10. Uroboros Test Subject
The Uroboros Test Subject makes it clear that Capcom had cooperative play in mind when making Resident Evil 5. The undulating mass of worms can take an extreme amount of punishment from both players which is satisfying to inflict thanks to the many bits of it that fly off when shot. But what really makes this encounter a standout is the environmental interaction. You’ll need to work as a team to trap the shapeless creature in a furnace, with one player acting as bait inside the forge and the other carefully controlling the doors. Just try not to lock your teammate inside.
Yawn is the titanic result of T-Virus experimentation on a locally-sourced mountain adder, and the first clue that Resident Evil had much more up its sleeve than just zombies. After seeing your comrade Richard Aiken devoured by the Spencer Mansion’s version of Jormungandr you’re left to contend with tank controls and awkward camera angles in a fight for survival. By today’s standard Yawn isn’t that impressive mechanically but at the time the giant snake was instantly iconic and panic-inducing.
8. Marguerite Baker
The matriarch of the Baker family in Resident Evil 7 commands an army of insects to try and stop Ethan’s progress through the Old House section of the game. In your first encounter with her, she traps you in a hole and swarms you with pests.The trick is getting her to fall in the hole before climbing out and running like hell. Of course, that’s not the end of Marguerite. Your final fight with her is a tense showdown as you bumble around in the dark trying to finally finish her off with the last of your ammo.
7. Del Lago
Up to the point you meet Del Lago in Resident Evil 4, you’re just starting to get the hang of its over-the-shoulder, gun-blasting mechanics. You’ve gunned down a few infected townspeople, a chainsaw maniac or two, and are feeling pretty confident about what’s to come. Then you get to a motorboat on a lake and meet Del Lago.
The first huge boss in the game, you have to ditch your guns and take down the massive, infected salamander with harpoons, timing your throws with the direction of the motorboat. It gets more insane once the creature submerges and races towards you underwater, requiring you to throw your harpoon at it with accuracy despite your shaking hands. The sheer scale and cinematic nature of this boss fight was a sign this was indeed a new breed of Resident Evil.
6. El Gigante
The mighty El Gigante pits Leon Kennedy against his first behemoth in his first of several David and Goliath showdowns across the game. Much like your rumble with Del Lago, this boss fight has you constantly on your toes as you face a massive creature who, with few moves, can squash and/or swallow you.
El Gigante insists you time your shots carefully, anticipating how much time you’ll have before you can bolt again, and where he’ll strike next. If you prepared well and think on your feet, you will do well. If not, then you’re gonna have a bad time. And one unexpected perk? This is the only time in the game where you have a dog companion fighting by your side. That is if you saved it from the bear trap. You did save it from the bear trap, didn’t you? Please tell us you did.
5. T-103 Tyrant
The final showdown with the T-103 Tyrant – better known as Mr. X – is a satisfying one, but he earns a spot on this list because of his role in the rest of Resident Evil 2’s 2019 remake. After your first encounter with him early into the campaign, he’ll never stop chasing you and you can’t kill him… even though he can be thwarted by certain doors.Still, avoiding motion-sensing lickers and even run-of-the-mill zombies gets a whole lot more challenging when you’re being pursued by a 7-foot-tall fedora-clad assassin. He’s massive, terrifying, persistent, and fundamentally alters the way you think about navigating the RCPD station.
It’s hard to think of a more versatile Resident Evil boss fight than the one against Verdugo in Resident Evil 4. This frighteningly quick monster stalks you through the sewers, appearing multiple times to try to kill you before the actual fight begins.
When it does, you can kill Verdugo by dumping bullets, but the smarter move is to freeze it using the liquid nitrogen tanks that litter the area. Pro tip: this boss is an easy one-hit kill if you have a rocket launcher on hand. It is also entirely possible to evade Verdugo long enough to make it through the boss fight without killing it at all.
3. Lisa Trevor
Lisa Trevor is perhaps the most tragic character in all of Resident Evil lore. The depressing story of her abduction, transformation, and abuse was a new addition to the 2002 remake of Resident Evil, as were her terrifying boss fights.The first encounter with her in the Cabin is extremely intense, using the tight space and camera angles to make you never quite feel in control, even if you are loaded up on ammo. During the final fight, you must avoid the monstrous tendril-addled Lisa as you push four chained boulders down to the pit below to reveal her mother’s coffin. Lisa throws herself off the edge upon seeing her mother’s faceless corpse in a chilling climax.
2. William Birkin
Dr. William Birkin reluctantly injects himself with the G-virus to pull through injuries received during a standoff with Alpha Team over the virus itself. He ultimately survives in the short term, but at a terrible cost. You’ll fight Dr. Birkin or G many times during Resident Evil 2 remake and each time he’s more monstrous and less in control than the last.
These encounters are tense, mechanically distinct, and tie in seamlessly to a compelling narrative. And we’d be lying if we said that half the fun of every fight wasn’t seeing was strange, new, horrible mutation has taken root.
Resident Evil 3’s Nemesis is one of the series’ scariest enemies for the simple reason that it isn’t meant to be defeated. This seemingly invincible model of Tyrant could appear at any time during the game, insisting you fight or flee at the drop of a hat.Nemesis made RE3 feel more dynamic than it was, even though the encounters occurred at set times throughout. Nemesis’ persistence was key to making the final boss fight, where you finally manage to defeat him, one of the most cathartic in the entire franchise.That does it for our list, but what about yours – let us know which bosses made your list that weren’t on ours in the comments.
We want to know all your picks for the best bosses in the RE franchise – so be sure to vote in our Face-Off of Resident Evil Bosses here, and check back next week when we compile those winners into their own top 10 list!