If there's one thing that Final Fantasy games are known for, it's the sheer number of characters that are present in every title. These party members all have their own back-stories and motivations that lead them to take part in the various adventures that propel the stories of any Final Fantasy title. Since Final Fantasy V, Square has also afforded gamers with the opportunity to experiment around with multiple characters until they find the perfect party with which one will wish to complete the game. These combinations differ from player to player, giving everyone who plays any Final Fantasy a unique playstyle.
But there will always be some characters who will be avoided by the vast majority of the people who play Final Fantasy. There are a bevy of reasons why one might do so — poor defense, laughable attack power, unfamiliarity with the character, or a general disdain towards the party member to name a few. Keeping all these parameters in mind, here are 20 of the absolute worst party members in the Final Fantasy series that players should stay well away from... unless they intentionally want to make their journey as hard as possible.
20 Vincent Valentine (FFVII)
It's a shame that one of the most badass characters in Final Fantasy history doesn't live up to his awesomeness when you put him in your party. While Vincent has fairly acceptable stats and can dish out some pretty decent damage, there are two things that end up becoming complete deal breakers when one needs to decide whether to make him a permanent member of the party or not.
Vincent's Ultimate Weapon is the Death Penalty — a weapon we've already talked about before — which starts out as one of the weakest Ultimate Weapons in the game. While the power of this weapon can become ridiculously high, this only happens if Vincent lands the killing blow for a large number of enemies.
Another factor to consider is his Limit Break, which basically bestows Berserk mode upon Vincent as he transforms into an uncontrollable monster that will attack in an unpredictable pattern.
19 Garnet Til Alexandros XVII/Dagger (FFIX)
Princess Garnet is one of the key characters in Final Fantasy IX, serving as the love interest of Zidane as she tries to escape from her oppressive mother and enjoy adventure the likes of which she's never experienced before. While she's quite pivotal to the story and undergoes a ton of character development, her function as a party member is less than ideal.
While a fairly decent support character, she serves as a second fiddle to most of the characters in terms of her ability. Vivi has better offensive spells, Zidane is faster, and Eiko has better support abilities (and — arguably — better summons as well). If that wasn't bad enough, there's a point in the game where she can randomly fail while performing any command. At this point, most gamers will just switch over to Eiko and realize how much better she is.
18 Selphie Tilmitt (FFVIII)
Unlike the last two characters on the list, Selphie shares none of the redeemable qualities that make these party members likable in the slightest. In fact, she's probably one of the most annoying and forgettable characters in the entire series, let alone Final Fantasy VIII. Her unnecessarily outspoken attitude and clumsy persona doesn't warm her to the player in the slightest.
Selphie's not the greatest party member either. Without appropriate junctions she's a very weak fighter, and her limit break is just too unreliable. While she does have the ultimate game-breaking move to end all game-breaking moves, getting this move is a whole another story. Other characters have better, more damaging and (somewhat) reliable limit breaks than her, making her shortcomings all the more apparent.
17 Edward Chris von Muir (FFIV)
A bard made the list about worst Final Fantasy party members. What an absolute shocker.
Edward is one of the various party members in Final Fantasy IV who accompanies Cecil for a brief stint before getting injured to the point where he can't help the party anymore and leaves. Most gamers would be cheering at this point, because Edward is one of the most useless party members you get at that point.
The bard has — predictably — very low physical and magical stats, and was so useless in the 2D version of the game that they had to slightly alter his move set in order to make him slightly redeemable in the eyes of the player. After level 70, Edward's stats skyrocket... but that takes an ungodly amount of grinding and absolutely isn't worth it for the short amount of time you have to bear with him (unless you're at the endgame).
16 Benjamin (FF: Mystic Quest)
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest was the first Final Fantasy to be released in Europe, and Square's attempt to make an RPG that would appeal to Western audiences. This failed spectacularly since Mystic Quest was stripped of many elements that made the Final Fantasy series such a huge success, making it a completely boring game that didn't achieve the success of its predecessors. The main character of this title didn't help improve the quality in any way whatsoever.
Benjamin has absolutely no character or interesting backstory that'll make the player even mildly interested in his motivations. The allies you get during the course of this story (whom you can't control) always join at a higher level that you, and end up being more useful than Benjamin himself. Without a doubt, Benjamin is one of the most non-consequential main heroes in Final Fantasy history.
15 Relm Arrowny (FFVI)
Relm is one of the party members that (along with Strago) joins your party relatively late in Final Fantasy VI, already making her somewhat of an afterthought in the minds of most players as they've already chosen their preferred party. This isn't a particularly bad decision since there are other factors that make Relm less than desirable to be a permanent mainstay of your party.
