Top Fifty Final Fantasy Characters

39. Squall Leonhart, FFVIII

My main reason for liking Squall is that he’s unintentionally hilarious. For a long time, he seemed pretty indifferent about everything.  A lot of his lines in the game included some variation of “whatever” and “piss off; I don’t give a shit.” (I may have exaggerated slightly on that second one.) 

But his cold indifference doesn’t last through the whole game.  He slowly starts to care about people, and eventually fights to protect them.  It’s kind of sweet to watch this immature, indifferent young man grow up a little and start to see the significance and meaning in relationships with other people.  It’s easy to keep a distance from other people and to go through life dependent on only yourself. It may be lonely and sometimes sad, but it’s easy.  Bringing yourself to trust other people with your feelings and maybe even your physical well being is what’s difficult. Witnessing Squall realize those friendships were worth the trouble and risk he took in letting those people into his life was warming to my otherwise ice-cold heart. 

And of course Squall has that gunblade and an awesome limit break. :)

audio-sexual replied to your post: i’m going to be 100% honest and say th…

This is a big part of why I love FF13 rn. When you finally get to pick your team: It’s the Badass Ladies Tour.

Right?! FF13 has it’s problems but damn if i didn’t love my girls. like fang is honestly one of top 3 female ff characters ever. and as soon as i got her i was in love.

plus the girls are a good party they balance each other out so well. y do i need the boys. the girls are already 10000xs more amazing. 

Top Fifty Final Fantasy Characters

1. Vivi Ornitier, FFIX

Where do I even begin with this gorgeous little creature?  Vivi is a popular character within the Final Fantasy fandom.  I’m certain I’m not the only one who positively adores this little guy.  Similar to my feelings toward Rikku, I feel tremendous love and respect for Vivi and explaining it in words might be a challenge…  But let’s go ahead and start typing it and see what I end up saying:

We meet Vivi very early on in the game, as he stumbles around Alexandria with a counterfeit ticket to the play everyone’s going to.  This is when I begin to love him.  Right when we meet him, he’s tripping over everything, he’s lost, gullible, so sweet, and adorable.  How could you not love him?  He turns in this ticket he’s really excited about and then finds out it’s fake and is so clearly disappointed… He makes me want to cry already and I barely even know him at this point.

But that is only the beginning.  Eventually we find out Vivi is a much more important character than he seems.  He’s not just this cute, unfortunate, gullible, little guy we love and need to feel protective over.  He’s so much more complicated than that.  He doesn’t understand where he came from, why he exists, how long he’ll exist, or what happens after he ceases to exist. (These are all thoughts I think most people contemplate at various times in their lives.  Everyone wonders why they are here and what life’s all about, what their purpose is, if there even is a purpose for them, what dying will mean…)  Vivi wants to understand the world and his place in it, just like everyone else.

In addition to all that, Vivi is a very powerful mage, but he fears these powers.  He doesn’t understand them and is at first reluctant to use his magic.  But through the duration of the game, he learns to use his talents and becomes a very strong and powerful member of our party.  I think this is so relatable to so many people too.  Isn’t everyone afraid of their talents to some extent?  I’m at the age where I’m finally qualified to be considered for jobs that require responsibility, jobs that actually matter.  I am capable of being a responsible adult, but it’s so scary to accept this bit of power I have and to know I might mess up.  This isn’t as awesome as Vivi’s powers, but it’s a parallel to it for me at least.  Everyone is scared of themselves and of messing up, if only just a little.

So we can relate to Vivi.  But that’s not enough reason to have him as my top favorite Final Fantasy character ever.  Vivi deserves so much love and respect for much better reasons than his relatablilty.

This little mage is strong willed, brave, kind, and tells a beautiful, tragic story.  The best part about the FFIX story, in my opinion, is Vivi’s story.  Within the game, he learns so much about life and friendship.  He learns what it means to live and to die, which is a really difficult concept even for adults to fully grasp… And Vivi is just a baby.  He was only just created… He also makes so many meaningful friendships and enriches the lives of everyone who knows him throughout the game, helping them with their own crises and being a kind friend along the way.  At a certain point in the game, Vivi realizes his mortality, and it makes him and every one of his friends, and me, and you, and everyone in the world really really heartbroken, but instead of him lying down and crying and cursing the unfair world, he makes the most out of what time he has left.

