The fight is fought and won, there is no more glory to be had here, so why are you lingering? Why it’s to finish the job in style of course; because no epic fight is finished with one guy just bleeding from his wounds, or simply limping away to feel sorry for himself. You have to let them know who’s won, you have to do it in style!
Here we gather those final flourishes, those last lethal blows, the best and the coolest finishing moves. Join us for this week’s Top 10, as we check out the Top 10 Finishing Moves. Note this is in all sorts of media; Video game takes a preference due to the nature of games being all about closing it out, but anime also makes the list!
10) Frosty Buttslam – Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
One of the Pre-Sequel’s coolest additions to the Borderlands franchise was this little combo of cryonic damage which can freeze an opponent in place, and the low gravity of the moon Elpis. Launched skyward above a field of icy enemies, the intrepid vault hunter unleashes a burst of O2 to hurl themselves vertically downwards and creating a shockwave that can deal some serious damage. So hurl in a cold grenade, cool everyone’s mood and then bust in with an ice-breaker. And just like that the party started!
While it’s not always lethal, it’s one of the fastest ways to take down hordes of enemies and send them into low orbit chunks, and also one of the most awesome. The official designers aren’t over keen on you calling the gravity slam a Buttslam, but on the other hand they’re perfectly fine with it.
9) Warrior’s Execute/Priest’s Shadow Word: Death – World of Warcraft
In World of Warcraft, there are moves which can be triggered at specific times. The two most notorious moves have effectively the same trigger. Get your target down to 20% health and then just press the corresponding button (so long as you have enough resource to do so) and down goes the enemy! At least, that’s the theory. Both of these moves aren’t a guaranteed kill, but they’re pretty likely!
The first move, Execute, is a physical attack which brings the blade, blunt object or otherwise down onto the foe with a crushing force. It’s a devastating physical attack, which can often end a PvP encounter. Of course, opponents with huge health, or high armour can survive. Meanwhile, Priests have a counterpart move called Shadow Word: Death. Exactly the same trigger, so long as the Priest has the mana to cast it. Of course, an opponent with a lot of health, or high magic resistance, will be able to survive this attack… But wow, are these two moves damaging or what?
8) Darius’ Noxian Guillotine – League of Legends
Noxian Guillotine is the ultimate move of Darius, known as the Hand of Noxus, is an axe carrying, damage-focused melee character who is all about unleashing havoc on his opponents with huge physical damage. Once his ultimate move hits it’s likely going to take a huge chunk of health away from anyone he’s targeting. Darius launches himself up high, then brings his axe down with such force, splitting his opponents in half.
But that’s not the only reason Darius gets a mention in this list; his ultimate is unlike a lot of other champions. It’s not just a one use – It has the potential to be used five times in a row! See, if you manage to kill an enemy champion with Darius’ Noxian Guillotine, then you’re able to cast it again. You can potentially do this five times, which means you can single handedly finish off the whole of an enemy team. Granted, the situation where this would happen would be pretty unlikely; but at least you know you feasibly could finish a whole fight off this way.
7) Emily’s Shadow Walk (Shadow Attack) – Dishonored 2
The modern stealth masterpiece features a variety of combining and spectacular powers that make the haunting assassinations all the more memorable, and if you play the game right there aren’t many kills you’ll make that should require more than one swing of a blade from the shadows. When situation demands young Emily Kaldwin can become a fragment of the shadows themselves, crawling ominously across the cobbles as an emaciated wraith to slip by her enemies unseen, or…
Well the other option if you’re playing the bloodthirsty way is to slip up behind the unsuspecting traitors and perform one of the most horrifying attacks of the game, dangling your victim aloft by an ankle with a single clawed hand, and with the other pulling the tortured flesh apart. A smattering of upgrades allow the young Empress to hold the form for long enough to perform this grisly execution multiple times without being seen.
