Final Fantasy’s Definitive and Absolute Power Level Tier List

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Because we here at TheLifestream forums are geeks, we’ve had a thread running for a little while now on who the most powerful villains and heroes of the Final Fantasy franchise are. As well, I’ve had an interest lately in doing “top 10″ lists. See this thread for my “Top 10 Games of the Decade” list. [/shameless self-promotion]

Anyway, that being the case, it was inevitable that I decide to make an article like this for the front page. Seeing as how we’re now on the cusp of Final Fantasy XIII’s release in Japan, this seems like the right time for such a list, ere we have to include another hero and villain in our calculations.

So join me, won’t you, in celebration of the most powerful heroes and villains of the first 22 years (omg Sephiroth/Kabbalah reference!) of the Final Fantasy series.

Obviously, the lists that follow are canon. If you disagree: no u!

In all seriousness, though, I’m right and you’re wro — wait. One second. Wrong script. See, this is why when you’re a newsreader you make sure to stay on good terms with the teleprompter guys.

Anyway, these lists are obviously just my opinions and not even necessarily those of the entire staff of TLS. That just means the dissenters on staff are wrong too, of course.

There will be three lists in this article — one for the most powerful villains sans end-of-game power-ups, one for the most powerful villains with end-of-game power-ups, and, finally, there will be a list for the most powerful heroes.

It should go without saying that this article is going to include spoilers for a number of Final Fantasy games, so turn back now if you don’t want them. If you continue reading and learn something you wouldn’t have wanted to know yet, it’s your own fault.

Taken into consideration for these lists were the characters’ original games, as well as their appearances in Dissidia: Final Fantasy. As well, note that only one villain or hero from the same game will be chosen, to give representation to as many games as possible. In other words, only the most powerful hero and villain from a game will be featured.

Finally, be aware that I have little knowledge of Final Fantasy XI, and — not really knowing how powerful the Shadow Lord or Promathia are — I will not be including either in these lists. That said, I encourage you to include them in your own lists should you make one and should you have more knowledge of them than I. My guess is that Promathia, at any rate, would rank very high.

Now, let us begin. Reasoning for each list is to follow.

The top ten most powerful villains (starting abilities)

10. Kuja - Respectable magical ability. Can go toe-to-toe with Eidolons like Bahamut without fear, even taking a blast from the dragon pretty much full-on without suffering more than a small cut to his head.

9. Kefka Palazzo - Easily capable of defeating Espers, even while attacking more than one at a time, Kefka presents an all around impressive magical display.

8. Seymour Guado - Like all Guado, Seymour is inherently attuned to the Farplane and adept at manipulating pyreflies. Unlike most Guado, Seymour is highly adept at the task and, consequently, is a powerful mage and summoner, even capable of banishing aeons on a whim. Unlike most villains who rely on physical power alone, however, Seymour is also very cunning. Additionally, though it’s a fairly common occurrence on Spira for one with a powerful will to refuse to allow their spirit to journey to the Farplane after death, Seymour continues to defy such a transfer even after being defeated three times. It is only with his fourth defeat that he is unable to resist the natural order any longer.

7. Emperor Mateus - A fairly powerful mage capable of summoning demons. Like Sephiroth, Zemus and Seymour, Mateus likely has an unnaturally powerful will, which allowed him to defy the natural order of life and death. Gaining even more power after being killed, he conquered both Heaven and Hell. The Emperor’s greatest asset, though, may be his cunning mind, particularly in Dissidia, where he orchestrates much of the plot.

6. Zemus - As with Sephiroth and the previous two entries on this list, Zemus was able to defy death and become more powerful after being separated from his mortal vessel. Given that he’s more powerful than either Golbez or Fusoya alone — and probably powerful than the two combined seeing as how he let them attack him and even encouraged them to hit him with all their power at once — Zemus is likely a highly accomplished mage. He’s also known to have immense psychic powers that allow him to control others, even from as far away as the inner caverns of the Lunarian moon, reaching all the way down to the Underworld of FFIV’s planet.

5. Sephiroth - Has an unrivaled will on his world and possesses the powers of JENOVA (shapeshifting, separation and reassembly of body, telekinesis, telepathy, astral projection, ability to phase own physical matter through solid objects, etc.). Need I say more?

4. Ultimecia - Can freeze moments in time and create powerful living beings out of inanimate objects (Krysta and the Iguions, for example) as well as others’ thoughts (Griever). Able to bend GFs (Tiamat) to her will, and posseses vast magical powers in general, including telekinesis and the ability to phase through solid matter.

3. Garland - Presumably extremely powerful given that he defeated summons and Omega on his world. An accomplished swordsman as well. Also known to have some control over the Void.

2. Exdeath - Powerful warlock with inherent ability to use the Void. Other known powers include energy projection and telekinesis.

1. Cloud of Darkness - Either a representative or embodiment of the Void, and in possession of vast magical ability. Presumably able to destroy the entire universe if given time, as she was the one “schem[ing] the world’s return to the Void” in Dissidia. Probably also one of the most powerful entities in existence period. One of two villains — the other being Kuja in his Trance form — to hold the distinction of killing the player’s party, albeit briefly.