Vivi has so many things to wonder about, so many reasons to feel cheated.  Black mages like himself were created to be weapons.  Some were killed mercilessly right in front of him.  He finally met people like him and began to understand himself only to find out these people were all “stopping” (otherwise known as dying) at very young ages.  Vivi knew that meant his time was likely limited too. But he kept living, kept helping people, and left his mark on the people who grew to love him.

We can all learn a lot from Vivi.  All of our time is limited.  You might live to be eighty.  You might live to be thirty.  You just don’t know, but no matter how old you live to be, you definitely will die one day, so you should try to use the time you have wisely, just like Vivi did.  Don’t fear death. It’s inevitable for us all.

He transformed from the beginning of the game to the end, from a scared, timid little creature who did not know his strengths, who feared the unknown and didn’t understand life, to a strong, mature, brave person who made friends with nearly everyone he came in contact with and who taught them all valuable lessons about friendship and life and death as well.  Characters grow up in Final Fantasy games all the time.  That’s a huge aspect of these games, but Vivi grew up so much, so fast.  He sort of had to.  And the changes between the beginning of the game and the end, for him, are huge, and so admirable.  He’s such a wise little mage.

This scrambled, confused explanation does not do him justice, but Vivi is one of my favorite fictional characters in existence. I love him so much it’s hard to put it into words, obviously…  Vivi will live on forever in the hearts of all of us who love him, and I’m certain there are so many Vivi-fans out there.  So, so many.  We love you, Vivi. Your memories will be part of the sky…

Top Fifty Final Fantasy Characters

30. Red XIII (Nanaki), FFVII

Red XIII (whose real name is Nanaki) is a brave young creature.  Though he’s forty-some years old, by his species’ standards, he’s about the equivalent of a teenager.  So think of him as being about Yuffie’s age.  And yet he behaves so maturely!  Nanaki once believed his father, Seto abandoned him, but when he later found out Seto had been turned to stone while fending off enemies in a sort of battle, Nanaki was filled with emotion and the desire to become just like his father, a fierce, selfless warrior.  It’s a lovely example of how much a young person might not actually know about the world, and of false perceptions they may have.  Nanaki had all of these ideas of what he thought had become of his father, and he was even bitter toward him for those reasons… And yet he came to find out his father was a brave, wonderful person.  This new-found knowledge helped Nanaki to become stronger as well.

In addition to his bravery, maturity, and kindness, Red XIII is also pretty useful in battle.  While characters like Cloud, Cid, and Vincent are much more useful in my opinion, Red XIII is next in line as one of the best.  I’m betting if Vincent weren’t there, I’d have used Red XIII a lot more.  Even so, I do include him in my party a lot more often than many of the other characters.  He and Yuffie are my usual alternates if I feel like giving Cid or Vincent a break.

And of course I have a soft spot for non-human animals.  Red XIII reminds me somewhat of a dog.  I love dogs so much, so that is positive points for him in my mind.

Top Fifty Final Fantasy Characters

26. Cactuar

Cactuar is an enemy that shows up in many Final Fantasy games. (most, actually.) Defeating a cactuar isn’t always easy if your party isn’t prepared, but when you do defeat one, the reward is usually pretty nice for that point in the game. 

But I don’t just like cactuars because they give a good reward in battle… I like them mostly because they are hilarious looking.  Many of these games are overall very serious.  People are dying, romances are forming, there are battles to fight, monsters to avoid or defeat, corrupted people to stop, worlds to save… And then these crazy ass things come along, running around with their ninety-degree angle arms…  They seem so ridiculous, absurd, and out of place.  I love it! Just look at them… Don’t they make you laugh?

Then there are those giant ones that just loom over you and fire needles at you like a machine gun, running around all robotically in circles all around you…  They are terrifying and hilarious all at the same time.

Top Fifty Final Fantasy Characters

32. The Moogles of Final Fantasy IX, FFIX

The moogles in FFIX were the comic relief of the game a lot of the time.  While all of these tragic and terrible things were going on in the lives of the other characters, the moogles would be there to say something hilarious.  One of my favorites was the time one of the moogles called us “bastards.”

They are a feisty, sarcastic species who rarely fail to make me laugh due to their absurd antics, which include saying rude things to us and sending sometimes hilarious letters to each other.  They also are helpful throughout the game, offering package deals on some items at times (that being Stiltzkin selling us three items for a rather cheap sum of gil.)  Mog even transforms into an eidolon eventually, and of course that’s helpful.

I love these moogles so much!

