The Final Fantasy franchise has been a massive success in the gaming world for 30 years...well, 31 years now. In all of that time, there have been hundreds of characters with all sorts of different abilities and powers. The very first game saw pretty bland characters based on the specific class you chose, but some were more powerful than others for sure.
Since those very early days there have been a ton of new summons, skills, spells and secret weapons that have made some characters very powerful...and other characters very laughable. It's pretty incredible to see the massive range of weak and powerful characters there are. That being said, this article only shows off a few of the many weak and powerful characters there are in the Final Fantasy world.
Considering that it's been the "final fantasy" for over 30 years, it's strange that it hasn't ended yet, but that just adds more fuel for this very interesting fire. Let's take a look at some of the most powerful characters that have graced the Final Fantasy universe...as well as some of the weakest/most annoying/ridiculous characters.
16 Strongest: Chaos - Final Fantasy
Chaos makes an appearance in a few Final Fantasy games, but he originated in the awesome, original epic...Final Fantasy. For all of its flaws being the very first game, it was pretty incredible and ground-breaking. It also created one of the greatest villains of all. Garland is the very first boss you fight in the game...once you defeat him he is sent back in time and creates a time loop that makes him eternal. So, really he wouldn't need to be powerful because he is just always going to be able to come back. However, he is also pretty damn powerful on top of that. He harnesses the power from four fiends and from a dark crystal and turns himself into a giant dragon/demon-looking thing. So, this character is both the first and last boss you fight in the game. If he's powerful enough to bookend the game...he's pretty damn powerful.
15 Weakest: Cait Sith - FFVII
I don't even know where to start with this guy. I think the only thing Cait Sith is at all good for is admitting that he is actually a bigwig in the Urban Development Department who works for the Shinra company (the same company you start off trying to destroy in the beginning of FFVII). "There's plenty of stuffed toys like my body around, but there's only one me!" It seems likely that Reeve is the character who is controlling the big stuffy that is Cait Sith. Some think that the cat on top of the big stuffy is the one controlling everything, but it seems more likely that Reeve is controlling both. Either way, there's not much that Cait Sith can do. Maybe it's because the radio signal fort he remote-controlled moogle is just garbage, but pretty well everything that Cait Sith can do is pretty pointless.
14 Strongest: Kefka - FFVI
"Read my lips—mercy is for wimps! There's a reason 'oppose' rhymes with 'dispose'...If they get in your way, kill them!" This is probably one of the craziest clowns you'll find in the Final Fantasy franchise. I mean, the creepy ghost/Reaper-looking dudes from FFIX are pretty intense and scary clown-looking things. But I have to say that Kefka takes the prize for the scariest clown. Realistically, he's actually a court mage, not a court jester, but that doesn't stop him from having a pretty nutty sense of dark humor and from just looking like a jester. "But what's the fun in destruction when there are no 'precious' lives lost?" That's the sort of crazy that Kefka has. If Sephiroth didn't exist, I might be inclined to say that Kefka is closer to the most powerful and insane characters of the franchise.
13 Weakest: The Entire Cast Of FFX
Alright, this might just be me being a little tough on the cast of FFX, but I'll at least qualify that I think the FFX series is one of the worst of the entire franchise. Sure, Auren is pretty powerful when compared to the rest of the cast overall, but he still pales in comparison to any of the other powerful characters throughout the Final Fantasy universe. "The world lies on the brink of destruction. Only a select few may be able to save it." This is the tagline of the game, but did you notice something? Even the tagline basically says that they are all weak. They may be able to save the world. All the other games talk about how the warriors of light or the lead characters (whatever they're called in the games) must stop, will stop, have to stop the big enemy. But the characters here "may be able to save" the world.
