Joining as one of Yuna's guardians fairly late in the Final Fantasy X story, Rikku provides a vital role in revealing clues concerning the main protagonists. She is the only one who is willing to speak about Yevon's faults, she is the one who reveals what Yuna's fate could be should she get the final aeon and she is one of the most determined to save Yuna (second only to Tidus) from her fate as a summoner. She's the daughter of Al Bhed leader "Cid." However since the Al Bhed are a fairly low-class race, she's not seen as "royalty" or anything spiffy like that. Cid is also the brother of Yuna's mother, making Rikku and Yuna cousins. It's inferred that Rikku turned to thievery because of the Al Bhed's culture, often being sneaky people who are proficient with machinery. Rikku is also terrified of lightning. She explains in FFX that her brother used an electricity spell on her as a joke while she was standing in a puddle. The electrical shock traumatized her, causing her to be a Tonitrophobic (Someone who's afraid of lightning and thunder). Rikku's mother is never mentioned. She is the first person to befriend Tidus when he comes to Spira, which leads him to stand up for her when no one else will.
Like many of the characters in FFX-2, Rikku had a design makeover from FFX. In Final Fantasy X she appeared as a spunky, outspoken young teenager with a troublesome life. Since she's an Al Bhed and often looked down upon people rarely respect her, in addition to that because of her hyper attitude no one ever takes her seriously. A subplot of FFX that's continued in FFX-2 is Rikku's pursuit to be more serious, edgy and mature, much like FFX's dark mage, Lulu.
Kimahri, another guardian tells Rikku in FFX "Rikku should be Rikku". This is reflected in her appearance and personality in the following, as she has adopted an edgier appearance, while being as spunky and overwhelmingly positive as ever.
In Final Fantasy X-2 many of Rikku's facets are played up more, as she has finally realized who she wants to be. Instead of being a youthful girl desiring knowledge and respect, Rikku appears to be more "beach party girl" in FFX-2. She is no longer afraid of lightning and thunder (she camped out in the Thunder Plains for a week). She is now a lot feistier and even more energetic. She loves kidding around, but she can be deadly-serious as well. She is just as handy with machines as before, but even more confident in her abilities. In addition to her personality change, Rikku sports a bikini, accompanied by a mini skirt, a red and yellow scarf and marine bandanna. Instead of having her hair up like in the original FFX, it dangles down in various braids. Most fans of Rikku from the first game believe the makeover made her too "ditsy" but at the same time, didn't expect the character to go anywhere interesting. Yet, part of her past is more fleshed out. There are hints that she was Gippal's girlfriend and that Brother did not approve of this. Rikku still has trouble letting go of how she felt when Yuna wanted to sacrifice herself and this is part of the reason the Al Bhed prodigy is so protective of her cousin. Rikku and her brother rarely agree on anything and when they do, it spell's trouble or even downright disaster for the Gullwings. Nearing the end of the game, Rikku is worried that YRP might split up, but the three women assure each other that they will always be friends.
Rikku also makes an appearance alongside many other Final Fantasy characters in Kingdom Hearts 2. In this game, Sora stumbles across YRP, who have taken the form of pixies.
- "You can cram your happy festival, you big meanie!"
- "Just a feeling, but I think she kinda likes you." (referring to Yuna while on the airship)
- "Once we beat Sin, we can take the airship to your Zanarkand!" (referring to the Dream Zanarkand where Tidus is from)
- "Memories are nice, but that's all they are."
- "There is no Zanarkand anymore. Sin destroyed it a thousand years ago."
- "Sometimes, when I got a lot on my mind, it just helps to go, "'AAAAAAAAAAAH!'"
- "You know, don't you? Summoners journey to get the Final Aeon. Yuna told you, didn't she? With the Final Aeon, she can beat Sin. But then...but then... If she calls it, the Final Aeon's going to kill her! Even if she defeats Sin, it will kill Yunie too, you know!"
- "Y.R.P. In position. It’s showtime, girls." (opening line in FFX-2)
- "Oh, I have an idea! We could be "Your Friendly Neighbourhood Gullwings"!"
- "This is so much like two years ago. I was holding back my tears the whole way."
- "Duck Soup!"
Rikku has been praised by critics and fans and won several awards.
- The 2004 "Hottest Character" award at the G-Phoria awards show.
- Viewers' Choice: Baddest Good Girl on G4's Video Game Vixens 2005
- Outstanding Character Performance at the interactive achievement awards in 2004, won by her voice actor, Tara Strong.