Reasoning

  • I put Cloud of Darkness first because I tend to think that the villains with a connection to the Void are the most powerful — and in her case, she’s either its representative or an incarnation of it. As such, she’s probably also immune to being eaten by it like Exdeath, so that allows her to edge him out.
  • Exdeath was placed over Garland because Exdeath uses energy projection and magic. In terms of their affinity with the Void, who the hell knows who’s got the other beat there. Exdeath’s the only one we see tapping into it whenever he feels like it, though.
  • I put Ultimecia above Sephiroth simply because what we see from her is more impressive to me — probably due to her being able to freeze moments in time, create monsters out of inanimate objects, and reach into people’s minds and either remove things altogether or give them physical form. Both display flight, telekinesis, teleportation and the ability to phase through solid matter, however, and in terms raw magical power, they may be even. Ulty just seems to have more going for her.
  • Zemus was chosen over most of the other “mage class” villains since he not only features most of their greatest assets himself, but his psychic abilities, in my mind, outrank just about anything else they’ve done. Though it was difficult for me to choose between the Emperor and Zemus, it was Zemus’ psychic powers that made the choice for me in the end.
  • Mateus is above most of the other “mage class” villains because he was able to defy nature with will alone and conquer Heaven and Hell thereby. He outranks Kuja if only because of that, and Kefka if only because he was already emperor, whereas Kefka was a really powerful flunky. He then outranks Seymour because, of the two, only Mateus successfully made the natural order his servant.
  • Seymour outranks Kefka and Kuja because he’s not only able to create monsters out of free-floating spiritual energy — pretty much any Guado can accomplish this, in fact — but he doesn’t even have to fight summons: he can simply make them go away.
  • Kefka outranks Kuja because he’ll not only fight summons, but he’ll fight more than one at a time — and win! Though Kuja was willing to let Bahamut get some shots off first, Kefka doesn’t seem particularly worried about the multiple Espers he kills either.

The top ten most powerful villains (end-of-game power-ups)

(Notes: Garland is excluded from this list because his power up is Chaos — who would obviously be in the top spot, if included. As well, two characters share second place. Furthermore, Seymour never acquires a traditional power-up during FFX; Sin had been the power-up he was seeking. As such, Jecht — who got more than one power-up during FFX, including the power-up of becoming Sin — will take Seymour’s place on this list. Filling the last spot will be Altima/Ultima from the Ivalice Alliance games; though not really a character with a power-up, she’s the only applicable villain.)

10. Emperor Mateus - Reasonably powerful demonic/angelic being who ruled both realms of the afterlife.

9. Zeromus - The manifestation of Zemus’ hatred, Zeromus easily defeated the player’s party within seconds, and would have likely gone on to massacare the population of the world below if the team had not been rejuvenated by outside parties. Though defeated, defied death to return yet again in FFIV: The After Years, though in a weaker form. Even so, this form was still able, with its final attack, to destroy the Lunar Subterrane and the Crystal Palace.

8. Altima/Ultima - The full power of this leader of the Lucavi/Espers from FFXII and FFTactics is unknown, but she almost certainly played a role in the Cataclysm that ended the Golden Age of Ivalice, bringing on the dark ages witnessed in Vagrant Story and FFTactics. Ironically, her human host was worshiped by much of the surviving population in the centuries that followed.

7. Kuja - Decimated the surface of a planet in seconds and destroyed a number of enormous structures in the process. Presumably could have easily defeated even Alexander at this point. Shares with Cloud of Darkness the distinction of being one of the few villains to outright kill the player’s entire party.

6. Jecht (as Sin) - Able to create a gigantic scar on the surface of a planet in an instant, and presumably split it open given time. Amazing magical ability.

5. Jecht (as Braska’s Final Aeon, and summoned by Braska) - Able to defeat Sin. No more need be said.

4. Kefka - Like Sephiroth, became a god-like being able to bend his world to his will — whether it be rending the surface of the planet or casually incinerating towns. Possessed vast magical power.

3. Sephiroth (Advent Children) - Defied his world’s Lifestream and bent the spirit of a planet to his will — and was then going to use the whole planet as a cosmic gondola. Presumably possessed all the powers from before, but even more energy. He had become a god-like being (lowercase “g,” unlike Ultimecia).

2. Cloud of Darkness and Neo Exdeath - Pretty much the same entity. Ranks up here for the reasons Cloud of Darkness was at the top of the previous list.

1. Ultimecia - Possessed God-like powers and was absorbing the entire universe into herself, becoming a singular existence.

Reasoning

  • I ranked Ultimecia above the Cloud of Darkness and Neo Exdeath here because we actually saw her destroying the universe, and seemingly at an alarming rate. Furthermore, she wasn’t just destroying it — she was absorbing it and making it all bend to her will. Only Chaos has demonstrated a power greater than this, shattering multiple universes rather than just one. Even without finishing her goal, Ultimecia already far outclassed the other villains during that final battle.
  • Sephiroth outranks Kefka if only because Sephiroth was known to be able to extend his influence to dominate more planets. As far as we know, Kefka was only able to be the god of one.
  • Jecht — as Braska’s Final Aeon, and summoned by Braska — outranks Sin if only because we know he won that fight.
  • I ranked Kuja over Altima in part because we already know that Kuja should have been able to defeat summons at that point — he even abandoned his quest for a powerful Eidolon once he realized the power he could gain through Trance. In addition, Kuja’s casually performed spectacle on Terra would suggest he could easily do something on the order of the Cataclysm Altima had played a role in on FFXII’s world.
  • Altima outranks Zeromus as the Cataclysm that struck Ivalice must have been great indeed if it sank the island of Murond and so wreaked havoc upon the mainland that it threw technology back centuries.
  • Zeromus is placed above the Emperor’s ascended forms because we at least see something of the destruction that Zeromus may be able to cause.

The top ten most powerful heroes

(Notes: As this author considers Rydia likely more powerful than Cecil, she’s included instead of him on this list. As well, given that Fran is unquestionably the most physically powerful cast member in FFXII, and the only one with any apparent magical affinity, she’s here to represent her game. Also, Squall is on this list in place of Rinoa as Squall defeats Ultimecia solo in Dissidia — Ultimecia, of course, having the same powers as Rinoa and wielding them more effectively.)

