Ever since the fateful day when Shinji Hashimoto pitched the concept for Kingdom Hearts in an elevator to a Disney rep, the wonderful franchise has been churning out title after title, allowing us to follow Sora and the gang on their adventures. We have seen three full releases split across seventeen years and a multitude of spin-off titles, most of which canon to the core plot and being released on a plethora of gaming platforms. In short, Kingdom Hearts is a long-running and very successful gaming property.
The game has always been praised for its exciting gameplay, marrying Final Fantasy’s turn-based and methodical combat with a chaotic Hack and Slash format of its own. However, it’s the boss battles (and the pumping music) that fans adore the most. So with that in mind, we thought it would be fun to give our opinion on which boss battles live rent-free inside our heads. Whether that be for the challenge, the spectacle, or the nostalgia. Here are our top five boss battles from the Kingdom Hearts series. Just a note as well, we will only be including bosses from the fully-fledged sequels, so no DDD, no BBS, and no 358/2, sorry.
Before we start, if you have a PS4/PS5 then you don’t to miss this Amazon deal here of $30 for 10 Kingdom Hearts games ! it’s called Kingdom Hearts All-in-One Package & contains all the KH games except Melody of Memory ( which you can get separately here) . Also, it was recently announced that all Kingdom Hearts games are also coming over to PC, you can read all the details here.
#5 – Yosora – Kingdom Hearts 3 (Re:Mind DLC)
We kick things off with one of the most recent boss fights on record for the series. As a long time fan of the series, it was tough to overlook several incredible bosses in the earlier installments, especially when KH3’s offerings as a whole were sub-par. However, we simply couldn’t overlook this incredible battle with Yosora right at the end of the Re: Mind DLC.
This battle is one of the most challenging, spectacular, and mechanically flawless boss battles you will likely find in any game that takes pride in its boss battle design. Think Dark Souls, MGS, or God of War for example. Plus, this battle has several forms you’ll have to deal with. You’ll have the standard beginning, which will then move into sections with laser projectiles, then you’ll have huge mechs to contend with, then you’ll have multiple clone Yosoras to fend off. It’s a busy battle and only the most skilled keyblade wielders will get to play this battle, let alone beat it. So if you’ve come out the other side of this fight the victor, we commend you.
#4 – Maleficent – Kingdom Hearts
Now, many fans of the series may be questioning this entry to the list. Mechanically, this boss battle isn’t anywhere near as polished as the rest on the list, nor is it as impressive with its gimmicks, attack patterns, or in terms of spectacle. However, this boss battle represents something that all fans will remember. Perhaps not fondly, but they’ll remember all the same. You see, when you beat Maleficent in her normal form, you think the battle is won, cut scenes trigger and everything seems rosy. Then all of a sudden, Maleficent reanimates into a goddamn dragon of all things and commences her onslaught one again.
This boss battle marks the first real test the player will have in the initial Kingdom Hearts playthrough and may just be one of the most frustrating battles in the entire series. It might be a weird reason to put it on a pedestal but for the shock value alone, this boss fight makes our fourth spot.
#3 – The Lingering Will – KH2: Final Mix
Taking the bronze medal, we have the Lingering Will, the optional boss battle from KH2: Final Mix. This guy can be found by entering a portal near the cornerstone of light in the Disney Castle world. The Lingering Will as we now know is the remains of Terra after Master Xehanort claims his body. This was a means of foreshadowing the events of Birth By Sleep. So as you would expect, he puts up one hell of a fight. This is a classic brawl that will require the player to study attack patterns meticulously, mix attacking and defensive strategies, and utilize everything in their arsenal to whittle down the boss’s huge health bar.
In truth, this boss battle could have been slightly higher on this list. However, due to the fact that this boss can be beaten through cheat method where you use Donald’s move ‘Duck Comet’ and then equip negative combo and Fenrir to stunlock him in place, using jump attacks to eventually finish him with little fuss at all. However, if you do approach this one in a fair fight, be prepared for one fierce battle.
#2 – Roxas Data Battle – KH2: Final Mix
Runner up goes to Roxas, or more specifically, the data battle with Roxas. This battle is essentially the same as the one in the main story when you play through ‘The World That Never Was’. However, the data version hits much harder, moves much faster and has a handful of more intricate attacks that will challenge even the most skilled veterans. Just for scope, if you stand motionless when the fight begins, you’ll be dead in under two seconds. Roxas doesn’t grant the player any mercy.
This one is also a great battle because of the way it flows, you’ll have a period where you get to dual wield keyblades which is awesome and above all, it’s just such a cool moment, in terms of the story, the battle music and the fact that Roxas is cloaked, cutting an ominous and mysterious figure, hellbent on taking you down. It’s a stunning fight and one that you should seek out in the Cavern of Remembrance if you haven’t already.
#1 – Xemnas Data Battle: KH2: Final Mix
Then lastly, we have Xemnas, the antagonist of KH2. We could have put in the original battle for the spectacle alone. However, we suggest the data version for that added challenge. In truth, it’s one of the more simple data battles but in fairness, none of them is exactly a walk in the park. This battle treats you to all the epic scenes from the original fight. With the beginning by the tower, the area where you fight Xemnas when he becomes a hulking Goliath. Then the area where you ride on the craft with Riku, finishing with the iconic finish where you button bash like your life depends on it to block the raining lasers and finish off Xemnas once and for all. Serves him right for wearing that weird Cruella De Vil coat we reckon.
This one is high intensity from start to end. It asks the player to master many different aspects of the game’s mechanics. Plus, it gives you value above all else as it’s one of the most lengthy boss battles within the entire series. For us, this is the pinnacle of KH boss battles. So we hope that if we ever get a KH4, that they can top this boss battle bliss.