Being one of the oldest JRPG franchises in video game history, Final Fantasy has had many great characters over the course of 15 main series games and their sequels. Most stories have a main character whose story you get to watch unfold, but we thought it would be fun to highlight some of the wonderful secondary characters the series has had.
Balthier – Final Fantasy XII
There are so many ways to describe Balthier: calm, suave, charming, and quite calculating. But being able to describe yourself as a sky pirate is pretty badass. Even though Vaan is technically the main character of Final Fantasy XII, Balthier so often steals the limelight that he feels like the real protagonist.
Even though Final Fantasy XII is a great game, sometimes the cast can feel kind of dull because they don’t interact with each other very well. Balthier often bridges the awkward gap between the party by being friendly and talkative, which is what makes him so likable.
Kain Highwind – Final Fantasy IV
Kain has among the most memorable redemption arcs when it comes to Final Fantasy characters, and he doesn’t fail in the bottom of the ninth like Jaime Lanister did in Game of Thrones.
Kain has always had some resent to the main character of Final Fantasy V, Cecil, and even has feelings for Cecil’s girlfriend, Rosa. Kain and Cecil were also raised by the same man, whom just so happened to like Cecil more, further adding fuel to Kain’s depressing life.
He may fall victim to mind control, but his gentle heart shines through when he admits that he only wanted to capture Rosa so he could keep her close to him and keep her safe. Kain’s constant internal struggle makes him a fascinating characters and is one of the biggest highlights of Final Fantasy IV.
Sazh Katzroy – Final Fantasy XIII
One of the criticisms that Final Fantasy XIII gets often is that the characters are annoying. Sazh Katzroy, however, is one of the most well-rounded characters in Final Fantasy history. He often provides comic relief and acts as a father figure to the rest of the party.
At first, he just seems like a funny older man, but it’s revealed that he’s actually very driven by personal goals. His jokes and lighthearted banter evolve into serious introspection about how to deal with very negative emotions.
Sazh is often integral to the character development of many other party members, which is where is fatherly nature really gets to be showcased. It’s hard to talk about Sazh as a character since a lot of it involves spoilers, but in a game where all the characters have rich backstories and an emotional plot, Sazh manages to shine above the rest but being caring, funny, empathetic and having an excellent character plot himself.
Ignis Scientia – Final Fantasy XV
Despite the base game of Final Fantasy XV not really exploring your party member’s backgrounds or going past their two-dimensional characteristics, Ignis is still a very charming dude. He acts very mom-like and is often the voice of rationality in the group, which makes sense since he is constantly trying to take care of and protect Noctis.
In the DLC add-on. Episode Ignis, you really get to see Ignis’ and Noctis’ relationship shine as it goes beyond just a normal friendship. Ignis is willing to do absolutely anything to help Noctis, even put himself in harm’s way, and seeing this is heartbreaking and beautiful.
Iggy also serves a special role in your party, since he drives your car if Noctis wants to sit in the backseat, and he is also your resident cook whenever you camp.
His classic catchphrase “I’vE cOme uP WiTH a nEw reCipEh” is basically one of the biggest memes to come out of Final Fantasy period. It’s a shame you have to play the DLC to see more to his character explored. Nonetheless, he’s still sassy, sarcastic and a joy to listen to when he scolds your party.
Vivi Ornitier – Final Fantasy IX
If you’re a fan of old-school Final Fantasy then Vivi and Final Fantasy IX might hold a special place in your heart since he is modeled after the classic Black Mage design. Vivi is initially very clumsy and has little confidence in himself, but over the course of his journey, you really get to see him grow into his own.
Although there are many ways that a player can connect with a character, watching them grow and overcome their insecurities is definitely identifiable.
Also, weirdly enough, if you’re more of the philosophical type (and maybe even a bit nihilistic), then there are just more reasons to like Vivi. He often questions the concept of existence and how to distinguish yourself among the crowd by thinking for yourself. He explores concepts that are more meaningful the older you get, which is why we like him so much.