10. Firion
9. Bartz
8. Fran
7. Tidus
6. Rydia
5. Terra
4. Zidane
3. Cloud and Squall
2. Onion Knight
1. Warrior of Light

Reasoning

  • The Warrior of Light is placed above Onion Knight due to the fact that he seems more consistently tapped into his great power than the Onion Knight. We’ve also seen several impressive feats from the Warrior of Light, including defeating Garland — who seemed to be giving his all during the fight at the end of Destiny Odyssey I of Dissidia — and defeating Chaos alongside just three other Warriors of Light in the original FF (counting Onion Knight as another Warrior of the Light, the final battle of Dissidia against Chaos involves two Warriors of Light and eight other warriors).
  • Onion Knight presumably has pretty much the same power source as the Warrior of Light, and, for that matter, the Onion Knights of FFIII were also referred to as the Warriors of Light. That Onion Knight took down the Cloud of Darkness in Dissidia puts him in a class above most characters in the series.
  • Cloud and Squall are tied for third as, even though we’ve seen more visually impressive feats from Cloud, our first list in this article ranked Ultimecia — whom Squall defeats solo in Dissidia — above Sephiroth, whom Cloud required assistance to defeat in FFVII. Though that sounds like it would put Squall above Cloud, there’s also the fact that Cloud manages to legitimately outmaneuver and physically harm Sephiroth enough in Advent Children — when Seph was more powerful than ever — to vanquish him. Given that we don’t really know how Seph and base-level Ulty would compare against each other, it seems easiest to just call these two even. Dissidia, at any rate, never attempts to put one above the other.
  • Zidane, Squall and Cloud are all placed above Terra on this list. Cloud’s already been shown capable of defeating a summon (Bahamut Sin) in Advent Children, and even fought Terra during Dissidia without breaking a sweat — allowing her to expend some of her out-of-control power in the process, even while he wasn’t actively trying to harm her. For his part, Zidane was created to be more powerful than base-level Kuja, who could take on Bahamut without much concern, while Seifer — Squall’s rival, whom he defeated solo on one occasion — killed another summon (Odin) during FFVIII. Given that Terra’s only half-Esper anyway, all that leaves us with the probability that any one of these three could defeat her.
  • Terra is ranked above Rydia on this list, but only by a slim margin and for the most technical of reasons. Both have access to the power of one or more summons, and both also possess an array of powerful magic — however, as a half-Esper, Terra is inherently more powerful than Rydia. Rydia has to summon an Eidolon, while Terra merely has to use her own power.
  • Tidus is placed above Fran on this list as it is the opinion of this author that he’s likely both physically stronger — really, how many people do you know of who can kick a ball that far? — and probably the fastest on-foot of all the heroes in Dissidia. This is speculation based on his performance in the game’s opening FMV sequence, and the fact that he was the only one fast enough to make a move to attack Chaos when the villain showed up at the beginning of Shade Impulse — before being summarily sat on his ass nonetheless, of course.
  • Fran has been placed above Bartz on this list, despite his impressive agility and power to magically generate temporary facsimiles of others’ weapons. Neither his speed nor physical strength was implied to be quite as far above the average human’s during comparable cutscenes.
  • Firion is placed in last place because he’s the only one of the heroes to have no power-up — as well as no genetic, biological or anatomical advantage — of any kind. During his original game, he starts out with no known combat experience and is nearly killed in the game’s opening moments. It’s only through the course of the war seen in the game that he gains said experience, eventually becoming “the warrior with mastery over eight kinds of weapons” that he’s referred to as in Dissidia. And even then — and even with his brief, extraordinary applications of telekinesis — he’s lugging around all this gear while his comrades rely on far fewer weapons, and gets stomped on nearly as often as the Emperor. He’s also the only one who doesn’t seem to ever store his weapons in hammerspace (reserved for the wild rose apparently).
  • While it may seem like Firion or Bartz should be placed higher on the list than the spots they’ve been given due to their fights with Emperor Mateus and Exdeath respectively during their Destiny Odyssey stories, it’s considered by this author that the two villains weren’t legitimately trying to kill Bartz or Firion then — as they still needed them to receive their crystals in order for Cosmos to receive an absolute death. Also, during Shade Impulse, these two villains are fought by groups of heroes rather than taken down solo.
  • Though Bartz is a Warrior of Light like the Onion Knight and Warrior of Light himself, it’s my belief that he’s not on their same level. Obviously he was never able to defeat Exdeath by himself — whereas Onion Knight defeated Cloud of Darkness solo, she being ranked higher on my first villain list than Exdeath — and though he also had power provided by the crystals of his world, he only had shards which had to be divided among his whole team. Furthermore, he and his teammates have to give up the shards at the end of FFV for the restoration of the crystals. Though Bartz may have retained some heightened physical capacity or new abilities from the crystals, this is never definitively demonstrated, and — in my opinion — he’s never presented as quite as fast, agile or strong as Fran and Tidus.

And, with that, my first article posted to the front page of TheLifestream.net comes to a close. Hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to comment either below on the main page, or inside the forum in this thread. The latter is preferred, as we can then debate it out!

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68 thoughts on “Final Fantasy’s Definitive and Absolute Power Level Tier List

  1. Your list is very well written and interesting.

    Wrong..but very well written and nicely interesting XD

    Thanks for doing this man. This was a good read ^_~

  2. Hmm… Interesting…

    Can’t say that I agree on some of the stuff, but it’s my own opinion. Sephiroth does indeed deserve to be above Kefka, despite both becoming gods, Sephiroth can just pull out a demension-destorying explosion anytime he wants to. XD

  3. I feel Sephiroth should be higher on the prior list, if only because Crisis Core confirms that even before the Nibelheim incident he was already capable of Supernova. Which is actually legitimate given the sheer destruction we see Bahamut Fury (weaker than Zack) dishing out.

    Secondly, I think the logic is a bit askew in regards to ranking due to summons. Not all summons are equal, by any stretch of the imaginiation.

    And you state that Firion and Bartz don’t get any higher due to being normal humans, but how are Onion Knight and WoL any different, other than having some great destiny? The sources of their powers is inconsequential, IMO.