12 Strongest: Sephiroth - FFVII
Everyone who knows anything about Final Fantasy knows that Sephiroth was definitely going to make this list. First of all, he's one of the most iconic characters in the whole franchise. His role in FFVII made him perhaps one of the greatest video game villains of all time. Secondly, Sephiroth's power is just staggering. When you first really get to meet him, he's in your party and while you get killed, he wastes everything in sight. He can just phase into the air and drop his blade into people (like he did with Aeris...the saddest moment in the game). He can also summon the end of the human race. And even though Sephiroth does get defeated at the end of the game, I believe that he wins. After all, at the end of the credits, the only living creatures left are Nanaki and his little cubs.
11 Weakest: Yuffie Kisaragi - FFVII
Yuffie...oh dear. The only thing she's really good at in FFVII is stealing. And even then, she does her best stealing before she ever joins your party. When you meet her, she makes sure to take all of your materia. That's probably the best theft job she does for the whole rest of the game. Which is pretty sad because you think she'd get better than that after you level her up. But it's not like she can take away all of Sephiroth's magical abilities when you fight him. Or any other characters. Yeah, she can snag a few potions here and there and a few other choice items...but it's not like she can ever match her very first act of stealing. And as far as her combat goes, she's not really the most powerful in any way. So...ultimately, she's a pretty useless fighter and thief.
10 Strongest: Gilgamesh - The FF Universe
Gilgamesh has been all over the Final Fantasy universe. And that's part of the reason why he's so incredibly powerful. He's been a final boss, he's been an epic summon, he's been nothing more than an item or a cameo appearance, but there is one truth that just cannot be avoided with this guy...he seems to be eternal. He's all over the place and always powerful. Even when he's just a cameo, the fact that fans understand who and what he is is enough to show how powerful he is. He's appeared in ten different FF games and the character is based on a great piece of literature called The Epic of Gilgamesh. In that story, Gilgamesh is basically a god. So...right there it's pretty clear that he has superhuman strength and powers of some sort.
9 Weakest: Tifa Lockhart - FFVII
You know...I have a soft spot of Tifa in some ways. She's always been known as the hot character from FFVII (even though I think Aeris is better in pretty well every way). Tifa is one of those characters who has just captured the minds of cosplayers all over and she's inspired some pretty fantastic outfits. All that aside though, she hasn't really got a lot of power. She doesn't use any weapon other than brass-knuckle-based stuff. Sure, she can use magic but so can every other character in the game, so that doesn't enter into the question of her power. Her limit breaks are perhaps the biggest pain in the ass and one of the main reasons why she's not powerful at all. It's pretty easy to accidentally f*ck up the slot-machine-based mini-game that is her limit break. And even if you hit critical hits all the way through, she still pales in comparison to Cloud, or Cid, or even Aeris!
8 Strongest: Kuja - FFIX
"Ugh! I'm gonna die anyway. I won't have to be afraid anymore. But I'm not gonna die alone. You're all coming with me!" I know that might sound a little weak at first. After all, he is clearly defeated when he's saying this. But Kuja is pretty insane, and the fact that all he wanted to do is take everyone with him as he dies...his insanity helps to make him powerful. And besides that, before he is finally defeated and does his best to kill everyone with himself, he rides a silver dragon and is one of the most powerful mages in the world. He's incredibly insecure about how he came to exist in the first place because he's essentially a magical clone, but that just makes him yearn for more power. And the fact that he pretty well ultimately wants to die also make his final desire to take everyone with him even more powerful.
7 Weakest: Relm Arrowny - FFVI
Alright, so look...Relm is pretty sassy and she's got a pretty gritty attitude. She loves to make pretty sarcastic and biting comments. Which is pretty awesome. She's also an amazing artist. "In her pictures, she captures everything: forests, water, light... the very essence of the things she paints..." according to her character description. But that's about it for her. She can create powerful art and she has a powerful speech pattern...but it's not like she has really any powerful abilities other than those. Considering how much attitude she has, and how much she just barges in on conversations you'd think that she would have some power to back it up, but that is far from the case it seems. She's just one of those characters you need to protect with more powerful characters.
