Final Fantasy has ranged from a single playable character at lowest, in Final Fantasy 16, to a whopping 14 permanent party members in Final Fantasy 6. If you’ve clicked this article, you know it’s that latter game we’re here to discuss – and for good reason, given the size of its cast.

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Let’s take a look at each of them in turn. How do they fare as potential slots on your four-person squad? At the end of the day, anyone can work well enough, and surely our analysis won’t be universally accepted. But hey, conversation’s half the fun.

Updated on June 9, 2023 by Quinton O’Connor: In light of the launch of Final Fantasy 6 Pixel Remaster, we’ve gone back to the drawing board, turning this into not just a top ten, but a ranking for all 14 characters, with brand-new insights and more!

Just to emphasize the point, we’re ranking based on gameplay capabilities, not beloved personalities or anything of the sort. This is a mechanical approach!



14 Gogo

Final Fantasy 6 Pixel Remaster Gogo

Right off the bat, we may get some side-eye here. Gogo’s ability to mimic his fellow party members is rad. He can equip separate commands, too, which is, you know, twice as rad. He’s a little bit like a Freelancer in Final Fantasy 5. Or, perhaps far more aptly, like Gogo himself in Final Fantasy 5.

The trouble starts brewing when you consider that Gogo cannot equip Espers. Not being able to summon Espers is, on its own, not a big deal. Not being able to raise a character’s stats through Espers, on the other hand, means they’ll be left helplessly behind in the game’s most important growth aspect.

Top it all off with the fact that Gogo’s stats are dire. It’s a bad mix for our situationally spiffy mime.

13 Umaro

Umaro Final Fantasy 6

Umaro is probably the most powerful party member in Final Fantasy 6. Which makes it sort of awkward that he’s second-to-last on a ranked list of the most powerful party members… in… Final Fantasy 6.

If you’re a veteran of FF6, however, you probably already know what’s up here. Umaro can’t be controlled. You can equip a couple of highly useful accessories that turn him into a powerhouse and only a powerhouse, but he can’t learn stat boosts from Espers, either.

We’ll give him this – Umaro may not be the cat’s meow most of the time, but his completely predictable move set? That makes him the best pick at the Coliseum!

12 Strago Magus

Final Fantasy 6 Strago Lore

These first few picks aren’t exactly shockers, eh? Blue Mages are a nifty Final Fantasy tradition, characters who can learn a wide range of monster skills for a variety of damage and fun effects. Strago himself isn’t a bad example of a Blue Mage; the trouble is, there’s sort of someone substantially better at it.

Neither are the vast majority of Strago’s Blue Mage spells real winners relative to the most devastating attacks most other characters can achieve. When you factor in that poor Strago is, of the game’s four most blatant mage-like characters, fourth place for magic stat, Strago doesn’t have a ton going for him.

11 Setzer Gabbiani

Setzer FF6

Setzer’s one of the few characters whose presence in your party is downright mandatory in the World of Ruin, so one would hope he’d be fantastic. He kind of isn’t. But that’s OK, because he’s hardly dire, either.

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Give Setzer the Fixed Dice as soon as you find them, and he’ll remain modestly competitive. But Slots is unreliable at best, and Setzer’s inherent damage output isn’t anything to write home about. Setzer simply exists; then again, this carefree rogue probably prefers it that way.

Mog does, however, join at an above average level in the world of balance, which helps his usefulness. Furthermore, you need him if you want to use Molulu’s charm, which lets you skip random encounters completely. Furthermore, Mog has decent stats and excellent equipment. The snow scarf is the best defensive item in the game and Mog also makes an excellent dragoon.

10 Cyan Garamonde

Cyan FF6

Poor noble Cyan spent a long time as a downright poor party member. From Final Fantasy 6’s 1994 debut until the mid-2010s original mobile and Steam ports, his special ability, Bushido, involved waiting in real-time for a bar to fill, thus allowing enemies to repeatedly attack you, thus making his attacks objectively not worth the whole ordeal.

Something changed with those ports, and it was made all the better with FF6 Pixel Remaster. You no longer have to wait it out. Cyan still needs a charge time, but you can continue controlling the other characters. All of a sudden, this guy’s genuinely decent arsenal is far more appealing.

Cyan’s still no full-blown winner, but boy, does it feel good to see him escape that traumatic past.

9 Locke Cole

Locke stands in Zozo in Final Fantasy 6

Locke’s one of the harder FF6 characters to rank. Power-wise, anyway. (Personality-wise, he’s great!) He’s pretty unreliable for a long stretch of the game. Apart from his stealing, there’s nothing Locke can do that someone else can’t do better. He’s frankly kind of weak.

The fates smile on our thief more so in the World of Ruin, when low health and the Valiant Knife turn him into a fierce four-hit fighter. Still, even then there are some better picks, and it’s just so hard to look past Locke’s mediocrity earlier on.