    Also, I feel that some more attention should have been payed to the interactions between characters. While Sephiroth never actually displays any feats suggesting he can do so, he tells ExDeath that “Only I can destroy everything”, and is generally treated with greater reverence than the other characters by the other characters. He also nearly starts a fight with both the Emperor and Ultimecia at the same time, showing no fear. At the very least, the two were uncomfortable at facing him alone. Granted however, neither Neo-Exdeath nor Ultimecia’s Final Form are in Dissidia… However, it’s not like this is an isolated event. Even when it was common knowledge that Sephiroth was acting in his own interest rather than being bound to Chaos (something he was capable of long before the other villians) nobody dared get in his way, even when Garland and Mateus fear he would get in the way of the plan. He also manages to regain his memories. There are many other instances that are indicative of greater power than his colleagues, though I won’t bother to list them.

    Kitase has also stated that Sephiroth was the most powerful entity in Final Fantasy (a different quote says something similar in specific reference to VII, but no such distinction is made here). However, this statement was made before Dissidia, so the newly updated Chaos probably (definately) would be the excpetion.

    Unless Sephiroth’s powerup between Dissidia and AC is so extreme such as to cover even that gap.

    I know it sounds like I’m Seph wanking, but I’m really not. It’s simply what we’re given in the examples I’ve given.

    • Kitase never stated that Sephiroth was the most powerful entity in Final Fantasy.

      He was just reffering to the FFVII world.

      The two statements were:

      “Kitase decided that we couldn’t create a character stronger than Sephiroth in the world of FFVII.” – Nomura in the Director’s Commentary in the japanese AC DVD.

      “Sephiroth’s will and existence is extremely powerful. There’s nothing stronger nothing above him” – Kitase in a Flaregamer interview.

      But these two statements were only reffering to FFVII and not Final Fantasy as a whole.

      And while Sephiroth is one of the most powerful FF villains, he’s not the most powerful of them all.

      That title goes to Chaos, or Exdeath/Neo-Exdeath when the former is not included on the list.

      • In the end Sepiroth is the strongest villan ever created by Final Fantasy. Why because he came closer to his goal then any of the others. His goal was to destroy the world, and sail though the universe with the lifeless planet as his Vassal, and nearly completed that if not due to the life stream, but that beside the point. In the End Sephiroth due to your own statement would kill any of the other villains that he wished as you stated yourself from the game “His Will and existence is the strongest thing about him” that will would never allow him to be defeated, and in the end will, and drive is the dividing factor in victory

        • False, for so many reasons. Both Kefka and Ultimecia achieved their goals in thier games. Kefka obtained god-like power and twisted the entire planet, and Ultimecia achieved Time Compression in the end. Spehiroth failed in his goals, and it doesn’t matter how “close” he was, especially considering the same can be said for almost every FF villain. Chaos would have destroyed reality if it weren’t for those pesky crystals; Ulty would have conquered reality if it weren’t for pesky Deus Ex Machina. Kefka would have done, well, what ever he wanted to do if it weren’t for that pesky party. Your logic is the exact same for every villain in the series.

          How close any of the villains came to achieving their goals doesn’t anything in a battle. Trance Kuja would still wreck Sephiroth’s shit in a fight. God Kefka would still wreck Sephiroth’s shit in a fight. Plenty of the FF villians would kick Sephiroth’s ass. Why? Cause they’re more powerful then he is. In the end the only thing that’s been established here is your extreme bais towards Sephiroth.

          • I don’t believe that the power of the characters should be decided by their respective games since the protagonists have gotten quite the power up in dissidia to match the vllains, who seem to have gotten weaker.
            in dissidia Ultimecia cant dfo the time compression without chaos power same with the emperor cant rule the worlds without chaos power.

            but in dissidia sephiroth is able to shrug off opponents without much difficulty and I do not believe he ever goes all out on Cloud either since all he wants to do is cause Cloud to suffer, since he tends to use cloud as a mobile respawn point.

            Sephiroth does not seem to need the power of chaos because he understands he has enough himself, so in the world of dissidia these stronger characters are held by limitation caused by chaos and cosmos.

            I think it kinda ridiculous that the onion knight to be so high though since he is shown to probably be weaker if not the same level as Vaan, it can be seen that he is weaker from the admiration and respect he shows the stronger fighters.

            I also think that the ranking should not be done by top 10, but from groups since some characters are just so close in dissidia that it would not change anything in the fight.
            I will make a quick list of my own…
            ————-higher the number the higher the ranking—————-
            group 1.
            Vaan…Onion Knight….Tifa….Yuna….Laguna
            group 2.
            Zidane….Bartz….Terra(she cant use powers very effectively)
            group 3.
            Firion….Tidus…Cecil….Lightning
            group 4.
            Warrior of Light….Squall….Cloud
            —————————————————————————————–
            I would make a villain one too but everyone is just so close in power really In dissidia, but in dissidia I would rank sephiroth higher than exdeath-emperor-ultimecia in a heartbeat since he seems too intimidating for them too really challenge, since sephiroth is also the most knowledgeable about the world they are in since he is a genius with a god-complex who for just a bit of extra information killed himself in one of the rounds before the game.

            and that it for now, send me a reply of what you think.

        • Sephiroth sucks period, mama emo boy worst villain of the whole series and one of the weakest.

          Know someone who reached his goal? The emperor in FF2 killed 1/3 of the total population EVEN BEFORE THE GAME BEGAN. He then proceeded to kill off another 1/3 and we are left off by the end of the game with only 1/3 people alive in the world. Dude also became the emperor of hell and had fine demon such as Belzeebulb and Satan under him. Sephiroth wasn’t even there half the game it was his mama with his appareance.

          Even Kefka did really well and destroyed the whole world too leading to the World of Ruins.

    • Gojirason, thanks for your response. Responses to your points:

      -Regarding Sephiroth being higher on the first list, I think he’s in the right spot. I definitely wouldn’t give him a spot above Garland, Exdeath or CoD given their connection to and power over the Void, and I feel that Ultimecia having basically all of his usual powers plus the ability to freeze moments in time gives her something beyond him.
      While it certainly seems that Seph was able to perform Supernova even before his ascension, it’s unclear how destructive the prior version was.

