Bloodborne Bosses Ranked

Bloodborne Bosses Ranked

From the worst to the best in terms of overall quality (and with a sub-ranking in terms of pure difficulty), here are my rankings for all 36 main, DLC, and Chalice Dungeon bosses of Bloodborne. Given the repeats of certain bosses in the Chalice Dungeons, I will only be ranking those ones in terms of the best or most difficult iteration. If you’re more interested in a full review of the game, check out my write-up here.

#36: Maneater Boar

These first four bosses aren’t even worth writing about so I will keep these very brief. They are just regular enemies that have already been encountered in the main game now with slightly more health. The Maneater Boar is a well-designed enemy but having it as a boss is both absurdly easy and boring. Difficulty: #36

#35: Brainsucker

The only thing that puts this one ahead of the boar is that its design is better and that it provides slightly more challenge. Unfortunately though, it is just another enemy with a larger health bar and there’s not much else to say. Difficulty: #34

#34: Loran Silverbeast

And this one only has a one-up on the Brainsucker because it is, again, a better design. It also is not nearly as obnoxious to fight as the previous place, but there still isn’t anything special. Difficulty: #35

#33: Beast-Possessed Soul

Finally, the final boss in the “awful boss” category. The Ailing Loran Dungeon saves this one a little because it does actually provide a slight bit of challenge. And the fact that we really only see this enemy once in the main game gives it a few points as well. But that does not make it fun or original in any way either. Difficulty: #25

#32: Merciless Watchers

Not utterly terrible (although, still pretty bad) Merciless Watchers at least provides the need to think during the fight. While the first iteration of them is kind of a joke, the second fight in Lower Pthumeru forces you to pay attention to all three of the enemies. It is nicely balanced and can pose a challenge depending on what level you fight them at, but nonetheless, it is still a rehash of a typical enemy. Difficulty: #21

#31: Undead Giant

Another Chalice Dungeon boss, but at least here for the first time we have something original. The Undead Giant comes in three forms throughout the dungeons: the bladed giant, the canon giant, and the ball-and-chain giant. These can actually be relatively fun ones to fight, but all of them pose their annoyances as well. The first is too overpowered for how early in the game it is, the second is way too underpowered, and the third is able to one-shot you with virtually no effort. At least you’re not just fighting an amped-up regular enemy though. Difficulty: #20

#30: The Witch of Hemwick

I don’t really hate this fight like so many people seem to. Yet, I can’t bring myself to call it good by any stretch. The Witch of Hemwick is also, in my opinion, the second easiest fight of the main game. It is an interesting concept where you have to search around the room for the invisible witch while avoiding her minions. However, the execution is lackluster as you are virtually never in any danger and just end up running around the room, occasionally being bound with a spell, and then running again. Difficulty: #32

#29: Forgotten Madman and Madman’s Escort

I think my low ranking of this may have been doing the Lower Hintertombs a little too late in the game and thus rendering the fight easier than it should have been, so take that into account. Either way though, I still didn’t see much originality in the hunter style fight as I did in some of the great boss or NPC hunters. The only thing I do find good about it is the surprise of the second enemy after you get the Madman down to half health. That excitement only lasts as long as it takes to kill this extra enemy, which is about ten seconds. Difficulty: #28

#28: Keeper of the Old Lords

If you know how to parry, the first time you fight this boss will pose no challenge. The second time however is in the Defiled Chalice where getting hit once (and at most twice if you’re lucky) will one-shot you. I hate everything that has to do with the Defiled Chalice Dungeon, and so this boss ends up very low on my list. The thing is though, I have to admit there is a great amount of satisfaction that comes with defeating this one. It does force you to learn everything possible about the fight, just not in the fairest or most fun way. Difficulty: #8

#27: Micolash, Host of the Nightmare

From here on out, I would consider all bosses to be at least average. Micolash does not deserve the hate he gets (I mean he doesn’t deserve much praise either but that’s beside the point). The run through the fog-shrouded stairways and halls can be pretty easily learned and it breaks up the groove of what a typical boss fight would be like. Fighting him head-on is pretty average again, but at least the use of arcane magic makes you have to pay attention. What sets him higher than all those I wrote about before is the haunting lore of his communication with the Great Ones. Difficulty: #29

