I’m a big Final Fantasy fan but I haven’t fully played many Final Fantasy games, so I hope you can forgive the scope of this list. Just for clarity, I have played FFVII, FFVIII, FFX, FFXII, FFXIII, FFXIII-2 and FF Tactics, so I’ve played a decent amount. However, it is just my opinion, and as always it’s not a definitive list of the ‘best’ characters by any means. In the games that I have played, these are the characters that I really liked and appreciated the most:
5. Auron (Final Fantasy X)
Mysterious and a man of very few words; Auron just seemed very cool to me when I first played FFX. The CGI cutscene that re-introduced him after his disappearance in the prologue is something I’ll never forget. On your team, Auron is fast, powerful and reliable in every encounter. His backstory isn’t gone into with too much depth but you do understand his purpose and reasoning for helping the team. And anyone who has played FFX knows that he gave one of the best speeches in gaming history.
4. Noel Kreiss (Final Fantasy XIII-2)
Direct from a dystopian future, Noel helps Serah fight to find Lightning in FFXIII-2 and manages to be a very cool protagonist. Smart, witty and strong where it counts, Noel fights through all the different timelines in FFXIII-2’s complex story and never backs down when confronting the very powerful villain, Caius Ballad. With a huge responsibility laid on him by Lightning and his developing skills throughout the course of the game, Noel’s a really good character.
3. Snow (Final Fantasy XIII series)
All talk, all action and all heart. Though he seems to be a reckless meat head at first, Snow puts his strength where his mouth is. He really impressed me by being a FF character that doesn’t need a deep, dark story or some brooding attitude to motivate him. He was initially one of the few in the story of the original FFXIII to believe in their power to change things and he fought tireless to rescue Serah and protect everyone. Did I also mention that he’s powerful? Incredibly powerful, especially when he’s fully leveled up. A lot of people don’t really appreciate Snow (or even like FFXIII much for that matter) but I honestly think Snow is awesome.
2. Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII series)
At first, I can honestly say that I didn’t like Lightning one bit. Her attitude was all wrong, her reasoning was narrow-minded and hitting Snow just wasn’t cool. But I knew that deep down she’d be an awesome character and she just needed the right push. When she finally wised up, Lightning became a very cool, very awesome protagonist and she continues to be in the FFXIII sequels. I can’t wait to get my hands on Lightning Returns since we finally get to play as her again properly and despite the convoluted plot I’m sure the game will be fun. Lightning, in my opinion, is one of the best characters in the series overall.
1. Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII)
There aren’t many people who don’t already know about Cloud from FFVII, but to those who don’t, all you need to know is this: he’s freaking awesome. Cloud’s actions in not only FFVII itself but also in the Kingdom Hearts series, Dissidia and Advent Children show just how strong, courageous and cool he is. He has his faults and often blames himself too much for misfortunes that occur, but when he gets his act together, Cloud is next to unstoppable and has fought in several different occasions to take down the antagonist of FFVII, Sephiroth. Above all other FF characters, Cloud will always be my no. 1.
So what are your favorite Final Fantasy characters? Let me know in the comments section, or on my Facebook or Twitter.