What’s hot, horned, and happenin’? Why, it’s Ifrit, the most prolific Fire-elemental summoned monster in Final Fantasy history. And while Ifrit has always been one of the more immediately recognizable summons, recent entries like Final Fantasy 15 and the right-around-the-corner Final Fantasy 16 have elevated the powerful demon’s popularity all the more so.


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We’re no strangers to ranking lists here, so it seems only fitting we finally answer the question – who’s the best Ifrit of them all? It’s a heated competition, to be sure, and ultimately it is, of course, just our personal perspective on the matter. But it’s fun, so we’re doing it, anyway.

What about the games we didn’t list? Summoned monsters aren’t introduced yet in the first and second games, so nothing to do there. In Final Fantasy 12’s world of Ivalice, a different set of summons takes the reins, though Ifrit’s name is honored as an airship, and the Nintendo DS spinoff features a strange, heavy-furred rendition of the creature. Lastly, Final Fantasy 13 only includes Ifrit in a lore-related sequence.

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12 Final Fantasy 3

Final Fantasy Ifrit Summon FF3

We’ve all got to start somewhere. Final Fantasy 3 introduced the world to the series’ summon system, but the original Ifrit didn’t exactly light that world on fire. If you’re playing without any prior info (a hard thing to achieve these days, granted), you might not even know Ifrit is Ifrit yet; after all, the Evoker spell is called Heatra.

We can credit FF3 with providing a template for Ifrit’s overall image and classic attack style – Hellfire, his most famous ability, began here! – but it’s otherwise a rather dry heat.

11 Final Fantasy 4

Final Fantasy Ifrit Summon FF4

There’s not a lot hip and happening with Ifrit’s sophomore appearance, either. That said, there are bright spots that FF3’s Ifrit lacked, showing how Square added nice embellishments in the leap from NES to SNES. Ifrit lunges toward the enemy party, leaving a trail of flame in his wake. Like all Pixel Remaster improvements, this looks especially cool in Final Fantasy 4’s recent makeover.

10 Final Fantasy 5

Final Fantasy Ifrit Summon FF5

At this point, you’re probably beginning to wonder if we took the easy way with this ranked list and simply jotted down each Final Fantasy’s Ifrit in chronological order. We assure you that’s not the case (just look ahead!), though there’s no denying Ifrit’s early evolutions in the series were incremental steps forward that can’t match what came thereafter.

Final Fantasy 5’s Ifrit doesn’t have the sole connection to the young summoner Rydia that FF4’s has, which is arguably a point lost in its favor. What it does have, however, is an evil scowl with shrouded white eyes that gives it a more memorable look.

9 Final Fantasy 9

Final Fantasy Ifrit Summon FF9

Final Fantasy 9’s Ifrit is… an acquired taste, and we regret to inform you we’ve never quite acquired it. Its muscles bulge in a more ridiculous fashion than usual, and more to the point, it’s a… bat… monkey… thing? Summoner Garnet Til Alexandros XVII has some amazing Eidolons, as they’re called in FF9, but Ifrit simply isn’t one of them.

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with bat-monkeys. Or monkey-bats for that matter. There’s just something unsettling about bat-monkeys with beards and ten-pack abs, you know?

8 Final Fantasy 7

Final Fantasy Ifrit Summon FF7

In its heyday, the summon spell glow-up in Final Fantasy 7 was simply surreal. Fans who had been with the series through the 2D era were suddenly treated to three-dimensional representations of their favorites in graphics that were surely mindblowing at the time.

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As the years have passed, it’s easier to be a bit more critical toward some of FF7’s summons (though the more outrageous ones like Bahamut Zero and Knights of the Round remain terrific). Ifrit’s animation is pretty simple here, spewing some flames and then peacing out, though props to those beady little red eyes. Oddly scary stuff.

7 Final Fantasy 6

Final Fantasy Ifrit Summon FF6

Admittedly, we’re pulling from the Pixel Remaster renditions of the classic Final Fantasy games when we look at how gorgeous FF6 Ifrit is, but hey, it’s the best available version. Final Fantasy 6 gives everyone’s favorite fiery strong man two great things.

The first is an excellent swift twirling animation that really sells the building inferno. The second’s a heavily satured, blood-red color scheme that goes the extra mile. All told, this is the best two-dimensional outing for our guy.