#26: Darkbeast Paarl (or, Loran Darkbeast)

My least favorite iteration of a large beast boss: Darkbeast Paarl (or as it’s known in the Chalice Dungeons, Loran Darkbeast). The beast has an amazing skeletal design which perfectly allows the electricity to highlight its shape. The fight though, while challenging and rewarding, is too chaotic to actually understand. I don’t enjoy making my way through a fight just because I knew that I needed to keep dodging and attacking – instead, I want to understand what was going on and why I was reacting like I was. The chaos present in this fight does not allow for any of that, and while it is beautiful, I just can never find myself enjoying it. Difficulty: #13

#25: Celestial Emissary

What this boss lacks in combat, it makes up for in the design. I love the look of this massive version of a Celestial Emissary. When the tentacles sprout from its head, to me it is one of my favorite looking creatures in the entire game. The parallels with the Lumenflower Gardens here and in the DLC are also wonderful lore pieces. Unfortunately, the fight itself isn’t all too fun. It has a few arcane attacks that can sometimes be frightening, but the boss is taken down quite easily. The smaller Emissaries do add a bit of complexity to the fight, just not enough to make it a challenge. Difficulty: #30

#24: Shadows of Yharnam

I still remember my first battle with the Shadows – it took so many tries to learn how to best balance them, and I recall the fight ending with giant snakes flying across the arena. This time, nothing of the sort occurred. I’m not sure if I was over-leveled and thus killed them too quickly or if the snakes and certain challenging attacks are rarer than I had thought. Either way though, it certainly was disappointing to expect an epic and challenging fight only to quite easily beat it on my first try. It still is fun to balance their attacks and they do look very intimidating, but I wish it were more like that time I first fought them. Difficulty: #26

#23: The One Reborn

The points for this boss all come from the insane presentation and lore. The introduction to this boss falling from a black hole in the sky, paired with the incredible lore of humanity attempting to ascend to Godhood, is brilliant. The fight itself is not bad, but it is certainly not fun. After killing the enemies on the ramparts (reminiscent of Tower Knight in Demon’s Souls) you go down to the bottom to fight him. His attack set (partially due to his size and partially by design) is not great – I don’t think I ever learned one of his attacks and they seemed to either miss completely or nearly one-shot me. I don’t dislike it though, it’s just that I look forward far more to the entrance cutscene than I do to the fight. Difficulty: #16

#22: Abhorrent Beast

All bosses from this point will at least be considered good. Thinking about it, the thing that sets this boss apart from the lower-ranked ones is that there is finally that pure aggression that Bloodborne is really known for. Long-chain combos are plentiful, his reach is surprisingly far, and everything is played out in a fair but intense manner. The boss is truly a blast to fight, and the challenge he imposes is high. The gripe I have with it is the point which it comes in the game makes its design feel unoriginal. After having fought many variations on beast bosses already, this one feels uninspired. Difficulty: #15

#21: Blood-starved Beast

My favorite rendition of this boss is surprisingly in the Ailing Loran dungeons. The fight is brutally long but is one of the few instances where I can say I truly mastered a fight. The first few battles with it ended up with me being frustrated at the massive health bar. Then, throughout it, I learned nearly every move and was able to defeat the boss with barely any loss of health. The design is outstanding and horrifying – the flayed flaps of skin hanging off each side like a cape, also capable of being a weapon themselves. The attacks are aggressive and fast-paced, and when the poison aspect comes into play everything gets amped up just a bit more. Difficulty: #12

#20: Mergo’s Wet Nurse

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This boss could have been truly great if only it were at all challenging. The design is astounding as it is probably one of the best-looking and moving bosses in the entire game. The lore behind the Wet Nurse is very well done especially when paired with the multiple instances of seeing Queen Yharnam throughout the game so far. And the fight itself is not bad, it just lacks any challenge. By the point you arrive at the battle you can safely attack the boss head on and not worry about the damage you will receive – which is quite a shame because the attacks do look like they would pose some serious damage. Nonetheless, one of my favorite aspects of bosses is design and lore, and this is one of the best of those. Difficulty: #33

