Video games use their introductory moments to ease players into these respective experiences. After all, without proper direction, some video games could lose their player base, who could become frustrated after getting stuck early in this experience. Even the first boss you might encounter in these games tends not to be that challenging and focuses more on getting players to learn the basics rather than posing a serious challenge.
However, it seems that the following games didn’t get the memo when it came to adding an easy encounter against the first boss of their title. Instead, these games forced you to be good or quit against some truly fierce enemies that will test everything you’ve learned in the game up to that point. With that in mind, these are some of the hardest early bosses in video game history.
10 Father Gascoigne – Bloodborne
Most people consider Cleric Beast to be the first boss of Bloodborne, but most players don’t realize that this encounter is completely optional. Instead, the real challenge of the game comes when players have to fight the game’s first mandatory boss, Father Gascoigne.
If you understand the mechanics of Bloodborne’s combat system, then you should be able to get through this fight with no problem. However, players and beginners using the Dark Souls mindset to take on this boss will be unpleasantly surprised at how fast and aggressive this boss is, leading to a You Died spawning more often than not.
9 Demon Asylum – Dark Souls
Soulsborne games have a habit of making their first few bosses as difficult as possible. Such is the case with the Asylum Demon, which is totally unplayable if players encounter it with a broken sword.
You need to run to a small door and get your first proper weapon before trying this boss again. Even with the upgraded attack, this battle is anything but easy and will force you to learn to time your hits and dodge them when necessary.
8 Vanguard – Demon Souls
While Asylum Demon is quite a challenging boss, he is definitely beatable after getting a proper weapon. The same cannot be said for the Vanguard, which is an infinitely more challenging encounter.
It doesn’t help that dying to this boss sends you to a completely different area with no hope of retrying this encounter until you’ve gotten into the game. A single hit can knock a player down, leading many players to believe that Vanguard is simply too unfair.
7 Lawrence Barrett – Deus Ex: Human Revolution
The boss fights of Deus Ex: Human Revolution are often considered the worst part of the game, completely dismissing the idea of player freedom in these encounters. The first boss, Barrett, is easily the worst of the lot and is a great example of why players hate bullet sponges.
It takes a ton of firepower to take this enemy down, while a few shots or a single takedown from him will be enough to decimate your health bar. It’s a frustrating encounter, and you won’t be embarrassed about lowering the difficulty just to remove this pesky roadblock for a stellar experience.
6 Minotaur – Shin Megami Tensei 4
The main series of Shin Megami Tensei is one of the most difficult JRPG franchises ever created. If you like the Persona series and want to see what its parent franchise is like, then prepare for a rude awakening.
No other moment epitomizes Shin Megami Tensei’s approach to difficulty more than the Minotaur in the fourth game. This first boss hits like an absolute truck and will decimate players who don’t prepare thoroughly before engaging this powerful foe.
This entry could be a bit of a cheat, given that players must lose their first match against Jetstream Sam. It’s the damage Raiden takes here that forces him to accept mechanical augments that allow him to fight properly once again.
This encounter is simply unwinnable, with Sam blocking the attacks he should have been hit with and evading the others. He sets the stage for the Metal Gear Rising: Revengeace story, which goes to some really wild places.
4 Phrike – Return
One of the best AAA roguelike games, Returnal is a game that almost everyone must have heard of by now. This third-person bullet hell extravaganza is one of the best titles on the PS5, and both its story and combat are an absolute joy.
The latter can be really challenging at times, especially when you come across the first boss of this sublime game. Phrike is a pretty hard-hitting boss, and you’ll need to upgrade everything from reaction times to DPS if you want to stand a chance against this powerful foe.
3 The Kayran – The Witcher 2: Killers of Kings
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings is already quite a challenging game. If you’ve played this game, the first thing that comes to mind is the incredibly brutal opening where even the tiniest soldiers can completely annihilate Geralt.
While things improve once this section is completed, the game is still quite challenging in its own right. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the fight against Kayran, which can take a lot of tries and is especially frustrating on higher difficulties.
two Fajar The Botanist – Sifu
Sifu is a game where repetition is key to success. Players must master the intricate combat system of this game and improve their reflexes if they want to stand a chance against the powerful enemies of this game.
The first boss of this game, Fajar the Botanist, serves as the truest test of your abilities. He won’t avoid hitting you over and over again until you finally understand his moveset and counter his attacks accordingly.
1 Mr Shakedown – Yakuza 0
While the boss fight in Yakuza 0 is a duel with Kuze, most players will encounter another powerful enemy that will leave them completely forgotten. This fight occurs with Mr. Shakedown, one of Yakuza 0’s most infamous enemies.
At first, Mr. Shakedown is nearly impossible to beat and will require you to upgrade Kiryu and Majima’s movesets before you stand a chance against this foe. Watching Mr. Shakedown go from towering foe to moneymaker is one of the most satisfying moments in Yakuza 0, and it definitely takes a lot of work before players get to this stage too!
NEXT: The Best Final Bosses In Gaming