Top 10 Final Fantasy Characters Who Deserved Better

Tags: #FinalFantasy ,   #JRPG ,   #SquareEnix ,   #videogames

Dan N. Scarborough

Dan N. Scarborough

Last updated:  2023-05-22 14:08:57

It's not always simple to root for the story's main character. This is because they frequently have to promote particular noble qualities and are primarily present to advance the plot. We tend to favor the supporting cast since they frequently give the scenario life and personality. Yet, the supporting cast and story arcs outdid many Final Fantasy protagonists. Therefore, today's topic is the top ten Final Fantasy characters who should have been the focus of their respective games.

10. Red XIII (Final Fantasy VII)

A refreshing perspective on the world of Midgar

Many individuals will probably object to Red XIII taking the place of Cloud Strife because he is among the most adored heroes in video game history. However, the issue with the spike-haired protagonist comes from the needlessly complex backstory of his memory loss.

Red XIII would provide Final Fantasy VII with a distinctive lead character who would be more in tune with the environmental issues the game promotes. He is the last remaining member of his species to survive on a planet losing its life. Therefore, Red XIII might have played a similar role to Tidus in Final Fantasy X, being the fresh eyes we see in the world of Midgar.

9. Leon (Final Fantasy II)

A protagonist that would fall into the dark side

You begin Final Fantasy II with a group of four characters. However, after their first combat, the one named Leon is cut off. Right after, the rest of the gang joins the uprising against Emperor Mateus because they think he is dead. However, later it is discovered that Leon is still alive and has sided with the Emperor.

Imagine the second Final Fantasy game featured an evil protagonist rather than a generic cast of heroes. In that case, the franchise might have really taken off. Leon's tale of being brainwashed into the Emperor's cause would have made a fantastic video game narrative.

8. Faris (Final Fantasy V)

Estranged princess fighting against gender norms

One of the least intriguing protagonists in Final Fantasy history is likely Bartz Klauser. He is only a nomadic explorer who becomes entangled in attempting to halt the destruction of the elemental crystals. Faris, however, is Final Fantasy V's most compelling figure.

She is from the Tycoon royal family, which was separated from their ship when she was a young child. Pirates found Faris and raised her as a male while instructing her in the ways of the sea. Reading a tale of a lost princess who has to contend with forced gender identity while growing up among thieves and crooks would be interesting.

7. Seifer (Final Fantasy VIII)

Flawed, reckless, and relatable, unlike Squall

Squall Leonhart from the Final Fantasy series was designed to be a Marty Sue for teenage boys. He is the first person to use a Gunblade and an incredibly gifted pupil at Balamb Garden. He lures attractive women despite having a rather sour demeanor.

The major rival of Squall in Final Fantasy VIII is Seifer. He has a lot of flaws and doesn't always get his way, which tempts him to turn to the dark side. As many people were turned off by Squall, designed to be a power fantasy for teenage boys, having Seifer as the protagonist character may have encouraged more people to give Final Fantasy VIII a chance.

6. Delita (Final Fantasy Tactics)

Cunning, scheming, and overall intelligent leader

Even though Final Fantasy Tactics is one of the series' best games, its protagonist is quite monotonous. While Ramza Beoulve embodies all a knight should be, the church views him as a heretic.

Instead, Delita Heiral would have been a far better choice for the lead role. In fact, as part of his desire to become king, he actively participates in the nobles' plots. Delita disagrees with the other nobility members' use of auracite and affiliations with the Lucavi. Therefore, having Delita as a protagonist would have been like playing Game of Thrones Tywin Lannister in a world where he can only fight the white walkers.

5. Sazh (Final Fantasy XIII)

Far more sympathetic protagonist than Lightning

One of the series' most contentious games is Final Fantasy XIII. The way the plot is poorly written is one of the major complaints. Yet, Sazh soon became the most well-liked character among the audience. This results from his straightforward demeanor, his quest's apparent purpose, and his frustration with the other bad characters.

Instead of the poorly explained conflict between Pulse and Cocoon, Sazh's journey to save his kid from his crystalline form would have made for a much more compelling plot in Final Fantasy XIII. The clothes that would have been designed for him in Sazh Returns: Final Fantasy XIII would have also been fascinating to witness.

4. Auron (Final Fantasy X)

Jecht's compatriot would make a fantastic story arc

One of the most obnoxious game characters ever is certainly Tidus. So much of the spoken language in Final Fantasy X is so poor because Squaresoft was still learning voice acting while the game was being developed.

On the other hand, Auron is one of Final Fantasy X's best and most popular characters. We see snippets of Auron's travels with Jecht and Braska on their quest throughout Final Fantasy X. Still, we ought to have seen the real tale, with Jecht's sacrifice serving as the game's climax (and Auron believed to be dead).

3. Balthier (Final Fantasy XII)

A lot of people consider Balthier a true FFXII main hero

The worst Final Fantasy protagonist ever may be Vaan. He accidentally enters the narrative and only monitors what is happening around him. Thus, Vaan only serves to forward the plot for the more fascinating characters. This is significant because Vaan, who was chosen after focus group testing, replaced Basch and Balthier as the protagonist.

Balthier is essentially the Final Fantasy equivalent of Han Solo: a sky pirate and treasure hunter who enjoys sharp repartee and believes he is the tale's protagonist. The sidekick of Balthier is essentially a sexier Chewbacca, and the two of them embark on amazing adventures together.

2. Edgar and Sabin (Final Fantasy VI)

Estranged twins that fight for the survival of the world

There are actually two protagonists in Final Fantasy VI. One of the several people in the world who can still wield magic, Terra, starts the game. After the party is divided, Celes Chere takes over as the leader.

The issue with employing Terra and Celes as the main characters are that they seldom have any interaction with one another. Since they are twin brothers, Edgar and Sabin would have made far better protagonists for the game. A fantastic tale would have had two twins who are split apart by the end of the world and must come together to save their home country.

1. Vivi (Final Fantasy IX)

Wonderfully told the story about survival and purpose

In fact, Zidane Tribal makes a respectable protagonist for most of Final Fantasy IX. However, once we discover that he is truly an artificial person from another planet, things start to go wrong with him.

The issue with Zidane's development narrative is that another character from the same game does it far better. Vivi Ornitier is a little black mage and prototype for an army of magical golems employed as weapons in a bloody conflict. Zidane's journey can't help but seem like a toned-down version of Vivi's eloquently described tale of self-discovery.

A video game can rely more on gameplay and aesthetics than on a narrative, so few of them even attempt to include one. However, narratives are crucial since they significantly increase player engagement. That said, the main characters from JRPGs are often bland, and cliche, so many people could relate better to them. Final Fantasy is not an exception, and many supporting characters would make better protagonists, at least in terms of narrative. 

Who are some of your favorite Final Fantasy supporting characters? Which Final Fantasy games have you played?

Cover photo: YouTube screenshot



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