Final Fantasy


Final Fantasy: The 10 Hardest Superbosses in the Series

, Comment regular icon0 comments

Final Fantasy is a series of games known for their secret bosses who left a mark on gaming history. In this article, we rank the best and most challenging superbosses in the franchise!

Writer image

translated by Romeu

Writer image

revised by Romeu

Edit Article

Every player loves a good challenge.

In their original concept, video games were created to challenge and entertain through creativity. As hardware improved and paved the way for deeper narratives and storytelling, games began to resemble cinematic experiences, where the interlocutor played an important role in interacting with the plot.

Today, it is common to seek new challenges in each game, and in the RPGs these come through puzzles and powerful enemies. The Final Fantasy franchise, for example, is well known for its long history of secret bosses, which usually surpass even the final boss as the greatest challenge to overcome.


Since Final Fantasy V, the series has gained a concept that we call superbosses, a category that forces players to explore the game's mechanics to the fullest searching for the ideal strategy to defeat them.

In this article, we present a list of powerful foes, which we can consider as the ten most difficult superbosses in Final Fantasy!

Ranking Criteria

The following criteria were considered when preparing this list:

  • Difficulty - The boss needs to be challenging to defeat. Its battle needs to bring a sense of danger and urgency to even well-prepared players.

  • Strategy - Most enemies in Final Fantasy have weaknesses that we can exploit, and/or the games have broken mechanics capable of trivializing battles. In this ranking, we consider the level of difficulty required to face the boss through traditional means, while taking into account the difficulty and time necessary to defeat them in other ways.

  • Sequencing - How difficult is it to get to this boss? What challenges do we need to face beyond the main story to achieve them? Unfortunately, this criterion greatly harms DLC bosses.

  • History - Superbosses tend to leave a permanent mark on players' memories. As some are way better known than others, their popularity is the least impactful factor in this ranking.

    Honorable Mentions

    The following enemies meet some of the above criteria, but did not make it to the list.

    Warmech (Final Fantasy)

    Image content of the Website

    For technical purposes, Warmech can be considered Final Fantasy's first superboss, despite being a rare enemy found in a specific corridor in the Flying Fortress. Its power was well above most other enemies in the main story and, therefore, it is considered the strongest foe in the NES version.

    In later versions, Warmech (or Death Machine) became noticeably weaker due to the game's quality of life improvements, in addition to other stronger enemies, such as Chronadia, taking its place as the superboss for the first Final Fantasylink outside website.

    Omega (Final Fantasy V)

    Image content of the Website

    Omega is the first appearance of the superboss concept in Final Fantasy: a challenging enemy that the player could view on the map and, if they came into contact with, a battle would start.

    Omega has a huge arsenal of attacks capable of defeating an unprepared player in a few turns, being the first battle in the series where, even with the maximum level, it is necessary to discover and exploit its weaknesses correctly to triumph.

    Shinryu (Final Fantasy V)

    Image content of the Website

    While Omega can be seen on the map and dodged, Final Fantasy V relies on the classic “Monster in a Chest” proposal to catch players off guard with Shinryu.

    The dragon starts the fight with Tidal Wave, a skill that causes around 8,000 damage if the characters aren't equipped to protect themselves against elemental attacks, which constitute the majority of its repertoire.


    Emerald Weapon (Final Fantasy VII)

    Image content of the Website

    Emerald Weapon is one of the most famous superbosses in the franchise and competes with Ruby Weapon as the strongest enemy in Final Fantasy VII.

    In addition to having powerful attacks, this colossal creature needs to be defeated within twenty minutes so that Cloud and his allies don't run out of breath - although this time is nullified with the Underwater Materia, its use isn't that advisable, as Emerald Weapon punishes players for equipping too many by dealing damage proportional to the amount of them with Aire Tam Storm

    Facing it requires a lot of grinding and leveling up the right materias to depend on a few of them to survive its attacks, as well as efficient ways to deal with its eyes before their damage stacks up.

