As a whole, Dark Souls 2 is one of the hardest games of the last two console generations. You can argue whether or not the first Dark Souls or Demon Souls were more difficult than Dark Souls 2, but the fact remains that no matter how you rank the individual games in the series, all three are difficult. It's widely agreed that the hardest battles are rightfully against bosses. That said, we compiled a quick look at some of the toughest bosses in Dark Souls 2.

Ruin Sentinels
How to beat the Ruin Sentinels in Dark Souls 2

Depending how you navigate your way around the world of Dark Souls 2, there's a good chance you will come across the Ruin Sentinels early on. Alone, these enemies aren't that bad. The problem is that you fight them in a group of three. You can take down the first of the three bosses before the other two join the battle, but one mistake and you'll square off against all three. Even when it's down to just two, you have to be extremely careful to ensure you make it out of the battle alive. If you don't have a shield that absorbs 100 percent physical damage, this battle is much tougher.

The Lost Sinner
How to beat the Lost Sinner in Dark Souls 2

If you go into this battle with no prior knowledge of the fight, it's arguably one of the most difficult in the game. However, there are some things you can do to make this fight easier. As with most of the battles in this game, having a shield that absorbs 100 percent physical damage is extremely helpful. In addition, if you've defeated the Belfry Gargoyles, you should have the Bastille Key. With this key, you can open the doors on either side of the boss battle area (before you enter) and light the oil to brighten up the battle area.

Without the Bastille Key, the battle area is extremely dark. In fact, it's so dark that you will lose your lock-on if you don't remain relatively close to the boss. The Lost Sinner is also very agile, which means he jumps around, attacks frequently and doesn't give you a lot of time to mount an offensive. This is why it's important to have a shield that absorbs 100 percent damage, so that you can block most of the Lost Sinner's attacks and still be safe from harm. Even with the shield, you'll have to manage your stamina well to avoid taking damage.

The Duke's Dear Freja
How to beat The Duke’s Dear Freja in Dark Souls 2

The Duke's Dear Freja is difficult to battle for a number of reasons. As soon as the battle begins, you must deal with a number of smaller enemies. Freja doesn't give you much time to take out the lesser foes before it strikes. In addition, even if you clear all of the additional enemies, they continue to spawn and attack throughout the battle.

Along with the ancillary enemies, you must deal with a number of Freja's attacks. It has a beam attack that covers nearly 180 degrees in front of it. Dodging the attack is difficult, and it cannot be blocked. If it connects, there's a high probability it will kill you in one shot. The best way to avoid it is to get to either side of Freja, or simply make your way to its back (where another head awaits). You also have to watch out for Freja's jumping attack, which gives you minimal time to move out of the way before you're crushed. Once again, you're dealing with the lesser enemies as you avoid these attacks, which make it even more difficult.

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Smelter Demon
How to beat the Smelter Demon in Dark Souls 2

What makes the fight against the Smelter Demon a bit of a hassle is the fact that it's a battle of attrition. Not only must you evade most of the Demon's attacks, you also need to have enough healing ability to outlast the boss. Once again, having a shield that absorbs 100 percent physical damage is extremely helpful. However, the boss uses fire attacks, which means even with that kind of shield, you'll still take damage. The more fire resistance the shield has, the better off you'll be, but physical resistance is more important than fire resistance.

Your agility is also very important during this battle. If you're too heavy, your rolls will be weighed down and your movement will be much slower. This makes it far more difficult to evade the Demon's attacks, and the battle becomes nearly unwinnable. Even if you have light armor and a solid shield, you still have to move around quite a bit, and it's almost impossible to avoid taking damage because the Demon inflicts damage even when you're the one attacking. Because of this, you'll need to not only have healing items or abilities at the ready, you'll also need to time them well so you don't get hit while attempting to heal yourself.

For more Dark Souls 2 tips and strategies, be sure to check out our complete walkthrough and boss battle guides.