The 30 Hardest FromSoft Bosses

Demon Prince in Dark Souls III: The Ringed City.

The 30 Hardest FromSoft Bosses

The Tokyo-based developer, FromSoftware, Inc. made a name for itself by releasing some of the most groundbreaking titles of the last 15 years. The appeal of these games usually stems from their challenging worlds, well-crafted lore, and intense boss fights. Personally, the boss fights are what make these games worth it for me and honestly, the more challenging the better. Here are some of the hardest FromSoft Bosses.

30. Morgott, the Omen King (Elden Ring)

©Screenshot of Morgott – License

Morgott, the Omen King is very overwhelming for melee builds. His attacks are incredibly aggressive and he’s incredibly mobile.

Just when you think there’s a window to attack he quickly hops away. Ranged builds are better since Morgott doesn’t have many ranged options however if he’s ever able to close the gap you’re in for a bad time.

29. Gwyn, Lord of Cinder (Dark Souls)

©Screenshot from the introduction cutscene of Dark Souls – License

The difficulty of this encounter depends on whether or not you’re able to parry.

If you CAN parry then this fight becomes one of the bosses in Dark Souls. If you cannot parry then prepare for a struggle. Gwyn is very fast and aggressive. On top of that he has incredible melee range making ranged players’ innate advantage nonexistent.

28. Flamelurker (Demon’s Souls)

©Concept art of the Flamelurker boss – License

Speaking of aggressive, the Flamelurker is one of Demon’s Souls‘ more difficult bosses.

Many fans consider this boss to be hard because he’s a lot faster than you. It’s almost as if he’s playing Dark Souls 3 while you’re stuck with the player rules and limitations of Demon’s Souls. His AI is a bit wonky making him hard to predict unlike most of the Demon’s Souls bosses.

27. The Ancient Dragon (Dark Souls 2)

©Screenshot of the Ancient Dragon boss – License

This fight is a battle of attrition.

The Ancient Dragon requires a very specific strategy to come out on top and even if you come to this fight prepared, expect it to be time-consuming. This boss has many moves that will quickly send you back to the bonfire if you’re not ready for it. The only reason this encounter isn’t higher on the list is because there are strategies to make it much easier.

26. Old King Allant (Demon’s Souls)

©Concept art of old king allant – License

While this boss doesn’t have any gimmicks to make him difficult his difficulty comes from the game’s mechanics working against his design.

In Demon’s Souls player movement is limited and if you’re playing the original PS3 release, you have to worry about the poor framerate as well. When comparing the remake’s Allant to the rest of the franchise he isn’t that bad but his high health and damage are a big problem for those who prefer the original.

25. Maneaters (Demon’s Souls)

©Concept art of Maneater – License

The pinnacle of Demon’s Souls difficulty.

This battle is a major point of frustration for a lot of players because of its ability to fly out of the range of melee builds. Even if you were to use ranged builds you still can find yourself struggling because of how frequently the maneaters move. And let’s just say you can focus one down don’t forget you can’t stop paying attention to the other one. This boss is a nightmare and one of the few portions of Demon’s Souls that didn’t age as well.

24. Dancer of the Boreal Valley (Dark Souls 3)

©Screenshot of the dancer from Dark Souls 3 – License

It’s one of the series’ more spectacular fights.

This battle’s difficulty is tied to her unorthodox attack patterns and her range. Her first phase isn’t as aggressive as her second but learning her patterns is where most of the challenge lies. She punishes greedy players and her attacks can easily kill a player of the recommended level.

23. Lady Maria of the Astral Clocktower (Bloodborne)

©Screenshot of Maria from Bloodborne – License

The interesting thing about Bloodborne is that its bosses all demand mastery of its mechanics.

This fight means to remind the player that this is not Dark Souls. Players who couldn’t adapt to the speed and gameplay of Bloodborne probably have already been filtered before reaching this boss. However, if somehow they were able to make it to Maria they tend to give up after dying to her over and over again. The player must be aggressive or they won’t be able to beat her.

22. Lorian & Lothric, The Twin Princes (Dark Souls 3)

©Screenshot of Lothric and Lorian. – License

This fight is similar to the Maneaters from Demon’s Souls because it requires increased awareness from the player.

