15 Best Characters in Final Fantasy VIII

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Final Fantasy.

More than just a game.

More than just a brand.

More than just a fantasy…

Final Fantasy has become icon in the RPG genre. The ‘Tom Cruise’ of the video game world, it just keeps getting better as it gets older. This is one of the rare games, though being more than 3 decades old, still headlines E3 in 2019. I mean, some of us don’t have houses that are that old!

Today I’ll be writing about Final Fantasy VIII, the game that got the crowd “ooh-ing” and “aah-ing” at E3 2019’s big unveiling.

Final Fantasy VIII was released for the PlayStation 1 in 1999, showcasing 3D graphics, pre-rendered backgrounds, and realistically proportioned characters.

Final Fantasy VIII waved adios to many of its past traditions and stepped into a highly-pixelated, awkwardly-animated, voiceover-subtitled, modern era. But that was back in 99’.

The remastered version of the game offers upgraded graphics, gameplay, and sound effects. And most importantly, a proper voice over for the characters!

Speaking of which…

Just like Pokémon has always been about those cute and adorable creatures, Final Fantasy is all about its rich cast of character. This is one of those games which makes you fall in love with one or more characters and unravels its story through them.

And today, I look at the top 15 fan-favorite characters from the iconic Final Fantasy VIII.

15. Dr. Odine

Dr. Odine character in ff8

Every game needs a mad scientist. Someone whose loyalties lie not with one side or the other, but with his own quest of knowledge and power. And that would be Dr. Odine in Final Fantasy VIII.

One look at this guy, and you know ‘he crazy smart.’ And top that off with a huge collar (“ruff” I think is the correct term) that would put the aristocrats of the 16th century to shame, this guy’s a truly memorable character.

A monster researcher to begin with, he was the one who discovered the Guardian Forces. Later on, he became the first sorceress researcher discovering new applications of magic that humans could use.

Dr. Odine was called to help with defeating the game’s main antagonist, Sorceress Ultimecia.

14. Raine Loire

Raine Loire character in ff8

The second love interest of Laguna Loire and the guardian of Ellone.

Raine Loire is that loveable, gentle, almost motherly figure in the game.

She adopted and looked after Ellone, when she was young, and Laguna, as he washed up ashore after his escape from Centra.

Her story could be the centerpiece of any woman’s romance novel.

She rescues a critically wounded stranger, who gets on her nerves. Falls in love with him. Accepts his proposal and marries him.

He goes off to rescue her adopted daughter, and she finds out that she’s pregnant. She waits for him to return, but alas, her end arrives first. *Sniffle* Pass me the tissues…

13. Selphie Tilmitt

Selphie character from FF8

Admittedly I know Selphie mostly from the Kingdom Hearts series which is kind of funny considering that was a spin-off of her character!

She may be a little too energetic for her own good, but boy do I love Selphie. She’s a great team member and while maybe not the most powerful, she adds an… interesting dynamic to the group.

I’m also not sure why it was ever a good idea to have her piloting the ship, but maybe that’s a discussion for another day.

Cute, cheerful, and just a pleasure to battle with side-by-side. Selphie has a lot going for her that gets her in this list.

One point of note: I’m not a huge fan of her nunchuck weapons. Don’t get me wrong they work wonders, but I guess I’m more of a badass sword guy myself.

12. Rinoa Heartilly

Rinoa FF8 character

Rinoa is certain gorgeous and one hell of a character on your team.

She’s also a big part of the game but I just can’t help but feel like she doesn’t live up to the same level as Tifa. Granted, I love all the artwork done for her character and she’s got to have one of the best outfits in the game.

I’m psyched to see how she does with real voice acting if we can get a true HD remaster of FF8!

For her unique weapons, value to the story, her awesome limit break, and her beautiful outfit, she totally deserves a spot here. But unlike some fans I just I just didn’t find her as engaging to rank her higher on the list(I’m sorry don’t hate me!)

11. Raijin

Raijin from FF8

Remember that bully back in school who gets made into the class monitor in hopes of improving his behavior? That is Raijin in Final Fantasy VIII.

Muscular, dark-skinned, short black hair, dark brown eyes. When he walks down the school corridor, you turn around and start walking in the opposite direction.

Raijin is part of Balamb Garden’s disciplinary committee, along with Fujin and Seifer Almasy. Together, these 3 induce fear in the hearts of other students through punishment and detention.

Later in the game Raijin, along with Fujin, become the generals of the Galbadian army. They are supporting their comrade Seifer, who becomes Sorceress Edea’s knight.

10. Ellone

Ellone character in FF8

Ellone – the girl that everyone’s after. Nope, not in a romantic way, but in a more murderous, “I like your power and I’m going to get you,” kind of way.

She has power over time, and that makes her a person of interest to the evil sorceresses who obviously want to acquire that power.

With a morbid, sad past, Ellone dreams to have her family united. She tries the only thing she can – go back in time and change the past – but alas, that doesn’t happen.

And even with all this power, Ellone is as innocent as a child.

She invokes the same protective attachment from the player like Ellie from The Last of Us, or Ashley from RE4.

9. Julia

Julia FF8 character

One of the few characters in Final Fantasy VIII that I think has some sense of fashion.

Julia is the first love interest of Laguna Loire. She is a singer by profession and sings the theme song of the game Eyes On Me.

Sadly, Julia’s role, and life, is short-lived. She dies tragically in a car crash a year after giving birth to her daughter, Rinoa.

