Top 5 Final Fantasy Villains

Final Fantasy is without a doubt the best RPG series of all time. You can say what you want about it, but the simple fact remains that this series is untouchable. While the more recent games in the series haven’t felt the same at all which many blame the numerous gameplay changes for, I think that it has more to do with the stories. You see, once the Playstation 2 took off and Final Fantasy X was released, it just seemed like the villains in the series were never the same again and, with each new game, the villains seem to receive less and less attention. In Final Fantasy XIII you don’t even see the face of the final villain until you’re about thirty hours into the game, which is just bizarre. When things like that happens, it makes the villains easy to forget.

Because of the forgettable nature of Final Fantasy villains including and after the tenth numbered installment, my list of the top five best Final Fantasy villains will only focus on the first nine games. So then, we have five out of a possible nine villains. Care to guess who they may be? Read on and find out.



Even though Zeromus was the true final boss of Final Fantasy IV, he really didn’t show his face until the very end of the game. For the majority of the game, we had to combat Golbez. As a villain, Golbez didn’t do a whole lot of bad things and didn’t torture many people unless you count the fall of Mist Village, which Golbez had a hand in behind the scenes. The reason why he just narrowly scrapes into my top 5 is because he is the brother of Final Fantasy IV’s protagonist, Cecil. So throughout the game, Golbez captures his brother’s lover, brainwashes his best friend, and also tries to kill him. Even if you’re being controlled by a greater evil, that’s still a pretty dick way to treat your own brother. In the end, Golbez helps the party combat Zeromus thus attaining redemption. Despite the fact that he ended up as a good guy after breaking free of Zeromus’ control, it’s still pretty hard to forgive him. He’s a lot like the Orcs in Warcraft. They weren’t really evil and invasive warmongers that decided to slay the human civilization just for fun. They did it because they drank the blood of a demon that corrupted them. Golbez is kind of like that, although unlike the Orcs, he stopped doing bad things after regaining control over himself. Sorry Orcs, but you guys are just assholes.
Insane/Mad Personality: Minimum
Mass Genocide/Slaughter: Minimum
Vendetta Against Party: Very High
Motivation: Controlled By Zeromus for entire game.
Redemption: Regains control of himself at the end. Fights (and loses) against Zeromus.


Final Fantasy V isn’t very fresh in my mind anymore, but I still remember the evil deeds of Exdeath fairly well. A lot of people are obsessed with Sephiroth and claim that he is the first villain of the Final Fantasy series to kill off a main character. Have these people never played Final Fantasy V or what? Exdeath beat Sephiroth by four or five years by killing off one of the most important characters in all of Final Fantasy V, and that’s Galuf. He played the role of Warrior of Dawn and King of Bal. That’s a pretty impressive resume, and the fact that he was an awesome party member only made his death that much harder to digest. Heck, Galuf even adventured with Bartz longer than Aeris did with Cloud! Late in Final Fantasy V when Exdeath is back at seemingly full power, he destroys various locations on two worlds and then merges them together. Many populated places are lost as a result, making Exdeath a pretty nasty mass murderer. Very few Final Fantasy villains have killed thousands of people with their own hands during the main storyline, and Exdeath is one. He makes this list for killing off Galuf and potentially destroying several kingdoms too. What a jerk.
Insane/Mad Personality: Medium
Mass Genocide/Slaughter: Off The Chart
Vendetta Against Party: Medium-High
Motivation: To gain the power of “The Void” and destroy and erase anything he pleases.
Redemption: Nil


Aside from having one of the most badass themes in the entire series, Kuja was sort of a homage to everything we loved from the classic Final Fantasy titles, which was also one of the major themes of Final Fantasy IX itself. Kuja’s development and pure evilness was pretty well on par with the greats from the 16 bit era. Let me go over what Kuja does in chronological order just to give an indication of how much of an asshole he is. First he assists Queen Brahne of Alexandria in killing off the entire kingdom of Burmecia, destroying Cleyra where Burmecian refugees fled to, and then forcing an imperial occupation on Lindblum. Kuja allowed Brahne to conquer an entire continent, which resulted in thousands of deaths and the destruction of an entire kingdom. He later kills the man who created him, Garland. Before dying, Garland tells Kuja that he is not immortal and never will be. This freaks Kuja out, which then causes him to destroy his home world of Terra. Yes, Kuja destroys an entire world. Like Golbez, Kuja clears his name by saving the party at the end of the game by teleporting them away from the final boss, Necron, after he is defeated. Unfortunately it is too late for Kuja to be saved as the Iifa Tree devours him and it’s game over for the game’s central antagonist. A fitting end to perhaps the most destructive and violent central villain in the history of the Final Fantasy series.
Insane/Mad Personality: Medium-High
Mass Genocide/Slaughter: Off The Chart
Vendetta Against Party: High
Motivation: Throws a hissy fit after realizing he isn’t immortal, wants to destroy all life.
Redemption: Teleports Zidane and friends to safety after defeating Necron.


