With the Final Fantasy VII remake right around the corner, it certainly wouldn't be a farfetched thing to assume that the vast majority of players who hold this game incredibly close to their heart will — or maybe already are — in the middle of replaying this classic. And, can one really blame them for doing so? After all, the fact of the matter is that no matter how much time might pass since the release of this instant classic way back in 1997, the timelessness of this title means that people can still pick it up and play it to their heart's content... provided they haven't developed a distaste for turn-based battles that most people have unfortunately developed as gaming has become more and more modern.
So, in a bid to make life easier for people who are replaying this classic, we'll help people replay this game in the most optimal manner possible by ranking all the playable characters of the game based on their overall power. Of course, with the extensive nature of Final Fantasy VII's universe, an odd name or two might crop up on this list that will prove to be quite a pleasant surprise indeed.
10 Aerith Gainsborough
It breaks our heart to put Aerith so low on this list... but, given the fact that Aerith's fate doesn't really pan out in her favor, we can't help but put her at the very bottom of the list. I mean, this was a given — her physical power is absolutely dreadful, to be perfectly honest.
This, along with the fact that she meets a premature end at the hands of Sephiroth, means that the developers didn't exactly scale her stats properly. This leads to a situation where people who hack her back into the party still find her all the more useless towards the end of the game.
9 Cait Sith
Whoo boy. The sheer mention of Cait Sith's name sends a feeling of unbridled rage down the spines of most Final Fantasy VII veterans, who would deign to play this classic altogether if it meant that Cait Sith had to be a permanent member of the party.
It's easy to see why this the case — after all, the mere fact that one of his limit breaks can lay waste to the entire party is arguably the worst ability EVER in any JRPG, period.
8 Red XIII
Red XIII — or Nanaki, whatever you want to call him — might be an excellent party member, but he still doesn't hold a candle to the other hard hitters of the game.
Oh well, if nothing else, we can at least give credit to the fact that his side story is one of the most engaging and heartwarming of the lot.
7 Tifa Lockheart
Tifa might be an absolute beast of a character, but that doesn't really translate all that well when we talk about her actual power level. After all, there's only so much damage you can do with punches and kicks.
However, no first-time Final Fantasy player should be deterred from taking this character. Just keep in mind that she shouldn't be the person you rely on if you find yourself in a tight spot.
6 Vincent Valentine
Vincent Valentine is arguably one of the coolest characters in the entire game, with a backstory that is nothing short of enthralling. In terms of raw damage, he's certainly excellent, although other members of the party do edge him out nevertheless.
However, Vincent's power reaches godly levels if the player obtains the Death Penalty and defeats a stupidly high number of enemies with it — 65,535 to be exact, which is just insane. Upon doing so, Vincent can defeat any enemy with a single hit, including superbosses.
5 Yuffie Kisaragi
When one talks about polarizing characters in the Final Fantasy series, it must be said that Yuffie certainly fits the bill in that regard. Some people find her absolutely adorable, while others can't stand her guts for some rhyme or reason.
Regardless of what the case might be, the one thing that nobody can deny is the fact that Yuffie is an absolute beast when it comes to doling out some impressive damage. The next person on this list might rank higher than her, but — to be perfectly honest — both can be equally compared in terms of power levels.
4 Cid Highwind
Every Final Fantasy game has its Cid, and Final Fantasy VII has perhaps the most memorable version of this character. We say this because of the fact that this Cid fulfills the role of the Dragoon in the party, and he does so in style.
One major reason why we've placed Cid above Yuffie on this list is due to his incredible final Limit Break, which brings forth his freakin' airship itself to rain down fire from above for colossal damage.
How do you beat that?
3 Barret Wallace
Ah, Barret. He might fit into all the wrong stereotypes for some super-wrong reasons that just won't fly in today's day-and-age, but this brute has a genuine heart of gold that no one can say anything against.
Barret gets extra points mainly due to his long-range abilities, making him an absolute powerhouse regardless of his positioning in battle. Having a person from the back row dish out incredible damage while taking less damage himself certainly makes Barret a worthy character indeed.
2 Zack Fair
Surprised, are you not? While it might be somewhat of a cheat to include Zack on this list since he's not a part of the original title, it's also kinda wrong to not even mention an entity who has his own dedicated game set in the Final Fantasy VII universe.
And how can anyone contest Zack's incredible power? After all, not many people can boast about dealing with two elite members of SOLDIER, that too in an incredibly heroic fashion, nevertheless.
1 Cloud Strife
You all knew that this was coming at some point or the other. There's no way that any party member could topple Cloud when it comes to comparing power levels. After all, you need a crapload of power to wield something so bulky as the Buster Sword, in the first place.
But of course, we can't simply mention Cloud and not mention his godly Limit Break — the Omnislash. No matter how annoying the battle arena at the Golden Saucer might be, one can't deny that getting the Omnislash is worth the grind.