The Best Female Final Fantasy Characters


  • The Final Fantasy franchise has a large fan following and is praised for its world-building, emotive stories, memorable characters, and immersive gameplay.
  • The best female Final Fantasy characters are not necessarily the leading ladies, with some of the series’ villains also making a huge impression on players.
  • The series has grown over the years with an increase in the number of female characters and their importance to the plots of their respective titles.

The Final Fantasy franchise is one of the best-known in the gaming industry and has been running since the release of its first title all the way back in 1987. These days, the series boasts 16 mainline titles to its name, as well as a plethora of sequels, spin-offs, remakes, and remasters.


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The games are often praised for their world-building, emotive stories, memorable characters, and immersive gameplay, and as such, the franchise has a large fan following. There have been many fan-favorite characters over the years, though surprisingly some of the best female characters from the franchise are not necessarily the leading ladies.

Updated February 12, 2024, by Tom Bowen: Though it perhaps falls a little short when it comes to main protagonists, the Final Fantasy series has provided plenty of memorable female party members over the years. The likes of Tifa and Terra have left a huge impression on fans, but they are far from the only ones. Just as the series has grown since the mid to late nineties, so too has the number of female characters in Final Fantasy games and their general importance to the plots of their respective titles. The best female Final Fantasy characters aren’t always heroes either, as evidenced by the strength of several of the series’ sinister leading ladies.

25 Jessie Rasberry

First Appearance: Final Fantasy 7

Jessie final fantasy 7 remake medium shot bar square enix

Although many still prefer the original game, the Final Fantasy 7 Remake project did an excellent job of further fleshing out some of Midgar’s inhabitants. Both NPCs and party members alike benefited from the 2020 title boasting a fully voiced cast of characters, but arguably none more so than Avalanche member Jessie Rasberry.

Much like her fellow eco-terrorists Wedge and Biggs, Jessie only played a minor role in the original release of Final Fantasy 7. However, Final Fantasy 7 Remake sees her take center stage at several points during the story. She makes the most of her time in the spotlight too; with the devs able to squeeze in some new backstory as well as teasing a potential romance between Jessie and Cloud.

24 Sarah

First Appearance: Final Fantasy

Sarah and Mog from Mobius: Final Fantasy

Princess Sarah may not be playable in the first Final Fantasy game, but that’s not to say that she doesn’t still have an important part to play in the game’s plot. What’s more, her legacy would continue long after the game’s closing moments, with her name being given to just about every other princess that can be found across the Final Fantasy franchise.

Perhaps the most interesting iteration of Sarah is the one from Mobius Final Fantasy, in which, the princess is not only playable but also one of the game’s three main characters. The short-lived mobile title did an excellent job of further fleshing out her character, providing a healthy mix of personality and backstory for players to sink their teeth into.

23 Faris

First Appearance: Final Fantasy 5


Though it may be a common theme throughout the franchise, not all Final Fantasy princesses are named Sarah, as evidenced by Princess Lenna in Final Fantasy 5. She’s not the only princess in that game either, with her sister Faris also serving as a party member a little later on in the game. Of course, when she first joins up with Bartz and Lenna, nobody knows her true identity.

The idea of a badass pink-haired pirate princess is a lot more interesting than the typical depiction of nobility found in Final Fantasy games. In many ways, Lenna and Faris would serve as a precursor of sorts for Edgar and Sabin in Final Fantasy 6, with each duo boasting a more traditional crown prince or princess as well as a laidback and alternative sibling.

22 Scarlet

First Appearance: Final Fantasy 7

Scarlet from Final Fantasy VII Remake

Having played a fairly subdued role in the original release of Final Fantasy 7, Scarlet’s prominence in both the 2020 remake and the Yuffie-centric DLC suggests that there may be bigger things in store for the Shinra executive this time around. Even if there aren’t, her role in Intergrade is arguably already enough to earn her a protuberant place in the series’ rogues’ gallery.

Fans of the original release will likely have fond memories of the slapping mini-game, which sees Scarlet and Tifa square off atop a giant Mako cannon. Given how evocative the villain is in the remake, one suspects that this iconic scene will be infinitely more powerful when fans eventually get the chance to experience it again in glorious HD.

