Final Fantasy male characters – unforgettable heroes

Warrior fighting a tiger

By now, you all must know how much I love the Final Fantasy series, I talk about those games often enough! If you are brand new to my blog, then know I have played them a lot, so am pretty well-informed on them all and write about them sometimes too. Last year I actually wrote and article for my top 5 female characters in the series so I figured it was finally time to list my top male characters.

 For those wondering why I split the two articles into genders, it is because there are so many great guys in this series. It is hard to list a top five in general, since so many amazing characters would be left out and listing every character to reach my favorite ones would also take forever.

So this is the easiest way to approach it. Maybe I will do more in the future as well. For now though, here are my top 5 Final Fantasy male characters!

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5. Irvine Kinneas (Final Fantasy VIII) – the loyal lone sniper

Irvine Kinneas from Final Fantasy VIII

Irvine and his inseparable rifle

We all know Irvine for being a ladies’ man and an expert gunman, known for loving the company of women and having incredible accuracy at the same time. While he focused his charms on Selphie Tilmitt for a while, he was a very important group member with his sharp mind and loyalty to the group.

He even mentions that he thought the team were his “saviors from loneliness”, as he does not enjoy being a lone sniper, despite how good he is at it. Sure he might have been a little cautious with them at times and overly playful, but Irvine is dedicated to keeping everyone safe and loves them deeply.

4. Tidus (Final Fantasy X) – from boy to hero

Tidus from Final Fantasy X

Tidus is also a Blitzball star, a mixture of (under) water polo and soccer that is extremely popular on Spira.

Of all the protagonists from every Final Fantasy game, Tidus is a good representation of how I hope I would react when trouble kicks off. Able to keep some kind of carefree and upbeat attitudes but also able to be serious when the trouble starts and able to give rational responses in situations. It is a good combination to have!

Though Tidus is not much of a fan of the carefree traits he has that are similar to his father’s own attitudes, which he actually resents. The Blitzball star is an interesting character who was willing to confront his own past as he moved from a self-centered athlete and into a selfless hero.

No matter how we see ourselves right now, we all hope to be able to do that as well when the going gets tough. so it is definitely easy to identify with him (at least a little bit).

3. Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII) – heroes have feelings

Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII

Cloud right after defeating the final boss: the look of a fearless warrior

Cloud is one of the most iconic characters in Final Fantasy, even people who have never played the series can recognize him. Arrogant and proud, his journey to self-discovery sends him down a difficult path where he has to face the fact he was denying his true self.

He started out as an ex-member of an elite warrior unit but learns that being a hero is more than just physical strength and fame. The compassion he gains for the Planet, his loyalty for those who cares for and kind nature become his true strengths.

Though, he does have a fun side too like cross-dressing to save Tifa from the clutches of Don Corneo. He might have a dry humor but well, Cloud just embraces the strange situations he ends up in much to our amusement.
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2. Cecil Harvey (Final Fantasy IV) – redemption is sweet

Cecil Harvey from Final Fantasy IV

Rosa – his love interest – will help Cecil find his true self.

Cecil is an interesting hero, though maybe a little bit cliché at times. The merciless black knight who struggles to show emotions, with his insecurities making him an ill-fit for his role of Dark Knight. His identity and moral crisis cause him to hate himself for his past actions, but becoming a paladin and befriending others put him onto a much better path.

Despite his shy personality, Cecil is brave and comes to hold some firm beliefs despite his past troubles. It is a great story of personal redemption, which has a very nice feel-good factor to it, plus Cecil is a nice change of pace from all the carefree and laid back protagonists in the series!

Picking the top characters is hard, so there are actually 2 honorable mentions today.

Honorable Mention 1:

Squall Leonhart (Final Fantasy VIII) – good, dark and handsome

Squall Leonhart from Final Fantasy VIII

That scar makes him look even tougher, but he has a heart.

Cloud might be one of the most well-known characters in the series, but the weapon Squall uses is one of the most iconic. The gunblade suits Squall, the cold-hearted and introverted mercenary and still suits him as he grows throughout the game.

He might not have been well-liked at first, but his dedication to duty and sense of responsibility do make him a leader that can be trusted, despite him being difficult. He likes to narrate his thoughts and feelings a lot, which explains why he is this way, making him very easy to understand.

Though he does become a bit of a cliché when he falls in love with Rinoa Heartlilly and becomes more social, Squall is someone we cannot help but love, and the more open version of him is the one seen in Kingdom Hearts as well.


Honorable Mention 2:

Auron (Final Fantasy X) – the old warrior

Auron from Final Fantasy X

His past still haunts him, but he is on a mission to defeat Sin (and he is not going to stop)

Auron watches over Tidus in Final Fantasy X and has a bit of a mysterious past! Having been a warrior monk and a guardian of summoner Braska makes him a powerful warrior and amazing ally.

He is a bit grumpy, but his fatherly tendencies forwards Tidus and Yuna show just how much he cares for them and that it is not just because he was asked to look after them. He is patient with Tidus being childish, and is plenty happy to irritate him a little as well in that classic parental way.

He does get overlooked a little bit by players at times, but Auron is a great character in the series. Definitely a favourite character of mine.

Time to reveal the the number one on this list now: and the winner is…

1. Zidane Tribal (Final Fantasy IX) – the gentleman thief

Zidane Tribal from Final Fantasy IX

Zidane and his love interest Dagger, also known as Garnet, Princess of Alexandria

Zidane is a little bit different to the other main characters we have had in Final Fantasy. He is a thief who bumps into a princess who wants to be kidnapped and then he ends up needing to protect the planet. Kind of a hilarious chain of events really! Though that is also him, laid-back and casual, but able to become serious whenever needed.