6 Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Final Fantasy Ifrit Summon FF7 Remake

Let’s preempt some potential complaints. “Why is Final Fantasy 7 Remake listed as mainline here, but not, say, Final Fantasy Tactics or World of Final Fantasy?” Hey, valid inquiry. Our approach is two-pronged; we think a full-blown remake of a mainline game sort of counts in its own right, and furthermore, it’s just so dang cool seeing FF7’s summons given such splendid fresh treatment.

FF7 Remake borrows cues from Final Fantasy 12 in letting its summons fight alongside you in real-time, and much like FF12’s Zodiac Age, you can even choose which abilities they use. Ifrit’s are all pretty great, and this is a nice high-definition spin on the classic FF7 Ifrit, though it’s still bested by what’s to come.

5 Final Fantasy 11

Final Fantasy Ifrit Summon FF11

Dialing things back significantly from the graphical bedazzlement above, Final Fantasy 11’s relatively limited animations don’t necessarily invigorate, but the ‘avatar’ Ifrit in Square Enix’s first MMO makes up for it with sublime lore. Ruthless in his early days, FF11 Ifrit rescued a small child and raised her as his own, warming his heart (forgive the pun or don’t). Alas, in an act of vengeance, survivors of Ifrit’s exploits slew the girl.

What follows is ever further heartbreak, but with a sort-of-happy ending? Ifrit and the child ascend to the heavens together, and you can call forth the creature’s spiritual essence. Neat.

4 Final Fantasy 8

Final Fantasy Ifrit Summon FF8

In Final Fantasy 8’s universe, summons are known as Guardian Forces, and combatants harness their power at the price of potential memory loss – a little-known side effect among the people, but a doozy. Ifrit isn’t the first summon Squall and friends can acquire, as Shiva and Quezacotl are (somehow) stored inside Squall’s schoolroom computer terminal, but he is the first with real presence.

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Instructor Quistis Trepe guides Squall to the Fire Cavern, where he must prove his worth as a mercenary candidate by defeating the Fire-elemental fiend.

All well and good, but what really makes FF8’s Ifrit so great is his design. For our money, this is the definitive Ifrit aesthetic; bronze-skinned, with huge horns, feral fangs, and a burning desire to cover his foes in flames.

3 Final Fantasy 15

Final Fantasy Ifrit Summon FF15 New Rendition

Final Fantasy 15 began something with Ifrit that Final Fantasy 16 is primed to follow: a considerable narrative focus that practically gives the flaming monster star status among its fellow summons. In FF15, Ifrit is the penultimate boss, the Infernian Astral God of Fire, credited in forgotten times with gifting mankind with the ability to harness his blazing abilities only for his people to turn against him in violence.

Noctis can’t actually summon Ifrit himself in FF15, but the character of Ifrit looms large over the world of Eos nonetheless. While not a ton is known about him in the original release of the game, Episode Ardyn reveals him to have once been so compassionate he ‘melted Shiva’s heart’ before the weight of his betrayal recreated him with a singular disdain for the human race.

2 Final Fantasy 10

Final Fantasy Ifrit Summon FF10

Summoner Yuna’s ember-tossing reward for conquering the puzzles of Kilika Temple, Final Fantasy 10 Ifrit carries forward FF8’s iconic representation to a good extent whilst adding a more jackal-like mouth that we’re maybe not in love with. Wait, did we just criticize FF10 Ifrit’s design despite ranking him so high? Yeah, we did.

The thing about FF10’s Aeons is that their animations are outstanding. By fixating on Yuna and Yuna alone for a summoner, and in combination with the PlayStation 2’s superior fidelity and motion relative to the SNES and PS1’s Rydia and Garnet respectively, Square was able to go big. Yuna standing right where Ifrit is summoned, hitching a brief ride on him, and then hopping off to command him is just so good.

1 Final Fantasy 14

Final Fantasy Ifrit Summon FF14

On the other hand, Final Fantasy 14 gives Ifrit’s design downright immaculate treatment. What a true demon this one is, even if the correct term in-universe is Primal. Then again, what a primal demon! Glowing orange tips to the horns, vicious-looking eyes, claws for days, a dark figure seemingly peppered in pieces of fire… Ifrit may be the first and thus weakest Eikon the Warrior of Light contends with, but holy mackerel, does he look awesome.

His lore’s pretty good, too, being the alleged god reigning over one of Eorzea’s beast races; there’s more to Ifrit than that, but we’d prefer not to spoil later-expansion twists. In any case, what an outstanding design. And if you can believe it, players actually encounter a benevolent version of this ultra-dangerous fellow further into the story.

Next: Final Fantasy 12: A Complete Guide To Gambits

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