5 Underrated Square Enix Villains

It’s fairly safe to say that Square Enix is responsible for some of the most famous and popular villains in the entire industry. From Sephiroth to Xehanort, all the way to Mordegon and Lavos, Square Enix has created some truly memorable enemies for players to battle with over the years. But as Square Enix is a huge company that has developed and published an extraordinary number of games, there’s no doubt a few villains that are going to get lost in the shuffle.


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Among these forgotten and overlooked villains, some of them are potentially more intriguing than the more famous ones but were overshadowed by a more popular baddie. Some have even existed in Square’s most famous franchises, but got lost in the deluge of remarkable characters that the company has been creating for decades now. Even so, these villains are still worth talking about and make up some of Square’s more compelling enemies.

5 Judge Gabranth

Tragic Figure That Hides Behind The Mask

judge gabranth from ff12

Borrowing a bit from previous titles like Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy 12 is set in the world of Ivalice and is one of the best entries in the series, despite being one that didn’t quite catch on with fans at the time of release. In spite of all that, it still managed to produce one of Final Fantasy’s most underrated villains in the form of Judge Gabranth, the twin brother of main party member Basch.

Borrowing loosely from The Man in the Iron Mask, he keeps his brother imprisoned and demonstrates a sense of operatic gravitas that makes a great Final Fantasy villain. Unfortunately, due to FF12’s reputation at the time it was released, Judge Gabranth found himself at the bottom of the villain hierarchy. Yet he still remains one of Square’s most captivating villains.

4 Gustadolph Aesfrost

Theatrical Archduke That Seeks More Power

gustadolph aesfrost standing on top of a wall in triangle strategy

Square Enix has made great use of their HD-2D technology recently and one of the games that made the best use of it was Triangle Strategy, a brilliant callback to the days of Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy Tactics. This turn-based strategy game takes place in the kingdom of Norzelia, where Gustadolph Aesfrost serves as one of the primary antagonists.


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This sneering archduke engineers many of the game’s most important conflicts, playing a game of human chess that is up there with some of Square’s best schemers and planners. Triangle Strategy suffered from a somewhat mild critical reception, leading to Gustadolph being slept on by many fans. It’s a shame because he’s truly one of Square’s best contemporary villains.

3 Lucifer

Second-In-Command Of The Ten Wise Men

lucifer talking to the party in star ocean 2

Despite a cult-like following, Star Ocean has often been third or fourth in the JRPG arms race, but still remains one of the genre’s best franchises. And in what is arguably the best title in the series, the fabulous Star Ocean: The Second Story, the massively underrated Lucifer serves as the primary antagonist for the party.

One of the members of the Ten Wise Men, Lucifer’s appearances throughout Star Ocean: The Second Story are fleeting, but impactful. His cold, icy demeanor and theatrical dialogue make for some of the game’s finest moments.

2 Ultimecia

Time Traveling Sorceress With Vendetta Against SeeD

ultimecia sitting on her throne

While many Final Fantasy villains tend to make their power and intentions blatantly obvious, Ultimecia is one of the more subtle villains in the franchise. A powerful sorceress from the future, Ultimecia begins by possessing the body of a woman named Edea Kramer and setting her sights on the child soldiers of SeeD.


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Due to Edea’s popularity and role in the story, however, Ultimecia often gets overlooked. But she’s absolutely perfect in the role of a big bad working behind the scenes, as she becomes the driving force for the party to enter her sinister castle in the finale. Her strange dialogue, musical theme and aesthetic, as well as the immense challenge of her final battle, makes Ultimecia one of Square’s greatest achievements.

1 Lynx

PS1 Villain Is Square’s Most Overlooked Archnemesis

lynx from chrono cross staring at the camera

While Chrono Trigger may have been one of the most influential JRPGs of the 1990s, as well as being one of the Super Nintendo’s best titles, the PS1 sequel that was released four years later didn’t fare quite as well. It’s quite a shame, as it’s not only one of Square’s most underrated titles, but the lead villain Lynx is also one that fans have forgotten about.

Like many good JRPG villains, Lynx is wholly and deeply connected to the lead character Serge. Their complex story forms many of Chrono Cross’ most fantastic moments, as the multidimensional epic sees Lynx and Serge clash in a mind-bending struggle. Lynx is not often brought up in conversation, but he’s still one of Square’s most underappreciated villains.

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