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5 Final Fantasy party members that are overpowered (and 5 that are borderline useless)

Final Fantasy party members range wildly in power, but who are the best and worst? (Image via Square Enix)
Final Fantasy party members range wildly in power, but who are the best and worst? (Image via Square Enix)

There are so many Final Fantasy characters to use in any given game, but some characters are better than others. This has nothing to do with how they impact the story. It’s all based on how powerful or weak they are. Some characters can be incredibly pertinent to the story but are an albatross around a player’s neck, simply having them in the party.

Some Final Fantasy games give players control over who to use, while others force the player to use whoever shows up. The focus is on the original versions of the characters because sometimes, a remake will bring a little more power to a party member.

As with all lists, this is based on the writer's opinion. Other readers may find their mileage varies with these characters.

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Final Fantasy characters that are incredibly powerful

1) Yuna (FFX)

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Sure, it can be argued that anyone in Final Fantasy X could be overwhelmingly powerful, but this isn’t the case. Some characters have better Overdrives, movesets, and Sphere Grids. Yuna’s ultimate weapon, Nirvana, is one of the easiest to get in the game, giving her fast access to Break Damage Limit.

Combine that with several Aeons that default to breaking the damage limit, she has so much power at her fingertips. On top of that, give her a few Black Magic Spheres so she gets access to Ultima and Flare, and then an important question has to be asked: Who needs Lulu? Anima alone hits for 16 hits and can drop 1.5M damage on its own. This writer only needs Yuna and nobody else in FFX.


2) Zell Dincht (FFVIII)

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While Zell Dincht in Final Fantasy VIII can be annoying, hyperactive, and frustrating, he’s also potentially the strongest character in the entire game. He has quality damage-dealing capabilities, and that’s before his Limit Break. With fast enough input on his Limit Break, he can do hundreds of thousands of damage.

In particular, the focus is on Duel. It can hit for about a million damage, and while it’s tedious and difficult to do, it’s worth investing time and practice. He’s not the most interesting character in the game, but there's nobody better in the game when it comes to dropping big numbers.


3) Steiner (FFIX)

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Some of the most obnoxious and weird characters can be useful in combat in Final Fantasy games. Steiner is far and away from being the strongest character in Final Fantasy IX. Freya’s the best damage in many cases, but that’s dependent on how many dragons were farmed.

On the other hand, Steiner doesn’t have to worry about elemental resistances, weaknesses, or any of that nonsense. The shock comes to Steiner from the Ragnarok weapon and tends to do maximum damage every time he uses it. His high strength stats lend themselves well to this particular skill. Nobody in the game is better at doing raw, unfiltered damage.


4) Rydia (FFIV)

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Summoners aren’t new to the Final Fantasy franchise, but Rydia has been the most powerful summoner for a long time. She starts fragile, but a whole new side of the character is seen when she returns as Older Rydia in the underworld. She lost her White Magic and gained a far more powerful summons and Black Magic.

Odin, Bahamut, Sylph, Leviathan, and Asura are wildly powerful and 100% worth seeking out. They’re optional, but finding them can make many fights easier. Then there’s the Virus, Quake, and Nuke spells, which are powerful and have virtually zero cast time. Rydia obliterates people with little effort.


5) Cloud (FFVII)

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Barret very nearly made it to the top of this list without question. In Final Fantasy VII, Ungarmax hits 18 times, compared to Cloud’s 15 hits. The difference lies in Cloud hitting for .75 weapon damage, whereas Barret hits for half his weapon damage. Cloud has great stats, all of his Limit Breaks are useful, and he’s with the party longer than anyone else.

Combined with his Ultima Weapon, which deals damage based on his current HP, Cloud has so much damage he can dole out. Everyone can use the same Materia, but when it comes to usefulness and damage output? Few can outstrip Cloud in their own game.


Final Fantasy characters that are subpar at best

1) Relm (FFVI)

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Relm has the unfortunate distinction of being in the wrong place at the wrong time in both halves of Final Fantasy VI. She has the highest magic stat in the game, so her late-game spellcasting ability is second-to-none. However, by the time a player has her, they have likely already decided what the main party will be.

On top of that, her unique abilities (Sketch, then Control) are both mediocre at best. Sketch will be useless more often than not, and Control is only useful on particular enemies when it comes to powerful skills. Relm herself is a great, sassy character, but in actual game mechanics? Mediocre at best.


2) Quistis Trepe (FFVIII)

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Quistis starts perfectly acceptable in Final Fantasy VIII. But what drags her down to the bottom of the FFVIII cast is her Limit Break: Blue Mage. Limiting Blue Magic to overdrive was a popular game development decision, but it isn’t fascinating. Every other party member is better than her in every way.

Having to rely on unlocking Blue Mage spells throughout the game and then only using them when it’s time for a Limit Break? That’s just so disappointing. Why use Blue Magic when Renzokuken and Duel are on offer?


3) Kimahri Ronso (FFX)

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Like Quistis, here’s another mediocre at best Blue Mage. Kimahri gets it even worse than Quistis, though. In Final Fantasy X, every character has their Sphere Grid pattern to unlock; everyone except Kimahri. He has a few abilities, and then he sets off down someone else’s path.

Sure, he can eventually be great, but he’ll be a clone of someone else. One of his best uses is to take him down Wakka’s path. This allows him to use Wakka’s abilities with a much bigger mana pool. Like Quistis, he can only use his abilities when in Overdrive, making him far more tedious than he should be.


4) Cait Sith (FFVII)

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Is Cait Sith a compelling character in Final Fantasy VII? First of all, he is. They cheapen his death because it’s just a doll being remote-controlled by a member of Shinra. Cait Sith is easily one of the worst characters in any Final Fantasy game.

He brings virtually nothing to the team other than Slots, a worse version of Setzer Gabbiani’s “Slots” ability in FFVI. It requires so much work to make the most of, and it can also cause Game Overs. He’s Setzer, minus the charm, the cool airship, and the ability to summon Bahamut quickly. There are no benefits to running Cait Sith at a party.


5) Edward Chris Von Muir (FFIV)

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Oh, Edward. Despite being a whiny, sad princeling, you bring so much usefulness to the story. He showed up early in the game and is, to be blunt, incredibly weak. His Bard songs do almost nothing, and his “Heal” ability burns through Potions. His stats are low, and the only good thing he can do is Hide.

He’s only in the party for a limited time before he gets thrown off the boat by Leviathan, but he drags the party down the entire time. Edward is only useful in a few hacks and mods of Final Fantasy IV or the Final Fantasy IV: Free Enterprise randomizer. Other than that, he’s just a weight that drags the other heroes down.


Final Fantasy as a franchise has some incredibly well-developed characters. Even some of the weaker characters are great when pushing the plot forward. However, some characters shine brighter than others when it comes to combat.


Disclaimer: This article reflects the opinions of the writer.

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Edited by Srijan Sen
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