Celes Chere – Final Fantasy VI
Being the Final Fantasy game with the largest playable cast, Final Fantasy VI has a lot of great characters to choose from, especially since there is no distinct main character. So how does Celes stand out in a game with fourteen playable characters? She’s honestly just so human and perfectly embodies how flawed we can be but still find genuine connections with people.
Since Celes grew up in the empire and became a general, she has been a part of and performed a lot of atrocious acts during her time as a solider. Yet once she turns traitor and joins the Returners, she tells everyone that her actions speak more than her words when trying to convince them that she can be trusted.
Why would anyone who has probably killed countless people say this? She also stated that she doesn’t like the idea of being “love-starved,” which is really funny considering how the game plays out.
It’s these ideologies and contradictions that make her such a real character. As much as we’d like to believe that we have this strict code of morals and rules that we live by, sometimes we contradict ourselves. Sometimes our actions betray our words, and our words betray our actions. Our personalities and behavior are not so black and white.
With Celes, it’s not about identifying with a flawed character, it’s that being flawed isn’t her main focal point, it’s that every aspect of her feels so real that being flawed is just apart of her, as it is a part of all of us.
Auron – Final Fantasy X
While others make this list for being relateable or having an interesting story, Auron makes this list because he’s such a damn badass. He’s cool, calculating, and stronger than an ox. Auron shows how true it is that silence can speak volumes.
He acts as a guide and mentor to the party of Final Fantasy X and it’s often shown that he knows a lot more than he cares to share.
The mystery surrounding him and his role in the story really make up for the fact that he doesn’t say much, but when he does, it always has impact. Maybe it’s the scar over his eye, the mix of him being older yet always so calm, or the fact that he carries a giant sword with him, Auron is one of the most intimidating characters in the whole series.
Tifa Lockhart – Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy may be known or huge swords and flashy summons, but nothing is cooler than straight-up punching something in the face. Tifa doesn’t only have fighting skill though, she also has a huge heart.
Instead of focusing on her own emotions and problems, Tifa instead chooses to help hold others up and encourages them to think more positively. Everyone has that one person in their life that always puts others before themselves, so it’s not hard to imagine what kind of person Tifa is, considering she doesn’t talk a lot about herself.
There’s more to being selfless than sacrificing your life, and Tifa shows how it’s the smaller, more personal sacrifices that can really mean a lot more to people (but how we still need to put our own well being first). How can someone with such a big heart be so fierce?
Prishe – Final Fantasy XI
Speaking of badass women who have no qualms about punching you straight in your mouth, let’s talk about the foul-mouthed “little girl” with an attitude that is Prishe, one of the heroes of the Chains of Promathia storyline.
Prishe suffers from a mysterious affliction that prevents her from aging, giving her the appearance of a young girl and causes some people in her city to believe she a demon. While she might appear innocent, she is anything but. Prishe is loud, has a major attitude, and is among the strongest hand-to-hand fighters in all of Final Fantasy XI. Still, she cares deeply about her people (in spite of their cruelty), her friends and her city.
She rejects her fate as a cursed, keeper of the apocalypse, and instead joins with the player character in preventing Promathia from bringing about a calamity. Prishe is there at the final battle, punching and drop kicking Promathia in its stupid god face.
Y’shtola – Final Fantasy XIV
There’s not a lot of people in this world that would be willing to die for you and effectively be killed and upon revival still be down to ride all over again. That’s Y’shtola in Final Fantasy XIV for you, though.
Over the massive interconnected narrative that is Final Fantasy XIV, Y’shtola has been among the strongest and most loyal Scions that the player character works with.
While some of the Scions are more adept in combat, and others diplomacy and intelligence, Y’shtola is the full package.
She’s a prolific mage capable in both protective and offensive magic and she is also extremely well-spoken, level headed, and intelligent. Rarely does Y’shtola ever lose her cool or do something rash, and if she does need to clap back at someone, she’ll use her wit to gain the upper hand.