This is a list I've wanted to do for a very long time. A list of the characters that made Final Fantasy one of the best video game series of all time. The cast. Each one of these characters is here for very good reasons, either they make the plot more interesting, are amazing to use in the game, or can be seen as one of the biggest villains in all of gaming. Before I begin this list, I want to put out some rules here...

1: Hero and Villain Rules

Heroes must be under your control from the time you get them until the end of the game. They can LEAVE the party and return (Dagger in IX) but cannot be removed from the game entirely (Aries in VII). These characters need not be totally playable, just not changing sides (Most of the Cid characters fall under this. Details in further rules).

Villains have to clearly be the bad guy at least at some point. They do not need to be the final boss (Kuja in IX). They do, however, have to be in combat with you at least once.

2: No Generic Characters

Chocobo, no. Moggles, no. Guys named Brigs and Wedge, no. Also, no 'created' characters from ether Final Fantasy XI or Final Fantasy XIV. And none of the heroes you select from the original count either (No fighter, black mage, etc)

3: The 'Cid' rule

Here's where I do have a problem. Cid characters are everywhere in this series. As such, I will only select one Cid to call on. These characters do not need to be playable. The sad thing is, I'd actually pick the Cid from Final Fantasy: Unlimited if I could do more than video games, as he's clearly the best one by far. Reason being: He created everything in Wonderland mechanical and simply is the most fun one around. I hate to say it, but he's an easy top 5 character if I could add the anime also. Oh well.

4: Every detail matters

Each part of their story, outfit, fighting style, super moves of any kind (I can't call them all limit breaks sadly), and what they do that stands out. If one thing feels off to me, I'm not going to put them on the list.

5: If it is a game, and it says 'Final Fantasy', it counts

Any video game that has the title is going to be good for this list, including Mystic Quest, Tactics, and Adventures.

And remember, this is my list. My opinion. Feel free to disagree, but don't bash me, or any other top 10 creators for that matter, for their opinions.

One final note, I will be talking about some of the few sequels if possible to make a point. And there will be MASSIVE SPOILERS COMING IN CERTAIN SPOTS! You have been warned.

In 80% of the FInal Fantasy games, the 'hyperactive girl' is my least favorite type in the games. Yuffie was really just there for the materia, Selphie was... just there, and do not get me started on the rest of them. The only one who showed even another emotion that was real other than 'Hyperactive Sugar Buzz Girl.' was Vanille.

Her abilities, ok yeah they suck badly as everything in XIII was copy-and-paste every 10 seconds. But when she woke up from being out of her crystal, she quickly started working on her Focus. Also, she was there at times to lend support to Hope when needed. A plus side is she's from Pulse, not Cocoon, so she's automatically got some mystery going on for her. Her outfit reflects where she's from (which is similar in style to Fang's somewhat) and her weapon is also one of the most unique in the history of the game. Like iron spheres on a rope or something... ok yeah that does lose a few points. If it wasn't for just 'blah' nature of her weapon and skills, she'd win on personality alone. Despite how the game is, at least it brought us one good thing about it: Hyperactive girls can feel emotions too.

At first, I do feel kind of bad for Cecil. He's one of the most troubled people in all of Final Fantasy. First, he's a Dark Knight loyal to the empire. Then he becomes a Paladin who's trying to simply go back to the one he loves. But I like his turning into a sense of morality, which puts him on the list.

This shows as soon as he doesn't want to kill Terra. Although she is powerful Terra's only a child and Cecil can't bring himself to do it, showing he isn't blindly loyal to anyone and has a good moral compass going. Even though Cain says that Cecil's choice of going to be a Dark Knight brought Cecil a lot further than Cain being a Dragon, throwing this away in order to do the right thing makes him a better kind of character than others. The downside: The gaining of morality comes at the cost to power for some reason. He got so much weaker for the early game that sometimes it's hard to justify it. But all and all, he faces his dares well and end the end, is one of the few characters where a real sequel was made around his story.

