Beloved Final Fantasy Characters By SEO, Final Fantasy without a doubt is the grand jewel of Square Enix. It all started with Final Fantasy in 1987, now sixteen years later the franchise is still going strong with better graphics, unique gameplay and story lines that capture your heart. But who are the most beloved Final Fantasy characters? with countless amounts of research we have included a top five list that explains why the following characters are beloved by the many fans, what defines them and what are some annoying traits that they have. Welcome to Square Enix Origin’s ” Most Beloved Final Fantasy Characters “.
Most Beloved Final Fantasy Characters
1. Cloud Strife
Topping our number one list is Cloud Strife, Cloud is the most beloved character because he’s arguably the most realistic and relatable protagonist in any of the main series of games. He has an iconic design, and one of the most recognizable weapons in video game history. Not only does he have the cool factor of being a super soldier and a freedom fighter, but he also has one of the deeper and more interesting backstories of any of the games.
Unlike typical heroes who are all about their triumphs, Cloud is defined by his defeats. His childhood and history were full of failures and down notes, and filled with shame and self hate. All of his personal relationships were strained, especially with his mother and his childhood friend/crush, Tifa. He beat himself up about all of his shortcomings, and this is exacerbated when he leaves with grand ideals that are crushed when he can’t get into SOLDIER. In the end, he’s the one who saved Tifa and killed Sephiroth, preventing him from destroying the world almost a decade earlier than he had to. He screwed Sephiroth so much that Sephiroth developed a plot solely to get revenge on Cloud.
His weakness eventually also leads to Zack’s death, and his own succumbing to JENOVA’s influence on his mind and body. The strong can survive the JENOVA cells, but the weak can’t. He was in a comatose state basically up until Zack died. His mind snaps and shatters, and JENOVA’s influence adopts new memories to keep her vessel from completely shutting down.
His is a journey of self-discovery, where he is fighting a battle on two fronts. He gets his allies in trouble because of his own weakness, yet again, while also dealing with a personal attack from Sephiroth on him. Kefka in Final Fantasy VI destroys the world, but the heroes never give up. They don’t lose hope. Sephiroth and JENOVA do the same to Cloud – they destroy the hero of the story. He also gives up. All of his self-loathing and hatred comes back to the surface at the Northern Crater, and his guilt of Aerith’s untimely death at the hands of JENOVA. As such, he allows himself to be taken by the Lifestream when Sephiroth resurrects.
Even though Cloud fails, he finds strength in his friends and he realizes that he has people who actually do like him. Even if he falls down, his allies will help him get back up. He can lean on them and doesn’t have to shoulder the entire burden. This is something he discovers when Tifa helps him piece his shattered mind back together. When he loses his bravado that was in part Zack’s and in part what he always wanted to be, he doesn’t resign himself back to his sad self from his childhood. He picks himself up, dusts himself off, and takes command of the team, where before he was their reluctant leader.
So what sets Cloud apart from other heroes in the same vein is that he is on a quest of self discovery and coming to terms with the fact that he is not invincible. He’s not a hero. He’s never going to be someone who is a champion and admired and adored by thousands. He’s just going to be Cloud. You can compare and contrast his character arc with others in the series, but I don’t feel any of them hold a candle to the depths of character explored by Cloud throughout the game.
The biggest thing that bugs me about Cloud, and I rage about this constantly when people bring it up, is that people call him “emo”. They equate him to a sad sack like Squall from VIII. This is nowhere near the case. Nowhere near. As a child he was full of vigor and excitement, and though timid, he was brave as well when he needed to be. As an adult, his mind mixed with Zack’s memories, he was callous towards Barret and his quest towards taking down Shinra. Cloud never found it particularly engaging, and was a merc for hire. As the game progresses, his personality is serious, but there is also a lot of fun and enthusiasm and flat out dorkiness coming from him all the time.
Cloud plays along with Aerith’s idea of cross-dressing to get into Corneo’s place and allows her to dress him up like a pretty girl, going to some extreme lengths. Much of his early dialogue, even his backstory talk about Sephiroth at Nibelheim were told factually and emotionless, trying to get the information out as clearly as possible. He only allows emotion in when describing his hometown burning and when Tifa was left for dead by Sephiroth. One dialogue option you can choose when you arrive in Costa Del Sol will liken Barret to a bear in a marshmallow. He never shuts down his dialogue with awkward pauses or silence. He’s always assertive and shows agency in many situations he finds himself in.
