It's undeniable - the Final Fantasy franchise is one of the best series in video game history. We may be at Final Fantasy XV, but the series has a whopping ninety-seven games, spin-offs, sequels, remakes, ports, remasters, movies, and more! Truly, the Final Fantasy franchise is doing something right to be able continue down the path towards immortality.
Of course, with fifteen main games and countless other iterations, there's a lot of characters that have been brought into our lives. Some we absolutely love, some we despise with every fiber of our being, and everything in between. Some characters are kinda weak and laughable, while others are crazy ridiculous strong.
Mankind has long waged battle over who is the strongest Final Fantasy character - ever since Final Fantasy II was released back in December of 1988 when gamers had a different slew of characters to compare each other to. As each title was released, each with a new set of characters, people began questioning who the best character was in each class, game, overall, and the like.
Of course, the question that gets asked time and time again relates to their power. Who is the most powerful Final Fantasy character of all time? Literal decades have been spent trying to find the answer to this question and with each new game comes a new debate to bring to the table. We've taken it upon ourselves to compile the most comprehensive list of the top fifteen most powerful Final Fantasy characters from the entire franchise. Agree or disagree? You decide!
***WARNING -- LITERALLY EVERYTHING IS SPOILERS***
15 Sabin (Final Fantasy VI)
Final Fantasy VI is one of those underappreciated titles that unfortunately don’t get the love they truly deserve. It’s an amazing story, but due to the graphical limitations it’s often underplayed. As such, we tend to forget the seriously powerful beings that come from it.
For example, at one point in the game, the team is running away from a train. As in, they are able to outrun the train. Successfully. We're not sure how fast the train was going, but even at its slowest, it'd be a difficult feat! But that's not enough for this tough guy! Through his brute strength, Sabin finds a way to stop the train. How? By suplex.
Yep. Sabin is able to suplex a train. Not only that, it’s fully animated, meaning it’s not a mistranslation. He also supports an entire collapsing house by himself, so Celes can save a child inside. Definitely a contender for most powerful muscles!
14 The Warrior(s) of Light (Final Fantasy I)
The Warrior(s) of Light from the very first Final Fantasy is one of the strongest individual (group?) of any of the Final Fantasy games. Unfortunately, this really only applies to Dissidia, which isn’t always a parameter (we take it into account, but can’t consider it on its own, so this entry is lower on the list).
Although it isn’t true canon, in Dissidia, he is able to take on Garland twice, Sephiroth, the Emperor, Ultimecia, and Squall all equally without taking any damage whatsoever. Chaos, Feral Chaos, and Shinryu are no match for this warrior’s prowess. The big baddie that he’s pitted against in Final Fantasy I, Chaos, is the living embodiment of...well, Chaos. A fusion between Garland and the Four Fiends, he creates a time loop that will allow him to live forever. And yet the Warrior(s) of Light still takes him on. And wins.
(I want to put him higher on the list, but this character(s) feels engineered to be the number one most powerful being for no real reason other than “well...his name. There’s a finality to it. Just...y’know. Cuz.” So when everything is stacked to go your way, it will. And that doesn’t seem like enough to make it any higher. Fight me.)
13 Zack Fair (Final Fantasy VII)
When we think about Final Fantasy VII protagonists, we usually think about Cloud Strife. However, a more powerful being exists (aside from Sephiroth, naturally) - Zack Fair. Why? Well, for one, he completed the SOLDIER training (successfully receiving a Mako infusion not once, but twice). He single-handedly decimated 1,000 Shinra troops. He defeated Angeal and Genesis, two of the top SOLDIER first class operatives. He conquered the goddess of the Earth, Minerva, while Cloud struggled against her weapons. He even got close to beating Sephiroth in a one-on-one battle royale while Cloud required help from his friends (not to mention Sephy was barely trying against Cloud&Co.).
We love Cloud because we see a lot of vulnerability, which is relatable. But he was mentally unfit for the Mako infusion (which Hojo himself wanted in the first place) and had a lot of inner turmoil over his self-confidence issues. All things considered, Cloud simply can’t compare to the mighty Zack Fair.
12 Kuja (Final Fantasy IX)
Don’t kill us - we know that Kuja is typically higher on this list. We can explain.
Kuja solidifies himself as belonging on the top 15 most powerful Final Fantasy characters list because he certainly is powerful. At just 24 years old, Kuja figured out how to engineer an army of black mages by harnessing the power of the Mist. He figures out how to utilize his Trance power just by watching someone else do it. And, of course, he destroyed Terra with a barrage of Ultima attacks. FYI - Terra is an entire planet. So yeah, that’s pretty powerful.
