5 strongest Final Fantasy classes (& 5 of the worst the series has to offer)

Some Final Fantasy classes are just better than the others (Image via Square Enix)
Some Final Fantasy classes are just better than the others (Image via Square Enix)

When it comes to Final Fantasy, not all character classes are created equal. When it comes to rating character classes/jobs in the games, it’s going to undoubtedly divide players’ opinions. What works for one player may not work for everyone else.

Some classes are just overwhelmingly powerful to the point that they’re game-breaking, and some simply fill a spot in the game’s code, and nothing more.

Which combat classes make Final Fantasy games a breeze, and which ones make life harder than it should have been? That’s the question being broached here today. With so many character classes, there were some that almost made the list on either side.


Dragoon almost made the top 5 classes, given how much damage it can dish out in games like FF IV, V, and IX, but Final Fantasy Tactics’ Dragoon is a bit of a letdown. When it comes to the most disappointing classes, the Calculator’s incredibly low speed almost put it on the list.

The only character classes that were not eligible were the MMO classes because they will embody their own separate list at a later date.

What classes stand out as the best and worst in Final Fantasy?

1) Samurai


Final Fantasy has a nice list of powerful Samurai jobs and characters across its franchise. Perhaps the most standout version, though, has to come from Final Fantasy V.

Zeninage/Coin Toss is a busted ability, and makes playing the game simple, as long as the player has a spare gil. In the late game, players will have mountains of money, and it makes fighting even the final boss of the game a breeze.

Only a few encounters in the game won’t let people just Zeninage their way through them. Final Fantasy Tactics’ Samurai are powerful but are balanced by the weapons breaking through the “Draw Out” skill. Thankfully, combining them with Chemists’ “Maintenance” trait means those swords never break.

While not officially a Samurai, Auron is a Samurai-style character, his “break” attacks lowering a variety of enemy stats. The FFX-2 Samurai dress sphere has plenty of physical damage and support abilities on top of that.

Cyan is perhaps the most well-known Final Fantasy Samurai, though. Though the charge-up for his Bushido skills is slow, the effects are terrific.

2) Paladin


Also known occasionally as Knight, or Holy Knight, the Paladins are a mainstay in Final Fantasy as a franchise. The first in the series was Cecil Harvey in Final Fantasy IV. His Cover/Auto-Cover abilities, combined with heavy defenses, made so many fights easier. He has incredible damage, decent white magic, and a ton of hit points.

Final Fantasy IX’s Beatrix is also technically a Paladin, with the amazing Seiken skillset. She also wields a sword and has access to white magic and sword techniques. Final Fantasy Tactics’ Holy Knights are a bit different but are also worth mentioning when it comes to Paladins.


Holy Knights do not have access to white magic but do have incredible holy weapon skills which deliver a variety of powerful status ailments. Humes can use Paladin as a class in FFTA as well, being powerful and tanky. They also have useful support powers and access to some of the best weapons in the game.

3) Sword Saint


The Sword Saint/Holy Swordsman class is a rare, but powerful character class. Primarily featured in the Final Fantasy tactics franchise, it is perhaps best known as the class of Cidolfus Orlandeau. The lore of the game also implied that Barbaneth Beoulve was a Sword Saint, but there are no scenes of him in battle to offer further proof.

Provided a Sword Saint is equipped with a sword or knight sword, he can use the most powerful sword skills in the game. Holy Knight, Dark Knight, and Divine Knight powers are all at his command. Sword Saint has incredible stats, can wear tanky armor, and more. Between this, life drain, status ailments, and AoE damage, Sword Saint is the king of all knight classes.

4) Black Mage/White Mage


It was too hard to determine which of the mages is really the best because they are both two sides of the same coin. So, Black and White Mage get put together. Black Mages are masters of attack magic and status ailments, while White Mages are the best when it comes to healing, removing ailments, and buffing their fellow party members.

Rosa Farrell is often thought of when it comes to White Mages, and Vivi of Final Fantasy IX may be one of the most fondly-remembered Black Mages. Though both of these classes are squishy, they focus exclusively on one type of magic and have perfected the art. They have the most potent skills in their class types.


