12. Gilgamesh (FF5)
Gilgamesh is a recurring character in the series, but he made his debut in Final Fantasy 5 as the main boss, Exdeath’s, right hand man. The main characters run into Gilgamesh a total of 6 times in the game, and all the genji equipment can be stolen from him. Eventually, Exdeath sends him into the void for repeatedly failing to defeat Bartz and the other characters, where he has a change of heart. The party runs into him again and he attacks them, mistaking them for monsters, but he eventually ends up helping them defeat one of the final bosses.
11. Yu Yevon (FF10)
Yu Yevon is a jerk summoner that is responsible for Sin, the giant jerk that has been destroying civilizations for 1,000 years. Yu Yevon isn’t a cool boss, and he’s not prominent in the game, but he is particularly villainous for being responsible for the mess of a game that Final Fantasy 10 was, and that’s enough to put him on this list.
10. Ultimecia (FF8)
Ultimecia is a sorceress from the future, bent on combining all time periods into one, because that sounds like a great idea. She sends her consciousness back in time, and takes control of Edea, then Rinoa, then Adel. The party eventually travels to Ultimecia’s time to destroy her. As time returns back to normal, Ultimecia finds her way to Edea, possessing her, and restarts the chain of events that leads to her ultimate defeat.
9. Rufus Shinra (FF7)
The son and eventual successor to President Shinra, Rufus is even more diabolical than his father. He was the main financier for the rebel group AVALANCHE, because he wanted to see his father taken out, so he could have control of Shinra Corporation himself. He eventually gets his wish, as President Shinra is killed by Sephiroth acting through Jenova. When first encountered by Cloud, Rufus proclaims that he will rule by fear, instead of ruling by money which his father did.
8. Garland (FF9)
The creator of Kuja and Zidane, Garland is directly responsible for the events in the game. He was created by the Terrans and given the task to find a new planet for them to live on. When he couldn’t conquer Gaia, he created Kuja to be his Angel of Death, killing Gaians to make room for the Terrans’ souls. Kuja eventually sends Garland to his death, but afterwards, a formless Garland reveals Kuja’s mortality, which sends Kuja over the edge.
7. Professor Hojo (FF7)
Professor Hojo is a sick individual that is mostly responsible for all the events in Final Fantasy 7. He injects his son with Jenova cells while he is still in the womb. This son ends up being Sephiroth. He ends up shooting Vincent Valentine over his objection to Hojo’s experiments on humans and leaving him in a coffin after conducting experiments on his body. He also performs tests on unwilling subjects including Cloud, creating more than a handful of failed Sephiroth copies. The party eventually encounters him in Midgar, where he injects himself with Jenova cells, turning himself into a powerful monster that is ultimately defeated by Cloud and Co.
6. Ultros (FF3/6j)
Ultros is a comedic octopus enemy that the party encounters multiple times in Final Fantasy 6. The party first defeats him on a raft, causing Ultros to invest his time in paying the returners back. He runs into the party at the opera house and tries to drop a 2-ton weight on Celes, but is promptly defeated. The best encounter comes after this, when the returners run into Ultros in the Esper Cave trying to steal the Warring Triad statues. During battle, Relm shows up and paints Ultros’ portrait, leading to his statement, “I’m nothing but a…stupid octopus!”
5. ExDeath (FF5)
Exdeath was a tree that housed evil souls, until the souls made the tree so self-aware it took on a human form. Exdeath was originally sealed by Bartz’s father along with the other warriors of dawn, however he manages to break the crystals that seal his power, and he rises to terrorize the world again. He eventually takes control of the void and returns to his form as a tree, before being beaten and consumed by the void. After this, he turns into Neo-Exdeath, whose sole purpose is to erase existence.
4. Zemus (FF2/4j)
Though Golbez is the main antagonist through most of Final Fantasy 4, the party eventually learns he is being controlled by a more sinister being known as Zemus. Zemus is a Lunarian who wants to conquer Earth. He was sealed away by the other Lunarians, who longed for coexistence with the inhabitants of Earth, but his psychic powers allowed him to reach out to the two characters on Earth with Lunarian blood, Cecil and Golbez. When Golbez is released from Zemus’ power, he kills him along with help from FuSoYa, however this just unlocks his ultimate form: Zeromus.
3. Kuja (FF9)
Kuja is a genome created by Garland to kill Gaians and speed up the process of the Lifa Tree. His early goal is to harness the power of the eidolons to defeat Garland and conquer Terra for himself, however this plan changes after he learns that he is a mere mortal. His next goal is much greater, as he wants to eradicate all life, with the justification, “Why should the world exist without me? That wouldn’t be fair. If I die, we all die!” After Kuja’s final defeat, the party encounters the final boss, Necron, who is a being awakened by Kuja’s fear, despair, and hatred.
2. Sephiroth (FF7)
Sephiroth is the son of Professor Hojo and Lucrecia, given superhuman strength due to being injected with Jenova cells before birth. He was an accomplished SOLDIER until coming across Shinra research about his creation, whSephiroth, Kefka, Kuja, Zemus, Exdeath, Ultros, Professor Hojo, Garland, Rufus Shinra, Ultimecia, Yu Yevon, Gilgameshich drove him to madness. He thinks that Jenova is his mother and was one of the Cetra, as did Shinra, which would make him the last surviving Ancient. This causes Sephiroth to believe that he is better than humans. Sephiroth eventually manages to control Jenova’s body, killing a bunch of people in effort to find the black materia which would summon the ultimate spell, “meteor”, to destroy the planet. He may be the most popular Final Fantasy baddy, but the top spot on our list belongs to:
1. Kefka (FF3/6j)
Ahh, Kefka. While Sephiroth was driven mad when he learned he was the result of a scientific experiment, Kefka is just flat out crazy. Kefka derives joy in causing chaos and pain. Kefka’s first awesome display of insanity is when he poisons the water supply of Doma, effectively ravaging the entire nation. After this, he learns how to harness the power of magicite and kills almost all the remaining espers to turn them into magicite, making himself even more powerful. Kefka overthrows Emperor Gestahl, takes control of the Warring Triad, and becomes the God of magic, changing the entire face of the planet. Kefka rules from his newly built castle, leveling entire towns that oppose him. Eventually, the party catches up with Kefka and manages to destroy him, but not before he could cement his legacy as best Final Fantasy villain of all time. Thanks for reading, we’ll leave you with one of Kefka’s elegant
quotes: “I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate HATE YOU!”