    Dragonsong’s Reprise (Final Fantasy XIV)

    Image content of the Website

    Dragonsong’s Reprise is an Ultimate Raid introduced in Final Fantasy XIV in Patch 6.11, with a requirement level of 90 and item level 605 to participate.

    It revisits the plot of one of the best FFXIV expansionslink outside website, Heavensward, in a scenario where the team faces enemies and bosses in seven different phases while, in between, they need to change a critical moment in history to progress into a new timeline.

    There is a common debate whether this was the most difficult Ultimate Raid in the game, or whether The Omega Protocol, released on Patch 6.31, is the best in this regard as it took an extra day to complete for the first time while Dragonsong's Reprise stands out for the notable difficulty spike it offered to Final Fantasy XIV raids.

    The Dragonsong Reprise doesn't enter the list due to the nature of FFXIV and MMOs as a whole, whose difficulty level is difficult to fit into a ranking due to depending greatly on the party's overall teamwork, experience and skill.

    The 10 Hardest Final Fantasy Superbosses

    10 - Omega Weapon (Final Fantasy VIII)

    Image content of the Website

    Omega Weapon is a huge difficulty spike, even when compared to its predecessors in the previous game, Final Fantasy VII.

    The creature can wipe an entire party even if they have max stats, as it has an attack pattern that involves reducing the team's HP and then defeating them with Meggido Flame and its 9.998 damage, or with Terra Break and its multiple attacks, similar to several of the game's Limit Breaks.

    Defeating it requires more in-depth knowledge of FFVIII's mechanics, understanding the boss's patterns and searching for specific items found through the Triple Triad minigame, especially those that offer invincibility to survive Terra Break.

    9 - Yiazmat (Final Fantasy XII)

    Image content of the Website


    Some bosses gain fame for their powerful attacks, capable of defeating parties in a few turns. Others, however, are known for their time-consuming battles, which makes it both challenging and tiring - Yiazmat, from Final Fantasy XII, is the perfect example.

    The last Elite Mark in the game, Yiazmat has over 50 million HP, leading to a lengthy battle, lasting between one and four hours depending on the level and strategy proposed by the player. Furthermore, it punishes low levels with attacks that become more powerful as we reduce its health, and a player can lose hours of progress for a mere slip when the creature becomes more aggressive.

    High critical rate weapons like the Masamune, or Dark elemental weapons like the Yagyu Darkblade are excellent for reducing Yiazmat's health faster, but it still requires a lot of patience, attention and excellent team management to avoid being defeated.

    8 - Ozma (Final Fantasy IX)

    Image content of the Website

    Behind its spherical shape and low HP compared to the others, Ozma is one of the most powerful bosses in the series.

    Ozma has a pattern of unique and lethal attacks, in addition to its degree of difficulty depending on whether the player has completed the Friendly Monsters side quest and how much they know about the boss's nearly unpredictable patterns, given its ability to perform several actions in one turn.

    Ozma's attacks are quite devastating: Curse inflicts several debuffs on all characters, Doomsday can defeat the entire team if the player doesn't prepare against it, and Meteor can sometimes cause 9,999 damage randomly, rendering all progress useless, as well as responding to the player's attacks with Curaga when its HP reaches a certain point.

    Defeating it requires a lot of prior preparation and even completing a some side quests, and being ready for Ozma's unpredictability in executing an attack that wasn't in the player's plans, putting them at a huge disadvantage and struggling to recover afterward.

    7 - Iron Giant (Final Fantasy III 3D)

    Image content of the Website

    Final Fantasy III is considered one of the most difficult mainline games in the series due to its last sequence and the need to face several consecutive bosses without the opportunity to save the game between them, culminating in the need for a lot of prior preparation and a good stock of items and resources to reach the final boss and still manage to beat it.

    In the 3D versions, Square created a new challenge for players with the Iron Giant, capable of attacking four times per turn with debuff attacks, in addition to having skills that deal 4,000 or more damage to all characters.