You cannot have a top 5 Final Fantasy villains list without including Sepiroth. A lot of people put him at the top of the list, but I have never given the white haired albino the luxury of being put on a pedestal like that. Sephiroth does do several horrible things in Final Fantasy VII, but the fact of the matter is that the majority of lives lost in the game are not caused directly by him. Most deaths are caused by indirect factors that are a result of Sephiroth’s actions. He did do two very horrific things though. First off, he burned Cloud’s hometown to the ground. As if this isn’t enough to make Cloud hate Sephiroth, he then goes and kills the girl that Cloud has developing feelings for. Killing Aeris was quite a shocker. Even though Exdeath had killed off a party member several years before Sephiroth, the technique of ending the life of a primary character was still underused at the time. Seeing Sephiroth descend upon Aeris and stabbing her through her midsection while grinning fiendishly was definitely one of the most unsettling things I have ever seen in a video game. The burning of Nibelheim and killing Aeris are the two things Sephiroth will be remembered for because, quite frankly, aside from that he really didn’t do a whole lot besides slaughter Shinra executives at the start of the game. Despite sitting around on his ass for most of the game, Sephiroth made a lasting impression on many gamers and has become one of the most recognizable figures in the video game world.
Insane/Mad Personality: Medium
Mass Genocide/Slaughter: Low
Vendetta Against Party: Very High
Motivation: Missed his dear old mum. Sort of. Also served as her puppet to reawaken her. Jenova’s plan backfired and little Sephy prevailed. Oops.
Redemption: Nil


Had the mainstream RPG boom happened a few years prior to Final Fantasy VII, it is my firm belief that everyone would be praising Kefka rather than Sephiroth. This insane clown did every single evil thing in the book and then some. Kefka caused more grief for the main characters and more mass slaughters than any other villain in the entire Final Fantasy series. So what does the man in clown makeup do besides make a lot of funny jokes and laugh? Well, at the beginning of the game we are made aware that he brainwashed the main character of the game, Terra, and intentionally set her upon the Empire’s own soldiers just to see her obliterate them. He later sets fire to the kingdom of Figaro and attempts to destroy it, but this plan is foiled. Not long after, he sets his sights on another kindgom called Doma. Kefka poisons the water supply of Doma, killing everyone including the king. The only two survivors are Cyan, a playable character, and a lone castle sentry. Kefka later starts killing Espers and absorbing their powers so that he can simply grow stronger. Emperor Gestahl believes that he is keeping Kefka in line, but is later betrayed by Kefka when he fatally stabs the Emperor and pushes him off of the edge of the Floating Continent. Kefka then disturbs the statues of the Warring Triad. This resulted in the world shifting into ruin as well as Kefka quite literally obtaining the powers of a god. He would then sit at the top of his tower in the dying and ruined world, blasting cities and kingdoms with gigantic death beams and destroying anybody or anything that defied him. After the party climbs to the top of the tower and defeats the godly Kefka, he simply dies. He does not seek redemption and he is not sorry for his actions. Kefka, the most destructive, evil, and insane villain in the entire series, merely perishes as any villain should. When he is defeated, his tower collapses, magic is seemingly erased from the world, and the process that forced the world into ruin is reversed. Kefka’s defeat quite literally restored the world and brought life back to it. Let’s see any other villain’s death top that!
Insane/Mad Personality: Off The Chart
Mass Genocide/Slaughter: Off The Chart
Vendetta Against Party: Low
Motivation: He simply craved power and wanted to be all-powerful.
Redemption: Nil

Return to July 2010 Articles

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