6) Zell’s Duel – Final Fantasy VIII
Zell is one of the pluckiest characters in Final Fantasy history; a stark contrast to the protagonist, Squall Leonheart. Zell is always jumping up and down, excited to be training and becoming a SeeD, one of the elite soldiers from Balamb Garden. He’s often seen doing push-ups, or just running around the place, burning his excess energy. So then, Zells Limit Break happens to be one of the most hyperactive finishing attacks on this list, requiring the user to pay attention.
Duel brings up a series of possible moves you can make Zell do, each of which can be strung together and turned into a series of moves which do incredible damage. At the end of the game, each of his hits can potentially reach the 9999 damage threshold, meaning that even a small part of his moveset becomes lethal during this finish. Don’t mess with Zell, or you’ll be taken to hell… But that might just be because he’s hyperactive enough to talk you to your grave.
5) Ride the Dragon – Skyrim
Skyrim’s power attacks take you into gloriously cheesy slow-motion third person, beheadings, quartering, following arrows and bolts of fire straight through your freshly ragdolled enemy. But as it’s a game about dragon slaying, and so dragons get their very own, extra-long, and super awesome power-attacks. When your dragon is brought low into melee range and the Dovhakin charges forward to slash and bludgeon at the head, you’re nearly there.
You smash the dragon’s head into the dirt, low enough to grab a horn and leap up onto the beast’s head, and either stab it’s eyes over and over until it stops struggling if you’re using a one-handed weapon, or lining up a big double-handed blow that busts it’s head open. It’s a brutal finish for any of the harder fights in the game, and as they become more frequent at the end of each fight they leave you with a sense of growing dominance over the mighty tyrants of old.
4) Avada Kedavra – Harry Potter
So far as geeky kills get, I don’t think many if any are as final as the gravest of all the unforgivable curses. Despite the fact that there are plenty of spells in the Harry Potter Universe that could kill, some of which are so simple that a well versed practitioner of magic needn’t utter the words aloud, they all require other factors and leave a trail of evidence behind. Avada Kedavra doesn’t wound, burn, poison, or suffocate, it simply ends life.
Absolute brutality in its magical composition, it simply cannot be cast without a sincerely murderous intent, it requires hatred, malice, or simply cold sadism. The fact that it failed even once in the hands of a remorseless killer made the survivor an instant celebrity, a legend before he could walk and talk, and it reduced the killer to a shadow spectre doomed to a half life until his worshippers could return him to power. While Cedric Diggory may simply have been snuffed out by the spell, there’s no denying that it’s a spell that carries an infamy of its very own.
3) Instant Kill – Guilty Gear Franchise
Guilty Gear is well known for being zany, wacky and a little bit out there. Timlah has a particular interest in a few select characters: Faust, Bridget, Venom and Slayer. But every character in Guilty Gear has one thing in common – They all have an instant kill attack. This is an attack that, if it hits, is guaranteed to end the fight with some form of theatrics to accompany it.
The video above shows all of the variations of the Faust Instant Kill. Once it hits, he gives his opponent a face job, usually involving eyebrows for some reason. This messing up of their perfect facial hair is enough to make enemies crumble and give up. Some of them kinda like the change. But ultimately, the finisher is always slightly different. Other characters have slightly simpler instant kills, such as Bridget throwing his opponent to the moon, but at least these moves are always stylish to look at and hard to pull off in a competitive environment.
2) Spirit Bomb – Dragon Ball Z
The Spirit Bomb is an infamous move in the Dragon Ball universe, known for having wasted so many peoples weeks. Yeah you heard me: I said weeks. You see the Spirit Bomb, if it hits, is hugely impactful. It has the potential to level a whole planet, perhaps more! But this is all dependent on how much energy that Goku can draw in. Whether he’s relying on the power of the people of Earth, or if he’s relying on the energy that’s all around him.