      -You’re right that not all summons are created equal, but in the cases of those I was using as the basis for determining that Zidane, Squall and Cloud should be ranked higher than Terra, we’re talking about summons that I feel confident are greater than Terra and her father.

      -As for WoL and OK, as explained in the article, OK takes down CoD solo. That puts him toward the top of any list he appears on in my opinion. As for WoL, it only took four of him to defeat Chaos in the original FF. In Dissidia, you have two Warriors of Light (if you count OK) and then either other people to make up for the difference. Even then, they weren’t sure they could take him.

      -I don’t remember Seph telling Exdeath that only he could destroy everything. At any rate, we know that’s not true. He’s not the only one with that kind of power.

      -I disagree that the Emperor and Ultimecia were about to fight Seph. I didn’t take that from the scene you’re referring to at all. Nor did they seem uncomfortable about anything in the scene.

      -While no one got in Sephiroth’s way, they had no reason to. The Emperor spoke of keeping an eye on him, so it can be assumed that they did — and then discovered that he was helping their plan even by trying to undermine it. Remember, the Emperor *wanted* the heroes to get their crystals. Seph didn’t know this, and wanted to help Cloud get his crystal because he thought it would help the heroes win. Seph wanted the villains to lose so that he could go back to his homeworld.

      -Sephiroth regaining his memories is nothing special. As he said, as the disorder grew stronger, he was regaining his memories. It was because of the universe being thrown off-kilter, not because of anything special about Seph himself.
      He also wasn’t the only one who started to regain memories. Squall also spoke of remembering Rinoa around the same time. If having one’s memories was a sign of strength, then that would already put several other villains above Seph, as they had their memories before Shade Impulse (from the start of the game even). It’s not, though.
      Surviving from one turn of the cycle to the next seems to play a role in whether one retains their memories (thus, the Emperor, Exdeath, Ultimecia, Kefka and Golbez all have theirs; Garland, of course, retains his regardless).

      -Like Dark & Divine said, Kitase has only stated that Sephiroth is the most powerful being in FFVII’s world. He’s obviously not the most powerful in all of Final Fantasy.

      Thanks again for your post.

      • I most say that I don’t fully agree. IMO Sephiroth is one of the most powerful villains in the FF as a whole. As for Ultimicia having that time control edge… If Squall can be stopped in the middle of an attack and still pull through it then Seph certainly can. Also From previous products Seph has the power to destroy the entire planet, or move it through space as he mentions in AC, Therefore giving Seph a Great amount of power, I will not say he is the strongest Character but he certainly outranks most of them. And as for the Emporer and Ultimicia fighting seph, They were trying to convince him to join their ranks, Seph tells them his not interested and it seems Ultimicia takes a bit of offense to this then Seph bucks up with the remark “And if I don’t?” which slightly indacates that if Bartz hadn’t showed up there might have been a bit of a scrap. But who’s to argue its mainly how the particular individual takes the remark him or herself.

  4. Why the fu** the opinionated list of one guy is in the friggin front-page of the site?! What’s next, a fanfic?

    Nothing against you Squall_of_SeeD, but come on, the front-page shouldn’t be used for something like that. This is why we have the forums, dude.

    • Trying something different, that’s all. It’s my opinion that a site like this has room for all kinds of things. Some things will obviously be more to some people’s tastes than others, but, hey, that’s why you try to have lots of different things — to appeal to a number of different interests.

      Besides, there’s only so much “hard news” available right now for FF in general, and when it comes to the Compilation of FFVII in particular … yeah, not a lot going on.

      I’m not sure if everyone on staff would agree with me, but I think we can make the site better by generating content in a number of directions. Not just translations of the guide books — though we should definitely keep doing that — or the occasional news update when SE gives us something to make an update about, but a wider look at FF that would allow us to talk about a number of interesting things.

      That’s how you keep a site fresh and fun. So, you have things like the “Most Memorable Moment of the Compilation” poll, you have op-ed pieces, you might do an audio commentary on the original game or another part of the Compilation (an idea we’re looking into), you might do nostalgic explorations of certain elements of the original game as someone replays it.

      There’s a lot you can and should do.

      In my opinion, of course.

      • Yeah, but I think the material we post in the front-page should be related with the community as a whole, not with the personal opinion of one person.
        For example, you could have made a poll in the forums and put the results here, after the entire community had voted and presented their arguments.

        • That’s sort of what’s going on now, but — as you can see — there’s no consensus in that thread. XD

          Besides, something like this is a little different from poll material. Polls are for what people like the most and will give a fairly reliable indication of popularity, not necessarily of their reasoning or arguments.

          Different people might vote for the same character for drastically different reasons as well.

    • Because Dissidia’s Cloud design was never meant to be updated. His design is based on his original one and Amano’s illustration, same for everyone/almost everyone else in the game.

      Ontothe proper topic, nice article. I don’t agree with some, like end-game Kuja being only 7th, he probably could have been 5th, but that’s my opinion of course. The rest seem reasonable, and definitely agree on end-game Ultimecia being at the top. She certainly demonstrated powers the others could only dream of.

  5. I noticed that one of your reasonings to giving Sephiroth a lower rank compared to those connected to the void. The only real problem I see is that in Final Fantasy 7′s world, there is no evidence that the void even exists. I find it difficult to compare his abilities to something that may not exist in his world. And to also add, we don’t know exactly to what extent he could force the planet’s lifestream to do as he wanted. Also being able to come back again and again is something that hasn’t (or just hasn’t yet) been seen. None the less, I have to still say that Chaos wins it all in terms of power.

    btw, I still liked the article

    • Thanks for your comments.

      Regarding Sephiroth and the Void, while the Void hasn’t been presented in the same universe as Sephiroth, that isn’t necessary for gauging his performance relative to other beings who can use the Void, nor does the lack of Void in the Compilation of FFVII prevent us from hazarding an educated guess as to his capabilities in comparison.