    Facing the Iron Giant with any chance of success requires almost twice as much grinding as the main game to maximize some jobs and find equipment to protect against debuffs, in addition to keeping your HP always full to survive Swipe, a devastating attack used in the last stages of the battle.


    6 - Ruby Weapon (Final Fantasy VII)

    Image content of the Website

    Since Final Fantasy VII first came out, there has been a recurring debate between which of the Weapons is the most powerful, and the answer is usually associated with which one people defeated first.

    For this article, I consider Ruby Weapon to be the strongest. Unlike the Emerald Weapon, it is not possible to defeat it without strongly adapting to its own rules.

    To even have a chance against it, the player needs to start the fight with two dead characters for Ruby Weapon to put its tentacles on the ground, then the living character can cast Life 2 or Phoenix and revive their allies and start having a minimally fair fight, as the team will have to deal with the creature's lethal attacks and the statuses inflicted by the tentacles without defeating them so that Ruby Weapon does not use Whirlsand and permanently removes two characters from the party.

    It also has a very high defense that renders several physical attacks useless and counters certain attacks with Ultima, requiring planning around exploiting its few weaknesses and/or sustaining the damage while managing resources to use Summons and powerful spells.

    5 - Trema (Final Fantasy X-2)

    Image content of the Website

    Final Fantasy X-2 has some of the most difficult superbosses in the franchise, and Trema is the main highlight among them. To challenge him, Yuna, Paine and Rikku must first defeat another super boss, Paragon, and the game does not offer the opportunity to heal or change equipment between battles.

    Therefore, the first challenge is to get through Paragon without spending too many resources or ending the battle with low HP to face Trema, who can take advantage of the damage caused by the previous enemy to defeat the trio in the first turns with a sequence of quick attacks.

    4 - Archadian Judges (Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age)

    Image content of the Website

    Instead of facing a single super boss, how about fighting five at once? The last level of Trial Mode in Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age offers the opportunity to face the Archadian Judges in a single battle.

    Just like a common party, the Judges have specific functions in battle, which require defeating them one by one while the player mitigates the damage caused by the others, and even a high-level team with the best equipment can be overwhelmed by the synergy and advantages they grant to each other while playing their roles.

    If that weren't enough, having the opportunity to face them is also a challenge in its own right: Trial Mode combines the biggest enemies and challenges in a sequence of 100 battles, which include bosses, monsters and even the other superbosses from FFXII, Zodiark, Yiazmat and Omega Mark XII.

    3 - Friendly Yan (Final Fantasy IX)

    Image content of the Website


    Friendly Yan is one of the most peculiar cases of super bosses in the series. It is part of the Friendly Monsters side quest in Final Fantasy IX, where you need to give precious stones to them. In return, they offer a lot of ability points and allow you to progress to the next one in another region - the real reward behind it is enabling close-range physical attacks against the game's main superboss, Ozma, as well as making it vulnerable to Dark-elemental attacks.

    The Yan is a monster found on a small island southwest of the Iifa Tree, they are the most powerful common enemies in the game and an excellent way to farm experience and AP. If you reach the last stage of the Friendly Monsters quest, a golden-furred Yan can be found in the forests of this island, asking for a Diamond.

    Unlike the other monsters, however, Yan does not flee if it is attacked or if you refuse to give it a Diamond. Instead, it will use a special ability, BAAAHHH!!!, starting the battle against the strongest enemy in Final Fantasy IX.

    This small creature only has this attack and uses it on its turns and whenever a character attacks it. BAAAHHH!!! causes an absurd amount of damage, cannot be mitigated by elemental protection, therefore requires very high levels and a good planning of each action for the party to survive against it between one turn and another, in addition to requiring excellent preparation with several automatic buffs and defense-ignoring skills.

    The Friendly Yan has the highest attributes in Final Fantasy IX and has no specific weakness that can be used against it: its battle involves managing turns and buffs to get the most out of each action, preventing Yan from having the opportunity to use its attack three or more times before the party heals.

