Top 20 Best Female Characters in Final Fantasy, Ranked

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The Final Fantasy franchise is known for its well-written and beloved characters, some of which have become a symbol for gamer culture as a whole.

But the female characters specifically tend to get a lot of attention at cosplay events worldwide, and people love making fanart of these gals to boot. They’re idols in the gaming world by themselves.

And females placed front & center are not new to Square-Enix. This is especially true in games like the Final Fantasy X duology, and the entire Final Fantasy XIII saga, both of which revolve entirely around their main dame.

This list features a diverse cast of female FF characters of all races and archetypes – ranging from the kind and caring motherly figures, to the calm and collected warriors with a mission.

If you’re interested in meeting the best ladies that Final Fantasy can offer, you’ve come to the right corner of the Internet.

 

20. Beatrix (FF8)

Beatrix from FF8 screenshot

When it comes to strong women in gaming, it’s hard to find one that can top FFVIII’s Beatrix.

This high-ranking officer of Alexandria’s all-female army is a ruthless killing machine who’s glad to follow orders if it gives her a chance to prove her fencing dominance. You’ll learn this the hard way, since you’re actually scripted to lose whenever you face her in battle.

She’s not known as the best fencer in the region for nothing.

Luckily for us, Beatrix does join your party temporarily, becoming one of your greatest assets in the fight for justice.

 

19. Oerba Yung Fang (FF13)

Oerba Yung Fang FF13 character screenshot

Another mighty and incredibly fierce female warrior is Oerba Yung Fang, one of the main characters in Final Fantasy XIII.

Hailing from the village of Oerba in Gran Pulse, Fang has had a hard life where being good at wielding her Bladed Lance was a matter of survival.

This skill would prove instrumental in rebelling against the Fal’Cie during the events of FFXIII.

While her fighting prowess is her most prominent feature, Fang also has a soft and caring side. Which she shows almost exclusively toward her friend Vanille.

She’s willing to sacrifice everything if it means protecting her pink-haired pal.

 

18. Oerba Dia Vanille (FF13)

Oerba Dia Vanille from FF13

Back when I first played FFXIII during my younger years, this adorable yet capable girl that kept me coming back for more.

Not only is she the best healer you have access to in the game, but she’s also caring and almost motherly toward her friends.

This makes her a vital member of the party, keeping their bodies and minds healthy and ready for the trials ahead.

While healing is the best use for this Staff wielder, she’s also competent offensively. And she’s the only one who can cast Doom – which you’ll probably want when hunting giant tortoises in Gran Pulse.

 

17. Fran (FF12)

Fran FF12 screenshot

When thinking about FFXII, Fran is always the first girl that comes to mind.

Her tan skin, bunny ears, and generally exotic design have etched themselves into my brain like very few other characters in the series.

She’s part of the mysterious Viera race, but her allegiance lies with Balthier and his sky pirates.

Fran is Balthier’s right-hand woman, and her bow-wielding skills are second to none.

Her reasons for exiling herself from her tribe and taking to the skies are unknown. But that doesn’t matter.

She’s a hot and deadly bad-ass, and that’s all we need to know.

 

16. Yuffie Kisaragi (FF7)

Yuffie Kisaragi from Final Fantasy VII

Since she’s an entirely optional party member, Yuffie doesn’t really get as much love from the fanbase nowadays – but that wasn’t always the case.

Back when FFVII first came out, fanart of “The Great Ninja Yuffie” was everywhere. And her influence can still be felt in the series.

After all, what’s FFX’s Rikku if not an updated version of this energetic tomboyish ninja?

Despite her cute looks, Yuffie is deadly in battle. And will stop at nothing to get her hands on Materia.

She’s so obsessed, in fact, she’ll even nab your party’s precious magic stones and make a run for it if you ever approach her hometown of Wutai.

 

15. Ashelia Dalmasca (FF12)

Ashelia Dalmasca from FF12

Also known as Ashe, this rightful heir to the throne of Dalmasca is one of the leading characters in FFXII.

She plays a much larger role in the story than most – including a bigger role than the main playable character Vaan.

But really, was Vaan even in the top 3 contenders for main character?

Like the blonde sky pirate, Ashe yearns for freedom. But she also has a strong sense of duty. She’ll fight to free her people and kingdom from the Archadian Empire and reclaim the throne that is her birthright.