21 Benedikta Harman

First Appearance: Final Fantasy 16

Benedikta in Final Fantasy 16

Benedikta’s time in the spotlight is relatively brief when compared to some of the other characters in Final Fantasy 16, but she still made quite a big impression on players. This was in part down to her fiery personality, but also to some of the mystique surrounding her past.

Benedikta is initially shown to be romantically involved with Hugo, yet through flashbacks, players learn about her past relationships with both Cid and Barnabas; two of Valisthea’s other Dominants. She’s one of those larger-than-life characters who steals every scene without doing anything in particular and is very much in keeping with the game’s Game of Thrones theme.

20 Aerith

First Appearance: Final Fantasy 7


Aerith wasn’t the first party member to die in a Final Fantasy game. Far from it, in fact. Both the manner and the timing of her death make it one of the most memorable by far though, and a big part of this is down to Aerith’s wonderfully whimsical character and the air of intrigue and mystery that surrounds her right up until that point.

From the moment Cloud and Aerith first meet in the Sector Seven slums, she’s a character who’s hard not to like. The more that players learn about her, the more meaningful her contributions to the group dynamic become. The darker tone that kicks in following her death only serves to highlight how important those contributions really were.

19 Celes

First Appearance: Final Fantasy 6

Final Fantasy VI Celes Cliff

Though Terra is generally considered to be the main protagonist of Final Fantasy 6, there’s an argument to be made that Celes is equally important. It’s she who guides players through one of the most depressing and soul-destroying sections of the game, demonstrating relatable emotions that, as a half-Esper, Terra just isn’t capable of.

What’s more, Celes’ overall narrative arc is infinitely more satisfying than Terra’s, with the latter’s relying more on a poorly explored and underdeveloped twist than any real substance. Celes, on the other hand, demonstrates real growth throughout the events of the game and, for the most part, does what needs to be done with very little drama.

18 Ultimecia

First Appearance: Final Fantasy 8

Ultimecia in Final Fantasy 8

Much like the series’ long list of heroes, the overwhelming majority of Final Fantasy villains have been male. It’s perhaps for this reason that Ultimecia stands out quite as much as she does, though it’s equally probable that her insanely powerful abilities also factor into her memorability somewhere.


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Final Fantasy 8 certainly has its issues, but one area where it truly excels is in its writing; particularly when it comes to the way it sets up its antagonists. Seifer and Edea perfectly dress the stage for Ultimecia, and her subsequent performance absolutely knocks it out of the park. Of course, it certainly helps that she can bend both time and people to her sinister will.

17 Yuna

First Appearance: Final Fantasy 10

Yuna from Final Fantasy X-2

Prior to the release of the series’ tenth installment, no Final Fantasy game had ever featured voice acting. This, together with the wonderful storytelling, hauntingly beautiful score, and captivating chemistry, made the relationship between Yuna and Tidus one of the most memorable Final Fantasy romances to date.

Unlike other potential love interests though, Yuna is not defined by her relationship with Tidus. In fact, it’s arguably the other way around. As a summoner, Yuna is far more important than the brazen blitzballer, yet still carries herself with dignity and grace. Players get to enjoy a more carefree Yuna in the sequel, with the additional depth provided by the game only serving to make her more likable.

16 Shantotto

First Appearance: Final Fantasy 11

final fantasy 11 shantotto

Shantotto is one of the NPCs from the first MMO of the series – Final Fantasy 11. As a Black Mage, she is largely tied to the Black Mage job questline, which was to be her only function originally. However, her character grew and she became one of the main NPCs in the overall storyline, as well as being the main feature of the A Shantotto Ascension expansion.

She is characterized by her signature laugh and unique way of speaking; in English, she rhymes, while in the Japanese version, she speaks formal Japanese. Shantotto is a fan favorite, so it’s no surprise that she features as one of the characters in the Dissidia series, and also cameoed in a timed event in Final Fantasy 14.

15 Serah Farron

First Appearance: Final Fantasy 13

final fantasy 13 serah farron

Serah is the sister of Final Fantasy 13’s main protagonist Lightning and she serves as the main reason that Lightning begins her adventure, with Lightning hoping to save her sister from her fate of being a l’Cie. Interestingly, by the second game in the Final Fantasy 13 arc, Serah became the protagonist, though Lightning regained the mantle of the main character for the third and final game.

Though Serah is arguably a forgettable character in the first game, which is understandable as she doesn’t feature on screen much, she more than makes up for it in Final Fantasy 13-2 and proves herself worthy of being one of the best female characters in the franchise.

