[Top 15] Best Final Fantasy Villains From The Franchise (Ranked)

Top 15 Best Final Fantasy Villains From The Franchise Ranked
Kefka, an evil clown is one the scariest villains you'll see all day.

Final Fantasy has given us plenty of iconic villains over the years. Some are so recognizable that even people who have never played the games will see them and know exactly who they are. However, it isn’t just the big bads at the end of the game that we need to be wary of. Plenty of titles in the series feature multiple antagonistic forces, all with their own drive and motives. Here, we’ve ranked fifteen of the best in the series. 



15. ExDeath (Final Fantasy V)

Exdeath is one the most reknowned Final Fantasy villain!

Exdeath, also known as X-Death and Exodus, is the main antagonist of Final Fantasy V. His motives are pure evil and nothing more. With a goal of controlling the Void so that he can bring darkness to the entire world and eventually bring the end to all existence, including himself. 

He is evil purely for the fun of it. There’s no tragic backstory or “heartfelt” motives with Exdeath. Born from a tree made out of evil souls, he was born to be evil! Not every villain needs to have a deep and sympathetic backstory. Sometimes a ridiculous villain with “evil becauseit’s fun” motives is all you need. 

See Exdeath: 


14. Zemus (Final Fantasy IV)

Zemus is a terrifying force of evil.

Zemus is the main antagonist and supervillain in FFIV. He is a Lunarian, a race of alien beings that created a secondary moon to the Earth where they slept as they waited for life on Earth to evolve to a point  where both races could coexist. Zemus was a nonconformist and decided that instead they should wipe out all of the humans, and take the earth for themselves. 

Despite being inevitably sealed with the moon's core and eight crystals, he was still able to exert telepathic influence.. He’s able to brainwash a half-Lunarian man and turn him into a terribly powerful sorcerer called Golbez. He uses this manipulation technique to get what he wants, and that makes him a dreaded and terrifying force. 

See Zemus in his final boss form Zeromus:


13. Orphan (Final Fantasy 13)

Celestial, beautiful, and terrifying!

Orphan is the final antagonist and main source of conflict in Final Fantasy XIII. Orphan’s “birth” was brought on through its defeat at the hands of the l’Cie, which it was able to absorb into its shell. Orphan declares that it wants to sacrifice itself in order to open up Estro’s Gate so that reality can be undone and then reborn.  

Orphan is a final boss to be reckoned with, and can sometimes be frustrating, depending on who you ask. With the ability to wipe out your party in one to two hits, with moves like Progenitorial Wrath, a quick Death attack could mean the end of your party. Orphan is massive, celestial, and one of the most visually stunning final bosses in the series. 

See Orphan :




12. The Emporer (Final Fantasy II)

He may be attractive, but let it fool you, he's got an attitude!

Emperor Mateus is the main antagonist of FFII. His motive is simple, to summon the demonic forces from Hell and take over the world. He crowns himself the Emporer of Hell, and will do whatever he can to gain control over everything and rule all. 

He’s another villain who’s evil because it’s fun! He’s arrogant and rude. He will address people as insects and worms. His skills in advanced machinery, strategy, and powerful magic make him a mighty force of evil. 

See Emporer Mateus featured in Dissidia:


11. Professor Hojo (Final Fantasy VII)

Hojo is insane and wont see someone beyond being a "great specimen." 

Professor Hojo is a secondary antagonist in Final Fantasy VII. A scientist that works for Shinra Corp. Hojo performs cruel and unethical experiments as he aids Shinra in finding the Promised Land. 

Notice, there are some major spoilers ahead! Hojo’s experiments play a major role in almost everyone's backstory. He was the one to inject Jenova cells into a pregnant woman, who later gavebirth to Sephiroth. Because his “specimen” was far superior to the other Shinra Professor, Hollander’s, it got Hojo that promotion to Head of Shinra’s Science and Research Division. This is only the beginning though, and this mad scientist has a laundry list of immoral crimes under his belt. 

See Professor Hojo:


10. Garland (Final Fantasy I)

Garland is the OG villain that started it all. 

Garland is the very first Final Fantasy villain! His motives were simple, become the King of Castle Corneria, and obtain immortality. Easy enough! 

Garland was a former Knight of Corneria; however, things turn for the worse and we see that Garland does not handle rejection well. After confessing his love to Princess Sara, he is rejected as it is forbidden for her to marry a Knight. He loses it at this point, and his descent into darkness begins. He eventually absorbs the power of fiends and becomes Chaos himself. This truly setting the tone for future Final Fantasy villains. 

See Garland featured in Dissidia: 



9. Yunalesca ( Final Fantasy X )

If you thought she was on your side, you were sorely mistaken!
Yunalesca is a strong antagonistic force in FFX. Originally a summoner herself, she strives to protect the name of her father and maintain a false hope in the religion of Yevon.

Once a summoner herself, Yunalesca was the first to defeat Sin by sacrificing her own husband. She doesn’t tolerate anyone speaking down on the teachings of Yevon, and can be quite cruel. She reveals to the party that Sin will always come back no matter what, and that the point of “destroying” it is to give people false hope. Upon her defeat, the party learns key information that will finally lead to the true destruction of Sin. It’s not so much that she’s “evil”, but her perpetuation of false hope all for the sake of protecting her father's name still puts her on the baddie list. 