Luckily for her subjects, this former princess is clever and capable in battle – enough to drive back the occupying forces and eventually crown herself Queen of Dalmasca.

 

14. Lunafreya Nox Fleuret (FF15)

Lunafreya Nox Fleuret from FF15

Princesses losing their thrones to massive evil empires… yeah, it’s a bit of a trope in Final Fantasy.

Lunafreya is the former princess of Tenebrae and prince Noctis’ betrothed, a mostly political affair that complicates their relationship.

Of course, this is interrupted by the imperial attack on the Lucian capital of Insomnia, and the rest of the game ensues.

In battle, this dutiful and capable young woman wields the Trident of the Oracle – a royal arm that reflects her status as the Oracle, a human that can talk to the gods.

 

13. Serah Farron (FF13)

Serah Farron FF13 screenshot

Serah is better known as “Lightning’s little sister”.

She’s also Snow’s fiancée, and the reason why both of them take up arms against the fal’Cie during the first game in the trilogy.

I was surprised to learn that Serah would be the main playable character for the second part of FFXIII, but she turned out to be an excellent choice.

She’s wise beyond her years, tender toward her friends, and committed to finding her big sister – even if it means traveling through time like a pink-haired Dr. Who.

She’s also a combat prodigy, just like Lightning.

 

12. Lulu (FF10)

Lulu from Final Fantasy X

Another mighty combatant for this list is Lulu from FFX: the sexy black mage that brings the magical firepower to Yuna’s party of Guardians.

Square-Enix went above and beyond to make Lulu feel unique rather than “just another black mage”.

This meant overhauling the black mage look by adding lots of leather belts, voodoo influences, and – of course – deep cleavage.

Lulu’s popularity has remained pretty high throughout the years. The Internet is littered with Lulu fanart and pictures of countless anime and gaming convention attendees trying to recreate her look on their cosplay.

Some look pretty baller.

She’s probably the reason I’m into goth girls, and I’d wager many of you that loved FFX probably feel the same.

 

11. Cindy Aurum (FF15)

Cindy Aurum FF15 screenshot

We can’t really use the word “sexy” (or “cleavage” for that matter) without mentioning mechanic genius Cindy Aurum from FFXV.

While it’s true that her looks are stunning, they’re hardly the character’s only feature.

As the daughter of former Royal Mechanic Cid Sophiar, Cindy knows everything there is to know about the Regalia. And she’ll give you a hand or two with maintenance and customization.

Her skills are so stellar that she was able to singlehandedly revive her father’s Hammerhead mechanics business – going so far as to open several branch offices throughout the kingdom.

Just like any sane human with an interest in women, young hero Prompto promptly falls in love with the blonde bombshell. Wouldn’t you?

 

10. Rikku (FF10)

Rikku FF10 character screenshot

Being Cid’s daughter and a total machine whiz isn’t a role exclusive to Cindy Aurum.

It also perfectly describes Spira’s Rikku.

This athletic blonde is part of the Al-Bhed tribe, and their harsh nomadic life has given her the skills needed to stand on equal ground with the rest of Yuna’s Guardians.

In fact, she’s the only party member (that’s not a Blitzball player) who can fight underwater. Talk about fitness!

This remarkable girl is bright and energetic, and she’s committed to supporting her friends through thick and thin. She’s also the one who gets Yuna her fresh new outfit for FFX-2.

 

9. Aerith Gainsborough (FF7)

Aerith Gainsborough FF7 screenshot

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past twenty-something years, you’ve seen Aerith at least once.

As protagonist Cloud’s romantic interest in the profoundly influential FFVII, she’s enjoyed a level of popularity reserved only for gaming nobility.

Despite leading a humble life as a flower vendor, Aerith is actually the last of the Cetra – magical beings with a special bond to the planet. This eventually leads to her death at the hands of Sephiroth, as she’s one of the few people with the power to stop his plan to destroy Gaia.

Er, spoilers? I mean, the game’s a couple decade’s old… also Rosebud’s the sled.

 

8. Rinoa Heartily (FF8)

Rinoa Heartily from FF8

Few characters in the Final Fantasy roster are as warm and compassionate as Rinoa Heartily, protagonist Squall’s love interest, and a key part of the FFVIII cast.