Part of Cloud is callous, but a lot of Cloud’s hesitations and reservations stems from his past trouble of self-loathing and blaming himself for bad things that happen to people. Even when he’s going crazy from JENOVA’s influence on his mind, he doesn’t pack it up and surrender. He keeps going. He never ever wants to quit trying to find and defeat Sephiroth, but instead wants to leave his friends behind because he cares about them and doesn’t want them to get hurt. He doesn’t see them as a burden or a bother. He takes Aerith’s death hard, but he doesn’t mope around. Barret and Tifa don’t give him time to do so, and he pushes on in Aerith’s memory instead of wallowing in self pity.
Even during the Lifestream segment, Cloud’s subconscious is talking to Tifa. Everyone has parts of themselves that holds regrets, or happy memories, or anything along these lines. Every person is multi-faceted, and Tifa experienced these parts individually. At the end, when Cloud discovers the truth he has been running from, and he takes on each of these personas. Together, they make up Cloud. It’s symbolism that there are good and bad parts about him, but all of it equals Cloud.
After he finds himself, he’s upbeat, energetic, enthusiastic, and friendly. He can relate to Yuffie and tell her how he used to get motion sickness like she does, and offers some suggestions freely. He fights fiercely to protect people, not for himself (like Squall). He stands down monsters raised by the Planet itself and doesn’t hesitate or bat an eye, and his upbeat, positive, determined attitude is infectious for the rest of the team. He turns into a real leader and someone who has earned their respect instead of someone who is given that title because they’re the protagonist. He allows his friends to leave before the final battle, saying that if they don’t come back, he’ll understand. He acknowledges that everyone has their own things they’d be risking and could possibly lose.
Advent Children paints him as a more depressed sort because he regressed from Final Fantasy VII’s end with the resurgence of the Geostigma. When you are infected with Geostigma (essentially JENOVA tainted Lifestream), it’s basically a death sentence. There is no cure. None. Cloud has to come to grips with his own mortality. He has to realize that he’s going to face people who he failed; Aerith, Zack, and others are all in the Lifestream. He doesn’t know what’s going to happen, or what they think of him. He doesn’t know if these people he deeply cared for hate him now or blame him for their deaths.
When you consider this, you’ll understand that the reason he is depicted so upset and depressed in Advent Children is because that is an incredible amount of weight to put on one person’s shoulders. He assumes all of the responsibility instead of passing the buck. He is searching for answers and trying to find a way to help people, even knowing that he himself may die out of it. He’s cold and callous to Rufus because, you know, Rufus and Shinra were kind of the bad guys. They did a lot of bad things to AVALANCHE and the world. There’s no reason he should be kind to him. There’s a reason the last song being played in the film before the credits is called Cloud Smiles. When he removes the tainted JENOVA from the Lifestream, and sees Aerith and Zack, he understands that they don’t hate him, and that when he dies, they’re going to welcome him as a friend. There’s a monumental burden lifted off his shoulders.
In Kingdom Hearts, Cloud is depicted as he was near the middle of Final Fantasy VII. He’s cold, callous, and serious. He’s determined to find Aerith, no matter the cost. He’ll literally sell himself to the devil to do so. His garb is weird because it was supposed to be Vincent, and I dunno why they didn’t change it up. In any event, he’s also friendly towards Sora and gives Sora a lot of advice and help once you defeat him. The same is said in KH2, and I feel Sora and Cloud have a good friendship. Steven Blum does play Cloud very close to the vest and quiet, but there’s serious stuff going on, and Cloud is a serious guy when he has a goal in mind. Especially when Sephiroth is involved (like in 2)
In Dissidia, Cloud is also depicted as he was at the START of Final Fantasy VII. Back then he was a merc for hire who didn’t care about anyone else. He wanted to get paid and keep doing his thing. He was full of self loathing and doubt, as I’ve already said. That explains entirely why he is so “emo”, because he internalizes a lot of his hatred and blame.
So yeah. Cloud is a fantastic character, one of the deepest characters, period, in all of the Final Fantasy games. In addition, he is horribly simplified and misrepresented by the masses. He is intrinsically human and deals with a lot of real, emotional turmoil that people go through every day. Unfortunately, people only remember him for his sword and his hair, and don’t ever seem to understand just how rich his character and development are, because it’s very understated, but still present.
