There are tons and tons of causes folks everywhere in the world love the Final Fantasy sequence. Dating again to the NES, this JRPG sequence paved the best way for video games to develop into the medium we all know them as immediately. Games of that period usually reserved their “story” for a small paragraph that was tucked away within the instruction handbook and largely inconsequential to the precise recreation. Final Fantasy bucked that pattern by creating worlds, tales, and characters that you simply grew to know and love, or hate, as the sport went on. They have been among the first true narrative-driven adventures in gaming, and a significant part within the sequence’ continued success is delivering new and deep characters with every installment.
With the primary sequence closing in on 20 entries (and so they don’t appear to be stopping anytime quickly with Final Fantasy within the queue), not counting spinoffs, sequels, and non-numbered titles, the Final Fantasy sequence has launched us to a whole lot of memorable characters. From our heroic knights and reluctant saviors to devilish and downright mad villains, and all of the celebration members met alongside the best way, everybody has a favourite. Because there are simply so many to select from, and each gamer pertains to one thing totally different, rating the perfect characters can be an inconceivable activity. Instead, we’ve compiled what we consider to be the definitive checklist, in no particular order, of the perfect Final Fantasy characters of all time. Heroes, villains, celebration members, and even NPCs are all eligible. Let’s see who makes the minimize!
Note: There will probably be some spoilers for character arcs and story twists on this checklist.
Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII Remake)
Where else may a listing of finest Final Fantasy characters begin, even an unranked one, however with the star of Final Fantasy VII, Cloud Strife? Basically the poster boy for the whole sequence, Cloud is likely one of the most iconic designs in the whole sequence. His spiky hair, slim options, and, after all, large buster sword are extra recognizable than absolutely anything else in the whole franchise. That is due, largely, to him being the primary absolutely 3D protagonist within the sequence. Yes, his overworld mannequin is actually a Lego determine, however in battle, and art work, you’ll be able to see him in his full glory. Beyond appearances, it’s who Cloud is that basically drew folks in.
Cloud is initially sort of an unlikable character. He’s a merc ex-SOLDIER who solely helps out making an attempt to take down the evil energy firm for the money. However, and that is significantly better realized within the remake, there’s clearly one thing deeper happening with Cloud. His mysterious previous and connection to Shinra and the villain Sephiroth are all arrange masterfully. When we lastly be taught the reality, and be taught that Cloud isn’t who he thinks he’s, it turns the whole lot on its head. His story is that of identification and breaking out of isolation, that are timeless themes that so many individuals enjoying these video games can relate to.
Auron (Final Fantasy X)
Be trustworthy, all of us thought Auron was the best character in Final Fantasy X. This older character, with a contact of grey, superior purple coat, rad sun shades, and tasteful scar over one eye, was mainly engineered to be probably the most mysterious and funky character attainable. Oh, and that’s not even mentioning the sleek, low tones of his voice that pull the whole character collectively. This was the primary recreation within the sequence to implement voice performing, and say what you’ll about different casting selections (we actually will afterward), however Auron’s voice was about as good as we may think about. Granted, his bizarre behavior of tucking one arm inside his coat sort of prefer it’s in a sling slightly than placing it by the sleeve is a bit excessive, however then again, it’s superior to see him pull it free in dramatic vogue at first of battle.
Auron fills the function of mentor for Titus, and later Yuna as properly. He is a warrior monk who accompanied each Titus and Yuna’s fathers on the earlier pilgrimage to defeat the large kaiju that terrorizes the world, often known as Sin. He’s the wisest character on the staff however doesn’t give any extra data than crucial. When he does communicate, it’s normally brief and to the purpose. Like most of the finest characters, Auron has a secret that’s revealed round midway by the sport. He is definitely useless, and solely stays of their world as a result of he promised Titus’ father he would take care of his son. Rather than relate to Auron straight, this can be a character many individuals admire and aspire to be like. He’s honorable, reliable, and by no means compromises on his morals. While a bit distant, he’s very a lot a father determine kind to many individuals.
