Today we are taking on the big cheese, the head honcho, the boss, King Bowser himself as we take a look at what I consider 8 of the greatest Bowser battles ever! Why 8? Because I could only think of 8 when I wrote this script. Since this list is focusing on the ends of the games spoiler discretion is advised if you haven’t played much Mario and want to keep it all a secret. So with that warning in mind get ready to disagree as we explore my top 8 of the Greatest Bowser Battles ever!

best bowser fights

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Number 8

I know already a lot of you just started groaning but I happen to think the Bowser fight in Super Mario Sunshine has to go down as one of the best or at least one of the most unique. To be fair to the criticism this fight has received, the actual battle isn’t too hard but it’s not the actual challenge that made this boss fight stand out, it was the amusing concept.

After struggling through graffiti ridden islands and just braving a volcano I’m sure I wasn’t the only one not expecting to find Peach chilling out in a hot tub with Bowser and Bowser Jr. Seriously, how did this actually make it past the discussion stages at Nintendo Headquarters! It’s not quite the dramatic culmination of a game that we have come to expect from the Mario franchise.

To beat the old Bowser duo you have to run around avoiding flame, bills and the putrid spa water. Once you have pounded the 4 appropriate areas the baddies are thrown from their hot tub and Mario saves the day.

Number 7

It’s pretty obvious that I am a bit of a sucker for the classic Mario games. For that reason alone I nearly included the first Super Mario Bros Bowser battle in this list just to set the standard. The old left to right dynamic is a little dated now though and doesn’t really hold up to some of the newer battles so I thought instead we’d cover the more interesting and still retro Super Mario Bros 3 Bowser battle. This time instead of going just left to right to take out your foe you have to evade Bowser and his fireballs whilst luring him to jump in the same location each time. This Bowser Battle was a solid upgrade from the first game and a great original idea to use Bowser’s powers against him. I think it’s pretty safe to assume where Bowser’s smash bros Bomb attack originated from too!

Number 6

I’ve already raved a bit about the awesomeness of Super Mario 64 on this channel but since we are covering Bowser battles how can I not talk about this game. From the moment I first encountered Bowser in Super Mario bros 1 I knew I was destined to grab this koopa by the tail and swing him around repeatedly. Thankfully I wasn’t the only one to have this destiny envisioned because that’s essentially what’s happening here at number 6!

Even though you have similar Bowser boss fights throughout the game, the final version of Bowser comes back with his A game. Sending shockwaves at you, trampling away edges of the level to reveal a star and well, that’s pretty much all he does by the time you kill him. Sure it’s not the hardest Bowser battle on this list but it was one of the most satisfying. There was just something about grabbing that tail and building up momentum before letting Bowser set sail into a bomb that just really hit the spot.

Number 5

I couldn’t have a list of Bowser battles without including good old Super Mario World. I’d like to think I’m not just talking about this one out of Nostalgias sake as it was also quite a turning point in the way Mario fights Bowser. Super Mario World not only introduced the now famous clown car but it was also the first Bowser fight to feature different phases of attack. Bowser starts off just flying around chillin and killin but soon gets angry and starts dropping cannonballs on you. Then comes his final phase where he is really pissed and starts bouncing around trying to squash you. Thankfully during these differing attacks Bowser continues to throw these MechaKoopas at you which can be used to attack and defeat King Koopa.

What’s going on with the princess when she tries to help you though?

Number 4

The Bowser Battle in Super Mario Galaxy 2 is seriously cool. I mean, you are flying through space running from Bowser with some awesome music, what’s not to enjoy? The old shockwaves from the first game are back but this time it is way more intense! Bowser punches your little planetoid trying to zap you but conveniently these comet slash asteroid things that fall then come free, allowing you to ground pound them and send them flying Bowser’s way.

After you have managed to sock him a few times with these planetary debris and he has flown around breathing fire at you for a bit, you get a little trolled into thinking you have beat the game but it’s actually time to take him on in this secondary stage. This awesome section sees us flying through space again but this time without your planetoid and with Bowser looming closer and closer. Lucky for us there are more of these comets floating around though.

Some people didn’t like this Boss battle too much but I thought it was pretty awesome, the shiny wii graphics, the 2 phase Bowser and especially the music made this fight all the more epic.

Number 3

The new Super Mario Bros Wii is an all-around awesome game and thankfully the Bowser battle doesn’t disappoint either! After initially being trolled by Kamek in a dress, which is already awesome and maybe half the reason this battle is low on this list, this Bowser battle turns into a hectic platforming level. Do your best to out run a Kamek enhanced Bowser as he smashes down walls, breathes fireballs and causes all kinds of destruction.

I think the most enjoyable part of this Bowser Battle was the suspense. Half falling off your chair for fear this giant Bowser would just crush you or your platform made it that little bit more psychological. This gets even worse when you hit the lava bit and Bowser disappears for a second only to return in a wave of lavery goodness. The battle isn’t overly tough but Bowser does like getting up in your grill a little, but lucky for us he is not match for the almighty power of the switch!

Number 2

I really enjoyed Super Mario 3D world! The colours, the graphics, the controls, everything screamed Mario and it was the perfect modernization of the old platforming classic in my opinion. Can we just take a moment to appreciate how far video games have come? I mean in 30 years we have gone from this, to this *SMB1 bowser compared to sm3dw* amazing.

The Boss battle was amazing too! Expanding on titles like the New Super Mario Bros Wii this Bowser battle was more of a platforming battle too. This time Bowser has managed to get his hands on the Bell power up to become Cat Bowser and then starts scaling the tower attempting to screw you up. The climb gets more and more intense with Bowser using double cherries to duplicate himself too.

As per usual Bowser can’t get it right though, even with 5 of him on top of a tower closing in on Mario he still has to sit on top of a Pow for some reason. One day you will get it right Bowser, one day.

Despite not being super tough the battle is incredibly satisfying and atmospheric with changing camera angles and action music, you really get a feeling for the scale of the tower you are climbing and the power of the giant cat Bowsers. By the end of the battle you find yourself taking a deep breath and relaxing with a satisfying sense of accomplishment as those Sprixies go free.

Number 1

In case it wasn’t obvious from the retro bonus game video I did, I freaking love Yoshi’s Island. It’s the best. Having said that I don’t think this bias has anything to do with the number 1 pick here for the Greatest Bowser Battles. So it all starts off innocently enough, face off against Bowser J here and do some ground pounding till he bites the dust. But in true Yoshi’s Island fashion along comes Kamek to ruin the day. For a light hearted colourful game things sure do get dark now, both in colour palate and also in intense tunes. Bowser Jr becomes Godzilla sized and starts ominously approaching you from a distance! To make things worse he magically makes rocks fall to take out parts of the platform and then proceeds to spit fireballs at you. What a jerk. All is not lost though because you can get these massive eggs and scone him in the nose a few times to save the day.

The change in game dynamic, the original idea and the overall intensity of this battle made Yoshi’s Island’s Bowser battle truly the greatest.

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