Greatest Final Fantasy Villains

sapphirewhirlwind
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 Kefka Palazzo (FF6) Kefka Palazzo (FF6)

To start, Sephiroth is powerful and good-looking, yes, but his schemes took how many games to understand?

Kuja has the haunted backstory and epicene beauty and plenty of personality... and he recanted his villainy at the very end of the game.

Ultimecia? She was alright, but she was just as cold and distant as so many other Final Fantasy villains. (Kudos to her for being something so esoteric as a Time Mage, though! )
All three of them were also born into their power. Yawn.

Kefka Palazzo started out like anybody else, then backstabbed, tricked, poisoned, killed, stole his way to power. He played the game like the maniacal mage he was, committing atrocity after atrocity - he fought and killed a General, instead of stabbing a helpless praying girl - then drained the souls of the Goddesses of Magic to become a God in his own right. He ruled the world for a year, laying waste to those who disobeyed him - or those places he simply wanted to lay waste to. For a ...more

I had an hard time between him an Kuja, quite funny that the best villains in the FF series are the most annoying.

Both would have been in a tie, because both seems so funny but are so far more evil and victorious than the others.

Garland, Exdeath... good villains, but storyline wise they get owned.

Mateus? Yeah, he gets heaven and hell, practically conquers EVERYTHING at least once... but he's more based on "dominion", which is cool but for me is not cool as "destruction". He kills people in your party? Well, points for him, but not close to my two favourites.

Ultmecia, Sephiroth... overrated. Ultimecia is a time sorceress, quite powerful and had a good and complicated plan, but is a time sorceress, and you don't feel all this evilness in her plot. I don't want even to start talking about how FF7 fans forgot modesty near the game copy and said that a guy who it's just "mommy's boy" is cooler and eviler than others who did ...more

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 ...more

Yes

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2 Sephiroth (FF7)

I agree that sephiroth is entirely and completely overrated. Search the word up online and you'll see his face laugh out loud

But I must say in a contest of kefka and him, sephy wins. His insanity actually STANDS for something. It has MEANING. And also because of the fact that sephiroth is selfless in his evil and kefka is stereotypical "evil for myself" that I don't like. Sephiroth's insanity also isn't stereotypical like the classic way to display it. Like the joker or the penguin. He actually seems like he is in his right mind (if you never played crisis core). The only thing that puts him in the category of crazy is that he randomly laughs like all crazy villains do. And I don't mean to be cliche but he IS very gorgeous and he IS the first bishounen of Final Fantasy. I have witnessed multiple straight men admitting that sephiroth is "very good looking or wish they looked like him so they could "pull the girls". But I find that most people who played the game back in '97 ...more

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 ...more

I thought Sephiroth is a very interesting character. He is well-spoken, calm, collected, and always in control. Furthermore, he is not a one dimension antagonist like most antagonist. He actually has a very tragic background. So pretty much everything about him (his handsome face, his personalitities, his background) make him stand out more than other antagonist.

There are many other FF villains out there who are "well-spoken, calm, collected, and always in control" as you say. - EveLeech

I so liked sephiroth, because, he is the biggest jokes and memes of villains in video games. - mewtwo1

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3 Kuja (FF9) Kuja (FF9)

Forget Sephiroth and Kefka! Kuja (and other villians) deserves much more credit than he gets.

1. He was created to bring about war, death, and destruction. Like Exdeath and CoD, Kuja was meant for destroying the world.

2. He brought something new to the villian archetype in Final Fantasy: poetic speech (speaking in rhymes, using metaphors, so on... ). Before 9, the only villians I remembered being different (at least a little) from the rest were Kefka (his goofy, insane, and childlike behavior), Rubiccante (honorable, instead of ruthless or manipulative), and Ultimecia (calculating; her plan worked form the very start, although ultimately, that was her downfall). Also, he's the only major villian that reforms by the end of the story (Golbez doesn't count, he was being mind controlled).