From the get-go, this guy feels like he's got something in mind. His first act of the game is to say that the Al-Bed, even with their weaponry, should be able to fight Sin with things that Yevon forbids out-right. That is, as we will come to find, the only good thing this guy does.

He isn't as much of a major force in these games as some of the other characters are, but what actions he does have are very large for everyone involved. His marriage to Yuna was only to become the fayth that would bring forth the next Sin. And I'm trying to avoid giving too much more away, but his past actually kind of makes this idea reasonable to him. But yeah, causing the wars that go on between the Gaudo and the Ronso, single-handedly slaughtering most of them, shows how this guy belongs on the list.

Ok, Cheating a bit on this one, I admit. Remeber the Cid Rule, and here you go. Cindy is the type of person that reminds me a ton of the Cid from Final Fantasy: Unlimited, just a fun character.

Ok, we're not going to lie, she is this game's 'Miss Fanservice.' A skimpy outfit, revealing a lot everytime she washes the Regalia. But that's not why she's on this list. The real winner for me comes early in the game when she's looking for an extremely rare can of car wax (the quests in XV are weird) and has almost every detail about it figured out. Knowing how old it is down to the rumor that it can improve gas mileage. But it's her that pretty much customizes the Regalia, not her father Cid (who does the weapons detail). Better still, when the Regalia goes missing, she's the one who starts the search for it. But she also has this southern United States accent to her that just makes her character stand out more. For some reason, I keep thinking of Cid characters being from Kentucky or Virgina for some reason before this game. Theory proven? Maybe not but still...

Straight-up, Final Fantasy IX is one of the worst RPGs I have ever played. The gameplay is bad, the graphics are too much of just one color (most of the time that being grey), and the music just doesn't catch on enough until the third disc. But with that, the story is even worse. At least, however, they have one of the best main characters in Final Fantasy History.

Zidane's job was to get Dagger from Alexandra to Lindblum, and he succeeds. Ok, job done, he can go home. But no. The moment there's an attack on another city, Zidane literally just goes out to do what he can again and again and again. I really put him higher because of one cutscene that he shares with Dagger about how he bonded with Baku. It was a typical older/younger brother thing where they got in a fight and worked out their differences. But that's how Zidane to me is, he's not there because he has to be, he's not there because he's emotionally invested in things, he's there because it's the right thing to do for him. He doesn't have to help past his job, but he also tries to give Vivi some extra motivation. More on that later...

The best villain on this list (sorry Kefka fans, spoilers), most villains are there because they want to take over with total power. However, this is one of the few cases in any game that there is that someone already won. Sure Shirna had the Mako Reactors and Sin kept repairing every 10 years, but Ultimecia controlled things from the future.

There's not much you get from the game other than she's the Sorceress that pretty much causes everything to go into Chaos. She controls Adel, then Edea, then Rinora for a while (that also excludes Rinora from being able to be on the list). There are fan theories on who Ultimecia is, but I'm going to say that it doesn't matter. What little you do get shows she's super powerful enough to rule the world throughout all of time. Most of her boss battle is just a mind trip of 'wait a second, that's just... wow!' Did I mention, her castle also holds Omega Weapon? One of the hardest Final Fantasy bosses in History? I wish I could say more about her fight itself, but it's really going to give almost everything away. The only real thing is that she's called "The Daughter of the Great Hyne", who in the game created mankind. But it's being vague to me that makes her stand out in a 'less is more' way.

#4: Vivi

From the best magical villain in the game's history to one of it's best magical heroes, I honestly cannot stand Black Mages in the game. They never seem to be strong enough for the times I need them. Vivi also has this same problem to me, but if it was power alone, this list would have nothing but Squall, Cloud, Auron...

