Top 10 Greatest Final Fantasy Villains

Inspired by the Dissidia Duodecim roster, who do you think deserves to be called the best antagonist in the Final Fantasy franchise?
The Top Ten
1 Sephiroth (FF7) Sephiroth is a fictional character and main antagonist in the role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII developed by Square.

Better villain than kefka because no one makes a better villain than a fallen hero. Kefka is certainly the more evil villain, the more lively, but that's about it. Kefka destroyed the world, and Sephiroth managed to survive, and to an extent become apart of the lifestream even after his defeat in ff7, which was his original goal - not to destroy the world but to become one with it and control it. If director Nomura's words are of any substance, then he is even more powerful after doing this. Sephiroth can't be killed entirely. After ff6 Kefka is, with the exception of dissidia, dead, and he dies in dissidia too (sephiroth does not). Despite all this, I vote for him here just because he's always been my personal favorite. THE *greatest* ff villain is Mateus. In ff2, Planned to be defeated so he could split his soul in two, and conquer both heaven and hell, which he did. For a brief period, he ruled heaven, hell, and the mortal world. In dissidia, outlasted nearly every other villain save for garland/chaos, plotted cosmos' death at the hands of the heroes, and nearly became a god to outlast chaos. Neither sephiroth nor kefka's resumes are that great.

2 Kefka Palazzo (FF6) Kefka Palazzo is a character in the Final Fantasy series of video games. Originally designed by Yoshitaka Amano, he appears in the 6th installment of the series - Final Fantasy VI.

Kefka did something none of the others did: He destroyed the world, became a god and ruler. And he actually remained in that position for quite some before the band of heroes rallied back together. He may not have killed any of the playable characters, but he didn't need to. Even with a dozen heroes he STILL trumped them until the very end. Kefka is pure evil: a being that needs no reason for his actions. He simply wishes to see everything destroyed in order to feed his sadistic desires. He is the snake in the grass, seeing his chance to strike when people are at their weakest and taking what he wants. Sure, that may not be the most badass way to go about it, but it is effective.

And lets not forget how powerful he truly becomes when he becomes the God of Magic. Look at his size when you fight him and how much of an abomination it is. That goes to show that all this magical energy is being let loose and give you sense of how much potential he really does have. Think about what he did to the world. The only thing that held him back from completely erasing the planet was the simple fact that he wanted to rule over it. Had he not let his ego get in the way, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

3 Kuja (FF9)

I really loved all the main villains but Kuja has a special place in my heart. He's extremely badass and powerful! I mean he destroyed Terra, killed Garland, manipulates Brahne into war, and even kills your party! You never actually defeat him! Kuja redeems himself at the end which shows his "human" side which every villain needs! Like I liked Sephiroth and Kefka but they didn't have humanity in their insanity like Kuja did.

Kuja... What can I say about him that hasn't already been said? Besides being one of the few Final Fantasy villains that isn't purely evil, he is, as previously stated, never beaten by the party. He packs powerful magic, and there's always "that" moment that every male player experiences. In the words of one of my friends "When I was first playing Final Fantasy IX and saw Kuja, I thought 'Wow, that chick's not bad looking. Wait, THAT'S A GUY?! '"

4 Ultimecia (FF8)

I honestly love this character. From her design to her cold calculated nature, she is truly a villain for the ages. Though others may have raw strength, powerful magic, guile or all of the above. Ultimecia stands above all others in terms strategy. Not only was she incredibly powerful in terms of sheer magic prowess let alone access to the single most powerful magic. That of time. She was also a cunning intellectual. Pitting nations, allies and even your friends against you. Manipulating those who's wills she couldn't break to do her bidding she was incalculably powerful. Her manipulation of time and past events leaves most players,let alone characters in the story reeling. Even in defeat, she can leave you wondering if Squall and company had or even SHOULD have defeated her. It's for this reason that she gets my vote. Her 32 bit ass made me question the main character's sanity, and at times even my own.

5 Garland / Chaos (FF1)

People! This is Garland! He knocks everyone down!

He's the original baddy, and more so, the original goody -turned- baddy. Forget Sephiroth, this 8-bit mastermind paradox metaphor had it all.

Remember back in the days of Mario and Zelda, where the whole game was about finding the captured princess in a castle, saving her and getting the end credits? Well, Final Fantasy I STARTED your adventure, doing all that. Little did they know that Garland wasn't some two bit villain wannabe like Bowser or Gannon. He DIED, was transported 1000 years into the past, BY HIMSELF IN THE PAST'S FUTURE, to wreak havoc in the present, and destroy the world! For a knight of Cornelia he sure had some badass armor to boot, which kept getting more and more badass in the subsequent remakes, and he still holds up his rep in Dissidia, with a sword that makes Cloud's look like a toothpick.

6 Hojo (FF7 Compilation)

Very underrated villain who, unlike sepiroth, cannot be at all excused for his evil deeds as they were all made with a clear mind. The only problem was the writers really didn't make him intimidating enough, and at points he even seemed comical in his indifference to the party, whereas every time sepiroth showed up and his music hit you knew some badassery was about to go down!

He pretty much started the plot of FF7. Experimented on, and injected Jenova cells into his own son, Sephiroth, and many others, including Cloud and Vincent for science, and (SPOILER WARNING) turns out to be the main villain of Dirge of the Cerberus.

7 Ardyn Izunia (FF15)

One of the best villains in the series for sure. One of my favourite villains in a long time, too. There's a lot of oily charm to him, yet his unnerving friendliness serves as a mask for the twisted individual he really is underneath. He has a great design, clear motivation, personality, and steals every scene he is in. I also think he is by far the most intelligent villain in the series due to the detail and thought he put into his plan of revenge.

