Persona 5 Royal is structured in such a way that every boss you battle feels like the ultimate foe – they get a lot of build-up within their respective Palaces, so you can’t help but build a grudge against them every single time.
Even though every fight was spectacular and climactic, I certainly had my favourites. I’ll be ranking all of the bosses (not mini-bosses, otherwise I’d be here all day), and I’m going to group all of the boss phases together into one neat package.
Before we begin, you can check out some of my related blog posts below:
10 – Okumura’s Work Force
Maybe it’s recency bias, but I’m tempted to call the Okumura boss fight the worst boss fight I’ve ever played. He sends his Work Force to do the dirty work for him, which is already disappointing, but it’s the mechanics of the battle that I hate most.
You have to kill every enemy at the same time (and they resist all damage apart from their weaknesses), otherwise they run away. And if you don’t do it in two turns, you have to start all over! And you have to do this against five separate waves of enemies! And then you have to fight an extra pointless mini-boss on top of that! And you have to do all that within a 30-minute time limit!
If Atlus were trying to create the worst boss fight conceivable, they certainly accomplished their goal.
9 – Futaba’s Mother
In terms of sheer spectacle, the battle against Futaba’s Mother is up there with the best moments of the game. Unfortunately, the combat itself failed to live up to expectations.
If you don’t have a Persona with a gun skill (which I didn’t, so this might just be my fault), Wakaba acts as a damage sponge. I spent about half an hour cycling through the same skills, withstanding the same two attacks, until eventually she fell. A disappointing way to conclude such a show-stopper.
8 – Kamoshida
As first / tutorial bosses go, Kamoshida is unbelievably solid across the board.
His design is really cool, his various phases and specific attacks add some nice challenge, and the way of defeating him makes narrative sense. Good stuff.
7 – Shido
The whole of P5R felt like it was building up to the Shido fight, and the spectacle certainly delivered.
I counted six unique phases in total, and the first four were really good … but then the final two battles against Mega-Shido were a little too tanky for my liking. At least the 1V1 made up for it.
6 – Kaneshiro’s Piggy Bank / Private Guard
The most ridiculous boss in the game, I didn’t know whether to laugh or sigh when Kaneshiro turned into an insect and flew inside his massive metal piggy bank.
The piggy bank phase is lots of fun, but I found the private guard part to be more annoying than entertaining. Without it, this could have made my “Great” tier.
5 – Goro Akechi
Akechi sort of acts as a prominent mini-boss during Shido’s Palace, but since he has multiple phases and heightened story importance I decided to count it on this list.
His ability to aggravate enemies is one I wish we saw more often, and his two subsequent phases ramp up the difficulty.
4 – Sae’s Roulette Table
I was excited to finally face Sae in person … for many different reasons, and the battle certainly delivered.
The first phase where you have to catch her out in a scam is a fun intro, and the follow-up phase utilises randomness to create a battle like no other.
3 – Madarame’s Paintings / Clones
The first boss fight in the game with two distinct phases, and I loved both of them.
Taking down the five paintings in one fell swoop was a nice tactical challenge, and the Madarame clones led to some gnarly baton pass combos.
2 – Azahoth / Maruki / Adam Kadmon
The final Palace needed an equally climactic boss to end it, and Dr. Maruki certainly delivered.
The first part where you face Azahoth is a true highlight of the game, and it functions like an upgraded version of Madarame’s fight. The following two phases against Adam Kadmon played out more like cutscenes than actual battles, but I still had a blast.
1 – Holy Grail / Yaldabaoth
The Holy Grail would have been cool enough as a final boss, but then they followed it up with a show-stopping fight against a literal god.
Yaldabaoth was the perfect mixture of tough challenge and engaging mechanics, and there was never a dull moment in the fight. The sheer spectacle, story importance and rush of euphoria I felt for beating it made this an easy pick for top spot.
Aaand that’s my list! You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:
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