Final Fantasy is a series known for its incredible bosses. From the first encounter to the last, there have been some incredible boss fights in the Final Fantasy games that players might find memorable, despite the countless and overwhelming amount of games in this iconic franchise.
RPGs often have challenging boss fights awaiting the player, and a large room is never a good sign for players that want to avoid a fight. However, the opening boss fights of the Final Fantasy games listed are memorable for a multitude of reasons.8 Ymir (Final Fantasy 6)
Ymir is the first boss in Final Fantasy 6. The boss is not that exciting to look at as it resembles a big slug in an ornate shell. It’s the experience around this boss that makes the encounter memorable. Players begin with a cinematic walk through the snow with visuals far superior to what the SNES was valuable at the time.
Players then get to decimate enemies in town with a mech which all culminates with this boss battle. It also teaches players that sometimes it is best to wait to attack enemies who are in defensive stances.7 Ifrit (Final Fantasy 8)
Ifrit is a classic Summon in the series that changes between each entry. At this point in the series, it was rare to fight Summons, so opening Final Fantasy 8 with this first boss battle was kind of alarming.This was Squall’s first task upon waking up in the infirmary after his fight with Seifer ended poorly.
Squall had to fight Ifrit, gain his power, and return to school to pass his exam. The boss is not particularly hard or cinematic but it is a different way to start a game in this series that’s for sure which is why it makes the cut.6 Plant Brain (Final Fantasy 9)
Final Fantasy 9 has a lot of mini-bosses leading up to the Plant Brain. Technically, the first boss could be with the Bomb onstage with the play or it could include the Plant Cages in the woods. All of these encounters offer tutorials and easy-to-win fights though which is why they feel more like mini-bosses.
The Plant Brain at the end of the forest feels like the first true test of merit for players new to this world. It also ends with one of the coolest and saddest chase scenes in the series which helps cement its place in the minds of fans.5 Garland (Final Fantasy)
Garland is not only the first boss in the original Final Fantasy, he is the first boss in the entire series. Players form a party, then get tasked with defeating Garland who was once a noble warrior of the kingdom. After defeating him and returning to the kingdom, the game then gets its title card followed by a text scroll setting up the entire rest of the adventure.
It’s a surefire way to set the mood for an RPG. It subverted expectations at the time for an RPG in 1990 in the West or 1987 in Japan which is wild to say now since the game overall seems archaic by today’s standards.4 Chaos (Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin)
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is a recent spinoff that tries to retell the first game by setting it up as a prequel. All of the pieces don’t exactly fit to make it work but saying anything more would be a spoiler. The point is, the game starts similarly to the original Final Fantasy featuring a boss battle with Chaos who looks like Garland as a knight.
The word “Chaos” became a meme almost immediately after this reveal trailer came up and the full game did not disappoint. Jack cannot help but talk about Chaos on an almost constant level, but memes aside, the boss battle is engaging.3 Morbol (Final Fantasy 16)
Malboro is a traditional monster in this series that usually strikes fear in the hearts of players. That’s because its attacks can often cause stat debuffs which range from annoying to devastating. Like Ifrit in Final Fantasy 8, a game has never started with a boss fight with one of these things before.
Morbol is the renamed version of Malboro in Final Fantasy 16, but it is visually the same albeit scarier. It’s a good first boss with a younger Clive trying to prove himself in a devastated village.2 Cuchulainn The Impure (Final Fantasy Tactics)
Final Fantasy Tactics does not have traditional boss battles akin to other entries in the series. There are maps with stronger enemies, but these human units in the Ivalice series can still be knocked out relatively easily with the right strategies. That’s why it was such a surprise when the first true big boss fight arrived via Cuchulainn The Impure.
The main plot revolved around corrupt church officials getting transformed into demons upon coming into contact with the Zodiac Stones. Cardinal Delacroix, for example, implants the Scorpio Zodiac Stone in his body to become the demon known as Cuchulainn The Impure which like Malboro, can cause some devastating stat defects.1 Guard Scorpion (Final Fantasy 7 Remake)
The Guard Scorpion was a memorable boss fight in Final Fantasy 7 because it was proceeded by an escape from an exploding reactor. While that escape sequence is still rad in the remake, the boss fight itself is even more memorable. It’s challenging too because the Guard Scorpion has a lot more health and phases than before.
It will be interesting to see if Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth can top the Guard Scorpion as a first boss encounter which it could if the Midgar Zolom is in it. For now, the remake’s Guard Scorpion is going to remain a great entry in the annals of Final Fantasy boss history first or otherwise.