As most gamers will attest, there's nothing quite like sitting down in front of your entertainment center in your comfiest chair and snacking on some chips, ready for an evening of blissful chaos. That is, until a giant two-headed dragon with guns that shoot swords comes out to ruin your day. That's when you know it's time to sit up and get in gear, because if you slack off just a little bit, you won't make it through the fight. It's definitely time to get your A-game ready when you hear the fast-paced boss music, reassuring you that you're not going anywhere until the beast before you is slain. Thankfully, you've got a good beat to do it by. In celebration of the epic boss battle songs that keep our blood moving during these precarious battles, here's a list of the ten best boss themes of all-time.
Some will argue that the number ten slot is a tad low on the list for the epic Sephiroth theme. Make no mistake, it's one of the best of all-time. However, it has since become something of a cliché, and therefore doesn't place as high as it would have back in, say, 1998. But Nobuo Uematsu is easily one of the greatest video game music composers and remains comfortably among the most renowned in the world. His music has that way of emphasizing the fact that you're in a position you really don't want to be in. And having to fight someone with a giant sword that can make mincemeat of a city bus is definitely one of those positions. Sephiroth's One-Winged Angel form was one of the most memorable boss fights in gaming history, and Uematsu perfectly matched that fight with an absolutely unforgettable theme.
I don't know exactly what it is about "The Final Showdown" that instills so much panic in me, but when I hear that song, I simply cannot relax. Throughout all of Banjo-Kazooie, Gruntilda has taunted you with her rhyming wit. When you finally get the chance to knock her of her high broom, it's unfortunately not as easy as you've been hoping. Rare knew how to keep gamers on the edge of their chairs with just the regular boss fights, but Gruntilda topped them all. She had you right up in front the TV trying to dodge that dive-bomb attack, and her theme music made you know that just one mistake could mean the last of your honeycomb.
Among the most memorable bosses of all time is Ganondorf from Ocarina of Time. Just as intimidating as his hulking body and super cool set of armor was his music. It reminded you that this fight was for the survival of the kingdom of Hyrule, and that you'd have to pull out all the tricks you knew to take this guy down. And once you finally won, you knew you wouldn't be seeing this guy around again. Right?
Pokémon is that one diamond from my childhood that I will never let go of. I don't care if you're a fan of the series or not; you simply can't ignore the fact that the Pokémon games have always contained some of the catchiest tunes in existence, as well as some of the most epic. In order to bring down an evil empire that wanted to take over the universe in Pokémon's Diamond and Pearl iterations, you definitely needed some great music to keep you going. As such, the Galactic boss Cyrus theme delivered the adrenaline on a level that only a Pokémon game ever could.
The Dr. Robotnik fights in the 16-bit Sonic the Hedgehog games have always come with great music. In fact, the Sonic 2 Robotnik tune is what I like to call the skeleton of what all good boss music should sound like. It made you feel like fighting was your only option, never letting you forget how epic this task was. During the Sega Genesis era, it was hard to find better game music—let alone boss music—than the Robotnik Theme. While remixes help keep this song alive and well to this day, the original can still stand on its own.