3. Recent villians were motivated to do most things by either revenge or power. Kuja wanted to destroy the world for one simple reason: he didn't want the world to exist without ...more

My ultimate favourite, he could look like a damn plain narcissist and acts for that but it appears he is a very lonely person lacking of a childhood due to the fact he was created, he is also interested in Arts and can make a quite good gentleman (proved by Hilda)
Then he seems to be a little lunatic and of course kinda insane. He is powerful and can be merciless. the way he talks was pretty much of a pleasure to read.
AND HE IS BAAAADAAAAAAAAAAAASS (sorry I had to say that)
Then, my favourite, hands down.

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?! '"

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.

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4 Ultimecia (FF8) Ultimecia (FF8)

You Kefka-Freaks and Sephiroth- (particularly to the latter with all their fangirl/boy-orgasms) don't realize the full potential of sorceress that can manipulate time nor does anyone else that votes for someone other than Ultimecia realize the threat she poses to the existence of all life itself.

Sure Kefka's maniacal pyscopath that killed several hundred thousand people in a matter of years, sure Sephiroth is a One Winged Angel bishie whose looks alone garner him the greatest attention span of all FF villains, sure Kuja prettier than everyone else...

But come on people!

Ultimecia's very name signifies that she is superior to all these jokers, experiements and narcissists combined.

She's smart, meticulous, manipulative, deadly, hot and all powerful.

Ultimecia also has the ability to manifest and give life to subconscious thoughts and inanimate objects. This includes giving life to Guardian Forces and powerful monsters that did not exist before she ...more - sapphirewhirlwind

Psh! Hands down my fav. She wasn't an annoying villain like some of the others.

She is the most powerful Final Fantasy villain in my opinion

Now this is the villain I clearly like so much - ParkerFang

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5 Seymour (FF10)

'His dignity never faltered. Come on, you've got to be pretty bad ass if you kill your own father. Seymour's Ambitions were actually honourable. He wanted to end Spira's eternal pain. Also his mom is kick ass too...

Sorry Seph, but Seymour's got MY first villain spot... mostly because I don't think of Seph as a villian, more of a controlled poor soul. The REAL villain is Hojo and Jenova ya know?

Seymore isn't afraid to go for what he wants, no matter how many Ronso or Maesters he has to kill, or women he forces to marry him.

He's cool. Very overhated - ParkerFang

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6 Hojo (FF7 Compilation)

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.

To be honest he was a much better villain than Sephiroth. - ParkerFang

7 Emperor Mateus (FF2)

Because he debuted in a game that didn't see a US release for many years, Emperor Mateus Palamecia is a wrongfully underrated villain. Between his fashion sense and classy delivery, fans have nicknamed him "Emperor Bowie. " And why, do you ask, is Emperor Bowie a contender for top villain?

1: He was the first villain to totally kill off not only one party member, but four.

2: He successfully destroys many cities in the world--you can't even enter them after he's taken them down. And even when the city is still burning, and there's cheerful music in the background, you know something is even worse when you see the wreckage in the streets and hear the townsfolk's reports ("He killed them all... ")

3: He wipes out an army by poisoning the water supply of its wyverns--then takes down the people. It's an act later aped by Kefka Palazzo.

4: When you kill him, it just gets worse--he comes back from the dead, and then his light side (you mean ...more

Personally I think it's the best villain because he has a GREAT STYLE of armour, very good quotes on final fantasy Dissidia, and very awesome attacks. He is an EMPEROR. He is awesome! :D And he is very evil. He also planned the operation to kill cosmos in dissidia. So, why not! FINAL FANTASY II ftw! He destroyed cities and everything!

Dude, he has a good style! His attacks are cool! This pwoer is cool, he is beaten and goes to HELL and HEAVEN to become an EMPEROR! What an awesome guy, he controls his emotions and he can kick ass on every moment. This guy is simplify... powerfull. Specially because he has the best vestuary of all the villains, and I like everything of him.