#19: Cleric Beast

The first boss of Bloodborne provides one of my favorite entrances for a FromSoft boss. Its leap over the ramparts is one of the more terrifying moments in the game and the subsequent fight is brutal if it’s your first time. It’s quite a challenge getting used to such a large creature that is still fast and agile. The design is also wonderful and happens to be one of the best-looking beast bosses in the game. The major drawback is that it is a strange use of a tutorial boss and feels as if it should have been placed a few spots ahead in the boss order. Difficulty: #27

#18: Rom, the Vacuous Spider

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This is the fight where everything changes. Before it, the game is plagued with beasts. It seems like everything is moving towards a more typical Victorian-era horror game. But with Rom, the true horror is revealed. Rom is a beautifully designed, alien-like creature and his cosmic style attacks are amazing. The fight itself is polarizing; I personally enjoy it and find the fight to be exhilarating (although a little annoying) and stunning. The lore (his attempted ascension to Godhood and his ability to allow the player to see the true horrors) adds to my enjoyment of this fight. There are issues of course, mainly in the battle itself, but I will always enjoy coming back to this one. Difficulty: #17

#17: Pthumerian Elder

Almost everything I need to say about this one will be stated in the Pthumerian Descendant ranking. This one doesn’t quite beat him out because the ranged attack (his crossbow versus the Descendants shotel) is way too easy to dodge. Also, the point in the game in which you fight the Elder makes it a bit too easy. It should have either been a stronger boss or appeared earlier in the game. Still, I do really enjoy the fight because of the reasons I’ll state below, but it doesn’t live up to its apparently “lesser” form. Difficulty: #31

#16: Living Failures

Contrary to popular opinion, I found this boss both better and harder than what is typically stated. The arena and music that opens the fight is gorgeous, and the arena continues to serve as the perfect area to fight the boss in. The Failures themselves are a grotesque version of the Celestial Emissaries, and they stumble around pitifully still doing high damage. Their arcane attacks make this fight a spectacle – the sky turns into a dark, cosmic, star-filled void, and meteors come crashing down with trailing blue flames. Balancing each enemy is a challenge especially when these arcane attacks come and can possibly kill you near instantly. Difficulty: #19

#15: Pthumerian Descendant

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Pthumerian Descendant’s first meeting is a fun fight that feels almost like a dance. Dodging alongside each other, parrying as he moves in, watching out for the shotel throw, etc. The second encounter is honestly quite hilarious, as now the same moves apply but now the Descendant has the ability to use that shotel throw through pure, solid concrete pillars with the accuracy of a well-trained sniper. It is initially a bit frustrating yet when I learned how to work with it, its absurdity made the fight all the more fun and had me actually laughing at times. It’s one of the few cheap fights I would never want to change. Difficulty: #22

#14: Vicar Amelia

Vicar Amelia just barely misses making it into the great category. The introductory video, the general lore, and the revelations afterward are all stellar. The boss itself is very well designed as well. Unfortunately, the fight itself has never wowed me. The attacks aren’t too hard to avoid and when they do manage to hit, it never feels like it was deserved. The camera and weird hitboxes seem to always be allowing for attacks that should not have landed. Still, that doesn’t make the boss hard because once you begin learning it, it can be beaten pretty simply. It’s a very mediocre fight that is only boosted this high because of every other aspect that backs it up. Difficulty: #23

#13: Bloodletting Beast

From here on, every boss is considered to be within the great tier. Bloodletting Beast doesn’t make it high in that tier only because there isn’t much lore behind it. However, every other aspect is amazing. The fight reminds me in a way of Midir in Dark Souls 3 where every move is devastating in its damage yet can be learned and predicted with subsequent fights. It is a fast-paced and thrilling fight with the boss itself being one of the better-designed beasts in the game. Its final form is even better with the worm-like creature coming out part-way through the fight and adding a new and unexpected series of attacks. As a note, I’m incredibly grateful they nerfed this boss from its original nearly impossible-to-beat form. When I first played Bloodborne on release, I made it all the way to the Headless variant and could never beat it despite how many times I tried. Difficulty: #9

#12: Moon Presence

Quite an easy boss – especially for a final boss (and even more so for a secret final boss). That, however, is really my only complaint about it. The Moon Presence is one of the best (and possibly the best) looking bosses in the game. From its ominous and beautiful entrance to the bleeding exposed ribcage to the alien-like protrusions, it is pure horror. The boss’ moveset is, while again pretty easy, entertaining to watch and fight against. The lore – a Great One residing and controlling everything that occurs within the Hunter’s Dream – adds another layer of mystery over the events of the entire game. I can understand why people were frustrated with this boss after having completed the entire game, but to me, almost everything about its design more than makes up for those difficulty complaints. Difficulty: #24