Relm has a pretty high Magic stat, but her physical stats are too low, making it a chore to heal her every time she gets one-shotted in a fight. Her Sketch ability sounds promising and might be useful too — if you can even get it to work. Most of the time, Relm will fail in a sketch since drawing the enemy was 'too hard,' which sounds less frustrating than it actually is.
14 Cid Pollendina (FFIV)
Cid is another temporary party member in Final Fantasy IV that helps your party through a certain segment of the story. While it might sound interesting to control the iconic Cid in a Final Fantasy game, after a few battles you'll realize just how useless he actually is.
Cid has pretty decent damage... but it doesn't even matter since he has the lowest chance to hit the enemy out of any other party member (temporary or permanent) in the game. He also sports the grand total of 0 MP, and has an absolutely useless skill called Analyze. The skill is so useless, in fact, that in the 3D release his skill was improved slightly in order to make his presence in the party somewhat tolerable.
13 Kimahri Ronso (FFX)
Another Blue Mage makes this list in the form of Kimahri, who serves as the Guardian of Yuna and introduces himself in a rather aggressive fashion to Tidus. His character arc pretty much fizzles out after this, and his relative ineffectiveness in combat gives the player another incentive to pretty much never use him in combat.
Unlike the other party members, Kimahri has no defined Sphere Grid path. So while one can choose whichever class they wish for him, chances are that he'll be lagging behind them, making him secondary to your party requirements. His Blue Magic is also an Overdrive, making him even more annoying to use than he already is.
12 Gau (FFVI)
Gau is a feral child who's encountered by Sabin and Cyan when the duo wash up on the Veldt after a certain point in the story. Gau is a unique party member who can learn 'Rages' from various other enemies — although this can only be done on the Veldt. Unfortunately, Gau can't be directly controlled, making him somewhat of an annoyance to use.
This is compounded by the fact that Gau can't equip weapons, and his defensive stats aren't very high either. While his backstory is quite interesting, it's still not worth the effort to grind out all of Gau's Rages in order to make him a decent party member when you can spend less time grinding with other characters to make them just as powerful, and have the ability to control them as well.
11 Tellah (FFIV)
Tellah — a pretty stupid name to be honest — is one of the various party members in Final Fantasy IV who accompanies Cecil, actively seeking revenge against Golbez for what he did to his daughter. Tellah has a great backstory, and his motivations serve as one of the major plot points, resulting in his untimely death.
However, as a party member, Tellah starts off fairly decent before becoming an absolute chore to control. While a number of powerful spells are at his disposal, his MP is capped at a ridiculously low 90, meaning that he can't access any of these spells. For a mage, his magic stat isn't that impressive, and one needs a decent number of MP recovery items in order to replenish his low MP pool. In fact, Tellah's physical stats actually decrease with every level he obtains, making it counter-productive to grind levels with him.
10 Cinque (FF Type-0)
Final Fantasy Type-0 is one of the better spin-offs released by Square Enix and directed by Hajime Tabata (who also directed Final Fantasy XV). The game focused on quick, action-heavy combat and had a bunch of characters whom one could control. While most of these party members were fun to control ... some were not.
Cinque is a slow, melee-based character that uses a mace as part of her arsenal. While one gets the appeal of a slow-but-strong melee character, Cinque is so slow that it's impossible to get a Breaksight or a Killsight hit (where one needs to time their hits for bonus damage) by the time she's finished with her animation. Add to that an annoying, bubbly personality, and it's fairly obvious why most gamers tend to shelve her in place of better, more fluid characters.
9 Quina Quen (FFIX)
Surprise surprise, another Blue Mage. This time, it's Quina from Final Fantasy IX, a character who barely has any impact on the story and isn't that great of a party member to use in battle. If you spend a lot of time and effort unlocking her abilities by devouring enemies (who need to be at the perfect level of HP too), Quina can be improved — a bit.
Quina also has an annoying mini-game attached to her character where she needs to run around and collect frogs, which will get her items and increased damage on one of her attacks (Frog Drop). This mini-game is extremely arduous and takes a long time if you really need the optimum items and damage for him/her.
8 Harley (FFIV: The After Years)
Edward might've been a pretty horrible character in the original Final Fantasy IV, but at least his stats spiked up after level 70, and in The After Years he became quite powerful. His aide Harley, on the other hand, is a whole another story.
