through classic NES worlds. You’ve never played Zelda until you played through a map shaped like genetalia controlling Abobo as your character and wielding only a leg of meat as a weapon.
Dr. Salvador had access to the best weapon in any mini-boss’s arsenal: the one hit kill. It’s bizarre how full bosses never get to kill you in one strike, but mini-bosses, for some reason, get to saw your head off with a chainsaw. They also take a million shots to kill, and unlike actual bosses you almost never get to see a mini-boss’s health bar. You just had to keep plugging away at these chainsaw wielding maniacs hoping that somehow they would die before they triggered an instant game over. Rough…
Birdo is such an interesting character for a mid-boss. She came from a game that was never supposed to be a Mario game, yet somehow became a Mario franchise staple. She is one of the first videogame characters that was confirmed to be transgendered… even though she was a dinosaur. Everyone remembers her but almost no one remembers Wart or that rat thing that you had to fight. She may be the most fondly remembered midboss of all time, if only for her incredible weirdness. Way to go Birdo, you made it to the top spot on our list of the 10 Best Midbosses.