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Top 10 Final Fantasy Characters

Back once again for the renegade master, my quest slash current obsession to rank Final Fantasy things continues. This time, we'll be taking a look at the top 10 characters that have graced the franchise. Only actually playable characters will be held for consideration here, because that's already an extensive list. Moreover, I've decided not to include entries that are playable, technically, for a short period of time. So, while everyone thinks Sephiroth is the coolest anime badass ever, their ten minutes or so of hands-on runtime isn't worth a mention.

As an extra addendum, anyone's appearance in the Dissidia spinoff is discarded as well, because that would get fairly confusing. It has nothing to do with the fact that I thought Dissidia was not a very good series. It's purely a canonical decision. Admittedly, those games make the older protagonists a little more lively on the surface, but it doesn't move the needle enough to matter.

It's more than probable that this list will have a running theme. I tried my best to include a varied cast, but as so many characters in the franchise are top tier, a lot of the known archetypes started to blend together. As such, some personalities popped out a little more than others. View it as a way to illustrate that Final Fantasy has had a great amount of wonderful heroes.

This list will go from 1 as the bottom pick, to 10 being the top dog. They're all great, regardless. Here are the top 10 Final Fantasy characters.

List items

  • Almost every Final Fantasy has this protagonist: Boy saves world. Cecil, Tidus, Cloud; if there's a god to dethrone, there's a headstrong and maybe slightly troubled everyman to do that job. What brings Ramza over the edge is that they're the same package, but less complicated. There's some rise above adversity arc there, but mostly they're concerned with doing what's right, whether as an outcast or in service. Additionally, they fit this personality in the elaborate world building of Final Fantasy Tactics, as a symbiotic quality.

  • Quina is the most underrated character in the franchise. This Lickitung drawn from memory is clearly just there for comedic effect, but they provide that relief effortlessly. As a bonus, the character is also easily one of the more interesting experiments with player agency; fighting with giant utensils or even devouring enemies whole. God Eater who? Quina is an unbothered genderless icon with one of the best quotes in the franchise:

    Why you care about small things? World very simple place. World only have two things: Things you can eat and things you no can eat.

  • Where Cloud is the cliché of a brooding protagonist, Zack is the opposite side of that coin. You know, for the story reasons that have this make complete sense. The Soldier blueprint is zesty and full of life, as much as a Final Fantasy character can be a socialite. This chipper demeanor gets molded within a game that also makes the one playable character fun to play, which was the exact right call. If you're only going to have one Final Fantasy person in your hands the entire time, they better have a long-lasting appeal. They could've steered this Monster Hunter-esque game so wrong, but instead nailed the charisma that this character needed to be memorable.

  • The Viera are some of the most iconic creations in Final Fantasy. Everyone loves the part elf analogy, partially some type of viking. Instead of elves, however, Final Fantasy made them sexy bunnies, but with the kick of a noble warrior. It's a combination that has proven to be extraordinarily effective, if you believe the internet. For once, I agree with the masses. Fran is more femme fatale than most others heroes, like Celes, despite not being a human at all. This is the closest Final Fantasy gets to Lord of the Rings.

  • Final Fantasy loves a good puckish rogue and Rikku is one of the better ones. While their character is a touch more timid in the main game, X-2 is really where Rikku shines. In the sequel, the reformed thief becomes the heart and soul of the party. Moreover, the youngin wears the most stylish variety of dresspheres, despite what their demeanor may imply. Hell, their special ability sees them operate a badass mech, while wearing Zero Suit Samus cosplay. Rikku learned a lot in those two years since the events of Final Fantasy X, with their coming of age story really rounding out the character.

  • Speaking of rogues, Yuffie is as sneaky as they are a pain to everyone involved. I'm going to be honest, I just love a good shitheel. Being an annoying brat, overly confident and ultimately not that good at things, Yuffie makes up for it in raw spirit. Yes, their motives are muddled and sometimes selfish, but they ultimately want what's best. The fact that you can miss out on this character completely and not lose anything of value just makes things better, in my opinion. You have to go out of your way to have a bad time. Sometimes it's okay for characters to just suck. I love Yuffie.

  • It's a fucking yeti, I don't know what you want me to tell you. What other role-playing game lets you fight and subsequently recruit an actual yeti as a party member? Is it an intricate design or something with surprising depth? Nope, it's just a huge yeti that hits very hard. That's all you need; top 10 character right there.

  • Possibly the most experimental hero design in the franchise, Cait Sith is an agent of chaos. It's a cat that's riding a giant toy, while blaring into a megaphone. Their ultimate attack is a slot machine that can cast Knights of the Round, have a catgirl blow you a kiss or it just might one-hit wipe your entire party. Roll those bones and find out! Their double life in the story follows the same path, where you just never know what the hell is happening with this character. It's all nonsense, all the way down, but that's what makes Cait Sith special. There's some Joker quote in here somewhere, but it's probably best not to touch it.

  • I've never instantly identified with a character as I have with Zell. They're a loudmouth who loves food, to the point of going feral, like me. The dude uses fists for weapons and they can summon a freaking dolphin by uppercutting fools. They even sport an awesome face tattoo. Face tattoos are cool, no matter what anyone says. While that combination sounds like this would make for an insufferable character, Zell is actually a sweetheart. The only reason this spiky rascal is so noisy is because of their overflowing passion. I've always wanted to be Zell. Maybe one day.

  • Is it fair to say that Vivi has become the face of Final Fantasy? Yes, I understand the irony, since they don't have a face. Still, when you think of an icon that evokes the franchise, it's likely this Black Mage. No, it's not Cloud. Vivi is a classic example of dormant power, appearing to be feeble at first, but steadily growing into a real hero. As the mage also goes through the gamut of emotions, their arc makes them one of the most easily relatable characters in the franchise. Vivi is constantly looking for a purpose of existence and, well, that resonates pretty hard. What a special little mage in an already special game.