Final Fantasy XVI is one of recent memory’s most engaging and cinematic JRPGs. It carries on the tradition of the series of pushing the boundaries of what a video game can do graphically and in terms of its boss battles.
The bosses in this game are extraordinary and on a whole new level with the larger-than-life fights between literal gods. There is nothing like these fights, as you’ll see with the Final Fantasy XVI best bosses ranked below.
After beating the game and its numerous bosses that you encounter as Clive Rosfield and his Eikon Ifrit, I was astonished by some of the best bosses encounters in video game history.
This is both from a visual and gameplay perspective with some of the most fun I’ve ever had taking on bosses. I would even argue that this is perhaps the best part about this game. You’ll see why with the Final Fantasy XVI best bosses ranked below.
Bottom Line Up Front
Final Fantasy XVI takes boss battles to a new level. Since Clive is dominant for Ifrit, he can transform into this massive godlike creature and duke it out with other similar bosses like Garuda, Titan, Bahamut, and many more. As such, the boss battles in this game are unbelievable.
In addition, there are even some non-Eikon transformation boss battles that are terrific in their own right, making the top ten list below challenging to make. That said, if I had to pick one boss battle out of the entire game that is the best of the entire bunch, it would have to be the (spoiler alert) Bahamut fight.
There is nothing in video games as a whole that I have seen on this level before. The multiple phases, cinematic quality, and intense gameplay are unlike anything before it. I would even argue that the Bahamut fight is among the top five, if not the top three, best boss fights of all time. And it isn’t even the final one.
I will admit that Final Fantasy XVI’s greatest gameplay strength is in its boss battles. You could argue that there are some elements of the gameplay, such as the linearity and lack of RPG elements, that are a hindrance for this game.
But where it excels is in its bosses. That is why it was quite challenging to come up with the best bosses ranked, so I had to use strict selection criteria.
- Gameplay: Above all else, the gameplay matters the most in a boss fight. If it isn’t fun or exciting to play, then why bother?
- Visuals: Just behind gameplay are the visuals. A boss battle should be cinematic and the culmination of everything the game offers. The ones that did this best made this list.
- Uniqueness: There are a lot of bosses in Final Fantasy XVI, and even some of the fights with the Eikons can feel a bit too boring or repetitive. As such, the ones that stand out the most made this list.
- Pacing: A long boss battle doesn’t always equal a good one. And the same goes for a short one. Each boss battle has to have the right pacing and feel appropriate for its context.
- Difficulty: In the same vein, each boss battle has to have the right level of difficulty. I would argue that it needs to be somewhere in the middle between being too easy and too hard. I think the best boss fights challenge you but not too much that it is inaccessible for most players.
- Variety: Let’s be honest: most of the best bosses in this game are the ones where it’s Eikon versus Eikon. But I did try to include some of the best non-Eikon transformation boss fights for a bit of variety. Of course, only the ones that deserve to be here on this list.
- Context: Finally, some level of context plays a role in the fight. Who is the person that Clive is fighting? How do they play into the story? Where is the story? This doesn’t affect everything too much, but it can play a small role in determining the placement of some of the best bosses on this list.
Best Final Fantasy XVI Bosses Ranked
Without further ado, let’s dive right into the world of Valisthea and take a look at the top ten best bosses in Final Fantasy XVI. I should note that I only went for the top ten for this list, even though there are many dozens more bosses that you can tackle in this game.
As such, you probably won’t see many optional bosses or hunts. This list is mostly going to be the main scenario bosses that you fight during the plot of Final Fantasy XVI. As such, expect to see full-on spoilers from here on out. If you don’t want to know some of the late-game bosses and who you fight in this game, it’s best to turn around now.
After all, I am going to go ahead and spoil right now that some of the final bosses in the game are on this list. If you don’t want to know anything about them, this is your chance.
I’ll be sure to break down what I love about each boss and even some quick tips for how to win each of the fights, plus the recommended level you should be for that particular fight and more.
10. Benedikta Harman
- Main Story Quest: Headwind
- Recommended Level: 14 (at the least)
This is the first time that the player takes on someone who is essentially a Dominant and in their full power. Outside of the events that happen at the beginning of the game, this is Clive’s first proper foray at battling someone who is seemingly leaps and bounds more powerful than he is.