Tidus comes in at number two with his mixture. Not only do you see the sensitive side of Tidus in Final Fantasy X, but you see him as a true friend who would do anything to protect his friends. Tidus is unique because hes the jock type of character in Final Fantasy, he is a rising star in a sport called Blitzball in his home of Zanarkand who gets attacked by Sin, sending Tidus to the world of Spira. At first you see Tidus as bit of a child, having major daddy issues and always complaining about finding his way home. But through the story you find the serious and sensitive side of Tidus that truly makes your heart melt.
Tidus shows you flashes of his father Jecht who picks on him constantly about following in his footsteps to become a great Blitzball player such as himself. A lot of Tidus’s personality is shaped by the way his father treated him at a young age, you go through his emotional journey as you watch him resent his father and eventually face him.
Living out in Spira you start to see a change in Tidus matures from a self-centered and outspoken athlete to a selfless hero. You see his love for Yuna grow each step and the emotions that he shows toward the end keep you engaged and makes you love his character for what he really is.
The only reason Sephiroth didn’t come in at number two is because he is a villain. You have all the females vote for Tidus because of his sandy blonde hair and his blue eyes. But Sephiroth is nothing like Tidus many consider him a monster, not even a man but the definition of true evil. But before all that Sephiroth was once a man very well respected in his field.
He was one of the most lauded success stories of the SOLIDER program, a great warrior who was idolized by the public and his fellow infantrymen. his supreme strength and his impeccable discipline in combat, Sephiroth’s many successes in the field of battle during the conflicts surrounding the Shinra Electric Power Company’s bid for global domination led to his status as a celebrity war hero and the poster boy for both the Shinra Military and the company’s SOLDIER program.
Sephiroth’s appearance alone shows you he means business, he wears a long black coat with silver pauldrons, black boots and black clothing. The top of his clothing is open to reveal part of his chest, with his leather SOLDIER suspenders crossed over it. Sephiroth’s hair is long and silver with his bangs parted to either side of his face. The biggest thing he is known for his his gigantic sword known as Masamune, a seven-foot longed katana.
His personality is ruthless and bitter cold even prior to going crazy he was very anti-social. His cold exterior and very firm, professional attitude turned people away and rubbed them the wrong way.
Following his path to insanity he becomes murderous and vengeful, often claiming himself as ” the chosen one “, destined to lead and rule the planet as a god. You see Sephiroth at his best when he mentally and physically tortures Cloud, destroying his hometown and killing everyone he ever cared about. Never have I ever seen someone so ruthless and brilliant as Sephiroth, if there was ever a list of the best villains, nobody deserves the number one spot than Sephiroth.
4. Squall Leonhart
Squall probably has the coolest weapon in all of Final Fantasy, the incredible gunblade. Squall’s attire is also badass as you see him in a black leather jacket with unruly brown hair. People always say chicks dig scars, well Squall has a big one right across his face. In the opening scene of Final Fantasy VII you see him fighting Seifer, a hard fought battle that gives him the long scar across his face.
With Squall you either love the guy or hate him, you see him as cold and rude teenager who pushes anyone away who tries to get close to him. As mean as he is. Squall is a true warrior, taking and completing every mission that is thrown at him. During the game you see Squall narrate why he pushes everyone away, he reveals he acts the way he does because he doesn’t want to get too close to people. Squall cannot remember his parents and his sister was taken away at a young age while he was young so he doesn’t believe in relying on others.
You see Squall change throughout, falling in love with Rinoa and accepting his role as a leader, even accepting friends and becoming more social. Squall’s story is great and his gunblade is ever better.
she was that open-minded girl that, while very solid in her beliefs, faced Sin head on and then helped come up with an alternative way to get rid of Sin and had to deal with the fact that her religion was corrupt beyond belief and leaving it. In a way, you can say that she left a big part of herself by leaving Yevon. Notice that the summoners were all devout Yevonites.
As for traits, I love that she shifts from being a serious devout Yevonite to more op open minded when traveling with Tidus, to finally living life to its fullest in X2, and not as if she’s just a sacrifice accepting her destiny. A lot of people don’t like that transition about her, but I feel it’s very well done and realistic for a character at that time.
Yuna takes away from the regular girl of Final Fantasy, she can actually hold her own and brings life to the game, that can be clearly shown in X2 and through the end of X. Most of us love her for the fact that she wasn’t afraid to sacrifice herself for the life of others.
That concludes our ” Most Beloved Final Fantasy Characters ” tell us what you think of the list!