But he’s not the *most* powerful. His fear of dying and his selfishness for thinking that no one else should be allowed to live if he can’t holds him back from being truly strong. Strength does not come from a place of fear - were he to let that go, he could become even more powerful.
Still belongs on this list, though!
11 Jecht (Final Fantasy X)
So this was a hard one to settle upon, but we managed! In Japan, there’s a book called the Final Fantasy X Ultimania that explains the entire history, timeline, and lore associated with FFX. In it, we learn more information, such as the physical location of Dream Zanarkand and more details about Yu Yevon, Yunalesca, and Jecht/Sin.
One thing we learn about Jecht that’s really important is that when he decided to become Lord Braska’s sinal summoning, he seemed to figure out the key to defeating Yu Yevon once and for all. Keep in mind that Yu Yevon had been summoning Sin to keep Dream Zanarkand safe for 1,000 years - yet Jecht, one of the Fayth’s creations, practically waltzes into Spira, becomes Sin, brings Tidus out of Dream Zanarkand knowing he could stop the infinite loop of Sin dying/being born, and then basically allows it to happen. In other words, he saw the system, played the system, and beat the system.
Also, he’s Sin, destroyer of the world. If all of this isn’t powerful, we don’t know what is!
10 Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII)
Are you surprised to see Sephiroth at any other point than number one on this list? We're sure you are - he usually tops each and every list (except for when Cloud does) and we kind of disagree. We're not denying he's all-powerful - he wields the power of an entire planet - it’s just that he’s not the most powerful. Although he can destroy half the solar system with a single spell (non-canonically, of course). And did we mention the whole "reincarnate" bit? How many Final Fantasy villains, let alone villains, are capable of doing that?
Like let's face it, if you're battling a guy and he creates a meteor that destroys Pluto, Saturn, and Jupiter, followed by exploding the sun to further take out Mercury, Venus, and little 'ol Earth...literally EVERYONE'S chances of survival are non-existent. And can we talk about that theme of his? Insta-chills, every time!
9 Gilgamesh (Multiple Final Fantasies)
Few characters are more dynamic and more interesting than Gilgamesh. Beginning his journey in the Final Fantasy franchise as the big bad boss in Final Fantasy IV, he became a recurring figure in the series - like Cid, only instead of helping the heroes, he stands in their way. Or is their ally. Or a summon. He’s flexible like that.
Notably named after the Sumerian poem The Epic of Gilgamesh and notably nicknamed “Ancient Man of Mystery” with an unknown age, his origins are baffling at best. The fact that he’s able to change forms and have boss status (not to mention he’s a pretty strong boss at that) indicates that he’s pretty powerful.
Other fun facts - in Final Fantasy VI, he’s considered to be the most powerful Esper and is capable of beating Necrophobe on his own. He also comedically breaks the fourth wall on multiple occasions, making him kind of the Deadpool of Final Fantasy.
8 Kefka (Final Fantasy VI)
What list would be complete without the mighty Kefka? Terra, Sabin, and the rest had to fight Kefka a total of five times over the course of the entire game. He was deeply obsessed with power and was able to capture the power of the espers and turn them into Magicite. He then ascended to Godhood and became the God of Magic. Before Final Fantasy VII came out and Sephiroth reigned supreme in our hearts, Kefka was the fan favorite for his temperament, style, and attitude.
One of the true indicators of his power is what happened after he died. Magic literally ceased to exist after he was defeated and the world never truly recovered from the chaos he caused. Since he became nihilistic after he was entangled with the Void, perhaps he was the real winner, all things considered...
7 Cloud of Darkness (Final Fantasy III)
Although the Cloud of Darkness appears in Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIV, she first appeared in Final Fantasy III. She is a Voidsent, meaning she was born from the Void. Other notable things being born from the Void are Neo Exdeath and...oh, a little thing called THE CRYSTALS. So, she’s part of a very elite group of beings.
She’s also immortal, meaning that every time the heroes defeat her she just retreats, licks her wounds, and re-emerges to cause more chaos and destruction.
In Dissidia, we see that she has a distant, removed sort of presence and would rather see how other people react than act or react herself. Her “wait and see” attitude could mean that she’s holding back her true power. After all, other Voidsents have God-tier powers. She’s high on this list, but not as high as she could be for not showing her full potential.
6 Shantotto (Final Fantasy XIV)
Shantotto is certainly one of the most unique characters in all of the Final Fantasy games. She has crazy stupid power, as exemplified by her ability to cross barriers into other worlds/universes at will (unlike Gilgamesh, who appears to have no control over his time-travelling). In Dissidia, she’s Cosmos’ last stand of defense. This, in and of itself, is pretty impressive, but what’s interesting is that she decided to stop when she realized the gig risked affecting her memories. So she could have gone farther, but tipped out when it didn’t benefit her. That’s...not like Final Fantasy characters, good or bad!
