In Game Music Showcase, I take a look at a few songs from a particular category, like battle themes or title screen songs. The songs are listed in no particular order, except for the last one which is my personal favorite of the bunch. I love video game music more than any other genre and with this feature, along with game music appreciation, I hope to help you understand why.
So why bother with having two music features? Game Music Appreciation is more in depth while Game Music Showcase is more of a microcosm of one category of video game songs.
It seems like a so many of the games I love have great boss battle music, and even greater last boss battle music. So great that it makes me wonder sometimes why they would save such great songs for the end where so few will hear them. A reward for perseverance I guess. Anyway, this list is only of last boss themes; specifically the last enemy you fight before the main story is complete. Also of note is that many last bosses have more than one form and a different song for each form so some of these aren't technically the last song you hear before the ending but it still counts as the last boss.
One Winged Angel
Final Fantasy VII, 1997
Fight Against Smithy
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, 1996
Super Mario RPG was one of the first RPGs I ever actually beat and man was the last boss intimidating to me. He's a giant robot named Smithy who was slowly turning the world into machines, so you're pretty much taking on Skynet when you fight him. Hmm...Mario vs Terminator. Nah. Actually an even creepier way to think about it is taking on AM from I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream. Ew. Anyway, this is the song that plays during Smithy's first form. He actually gets weirder in his second form when his head turns into a creepy skull that transforms into various weapons (yes, his head transforms into stuff), though I don't like the song that plays during that form as much as this one.
Technodrome: The Final Shellshock
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time, 1992
I'm not sure if the song is actually called that but I can't find a soundtrack list so, sorry if I'm wrong. Regardless, this is the last boss music from the SNES version of Turtles in Time, which is perhaps my favorite beat 'em up ever. This song absolutely radiates intimidation. It just shouts to the player, "Watch your ass or Shredder is gonna rearrange your face for you!" A lot of Konami games at the time were like that actually; just full of music that gets you pumped to kick some ass.
The Final Battle
Final Fantasy IV, 1991
Speaking of intimidating songs, here's a great one for you. This is what you hear after you watch the last boss of Final Fantasy IV, Zeromus, kill the former main villain, who was more than a match for your party up to this point, a centuries old wizard from the moon, and finally your entire party who just manages to recover after the whole world cheers them on. Then you actually have to fight the guy. Damn. This game doesn't mess around. Again, Uematsu is the man!
Final Fantasy VI, 1994
Final Fantasy again? Yep. There's no other song that could have been number one on this list. Dancing mad is an absolutely insane song for an absolutely insane villain. Kefka is one of the most well built up villains in the whole series in my opinion. And by the way; his plans actually succeed. About 2/3 into the game, he manages to become a God and decimate the planet. So yeah, you though Zeromus was built up well. Forget about killing a few characters. Try killing almost everyone in the world, then get back to me.
It's a pretty tough call, because the man has done so many great songs, but I think this is Nobuo Uematsu's finest composition. It's almost 18 freakin' minutes long for God's sake. That's some dedication there. And this game includes a 15 minute long opera song and a 21 minute long ending song. Holy shit that man is dedicated. Dancing Mad, like One Winged Angel, does a fantastic job conveying a wide range of emotions. You can almost feel Kefka's insane God complex, especially at about halfway through when the organ starts up. Uematsu deserves every ounce of respect that he receives.