Whether it’s Flare, Ultima, Nuke or Meteor, Black Mages have the power to defeat any foe. Typical memorable White Magic spells include Curaga, Holy, Wall, Float, and Arise/Life 3.

5) Ninja


Ninja has been around since FFI, and has made appearances across the franchise. They typically wear light-weight gear, wield a variety of ninja blades, katanas, or throw weapons as well. Quick but fragile, Ninja can devastate individual targets and even groups thanks to the Throw command.

The first Ninja in Final Fantasy I was okay. It could cast some Black Magic, and had the most variety when it came to gear choices. FFIII’s Ninja had incredible damage as well with its throw command. The first famous Final Fantasy Ninja was Edge. Though the games often classify Shadow as an Assassin, he can be seen as a Ninja in other materials.


Yuffie Kisaragi is another famous Ninja/Thief, who also had the power of Throw. These characters are often hard to hit, and can deal incredible single-target damage with their weapons, or by throwing unwanted weapons at foes.

Edge, in particular, could throw the Spoon/Knife, which dealt maximum damage to whatever it was thrown at.

5 weakest Final Fantasy classes of all time

1) Berserker


The inability to control what a character does is one of the worst things in any RPG. While some of the Berserkers across the franchise are beloved, that doesn’t make the class good or even useful. Berserk began its life as a status ailment, after all. It makes the characters attack relentlessly and at random.

There are times when attacking specific targets is important: CPU, Magus Sisters, Hidon, Wrexsoul, to name a few. Whether the writer loves Umaro, or Gau, not having control of a character’s actions is frustrating. Berserker is much the same way in FFV, though at least FFX-2’s Berserker had other passives that could help them out.

Sure, they hit hard, but when the party needs to have focus, Berserkers seldom offer that.

2) Onion Knight


In theory, Onion Knights can be incredibly powerful. In Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions, for example, it’s the strongest class in the game. But that comes with a serious condition: master all of the other classes first.

Onion Knight is Final Fantasy III's default job as well, and it has no special abilities or powerful equipment to wear. In order to make it a useful class in the original game, it had to be level 99 to get insane stats. In the 3D remake, it was a hidden class that gained incredible stats in the 90s.

Any class can be powerful with enough levels, but Onion Knights don’t really do anything of note to make them worth using.

3) Bard


Bards in general are pretty much a disappointment across the entire Final Fantasy franchise. Even though Final Fantasy III and V’s versions of the class have some okay abilities, they don’t really stand out as much compared to other jobs in those games.

FFIV's Bard, Edward, is also one of the worst characters in the entire game. Thankfully, he’s a temporary member. He’s important to the story, but not combat. Bards in Final Fantasy Tactics are okay, but the more aggressive Dancers are, the better. Perhaps the best instance of a Bard has to be Songstress in FFX-2.

It’s an okay class, but doesn’t offer anything wildly powerful compared to other support classes.

4) Red Mage


The writer wants it known that he loves Red Mage as a class. The ability to do a little bit of everything is nice, but the drawback is pretty clear: They aren’t a master at anything. FFV’s Red Mage for example, can eventually learn Dual Cast, but they lack some of the best spells in the game.

They’re often incredibly versatile, but have mediocre, weak stats. In Final Fantasy XII at least, they’re the only class that can use Arcane Magicks. Red Mages are a cool class in many of the games, but there’s a lot to be said about focusing on one style of magic instead of being mediocre at several.

5) Thief


Locke is one of the most memorable characters in FFVI, but he’s just so incredibly weak! Steal works a decent amount of the time, but his damage and overall stats are okay at best. In fact, most of the Thief characters in Final Fantasy are great. This isn’t to say that Yuffie, Locke, and Zidane are bad characters.

Their job class just doesn’t bring a lot to the table. Edge had steal in FFIV, but it didn’t really feel impactful at all. Thieves typically have a few useful skills, such as in FFT, but when it comes to fighting bosses, their only real worth is hopefully stealing a rare item.

As with all lists, this reflects the opinion of the writer, and a player’s mileage will vary with these character classes. All players have a preference when it comes to who they want in their party, and there are always some that stand out more than others.

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