Noctis Lucis Caelum (Final Fantasy XV)
Prince Noctis Lucis Caelum is an fascinating story. Setting apart what he was purported to be, the character we received is just considerably comparable to at least one different Final Fantasy character on this checklist, that being Squall. Their similarities are solely floor degree, although, and his previous and persona are all his personal. When we first meet Noctis and his sworn brothers, he comes off as the everyday spoiled royalty kind. He complains about nearly the whole lot and is pampered and has the whole lot taken care of by his three associates. As we get to know him extra, his persona begins to make extra sense, in addition to what his relationship along with his three companions actually means to him.
It is likely to be dishonest a bit, however Noctis’ character is just so robust due to the connection he has with Ignis, Gladio, and Prompto. Final Fantasy XV is arguably extra about brotherhood and bonds than it’s about saving the world. Noctis, like so many people, is sort of a shy child who doesn’t actually know the way to work together with the world. Thanks to his associates, he begins to search out himself and begins to let his persona come by. The camaraderie of Noctis and his associates tenting out, consuming meals, and even their banter in fights is simply inconceivable to not be envious of.
Aerith Gainsborough (Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII Remake)
Aerith, and we don’t say Aeris right here, shares a variety of similarities to Yuna, however the best way they every fashioned their personalities and attitudes round their roles of their tales couldn’t be extra totally different. Aerith is launched because the flower lady, promoting her delicate crops on the soiled streets of Midgar that she grows in her secluded church. At first, she appears simply as fragile as her flowers, however as soon as Cloud comes falling by her roof, and a few Shinra goons arrive to harass her, Aerith’s true persona begins to emerge. She wasn’t some harmless, happy-go-lucky dolt that she would possibly’ve gave the impression to be. Instead, we discovered a girl who knew the way to play off folks’s perceptions of her and fully subvert them.
Aerith is a unbelievable instance of a powerful, well-realized feminine character in gaming’s early years. She rejects the function of being the damsel in misery, regardless of chunk of the sport specializing in rescuing her, by making it her option to go along with the villains to avoid wasting others. And, right here’s the large spoiler that almost everybody is aware of, she finally ends up making the last word sacrifice making an attempt to avoid wasting the world. That second actually cemented one thing folks didn’t even notice was occurring. We have been falling in love with Aerith, not simply Cloud. It simply didn’t happen to us, as a result of she was a celebration member so she couldn’t truly die, proper? It’s only a disgrace that, except Final Fantasy VII Remake intends to subvert this plot level, it has been spoiled for therefore many individuals.
Terra Branford (Final Fantasy VI)
While we’re speaking about robust feminine characters in Final Fantasy, it might be felony to disregard the protagonist of Final Fantasy VI, Terra Branford. Terra was Square proving they might write plausible and non-stereotypical ladies of their video games, resulting in extra illustration in characters like Aerith and Yuna, to call simply two. They didn’t simply make Terra an influence fantasy, or Mary Sue, although it might have been really easy to do. Terra is a uncommon mixture of a human and Esper, permitting her to make use of magic but in addition actually splitting her between the 2 warring forces of the world. While the remainder of the forged of Final Fantasy VI is sort of robust, particularly the villain (trace trace), none can evaluate to the love poured into Terra.
Making a personality a mixture of two races may so simply be dealt with poorly, however Square targeted her character on all the appropriate elements. Her story is about rejecting the trail laid out earlier than her, and even her personal nature in some elements, and being her true self. Yes, the sport wasn’t as refined because it may’ve been on this regard, having literal thoughts management enjoying a job early on, however with that apart, Terra’s story of coming to phrases with who she actually is speaks to real-life experiences very straight. Her journey is simply as a lot inner as it’s exterior, however each play off each other to make her the highest decide for finest feminine protagonist in any Final Fantasy recreation to this point.
Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VII Remake)
It is considerably becoming that the one different character within the Final Fantasy sequence that would compete with Cloud for many recognizable is his personal villain. Sephiroth and his large katana carved out a large house for himself when he debuted in Final Fantasy VII, and his presence nonetheless sends ripples by gaming to today. His lengthy silver hair, aforementioned sword, and chilly options alone make him an intimidating determine, and that’s earlier than you see what bodily and psychological feats he’s able to. Sephiroth’s introduction is a masterwork of constructing rigidity and thriller. Cloud is aware of who this individual is earlier than we do, following his path of destruction till we see his story play out.