As the daughter of the Galbadian military leader, Rinoa had no reason to aid their enemies – and yet, her pure values and caring disposition made it impossible for her to ignore the injustices committed in the name of Galbadia.

She joins the resistance and lends her powerful Blaster Edge to the cause to free Timber from Galbadian rule.

 

7. Lenna Charlotte Tycoon (FF5)

Lenna Charlotte Tycoon FF5 screenshot

The more you go back in Final Fantasy’s history, the less detailed its characters become.

But that doesn’t stop Lenna from shining bright as one of the Warriors of Light.

As the most magically gifted among the Warriors, the heir to the throne of Tycoon is best suited for mage classes.

She’s kind, devoted, and compassionate, giving her a bit of a “big sister” aura.

Fun fact: While her character concept art and portraits depict her as having silver hair, her in-game sprites all have pink hair.

 

6. Celes Chere (FF6)

Celes Chere from Final Fantasy VI

Imposing and commanding, Celes Chere begins her journey as a high-ranking officer in the Gestahlian military, but goes on to join the Returners once she realizes the error of her ways.

Even then, she cherishes her Magitek Knight title and carries herself with a knight’s honor.

It also reflects her incredible skill with swords, daggers, maces, and – of course – magic.

Her leadership skills and determined nature become especially crucial after major villain Kefka plunges the world into ruin. It’s Celes that puts the team back together to regain what was lost.

 

5. Terra Branford (FF6)

Terra Branford FF6 screenshot

Among FFVI’s main characters, Terra Branford is probably the first you’ll start to really care about. She’s both relatable and inspiring.

It also helps that she’s the first one you control.

While strong and independent, Terra is kind-natured and fearful of her own magical power, as she’s seen what the Gestahlian Empire has done with it.

Eventually, she realizes that it’s no use denying the gifts she was given and decides to put her powers in service of justice by joining the Returners, becoming instrumental in their operations.

Fun fact: Much like Celes, Terra has differing hair colors between her concept art (blond) and her in-game sprites (green). The rest of her outfit is also quite different.

 

4. Freya Crescent (FF9)

Freya Crescent from Final Fantasy IX

Representing the non-human ladies of Final Fantasy is Freya Crescent, the spear-wielding Dragon Knight from the series’ ninth main installment.

This bipedal anthropomorphic rodent is one of the most tragic characters in the game.

Not only are most members of her race wiped out by Queen Brahne’s Alexandria, but the man she’s spent years longing for doesn’t remember her at all once they reunite. Love sucks, huh?

Even then, Freya fights to keep a positive outlook on life and remains hopeful as she fights alongside Zidane and the party to protect her friends, and the world as a whole.

 

3. Tifa Lockhart (FF7)

Tifa from Lockhart FF7

If there’s a character in the Final Fantasy franchise that needs no introduction, it’s Tifa Lockhart.

She’s one of the most well-known female faces in gaming as a whole, thanks to her leading role in FFVII.

This also made her a major gamer heartthrob for an entire generation, and the recent release of the FFVII Remake only served to make her more popular.

While she’s definitely a tough fighter and a vital member of any competent party, she’s also caring and even motherly in her treatment of other Avalanche members.

 

2. Yuna (FF10)

Yuna FF10 character screenshot

Anyone that says Tidus is the main character of FFX clearly hasn’t played the game.

While the story is told from his perspective, it’s all about Yuna’s pilgrimage to keep Sin from destroying Spira.

From the start, she knows it might cost her everything – even her life – yet she fights on for the sake of the people that believe in her, and the friends who protect her.

She also has the most character development, and even goes on to star as the main playable character in the sequel (which is a hot topic by itself) where she’s shown that pursuing her own desires. You go, gurl.

 

1. Lightning (Claire Farron) (FF13)

Lightning (Claire Farron) FF13 screenshot

I’m sure plenty of old-school FF fans will disagree with this top pick, preferring their beloved ladies from older titles.

But this pink-haired warrior has earned the top spot with sweat and blood.

She’s sort of the female answer to FFVII’s Cloud, becoming the face of the Fabula Nova Crystallis and carrying the series on her back with sheer grit and badassery.

Her severe and cool demeanor made her a symbol for empowered women worldwide – and she even went on to model for Prada and Louis Vuitton.

Talk about versatility!

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.