Also, she doesn’t actually fight - she uses a decoy doll that she controls from a safe distance. She doesn’t even have to be physically present to win a battle.
We get an inkling that Shantotto may be more powerful than she’s letting on, but since we haven’t seen her true power, we have to rank her lower. Until then, she remains delightfully powerful, but perhaps not most powerful (until she decides to prove it).
5 Ultimecia (Final Fantasy VIII)
Ultimecia is scary powerful. Most people think of her in one form or another, but her main form is actually while she is possessing Edea, which already shows a unique ability. She was only able to do this by time-travelling to the past, which takes an enormous amount of power. Her strength doesn't stop there of course - her entire reason for going on a rampage is because she wanted to compress all of time (the past, present, and future) into a single moment. This would inevitably kill everyone - except her - and she would be able to reign supreme under these conditions.
Unfortunately, she failed in her evil endeavors, but what she did end up doing was creating a time loop wherein Edea received her powers, created SeeD, and thus paved the way for her to have her power in her own time. Crazy, right?
4 Exdeath (Final Fantasy V)
Another one of those villains that just keeps coming back for more, Exdeath is featured in multiple Final Fantasy iterations (but first appeared in Final Fantasy V). Although he is best known and featured in human form, he’s actually a tree from the Great Forest of Moore. Not just any tree though - as the story goes, the most malicious souls came together and formed the roots of a tree, which then grew for 500 years. That 500 years of hatred, malice, and pure evil eventually formed into Exdeath.
So what can he do? Well, for starters, he took control of the Void and destroyed the Crystals. When Bartz and the rest used his powers against him and threw him into the Void, he was spat out in his more powerful form of Neo Exdeath. Literally the definition of “you can’t stop him - you can only hope to contain him!”
In a weird way, he’s also extremely powerful because he’s a nihilist; he knows everything will one day return to the Void, so he doesn’t truly care about the outcome - even if it doesn’t go his way. Now that’s scary!
3 Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII)
Lightning is the Goddess herself. No, like literally. While she easily and often tops most “Top Final Fantasy Character” lists, she does so for good reason. For one thing, she...well, like we said, she’s a Goddess.
Lightning’s story is pretty unique in that she was given three games to tell it. Most Final Fantasy games only get one. In the third installment, she’s not only over five hundred years old, but is the keeper of all the human souls and does battle against powerful enemies, including Caius and Bhunivelze.
Worth note - Bhunivelze is God. Not some guy that became one or anything, but THE GOD. And Lightning takes him on and defeats him. Keep in mind this is the guy that can destroy an entire solar system, being God and all, and she absorbs his power.
She. Is. The. Ultimate!
2 The Crystals (All Games)
They may not be a character in the same sense that they don't always occupy a physical space or have speaking roles, but they are definitely one of the most powerful beings in every Final Fantasy game. Although they were more central to the plots of the Final Fantasy games I - V, they have always appeared in one iteration or another in every single game as crystals, spheres, orbs, etc. Heroes are often chosen by the crystals to stop the world from being torn asunder, and villains often seek them out to harness their power to bring ultimate destruction.
The reason why they're practically the strongest entity in the Final Fantasy franchise is because the worlds they're set in literally revolve around them. They are the natural force that flows through all Final Fantasy universes. Heroes are lent their strength to defeat the villains that would otherwise seek it to destroy all. They push the story forward in one way or another, and we will always feel their presence in any game we play.
1 The Void (All Games)
What is the Void?
It’s the strongest force in the entire Final Fantasy Franchise. It’s the beginning and the end - the thing that connects all Final Fantasy universes together. Some argue that the Void is sentient, because all who seek to wield the power of the Void begin their journey by wanting to use its power to ultimately wishing to reduce all to nothing. This change in their goals does prompt questions as to their reasoning behind them.
The Void also birthed the Crystals, otherwise known as the power that is behind all Warriors of Light. The Crystals and Warriors of Light usually end up triumphant over those that try to control the Void, but the Crystals have been broken before, whereas the Void was merely controlled (albeit weakly, as it was turned on its controller). It’s also interesting to note that the Crystals seem to seek their heroes, but the Void merely exists and is sought by evil.
The Voidsents, or beings created by the Void, are also ridiculously powerful and include the likes of Neo Exdeath and Cloud of Darkness. They, of course, borrow their power from the Void and are infused with its nihilistic point of view.
The Void is also responsible for interdimensional travel and has the power to transform beings or completely strand them outside of time itself. Truly, the most powerful entity in the Final Fantasy universe!