Anyway, Vivi at first seems to be just a guy down on his luck a bit. He doesn't have a lot of confidence and his mentality is just 'I'm weak.' However, with help from Zidane, he starts to learn that even his black magic abilities are helpful in a lot of ways. His troubled mind just starts to get even more troubled when the Black Mages start to attack on top of everything going on already. He starts to question life itself, but still willing to hold is own to figure out the answers. By personality, he is like the first day of school learning as he goes. Thankfully, he starts to grow on you and you want the little guy to get through this big challenge without any issue. He's here because he's the underdog you want to rise to the top, and eventually, he does.

The top 3 are women, and they all seem to have the same strong point in one thing that brings them to the best of my list. For Quistis, it has less to do with her personality, but more to do with just being put in a place where she has to earn respect from everyone all at the same time.

First, she's the instructor, then she's another SeeD like you, all because she pretty much questions her abilities to lead. Ok, a lot of that does have to do with Squall (and maybe Seifer to some degree) being so stubborn but she really does show she cares. She tries and fails, to get Squall into a relationship with her, but even then she's willing to put that aside for Rinora. However, she also earns points for having the over-all best limit breaks in the game with Blue Magic. Yes, it's been done before, but having Micro Missiles and Mighty Guard together in a pinch changes the game big time. I would love to give away a few more plot points right now with one side quest, but I'd rather you go find that part out yourself. Needless to say, it shows how she's even more of a powerhouse than most anyone in the game, and the best of the characters from VIII.

#2: Yuna

I am going to say a few words you may call me crazy on: Final Fantasy X-2 is one of the most underrated video games in history. Yes, I get that there's tons of fan service, but when you get into the game, it's actually fairly deep in its gameplay. And the heroine of this game is none other than Yuna from X.

Unlike other sequels that do nothing for the characters of the past (XIII anyone?), we see Yuna be a lot more decisive in what she wants to do and what she believes in. But it also goes to show her life after Yevon could have been much destroyed thanks to the Eternal Calm. She doesn't mope about it at all, she just goes on to be a sphere hunter. She doesn't even use her fame much to gain a lot of attention (yes, the intro did that, but it was to lure out LeBlanc more than just get eyes on her). She doesn't want a quiet life, but one of adventure and exploration. Yet she could use her fame to get just about anything she wanted anytime she wanted. And the only time that seemed to happen was to gather everyone mid-way through the game for her real concert. I won't comment on game style, since you can mix that up really at any time, just dropping her down a bit. But if you want to see how someone gains inner strength throughout a series, Yuna from X-2 is the character you want.

If you wanted to ever have a girlfriend who can take care of herself, yet want to be a princess all the same time, then Tifa's the one for you. What she has going for her is actually much more than her, ahem, bra size (Please do NOT change a character's looks, Avent Children), but her mentality.

Yes, she cares about Cloud a lot. In fact, obsessively so considering how he's really a jerk throughout most of the game. Tifa cares so much about Cloud that she willingly stays by his side during the Mako poisoning he suffers after being thrown into the Lifestream at the North Crater. She also is one of the best fighters in the series history. In a game where power is pretty much king, seeing how most magical attacks are 'summon monster, limit break, kill enemy, heal if needed, repeat', her slot-based limit break does give you some of the best chain limits in the game, instead of having too many repeats, every attack looks different from each other. I think the very best of her, however, is at the end of disc 2, after learning what Cloud is really and still staying by his side. Too bad Cloud doesn't return the favor later (Again with Avent Children. As good of a movie as it was, it screwed with the storyline).

Now, some honorable, and dishonorable mentions:

Honorable:

Cid Pollendina
I love this guy from Final Fantasy IV. But we all know what happens to him...

Kefka Palazzo
You're all going to ask 'why isn't he on this list?' Well, he was never special to me. Yes, he's totally psychotic to the point of wanting to kill people out of being bored, but my first impression of him: "Oh there's sand in my boots." Not to mention, I don't really find clowns scary. And having Godlike powers, eh, join the villain club

Cid Highwind
I like him, but he's just too much of a prick to really put him on this list. On Cid terms, he's behind Cindy and Unlimited's Cid. He is the best pilot in the world, but that's just 'meh.' I will say he does have the coolest limit breaks around.

