Top 10 Best Elden Ring Bosses

As an Elden Ring content creator with over 500 hours battling foes in the Lands Between, I‘ve faced every boss and can definitively rate the 10 best encounters. My criteria focuses on memorable spectacle, challenging gameplay, emotional payoff, climactic story implications, and community perception. These 10 bosses excel in multiple categories for an epic hall of fame showcase.

10. Ancestor Spirit

Location: Deepest depths of Nokron, the Eternal City

Soundtrack: Hauntingly beautiful piano notes echoing in the large underwater arena

This spectral deer towers over the player with graceful attacks from its branching antlers. Dodge orbs of light tracking your location and the spirits of smaller ghostly deer circling the arena once it nears death.

Despite its seeming fragility, the Ancestor Spirit has 6,301 HP. It‘s immune to bleed and highly resistant to holy damage.

While entirely optional, this ethereal animal spirit perfectly captures the melancholy yet alluring atmosphere of the ancient Eternal Cities buried far underground. FromSoftware‘s finest ambient soundtracks compliment a relatively easy but visually striking encounter.

9. Godrick the Grafted

Location: Legacy dungeon of Stormveil Castle guarded by a ghost and noble warriors

Soundtrack: Epic brass and choir notes befitting a demigod shardbearer ruler

The deranged Godrick makes up for his frail body by grafting dragon parts onto himself, resulting in a twisted monstrosity by the end. He rips off his arm to replace it with a dragon head, and even sprouts wings during his second phase.

While Godrick has only 8,732 HP, his powerful axe attacks and dragon fire breath pose considerable challenges early on. He‘s resistant to physical strikes but vulnerable to pierce attacks and lightning. Due to his lower HP for a shardbearer demigod, aggression is key throughout the fight.

Slaying Godrick grants the first Great Rune – a pivotal milestone in proving your worthiness to head towards the Erdtree. The spectacular shifting arena and bombastic soundtrack make this intense first shardbearer a worthy inclusion.

8. Radagon of the Golden Order

Location: Deepest chamber guarding the resting place of Queen Marika herself

Soundtrack: Somber piano notes that crescendo as Radagon charges up explosive attacks

As husband to Queen Marika, Radagon fittingly stands as the last line of defense before the old god herself. Radagon possesses an ethereal beauty with flowing red locks and shining golden locks. His elegant moveset perfectly matches the regal atmosphere.

With 13,399 HP and high physical damage resistance, Radagon withstands quite a beating before falling. In addition to wide swings of his giant hammer, Radagon utilizes holy projectiles and lightning attacks to catch panic rolls. At 70% HP, he charges up an enhanced version of ancient lighting strikes used by dragon cultists.

The glory and downfall of the Erdtree age culminates with Radagon‘s defense of the crumbling Golden Order. A profound emotional and visual spectacle leads into the most surprising and climactic second phase in Elden Ring.

7. Dragonlord Placidusax

Location: Crumbling Farum Azula conquered by storm and tempest

Soundtrack: Hauntingchoral notes befitting an ancient civilization reduced to ruin

In a hidden arena guarded by a draconic tree sentinel lies the forgotten lord of the ancient dragons. Placidusax exists as mere decaying corpse clinging to the glory of ages past, yet still puts up an arduous fight.

With 18,640 HP, Placidusax soars through the air and devastates the area with lightning and red energy attacks. However, it takes 20% more damage from striking weapons. When below 50% HP, Placidusax vanishes before throwing an explosive lightning spear of death – requiring perfect timing to avoid.

This heart-pounding showdown reminds players that kingdoms rise and fall throughout the ages – the current Golden Order exists on top of civilizations and ages since turned to dust. What a humbling visualization of the cyclical nature of power.

6. Maliketh the Black Blade

Location: Across a deep chasm guarded by fanatic worshippers in the snowy mountains of the Mountaintops of Giants

Soundtrack: Tragic whooshing violin notes that increase intensity as Maliketh wields the Destined Death blade

Queen Marika‘s loyal half-brother Maliketh bears the responsibility of guarding Destined Death until it‘s unleashed during the Shattering. His golden eyes starkly contrast the flowing black fur that embodies his Death shadow powers.

Maliketh boasts 11,280 HP along with resistance to holy damage. With extremely delayed slash attacks and Black Blade weapon skills that pass through blocks, Maliketh offers perhaps Elden Ring‘s most relentlessly aggressive pressure. Surviving requires expert timing of dodges and parries.

By defeating Maliketh, we mend Queen Marika‘s cursemark and unlock passage to the capital Leyndell. After an adrenaline-pumping clash balanced perfectly between aggression and defense, this pivotal triumph stays with you long after.

5. Mohg, Lord of Blood

Location: Secluded underground dynasty guarded by various aspects of Formless Mother deep below Leyndell

Soundtrack: Haunting notes and ominous choir chants befitting Mohg‘s perverse Albinauric blood rituals

Creeping into Mohg‘s blood-soaked lair invokes an immediate sense of horror. And the Lord of Blood‘s grotesque appearance does not disappoint – dripping in blood with crucifixed Albinauric followers strewn about. Even Mohg‘s second phase explosion covers you temporarily in blood.

