Final Fantasy is a long-running series, unique in the sense that each numbered title is a standalone story with a number of elements that have become synonymous with the franchise. Items, monsters, magic, and equipment are just a few of the many common elements that are shared across the series. But perhaps the most recognizable of them all — understandably so — are the summons that have been prevalent in the series ever since Final Fantasy III. Summoning these creatures felt extremely satisfying, but it was the shift to 3D visuals that really propelled the impact of these powerful allies to the next level.
Final Fantasy VII is arguably the greatest Final Fantasy game of all time, which shows how beneficial the improving hardware was to the series as a whole. With the shift to 3D, the game truly became a visual treat, and nothing encapsulated this progress more that the amazing visuals one would witness when summoning the creature of their choice. But these visuals quickly become secondary to the overall usefulness of the summon once a player has progressed sufficiently in the game. Keeping this in mind, here are all the summons of Final Fantasy VII ranked from worst to best.
Titan's summon materia is obtained in the destroyed Gongago Mako Reactor, which — considering his rather disappointing power — seemed like a rather odd decision. There are other, more reliable summons that one already has by this point, and Titan's summon damage isn't enough to warrant a permanent spot in someone's limited materia slots.
The summon does earth damage (although it's not a lot), which can miss flying enemies like every other Final Fantasy game. Most players will simply summon Titan once, watch the animation and remove him after realizing the disappointingly minimal impact he has in battle. Earth summons have never been particularly great in Final Fantasy (save for the latest one), and this summons encapsulates everything wrong about them.
Choco/Mog is the first summon materia that one can obtain in the Chocobo Farm which can be visited after leaving Midgar. There are two versions of this summon — one inflicts less damage but inflicts Stop while the rarer form involves a massive fat Chocobo falling on your enemies in order to do bonus damage (although it doesn't inflict Stop).
This materia is pretty decent for the early stages of the game although it becomes pretty redundant once you progress further in the game. Still, no matter how weak it may be it still never gets old watching a moogle riding a Chocobo crash into your enemy, before lying dazed on the ground as it gets whisked away to safety.
Leviathan is admittedly a really cool summon, and it is the only one in Final Fantasy VII to use the Water element. But it nonetheless shares the same problem with Titan, in that it is obtained at a time when it's no longer powerful enough to be needed.
This summon is obtained in Wutai Village after Yuffie conquers the pagoda at the end of her rather annoying quest, where she takes all your materia and runs away. After catching her and finishing the quest, she places all your materia back but in the wrong slots, adding to the accumulating frustration. After going through all these ordeals, a rather weak summon materia doesn't really feel like adequate compensation.
Shiva is one of the classic and most recognizable summons in the Final Fantasy series. The ice-elemental has been a mainstay for the majority of the series, and it's admittedly awesome to witness her iconic attack, 'Diamond Dust' in each game. Final Fantasy VII doesn't disappoint in this regard, and after Priscilla gives the summon materia to the party you can witness this classic summon in all its glory.
Don't let the placement of this summon in this list fool you — Shiva is obtained pretty early in the game compared to the other summons in this list which meant that her power needed to be balanced, but it doesn't reduce her effectiveness against enemies weak to fire in the slightest.
Like Shiva, Ifrit is one of the classic Final Fantasy summons; any fan of the series will recognize him. The way you obtain Ifrit in Final Fantasy VII is quite memorable as well. You receive Ifrit after defeating the first form of Jenova on a ship your party has boarded, and it's one of the most tense moments of the game. The fire summon is a great reward for finishing the battle.
Ifrit's Hellfire summon is a trademark move of his that can cause some pretty serious damage to enemies weak against fire (who would've thought). His summon animation is pretty awesome, so that's also a welcome bonus. Just don't expect him to make a huge impact in your battles late in the game.
It almost feels like we're following a pattern here, taking the iconic summons of each element and listing them one by one. This time, the summon is Ramuh, and the element is Thunder. Just like the other two summons we've discussed about, Ramuh is a common face one can summon in most of the Final Fantasy titles (notably in the latest one).
After beating Dyne as Barret, you'll regain control of Cloud in the Chocobo Jockey room. The materia can be found lying inconspicuously on the ground as you prepare to head over to participate in the race. This summon is missable, so players should make sure to pick up the materia before heading into the race.
Bahamut is one of the greatest summons in Final Fantasy history, if not the greatest. His Mega Flare attack is ridiculously powerful and proves to be a huge help in some tough battles. The legacy of Bahamut is so everlasting that in Final Fantasy VII, the player can obtain three Bahamut materia (the only summon who has multiple forms with their own specific materia).
The first version of Bahamut appears in a rather tame fashion compared to the other two (whom we'll get to later), and does the iconic 'Mega Flare' attack to deal non-elemental damage to the enemy. The fact that the initial version of Bahamut is placed at this position shows just how important the king of dragons is to the entire series.
Another familiar summon that has stuck with the series since its introduction in Final Fantasy III (the first game that included summons, in case you forgot). Along with Choco/Mog, Odin is the only summon to have two different attacks based on the kind of enemy you're facing.