The fight against Beneditka Harman is a fun one, too, involving her semi-priming into her Garuda form. While you do later fight her in her complete Garuda Eikon form, I would argue that that fight isn’t too interesting and doesn’t live up to the hype that your initial boss fight against her has.
It truly feels like you are up against someone who is so much more powerful than you in this fight. She is flying around the battlefield and launching entire rocks with her wind power at you. It is highly cinematic and challenging, even requiring Torgal to jump in and save the day with his attacks.
The conclusion of this fight is pretty crucial to why I love it so much, too. Clive getting his first additional powers outside of the Phoenix’s gift is exciting, and Benedikta’s reaction is priceless. This is a fight you don’t have to worry about too much other than nailing your quick-time events. There are a lot of these, and missing too many of them will set you up for a possible game over.
9. Knight of the Blinding Dawn
- Main Story Quest: Flight of a Fledgling
- Recommended Level: 6
As one of the first boss fights in the entire game, this one sets up the experience for something truly special. For Final Fantasy XIV fans like myself, it is also a real treat to have a cinematic introduction of this Imperial dragoon that uses the same voice actor for Estinien and a similar cutscene for him.
The fight itself is the right balance of ease and fun. It isn’t too challenging since you’re early in the game, so the title gives you some clear representation of where the dragoon is going to land his next attack so you can dodge it.
Even with this clear telegraphing and the overall accessible nature of this fight, I still think it is one of the most memorable bosses for Clive in his non-Ifrit form. This fight mainly shows how cinematic and emotional this game can be.
After all, with the looming events and chaos surrounding, plus the fires brewing, it adds such an impressive level of tension that isn’t found in most of the fights on this list. Since this is a relatively easy fight, my only recommendation for you is to always remember your Phoenix Shift dash technique to close the distance and dodge where the dragoon is going to land.
8. Hugo Kupka
- Main Story Quest: Capital Punishment
- Recommended Level: 28
Like Benedikta’s fight previously, the initial fight against the semi-primed Hugo Kupka is a stunner. The difference this time around is that you’ve had a lot of time to get to know Hugo through his cutscenes and the horrible actions he has done to the previous Hideaway.
Because of this, there is a massive level of emotional tension between these two characters. There is so much on the line, even for Hugo, who wishes to get revenge for the woman he loved. Clive’s confidence and almost mocking attitude toward Hugo is incredibly unique and brilliant for his character.
Then there is the fight itself. Unlike the other semi-primed fights up until this point, it has a solid level of challenge. Hugo is a powerful foe whose hits will deal a ton of damage to Clive. It is primarily a duel of strength, as your best goal here is to mostly go on the offensive for the majority of the fight.
The use of limit break as soon as you have it maxed out and staggering is both going to be incredibly important here. And when the fight is over, there’s no denying that it has one of the coolest conclusions with how Clive punishes Hugo for everything that has happened up until now.
7. Typhon the Transgressor
- Main Story Quest: The Crystal’s Curse
- Recommended Level: 24
In one of the creepiest and most disturbing sequences of events in the game, the destruction of the first Mothercrystal in Final Fantasy XVI leads to a creepy figure known as Typhon emerging. This leads to a bizarre mind palace boss fight where Clive must confront this foe alone in his head.
What I appreciate about this fight, beyond the weirdness of it, is that you now have access to most of your tools at this point. You know about Ifrit; you have Garuda’s powers, and you have limit break in your arsenal at this point.
As such, this fight feels much more detailed and challenging than some of the others that came before it. You have the first part of the fight where you take on Typhon as Clive himself. It is a tough one since Clive has to dodge the attacks that Typhon has that are almost Nier-like.
In addition, you have additional foes to worry about, which forces you to mix between taking out these foes and dodging Typhon’s moves. It is a tricky balance but always prioritize dodging first and attacking later. And even when you win this fight, there is a second phase where you play as Ifrit.
Admittedly, this part is more of a victory lap since you have already done the most challenging part of it. That said, it is fun that you are now able to zip around the battlefield as Ifrit, much like you can when you are just Clive. This makes it much faster, more fluid, and more fun than, say, the Garuda fight, which I think is far more limited and slow.
6. Second Eikon of Fire
- Main Story Quest: Flight of a Fledgling
- Recommended Level: 6
As the first Eikon fight in the entire game and technically the first boss since the game starts with it briefly, this is also one of the best. There is so much mystery and intrigue surrounding this fight, as you don’t even know who you are fighting and the circumstances surrounding it.
