Final Fantasy has a long, storied history of fascinating side quests. They vary in purpose and usefulness, as well as story building. Yuffie’s side quest teaches players about Wutai and the problems the community faces, and through side quests, FFIII players can unlock Sage and Ninja.
In more modern Final Fantasy games, there are simply tons of side quests, and it can be overwhelming to narrow it down. Instead of the five “best” side quests, these are five that are useful and fun for a number of reasons.
As with all lists like this, the joy a player gets from completing these will vary, as well as the use they get out of them.
Side Quests have been a part of Final Fantasy since the first game
The first major side quest in Final Fantasy can often appear as a requirement for playing the game: The Trials of Bahamut. It is a side quest because it is something you can avoid doing if you are of the mind. It is a terrible idea, but you can, as the player, decide not to upgrade your classes.
Acquiring the rat tail and bringing it to the Dragon King unlocks a class upgrade for all of the Warriors of Light. The franchise also has a long history of hiding characters behind side quests. Final Fantasy VI had Gogo and Umaro, Final Fantasy Tactics had Cloud, among many others.
It is also a great way to find superbosses, like Hades in FFIX and Adamantoise in FFXV. Exploring, talking to everyone, and putting in effort can lead to major rewards in nearly every Final Fantasy game, thanks to the power of side quests.
Enjoyable side quests in Final Fantasy
- Gilgamesh Appears (FFXII)
- Chocobo Hot and Cold (FFIX)
- Unlocking the Magus Sisters (FFX)
- Unlocking Vincent (FFVII)
- Finding Your Friends (FFVI)
5) Gilgamesh Appears! Cue ‘Battle on the Big Bridge’ (FFXII)
Gilgamesh is a popular character in the Final Fantasy franchise, appearing in FFV, FFXII, FFXII: Revenant Wings, as well as the Dissidia franchise. Feared across the land as a swordsman of unparalleled skill and a sword collector, he appears as one of FFXII’s Elite Marks.
Clan Centurio’s hunters are asked to track down an “Ancient Man of Mystery,” and Vaan learns how to uncover this powerful warrior. Previous hunters have wagered their swords and met him on a bridge in the Lhusu Mines.
The party will battle him several times during this quest, and each time Gilgamesh flees after he is defeated, managing to grab the “Sword of Legend” on the way. It is a comical series of battles, and he is no pushover. Eagle-eyed players will also see several familiar blades in his collection. Cloud’s Buster Sword, Squall Leonhart’s Revolver, and Odin’s Zantetsuken.
Plus, his music is fantastic. Gilgamesh also shows up as part of a fishing rod side quest, but this is a big moment.
4) Chocobo Hot and Gold is worthwhile (FFIX)
Chocobo Hot and Cold is both a side quest and a mini-game in Final Fantasy IX, and it is the game’s biggest quest. It will take a significant chunk of the game, but the rewards are worthwhile.
It is played in both chocobo forests and on the world map, but it cannot start without Choco. This can be done as early as leaving Lindblum the first time, and for a meager 60 gil, players can get Choco to unearth items for them. It expands and grows as time goes on, with some truly amazing rewards, like the Ultima Weapon.
In addition, Robe of Lords, Protect Rings, Wing Edge, a rare card, and so much more await players. It is a little complicated, but after spending time learning the system, players can make it worth their while.
3) Unlocking the Magus Sisters (FFX)
Final Fantasy X has a number of side quests and mini-games, and while some are great, many of them are wretched. Looking at you, Lightning Dodging. That isn’t to say that they are all bad, but many of them are frustrating beyond measure. Obtaining the Magus Sisters isn’t one of them.
It is time consuming, but not bad at all.
It requires capturing all of the fiends on Mount Gagazet for the Blossom Crown, which is not at all difficult. Players also have to also unlock Anima and Yojimbo, which are optional Aeons. The next step is to battle all of Belgemine’s Aeons through Bahamut.
Players then head to the back room of the Remiem Temple, where Belgemine calls home. Interact with the item and using the Blossom Crown and Flower Scepter to open the door, and acquire the power of the Magus Sisters.
Originally debuting in Final Fantasy IV as the sub-bosses for Barbariccia, they also work together in FFX as a group of three.
They are incredibly powerful and can easily break the damage limit with their various attacks. They can heal, defend, or unleash their devastating combo attack. It is a lengthy side quest, but the rewards are vast with the power of three Aeons fighting at the same time.
2) Uncovering the power of Vincent Valentine (FFVII)
Vincent Valentine is one of the most popular characters in Final Fantasy VII; enough to get his own side game. He is pretty easy to miss as well, as he sleeps in a coffin in the ShinRa Mansion basement of Nibelheim.
Through a series of clues scattered throughout the mansion, players will get a passcode to unlock a safe. This leads to the challenging boss battle, Lost Number. It has incredibly powerful physical and magical attacks, but it can be stopped using Stop Magic, and slowed down via Aerith’s Seal Evil and Choco/Mog.
The reward is a BASEMENT KEY, as well as the Odin Materia. Down in the basement, Vincent’s chamber awaits, and speak to the coffin he rests in. Mention Sephiroth and he will go back to his coffin and wake him up a second time. Finally, just leave the basement and Vincent will come to join the group.
This particular side quest is a testament to the importance of searching an area thoroughly, as well as the power of a strategy guide. He’s incredibly easy to miss out on, and Vincent’s a powerful character to have on your side.
1) Finding all of your friends in the World of Ruin (FFVI)
Is this a side quest, really? Of course it is! Players in Final Fantasy VI are only required to get Celes, Sabin, Edgar, and Setzer. If they want, they can, at that point, dive immediately into the Kefka Tower and seek out the final boss.
There are also two optional characters in Gogo and Umaro, who have their own mini-side quests. That’s what makes Final Fantasy VI so great; well, one of the reasons.
The other characters each have their own side quests and reasons to go on fighting, or perhaps to stop fighting altogether, like Terra. It is up to the players to find them all, bring them around, and put together a squad capable of taking out Kefka once and for all.
The entire World of Ruin is essentially a gigantic side quest, where players do whatever they feel is necessary before tackling the final dungeon. Kefka's Tower, a three-party dungeon, is one of the best dungeons in Final Fantasy history, and it is worth bringing a full 12 characters to do battle in.
There are simply so many excellent side quests in the franchise. Sometimes they lead to powerful items, cool characters, or simply a little bit of fun or sad lore.
FFVI’s Gau side quest is all about him accepting that his father is never going to love him, and it is genuinely heartbreaking. Side quests come in all shapes and sizes, and many of them are worth it for one reason or another.