Lorian is an aggressive melee attacker while his brother Lothric is just as aggressive while being a ranged attacker. Juggling the aggression of these two demands precise timing and even when you think you’ve figured them out the boss phase changes and Lothric revives Lorian with new attacks.

21. Mohg, Lord of Blood (Elden Ring)

©screenshot of Mohg the blood omen – License

Mohg’s blood-based attacks are some of the hardest to dodge in the series.

This encounter boils down to whether or not you can consistently dodge the large sweeping attacks. Players must stay on their toes when engaging him because one bad dodge can cost you most of your health bar. Luckily this boss is optional but he gatekeeps some of the best parts of Elden Ring.

20. Guardian Ape (Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice)

©A Screenshot of the guardian ape in Sekiro – License

The Guardian Ape is challenging because of its deceptive speed and unorthodox attacks.

This is one of the many execution walls players of Sekiro must overcome. This enemy’s attack can catch you off guard and punish every mistake. It’s hard to even see what the ape is doing since it can go from powerful swipes to an unblockable grab to throwing its feces from range.

19. Abysswalker Knight Artorias (Dark Souls)

A lot of fans consider this encounter to be the pinnacle of Dark Souls 1 and I agree.

Artorias is such a formidable foe because of his lightning-fast combos. A common factor throughout this article tends to be that the hardest battles are due to the fact an enemy isn’t designed around the moveset of the player. Artorias was the first glimpse of Dark Souls slowly becoming faster and on top of that he can buff himself.

18. Sir Alonne (Dark Souls 2)

©screenshot of Sir Alonne in Dark Souls – License

Alonne punishes mistimed blocks or dodges more so than most of this list.

Alonne punishes sloppy play from players. He has high damage and he’s aggressive, limiting opportunities for healing. This is a fight that is meant to be perfected especially since there is a unique death animation from him when you take no damage during the fight.

17. Maliketh, the Black Blade (Elden Ring)

©Screenshot of Maliketh – License

Maliketh is a common point of frustration for Elden Ring players due to his high damage and extreme speed.

This encounter blurs the line between difficulty and frustration. Easily one of the fastest encounters on this list, Maliketh can quickly dodge your offenses and then one-shot you from range.

16. Radagon of the Golden Order/The Elden Beast (Elden Ring)

These fights lean closer to the side of frustration instead of challenge.

In a vacuum, I would argue that neither of these fights are hard per se but the fact you have to fight them back to back is where the real struggle lies. If you’ve made it to Radagon I believe you have the skills to beat that portion of the fight. However, Elden Beast baits the player to get sloppy and impatient which can send them to an endless loop of beating Radagon and dying to the Elden Beast.

15. The Fume Knight (Dark Souls 2)

©Concept art of Fume Knight from Dark Souls 2 – License

A lot of Elden Ring’s game design can be found in Dark Souls 2 and Fume Knight is a prime example.

Fume Knight’s damage is astronomically high, even players who prioritize defense can be overwhelmed if they’re not careful. It’s hard to react to his moveset because he tends to delay his attacks similar to the bosses of Elden Ring.

14. Starscourge Radahn (Elden Ring)

©Screenshot of Radahn from Elden Ring – License

Radahn is designed around the nearly infinite summons available in the arena to help you.

But summoning can be a curse as well. Torrent is pivotal for this fight and summoning another player removes your ability to use the steed. The encounter makes the player feel as if they’re always on the defensive but it’s a good introduction to what makes Elden Ring combat so great.

13. Manus, Father of the Abyss (Dark Souls)

©Screenshot of Manus from Dark Souls – License

The grandfather of what the Souls series would become.

Fighting Manus was like fighting a Bloodborne boss with Dark Souls mechanics. Fans of the franchise can understand how frustrating something like that is. The fight almost demands the player to use the fast roll mechanic. Some players even recommend maxing your brightness so you can see Manus better. The darkness of his environment hides his tells.

12. Ludwig, The Accursed (Bloodborne)

©Screenshot of Ludwig – License

A lot of Bloodborne bosses are similar in the fact that they are relentless, Ludwig kicks it up a notch.

Even though he’s one of the hardest bosses in Bloodborne he is perfectly fair once you learn his moveset. He rewards aggression like most of the Bloodborne cast but players must be able to know when to take their foot off the gas.

11. Nameless King & King of the Storm (Dark Souls 3)

©screen shot of the Nameless King and his bird dragon – License

This is another boss fight in which the player must face two separate bosses back to back.