It is also one of the most emotional since you are playing the young Joshua, and he is constantly calling out how he needs to save everyone. It is a heartbreaking and visually-arresting fight that is filled with some beautiful underground scenery and incredible effects.
Though the moves and difficulty are pretty easy here, there is no denying that it is one of the most memorable fights in the entire game. The stakes are near the peak at this point in the game, even though you are literally at the very beginning of the story. I would even argue that the peak of the entire plot is at this point.
5. Infernal Shadow Clive
- Main Story Quest: Buried Memories
- Recommended Level: 22
Soon after entering the secret area under Phoenix Gate, Clive is met with the chance to come to terms with the truth of everything about himself. During this emotional and tear-jerking sequence, Clive has to rise up and be the person he is supposed to be.
To do this, he has to take on a shadow form of himself. Or Ifrit, in this case. This leads to an equally challenging and emotional venture as you are taking on a foe that has the same moves that you have access to, for the most part.
But at the same time, this means you already know everything they can do, leading to a fight that forces you to outsmart and outwit an opponent similar to your own. It gets even better in the second phase when Clive finally gets access to limit break, which lets you run circles around this foe with this extremely strong technique.
- Main Story Quest: The Last King
- Recommended Level: 45
The final Dominant that you have to take down is one of the best. After already taking on King Barnabas once in the Kingdom of Waloed, it is now time to finish the job. This leads to a dark and thrilling Eikon fight that is honestly one of the most unique in the entire game.
While it is far from my favorite Dominant and Eikon fight in the game, it is certainly one of the moodiest and most thrilling. It is also among the most challenging as Odin is a powerful foe that makes you use everything you have learned up until this point to succeed in this battle.
Ifrit has so many powers and abilities available to him at this point in time that it is one of the best tests of your skills and what you have learned. While it may not be as cinematic or emotional as some of the other fights on this list, it is undoubtedly among the most technical.
If you haven’t truly mastered Ifrit’s dodging capabilities and unique abilities, you can struggle with this one. Remember that Story Mode can help here for those who mess up a lot.
- Main Story Quest: Into the Darkness
- Recommended Level: 30
When it comes to the cinematic quality of this game, there are few fights as impressive in terms of scale as the Titan fight. It begins like the other Eikons up until this point, with Ifrit and Titan taking on each other underground. Titan has many attacks involving throwing and using rocks to take you out.
It is your goal to dodge them and use the new Ifrit power you learn in the middle of this fight. Your primary technique will help you defeat the weakened Titan and send yourself into the second phase of this fight.
Titan is honestly one of the unique fights in that we get to see the true extent of the Eikons as Titan transforms into its Lost variant. This is a huge reason why I love it, as the Titan Lost part is one of the most stunning boss fights I have ever seen in a video game.
Running up and down a foe that is many times larger than your already impressively built Ifrit is wild. The second phase of the fight itself is pretty easy as you have to follow the guides the game is giving you, but it is a blast to participate in.
- Main Story Quest: Back to Their Origin
- Recommended Level: 46
The conclusion of everything is here with the final boss of Final Fantasy XVI. It is the right mix of cinematic quality mixed with the challenging parts of every fight you’ve done up until this point. And that is all before bringing up how the stakes are at their inevitable peak here.
But the real reason Ultimalius is such an incredible fight is mainly for its challenge. This foe uses all of the Eikon powers and styles of fighting you have seen up until now. You must be prepared to counter anything and everything, challenging you to your max.
However, at the same time, if you remember the previous fights, you are pretty much set on winning here. This is like the final exam, and all of the other fights were the practices for perfecting this last test.
- Main Story Quest: Fire in the Sky
- Recommended Level: 33 (at the very least)
When it comes to the best boss fights in all of gaming history, the Bahamut is right at the top for me. It is the most impressive and best boss fight in this game, and one of the best boss fights in any video game. There is no fight on the scale and level of this one.
It is a long fight, taking place over multiple phases and in several locations. The stakes are incredibly high, the emotions are more prevalent than ever, and it does a little bit of everything. You get to fight as Ifrit, some as Phoenix, and even as one in the unique, completed form.
