The Ten Best Final Fantasy Characters

The venerable Final Fantasy series has long been one of the video game world’s hallmarks. Over dozens of releases and thousands of playable hours, the Final Fantasy  titles have consistently delivered memorable games absolutely littered with classic characters, villains and plots.

Of all of the Final Fantasy characters, a handful stand out above the rest. Be it for their great writing, dynamic personalities, or just sheer badassery – these Final Fantasy characters are the best of the best.

10) Wakka – Final Fantasy X

Wakka

Wakka, one of Final Fantasy X’s playable characters, is loved for his accent and absurd hair. The ever funny and talented blitzball player is often cast as a beacon of hope when the rest of Final Fantasy X’s cast finds themselves struggling to continue their mission.

Hardworking and loyal to a fault, Wakka’s dedication to Yuna as one of her guardians and his subtle transformation during the events of the game are one of the Final Fantasy franchise’s best examples of character development.

And, of course, who could forget Wakka’s best line: “Stupid machina, I hate those stupid machina.”

9) Shadow – Final Fantasy VI

Shadow

Shadow, Final Fantasy VI’s mercenary assassin, is a cold character with a deeply troubled past. Clad in a black ninja’s suit, Shadow’s combat prowess and dark personality made him an instant hit with Final Fantasy fans.

Shadow’s story is fleshed out through four dream sequences that detail the events that led to Shadow becoming the man he is in the game. Uncovering each dream allows for his plot to continue in Final Fantasy VI, allowing players to keep him in the party through the rest of the game.

8) Laguna – Final Fantasy VIII

Laguna

Laguna is the one character in Final Fantasy VIII that deserved more screen time than he ultimately got. The charismatic soldier manages to climb the political ladder from a nobody all the way to becoming the president of Esthar.

Final Fantasy VIII’s twisted tale of time compression and forgotten pasts is known for being bleak as far as entries in the series go. Laguna stands out among the game’s cast of characters as a caring, funny, and compassionate young man who finds himself in the strangest of situations.

7) Cecil – Final Fantasy IV

Cecil

Final Fantasy IV’s protagonist, Cecil Harvey, is notorious among series fans for his remarkable transformation during the events of the game. The Dark Knight captain of the Red Wings turned Paladin goes through a lot during Final Fantasy IV’s lengthy story, allowing for Cecil to fully develop into one of the greatest RPG protagonists of all time.

6) Ramza – Final Fantasy Tactics

Ramza

Final Fantasy Tactics took the SRPG world by storm when the game was first released on the PlayStation. The shift from the long-standing norm of traditional JRPG combat to the deep strategic elements of FFT signified a new direction for Final Fantasy and Ramza was the protagonist who helped usher in the change.

Throughout Final Fantasy Tactics, Ramza leads his troops through countless battles. These battles are surrounded by political intrigue, forcing Ramza to think deeply about each action he makes. The transformation of Ramza’s personality during Final Fantasy Tactics is echoed by his in-game character model and illustrates just how much the character is going through.

5) Kefka – Final Fantasy VI

FFVI-KefkaCG

Final Fantasy VI’s villain is notorious among gamers as being one of the best bad guys in video game history. The twisted clown and his desire to bring upon the end of the world for no reason other than the fact that he can is a brilliant example of just how mad Kefka truly is.

Grotesque and evil to his core, Kefka and his horrific laugh have earned him a place in the history books as one of the greatest characters to ever grace a Final Fantasy game.

4) Cloud Strife – Final Fantasy VII

Cloud Strife

Despite being cast in a whole new light after the release of Advent Children, those who are long time fans of the franchise will easily recall what makes Cloud such a tremendous character in Final Fantasy VII

A brilliant warrior with a past as twisted as they come, Cloud and his quest to save the world captured the hearts and minds of those who played Final Fantasy VII. Cloud’s story was full of trials, from the death of Aeris, to uncovering the truth about his past, and all the way to his near-death experience in the Mako stream, there is no denying that Cloud dealt with some big issues.

While Advent Children might have cast Cloud as somewhat softer than he was initially written, the “Let’s Mosey” quoting Cloud is still fondly remembered for being the great character that he was.

3) Vivi – Final Fantasy IX

Vivi

Vivi is instantly recognizable for his traditional Black Mage garb and his role in Final Fantasy IX is undoubtedly one of the greatest character arcs ever seen in a Final Fantasy title.

Throughout the game, Vivi has to deal with the existential angst that comes with realizing he was originally created to be used as a weapon of evil. Vivi’s transformation from the shy and aloof character in Final Fantasy IX’s opening act to the brave and battle-hardened party member throughout the rest of the game is a fine example of a character truly developing in a meaningful way.

2) Cid Highwind – Final Fantasy VII

Cid Highwind

Cid Highwind, the chain smoking, gruff pilot in Final Fantasy VII is one of the best written characters in any Final Fantasy game. Cid’s painful past and subsequent vindication during FF7, as well as his sailor-esque vocabulary have earned him a cult following.

Seeing Cid finally accomplish his life-long dream of making into space, and its importance to the plot of Final Fantasy VII is without a doubt one of the most feel-good moments in the entire franchise.

1) Sabin – Final Fantasy VI

Sabin

The man just suplexed a train, no character can do better than that.

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