Again bucking the pattern of video games that didn’t trouble placing a lot effort into their narrative, Sephiroth isn’t a static character. We be taught increasingly more about who he was, how he turned who he’s, after which watch how he reacts to Cloud and his celebration making an attempt to cease his plans. What’s so compelling about Sephiroth is the mix of his plans and justifications, in addition to the set off for what triggered him to succeed in these conclusions. The revelations about his origin will not be too dissimilar to different characters on this checklist, solely Sephiroth’s tragic historical past pushed him farther from humanity. While we’re not meant to agree with him, the writers made certain we understood and will comply with why Sephiroth turned the best way he was, which is the mark of a unbelievable villain.
Yuna (Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2)
If you simply eliminated the opening phase the place you play as Tidus, there can be no purpose to say Final Fantasy X’s most important character was Yuna as a substitute. In truth, many individuals argue that ought to’ve been the case. The whole plot revolves round her, and he or she has simply as a lot company, maybe much more when you concentrate on it, than even Tidus does. She’s a summoner, an individual with the distinctive accountability of embarking on a pilgrimage the world over, studying new summons, till she will carry out the ultimate summon and defeat Sin. To do that, Yuna and another summoner making an attempt this feat are accompanied by guardians to guard them. That could seem to be Yuna is simply too fragile to make the journey on her personal, and at first she even seems to be, however the fact is a lot deeper than that.
Yuna is a soft-spoken and kindhearted one who befits the everyday Japanese stereotype of a shrine maiden at occasions. Her bravery doesn’t actually click on till the most important revelation within the latter portion of the sport turns into identified. Once you be taught the context that defeating Sin with the ultimate summon solely brings peace for a couple of years and ends in the demise of the summoner, her angle and actions by the sport up till then immediately tackle new that means. Yuna is keen to knowingly sacrifice herself for only a second of peace for the world from Sin. To her, that’s a good commerce. Thankfully that didn’t come to go, and he or she was in a position to overcome that destiny and formally star in Final Fantasy X-2. There are some who take into account this sequel a step again for her character, however we expect the evolution from her extra reserved demeanor to a assured star tracks for the place her arc was taking her.
Kefka Palazzo (Final Fantasy VI)
The insane clown or jester trope could also be just a little over-saturated immediately, however again within the day, Kefka Palazzo was second solely to the Joker, or possibly Pennywise, when it comes to pure, chaotic evil. Unlike the Joker, Kefka truly does start as a real clown, however his willpower to meet his twisted needs is powerful sufficient to steer him into changing into a world-destroying demon. That’s proper, Kefka is a villain who, partway by the sport, basically wins and practically kills everybody on the planet along with his energy. He is actually despicable, however in that good method the place he’s so charming each time he reveals up that it’s inconceivable to not be glued to the display screen. Even his sinister snort is enchantingly sinister in all its compressed glory.
Sometimes, the explanation we admire a personality is simply primarily based on how a lot we need to take them down. Kefka is the proper instance of a villain who nobody would really feel any remorse taking down. He is sort of actually the reason for the top of the world, and his motivation is simply primarily based on his psychotic nature. Sure, we suppose his twisted sense of willpower to attain his objectives is one thing we are able to admire, however there’s actually nothing about this character folks relate to. He’s mainly what a cartoon villain would appear to be if they really achieved sufficient energy to do what they needed. We all cherished to hate Kefka from starting to finish.
Cid Highwind (Final Fantasy VII)
There are over a dozen Cids we may decide from throughout all of the Final Fantasy video games, but when we had to decide on the perfect Cid then now we have to go along with Cid Highwind from Final Fantasy VII. The Cid character is exclusive in every mainline recreation, with solely his (or her as is the case in Final Fantasy XV) title being the constant component. In Final Fantasy VII, Cid is considered one of your later celebration members, however his whole introductory sequence is sort of a brief movie that basically fleshes out his character. He even turns into the celebration’s chief for a short time when Cloud is out of fee, giving him extra time to shine.
When you first meet Cid, he looks like the surliest, and even most borderline abusive, man attainable. Once you be taught of what made him this manner, although, all of it makes good sense. Cid dreamed of going to house for his whole life. He skilled, studied, and labored as exhausting as he may to make that dream a actuality. Finally, he was about to succeed in his purpose. On the day he was set to launch and be the primary individual in house, his spouse and scientist Shera seen one thing was improper with the rocket. She started to repair the difficulty, which compelled Cid to need to make the choice of both aborting the launch or going by with it and killing Shera. In the top, he canceled the launch, however their relationship was by no means the identical. Cid embodies that drive to by no means surrender in your dream, it doesn’t matter what life throws at you, but in addition that there are some issues extra necessary in life.