Zidane cares for those around him, but tries to fight his insecurities alone and instead selflessly trying to help others. When it came down to it, Zidane did not hesitate to run to the aid of an enemy even though it did not quite work out. Three of the members in his party were silent and Zidane connected with them all to help them break out of their shells.

He is clearly a role model for us all, someone who is willing to help others no matter the cost, with the ability to forgive those who have harmed us in the past.
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So who is your favorite characters in the Final Fantasy series, retro folks? Do you agree with both of my lists or do you have some different favorite characters to me? Do let me know! There are so many characters in Final Fantasy that I bet we all have different lists.

Till next retro post!

12 thoughts on “Final Fantasy male characters – unforgettable heroes

  1. Stuart

    First and foremost I am not a gamer in the true sense of the word, prefer such static games as word puzzles and solitaire, however having read this article through can see how it would appeal to fans of Final Fantasy, it is an excellent article on a gamers thoughts of the characters and as such must be commended for its thoroughness.

    Did like the additional character comments after the first five, adding to the completeness of the review.

    Stuart

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Stuart and thanks for taking time to read and comment on my article despite not being an rpg fan.
      I ranked every character not only by singling out their best qualities and but also what made them both special and different from the others
      I am pleased to hear that you appreciate my style.
      Thanks again for stopping by, hope you become a regular here. 🙂

      Reply
  2. affiliate_ghost

    I am such a huge fan of Final Fantasy and it is always a pleasure reading one of your amazing content on this as you deliver every time! 

    On Your Final Fantasy Male Unforgettable Heroes, I agree with this list 101% as every one here deserves a special mention even those that did just make the honorable mentions.

    My favourite character would definitely be Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII as i feel connected to his story somehow! lol- if that makes any sense.

    Great post as always

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Affiliate Ghost , thanks for visiting my blog again. 🙂
      Everyone has a different story, so I see nothing wrong with identifying oneself or feeling connected to a character or a story, it has happened to me many times, lol.
      Yours is a very encouraging comment, I am very grateful for your kind words. Stay tuned for more retro posts!

      Reply
  3. RoDarrick

    Final fantasy series does have some awesome male characters to be honest. I love the fact that they are mostly not just flat characters but with intense development that affects the game’s flow in each series. Of all the characters you mentioned, the one I remember well is Cecil Harvey. OMG! I love his trait and behaviours. He is my best character

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Rodger, great to hear from you again!
      I can see why you like Cecil, his redemption is both touching and impactful. It truly makes you think that anything can happen and everything is possible in life. Personally, I believe his personal struggles are the most relatable.
      Thanks a million for being such a loyal, supportive reader, stay tuned for more retro articles!

      Reply
  4. Carol5162

    I am of the opinion that the number one character should be the Tall, Dark and Handsome one! Squall Leonhart has got me glued on several occasions. When he falls for Rinoa, my heart melts. Like he so knows how to love. I like how stubborn he is. Kind of makes him manly! I think it also has something to do with the scar.

    Thank you for these exciting and reminidcenting highlights. Nice article.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Carol and thanks for your passionate comment.
      I totally respect your opinion, I too got emotional when I saw Squall and Rinoa hug for the first time. The thing is Zidane did not hesitate to run to the aid of the enemy he had just defeated and that automatically made him the number one on my list. 🙂
      I am so pleased that you appreciate my article, please stay tuned for more retro posts!

      Reply
  5. Paul

    Dear Andrew,

    Thanks for the article I enjoyed it! From each great characters, we can learn a lot of valuable things.

    From Irvine Kinneas we can learn how to take life easily and at the same time keeping our focus. Tidus teaches about how to stay strong and handle challenging situations. Cloud strife teaches the importance of self-discovery. Cecil Harvey reminds us about personal redemption.

    From Squall Leonhart we can learn leadership skills and Auron resembles the character of a warrior and the importance of patience. Zidane teaches about how we need to treat and take care of others and helping others without any expectation. Indeed, he is a role model for all of us.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Much Success!

    Paul

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Paul and thanks for your insightful comment. it is such a pleasure to hear from you again after some time. 🙂
      You are right, every character on this list teaches us a valuable lesson, that is why they are so popular among fans.
      As far as I am concerned, Zidane will always be on top. When I first beat FFIX (nearly 20 years ago), I did not quite agree with his choice of saving his arch-rival, after all they had done, but in the long run, I realized it was an incredible display of humanity.
      Not sure if I could do something like that honestly, but that got me to thinking about the value of life.
      Zidane put life first, no matter what, and I cannot help but look up to him.
      Thanks again for stopping by, hope you stay tuned for my next posts!

      Reply
  6. Dane

    Final fantasy have been one of my favorite series of all time. My list isn’t very much different your yours, I only have placed Cloud in a better position. These characters are undoubtedly the best set of male characters in final fantasy generally. I love playing the game alone when my kids aren’t around. It gives me this sense of isolation and I tend to enjoy it a lot. I’d love to see other articles of yours relating to final fantasy. A very nice list you have there  

    Reply
  7. Andrew A. Post author

    Hello Dane and thanks for your nice words, I am so pleased you appreciated my list. 🙂
    I can perfectly relate to that sense of isolation, I believe this is one of the main reasons I became interested in role playing games years ago… I tend to empathize with the characters and be completely absorbed by the story. I am part of these fantasy worlds, lol. And honestly I struggle to play Rpgs with somebody else… Too immersive.
    If you want to read more posts of mine about FF, please check this and this out:
    I hope you enjoy them! In any case, More and more will come…
    Thanks again for dropping by, I truly hope you become a regular on my blog!

    Reply

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