6 Strongest: Cloud Of Darkness - FFIII
"We shall devour your light, and use it to return this world to the Void!" That seems pretty grim, right? Well, that's the way that the Cloud of Darkness is. She is the final boss of FFIII. And I say she because of one of the most popular forms she takes is that of a strange green woman...which is actually pretty terrifying considering the sh*tty graphics of the original game. Either way, she's hell-bent on only doing one thing...destroying the universe. She just wants everything to go straight into the void so that there is only darkness and silence. That sort of makes me think that she would then also go into the void and become nothing as well...and I think that sort of makes her even more powerful. She has nothing to lose because she wants everything to disappear into the darkness.
5 Weakest: Cid Pollendina - FFIV
So here's the thing...there has been a character named Cid in pretty well every single Final Fantasy game in existence. It's one of those things that they've decided they have to do. But I have to say that they definitely don't always make Cid a wicked character. He's typically some sort of technical character, pilot or engineer, but that's not even always the case either. Cid Highwind is pretty awesome from FFVII. But Cid Pollendina is not quite the guy you want in your party when you find some serious trouble. Now, this guy might look like a pretty intense Viking-looking sort of character, but that's definitely not the case. He doesn't have a single point of MP which really makes him useless if you want a magic-heavy party. And he can't really aim worth sh*t either.
4 Strongest: Cloud Strife - FFVII
I'm realizing that a lot of the characters in this article are from FFVII. I have to be honest when I say it's one of my favorites of the Final Fantasy franchise. But I'm not being entirely biased. A lot of the strongest characters from the franchise really are from FFVII. Anyway, Cloud Strife (while not one of the most interesting characters) is a pretty powerful character overall. He's got some problems with his memory, but he's got some amazing limit breaks. One of the best things is using both the mime materia along with his omnislash limit break. It is perhaps one of, if not the most powerful attack in the game. I guess the Knights of the Round summon with mime is more powerful, but as far as single character attacks go, I'd say that Cloud takes the cake in most of the games.
3 Weakest: Princess Garnet - FFIX
"Mother... Zidane... No... I can't depend on them anymore! As the queen of Alexandria, I must protect my kingdom." She might want to protect her people, but she is by no means a very strong character at all. Not at all. I mean sure, she looks a lot more attractive when she hits her trance mode...but that's not really an amazingly powerful ability. The change in her looks doesn't make it easier for you to beat any of the enemies in the game. She can be an alright support character, but Amarant, Freya, Steiner, Vivi and even Zidane are much stronger characters and can support each other just fine. "Someday I will be Queen, but I will always be myself." And that's sort of the problem. Garnet as herself is just not an incredible character in any way. That's why you start by saving her.
2 Strongest: Sabin - FFVI
Sabin is a very interesting and complex character...not really. He is just a very righteous character who has a pretty short temper. But not just a short temper. I mean, he is one o the good guys so his temper tends to help out. But he must be on steroids or something. Why is that? Well, Sabin is basically best known for his ability to suplex a train. Yes, you read that right. Sabin can suplex a train! There is a boss in FFVI that is a train. A "phantom train". I admit it's a pretty strange enemy even for a Final Fantasy game. But, that being said, there is every reason why this enemy proves how awesome and powerful Sabin is. After all...he suplexes a whole train! I know a lot of other characters use magic and have some wicked skill with weapons...but Sabin gets his own crappy cutscene where he suplexes a whole train. I think that's enough to have him make the list.
1 Weakest: The Warriors Of Light - Final Fantasy
Here's the thing that makes me sad about the very first Final Fantasy. The warriors of light are the very first heroes to ever grace the Final Fantasy universe, but they have no real character traits other than being the chosen people to save the world. They're basically what Link was in the very first Zelda game. You didn't know anything about him, but also didn't need to know. That being said, you can choose the character classes of the warriors of light and they are not all strong at all. There is a way to play Final Fantasy that is probably the hardest way to play any of the FF games. You play through with four white mages. They can hardly attack at all and it makes the game virtually impossible. You could use four fighters, but then you wouldn't have anyone to heal you. My point is, individually, they're probably the weakest characters in the whole franchise.