Ardyn serves as the perfect opponent for our four main heroes to take on, and Darin De Paul's performance sells it completely.

8 Emperor Mateus (FF2)

"Kefka did something no one else did, succeeded with his plan" and all that crap.

Mateus did this before Kefka was even created.
He pretty much destroyed the world, he let's your party kill him, defeats whatever Final Fantasy's version of Satan is to be become the master of Heaven and Hell. He also took control over one of your party members brother and made him the new Emperor after he himself died.

While not the strongest, that'd be Exdeath or Chaos, he had the best plan out of any of the villains.
So terribly underrated

9 Seymour (FF10)

Seymour is the most incredible villain in the FF series in my opinion. He starts off good (ish) and plots to end spira's pain and in order for this to happen he plans to marry my... FAVOURITE female character in the ff series. After that you see his true colours. I love the way you have a lot of boss battles with him in different situations. There is even a point where you play as him. And man is he over powered. I beat a boss with him in 2 minutes where as it took me a million tries to beat the same boss with the original man character. Oh ya and his mom kicks ass.

10 Exdeath (FF5)

Sorry Exdeath fans, but I personally think he sucks. After Garland, a time-paradox villain who is the embodyment of Chaos, Enperor Matheus, who took over heaven and hell, can't comment on cloud of darkness, haven't played FF3, Zemus, a Lunerian who manipulated Golbez and Kain to help him seize the power of 8 crystals, and who came next. A tree. Really? A tree, obsessed with the void who boasts, monologues and laughs, the 3 biggest villain cliches.

No one gives credit to the great Exdeath...
He was seriously created from a thousand beings of pure evil being sealed inside a tree...
How is that not BA?
Not to mention his lines "Turtle! " as well as "It's time for your viscera to see the light of day! Now die! "

Also: Gilgamesh worked for him... GILGAMESH who has since become one of the most recurring characters next to Chocobos, Moogles and people named Cid... the only difference is Gilgy is the same dude each time...

The Contenders
11 Rufus Shinra (FF7)

An underrated villain in the Final Fantasy world. Unlike many of the villains in this series, Rufus isn't your usual, maniacal-laughing stereotypical villain. Instead, he has a cold, calculating approach that villains like Sephiroth and Kefka lack. Every decision he makes is a part of a much greater scheme that he has planned, and his ability to manipulate people and events to work in his favor is something you don't see in most villains in this series. If he had been written as one of the main antagonists of the series, he might have gotten more recognition as the villain he is.

12 Nael Van Darnus (FF14)
13 Sin (FF10)

Throughout the entire time you play this game, Sin is a force of nature. Not something that can be stopped or reasoned with. The only thing you can do is point it somewhere else. And [SPOILER] at the very end you learn that Sin is just some frail thing barely holding itself together in the form of Yu Yevon, and despite being an unthinking ball of hate, it almost makes you feel sorry for it.

14 Genesis (CC:FF7)

Genesis may not have stood out as a villain, but as a character? Amazing. He wasn't out to destroy the world, rule it, or something generic of that sort, he wanted to help himself. To him, that was enough of a motivation to hurt people. His deep obsession with loveless, while annoying at times, is worth it for the peace and acceptance he finally has when it finally, to him, plays out in reality in a way he never could have accepted. He knows when to stop, and as a villain this is a bad thing, but as a character, it's always interesting to see. His cocky and pretentious nature makes it seem like he knows what he's doing, even when he doesn't, which makes him convincing anyways.

15 Golbez (FF4)

He's a villain that deserves a higher rank! Wheneverhe meets Cecil he manages to actually defeat him! While other villians have trouble beating their main charatcers, not to mention he took control of Kain, and made him fight his best friend! Not to mention nobody saw the twist near the end!

Maybe not the main villain, but he was perhaps the most competent villain in gaming history. The guy just never loses to the heroes.

16 Kadaj (Advent Children: Final Fantasy VII)

I think he's really a good guy. He's sadly Sephiroth's puppet, controlled, and accepts death. He's hot, cute, sexy, yet no one understands him...he's the best character in my opinion bad or good

17 Lahabrea (FF14:ARR)
18 Caius Ballad (XIII-2)

The fact that he succeeds in achieving his goals and the fact that they're all for Yeul and for to just be happy is why he is the best. And the fact that he sacrificed himself for his plan to work amazed me, as I had never seen any villain do that, then he actually comes back and sees what he has created and is happy (in a malevolent way)

He's such a well written and interesting character. He always has you questioning him and is always on step ahead of you. At the end I truly thought he turned good and was only evil because of his noble cause to protect yuel however after I saw the secret ending of xi-2 he jumped to the top of my list.

19 Cloud of Darkness (FF3)

Greatest Final Fantasy Villain ever in my opinion, shes my favorite FF Villain Ever! The way that she is and hides herself till the end, also part of the greatest FF Game ever, FF 3 was my favorite!

20 Jenova (FF7)
21 Gilgamesh (FFV)

Best battle theme and funniest villain in Final Fantasy.

Honestly he was better than Exdeath.

22 Nero (Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII)
23 Jecht (FF10)

Jecht was a roughneck, drunk, yet abstract villain. He was the FF series' first reluctant antagonist, but from the inside of Sin, he killed many people and destroyed much of the world. His character design is very cool and his aeon form is genuinely terrifying.

24 Rude (FFVII)
25 Vayne (FF12)
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