With just shy of 19,500 HP, Mohg moves swiftly during combat enhanced by resistant to both holy and physical damage. When below 50% HP, periodic bloodflames ignite that minimize room to maneuver. Combined with various ranged blood projectiles and delayed sweeping attacks, Mohg perfectly captures a constant sense of disturbing blood frenzy.

By choosing to inherit the accursed blood, Mohg embraced forbidden practices to gain influence. His repulsive ambition stands perfectly contrasted against Miquella‘s eternal youth and compassion. Truly an abomination worthy of felling.

4. Starscourge Radahn

Location: Redmane Castle in Caelid surrounded by various legendary warriors

Soundtrack: Epic brass, drums, and choir notes befitting the legendary general‘s festival battlefield

Legend tells of Starscourge Radahn‘s mastery of gravity magic which he uses to hold back the stars. You finally glimpse his glory during the Festival of Radahn – warriors and sorcerers gathering to combat the heroic general fallen to rot madness.

Radahn dominates the lush battlefield atop his armored steed, wielding two greatswords with colossal 12,736 HP. Although vulnerable to scarlet rot, his sheer size enables 360-degree physical attacks and gravity magic annihilating the battlefield. Surviving requires utilizing Torrent to match his range.

His second phase triggers an hellish rain of asteroids while Radahn continues his relentless assault. Only by severing fate and defeating this legend can Ranni‘s quest proceed to nightfall – a monumental task requiring extensive cooperation.

3. Godfrey, First Elden Lord

Location: Queen Marika‘s divine tower glimpsed from Leyndell appearing only after presenting Destined Death

Soundtrack: Epic brass and drums symbolizing the glory and honor of the first Elden Lord warrior

As husband to Queen Marika and leader of the armies that established the Golden Order, Godfrey‘s prowess as a warrior became legend. So when rejected by grace, Godfrey dutifully departed to live as Tarnished until deemed worthy once again.

Upon entering his ash-covered arena, Godfrey‘s regal illusion wields an ornate throne as a weapon while the spectral roar of his lion echoes. His attacks slam the ground, heal on hits, and even grab to deal massive damage – all befitting a paragon of martial strength.

Half-health triggers his transformation where he regains grace along with new attacks like charging shoulder bashes. Truly only the mightiest Tarnished can surpass the first Elden Lord and proceed towards Queen Marika herself.

2. Malenia, Blade of Miquella

Location: Writhe with rot and fungal overgrowth at the heart of the Halligtree that failed to protect her brother

Soundtrack: Tragic chorus symbolizing Malenia‘s innocence lost combined with fast-paced notes once she draws her Rot katana

Malenia‘s difficulty precedes her – countless "You Died" screens given form. As goddess of the Haligtree, she fights with peerless skill despite her rotting and atrophied body. In her second phase, rot explodes outward as Scarlet Aeonia flowers rain from above.

With 14,700 HP alongside potent lifesteal from attacks, Malenia also unleashes the anime-inspired Waterfowl combo for relentless aggression. Delayed slashes punish panic rolls while clones and homing rot projectiles track players during her second phase. Only the most seasoned veterans can triumph.

By choosing duty to her brother Miquella over preserving the Haligtree, Malenia knowingly sacrificed paradise to stop Radahn‘s conquest. The sorrow of abandoning her purpose translated into peerless skill honed against that regret. What conviction expressed through swordplay.

1. Radagon of the Golden Order + Elden Beast

Location: Heart of the Erdtree – the throne room with the dormant god-like Elden Beast

Soundtrack: Ethereal notes that crescendo epically when the Elden Beast reveals itself as true final encounter

Claiming the top spot as Elden Ring‘s crowning achievement is the epic two-part gauntlet finale against Radagon and the Elden Beast consecutively. This incredible 1-2 combination demonstrates the culmination of lessons learned by testing skill, endurance and emotional resolve to overcome divinity itself.

Radagon ushers in the final battle with his giant hammer moveset enhanced by 23,911 HP and holy projectiles forcing aggression. Just when you seemingly achieve victory, the Envoys rise and summon the Elden Beast as the true final opponent.

This alien space whale with resplendent golden highlights surprises with an entirely unexpected second phase bigger in scope than any prior boss. Its graceful figure dances across the now moonlit flowery arena accentuated by a somber yet beautiful piano piece. Attacks range from angelic light waves to divine Elden Ring projectiles showcasing spectacle never glimpsed before.

By overcoming the Elden Beast‘s onslaught through skillful aggression, players achieve emotional catharsis on par with legends. Just as our Tarnished underdog gradually proved worthiness as Elden Lord throughout this journey, so too does defeating the cosmic divine dragon represent the paramount triumph.

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