Top Fifty Final Fantasy Characters

22. Zidane Tribal, FFIX

Zidane is the best Final Fantasy protagonist as far as I’m concerned. (and by ‘protagonist,’ I mean main, title character - usually the character you start with at the beginning of the game.) Even though he’s only at number twenty two on my favorites list, he’s higher up on the list than any of the other main protagonists.  This is because he’s a bit different than most other title characters in the Final Fantasy series.

Mr. Tribal seems to be reluctant to take things seriously.  He’s a jokester, and isn’t quick to get offended.  Zidane is constantly making small jokes here and there and doesn’t get very angry whenever someone insults him.  He’s overall just a pretty easy-going guy. Steiner even makes fun of him through most of the game, making rude remarks about his tail and social standing, but Zidane just shrugs it off, calling the man “Rusty” and otherwise ignoring his insults.  Zidane’s ability to leave these things alone rather than getting in fights and learning to hate this man is admirable. I know I certainly wouldn’t keep trying to make friends with someone who constantly makes fun of me.  Zidane is a more patient man than I.

Even though Zidane tends to be silly and make light of serious situations, he can also be very genuine and comforting when the occasion calls for it. When he meets Vivi, Zidane is nicer to the black mage than anyone else is, offering to look after him and giving him really great words of advice to boost his confidence.  He also clearly cares deeply for Garnet, comforting her when the occasion calls for it, and doing everything in his power to make it back to her at the end of the game.  Zidane even comforts Kuja and reassures him that he’s not worthless after the party’s final battle with him.  Kuja, the game’s main antagonist, the man who tried to kill Zidane and his friends time and time again…  Zidane behaves kindly to him in the end, even after all of their disagreements and violent attempts at each others’ lives.  It’s not everyone who would be so understanding and forgiving.

Besides that one time when Zidane went emo for a few minutes, refused to let his friends help him, and called Vivi a stupid brat, he was a really great friend and likable character. But we know he didn’t mean the things he said…  Vivi knows he didn’t mean that.  Everyone has their little PMS moments, and that was Zidane’s.  He snapped out of it quickly and got back to being his friendly, charming self. 

Top Fifty Final Fantasy Characters

11. Freya Crescent, FFIX

Final Fantasy IX was full of some really awesome characters.  In my opinion, Freya Crescent is one of the best in the game.  I often appreciate strong female characters, and Freya is no exception.  Many females in the Final Fantasy universe fulfill some type of mage role.  They aren’t strong fighters, but are great at white or black magic.  Not Freya.  Freya is a dragoon (which coincidentally is the job class of many more of my favorite characters: Fang, Kain, Cid Highwind…) She is a strong physical fighter, which is very respectable.  That’s not to say I don’t respect the mages… It’s just always nice to see some typical gender roles reversed.

Freya is also so mature.  She doesn’t hold grudges or act rude towards anyone.  In fact, I remember her as being a very friendly person toward all of the other characters.  Many of the FFIX party had disputes with each other, but I can’t remember Freya ever really having a problem with anyone.

She is not a typical human character, and doesn’t necessarily adhere to common notions of what is considered pretty, but I think she’s very beautiful nonetheless.  She’s elegant, jumping gracefully as a dragoon and speaking calmly to those around her, offering them sound advice and kind words of friendship.  She also does that weird dance about the sand storm in Cleyra… Weird, but still elegant, I suppose.  Her tragic love story and its lack of a happy ending is also beautiful, in a way.

Top Fifty Final Fantasy Characters

33. Kefka, FFVI

Kefka is certainly an interesting character.  I haven’t gotten that far into Final Fantasy VI just yet, but from what I’ve seen, Kefka isn’t like typical FF villains.  Usually they have some tragic back story; usually their motives are more clear and their actions, though villainous, can actually be understood.  But not Kefka… I think he’s just fucking insane.

This clown is hilariously absurd, dramatic, and evil.  One minute he’ll be making some corny pun or joke, and the next he’ll be killing you.

He’s definitely one of the funniest Final Fantasy villains, but the fact that he’s “evil” without much of a reason makes him really scary too.  And of course he dresses like a clown… That alone is terrifying.

Top Fifty Final Fantasy Characters

44. Rinoa Heartilly, FFVIII

To me, it seems Rinoa was sort of a portrayal of a typical gender role reversal.  Ordinarily in stories (games, movies, television, books…) there is a man(boy) who is in love with (using the term “love” liberally) a woman(girl.)  The girl is cold and pushes him away, or just acts like a grouch, and the guy keeps being cute and trying to gain her attention.  No matter how mean the girl is, the guy keeps trying to get her to notice him and to date him. 