Zidane Tribal (Final Fantasy IX)
After a protracted stretch of extra severe and brooding most important characters, Final Fantasy IX took the sequence in a distinct tonal route with Zidane Tribal. Unlike his predecessors, Squall and Cloud, Zidane is way much less self-serious, regardless of having an equally troubled previous. His solely purpose for the start portion of the sport is to search out his dwelling once more, and he units off on each journey with an optimistic angle and pleasure. This was an ideal refresh from a protracted line of heroes who took hours to heat up and even settle for the journey forward of them. While neither is essentially higher than the opposite, a variety of followers have been glad to have a hero who was extra gung ho in regards to the quest.
We glossed over it earlier, however Zidane’s historical past doesn’t precisely lend itself to creating a personality as upbeat as he seems to be. Without spoiling it, simply know that it’s as darkish and heart-wrenching as another within the sequence, and but Zidane doesn’t come out of it like most different protagonists do. Instead of closing himself off to others and hiding away inside himself, he chooses to do the alternative and be extra outgoing. He strives to make extra connections, assist extra folks, and use his historical past as an inspiration to make the long run higher. Most different characters spend a very long time studying this, so it’s fascinating to comply with Zidane as he imparts his personal ideology onto his equally fascinating celebration members and, by extension, the participant. At the very least, folks will probably be drawn to his optimistic angle towards life, no matter what got here earlier than.
Squall Leonhart (Final Fantasy VIII)
Let’s all simply be open and admit that we had that edgy part in our lives. That level the place we have been too cool to smile or crack jokes anymore. Well, Squall Leonhart was proper there with us. There are some on the market who write Squall off as being shallow. They say his solely character trait is being angsty or too standoffish. To their credit score, he does push this line just a little tougher than Cloud did, to the purpose the place “whatever” turned a meme for the way he responded to most conditions, regardless of how severe. While his chilly demeanor by no means thaws to the purpose we see in different initially distant protagonists, that very solitary, brooding nature was greater than sufficient to earn him a devoted fan base.
Squall Leonhart isn’t a lot a hero as he’s an anti-hero. That alone will create robust emotions for the character in each instructions. So, sure, there are some who hate his self-serious angle and obvious lack of empathy, whereas others will discover his persona very relatable as an individual with emotional (and bodily) scars who simply desires to guard himself. Then, after all, there’s the connection between him and Rinoa. She slowly warms Squall’s (Leon)coronary heart all through the sport till he begins to understand it’s OK to speak in confidence to individuals who care about him. Learning to not use the previous as an excuse to close out the long run is a tricky lesson, and the truth that Squall appears to nonetheless be studying it by the top of the sport makes it a extra plausible, and relatable, arc.
Balthier (Final Fantasy XII)
One brief observe right here is that, in accordance with web folks, Vaan wasn’t purported to be the protagonist of Final Fantasy XII. Balthier was the unique decide for the primary character, however Vaan was inserted as a result of he can be a extra marketable character. The end result was a most important character who felt secondary for a lot of the recreation. Regardless, Balthier steals the present again from Vaan in each scene he’s in, even to the purpose of calling himself “the leading man” on a number of events. The whole plot of Final Fantasy XII is commonly in comparison with Star Wars, and there are many similarities, and Balthier himself bears a variety of comparable traits to considered one of that franchise’s finest characters: Han Solo. A sky pirate by commerce who reluctantly will get snarled in a battle, he’s aloof, smooth-talking, and simply the correct amount of scummy. He felt method much less like a stereotypical JRPG character than most characters in Final Fantasy.
With the charisma and attraction of Jack Sparrow or, as talked about, Han Solo, Balthier is at all times probably the most fascinating and entertaining character on display screen. Like Zidane to some extent, Balthier was instantly engaging due to how totally different he was from mainly another character within the franchise prior. He’s, as talked about, a charmer who’s simply cocky sufficient to be fascinating, however not annoying. What actually makes his character so interesting is his coronary heart of gold and selfless nature towards his associates. We be taught that his antics and angle largely are protection mechanisms he makes use of to cover his insecurities. Whether it’s due to how entertaining he’s on the floor or the deeper reasoning behind his actions, Balthier is actually the dashing rogue everybody loves.