See Yunalesca:



8. Kuja (Final Fantasy IX)

His fox like smile gives away his destructive intentions.

Kuja is an interesting villain and the main antagonist in FF9. Created for the sole purpose of destruction, he eventually goes against his own creator to prove his worth and “individuality.” 

He was originally created by Garland (who in this game is an android created by the people of Terra) to destroy Gaia in order to save the planet Terra. Kuja used his influence to incite wars and genocide, all to “disrupt the cycle of souls.” His narcissistic and cocky attitude hides his true insecurities and internal existential crisis.

See Kuja feat. in Dissidia:


7. Ultimecia (Final Fantasy VIII)

She's powerful, gorgeous, and on a mission of immortality.

Sorceress Ultimecia is a powerful sorceress from the future. Her main motive is to “compress all of time” and revel in the chaos it brings as she enjoys her immortality. 

A force to be reckoned with and female rage embodiment, Ultimecia is a strong and forceful magic user. Her hatred for humanity is intense, and she holds contempt for those who have oppressed other sorceresses before her. 

See Ultimacia:


6. Sin (Final Fantasy X)

If Final Fantasy had Eldritch horror, this would be it.

A giant, hulking beast, Sin is the driving force of  evil in FFX. It is a constant threat to the people of Spira. Rumors are spread that the only way to destroy sin is rid the world of machina. 

For the sake of brevity, and not unleashing the entirety of FFX’s lore, Sin is essentially a giant whale beast that brings destruction everywhere it goes, and has done so for thousands of years. The only way it can be temporarily “defeated” is by sending a summoner on a pilgrimage. This is a perpetual cycle that, until the events of this game, have never been confronted. It’s massive, andborders on eldritch horror. 

See Sin:


5. Seymour Guado ( Final Fantasy X )

Seymours character design might seem goofy at first, but don't let it fool you!

A secondary antagonist in Final Fantasy X, Seymour is a high ranking priest of Yevon and a summoner himself. His ultimate goals were to rise in the ranks of Yevon, take Yuna as his wife purely for her powers, and become Sin itself and bring death and destruction. 

After being hated by Guados and humans alike, Seymour's childhood was a rough one. After witnessing his own mother sacrifice herself as a fayth, he eventually isolated himself and started to turn down a darker path. He believes that in ending someone's life he is sparing them the pain of existence, and this motivates him to become Sin. 

See Seymour Guado:



4. Ardyn Izunia (Final Fantasy XV)

He's friendly at first, but that charm and charisma isn't the only thing strong about him.
“A man of no consequence,” Ardyn is the driving antagonist of FFXV. While his motives are rather complex, his goal is to get revenge on the astrals for turning their backs on him. 

Once a healer, Ardyn was able to take on the Starscourge that was killing his people. However, this had tainted him, turning him into a daemon and ultimately they rejected him. 2,000 years go by. He’s unable to find any peace in death, and slowly the darkness overtakes him. He becomes a spiteful and vengeful man. However, he still acts cordially to Noctis and is initially quite charming and personable. But as events in XV unfold, you begin to see just how dark and twisted  he is. 

See Ardyn Izunia:



3. Vayne Carudas (Final Fantasy XII)


Vayne is a very tactical and meticulous leader.

A smart, meticulous, and powerful leader, Vayne is the main antagonist of Final Fantasy XII. His goal is to become the next Dynast King and he will stop at nothing to obtain that. 

He’s an amazing politician and always knows exactly what to say. While some villains in the series tend to utilize power, destruction, and fear to get what they want, Vayne’s charisma gets him where he needs to be. This certainly makes him stand out from the rest, making him a more complex and unique bad guy.

See Vayne Carudas:


2. Kefka Palazzo (Final Fantasy VI)

If you're afraid of clowns, Kefka's the scariest villain on this list, and we're sorry.

Considered one of the best Final Fantasy villains, Kefka is chaos incarnate. His main drive is to become an actual god and rule over everything, before ultimately deciding to destroy everything and himself when he deems life to be meaningless. 

A trickster and a powerful villain with an iconically diabolical laugh, Kefka is a visually interesting and intriguing bad guy. Originally a court mage, he decides to become a God of Magic so that he can destroy everything. He’s a great callback to comically evil villains in old movies and comics and is one of the best “evil because it’s fun” kind of bad guy. 

See Kefka:


1. Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII)

Are you surprised that he's number one?

Remember at the beginning when we said that some villains are so iconic, even those who haven’t played the game will know who you’re talking about?  Enter, Sephiroth. The main antagonist of Final Fantasy VII. His goals were to reach the Promised Land, avenge Jenova, and kill Cloud Strife. Oh, and become a literal god. That’s all. 

Sephiroth is known for many things. His backstory is tragic, and upon learning the truth of his origins he snaps, and this mental crack is what eventually leads to the events of Final Fantasy VII as we know it. His sword, Masamune, is absolutely massive and unnaturally long. His eyes are piercing, and his iconic theme song instills RPG players with fear to this day. He is complex, interesting, and a quintessential Final Fantasy villain.

See Sephiroth:


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From book nerd to gamer and a bard at heart, I'm always chasing the next great heroic epic!
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