8 Mog

Mog FF6

Don’t underestimate the utility to be found in Mog’s Dances. Sure, there are only eight in all, but every one of them’s a good call in the right circumstances.

Mog’s also one of the best characters to use as a makeshift ‘Dragoon class’, since he does well with the relics that essentially turn a character into that archetype. You should definitely pursue this path when you’ve got him in your party, but there’s someone still to come who does an even better job of it.

7 Shadow

Shadow FF6 Pub

If we were speaking purely in terms of evasive capabilities, and we don’t think that’d be worth an entire list, but hey, who knows, Shadow would curb stomp the competition. He joins with a high Evasion stat, and grinding that out to a point where he can avoid attacks at least nine times out of ten? That’s amazing.

That’s why he makes it this far, in fact. Shadow’s damage output starts off notably great if you can afford his Shurikens and their elemental peers. They’re still fine in the World of Ruin, but they’ve certainly lost something of their edge.

Shadow’s a speedy fellow who has a good chance of remaining alive to save you from a party wipe, but strength isn’t his, er, strong suit.

6 Sabin Figaro

ff6 figaro coin flip scene

Sabin is pretty cool! His fighting-game-like ability inputs are easier than ever to get down in FF6’s Pixel Remaster version, and the way that some are reliant more on Strength than Magic, yet others are vice-versa, gives the guy good reason to invest in both stats almost equally.

Doing so means spending less time with Sabin at peak efficiency on either end of the equation, however, or else ignoring certain Blitz techniques altogether. He’s also largely incapable of reaching the multi-damage heights of the best characters – or Locke, for that matter, somewhat impeded though Locke may be.

5 Relm Arrowny

Relm FF6

Relm’s unique command, Sketch, is bad. We wouldn’t recommend using it beyond the realm of curiosity, if that. It’s just not what the game cracks it up to be.

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But Relm cannot so easily be written off. Though she’s quite frail and lacks the equipment prowess that really pushes them to the next level, Relm’s base Magic stat is the highest in FF6 – even higher, yes, than Terra’s and Celes’. If you want a fierce spell-slinger and don’t mean constant healing sessions, Relm’s not kidding around.

4 Gau

Gau FF6

In some ways, Gau should probably not rank among the most powerful party members in Final Fantasy 6. He’s 13 years old, that’s the big one. Yet we can buy it.

Gau lives out in the marvelous monster-infested Veldt, where his training can really pay off if you give him Rage abilities like Cat Scratch. Cat Scratch, as well as several other high-end attacks, can turn Gau into a swinging death machine faster than a Kefka laugh for the bulk of the game.

If you take the time to invest in this, or at least grab the most important Rage abilities, Gau can be thought of a far superior Blue Mage to Strago. It takes a lot of doing, and there’s always the chance you’ll end up capitalizing on a ‘caught’ monster’s less mighty move, but we can’t deny Gau’s overall usefulness is incredible.

Earlier versions of Final Fantasy 6 allowed for a setup with the fan-made title of ‘Wind God Gau’, and it worked exceedingly well. Alas, that’s no longer possible.

3 Edgar Roni Figaro

FF6 Edgar Chainsaw

The King of Figaro is a fantastic character. Courtesy of his unique ability, Tools, Edgar is invaluable in the first half of the game. Tools allows him access to terrific damage, both single-target and multi-target.

In the second half of the game, Edgar’s Tools are far less effective. However, he has solid stats all around allow him to transition into an even better Dragoon than Mog. It’s like this king was two steps ahead, knew his incredible Tools would eventually break, and chose a separate profession altogether.

2 Celes Chere

Celes FF6

Magic can be so great in Final Fantasy 6 that Celes is one of the most powerful characters in the game despite being a rather average deal of physical damage outside certain circumstances. Those circumstances include simply equipping Celes with the finest equipment – which is the other most important aspect.

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Celes’ Runic ability can absorb magic-based attacks. This is sometimes better than it’s given credit for, depending on the foe, but it’s broadly unhelpful otherwise. Yet Celes, with the Minerva Bustier, one of the most powerful weapons, and magic-boosting relics is nonetheless a force to be reckoned with.

1 Terra Branford

Terra Brandford, Ceres Chere, and Setzer Gabbiani, all aboard the Blackjack in Final Fantasy 6.

It’s not quite right to say that everything Celes can do, Terra can do better; Celes’ Strength, Speed, and Stamina are all a cut above. She is a Magitek Knight, after all.

But both women pride themselves first and foremost on the power of their magic, and Terra’s base Magic stat is second only to Relm’s while being in your party far longer. She can also equip nearly everything Celes can, and she’ll shine just as brightly.

Give her one of those stellar endgame swords that casts magic after slashing, plus relics to increase the number of attacks she makes per turn, and Terra is every bit the heroine. Top it off with Trance, and the Empire must be downright terrified right about now.

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