Ramza Beoulve (Final Fantasy Tactics)
The greatest disgrace about Final Fantasy Tactics is that so few players both learn about it or are keen to return and expertise this criminally neglected Final Fantasy recreation. That’s maybe as a result of it doesn’t have a quantity on the finish of it, or as a result of the change to a ways model put folks off. Whatever the explanation, Final Fantasy Tactics is an amazing recreation within the sequence, with a narrative and characters which can be simply as robust as any numbered entry. That brings us to Ramza Beoulve, the primary character of the title. His development is exclusive in that what his character learns most isn’t the way to change his motivation or mindset, however understanding the explanations to do good.
At the beginning, Ramza fights for the consideration of his household title. He solely does honorable issues, combating to guard those that can’t shield themselves, in an effort to show he’s worthy of his personal lineage. After having to go away his family and be a part of a band of mercenaries, he begins to understand that his, or another, household title is nugatory when in comparison with upholding justice and combating towards those that would make the most of the much less lucky. His story tackles the nuanced concept that doing good for egocentric causes doesn’t make that individual simply, and that individuals who do good issues for the sake of doing good, even when nobody would acknowledge it, are the true heroes.
Tidus (Final Fantasy X)
Poor Tidus. He by no means stood an opportunity, did he? Well, not for anybody who didn’t truly play Final Fantasy X, anyway. Between his laughing scene changing into a meme, and the admittedly weird revelation on how his title is meant to be pronounced (Tee-dus slightly than Tide-us), too many individuals write him off as a weirdo who can’t gown himself correctly. The factor is, all of that — properly, not his clothes — make sense in context. Tidus has maybe some of the relatable private struggles of all time, however can be within the strategy of creating a really pure relationship with Yuna that reveals a ton of restraint in not speeding or glossing over their budding romance. By the top of the story, Tidus is simply as sympathetic as Yuna, although issues get just a little convoluted in a method that makes it exhausting to essentially perceive at occasions.
Tidus’ whole inner wrestle stems from Jecht, his father. Jecht was not precisely father when Tidus was younger and disappeared early in his life. Tidus resents him for this, however as soon as he will get to Spira, he has to take care of a world that considers him a hero. Finally, Tidus learns that his personal father has develop into Sin, who Yuna is decided to defeat, even when it prices her her personal life. Yuna, after all, is the one individual Tidus actually confides in and develops a relationship with all through the sport. This intertwining of inner and exterior conflicts, plus the very actual struggles of a son residing in his father’s shadow, make Tidus’ story resonate with so many on the market. The recreation does stumble a bit on the finish by making Tidus only a dream (we expect?), however the emotional affect of him being the one to finish up “dying” does hit fairly exhausting even for those who don’t precisely perceive why.
Moogles and Chocobos (Final Fantasy sequence)
For one thing fully totally different, we are able to’t presumably miss the enduring Moogles and Chocobos from this checklist. Featured in numerous types all through practically each recreation, these two mascots of the sequence have a large fan base all their very own, regardless of not likely being characters in their very own proper. Still, the truth that they make such a powerful impression, and that you may’t assist however smile while you see them seem within the newest Final Fantasy recreation, can’t be neglected. Moogles are the lovable little teddy bear-type creatures that almost all typically act as distributors, although have gotten in on the motion in a couple of instances, whereas Chocobos are the sequence’ horse stand-ins, solely as a substitute of a horse, we get to experience superbly massive chicken-looking creatures.
These two characters, or maybe race of creature can be extra correct, have probably the most surface-level attraction of this whole checklist: They’re simply plain cute. The tiny, fuzzy our bodies of Moogles and thick, shiny yellow feathers of a Chocobo are simply undeniably cute. And that’s not even mentioning child Chocobos. Still, for a sequence that may tread into some fairly darkish, deep, and even miserable themes, having some reliably enjoyable and acquainted animal mascots present up is a simple solution to elevate folks’s spirits. That, and the truth that the Chocobo music is an absolute bop in each remix and association it reveals up in.