In Final Fantasy VIII, Rinoa was that guy… No matter how grouchy and indifferent Squall seemed, Rinoa persisted.  She used cheesy lines on him, was nice to him even though he was kind of a jerk, and kept at it until he finally decided he liked her back.  Rinoa took on a role not so typical for women characters in regard to romance, and seeing that role reversal was kind of fun.  It’s not every story that an adorable, friendly girl likes a guy and he just pushes her away like that.  I’m not sure why she didn’t just tell him to fuck off after a little while…  I guess she saw something worthwhile in him, and her persistence paid off.  She’s a much more patient woman than I.   (although she’s lucky Squall didn’t take a restraining order out against her…)

Of course, that’s not the only reason I like Rinoa.  I like that she fights for what she believes in.  Even though she comes from a wealthy family and could easily just stay in that sheltered existence and ignore the rest of the world, she goes out and fights for causes she feels are important.  I also like that she has a dog companion, Angelo, who helps out the party in battle every now and then.  My best friend is my dog, so I can always feel a degree of relate-ability to characters who have non-human animal companions. 

Top Fifty Final Fantasy Characters

27. Sazh Katzroy, FFXIII

I liked Sazh before I ever even played Final Fantasy XIII, because he’s got a baby chocobo chick in his afro. How could someone who isn’t some sort of awesome keep a chick in his hair? 

I also like Sazh because he is like the daddy of the group. (and a real daddy, to his cute little son Dajh.)  Everyone else in the game’s list of playable characters is in his or her early twenties or teen years… while Sazh is forty.  He tries to be the voice of reason, but half the time the other characters don’t listen to his advice.  He seems to be very level-headed and forgiving, friendly, and a great synergist. Back when he was the only character who knew haste, I used him all the time in my party, so he’s also a very useful character, for at least part of the game.

Mr. Katzroy can also be very funny. His scenes with the cactuars in Gran Pulse were some of my favourites in the entire game, just because of how absurd they were.  It seems he’s had prior experience with these cactuars…  I wonder how long they’ve been taunting him…

So Sazh is useful, funny, kind, forgiving, a father figure, funny around cactuars, and friends with a chocobo chick.  What’s not to love?  (maybe that time he almost murdered Vanille.) But even that isn’t so bad… He didn’t actually go through with it, and he forgave her and remained her friend…  We all think about murder sometimes, as long as we don’t go through with it, we’re alright, and so is Sazh.

Top Fifty Final Fantasy Characters

46. Irvine Kinneas, FFVIII

Irvine was one of my favourite party members in FFVIII the first time I played it.  When I had the choice, I’d always have him, Squall, and Selphie in my party, because I thought he was cool.  He’s calm and collected and somewhat mysterious for a while.  For the most part, he’s far more mature than the other characters, considering they are all the same age.  Irvine is seventeen years old, you know…  It’s easy to forget that.

His tendency to flirt with all the ladies was kind of amusing, and it was cute that he seemed to actually like Selphie, for more than just her cuteness.  I adored him when he went out of his way to make her happy with that music festival.  Selphie is one of my favourite characters ever, so anyone who is exceptionally nice to her gets positive points from me as well.

Top Fifty Final Fantasy Characters

47. Serah Farron, FFXIII-2

Serah is so nice.  How could you not like her? The whole time travel concept and changing the past and future in FFXIII-2 created a bit of a moral dilemma, I think.  It was really difficult to tell who was doing the right thing and who wasn’t.  Bettering one person’s world might worsen someone else’s…  It was just really tricky to side with one person versus the other… Serah and Noel or Caius… Both sides were trying to save people they loved…

Nevertheless, Serah tried her best to do what she thought was right, even after learning that it would probably not be in her own best interest to do so.  Was she even doing “the right thing?” It’s hard to say, especially considering the subjective nature of the concepts of “right” and “wrong,” but she did what she thought was best to help the people she cared about, regardless of the cost to her own well-being.

Let’s get back to talking about how charming Serah’s personality is. She’s a sweet, loving person who rarely raises her voice and promotes peace between people rather than joining in on their arguments.  Considering she has to put up with having Lightning as a sister, I think Serah is so incredibly patient… and of course she would be… She’s a teacher!