#11: Martyr Logarius

Being my third or fourth playthrough of the game, up to this point there was not really a boss that gave me trouble (maybe one or two deaths to some of them, but certainly no more). Then came Logarius whom I died to maybe seven times all pretty quickly and decided I was going to grind through the Chalice Dungeons instead. The first phase is really what gets me and is my only complaint of the fight. I find a lot of his first phase skull magic to be pretty unfair to dodge and it usually takes down at least 75% of your health. Phase two makes up for that completely. His quick movements and intense but parry-able melee make the fight go from frustrating to exhilarating. Fighting him on the snowy rooftops of a haunted castle (knowing that the Vileblood Queen lies hidden behind him) adds depth to the fight’s lore. I have never been able to master this battle and that is a testament to the challenge of this game. Difficulty: #6

#10: Watchdog of the Old Lords

The final confrontation with this boss happens to be one of the longest fights in any Souls game (maybe only Midir would be longer). The Watchdog has what I believe is the largest health bar in the game and is able to do insane amounts of damage and even one-shot you with a certain move. Despite this sounding entirely unfair, every move has a tell and every single one of my deaths (of which there were many) was completely avoidable. The difficulty stems from the endurance of such a long fight where a single mistake can force you to start over completely. But this leads to a rewarding and exciting fight where, in the end, you know the boss inside and out. The one thing holding this one back is that there is not much lore behind it. Difficulty: #4

#9: Amygdala

The inability to attack the Amygdala often can be an annoyance to many, but to me, it is a test of patience and precision. Its attacks are erratic yet when you begin to see the different patterns it uses with its arms, it becomes very fun to dodge and strafe. When going in for the attack you must make sure his head is adequately low (and will still be adequately low when you reach it), that your weapon and attack will reach, and that – hopefully – your health is not depleted. The different phases of the fight pose the same challenge of relearning patterns and are some of the most large-scale, intimidating moves in the game. Of course, the boss’ design is so perfect that it definitely makes it within the top three or four in terms of boss design alone. (Then there’s the Defiled Chalice Amygdala who may be one of the hardest fights available. I feel like I want to hate it but I just can’t because it makes me feel so accomplished every time). Difficulty: #5

#8: Yharnam, Pthumerian Queen

I don’t think I have ever fought a boss that feels quite like Queen Yharnam. The fight almost feels like its not from a Souls game, yet it still fits right in. The attacks, all gorgeous blood-based spikes, can occur at any spot in the massive arena whether you are near her or far away. Her appearance, after fighting the massive beasts and kin from the previous few dungeons, emanates the knowledge that there is some wild hidden power within her, and once those spouts of blood begin to appear, that idea is given merit. Of course, the lore behind Yharnma is about as complicated and in-depth as it gets in the game, and the fact that you can see her in different cutscenes and areas within Bloodborne adds to the mystery. I do wish it were a little harder given it is the final boss of the Chalice Dungeons, but that truly is my only complaint. Difficulty: #18

#7: Ebrietas, Daughter of the Cosmos

Along with the coming #2 spot on the list, Ebrietas is probably the most deformed and twisted creature in a Souls game. I can’t even begin to describe it, all I know is that it is a series of blue tentacles with a split face opening to a pink fleshy interior and pale green suckers. Even that does not begin to give a picture of how intense this boss design is. The fight itself is excellent and very challenging. Despite its size, its physical attacks are not impossible to foresee and its arcane attacks, while devastating, can be dodged as long as one pays enough attention to detail. Her bits of lore are also interesting – a great one coexisting with humans – and make attacking her the first time quite upsetting. Difficulty: #11

#6: Father Gascoigne

The second boss of the game, Father Gascoigne, is the first entry into my top-tier of bosses in Bloodborne. The battle is a foray into the pure aggression that this game is known for. I still remember my first playthrough where I was stuck here for hours unable to comprehend the possibility of defeating him. His first phase is one of the best hunter fights in the game and the second phase is a completely brilliant change of style. His simultaneous use of a gun and the trick-ax is genius, as it is incredibly difficult to learn but never strays into unfairness. The beast he transforms into is even more aggressive and devastating, but that ability to use the music box (a beautiful piece of storytelling) makes the fight all the better. Father Gascoigne will, to me, forever be one of the most memorable moments in gaming. Difficulty: #10

