While boss battles aren’t strictly an action RPG affair, the genre is rife with many examples of games that excel at offering narrative, gameplay, and questing that is interwoven with treks towards the proverbial summit of bosses.
No game should discount the importance of the moment to moment combat loop of conflicts with standard or mob type enemies, but that doesn’t mean that peak levels of excitement should be shaved away from an unmistakable and, often seemingly immovable, boss.
A good boss battle should offer a player the unique resolve of simultaneous confidence and doubt. A good fight is nothing without its resulting peaks and valleys, on a turbulent landscape of thrills, brought by design and difficulty.
And the PS4 is one of the best places to find a quality boss battle now that the library has matured since its initial release in 2014. Continue reading for 6 games on the PS4 with the best boss battles.
Destiny, while very unlike the other games on this list, offers some of the most compelling boss battles on the system through its raids. And it’s important to note that we’re talking about the original Destiny here, not Destiny 2.
Destiny’s raids are much different in their approach to rules of engagement when it comes to bosses than action RPG’s. That’s because you can’t quite harm a particular boss unless you’re actively working together with 5 other players and nailing certain mechanical requirements.
So while bosses in games like Bloodborne may telegraph their movements and are vulnerable to certain tactics, Destiny requires that you nail a collective sequence of events in order to progress in dealing any damage whatsoever.
Destiny’s first raid, the Vault of Glass, is regarded by many to be the absolute best raid across both games but it was King’s Fall of The Taken King expansion that truly excelled at delivering boss battles tucked behind sequential mechanics.
But all Destiny raids, even Crota’s End, involve larger than life boss battles the lean on the use of mechanics at one point or another.
Destiny’s strikes may have merely been a war of attrition but the boss battles found within its raids offered some of the best encounters on the PS4, if only because of their unique gameplay.
Bloodborne is one of the more obvious picks because of the overflowing amount of adoration it received from critics and players when it initially released in 2015.
While The Witcher 3 dominated game of the year awards in 2015, Bloodborne still managed to snag a healthy amount of top picks itself.
And as far as boss battles go, Bloodborne is a paragon of channeling a player’s innermost excitement, often to the point of over excitement (in the best possible way).
The problem with Bloodborne, perhaps its biggest, is that it refuses to treat the player like a fool. The game is far from cheap with its abundant obstacles, but it is also very challenging.
It’s not uncommon to hear of gamers that attempted to beat a boss like Father Gascoigne 20 or more times. For players not accusomted to Dark Souls games, the ARPG genre, or challenging games in general, it can be the perfect storm of difficulty.
But if the idea of a truly challenging game riding on the back of some of the best combat found within any video game sounds interesting to you, then go ahead and give Bloodborne a shot.
It’s been out for over 2 years now and can be bought for a great price.
The Kingdom Hearts series was one of the quintessential ARPG’s on the PS2, known for its Disney/Square Enix crossover, and has been remastered 4 times across the PS3 and PS4 up until now.
The latest entries, Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 Remix and Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, are available to PS4 owners at full 1080p resolution and 60 fps. And if you own a PS4 Pro that game runs at a native 4k resolution (2160p).
Kingdom Hearts doesn’t have a 1:1 conversion of the type of gameplay you get with an action RPG like Bloodborne, but there’s a reason the series is so adored by fans.
The series evokes charm, story, fun gameplay (and boss battles), and endearing visuals in an enticing package across quite a few games. To date, the franchise has sold over 20 million copies.
The release of Kingdom Hearts 3 has been looming on the horizon for years now but it’s still a great time to pick up past entries on the PS4 whether you’re new to the series or a player rooted in the PS2 era.
Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 Remix and Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue are the definitive way to enjoy the series (well, until that inevitable PS5 remaster anyhow).
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen
While Dragon’s Dogma is a game that embodies the action RPG genre like some of the other games on this list, it was also a game that was overlooked by many upon its initial release.
Instead, it cultivated a smaller, albeit fanatic, following.
Developed by Capcom and initially released on last generation consoles (Xbox 360/PS3) in 2012, Dragon’s Dogma set forth a fantasy fared RPG that prioritized the feeling and utility of combat.
And because of its execution of combat, many latched on to the game despite the fact that it never achieved mass appeal.
Thankfully, with the remaster on the PS4, Dragon’s Dogma has shaved away some of its blemishes such as the removal of incessant backtracking.
When it comes to boss battles, Dragon’s Dogma features numerous larger than life fights as well as a litany of world boss/large enemies scattered across the world.
These days, Dragon’s Dogma can be bought for around half the normal retail price of a new PS4 game. It’s a game that’s either adored or shrugged off by those who try it but it’s definitely worth investigating if you’re looking for great combat and boss battles.
Nier: Automata, sequel to last generation’s Nier, features trademark Platinum Games electric combat that is woven together as an ARPG with a truly odd, and compelling, narrative.
Nier: Automata’s combat isn’t as praised as some of Platinum Games’ other titles such as Bayonetta, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t rich with a dazzling feedback loop and displays of frenetic, free form fighting.
In short, the fighting, while often simple, is tight and satisfying. It is the exact opposite of an RPG like Skyrim, where fighting amounts to watching your sword waggle back and forth like a sad, forgotten hot dog.
Boss battles, sometimes reaching gargantuan levels of size, are comprised of multiple stages and are just as satisfying (or even more satisfying) as moment to moment combat.
Automata also features an interesting take on its narrative approach when it comes to what it qualifies as the start and end point of the game.
Instead of being a game centered around a single playthrough that results in definitive end point, a player is to play through the game multiple times, with each playthrough offering new content, in order to truly complete the game.
Nier: Automata is one of the best titles available on the PS4, a game that deviates from the norm in an interesting way, and when you factor in its thrilling boss battles, it would be a shame to not give this ARPG a second look.
And as far as consoles go, the PS4 is the only way to play the game. Now is a great time to pick it up as it’s enjoyed deep discounts since its initial release on February 23rd, 2017.
More PS4 Games with Awesome Boss Battles
The list of games with stand out boss battles above surely aren’t the only PS4 titles that feature awesome boss fights.
If you’re looking for even more PS4 games that feature boss battles then look no further than the list below:
- Shadow of the Colossus Remake (to be released on 2/26/2018)
- Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
- Yakuza 0
- Titan Souls
Don’t see a game that you think has some of the best boss battles on the PS4? Let us know in the comments below.
Lover of games, tech, nature, and strange electronic music. Shaped by Sega, PlayStation, Nintendo, and Xbox – platform agnostic ever since. Currently overwhelmed by choice on my Xbox Series X thanks to Game Pass.