He's so powerful, that he conquered Heaven and Hell. And that was AFTER you killed him. That's right, he's so badass that he took control over the ENTIRE AFTERLIFE, and death was only an inconvenince to him

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8 Ardyn Izunia (FF15)

I was really impressed by Ardyn, as I was initially worried he would end up being a cheap knock off of Kefka, but I was wrong, and I am so glad I was, turns out this guy is like the riddler as like kefka being the joker, but he was a fresh of breath air, and haven't had a villain as compelling as Ardyn, focusing strongly on the games antagonist you will get to see much of Ardyn and is definitely no kefka ripoff, maybe inspired but Ardyn is clearly coherent, humorous, and well spoken, kefka would be psychotic, silly, and completely narcissistic. Ardyn shows a great performance through the story and what makes him such a fresh of breath air is for his shrewd, humorous, and riddled tales he often talks in, Honestly not only did I enjoy the design for Ardyn, they really nailed an ominous looking man, with the triats Ardyn shows it comes off as something we never had before, the first antagonist ever quite exactly likr Ardyn, most known for his shrewd comedic demeanor, and acts for the ...more

In time Ardyn will be known as the best Final Fantasy villian. Very mysterious and compelling story. It's a little unfair of a contest as square Enix was really able to bring him to life with amazing graphics and voice acting but it's hard not to be completely drawn in to this antagonist. If FF6 is redone maybe Kefka would still be the best but in dissidia he was just really annoying.

Maybe the only villain that we could all relate to.

He's manipulative, strategic, and planning it all.. and then the background that shrouded with mystery really done it 👌
He's achieving his goal too, to end the line of Lucis and finally rest...
Hope the updates will be talking about Ardyn's past, cause he deserve it...
I feel such hatred to be honest cause he stab Luna to death but also feel 'man this guy is really nasty but yeah I like his nastiness' 😌

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9 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.

Arguably one of the most underrated Final Fantasy villain. I do still like Kefka and Sephiroth a bit more, but this guy just doesn't get enough credit... Not to mention his huge ass transforming sword.

I for one think that Garland is an awesome villain. He knocks people down, and he was the villain the whole time.

That Piccolo voice in Dissidia. :3

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10 Caius Ballad (XIII-2)

He is just a well thought character. You always wonder if he really is evil or good and at the end I thought he was good but doing evil things for a noble cause. Then I saw xi-2 secret ending and that's when he jumped to the top of my list.

Best villain out of them all in the final fantasy games. Has a great back story, fights for cause and in the end he wins even in death. Also best quote "Lose your self in battle and rejoice".

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 sexy - ParkerFang

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The Contenders

11 Exdeath (FF5)

Exdeath is greatly underrated as a villain. Sure, he's not the most interesting in terms of motivation but he's certainly one of the most powerful. And let's not forget he killed Galuf years before Sephiroth killed Aeris.

Exdeath might not be as super popular are Kefka and Sephiroth, but I always enjoyed how hammy and over the top he was. A very cliche villain but somehow he made it work and I enjoyed him.

I can't believe no-one has thought of the main reason Exdeath is the best. He's a frigging TREE, for f*** sake! I mean what more do you want?

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.

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12 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.

13 Jecht (FF10) 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.

Jecht is Sin so it's a double entry for the list

14 Nael Van Darnus (FF14)
15 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.

16 Golbez (FF4) Golbez (FF4)

The Darth Vader of FF

...But he isn't the main villain in the game.

He's a villian 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!

17 Genesis (CC:FF7)
18 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

He's too cute to be evil - ParkerFang

19 Gabranth

I have no idea he was a fleshed our antagonist.

20 Lahabrea (FF14:ARR)
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List Stats

1,000 votes
47 listings
7 years, 132 days old

Top Remixes (8)

1. Kefka Palazzo (FF6)
2. Kuja (FF9)
3. Garland / Chaos (FF1)
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1. Ultimecia (FF8)
2. Sephiroth (FF7)
3. Kadaj (Advent Children: Final Fantasy VII)
ParkerFang
1. Kuja (FF9)
2. Kefka Palazzo (FF6)
3. Jecht (FF10)
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