Five Best Boss Battles from God of War

gow kratos

I’m not going to lie, I bought a PlayStation 3 just so I could play the God of War games. I almost bought a PlayStation Portable for Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta, but then the lovely people in charge rereleased the games in a combo pack (much like they did for God of War and God of War II) for the PS3. I couldn’t have been happier.

So, after smashing through GOW I, II, and III, I waited patiently for the other two and ripped through them as well. If you haven’t played the games, I can tell you this: God of War has some amazingly huge and powerful bosses. This paired with Kratos, our antihero, and his vengeance-fueled rage against Olympus and ungodly strength make the games wildly entertaining and equally rewarding.

5. Opening Bosses, GOW, GOW II, GOW III, GOW: COO, GOW: GOS

gow scylla

Okay, this is probably cheating, but I’m not wrong. The first boss in each game is always a giant otherworldly monstrosity that you couldn’t imagine slaying in a million years. Well, Kratos does just that.

It’s the Hydra in GOW, the Colossus of Rhodes in GOW II, Poseidon in GOW III, the Basilisk in Chains, and Poseidon’s sea beast Scylla in Ghost.

These boss battles are similar in that you encounter parts (an arm, tentacle, head, etc.) periodically as you travel through whatever city you’re in at the time until you finally come face-to-face with the behemoth of a boss. And, in the end, Kratos goes all Jack the Ripper on them as if they were a mere annoyance. Which is kind of what they are.

These battles, while not being particularly difficult, are fun and definitely capture the player’s attention, effectively dragging her into the game. Another plus is that you never know when Scylla’s tentacle is going to burst through a wall of the temple you’re in, or when the Colossus’s hand is going to smash down on you from the sky. Turn a corner, and BAM! you’re in the Basilisk’s jaws. It’s great.

4. Ares, GOW

gow ares

Years of servitude have made Kratos bitter against the gods. But mostly Ares. Because he’s an ass. And the whole manipulating Kratos into murdering his wife and daughter.

I’m going to admit that I wasn’t as impressed with the actual battle with Ares as I was with some of the other fights, but there were elements of the battle that I thought were great and new.

At one point, Ares uses his god powers to thrust Kratos into some kind of alternate reality or psychedelic state in which he must defend his wife and daughter against doppelgangers of himself. If his family is injured, he can hug them to give them some of his HP. The fight is challenging and yields a lot of red orbs, thus allowing you to max out the rest of your weapons.

Then, the feeling you get when you do beat Ares is wonderful. You’ve brought an end to the tyrant that so plagued your character’s life. And once you kill one god, you want to kill them all. Especially when they want to kill you.

3. Thanatos, GOW: GOS

gow thanatos

The final boss in Ghost of Sparta is death itself. And knowing that he’s tortured your long-lost brother since he was abducted as a child makes ripping his throat out easy. (Unfortunately, this is not how Kratos kills Thanatos.)

In my opinion, this isn’t the most difficult battle in the game, but it is the most interesting. Once you fight Deimos, Kratos’s brother, he joins you in the final battle with Thanatos. Deimos mostly has some basic AI, but you do get to control some things he does. It’s definitely an element I’d like to see again in future GOW releases. I’d even like to see a multi-player story mode.

After the battle, you feel the same relief you felt killing Ares. That feeling is justice. And blood. Lots of blood.

2. The Fates, GOW II

gow fates

Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos make for some very challenging fights. Killing them is the only thing that lies between Kratos and revenge on Zeus. Once he’s finished them, he can travel to the moment in time right before Zeus killed him and kill him back. Even though at that point Zeus hadn’t killed him yet, so it wouldn’t really be revenge. But it still kind of is. (Time paradoxes are fun.)

