4. Bowser – “Super Mario”
Donkey Kong might have been Mario’s first nemesis, but Bowser is undoubtedly his greatest. The King of the Koopa—or as he’s known in Japan, “Great Demon King”—came to define the traits and structure of a video game boss, sending henchmen to take on the hero, before finally facing him in a winner-takes-all battle. Bowser and Mario have come to share, if not a friendship, an uneasy truce in recent years, but friendly kart races or golf rounds aside, Bowser remains the very definition of a boss. He takes what he wants and will fight anyone and anything to keep it.