Similar to Radagon and Elden Beast, these fights are more challenging than average but the real source of their difficulty is the fact you must face them back to back. Both fights are pretty straightforward but depending on your build this can be a challenging but simple fight or an all-out nightmare.

10. Dragon Slayer Ornstein & Executioner Smough (Dark Souls)

© In-game render of the boss characters Ornstein and Smough. – License

The original gank fight.

Ornstein and Smough are meant to be faced with a summon. Without one, the fight can be a struggle for players. This fight can be tough because it requires players to try and keep both enemies on screen at the same time. Ornstein’s speed makes it obvious that he should be prioritized but if the player focuses on him too hard they can be blindsided by Smough’s highly damaging moves.

9. Owl Father (Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice)

©Screenshot of Owl father from Sekiro – License

One of the best duels in the Souls series.

Owl is an interesting fight because he goes against everything he teaches you as a character. Shinobi are meant to fight honorably according to him but he constantly uses cheap tactics to throw you off your guard. If you aren’t paying attention this fight can go wrong very fast.

8. Darkeater Midir (Dark Souls 3)

©Screenshot of Midir from Dark Souls 3 – License

Fighting Midir is more so a fight against the camera.

Midir’s size causes the camera to go awol which can get you killed by Midir’s tremendous damage. At about half health, Midir will start using new attacks that can straight-up kill you if you aren’t careful. On top of it all the boss takes less damage from attacks to the body.

7. Darklurker (Dark Souls 2)

©Screenshot of Darklurker – License

The hardest fight in Dark Souls 2.

Darklurker is hard on its own but it also has one of the worst walkbacks in the series. To even challenge the boss you have to pay with human effigy a very important and LIMITED resource. Moreso than the rest of the list, this encounter is a big knowledge check and rewards those who have mastered Dark Souls 2.

6. Demon of Hatred (Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice)

©Screenshot of Demon of Hatred – License

The Demon of Hatred is debatably the hardest fight in Sekiro.

This encounter has a lot of moves to look out for. Its moveset tends to track and getting caught with one of its moves usually means getting hit with another which usually means death. Fortunately, the boss is optional and there is a consistent cheese strategy available.

5. Ludwig, The Holy Blade (Bloodborne)

©Screenshot of the second phase of Ludwigs boss battle – License

Ludwig’s second phase is like an entirely different boss battle and it’s harder as well.

Most gamers believe the way to beat this tough battle is just by outdamaging him. Many people see him as a DPS check and if you’re stuck here you need to spend some time strengthening your gear.

4. Sister Friede & Father Ariandel (Dark Souls 3)

©Screenshot of Sister Friede and Father Ariandele – License

The first two phases of this boss aren’t difficult at all it’s the third phase.

That’s right, this boss is one of two on this list that has 3 phases. After a fake-out that is one of my favorite moments in the series, the black flame Friede phase kicks off. Many of her attacks gain area of effect and become very dangerous. Losing to her means facing the first two phases again.

3. Malenia, Blade of Miquella (Elden Ring)

The infamous Malenia is a very elusive foe.
The infamous Malenia is a very elusive foe.

©Screenshot from Elden Ring – License

The top 3 of this list are the pinnacle of their respective games’ combat. Malenia is not only difficult because of her hard-to-dodge moveset but the fact she regains HP every time she hits you. As powerful as she is she has her weaknesses and those who’ve mastered Elden Ring‘s combat.

2. Orphan of Kos (Bloodborne)

©Screenshot of the Orphan of Kos – License

Similar to Malenia and Lady Maria, the Orphan of Kos fight is what Bloodborne is all about.

Kos punishes players with passive playstyles. If you’re unable to be aggressive then you will not be able to defeat Kos. This boss is so hard that people advise against co-op because co-op will increase his health and cause his moveset in his second phase to become more unpredictable.

1. Isshin, the Sword Saint (Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice)

©Screenshot of Isshin – License

Honestly, Isshin and Kos can be interchanged for the top spot.

Isshin takes the rhythm game aspect of Sekiro and dials it up to 10. Each of his phases has a different set of moves to learn and master. Isshin is a 3 phase boss with a pre-boss before him, so failing any of his phases will send you back to the beginning of the Genichiro fight before him. Many people think this is the series’s hardest fight, and I agree.

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