#5: Laurence, the First Vicar

The second-best beast battle in the game feels like the Cleric Beast on serious steroids. The flames and the absurdly long reach make nearly every attack feel like it’ll be the death blow. His move set is somehow chaotic and still manageable – something that many other chaotic fights seem to get wrong. When the final phase of the fight comes along and he is just a torso, I felt that everything would become even easier, yet that was by far the most unique and challenging part. The torso crawls towards you with that similar absurd reach while leaving behind a trail of movement-stunning lava – something akin to a Mario game taken to a SoulsBorne level. It really is one of the most brutal and punishing fights of the game but, like other similar great fights, I felt that every death was truly my fault entirely. The manner in which you begin the fight, and all of Laurence’s lore up to this point, are two more points to make this one of my favorite bosses in the game. Difficulty: #3

#4: Gehrman, the First Hunter

Gehrman feels to me like the best fight of the main game. He is a hunter who poses such a brilliantly orchestrated move set, pairing dodges with rifle shots with his two forms of the trick-scythe. Every movement he possesses creates the feeling as if you are in a dance, battling to see who can survive the longest. The arena is the most beautiful in the game (both main and DLC) which gives the dance a more graceful feel. Gehrman’s lore is almost unending; one could spend the whole game learning about him and how his actions lead to the current state of the world. It honestly would rank above the next two spots, but my main contention with the fight is that it could be a bit more challenging (if you play through the Chalice Dungeons, it seems like you’ll be far too over-leveled for this fight). Difficulty: #14

#3: Lady Maria of the Astral Clocktower

These last three fights (all DLC bosses, coincidentally) I would consider as being perfect. Lady Maria begins it as the best hunter boss fight in the game, just edging out Gehrman due to her far higher difficulty and somehow more “dance-like” battle. Maria is at least as aggressive as Gehrman but now with an added set of attacks that reflect some sort of blood magic. She is quicker, deadlier, and more ruthless than any other hunter in the game. Besting her feels as if you’ve mastered the art of dodging and of foretelling attacks. Maria’s lore is some of the most moving in the game – her realization of Byrgenwerth’s atrocities leading to her guarding of the Astral Clocktower. Difficulty: #7

#2: Ludwig, the Holy Blade

Ludwig and Maria are virtually tied to me, but Ludwig ekes this one out just a bit due to the astounding mid-fight cutscene. The first phase of the battle is incredibly chaotic in the best possible way, leading to the best beast battle of the game. There are stomps, far lunges, jump attacks where you lose track of the boss, and rear kicks to punish those trying to stay behind. The second phase is even better – the beast becomes a hunter. The moonlight sword is wielded and used in the steadiest knight-like way possible, and at times the blade emits powerful bursts of energy. Ludwig’s design itself is extraordinary with his horselike appearance and grotesque growths. His lore, of course, is astounding as we have heard bits and pieces of it in the main game up to this point. It is also such a satisfying fight to master as the first few battles usually end in a very quick death. Difficulty: #2

#1: Orphan of Kos

What is by far the most difficult boss in Bloodborne is also the best. I have said that other bosses are incredibly chaotic up to this point, but this one makes all of those feel slow-paced. There is also no learning the Orphan (well, there could be, but it would take forever). Where the other most challenging bosses – ranging from beasts like Ludwig to Hunters like Maria to Kin like Ebrietas – can eventually become learnable and predictable, the Orphan is a fight based purely on reaction and skill. Like Maria, it is akin to a dance – however, with her the dance is choreographed, and here it’s like being thrown into a moshpit. Both phases are difficult in their own right yet phase two is clearly the more punishing. His relentless combos of flying, diving, throwing bombs, bringing lightning crashing down, and just those standard weapon blows, are all impossible to foresee. Yet, the game gives you just enough time to react, making it imperative that you have a perfect (or at best, a near-perfect) fight. Everything else about the boss from the depressing lore, the beautiful arena, and the boss design itself, is about as perfect as a boss can get. Difficulty: #1

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