      At any rate, Sephiroth obviously exists within the same omniverse as the Void — as the Interdimensional Rift from FFV and Dissidia connects all dimensions, and is what Gilgamesh has been using to travel around the various game worlds — so there’s no reason to avoid a comparison for its sake.

      As far as the Lifestream, goes, though, the fact that Seph was co-opting it at all tells us that he could eventually take the whole thing if not stopped.

      Finally, while it’s not known that Sephiroth can come back again and again forever — and I personally doubt he’ll be back again — he has already returned from death twice.

      • Fair enough, but who here would honestly be surprised if Square decided to bring him back again. Fan-service anyone? lol

      • Again i disagree Sepiroth returns due to the clones of him. Now though it showed most of them dieing at the reunion, there could be many, MANY more, and as long as there as clones like them, he can return, he could even return though cloud given the right circumstances. So again with his ability to transver his essence from body to body avoiding full dead like the other i say he outranks them

  6. Waaa! It’s impressive, but FFIII spoilers! Dammit, I need to get past the kraken (the salamander felt my wrath, and so shall this ‘pus!).

  7. The only difference of opinion I have with you regarding the villains in particular is the low ranking of Kefka. At least after his end-game power up. If you remember, the power of not one, but three godesses were sealed on the floating continent. When the balance held by the three was broken, he absorbed all their powers.

    Let me reiterate, he doesn’t hold the power of one god, but three. I also have an issue with the idea that Exdeath and Cloud of Darkness are placed higher up on the list than him, because of their connection to the void. It has been a pretty common thread that the villains in the series have the power of darkness on their side, but that light can trump that.

    That said, Kefka is the only villain (that I know of, considering I know nothing of XI or XII) to wield the powers of both light and dark. The fact that Kefka didn’t just outright destroy the planet or other planets is not because he lacked the ability – at least in my opinion – but because of his fractured (almost shattered) psyche.

    I always compared him to a magical version of The Joker. Joker never just outright destroyed, because that wouldn’t be any fun. No, it was much more entertaining for Kefka to sit atop his tower and watch the insects scurry to kill a god.

    Also, let’s take into consideration the characters needed to defeat the bosses. Exdeath and Cloud of Darkness both required a full party of four, and Sephiroth went down to a party of three. Kefka, however, fought against up to 16 heroes and held his own. Right there, I think, makes the argument for him to be substantially higher ranking on the list.

    • Hi there. Thanks for your comments. Let me get to replying.

      –”Let me reiterate, he doesn’t hold the power of one god, but three.”

      The degree of that power isn’t quantified for us in comparison to gods in other Final Fantasy stories, though. How do the Warring Triad compare to the Occuria, for instance? Obviously, they’re probably more powerful than the Occuria, but how much more powerful?

      Or look at Dissidia. Chaos and Cosmos are also gods, but are certainly more powerful than those who provided Kefka’s power-up. So, while having the power of a god or three tells us something significant, it doesn’t tell us enough.

      When I gave Sephiroth a spot over Kefka, it was truly only on the basis that we know Sephiroth would be able to move on to other worlds, whereas it’s never indicated that the power of the Warring Triad is able to influence anything outside the boundaries of FFVI’s world. Though it’s also not indicated that the power couldn’t extend further, I felt it would be safest to assume that Kefka’s power over magic and ability to control nature apply only to FFVI’s world.

      By the way, given that I’m arguing that we don’t know the strength of gods across the series, I want to say I concede that for this article I took the assumption that the power of summons is relatively equal across the series. The irony isn’t lost on me.

      However, I took that assumption more because I had to use some point of reference for comparing the strength of various heroes, and that was a pretty simple standard by which to measure them.

      –”I also have an issue with the idea that Exdeath and Cloud of Darkness are placed higher up on the list than him, because of their connection to the void. It has been a pretty common thread that the villains in the series have the power of darkness on their side, but that light can trump that.”

      That’s the thing: the Void isn’t the power of darkness. It’s the power of nothingness. It simply is the Void — either an era that existed before anything else, or an actual realm based on non-existence. Or both. It’s something of a space-time quandry.

      Anyway, remember FFIII. There, it’s shown to us that the Void begins to encroach on the rest of reality when there is either a gross imbalance in light/good or darkness/evil in the universe. Though we play as the Warriors of Light in the game, fighting back the “flood of darkness” as it’s called, previously, it was the Warriors of Darkness fighting against the “flood of light” in order to save the universe.

      As well, in the case of either flood, it would seem the Cloud of Darkness emerges to consume the universe — with “darkness” meaning “nothingness” here rather than “evil.”

      If anything, the Cloud of Darkness wields the power of darkness/evil/positive and light/good/negative. The Void doesn’t seem to be an evil power.

      In short: light definitely doesn’t trump the power of the Void simply by being light, and can, in fact, cause the Void to grow closer to imperiling reality.

      –” Also, let’s take into consideration the characters needed to defeat the bosses. Exdeath and Cloud of Darkness both required a full party of four, and Sephiroth went down to a party of three. Kefka, however, fought against up to 16 heroes and held his own. Right there, I think, makes the argument for him to be substantially higher ranking on the list.”

      As with the gods, this assumes that the heroes are equal in strength across all titles — which is definitely not an assumption that was being made in the writing of the article.

      The most obvious flaw in an assumption like this is that Chaos was defeated by four warriors in the original Final Fantasy, and by 10 in Dissidia. Because there were more warriors, though, does this automatically mean that Chaos was more outclassed than he had been in that other fight? Not necessarily.

      For all we know, the power of the 10 warriors who faced him in Dissidia could be equivalent to the power of the four who fought him in FFI.

      By the way, I don’t know that I’d say Seph went down to a party of three anyway. The implication is provided that all eight party members fought him since all of them were there.

      To assume that all 14 primary playable characters in FFVI had to fight Kefka while only three of FFVII’s eight main playables fought Sephiroth would be like assuming that all eight of FFVII’s playables fought Seph while only assuming that four of FFVI’s 14 main playables fought Kefka.

      Thanks for reading!

