Why are video game final enemies always called ‘the boss’?

Since the introduction of video games, more than half of the world spends its free time playing Xbox, PlayStation, and games on Android and Mac platforms. Millions of video game manufacturers exist today, each trying to remain ahead of the curve by introducing new games. It is a billion-dollar industry that does not seem to slow down. Nonetheless, we have often noticed that video game final enemies are always called ‘the boss’. Let us discuss what started this trend and how.


Dnd was the first video game that introduced the concept of the boss. The objective in the game is to retrieve an ‘Orb’ from the bottommost dungeon. The Orb is kept hidden and secure inside a treasure room, which is further guarded by a high-level enemy, named the Gold Dragon. Only by defeating the Golden Dragon, can the player retrieve the Orb and reach the highest score level.

What is a ‘boss’ in video games?

In video games, a boss is an enemy that is controlled solely by the computer. A fight or a battle with a boss is commonly known as a boss battle or boss fight. Such battles are generally seen at a climax of a particular stage or a level. Moreover, a boss is generally more powerful as compared to the other opponents as well. A video game might include a miniboss, who is subordinate to a superboss but not that powerful. Additionally, there might be a final boss who runs the entire show. The first game to feature a boss fight was the 1975 RPG dnd. Today, you come across video games such as Hitman, where you fight the enemy until you face the final boss.

Video game bad guys generally are all part of the same organization. So when you reach the final bad guy he is usually the one who has been organizing all the other bad guys. So that would make him their boss.

So in games where you are fighting an organization or maybe an army, the final boss is literally “the boss” of all your enemies. That particular plot is pretty common so it just became common to call the bigger bad guys “bosses”.

Early arcade games, particularly Contra, Double Dragon and Kung Fu literally called them “the boss” in the game and in the instruction manual. After that it stuck.


Bosses in video games are designed to be tougher and difficult to beat. They can endure more damage and are generally found at the end of the game. Games will have a mixture of bosses. Some might include opponents, while others may only have bosses. In many video games, you might encounter the boss in several stages, and you will have to practice a different strategy each time to defeat it. Moreover, bosses might also have their own theme music as well. In fighting simulation games, the boss may become even more difficult to beat as it gains more strength. Therefore, requiring different techniques to defeat it.

If you are playing a video game that features gangs such as the mafia, you will first be thrown against regular opponents until you are able to reach the ultimate boss. In such games, the boss will first make use of all his power to defeat you and then come face to face when all the options have expired. However, even then, by employing different tactics, he will make it difficult for you to kill him. 

Popular boss video games

Living fortresses is a boss game that features multiple boss battles to encounter the ultimate boss. Each boss makes use of different types of tools to fight and include weak points as well for you to take advantage of. On the other hand, the player constantly upgrades his/her weapons to defeat the boss by striking it at its weakest point.

World of Warcraft is another good example of a boss battle video game. Since its release, users have been stuck hard to the concept and are obsessed with its traditional gaming experience. It is a multiplayer game that allows you to join your friends and take on their enemies and bosses collectively. By 2009, World of Warcraft was estimated to be the world’s most popular MMORPG in terms of player count, nearly 10 million.