Ask anyone what they remember most about Kingdom Hearts 2.
Some people might say the story, or the combat, or maybe even the worlds. There’s a whole plethora of things they could remember fondly, but one thing’s for certain: a lot of people are going to say they remember those tough-as-nails boss fights.
Kingdom Hearts 2 has some of, if not the hardest bosses in the entire series.
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Not only are the regular story bosses pretty difficult, but you have the super difficult hidden bosses and even a whole Organization XIII rematch section to sprinkle in. So for this ranking we’ll take a look at the tougher bosses in KH2, going from the kinda-sorta weakest to the absolute most dreadful.
Keep those potions close, you’re gonna need ‘em.
Note: this list doesn’t include any data organization fights, as they count as their own category of boss fights.
15. Oogie Boogie
Oogie’s back and he’s craving vengeance for his last encounter with Sora.
Similar to Kingdom Hearts 1, Oogie has found a way to avoid hand to hand combat in hijacking Santa’s factory.
This array of gizmos and gadgets makes for a confusing and kind of complex fight. The conveyor belts make movement tricky, and the constant attacks from a giant punching fist doesn’t help with maintaining balance.
You definitely want to pay attention to when the belts lights are blue, in order to move between them accordingly.
This boss fight can drag on for quite a while, as Oogie doesn’t stay long for hits once he falls from his lift. Use this time to figure out the patterns of attacks and squash this bag of bugs for good.
Who would’ve thought the Pridelands would suddenly turn into Shadow of the Colossus?
This big ole’ boy can pose quite the threat if you don’t learn how to properly time your reaction commands.
This whole fight can be pretty disorienting with his massive size and lion Sora’s speedy, floaty movement.
If you use your dodges on time and pay attention to where you’re at, this beast can be brought down efficiently. Just don’t forget about the big magic shaman monkey riding on his back, he’ll need to be struck down as well.
Focus on wiping out the large Heartless first, as steady terrain makes whacking the monkey a lot easier.
So you’ve turned into a card, now what?
The Gamble of Fate can be really tricky to battle if you’re used to just hacking and slashing your way through things.
Luxord is more brains than brawn, after all. He’d much rather play games than brute force his way to victory.
Instead of health, Sora and Luxord have time gauges that are ticking down. You must best him in several minigames while striking him in between to whittle his time down.
If you’re patient then this fight can be rather fun and easy. Just take your time figure out which card to attack and what reaction command to hit.
If you’re turned into a die, just roll with the punches and continue to fight.
12. Hostile Program
This glitchy mess of a Heartless can be really annoying to fight.
His attacks can be hard to time against, or they’re just flat out almost unavoidable at times. He rotates quickly in a circle arena, so catching up to him can be either easy or irritating depending on where you are.
Not only do you have to keep track of him and his rapid attacks, but you also have to deal with his cluster meter gimmick.
If you collect enough little pellets from hitting him, you can use a freeze command to stop him in his tracks.
This sounds pretty good on paper. But once you start wailing on him while he’s frozen, his health meter has a buggy chance to not go down no matter where you hit him.
I guess it makes sense for Space Paranoids to have some glitches, but this is a bit ridiculous.
After having his plan ruined with a single elbow from Belle, you’d think he’d go home from a loss of pride, but alas. Xaldin, the Whirlwind Lancer, is similar to Luxord in the sense that you can’t expect to win by mashing attack.
Xaldin’s fight contains a lot of reaction commands that need proper timing and guarding to set up.
Running headfirst hoping your keyblade will do all the work sadly won’t cut it here.
His attacks are heavy and rapid, so keep a close eye on when you’re able to use the Learn command to counter him.
Although it seems menacing, you don’t need to panic too much about his big wind dragon move. It deals manageable enough damage if you run through it.
Try to use good jump combos and match his commands to snuff out his wind.
10. Xemnas, First Encounter
The big baddy has finally begun to attack, and Sora is all alone.
If you haven’t gotten guarding or reflecting down, then this battle could be a bit of a nightmare for you.
Xemnas’ laser attacks and combos are swift and fierce without proper protection. Be warned, as he also tends to reflect every now and again with a shield wall. I mean it’s only fair.
Now there is a trick to this fight that makes it pretty easy, hence why this fight’s so low on the list.
When Sora goes full Shonen anime protagonist and runs up the building to fight Xemnas, a reaction command will appear.
It sounds crazy, but ignore your instincts and don’t use it. Afterwards another will appear, don’t use that one either.
Trust me on this, you’ll only want to use the third reaction command that appears.
This will do about half health damage to Xemnas, and make your fight a lot easier.
Do this again for the next wall running moment, and you’ll be on to the next battle in no time.
Bringing a gun to a sword fight is kind of rude, albeit pretty metal.
If you’re bad at reacting quickly or using reflect, then prepare to become swish cheese.
His laser guns fire rapidly, and he only has a good opening when he’s reloading. Thankfully, he gives you a nice cue by shouting “RELOAD!” when he’s reloading. What a guy.
When’s he not reloading, he’s barraging you with an onslaught of bullets from various directions.
This fight involves lots of dodging in a small square space, and then an even smaller space in his second “forms”, so be prepared for that.
He doesn’t like to stand on the ground so prepare for aerial combos to be your best friend.
When the time is right in between shots, use your opportunity to silence the Freeshooter.
All’s calm and steady until you hear the words “Moon, shine down”.
Normally calm and calculating, Saix has now revealed his berserk mode!
Obsessing over the moon (in this case Kingdom Hearts), this Luna Diviner will stop at nothing to bring Sora down.