      • Good points all around. And I’ll admit, I’m a blatant Kefka fanboy, and I get a little annoyed that Seph gets all the glory and Kefka gets no love in large part.

        But, yea, c’est la vie.

  8. I play DISSIDIA FF with Kefka lvl 100 exdeath… every last one villian… and no one fight better than seph… Ultiumesia… it´s one of the most slow characters… only because she cand stop time that doesnot say she is more powerful than seph… even squall can survive that easly… i think but VERY much THNKS FOR THIS you are a great FAN!! really :)

  9. This list is very accurate, well said. And for those people who are Kekfa and/or Sephiroth fan boys and girls and who think that either one of them should rank higher than Exdeath and Cloud of Darkness, really need to do a lot more studying because this isn’t a popularity contest for villains, this is about how powerful these villains are. I understand that people are entitle to their own opinions, I respect that, but the Warring Triad or Supernova have absolutely no power over the Void.

  10. I do feel compelled to point out that I think you’re selling Terra short. She’s a half-Esper but the Human/Esper union seems to have AMPLIFIED her abilities, not decreased them. Compare, for a second, Terra to any Esper to appear in the game. She alone is capable of casting Ultima (something she learns naturally).

    Further, her capabilities in her human form seem completely equivalent to those of greatest humans. Her Esper-form DOUBLES everything. This gives her completely ridiculous amounts of power while drawing upon both of her heritages simultaneously.

    Also, think for a second the encounter between Cloud and Terra; first of all, why did they fight? Because Terra was simply overwhelmed by her own power. She was simply too strong for herself to control all that energy at that point. I do not remember any other character having any such problems.

    Also, while Cloud might’ve gone easy, it’s also worth noting that Terra defeats him handily in that fight. By the evidence provided there, there’s very little that’s useful for conclusions since one party didn’t evidently fight at full power and the result was precisely what you’d expect in such a case.

    I think, purely for her abilities as showcased in Final Fantasy VI, that she should be on the top of the good guys’ tier list.

    Villain-rankings, I mostly agree with. I have too little information on FFX to say anything about those, but your reasoning seems sound and rankings quite solid.

    • It’s possible that Terra is more powerful than I give her credit for. I don’t really feel convinced that her mixed heritage necessarily makes her more powerful than full Espers, though — but it is, of course, also possible.

      As for Cloud’s fight with her, she doesn’t defeat him. In the cutscene following their encounter, he doesn’t demonstrate any sign that he was even bothered. In fact, he is the one to ask her if she’s alright.

      Thanks for your comments!

      • Hm, well, “defeats” in the sense that the fight ends in her victory. I suppose you’re right; Cloud doesn’t seem bothered. Then again, the whole “Are you okay?” seems more like a “Are you still going to spontaneously combust?”/”Did that cure what’s ailing you?” rather than “Are you hurt?”; I don’t think he’s worried about Terra’s health there (well, beyond the “spontaneous combustion”-part at any rate; though I guess that can be detrimental to your health too). But I mean, not afraid that he’d have hurt her.

        Given the way the encounter goes and the fact that Cloud wasn’t actually fighting, I just don’t think it’s really a proper basis for this analysis (though, I suppose, with the lack of proper cross-game reference material, one gotta take everything one gets, eh?). As for Terra compared to Espers, she naturally learns a far larger number of spells than any Esper in the game knows, including one no Esper seems able to cast (Ultima, Merton). That alone, IMHO, places her above Espers in terms of raw power. If she masters what their essence is, magic, better than they do then what conclusion is there to draw but that she outranks them in power? [Note: I'm talking about not using Espers to teach spells of course; through natural learning, Terra is the only character who will learn Ultima (and Merton)]

        • I agree with you that Cloud wasn’t asking her if she was okay because he was concerned that he’d hurt her, but was, rather, asking if she’d gotten her powers under control. My point, though, was that the fight had bothered him so little that he could so casually inquire about whether she was alright.

          Also, yeah, as you said, I’m more or less I’m just comparing the two on the basis of what little we have to go on. One can only assume that Terra wasn’t really holding back (because she couldn’t), while Cloud was doing more to defend and avoid her attacks than to actually attack her.

          As to Terra and the other Espers, you do make a good point about her being able to naturally learn more spells than any one Esper is known to possess. Of course, the same argument can be made for Celes, and she’s not really assumed to be more powerful than any Esper.

          Still, it’s a good observation. Even with that factor in play, though, I wouldn’t discount the possibility that a spell chosen at random (e.g. Fire) might be more potent when cast by a full-Esper than by Terra.

          • Just want to point this out, just because Terra can’t handle her power at times doesnt necessarily mean she has more than the others. She might just be worse at controlling her power

            good list btw

  11. Really good list, but a few probs.

    1. Seph under Ulty? WHAT? Fine Ulty has time stop but in Dissidia Seph is by far the harder boss. Ulty has gr8 attractor which takes 4eva to actually take shape and shockwave thingy which is easily doged, limited range and to go the fartest still takes long. Her BRV attacks are rubish. Seph however has really powerful HP and BRV attacks 4 base. Seph is more of an induvial, rising against emporer and working for his own will, not even really 4 chaos.

    2. Terra should be higher. End of. In her oddessy, Kefka says to Onion knight about how Terra was beating him to a pulp. In OK’s oddessy, obiously OK defeats Terra because he has to but Kefka indicates that in that battle Terra was beating OK. If terra is capable of beating a WoL than she is clearly powerful.

    3. i do not actually think that CoD is an emobiment of the void. A dialouge in shade impulse between Ulty and CoD says that Ulty is making reference to a neutraliser in this battle. This could by all means be the Void but CoD makes no refernce to the fact that it could be the Void. Instead she just talks about sumoning the void.

    • Sorry for the really late reply to this. In the event you ever see my response and feel like replying, I’ll try to get back to you sooner next time. =P

      1) I was looking at story info only in compiling this list. Gameplay-based stuff was not a factor.
      2) Kefka’s a jerk and a liar. We didn’t see any evidence that Terra harmed OK at all.
      3) CoD’s nature is a bit of an enigma, but that she’s from the Void, inherently tied to its power, and carries out its will are certainties. I feel that she’s been presented to us as an embodiment of the Void since FFIII.