Atropos and Lachesis are tough. You fight one of them before being launched into the past, to your fight with Ares. After beating the sister in the past, you return to fight both sisters. The fight ends with Kratos locking them in a time mirror and then destroying it

Clotho is the size of a planet and is virtually immobilized in her obesity, resigned to spinning thread and making your life hell. She has hundreds of arms and just as many breasts, it seems, and her arms are always getting in your way. In order to beat her, you must use traps and items around you to pin down her hands. It’s a fun puzzle. Once you’ve killed her, you are free to travel through time.

1. Zeus, GOW III

gow zeus

The ultimate enemy. The final showdown. Kratos’s father. Just as Zeus killed his father, Cronos, and just as Cronos killed his father before him, Kratos intends to slay the king of gods.

The fight is epic. Pandora makes a fatal appearance, Zeus creates doppelgangers of himself, and Gaia appears intent on killing Kratos and Zeus. They flee inside of Gaia and use her heart to heal themselves as they fight each other.

With your blade, you pin Zeus to Gaia’s heart, killing them both. And then you have to fight Zeus’s soul. The battle as a whole is great and multi-faceted. A perfect end to an amazing trilogy.

Honorable Mention: Sexy Boss “Battle” with Aphrodite*

gow aphrodite


Which bosses were your favorites?

  • Rosstopher

    In terms of sheer scale and awe, taking out Cronos was pretty awesome. He was more of a level than a boss but taking him down seemed impossible next to impossible. Also the Huge Minotaur from GOW 1 was thrimlling as well, ending with shooting a stake that mails him to the wall. And Hades was awesome in the way you rip out his soul and bash his skull in.

  • cage

    well good for you mr. author-man, good for you.

    I’m sorry I can’t help but feel jealous, I bought the PS3 EXCLUSIVELY for The Last Guardian…. yeahhhhhhhhh……

    On a related note, I traded in my PS2 just for KotOR. Absolutely worrth it and favorite game of all time : ]

  • TotesMcGotes

    I love Hercules on III. I don’t know why,but I really like the simplicity of it.

  • Steve

    I have to give a nod to TotesMcGotes in that the brutal simplicity of the brawl with Hercules (and the finish to it, which reminded me of the fire extinguisher scene in that one out-of-sequence Monica Belucci movie). ALL the fights in III had that epic feel, but, for me (especially playing it while in the hospital with my wife giving birth to our second daughter), the pre-boss/boss-fight midpoint of Chains of Olympus, where Kratos has divested himself of his abilities and weapons to join his daughter in the Elysian fields, and realizes that he’s been tricked, and all of this is going to be destroyed, killing even his daughter’s soul… You stand there in a field with the little girl gripping your leg, begging you not to go–and you have to do one of the game’s iconic QTEs to push her away. There’s a small musical cue as you brush her gently aside, and she immediately clinngs back to you. I actually felt torn, trying to figure out what else I could do as the other spirits of Elysium continue to frollick about in their eternal reward…

    …and then I did the input again, and he pushes her aside a little more forcefully, and there’s a twinge of guilt–but this time, the action is met with the first few muted notes of “The End Begins.”

    (Dun, dun-dun, da-da-dun)

    Again, and she falls to a seated position in the grain, and the next few notes, louder! The choice is made!!

    (Dah, dun-dun, du-du-daaahh…)

    One more time, and the theme kicks in, and you realize 1) you got to Elysium by giving up your weapons and purging yourself of the taint of war, purifying your sould for entry 2) the only way out now is to become impure, and be cast out 3) you are surrounded by happy spirits.

    As you tear into them, breaking their ethereal bodies, the little girl cries to you, and the boss taunts you about how you’re throwing away any chance of ever seeing them again, because slaughtering these people here, of all places, will leave the taint permanent on your sould… and then you pull your blades out of one of the bodies.

    I geeked out, big time, and it’s still one of the most memorable moments in gaming for me.

  • Rich

    Another vote for Cronos. Just the immense size/scale was truly impressive, Kronos was a mere ant in comparison.
    And even though she’s an easy fight. Persephone was pretty bad-ass.

  • Jeremy

    Agreed Steve….agreed