In this berserk state, he deals stronger combos and is much less vulnerable. It’s best to strike him before he enters it, and focus on dodging and getting him out of the state whenever he’s in it.
Wielding his hefty claymore, Saix uses strong, heavy, and brutal attacks.
But why should he get all the fun?
Use your blocks to knock his weapon out of his hands and pick it up to give him a taste of his own medicine. This weapon gives you the upper hand with new reaction commands that really pack a punch.
7. Cloud, Yuffie, Leon, and Tifa
A four v. one?! Talk about unfair.
Well then again, this is the Hades Cup. And he’s not really know for playing fair.
It’s time to show these four how much you’ve grown from KH1, or at least die trying.
This fight can get very overwhelming very quickly. It’s four flashy fighters coming at you all at once. So it’s best to lock on and target one of them at a time, rather than who’s ever closer.
Gliding and dodging will be lifesavers here.
The arena is big enough to give yourself some distance. It’s just that trying to keep that distance will be your problem.
Use long ranged spells to slowly wipe each of them out and show them you’re not the scrapy young boy you once were.
Are you ready to hear “Dance Water, Dance!” in your nightmares for the next week?
Because Demyx is here to make sure you have a bad time.
You start out the fight with a timer to take out a certain number of watery figures. This isn’t too bad once you get the hang of reactions, but then things quickly amp up.
Demyx sends wave after wave of extremely hard to avoid water pillars.
These attacks can be hard to time and get used to, so expect to die at least once or twice.
This fight is widely recognized as one of the most difficult non-optional story fights. It’s sort of a trial-and-error fight, as you slowly recognize how to tank and recover from his various attack sets.
Once you get it down pat, it’s time to have this one hit wonder strum his last melody.
5. The Grim Reaper
Why is a Heartless from an early world so high on the list?
Well, I’ll tell you: The Grim Reaper is a janky and messy battle.
The whole gimmick is to gather the cursed medallions into the wide-open chest, all 882 of them. What happens if a single one is missing?
You can’t deal a single bit of damage to him.
Picking up the coins he drops after stealing them isn’t enough either, no. You have to manually put them back in the chest, leaving you wide open and vulnerable.
The only way to make the Grim Reaper drop the medallions is to use magic.
The spells can be difficult to land too, as they either miss or sometimes not hit him at all due to the game’s error.
Luckily, being an early game boss, he doesn’t have too much health. So try to deal as much damage as possible in between chest rounds.
Overall, this heartless isn’t worth the gold he’s stealing from.
4. Final Form Xemnas
Right when everything seemed to be wrapping up, Xemnas decides to pull a surprise attack to end it all.
Alone with Riku, you must put an end to Xemnas and finally return home. If only it were that easy.
Xemnas’ final fight comes in 3 phases, the first two being kind of easier than the other fights on this list.
The first phase is kind of like a Gummi Ship fight, so if you have issues with those you’re already in hot water.
The second is Xemnas on a throne. His attacks are slow and lethargic so you should be able to dodge them fairly easily.
For his last phase, Xemnas bears a Final Form similar to that of Sora’s. You best prepare that triangle button because you have reaction times a plenty.
Dodge his attacks, fight his phantom forms, and try to put an end to this journey once and for all.
Face to face for the first time. Roxas has a lot of pent-up emotions towards Sora, trying to prove he’s worthy of being the one to exist.
This drive and will gives him the strength to rival Sora, so you better prepare yourself for this tussle.
He attacks like a truck and dodges as frequently as Sora, so good luck trying to get long combos in. His quick flurry of double keyblade slashes partnered with his nobody lasers provide for a frightening combination.
Roxas also teleports around like a madman. So keeping track of him can be difficult.
One of his big moves is a hurricane of dark orbs, so reflect as much as you can.
Combos and drive forms come in handy here, as they provide great movement and attacks, preventing him from doing the same.
Go and show Roxas why you’re the part of the heart who remains.
Queue the Latin choir, it’s that time again.
The One-Winged Angel himself is back and ready to torment you once more.
Being the undeniably hardest boss in KH1, Sephiroth has come back to claim his place on the throne for at least KH2 – but sadly not KH2.5.
Although this version of Sephiroth is more simplified than his KH1 counterpart, that doesn’t mean this fight is anywhere near a cake walk.
He starts the battle coming full force right out of the bat.
Using a variety of slashes, fire spells, and dark orbs, he’s an extremely formidable foe.
Dodging and blocking are not recommended, they’re required to even get close to defeating him.
Once you managed to tough it out and get him down to low health, he’ll start dealing hellfire attacks that are hard to avoid and hurt a lot.
Follow that up with surrounding you in orbs that quickly overwhelm you and you have a hot date with the continue button.
1. Lingering Will
Alone in the dust fields lies something unnatural. An empty set of armor kneels, staying active purely from its unresolved rage and will.
Lingering Will is one of the most difficult and cutthroat boss the series has to offer. Your level, stats, and armor mean nothing to him as he can slice and dice you with relative ease.
Taking on a wide variety of keyblade forms, there’s seemingly no end to his onslaught of attack varieties.
He has incredible range, speed, and power that makes dodging unbelievably difficult.
And he’s nearly unable to be damaged until he finishes dealing on of his own attacks. He’s even able to cancel one attack to move onto the next, so predicting his next move becomes a game of mental chess.
Oh, did I mention he can also lock your command menu so you can’t do anything except run?
Like Sephiroth, you’ll get absolutely nowhere without precise guarding, dodging, and reflecting.
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You’ll need all the damage you can get in, so when you start hitting him, deal as many combos as you can.