Legend of Zelda Boss Rush

Boss fights are one of the best parts of any Legend of Zelda game, so what could be better than having all of the bosses fight each other? For rankings on a list, of course. The Occupational Safety Hazards Administration of Hyrule has very clear rules on cage fights, and as such no bosses will be harmed during the making of this list.

So, what makes a good Zelda boss fight? Mostly the same things that make a good fight in any game. We need a cool design for the boss itself, a sense that we're really fighting a dangerous foe, and unique mechanics that make the battle stand out from the crowd. It's great if there's a battle-specific soundtrack to keep us motivated, and you can't go wrong sprinkling in some dramatic setup and setpiece moments. I ranked the 94 boss fights I've completed across the entire series based vaguely on my gut feelings about those factors, usually accompanied by a quick watch of someone else doing the fight to jog my memory about exactly how each boss works. This list is mostly reflective of what Zelda Wiki considers to be a boss, but I did add in a few minibosses that I felt deserved a spot. Additionally, any bosses that have multiple forms were merged, so TP's Ganon and MC's Vaati will only appear once, for example.

Now, the only problem with making a boss rush article is that I don't actually like all of the Zelda games, and because of that I haven't finished all of them. Any bosses I've never seen before can't be fairly included here, obviously. While that might sound like a major problem, it isn't. Seeing is believing, after all, so the only logical conclusion is that if I've never seen a boss, it's a lie made up by Big Dungeon to trick innocent Hylians into staying indoors. As such, all of those bosses will be banished to the "scandalous lies" tier.

Scandalous Lies:

LoZ: All except Aquamentus

AoL: All except Horsehead

OoT: Bongo Bongo and beyond

MM: All except Odolwa

OoS: Dodongo and beyond

OoA: Shadow Hag and beyond

ST: everyone!

SS: everyone!

TFH: everyone!

BotW: All but Waterblight

Those lies out of the way, let's begin with the very bottom of the list:

94. Moldorm (LBW)

Unlike a lot of Zelda players, I actually like the original Moldorm fight in A Link to the Past, and it's going to be a long time before we see that bouncy worm on this list. The original Moldorm doesn't do that well by my criteria for a good fight - it doesn't fight back, it's just a series of circles, there's no unique theme, and it has zero relevance to the plot. LBW's iteration really takes those problems to the next level, though, because it came around over two decades later and adds basically nothing to a fight that has already been done to death. This is the fourth boss named "Moldorm" in the series, and it's hardly any more interesting than a regular enemy from Link's Awakening. Terrible.

93. Morpha (OoT)

Morpha is actually fairly unique among the bosses I've fought, but it falls flat on its lack of a face in every other respect. It spends most of the fight moving back and forth in the hope that you'll walk into it, which hardly makes for an epic battle. Worse, it's an amorphous blob with an eyeball stuck in it, and it doesn't have unique music or any plot buildup.

92. and 91. Aquamentus (OoS and LoZ)

I can understand why the original Aquamentus is boring. We're talking about the very first boss in the very first Zelda game, so no one had any expectations for the fight and Nintendo couldn't even fully trust that you knew how to play the game yet. Still, I can't give a boss that basically just stands there and occasionally shoots fireballs any higher of a ranking than #91.

But it's OoS' repeat of Aquamentus that earns the even lower 92 spot, because it's practically the same fight repeated a decade later. This was a great opportunity to buff up Aquamentus and give our unicorn/dragon friend a proper moveset to challenge Link, but instead it still mostly stands there and shoots a few fireballs.

90. Big Poe (FSA)

Big Poe comes in above four other bosses almost entirely because I like the design of its face mask. Otherwise, you're looking at a fight that consists of turning on four lanterns and then whacking ghosts for a bit until you win. If not for that cool design and being a good fit for its environment, Big Poe might be bottom of this list.