Harley is arguably one of the worst party members in any Final Fantasy ever. She has the stats of a weak mage, but no magic to show for it (apparently she was supposed to be a Blue Mage but the plan was scrapped). She has two abilities, and both aren't that great. Gil Toss is somewhat damaging but quite expensive, and Piercing Sight gives enemies an elemental weakness but doesn't work against bosses.
It's like Square was actively trying to make a character that was somehow worse than Edward in the original game.
7 Umaro (FFVI)
Umaro and Gogo are two of the optional characters one can get in Final Fantasy VI. Both of them are pretty useless, and it was a hard decision to choose who would make this list. Ultimately, this (dis)honor went to Umaru, a party member who shared one thing in common with Gau (someone who also made this list) — you can't control him.
Umaro is a Berserker — a class that's looked down on by most of the Final Fantasy faithful for a good reason. He will choose one out of four attacks at random, keeping the player guessing at all times. While his physical stats are pretty high, he's completely unreliable in combat. At least you can control Gogo, even though he's not exactly a huge upgrade.
6 Lulu (FFX)
There are two characters from Final Fantasy X on this list, and both serve as Guardians to Yuna — someone who is vastly superior to both of them.
Lulu is a party member who specializes in Black Magic and is actually quite useful during the early stages of the game. Unfortunately, her usefulness deteriorates sharply the more you progress in the game.
Lulu's physical attacks are extremely weak, and after a certain point in the game, her magic power loses its potency. Her equipment isn't anything special, and she doesn't have a lot of HP nodes in her Sphere Grid, which basically means that later in the game she'll become a liability with the amount of times the player will need to revive her. If that wasn't enough, she's pretty slow to boot.
5 Sazh Katzroy (FFXIII)
It's sad that in a title full of terrible characters, one of the fairly decent party members plot-wise turns out to be not that special in combat. This is the situation with Sazh, a gun-toting, carefree man whose personality is quite likable compared to most of the other members of your party.
While Sazh might have great Synergist skills, his effectiveness is bogged down by his sub-par stats and painfully slow animation speeds. Most of the other party members outclass him in one way or the other, and his positives aren't strong enough to warrant a permanent place in one's party. Quite a shame, since unlike most of the characters he's probably the one people can tolerate the most.
4 Fran (FFXII)
Here's another well-written character that unfortunately isn't as effective in combat as one might hope. Fran's story and personality are actually quite interesting, and if Square Enix had chosen against using her for fan service (which would've been a wise decision, to say the least), then maybe she would've struck more of a chord with players. Unfortunately, this unnecessary fan service plus her ineffectiveness in combat make her secondary to your party needs.
Fran's stats are not that great — in fact, they're arguably the worst in the game. She does the least damage out of all the other characters, and her magic power is just average. She might be mysterious, but in combat, she's an absolute drag. In a game that involves stacking a lot of weapon combos, Fran will undoubtedly hinder the damage you can inflict.
3 Entire Party (FFXV)
It's hard to pick one member of your party when your entire team has some unforgivably bad AI which pretty much bestows every character with a death wish. This is what happens with Noctis' comrades, who are so incompetent you have to wonder how they made it this far.
During some tough fights, it's inevitable that one of Noctis' teammates will lose most of their HP due to their tendency to stay still as the enemy completely destroys most of their Hit Points. This leads to annoying levels of micro-management as you heal your fallen comrades because of their total ineptitude at trying to dodge a deadly attack. Your friends are prone to friendly fire from your magic as well, making them a hindrance when you need to let loose a spell that can turn the tide of a grueling battle.
2 Quistis Trepe (FFVIII)
Quistis starts out as a decent character with some potential. However, as you progress through Final Fantasy VIII, it'll inevitably dawn on you that there are other party members that completely outclass her in most aspects. She's also the third Blue Mage on this list, making it fairly obvious as to what character you should avoid in pretty much every Final Fantasy game.
Just like Kimahri, Quistis' ability is tied to her limit break, making her Blue Magic more of a chore to access than it should be. When you look at the limit breaks of other characters (Squall's Renzokuken and Zell's Duel to name a few), it's fairly obvious that Quistis will only hinder the damage your party can cause.
1 Cait Sith (FFVII)
It's impossible to make this list and not include one of the worst characters in any Final Fantasy ever. Cait Sith randomly joins your party at the Gold Saucer, where most players get a taste of his uselessness before shelving him for the entirety of the game. His pointless death scene does nothing to endear him to players... especially since in the very next scene he rejoins the party.
His limit break (Slots) is also a tale best left untold. It's a chore to figure out how it works, and if you're really unlucky, then your entire party will perish because of Cait Sith's ineptitude. Words cannot describe just how useless this character is, and the only advice one can give you is never to use him. Ever.