Now, the reason this can’t quite make it to number one is that it has been known to go wrong. It’s not completely infallible. Truth be told, if it was infallible it’d be the number one of all number ones. However, because people have gotten away from it; dodging it, simply getting rid of it and so on, it can’t be deemed the best finishing move on this list. Only one move we felt is better than the iconic Goku Spirit Bomb…
1) Sub Zero’s Spine Rip – Mortal Kombat
After last week’s heap of uncertainty and votes leaving our decisions in your hands, we are left with no doubt, none whatsoever about which finishing move deserved the number one slot and we hope that it was the first finisher you thought of when you saw the title. We think it’s such a great finishing move, that we’re finishing with it.
I mean what do you say here? It’s brutal, it’s effective, it’s memorable, and it’s a huge part of gaming history, especially regarding the controversies surrounding the excesses of violence in the industry. The spine rip isn’t even on-theme with Sub Zero, there’s not a lot of overt ice-usage in severing a couple of dozen ribs and yanking a spine free while still attached to the head – although I can imagine it would make life easier – but it is in character for him.
Mortal Kombat is known best of all for it’s increasingly and unapologetically grisly fatality moves. While there are dozens, maybe hundreds, dare I say even more, only one immediately sprang to mind at the sight of this list.
Still standing? Then surely you’re still good to fight, you’re not done until we say you are, so there’s still time to show you what honour looks like. Here are our honourable mentions.
Creeper Boom – Minecraft
That’s a nice house you have there.
Kind of a cheep shot at the Creeper, as this move does more to finish itself than it does to anything else, and while this may raise some rather serious questions about how the Creeper can survive as a species, and there are some theories bouncing around that actually make a Creeper seem somewhat sensible.
While I have my own ideas, if Creepers are actually a mushroom that breed by spores, then their pursuit of a fleshbag to explode on means they’re looking for nutrition for their spores to feast on as they grow. That means that the explosions aren’t just there to smash down your painstakingly built statue of yourself made in survival mode (well done by the way) but to ensure the propagation of the species. This is not so much a finish, it is only a beginning.
Tombstone Piledriver – The Undertaker
REST. IN. PEACEMNMNNMNNN – The Undertaker 2017
The Undertaker is one of Pro Wrestling’s most iconic wrestlers. As seems to be the norm recently, a wrestler has been popping into our lists because they just so happen to fit perfectly. As such, when we heard “Finishing Moves” won the vote, we knew a grappleman would have to get onto this list. So, when push comes to shove, we could have chosen the GTS, the F5, the Rock Bottom, the Peoples Elbow… So many moves we could have chosen.
We went for The Undertaker and the Tombstone Piledriver. We know; he’s not the only wrestler in the world who does this move – His in-story brother Kane does the move, but other wrestlers have been known to do it as well. With that in mind, one of the most iconic sights in all of wrestling is The Undertaker signalling that he’s going in for the kill, when he lifts his foes into position – drops to his knees and buries their head into the mat. Kinda. It’s more like the shock from his knees hitting the mat that does the damage.
Yoshimitsu’s Seppuku – Tekken
We had to mention this, as I’ve been playing a lot of Tekken 7 recently. In Tekken, Yoshimitsu, the space-ninja who totally inspired Warframe (he didn’t, I’m kidding), has an ability. It’s based on the classic honour ritual sacrifice done by samurai, but in Tekken 7 it doesn’t necessarily kill you. However it has the ability to finish the fight for Yoshimitsu… and it also has the ability to finish the opponent off. Potentially, if you’re really desperate, you can get a double KO this way. Cheap!
It’s all over, nothing left but a bloody mess and the cheering of the crowd! You can look down at the gore you left behind, feeling a sense of purpose and adequacy unlike any other. However, your best shot was clearly good enough – It was so devastating that it’s left nothing in its wake. While we sweep the floor and pick up the pieces, choose your next combatants and prepare for round two.
Where did your favourite finishing move finish? Did we forget some magnificent maneuver or killer killing blow? Do you think we got the order of some of these moves wrong? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below, or jump over onto our Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.