And that is all before bringing up that the city is crumbling around you, and you might not even want to fight this guy in the first place. It all culminates with a literal fight in space against Bahamut that is a whirlwind of lasers you’ll have to dodge and a speedy foe that never relents.
Final Fantasy XVI peaks with this boss fight as the most gorgeous section of the entire game. There is nothing quite like this outrageous fight that everyone should check out.
General Tips for Beating Bosses in Final Fantasy XVI
While it is fun to talk about how exciting and thrilling these visually impressive boss battles are, there is also the reality that you’ll have to tackle them if you want to beat this game. So, if, for a reason, you came here to look at this spoiler-filled list without beating the game, you’re in the right spot at least.
I have some of the tips below for you that you should keep in mind when it comes to taking on the boss battles above and any others I didn’t include on this list. These tips come from my own time beating this game and the bosses on this list:
- Always change and upgrade your equipment. If you want to prepare for these fights, make sure to buy or craft the best possible gear and weapons you can find.
- As a follow-up to the above point, be sure to complete any side quests and hunts you have available. These usually give you crafting materials and even better gear that will help you succeed in these tough boss fights.
- Customize your Eikon abilities. There are so many wheels of powers you can use in this game that it can be overwhelming, and you will not likely have access to all upgrades and powers on your first playthrough. As such, take your time and experiment with what works best for you.
- You can reset all of your ability points anytime you want, as much as you want. You heard that right. You can reset the ability points you’ve earned for free as many times as you want. Use this opportunity to experiment with upgrades and master the powers you mostly use in fights to get the most out of them.
- In fights, look for clear telegraphing of the enemy’s movements. There are often glowing circles or a red bar at the top of the screen that will reveal their next move, giving you a chance to dodge and react.
- Staggering is your number one goal in these fights. Use powers that will help you speed along the stagger bar for the boss.
- In the same vein, most of the bosses on this list have two halves to their stagger bar. When it reaches the first half, equip and use Garuda’s signature move to pull them down and have a brief mini-stagger moment.
- While they are staggered, this is the time to unleash everything. Limit break, your best abilities, and more will do the most damage they possibly can during this time.
- Torgal doesn’t deal a lot of damage in most of these boss fights, but he can be a valuable ally for minor healing when you need it.
- Speaking of healing, if you are low on health and run out of items (remember to stock up), a limit break can heal you and give you a second chance as a last resort.
- If you ever find yourself struggling with these fights, consider switching to Story Mode as a last resort. The Rings of Timely Evasion and Strikes can make dodging and combos way easier.
Question: Which Final Fantasy boss has the most HP?
Answer: More than likely, it is one of the Final Fantasy 14 bosses from the 24-player raids that has the most HP out of any boss in the series. That said, we don’t necessarily know the exact numbers of their health, so the boss, for now, with the most health is Aeronite in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13, with more than 57 million HP.
Question: What is the hardest boss in all of the Final Fantasy games?
Answer: If I were to ignore some of the MMO stuff for a moment (which I don’t necessarily believe is the hardest anyways), I think the hardest boss in all Final Fantasy games is Yiazmat in Final Fantasy 12. This boss can take you literally hours to win, and it is one of the most challenging bosses in video game history.
Question: Who is the main antagonist in Final Fantasy 16?
Answer: This is going to be massive spoilers for the entirety of Final Fantasy 16. But the final boss and main antagonist of the entire game ends up being Ultima, who is behind much of the strife in the world. In addition to him, there are other antagonists, such as Hugo Kupka, King Barnabas, the Emperor of Sanbreque, and many more.
Final Fantasy XVI Best Bosses Ranked: Final Thoughts
Final Fantasy XVI’s best gameplay feature has to be its boss battles. I could certainly understand someone who gets bored or feels that the regular gameplay is a bit too repetitive. And I am certainly part of the group that laments the lack of RPG elements in this game.
But what it at least makes up for in these parts is what its boss battles. These are some of the best and most cinematically-pleasing boss fights I have ever seen in a video game. Many of them even push the boundaries for the best graphics we have seen up until this point.
If I had to pick a single boss fight to point out as the best example of this, it is the Bahamut one. The scale of this fight and the visual flair that it has going for it is unlike anything else.
It even rivals what Hollywood can do with cinema and feels like the next evolution of what a boss fight can be. But at the end of the day, bosses are only a single part of this game. For everything else in Final Fantasy XVI, we have you covered as well.