Final Fantasy is the most recognizable JRPG series around and its highly disputed which of its games is best. What isn't disputed is that each of the games has characters that are memorable, fun, strange and so much more. One of the earlier Final Fantasy's, VI, has the largest cast of playable characters sitting at 14.
With so many characters, it can be difficult to decide which to use. Using metrics such as their stats, equipment and unique ability, it can be possible to narrow down which of these 14 characters are the most useful.
10 Strago Magus
The old man and blue mage of the group, Strago. He isn't bad per se, he simply requires more effort to be good. His lore command is solid while in the world of balance but he suffers from poor availability there. As with all blue mages, it takes time and effort to get to their abilities and this isn't necessarily worth it in a game chock full of magic.
In the world of ruin it's easier to make use of his lore abilities, particularly mighty guard, but that's about it. Strago's stats are okay, and his equipment choices are not very good. He just suffers from not being as good as a lot of the other characters.
The lovable and yet tragic mascot character, Mog. This moogle's unique ability is actually pretty unremarkable. It wrests control away from the player and makes mog randomly choose an action from select choices. The dance command can be useful while in the world of balance but is better left untouched once in the world of ruin.
Mog does, however, join at an above average level in the world of balance, which helps his usefulness. Furthermore, you need him if you want to use Molulu's charm, which lets you skip random encounters completely. Furthermore, Mog has decent stats and excellent equipment. The snow scarf is the best defensive item in the game and Mog also makes an excellent dragoon.
The ever-popular enigma character, Shadow. He has strangely limited availability as he has a percentage chance of simply leaving your party at any time in the world of balance. You also have to perform a specific action at the end of the first part in order to have access to him in the world of ruin. But he is useful at all times because of his unique abilities
He can throw various items for large chunks of damage. The throw command can easily reach the 9999 damage threshold but it does require you to buy the throw-able items. His stats are solid and his equipment choices are sub-par.
Gau is a very strange character, not just in how he is but also in how you use him. He requires a lot more effort to be good than other characters simply because of how his ability works. You have to train him in the Veldt specifically and that takes a lot of time.
He is arguably the strongest character in the world of balance because of his rage command. It lets him do a lot of damage of varying types with the downside of not being able to control him. His stats are pretty much the best in the game but he cannot use weapons. His equipment is pretty limited until the end game.
6 Relm Arrowny
This mischievous painter is not actually that useful in the world of balance. You don't get access to her until quite late which means she won't learn much magic. Her unique ability, sketch, is also not terribly reliable at doing much beyond wasting a random enemies turn. Where she shines is in the world of ruin, after you've had time to raise her a bit.
She can use an item to change her sketch ability into the control command which gives you full control of an enemy. This is useful but not the reason she's this high up in the tier list. That is because she has the single highest base magic stat in the game. This means that she will reach the damage limit of 9999 the quickest, barring the trance command from Terra.
5 Locke Cole
Locke is the mandatory thief character that pretty much all Final Fantasy games have. He can steal a variety of items to help you on your journey through the game. He's decently useful in the world of balance due to his speed and physical prowess. He also has access to interestingly powerful weapons.
This trend of interesting weapons continues as he is the only one who can use the Valiant Knife. What's special about this is that the Valiant knife can be combined with the master's scroll late game to do four hits of 9998 damage reliably. All it takes is for Locke to have a high amount of hit points and to be low on health.
4 Edgar Roni Figaro
The woman-loving, tool-using king of Figaro is an extremely useful character. Because of his unique ability, Edgar is invaluable in the first half of the game. His tool command allows him access to reliable damage, both single target and multi-target.
In the second half of the game, particularly in the end game, his tools become much less effective. However, he has solid stats all around which allow him to transition into your choice of a physical dragoon or a somewhat decent magic user. His equipment, while not the best in the game, is still quite good and he makes an excellent dragoon.
3 Celes Chere
The main heroine in the World of Ruin, Celes has a lot going for her. When you first gain access to her, she is another magic user, like Terra. Instead of fire spells, she has ice and instead of the admittedly awesome trance ability, she has runic. The runic command is simple, you use it and all magic that is cast until her next turn is absorbed. This gives it a lot of potential versus certain enemies but also means you cannot use magic, so be careful.
While her unique ability is a bit of a double-edged sword, her choice of equipment and stats more than make up for that. In a game so focused on magic, her stats are very balanced with magic being a particular winner. Her equipment is great mostly due to having access to the Minerva Bustier and Lightbringer.
2 Sabin Rene Figaro
Possibly the most well-known character in Final Fantasy VI, Sabin is a supremely useful character. You get him pretty early in both the World of Balance and World of Ruin. His Blitz abilities remain useful for pretty much the whole game and are a major reason he's ranked so highly.
Even when he's not suplexing trains, Sabin remains a force to be reckoned with. His Blitz will carry you through the toughest battles and his stats are solid all around. While his equipment isn't amazing, it's still enough for him to be able to stand his ground late game. His Blitz attacks are based around his magic stat which means it's safe to train him in magic, thereby easing his transition into a late-game mage.
1 Terra Branford
Terra is the first character you're introduced to that actually sticks with you as a permanent party member. At first, she's a mostly useful (but not spectacular) magic-user at a time in the game where magic is not freely available. This changes quickly as you get espers and she is temporarily outclassed.
As soon as she unlocks her trance ability, she becomes arguably the best character in the game. While she is tranced she deals double damage and takes half damage from magic attacks. But this isn't the only reason she's the best. She also has access to some of the best equipment in the game and stats that play to what's most important in Final Fantasy VI - magic.