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Final Fantasy 7 is a well-written, well-known game changer. With great characters, spin-offs, and great pixels in cut-scenes, it was the first game I had ever completed and left it's impact on my gaming experiences so without any more ramblings these are in my opinion the top 5 Best characters in the whole of final fantasy.
5 - Aerith/Aeris Gainsborough
However you say/spell her name, you have to understand why out of every character she is on this list. This woman is a literal ray of sunshine in the darkest of times, a badass, kickass healer. At the beginning she is just seen as innocent but as time goes on she is proven to hold her own. In other aspects of the games she is seen more often.
At first glance she isn't anything special but as the game progresses she is known to be an ancient being and the last of her kind which is kind of noticeable seeing how powerful her healing is. In a dark and gloomy, dystopian time she is seen as upbeat and cheerful even cheering up other characters as you go on. She is like the mother of the group; a caring, sweet person making it impossible to hate her character.
Throughout the games, she is lovable and playful, making you fall in love with her company making how her story ends truly devastating, and as I know it one of the saddest video game deaths (But that will come at another time).
4 - Cloud Strife
Okay, okay. Before anyone decides to complain there is a reason he is not at the top. He may be seen as the main hero of the game but I will explain myself later, now it's time to explain Cloud.
He is the main protagonist of the series and possibly one of the most easily recognised game characters. With his large, spiky blonde hair and mako blue eyes he is a very distinguishable character in the game. He goes through all sorts throughout the game and it's spin off's such as advent children and crisis core; poisoning, watching his friend die, his village being burnt to the ground, watching another friend die, losing all his memories and taking his friend's memories, losing his mother, being stabbed multiple times and watching his hero turn evil - just to name a few. He is young but has lived a very troublesome life. He is shown as being a caring and motivated person even though sometimes he has his moments where he is down like we all do.
His mind is broken and it affects him but he is still the bad ass that we know and love today. He is seen carrying around ridiculous weapons that we just love to use such as Ultima and the famous buster sword as well as the a/c buster. He has faced death multiple times and has grown stronger from it with the help of his friends. He is a very human and relatable character in the franchise.
3- Vincent Valentine
Cryptic, cold and mysterious: these are many words used to describe the ruby-eyed, partially demon gun slinger. He is shown as being very distant from the others and mysterious about his past experiences trying to hide his dark past. The character of Vincent, even though he is optional, is a very real and unforgettable character from the series. He has a very dark personality which shows the real dystopia of the world compared to other happy characters throughout. Even though appearing young, he is the oldest of the group and it shows in his maturity.
He is a natural loner but we all love the cool guy act especially when it is attached to a character so powerful and so cool looking. From his red cloak, pale skin and red eyes to his ability to change into Chaos, a demon summon for his limit break, he is a powerful character and someone I always have on my final team.
He began life as a Turk similar to Tseng and Reno. He fell in love with a scientists who we have come to know as Sephiroth's mother Lucrecia, who distanced herself from Vincent eventually, beginning a relationship with the creepy scientist Hojo. After a lot, Hojo tries to kill Vincent, but get this... he doesn't fully die; Hojo begins experimenting on his half dead body.
He survived death and having a materia put into him, turning him into a monster and the brooding character he is today and honestly. He has a reason to be how he is, but he shows improvement and growth through the games even as much as coming to the friend groups aid in advent children multiple times.
2 - Sephiroth
Speaking of sad backstories, we have the once hero soldier turned evil bad guy Sephiroth. He is seen burning villages, stabbing Cloud and having a weird obsession with his 'mother' Jenova. Throughout the games and movie he is seen as the villain with many of the characters linking back to him.
He is a villain who loves to play mind games, he loves to control and mess with people as if they were his toys to destroy and throw away; he is an experiment gone right in a way besides his insanity. Clad in full leather with a 20-foot sword masamune, he is an intimidating figure in the game and may even be hated for involvement in scenes as mentioned before such as Aerith's death.
He has a huge part to play in messing with Cloud's head, egging on his enemy as if it were a joke. He is the one to have set Nibelheim (Cloud's village) on fire. Without looking into it he is just another stereotypical villain, but, of course seeing his backstory he indeed has a sad past as an experiment.
From a young age he had been a soldier and had been loved; he was the hero of the story as one of the highest trained soldiers first class, General Sephiroth. He is described as being cold and lone even before his transformation to the bad guy. He had fan clubs and was essentially the poster boy of Shinra. An intellectual who found out the truth of experimentation considering himself a monster, he snapped and began to see his mother as Jenova whose cells were used in him without knowing his actual mother Lucrecia.
He is seen as an opponent who doesn't die, he always seems to come back from the life stream as if to mock Cloud and his friends. Seeing the character of Sephiroth appear brings up uncontrollable excitement. He is a well-written, villain with a story behind him and a good side under all the insanity.
Right, so these characters are in my opinion some of the best but here are characters who only just missed out before we get to the number 1.
1 - Zack Fair.
He is honestly the real hero of the series, look at the facts. He is a selfless soldier who even though is seen as being childish and playful he can complete a mission in a professional manner.
This character came into things in Final Fantasy 7, the original with a pixelated cut scene showing his death and how he sometimes spoke in Cloud's head. Even though playing a small part in the original game he was given a prequel which looked into him as the main character and he is a genuinely unique, joyful but expressive character. At the beginning, he is very honour-bound towards Shinra; he is a soldier second and seen as being the clumsy, unfocused one trained by Angeal the soldier first. But as the game develops we see his character growing; he tries his hardest at everything he does even if it doesn't always turn out right and he sees the good in everyone.
In the series, he ends up losing most of everything: his trainer and friend Angeal betrays Shinra leaving him, his friend and superior Sephiroth leaves him and tries to kill him, his best friend becomes mako poisoned and can't speak to him, and he has to leave the girl he is infatuated with for a mission which goes in the nicest of terms 'tits up'. He gets through all of it even going so far as to carrying his basically comatose friend on his back for a long time to get him back to Midgar. Even in those moments where it seems he is truly alone sitting with the comatose Cloud he still brings joy and cheer trying to lighten the mood with jokes.
He is seen as caring to others by helping them with missions such as building Aerith the flower cart she wanted and helping other soldiers around him but even with that caring attitude he is still a strong fighter especially after he is promoted to Soldier 1st.
He is loyal and stays true to his word and his honour as a soldier like Angeal told him to - and come on guys, the most heartbreaking scene to ever cross any screen has to be Zack's death: even when he is outnumbered and knows he can't win, he protects Cloud and takes on an army by himself! He brought a giant buster sword to a gun fight and is so close to winning.
He is a character which, after it all, we didn't want to see go because he deserved so much better. Without him would Cloud even been the soldier he was in the games? Probably not because Zack is the true hero in the series even in Advent children he emerges to inspire and uplift Cloud once more helping him through the battle, encouraging Cloud to be his living legacy.