Vincent Vallentine
I love this guy's character, but his limit breaks are too risky for me. Dark, bruting, but just wants to go after Hojo like Cloud wants Sephiroth. His side story, however, is cool.

Zell Dincht
Love him more as a fighter than most anything else. He's the super smart one of the group with all that strong arm fighting he has, which is a plus. But at times a bit too much of a hot head.

Dagger
Eh... just too 'meh' for me.

Wakka
Close to being on the top 10, as he feels like the older brother of the group. He isn't so 'do what I say' although it's clear everyone looks up to him. I was torn between him and Vaniell. But like I said, rare that a happy-go-lucky girl character has such emotion.

Any Hero from XII

I thought about this for a bit, which one did I like? Well, I liked them all. Everyone has a goal in mind and were able to bring something to the table that no one else could. Adventure loving and none of them feel like they had trouble living. Ashe of all people might seem like the most depressed, but she seems to want to restore her kingdom not because it's her duty, but because everyone else wants to see it too. Also, is it just me, or does Balthier remind anyone of Han Solo?

Noctis Lucis Caelum
King trying to find powers to restore his kingdom's name. Plus, he's a boring character to play as. Ok that's more to the fault of the gameplay, but those two reasons did hurt an actually strong-willed personality.

Dishonorable:

Anyone from Final Fantasy III
No one stands out, at all. Everyone is the same. Mostly, Final Fantasy I characters with names: Totally lifeless.

Yuffie Kisaragi
"I'm in it for the matera and forget everything else!" No thank you. Also, let's not forget she can't be trusted at all.

Selphie Timlitt
She's got to be one of the worst characters in video game history. Why? She just never stops being hyperactive cute. She just feels even when going to Trabia Garden that everything is a game to her. The only two good things about her period is her weapon can auto hit anything maxed out and her limit break The End. But Cait Sith could do the same thing if given the chance.

Kuja
What does he do exactly? Garland pulls most of the strings, and Kuja just flies around on a dragon. Picture him as Tuxedo Mask and Garland as Sailor Moon. Get the reference? That's pretty much FFIX as a whole. The worst villain in the series and it's not even close.

Lulu
She just complains half the time and the other half cast spells. I do agree her overdrive is cool, but otherwise, eh, why bother?

LaBlanc
Misguided, but at least she does something and fights from time to time. She just feels like she has nothing special other than to go after Nooj. Why is she being such a pain for most of the game?

And finally, the worst character in all of Final Fantasy (and a possibly all of video games):

Adelbert Steiner

Ok, I want to actually make a post about this guy. He is so blinded by loyalty and the law he actually doesn't see the big picture no matter how much you pound it in his head through the first half of the game and then some. Things are happening around him and to him that his loyalty to Alexandria cause him to not realize the evil things the queen is doing. He constantly thinks that everyone but him is wrong, both morally and realistically. I have to be honest, Beatrix at first is the same way, but eventually, she comes around much sooner than Steiner. And in a game lacking real power, Steiner being a knight hurts badly. Defense is always good but he sacrifices too much attack for me. I never grew to like him at all, and I left him out for other characters most of the time.

Anyway, that's my total list. I kind of had a hard time with this one, as I really would have loved to put The Spirits Within, Unlimited, and Advent Children on this list as much as I could. But alas, this is a video game list, and thus here we are.

I would like to also say that, everyone's going to be different. And Final Fantasy is like that: The game of human beings being, well, human. We see their downsides, their upsides, their worlds, their abilities. It's a series so different from each other game in it, that I feel like it really is one of the best overall series of all time, not just the best games. I admit, I love the later Final Fantasies more than I do 1-6, but that's because I started with those. I think the best way to sum up the characters on this list would be: "We all come from different mindsets, but we are all one in our goal." A good RPG will do that for you. And these games are some of the best RPGs of all time. Other than III, IX, and XIII that is...

Still, let me know what you think in a message!


List by PlasmawarriorX (10/12/2017)

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