If the enemies aren't immune to death, Odin performs his famed Zantetsuken attack (although it's simply called Steel Bladed Sword in-game) to instantly kill at least one monster on the field. His other attack — done when no enemy will die by Zantetsuken, either by missing or being immune to instant death — is called Gunge Lance, which does non-elemental damage similar to Bahamut's Mega Flare (although it's slightly weaker).
Kujata is one of the two summons in the game that uses multiple elements to attack an enemy. The materia is obtained at Bone Village, where a red dot will randomly appear on the screen and start moving around, enticing the player to grab it. Make sure that you have a free materia slot, otherwise, you'll miss out on this handy summon.
Kujata uses a mixture of fire, ice, and lightning to barrage the enemy with its Tetra Disaster move. While this summon seems quite handy, there are moments where it can be extremely frustrating to use. If an enemy can nullify or absorb any of the three elements, then the entire attack goes to waste.
If one really wishes to reap the benefits of a powerful multi-elemental attack, then look no further than...
The iconic partner of Ultros in Final Fantasy VI makes its appearance as an ally for the first time in the seventh iteration of the game as a pretty powerful summon materia obtained in the Ancient Forest. Typhon's appearance is the most bizarre thing about the summon animation, with a somewhat creepy face and gaping mouth present both at his front and back.
His Disintegration attack is a powerful one that does high fire, earth, lightning, and ice damage to the enemy. The downside of this summon is that its cost is a bit pricey (160 MP is no joke) and it's not as effective on enemies who can nullify or — god forbid — absorb a particular element.
6 Neo Bahamut
The second version of the three Bahamut summon types available to the player, Neo Bahamut replaces the classic look of Bahamut with a new, unique red color, and wings that have a rather interesting design (no matter how impractical they may seem).
Unlike the rather tame manner in which the original Bahamut appears in its summon animation, Neo Bahamut straight up rips off the patch of earth on which the enemy is standing, bringing it up to the clouds where he stares them down before enveloping them in an upgraded attack that does massive damage, called Giga Flare. To add insult to injury, the beaten-up enemy is then hurled back to the ground in a rather humiliating fashion.
Alexander is hands-down one of the coolest summons in the Final Fantasy series. The idea of a mobile robot fortress as a summon is a masterstroke, and Alexander personifies its awesomeness in Final Fantasy VII, using the improved 3D visuals to showcase the full extent of its power as it barrages the enemy with highly damaging missiles. This summon is obtained in the Great Glacier by interacting with the hot springs and defeating the enemy that appears.
Alexander can also use the Holy element in battle, which is another huge plus. The only drawback is that not many enemies are weak to Holy, but the sheer power of Alexander's attack negates this by a large extent.
4 Bahamut ZERO
The final form of Bahamut that you can acquire is the coolest and most powerful out of the three (obviously), with an almost guaranteed chance to do 9,999 damage, which will probably be the first time you peak the damage limit when you get it at that particular point in the game. This materia can be obtained in Cosmo Canyon, when the player touches the huge blue materia and has both the Bahamut and Neo Bahamut summon materia in their inventory.
The summon animation of Bahamut ZERO is also a spectacle to watch, as enemies get battered by his Tera Flare attack which he just so happens to shoot from outer space.
If Doomtrain was your preferred Guardian Force in Final Fantasy VIII, then you should not be surprised to see Hades so far up the list. He's obtained in the sunken Gelnika's cargo room, and costs 150 MP to summon. His damage might not be the greatest, but that's not the main draw of this particular summon.
Just like Doomtrain, Hades' Black Cauldron attack causes enemies to be inflicted by any of the following status ailments — Poison, Confuse, Sleep, Silence, Mini, Frog, Slow, and Paralysis. This summon can turn the tide of battle against bosses, since the player can just summon Hades instead of experimenting and trying out all the status inflicting attacks and spells to see which one a particular boss is susceptible to.
Phoenix is one of the most useful summons in the entire series, let along Final Fantasy VII. The ability to damage enemies and revive allies in the same turn is rare, and Phoenix is one of the few summons through which one can do so. This summon can be obtained after completing the Fort Conder sidequest (so it goes without saying that one should prioritize completing this particular sidequest).
While its fire-based attack might not do a whole lot of damage, it's the manner in which one can use this summon that seals the number 2 spot on this list. If one pairs the Final Attack materia with this summon, then the player basically gets a guaranteed second chance if they fall in battle. Just before their death, the injured party member will cast Phoenix, damaging the enemy and restoring all KO'd party members back to full health.
1 Knights Of The Round
There was absolutely no way you could make a list of the most powerful Final Fantasy VII summons and not include the Knights of the Round. Obtaining this materia is somewhat of a chore, since one needs to breed a Golden Chocobo and bring it towards the hidden Round Island at the northeast corner of the map. But once players witness the absolute destructive power contained in this summon materia, they'll realize that their efforts were completely worth it.
Upon using this summon in battle, for a whopping 250 MP, King Arthur and his 12 knights will come forth and attack the entire enemy party for a total of 13 powerful strikes. This amounts to a ridiculous amount of damage, and is more than enough to kill the majority of enemies one can encounter in the game.