Final fantasy is one of the most popular video game franchises. From his humble beginnings in 1987, he was single-handedly responsible for bringing the JRPG genre to a wider audience, with the SNES and PS1 eras of the franchise sparking some of the fondest memories. Two of the best franchise villains come from these eras- FF VI‘s Kefka and FF VII ‘s Sephiroth.
Each of these villains has their strengths and each made their respective games even more memorable. No other FF the bad guys are approaching them and choosing who is the better of the two is a difficult task.
ten Sephiroth is the best: he is instantly recognizable
While fans will argue which game is better, it’s hard to deny FF VII is more popular than FF VI. The marketing campaign for the first PS1 installment of the series was all over the place and Sephiroth became part of gaming history once the twist of the game hit the minds of fans. However, a huge factor in the villain’s appreciation was his instantly recognizable look.
The long white hair, the long katana, and the flowing clothes are all so recognizable to Sephiroth that he has become synonymous with the FF franchise like its nemesis Cloud, with even non-fans able to recognize it.
9 Kefka is the best: he is much more fun than Sephiroth
Kefka starts making appearances very early in FF VI and right off the bat, he’s the kind of over-the-top villain that instantly pops into people’s minds. From forcing a soldier to shine his boots on a march through the Figaro Desert to the joy he takes in every evil deed, Kefka is more than one of the most powerful FF characters of all time, he is also one of the funniest.
Players immediately knew that Kefka was something special and even when he did the most terrible things he was still one of the funniest characters in the game, injecting dark humor into the proceedings. This gave the game such a unique flavor and would pave the way for so many FF bad guys.
8 Sephiroth is the best: his boss fights are more difficult
FF the games aren’t known to be extremely hard, but the bosses of the game can certainly be big challenges. While Kefka is a pretty tough foe, especially his final multi-part form, he’s pretty easy to beat for any group that’s sufficiently leveled and equipped. Players fight Sephiroth multiple times throughout FF VII and the battles against him are among the most difficult of the PS1 era.
In video games, the villain’s story and personality are only half the appeal – if they’re not a challenge for gamers, that’s a huge problem to overcome. Kefka has a lot of strength but it takes more to defeat Sephiroth than the Mad Clown.
7 Kefka is the best: he continues to grow throughout history
One of the things that makes Kefka one of the best end bosses in the franchise is the way her story and threat develop. At first he seems to be little more than a side villain, who is sort of a threat but also a bit funny and the clown party throughout the game. However, every time he returns, his menace increases and players learn more about it, building it more and more.
It really comes as a surprise when Kefka stabs Emperor Gestahl and appropriates the powers of the statues, which players never expected. The way he grows up throughout the story, becoming more and more menacing, is a work of art and makes him a very effective villain.
6 Sephiroth is the best: the game builds its threat very well
Although it was amended in FF VII Remake, Sephiroth’s slow-burning introduction in FF VII is one of the most effective in games. Throughout the player’s time in Midgar, Sephiroth is built as the ultimate SOLDIER and a formidable fighter. It gets even better when players wake up to his rampage through the Shinra building.
This builds it into gamers’ minds and the almost horror-movie vibe of the Shinra building after his bloody attack on the top ranks of the company does an incredible job selling Sephiroth as the ultimate enemy of Cloud and the company. .
5 Kefka is the best: there is more going on below the surface with Kefka
Kefka was one of the Empire’s Mage Knights, experienced by Cid at the Magitek Research Center. Unlike Leo or Celes, Kefka was driven mad by the process. However, instead of being taken out of Empire service, Gestahl kept it. Leo and Celes were the able generals of the Imperial Army, but Kefka was the Emperor’s scalpel, cutting off anything that threatened the Empire.
Kefka’s story was actually quite tragic, all things considered – he was turned into a mad weapon by an indifferent master, then slacked off into the world, which only made him wilder and more inclined. to indulge his sinister thirst for blood.
4 Sephiroth is the best: Hojo and Shinra’s machinations turned him into a monster
Kefka’s story is quite tragic, but it has nothing to do with Sephiroth’s. While there are similarities between the two, the fact that Sephiroth was experienced from birth by his own father and forged into Shinra’s ultimate weapon makes him a very likeable villain.
It all comes to a head in Nibelheim when Sephiroth uncovers the twisted secrets of his life and loses his mind. It’s hard not to feel bad for him at this point; the Sephiroth that players encounter at the start of the streak is very different from the one that goes up in flames. The machinations of those around him ruined his life and set him on the path to destruction.
3 Kefka is the best: his unprecedented cruelty makes him easy to hate
Regardless of how insane he got, Kefka’s ever-increasing cruelty throughout FF VI makes him one of the cruelest villains in the franchise. Fans get their first glimpse of it during the siege of Doma Castle – Leo wants to maintain the siege until those inside surrender, but Kefka wants to poison their water supply and kill them all. Leo leaves for an urgent race and Kefka takes care of it.
It only gets worse when he gains the divine power of statues, as he fry entire cities with the light of judgment just because he can. Kefka’s cruelty knows no bounds and only worsens as his power increases, making him an easy villain to hate.
2 Sephiroth is the best: he kills Aerith
Sephiroth is responsible for one of the most iconic moments in the FF franchise. The group heads to the northern continent, to the Cetra’s, and finds Aerith playing for the power of Holy to help them. It’s a reunion that’s ruined by Sephiroth, who falls and kills her.
It’s a shocking moment that is still effective all these years later, and it’s one of the reasons Sephiroth is considered one of the best villains in the series. Aerith was positioned as the main heroine of the game and Sephiroth killing her had a huge impact on the story and the players, cementing Sephiroth’s place as an icon.
1 Kefka is the best: he succeeds in his mission to create chaos
As Kefka positions himself as the main villain, he’s not doing it to take over the world. He doesn’t care about the Empire or the Returners or anything else. He just wants to be God and cause as much chaos and destruction as possible. Although he is ultimately overthrown, he succeeds in his mission.
Kefka’s rise to power completely reorganizes the world, shifting the continents themselves. Everything is changed and while he reigns there is no central power, only relentless chaos infecting everything with him on top of it all. Kefka didn’t want an empire, he just wanted the world to burn down and he succeeded in his mission for a while.
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