Final Fantasy V: The Hardest Bosses In The Game, RankedThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Final Fantasy V is by no means the hardest entry in the series.
But it does have its fair share of difficult bosses.
RPGs from the SNES era tend to have steeper difficulty spikes than their more modern counterparts. But over time, there are more viable (and even cheese) strats being unearthed.
Yet there’s definitely a handful of bosses in FF5 that could cause you some serious headaches, whether you’re playing blind or going in with a pre-determined strategy.
In this article I’ll take a look at some of the toughest bosses in the whole game.
Please note: I won’t be including any bosses from the optional bonus dungeon “Sealed Temple”, because almost all of them are insanely difficult.
There have been some memorable summon designs in the franchise over the years.
And this guy is seriously up there as one of the best.
Atomos makes his Final Fantasy debut in the vanilla SNES version of FFV, and arrives with a bag full of nasty tricks.
Atomos constantly fires off Comet, which hits your whole party hard and ignores defense.
If he manages to kill a party member, he’ll start pulling their lifeless corpses towards him. And once they’re close enough, he removes them from the fight.
Yeah, not great.
The best way to beat him is to actually let him start dragging a dead party member towards him, since he only uses gravity-based moves during this sequence.
Use this free time to Haste your party and go ham, remembering to revive your dead party member close to killing him.
You can also use Sleep on Atomos to revive the KO’ed party member, then use magic attacks for the remainder of the fight.
This is for your first proper fight against him in his castle, and not the scripted fight where Galuf fights alone.
The main factor for his difficulty is that there just isn’t a surefire strategy to ease to victory.
Exdeath uses Doom, which kills a party member after 30 seconds, and then periodically casts Ice 3 and Fire 3 in succession.
Your best bet to whittle down his high HP is by using high level magic and summons.
If you picked up any Staves of Light, you can use them to deal 2000 damage to him. Or you can also use Rapid Fire with the Blood Sword to deal heavy damage, and try to mitigate his attacks by equipping an Ice Shield or Aegis Shield.
Certainly not the hardest boss in the game by any means. But he’s one boss that can cause you some serious headaches if you aren’t prepared.
Odin’s difficulty stems not from his moveset or damage, but the 1 minute timer you’re given to defeat him before you get an automatic game over.
His HP isn’t the highest, either.
But you still need to get a move on to take him out before it’s too late.
And one note: Odin absorbs Holy, so make sure you don’t have any Holy weapons equipped.
To take him out efficiently, feel free to Haste your party and spam Meteor, Flare, and Rapid Fire with Flare Blade.
Odin’s only threatening move is his signature Zantetsuken, which deals around 1000 HP to the party. But at this point in the game that isn’t too life threatening.
Simply spam your strongest moves and this very useful summon will be yours.
Leviathan is definitely more threatening than Odin.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t have ways to deal with his heavy damage dealing moves.
As expected, Leviathan’s main source of damage will be his water elemental array of attacks. Having Coral Rings equipped will make sure none of these will bother you at all.
For party members who don’t have these equipped, Aqua Breath will do heavy damage, and Tidal Wave will probably straight-up KO you.
Leviathan can also paralyze your party.
So Coral Rings or not, your best way to deal with him is to capitalize on his weakness to thunder-based moves.
You can also use Mighty Guard to reduce his damage, and if you’re successful in this fight, you’ll gain access to Leviathan as a summon.
Bahamut is extremely difficult, but serves as a trial run for the final boss.
If you can defeat Bahamut then you should be more than ready to complete the game.
Coral Rings will protect against his powerful Tidal Wave and Aqua Breath here too.
But that’s about as much as you can get away with on the defensive side.
Everything else that Bahamut does can seriously rip you apart. Summoning Golem will give you some much needed protection, though. And casting Cure 3 is almost necessary after every round of attacks.
At low health, Bahamut will cast Megaflare – which deals upwards of 5000 damage to your party, almost guaranteeing a game over unless you’ve seriously over-leveled.
To counter this, summon Carbuncle when he’s approaching low health. This will protect you from certain death.
3. Neo Exdeath
First off, if you’re playing the original game, you can skip Exdeath’s final form entirely by utilizing the Kiss of Blessing glitch on the SNES version.
If you’re playing the GBA or subsequent versions, or if your moral compass won’t allow you to cheat, then feel free to read on.
Neo Exdeath is made up of 4 parts. And all 4 of them attack quickly and relentlessly.
Their movesets are made up of high level magic, but there are nastier moves in his repertoire too.
The back section can cast Delta Attack, which has a chance to petrify, but this move can be reflected back to Neo Exdeath exactly once – and will KO whichever part it hits.
There are also 2 scripted moves to watch out for: Almagest and Grand Cross.
Almagest hits your party extremely hard, and can cause sap.
While Grand Cross hits each member of your party with a random status effect.
To actually beat Neo Exdeath, use your strongest summons and Rapid Fire moves.
A Dualcast of Bahamut immediately mimicked will result in a total of 4 casts of Bahamut, for the MP price of 2, dealing heavy damage to all 4 parts.
Rapid Fire and Holy Blade is also a good way to deal tons of damage here. You’ll want to priorities taking out one part of Neo Exdeath at a time, and going on the AOE offensive when there are just two parts left.
If you can get him down to just one part remaining, Neo Exdeath starts attacking twice per turn – and regularly using stuff like Meteor and Almagest, which obviously you should do your best to avoid at all costs.
The final top entries in this ranking are both notorious for their difficulty.
And of these bosses, I’d argue that Omega is marginally easier to defeat.
That said, you’re still in for a tough ride. And a lot of prep work is needed to even survive his attacks.
Omega has a pretty hefty arsenal of attacks.
Rocket Punch is gravity-based and inflicts confuse even on party members with Ribbon.
Encircle removes a party member from the battle and they cannot be revived, although this can be prevented with the Dragon’s Kiss Mix.
Earthquake can be avoided by using Float on your party, and Fire Rings will protect against Atomic Ray.
But even with a good setup and preventative measures, this battle is no cake walk. And Omega can quite easily wipe you out on his first turn.
Rapid Fire and Bolt 3 Sword will deal very hefty damage to Omega, but avoid this while he’s charging up, or risk his counter attacking moves.
Hasting your team is essential and you’ll be required to frequently cast Cure 3 and Arise to keep everyone alive till the end.
On his first turn, Shinryu will cast Tsunami. If this is unguarded against, it’ll OHKO your party.
And that tells you all you need to know about Shinryu.
His moveset is made up of powerful elemental attacks which (fortunately) you can protect against. Coral Rings are a must to deal with Tsunami. And an Ice Shield will protect against his Ice Storm and Atomic Ray.
And keep reapplying the Golem summon to mitigate his physical attacks.
For your offensive strategy, that really all depends on how much prep work you’ve put in.
The easiest way to deal with Shinryu is to have your entire party equip the Dual Wield and Jump abilities – and kit them all out with a pair of Dragon Lances for each party member, as well as a Coral Ring.
At a high enough level, you’ll be able to KO Shinryu before your first round of attacks is even over.
But if this isn’t feasible, you can blind Shinryu with the Dark Sigh Mix and then put the berserk status on him with the Bacchus’s Cider Mix.
Then simply keep applying the Golem summon and whittle down his health any way you wish.
And if you’ve managed to beat all the entries on this list, then you’ve officially overcome everything the base game has to offer.
If you’re feeling brave enough, you can tackle the Sealed Temple bonus dungeon, which features upgraded versions of many of the game’s bosses. And if you do take on that challenge, well, good luck!