    Oh, and did I mention that you need to listen to that song while a cute golden-furred sheep goes on a murderous spree against your party, which makes the battle even more terrifying?

    2 - Penance (Final Fantasy X)

    Image content of the Website

    Just like the Archadian Judges, having the opportunity to face Penance is a huge challenge in its own right. It will only appear above the Calm Lands when all the Dark Aeons, corrupted and more powerful versions of Yuna's Aeons, have been defeated.

    Defeating the Dark Aeons is quite difficult, much more challenging than fighting many of the monsters in the Arena, and requires a lot of grinding until you get to the point where your characters don't die with a single attack and don't even allow them too much time to use their Overdrives, especially those at more advanced levels, like Dark Bahamut and Dark Yojimbo.

    The reward for defeating these bosses is the appearance of a colossal entity, Penance, where the player needs to face it accompanied by its two arms, which inflict statuses such as petrify, cause tons of damage and regenerate a few turns after being destroyed, in addition to Penance having its own range of punishing attacks with to defeating the party in one or two turns.


    1 - Absolute Virtue (Final Fantasy XI)

    Image content of the Website

    If you know a lot about Final Fantasy and like challenges, you probably recognized that most of the super bosses on this list have an “easy way” to be defeated if we exploit certain game's mechanics and/or their specific weaknesses. But what if every time players discovered a way to overcome this challenge, a patch came out to nullify the discovered means of defeating the superboss?

    This is the center of Absolute Virtue and its controversial story in Final Fantasy XI. Introduced into the game in July 2005 with the Chains of Promatia expansion, the boss became known for its high difficulty. It used the most powerful abilities of all jobs at the time with no cooldown, while players had to wait for two hours to use them again.

    Among them, White Mage's Benediction became the biggest problem when facing Absolute Virtue, as it rendered the party's progress useless by healing all of its HP, and Virtue always cast it when its health was low, making the battle so long that linkshells (the game's guilds) spent up to 30 hours trying to defeat it in vain.

    Faced with a seemingly impossible challenge to overcome, linkshells began looking for specific weaknesses and ways to exploit them to have an edge against Absolute Virtue, and although they managed to defeat the creature, their efforts were in vain as Square Enix responded with new patches to take away these weaknesses - the development team claimed that these were not the “right” ways to defeat the boss, starting rumors that it hadn't even been planned to be defeated at all.

    In early 2008, after three years of failed attempts, the FFXI development team released a short video showing the ideal strategy to defeat Absolute Virtue, but there was a key problem: it involved using the special ability right after the boss used it to “lock” them during the battle, but needed impeccable timing to work - a response window that, due to lag, was impossible to execute if the player wasn't very close to a server. For practical purposes, Absolute Virtue remained an undefeatable boss.

    The end of Absolute Virtue's long controversy would come in August 2008, when the media repercussion surrounding a group of players who fell ill after 18 hours facing another of the game's super bosses, Pandemonium Warden, made Square Enix release a new patch where both bosses were nerfed, and their spawn period was limited to two hours - The new challenge was defeating them in this short space of time.

    Today, after the update and with new expansions for Final Fantasy XI over the following years, Absolute Virtue has become a challenging boss up to a certain stage, but easy to overcome with a well-equipped party and good planning.

    Its reign of terror in Vana'diel is present on forums and websites from other times, making it a legend in the gaming universe as one of the most challenging bosses the industry has ever seen and part of an important lesson about human limitations and their relationship with MMOs.



    That's all for today.

    Final Fantasy has superbosses as part of its trademarks, and one of the main challenges that fans expect to find in each new game in the franchise.

    Now, we want to hear from you: what was the hardest boss you've ever faced in Final Fantasy? And which ones would you add to this list?

    And in case you prefer to follow the main story and the characters, we have our list of the best villains in the franchise!link outside website

    Thanks for reading!