I was a bit surprised to learn in FFXIII-2 that Serah was a teacher… Just like people are sometimes surprised to learn I’m a teacher. (I seriously am…) Perhaps that’s one of the reasons Serah made it onto my list.  She’s not the strongest or most interesting character in the entire Final Fantasy universe, but she’s kind, smart, and capable of doing all sorts of awesome things.  She time-travels, fights monsters, hangs out with a moogle… but she also has a common job most people don’t think is that heroic, difficult, or noble.  A teacher.  If someone described her as just “a teacher,” no one would think anything of her… but teachers are people too, and some of them, like Serah also happen to be awesome, extraordinary people.

Top Fifty Final Fantasy Characters

20. Black Mages, FFIX

The black mages in Final Fantasy IX make me so emotional.  They are adorably and tragically naive, childlike, and innocent, and of course they would be… They may seem like adults in stature, but they were only just created before/during the beginning of the game.  They are inexperienced in the world in which they live and don’t know much of anything about life in general. 

These beautiful, tragic people don’t understand death, and sure enough they are doomed to die young.  Perhaps not understanding death would make it easier for them.  Maybe thinking your friend who “stopped” one day will come back would mean you don’t have to really grieve so much…  But then from our perspective, it’s even more tragic knowing these guys are waiting for their friends to come back, while we know they are never going to.

It might be easy to say their existence isn’t so tragic considering they were created out of mist and aren’t necessarily biologically like every other life form on the planet… But they aren’t just the puppets some people in the FFIX universe saw them as.  They have plenty of feelings.  Once they “wake up” and stop killing us, they are really sweet and caring.  They protect Vivi from the black waltz, take care of a chocobo egg until it hatches and then raise the baby, make friends with each other and other people…  And all the while some of them are “stopping” (the equivalent to dying…) and none of them really understand it.  I’m not sure if I can even find the right words to convey my feelings about these mages.  I love them so much and they make me so sad.  Final Fantasy IX is such a beautiful, tragic game.

Plus, their village is so cute. X_X  Their little houses look like black mage faces.  Oh my Odin…  I can’t stand how cute they are.  Someone give me a hug.

Top Fifty Final Fantasy Characters

#38. Lightning Farron, FFXIII

I like Lightning for many of the same reasons I like Squall; She is unintentionally hilarious. Lightning thinks she’s mature, but she isn’t at all…  At least not for the first part of FFXIII.  One of my favourite Lightning quotes is “worst birthday EVER,” in response to her younger sister calmly telling her she was going to get married and giving her a birthday present. (Serah also told Lightning that she had been branded a l’Cie, but I don’t think Lightning believed it at that point.  She just really hated Snow…)  I also thought it was kind of funny she changed her name to “Lightning” in order to not feel like a child anymore…  What?  “I’m a mature adult.  Take me seriously and call me Lightning.” I just thought it was funny…

It may seem like I’m bashing Lightning at this point, but I’m not…  She was immature at first, but she grew up a lot by the end of her game, and is still growing in the copious sequels. By the end of FFXIII, she had formed friendships with people she had been acting cold and distant from in the beginning/middle of the game.  I think she was mean to pretty much everyone in the game at first, but ended up caring about them in the end.  Her adventure was similar to Squall’s in this way.  She didn’t want to open herself up to friendships because that’s risky, but in the end, she took the risk, got to know people, and ended up better for it.

Let’s not forget her fighting skills.  Second to Fang, Lightning is the most important character to have in your battle party (I think.) She’s extremely strong.  That’s something I liked about Final Fantasy XIII as a whole.  Fang and Lightning were stronger than the men.  Girl Power!

I also like Lightning’s hair.  It’s pink…… 

Top Fifty Final Fantasy Characters

34. Aerith Gainsborough, FFVII

Aerith is the last remaining member of her “race,” Cetra.  This makes her valuable to many people, but she is worth more than just her powerful magic.  Aerith is quite a mystery through most of the game.  In the beginning, she seems to always know a bit more than you (Cloud.)  She seems strangely attracted to Cloud, yet slightly conflicted by it.  Of course we learn later that Cloud reminds her of the lover she lost to death a while back.  Though her past is somewhat tragic, she remains strong and doesn’t dwell on her misfortunes.  She wise and is a very kind young woman who does whatever she can to try to help those who need her.  She even risks and loses her own life in an attempt to stop Sephiroth. 

Besides the fact that she’s rather selfless, Aerith is also very useful in the game.  If you go ahead and obtain all her limit breaks, you’ll find some of them are pretty awesome.  (Too bad you can’t use them later in the game when you’d really need them…)