What gets the fans really attached to the character is her love for Laguna. She wrote the song Eyes On Me for him.

Even after she dies, her daughter, Riona, and Laguna’s son, Squall, got involved romantically, in a way, completing the marriage of Julia and Laguna.

8. Kiros

Kiros FF8 character

Kiros: Laguna and Ward’s best buddy.

These 3 were soldiers together in the Galbadian army until an ill-fated mission to Centra Excavation Site. That’s when Laguna was injured and ended up in Winhill where he met Raine.

Kiros later found him, and together they set out to rescue Ellone.

Kiros is a temporarily playable character in the game, which you can play during dream sequences.

He has two vicious blades, Katals, in each hand and goes berserk with 6 quick attacks in Limit Break.

7. Edea

Edea from Final Fantasy 8

Sorceress Edea. One look at her and you know this woman is trouble…but she looks so damn cool! Maybe that just me and my infatuation with negative characters.

Remember how earlier I said that Julia knew how to dress up? Well, I take that back. Edea takes the throne here.

Usually she’s pretty modestly dressed. But during her possession by Ultimecia, she goes all dark and sexy.

You can literally see the backflip from a loving, gentle person to a power-hungry sadist.

During the game, she appears twice as the boss. She’s also a temporary playable character, and her limit break is hurling huge icicles towards her emeries – a perfect match for her cold ruthless persona.

6. Quistis

Quistis from FF8

A true badass, Quistis is quite a prodigy at Balamb Garden. At the young age of 15, Quistis was already a SeeD and, just a few years later, became one of the youngest instructors of the Garden.

Maybe it’s her age, or her soft nature, but it leads to people not taking her seriously. Or maybe it’s her quiet nature that makes her keep distance from others around her.

Quistis’ weapon of choice are the whips. ‘Oooooh…sounds freaky!’

Her limit break is Blue Magic, where she casts enemy’s abilities that she has learned using special items.

Her ultimate weapon, Save the Queen, is allegedly the most powerful whip in the world, made with Marlboro’s tentacles, which supposedly is the most ideal for making whips.

5. Adel

Adel character in FF8

One of the few characters in the game where you are not sure… is it a he, she, or it?

Adel is a minor antagonist and “sorceress” (we’ll just believe what the fans say) who once ruled Esthar.

She appears masculine with a male build, long red hair, and a black skirt with frock and body armor. Overall, pretty badass I’d say.

Is it just me or do the villains in Final Fantasy VIII look way cooler than the good guys? A typical bad gal, Adel is cruel, brutal, power-hungry, utterly ruthless, and any synonyms of the word evil that you can find.

4. Ultimecia

Ultimecia from FF8

Imagine if a demon could be beautiful (I really need to stop drooling over the hot villains of FF8).

Ultimecia is the ultimate boss of the game (excuse the wordplay please).

Her attire is absolutely demonic. Skin-tight, red gown split down the center to her abs; black wings; and horns. The works.

Ultimecia’s thing is time and space manipulation. She can cast crazy spells that absorb the opponents into time itself. She has a god-mode of a magic attack which reduces the HP for the entire party to just 1 point.

Plus, she goes a little “Scarecrow” as well, taking your darkest, strongest thoughts and turning them into reality. That’s how she turns into Griever, a lion-like creature that is Squall’s interpretation of a guardian force.

So yeah, Ultimecia is pretty hardcore that way.

3. Seifer

Seifer enemy in FF8

The archrival of our protagonist Squall, yet an interesting character in his own right.

Seifer is a dark reflection of Squall in almost every way. From the way he dresses, to his hair color, to his fighting style.

The only thing that matches between him and Squall is that awesome gun-blade they both use.

Just like two proper arch enemies, both Seifer and Squall have respect for each other’s capabilities and skill.

Seifer’s ultimate dream is to become a sorceress’ knight, which he eventually does later in the game. A dream that interestingly is inspired from a supposed movie made in the game universe.

An interesting character to follow throughout the game, we see how Seifer starts off being an extremely toxic and angry personality, then moves to the dark side by becoming a knight. Towards the end, after the final battle, he makes his peace with the protagonists and moves on.

2. Laguna

Laguna from FF8

Laguna is a temporarily playable character in the game. Much of Laguna’s storyline appears as flashback dreams to the player.

Laguna is everything a heroic character should be. Kind-hearted, cheerful, generous. A favorite among his peers as well as the fans of the game.

Careful – hesitant even – but when it comes to standing up for justice, Laguna is there, facing the enemy front and center.

His weapon of choice is the standard-issue, Galbadian machine gun. However, during a mini-game, he does use the gun-blade as well.

His relationship and story with Raine are something right out of a tragic romance novel. That’s the very same thing that makes Laguna a hero and more human than probably any other character in the game.

1. Squall Leonhart

Squall Leonhart in FF8

Finally, Squall Leonhart. The main protagonist of the game and arguably the best character in all of FF8.

Considered to be a bit aloof and cold by his peers, Squall is a lot more on the inside. The heroic qualities of courage, honor, and discipline embedded deep in his personality.

Squall holds the Griever, a winged lion, as his idol. Of course, it is ironic that he has to fight the very same Griever, or at least a twisted version of it, towards the end of the game.

Squall’s journey through the game is of self-discovery. From being considered a “lone wolf” in the beginning of the game, to a natural born leader towards the end. Facing and defeating enemies, both on the outside and his inner demons, as we progress through the game.

To many fans, Squall is one of the best character-rich protagonists in the entire Final Fantasy series.

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