      • Thanks for replying. Yes i suppose you’re right. If only judging by cutscene rather than gameplay, it is arguable than ultimecia is infact better than sephiroth. Although i still would argue that the fact that sephiroth goes against the will of mateus when not aiding him, while ultimecia does very much simply go along with the plot does still count in favour of sephiroth. However on the flip side, you could argue that Ultimecia is only using mateus for her own needs although i doubt with a mind like his mateus would allow ultimecia to do such a thing. I would still rank Terra quite high, but then that would probably be down to gameplay rather than cutscenes. But (although this isn’t a brilliant point) Zidane does certianly hesitate when fighting girls. This is seen in dissidia even when he actually fights terra and will say “fight a girl. this will be – tricky”. My final point in the defense of Terra is that although Zidane (in theory), Cloud and Squall (in theory) can all defeat summons, they have only been shown to be able defeat 1 summon at a time. Being a half esper – and a very powerful one at that – terra can summon multiple summons, at the same time. Imagine any of Zidane, Cloud or Squall fighting Odin, Alexander and Bahamut all at the same time. I doubt any of those 3 could survive that! And yes, i think now looking back, CoD is probably an embodiment of the void – although necron from ff9 seems to have a lot of void type ideals and could be even more powerful that CoD, although he doesn’t do much in the plot of ff9, – what would his role be? Anyhow, thanks a lot for replying. PS, i think we could a new top boss – Orphan from ff13. shown to have HP of over 3 million, and he is NOT a superboss, just a final boss. please discuss if you can.

        • Gah! Why did I have to read the whole thing in my e-mail?! Still haven’t played FFXIII, and though I’m not entirely optimistic for it, that final boss name is intriguing.

          ANYWAY, Terra in cutscenes is a bit more off-camera, as Kefka certainly thinks she has very destructive potential, and she was obviously resistant towards fighting with Cloud. Cloud, unsure as he is about most of the tasks he goes into, wasn’t sure if fighting her would have worked, and he very much had only calmed her down. Back to Kefka, he claimed the Onion Knight got beaten “to a bloody pulp,” though how accurate that is is questionable, though Terra definitely put a thrashing out.

          On the subject of Necron, its Japanese name is “Darkness of Eternity”/”Eternal Darkness”, so even if it’s not of the Void, it’s of a neutralizing one. Checking the SMPS.net review, its actually does declare itself the “Darkness of Eternity”; huh. Y’know, I really should play that game. Ah, there’s the quote I wanted: “To return everything back to the zero world, …” So, yeah, Void-ish at the least.

  12. Final Fantasy, like most generation-spanning series of video game, has been lost in a whirlwind of convoluted oneupmanship. Rehashing the Final Fantasy cliché is tolerable, but when previously exclusive characters begin to coalesce, outside the settings from which they originated, it results in this; a nonsensical, Dragonballesque, power ranking.

    When will they retire the Final Fantasy series? Can’t they just let it go? Wouldn’t it encourage a greater level of creativity and innovation, if they were to drop the historical namesake and stop driving what was once an enjoyable line of games, straight in to the ground?

    C’mon Squaresoft (yeah, I said it) ..quit killing your games. Isn’t it time to rehash some Enix games? How about a next-gen Actraiser?

    Basically, fuck Final Fantasy.

  13. i´m not saying that exdeath and the void are not strong… and Seph it´s not way better just because we like it… seph have come back to the void even he kill himself in dissidia… come back from the dead TWO TIMES… make the power of the planet his own… and cloud it´s way more strong that Terra she have like vincent power without control… nothing more… she powerfull but not that much… she is a half summon… and cloud have cells of seph in his body… so… but… hahahaaha that´s only my opinion all of us have our favorites… so all the villians are THE most powerfull FF FOREVER THE BEST VILLIANS EVER!!!! ALL OF THEM!!!

  14. Sephiroth better than Kefka? and even better than Kuja?

    Oh man I think we have a FFVII fan boy here. But seriously, the greatest achivement of Sephiroth was summoning meteor, and for that he needed the black materia and the lifestream to summon it. He tried to become a god after that, but he never did it.
    Kefka absorbed the power of the statues, becoming the embodiment of magic itself, destroyed the world and ruled its ashes for months as a god before being defeated after getting bored of ruling the world and decided to finally destroy it.
    I don’t like Kuja but in trance mode he destroyed Terra by himself, yes, he destroyed a whole planet alone and in the end he even killed Zidane and company.

    Sephiroth has look, fanbase, and marketing potential but in power he is just not in Kefka and Kuja’s league. Sorry man.

    • I’m more of a FFVIII and FFX fanboy than anything else. Tactics also ranks higher for me than VII.

      As well, Seph hardly ranks among my favorite villains in FF.

      In any event, if you disagree with my choices — and are still reading this so many months later — feel free to address my reasoning for why I placed Seph above Kefka and Kuja.

      You recited what the villains did here, but didn’t explain why that’s more impressive than what Sephiroth did.

  15. no matter what villian you like i´m only saying all final fantasy villians are the best villians in all the world of games dont matter what you like – if you like that will be the best i dont say kefka and kuja was not a powerfull villians… only say sephiroth i´ts the best for me I have play all the FF games I like a lot all of them I like a lote kefka -Dancing Mad was amazing!!! and the final battle with Kuja!!… if you like those two it´s becose those are TO amazing VILLIANS like the others monsters villians and heros of all FINAL FANTASY… soo don rly matter what villian is if IF from FF :)

    • Thanks. To tell you the truth (if you even see this at this late date), I’ve not really thought about how the cast of FFXIII would fit into this list. It’s difficult to compare them given how little we have to go on, but Duodecim will hopefully make that job easier with the inclusion of Lightning.

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