As a last ditch effort in 1987 to save Squaresoft from the break of oblivion, the Final Fantasy franchise has been garnered as one of the most popular role-playing games series of all time. With multiple installments, most with stand-alone stories and characters, listing your favorite character in one of these wonderful titles isn’t difficult. Rating them, however, is another story. The debates these personal choices foster can cause a full blown flame war. These are my top 10 Final Fantasy characters.
After several betrayals and misunderstandings about his upbringing, Sephiroth finally lost it and decided to take his revenge on everyone by attempting to destroy the entire planet. One of the most indefinable and enduring character that Square Enix has ever made, appearing in various other video games and movies. The most important attribute of Sephiroth, however, isn’t the character but his theme. A musical score that has become one of the most notorious tracks in the entire Final fantasy franchise.
Acting as an older brother to protagonist Tidus, Wakka’s a kind hearted and devoted follower of Yevon. Although harboring a deep hatred towards the Al Bhed for the death of his brother, and anything that goes against Yevon, Wakka goes through several life changing experiences. His views begin to broaden as he travels throughout Spira with Yuna and the rest of the Final Fantasy 10 cast. Seeing the hypocrisy of his previous actions and finding new convictions, Wakka chooses his own path based on the experiences of his journey. His trials continue during Final Fantasy 10-2 when Wakka finally puts the past behind him and becomes a reliable father to his son Vidina.
Final Fantasy 12’s character roster was easily overlooked, but one character refused to stand in the shadows: the Sky-Pirate Batheir. With a witty persona and suave looks, Batheir always has a commanding presence on screen, easily overshadowing everyone else. While the game stars Ashe and Vaan, they rarely provide the same roguish appeal that Baltheir can only represent. He was simply a charismatic person.
Mentor, guardian, and powerful warrior, Auron is experience fighter offering wise advice to each of his companions both within and outside combat. The big twist comes when you realize that Auron is an unsent, a spirit who refuses to travel to the Farplane until his mission of redemption is completed. Till then he travels throughout Spira attempting to fulfill a promises and attempt to find solace in his failures.
Seen as a combination of Cloud Strife and Squall Leonheart, Lightning starts as a cold and mysterious character with little to like. As the trilogy progressed, it becomes more apparent that Lightning was masking her compassion, primarily caused by the tragic loss of her parents during her childhood and taking up the mantle as provider for her sister Serah. Lightning demonstrates that delicate balance between strength and tenderness, showing sympathy or cynicism when the situation was right.
5. Zack Fair
A First-Class Solider, Zack Fair acts as Cloud’s guardian angel, but with little information Zack was stuck living in the past of Final Fantasy 7 and simply forgotten. It was in the overlooked, but spectacular, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII that the optimistic warrior was finally given the spotlight. Despite constantly being tested, both emotionally and physically, the light-hearted soldier always remained adamant to his convictions to embraced his dreams and protected his honor. The Buster Sword is a fine weapon and we honor the warriors that wield it, both in the past and present.
4. Cecil Harvey
Also known as The Dark Knight, Cecil Harvey’s internal struggles of his past actions. Demoted for questioning orders Cecil attempts to make things right only to find out he was a puppet in a large nefarious plot. The story of Final Fantasy 4 is mostly centered on Cecil’s journey of redemption, denouncing his past self and transforming into a Paladin. His desire to fix the problems he caused and find a new place in the world was moving tale that had players hooked from beginning to end.
3. Vivi Ornitier
Vivi takes a classic form from the Final Fantasy franchise and gives it meaning. While armed with a tragic story, Vivi is best known for having goofy clothes and a child-like innocence. As a war machine with expiration date, Vivi's true appeal comes from the mage coming to terms with his morality and creation. While Vivi never gets to see the happy ending with all his friends, his unexplained children do and carrying on the legacy of the powerful wizard.
2. Tifa Lockhart
Better known as the pinup girl of the cyber generation, Tifa Lockheart was more than a pretty face. Taking the mantle as leader of the group when Cloud disappears, Tifa is a strong warrior monk, but her fists are as strong as her heart. Aiding her friends in trying times both physically and emotionally, especially to Cloud, Tifa acts as the glue that keeps everyone together. Without her support throughout the game it’s extremely doubtful that world would’ve survive Sephiroth’s plan.
Before voice-acting ever existed fans knew the sound of the maniacal laugher of this sadistic being. The moment Kefka was introduced in Final Fantasy 6 it was immediately apparent that there was something wrong with him. From a failed Magitek experiment, to rising the ranks to imperial mage, and finally becoming the angel of death, the fearsome mage didn’t care about life or anything. He simply caused calamity for his own entertainment. He was a psychopath, an example of pure nihilism, and everything around him meant nothing. All that matters is what he wanted and everything else was forfeit.