I made a @SuperMeatBoy #Pushmo! #Pullblox
No I’m not making this an audio post, I’ll be linking YouTube videos for each entry. Also, I’ll try to limit it to one entry per game series. Also, this list is REGULAR bosses, not FINAL bosses. THAT is a list for another time.
15: “Eeeeeeeeee!” — Skullmonkeys
Yes—that’s the actual title, and lyrics, to this song. Doug TenNapel’s sadly short-lived and overlooked NeverHood series could be one of the most unconventional video game series of all time. The first game was a point and click adventure on the PC, and the sequel, SkullMonkeys, was a 2D platformer on the PlayStation. One of the games boss characters, Joe Head Joe, could be the strangest game boss of all time—they actually photographed and animated the actual live-action head of one of the game’s art directors as the body of a giant mutant Skullmonkey and as one of his attacks he would pop his eyeballs out and they would roll at you. This track could be none more fitting for such a boss.
14: “Dr. Robotnik” — Sonic the Hedgehog
Most people prefer his battle theme from Sonic 2. Most people are idiots. I prefer this one, it encompasses Sonic’s nemesis so well. A big, roly-poly fat bastard flying an egg ship and swinging a checkered-ball pendulum back and forth. Perfect.
13: “Bad Bomber” — Super Bomberman 5
No that’s not a typo—Super Bomberman FIVE. There were five of them. Only the first two made it to the States and the third only made it to Europe. The rest were exclusive to Japan, so I’m really delving into obscurity to get this one. In SB5, Bomberman actually went through a time warp and revisited stages based on the earlier Super Bombermans’ levels. The bosses were all escaped Bomber-crooks that you had to battle 1-on-1 to recapture, like a Bomber-dog and a pair of Bomber-gangsters.
12: Boss — Super Adventure Island
Super Adventure Island was really no different from the 8 bit Adventure Islands before it—with the exception of the music: it was made by Yuzo Koshiro, who did the soundtrack to Streets of Rage, and instead of sounding tropical it sounded a lot like early 90’s techno/dance music, like C&C Music Factory.
11: “Biggy Man” — Splatterhouse
This music freaked me out when I was a kid, it was the perfect theme to go with the third stage’s boss—a guy wearing a burlap bag over his head that has chainsaws for hands. You can practically hear them revving up as you listen to this music.
10: “Piercing Silence” — Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin
I get goosebumps from this song. Out of the long-running Castlevania series, this has to be the intense boss music in the whole series.
9: Boss Music 2 — Chrono Trigger
Yes, the SECOND, and less often heard, boss music from Chrono Trigger—the first boss music suited the tougher characters you’d face, but THIS music was reserved for the most important bosses, like Azala and Magus, the ones you’d spend entire arcs of the story tracking down and this is the perfect music to suit the climactic fight that was to come.
8: “Tunnel Boss” — Contra 4
The DS revival of the old-school Contra series was the first game in over a decade to get it right, after all of us suffered through terrible 3D entries in the series. And as much as I loved the boss music in its original 8-bit form, this remixed version blows it out of the water.
7: Boss — Kirby 64
Kirby ALWAYS had great boss music, for a game that had enough rainbows and stars to make a brony puke, it managed to have frantic boss battles with very fitting music. The Crystal Shards, though, had the most intense music.
6: “The Ballad of Li’l Slugger” — Super Meat Boy
Danny Baranowsky could be the best music composer in the entire indie games scene. I actually bought the Super Meat Boy soundtrack. On CD. He also did the awesome music to the flash game “Canabalt”. Anyway, I can’t possibly fathom a better fitting composition to the Forest world boss stage: your arch-enemy has turned a peaceful forest(that has running sawblades everywhere for some reason) into a raging inferno and is now chasing you down riding a giant chainsaw robot with legs, while flame-engulfed squirrels and performing suicide attacks on it to aid in your escape.
5: Boss — TMNT: Turtles in Time
I could go to my closet and bang my old Turtles figures together while listening to this theme RIGHT NOW. I also prefer the SNES version to the actual arcade version—who the fuck is “Cement Man” and why am I not fighting Slash, the evil turtle? Don’t get me started on “Re-Shelled” either, it will end in bloodshed.
4: “Kraid’s Theme” — Super Metroid
Yes, KRAID’S theme. Ridley had a good one too but Kraid’s was much better, more orchestral, it better set the scene for a battle with a giant alien that shoots horns out of every possible orifice on its body.
3: “Yell Dead Cell” — Metal Gear Solid 2
One of the best boss battle themes of all time. Probably the only thing the disappointment-fest that was MGS2 had over its sublime predecessor.
2: “Bowser Battle” — Super Mario Galaxy
Bowser really didn’t put up much of a good fight when Mario faced off against him in Super Mario Galaxy, or its sequel, but the game certainly was able to make it SOUND like did. I really had a tough time choosing which boss music from the Mario series I should choose to be the best, I remember them all so well I could play them in my own head like a jukebox. I picked Galaxy because it sounded most like what the score would be like if you were to fight Bowser in an epic blockbuster movie.
1: Boss — Mega Man 3
Yes, THREE. Not TWO, THREE. Three has the better boss theme. I’m sorry, but it just does. I will go to my grave with this opinion, nothing anyone can say will change it. Don’t like it? Go make your own top 15 list. This is the best Video Game Boss Battle Music ever composed. And the reason is whenever I hear the words “Boss Battle”, THIS is the music I immediately think of.