14 Y’shtola Rhul

First Appearance: Final Fantasy 14

Y'shtola final fantasy 14

Much like Shantotto, Y’shtola is one of the NPCs of the next MMO of the franchise – Final Fantasy 14. Though she was initially a Conjurer, she went on to become a Sorceress, essentially a Black Mage, though she has some abilities unique to her.


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Y’shtola makes her mark on the plot of the game, with there being many memorable scenes where she kicks butt and proves herself worthy of being a fan-favorite character. She is notably another favorite who represents their Final Fantasy title in the Dissidia series.

13 Aranea Highwind

First Appearance: Final Fantasy 15

Aranea Highwind final fantasy 15

Aranea Highwind may only have been a side character in Final Fantasy 15, but she most certainly left her mark on the Final Fantasy fandom as her character simply exudes awesomeness. As a Dragoon, she is not only a worthy warrior, but she has gorgeous armor too, in keeping with the signature Dragoon style.

She features as a boss for players to defeat but is also a temporary party member later in the game. Her popularity with the fans has ensured that she has featured in many spin-off titles in the franchise, largely mobile-based games.

12 Beatrix

First Appearance: Final Fantasy 9

beatrix final fantasy 9

In Final Fantasy 9, Beatrix is the general of Alexandria, and as such, she serves Garnet’s mother, Queen Brahne. The player first encounters her as an enemy, though Beatrix later becomes a temporary party member.

Beatrix is steadfastly loyal to Alexandria and its citizens, which makes her a really admirable character. She is also able to use white magic in battle, as well as her Seiken ability, which gives her sword skills extra offensive damage, similar to Steiner’s Sword Art.

11 Fran

First Appearance: Final Fantasy 12

Fran from FF12

A playable character in both Final Fantasy 12 and Final Fantasy 12: Revenant Wings, Fran is the most striking character out of the two titles due to her being a member of the Viera race. It’s not often that the franchise offers players such a varied cast in terms of appearance and race, so it was refreshing to have the mysterious character of Fran included.

Though she is more reserved, Fran still oozes attitude and can quickly silence anyone with a stern glare. She is highly skilled when it comes to weaponry and combat and is a very worthwhile party member.

10 Selphie Tilmitt

First Appearance: Final Fantasy 8

Selphie from FF8

There were several decent female characters featured in Final Fantasy 8, but Selphie is arguably the best one. This cheerful young woman manages to balance a light-hearted character with more serious scenes, as well as offering up comic relief without it being cringeworthy for players to watch.


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Selphie is immediately endearing and players often forget that she deals with some of the worst heartbreak in the game as out of all of the Gardens, it is her home of Trabia that is destroyed. The scene where Selphie visits the graves of her friends and speaks to them is absolutely heartwrenching.

9 Freya Crescent

First Appearance: Final Fantasy 9

Freya from FF9

Freya is one of the companions that players come across during the story of Final Fantasy 9. She is Burmecian, a race of anthropomorphic rats that live in Cleyra and Burmecia. Freya is an awesome female character who strays from the usual guise of a Dragoon and instead has an outfit that is uniquely her own.

Freya’s touching side story about her seeking her long-lost love only to find that he does not remember her is just one of the many sad interludes woven into the tale of Final Fantasy 9. She’s one of the most memorable characters in the game and one of the best female Final Fantasy characters of all time.

8 Lulu

First Appearance: Final Fantasy 10

Lulu from FF10

Lulu is one of Yuna’s guardians in Final Fantasy 10 and is one of the playable party members. Fans were immediately smitten with her rather cool, gothic style and stern personality. Despite making an appearance in the sequel, Final Fantasy 10-2, Lulu was relegated to a side NPC who had recently become a new mother, rather than taking part in Yuna’s little Charlie’s Angels-like setup.

Unsurprisingly, Lulu emerged as a fan-favorite of Final Fantasy 10 as she offered a more mature female character than some of the previous women in the franchise. With this in mind, it’s a little disappointing that she didn’t play a larger role in the game’s sequel, though the continuation of her character arc was appreciated nonetheless.

7 Lunafreya Nox Fleuret

First Appearance: Final Fantasy 15

Lunafreya from FF15

Though heralded as the heroine of Final Fantasy 15, fans felt that Lunafreya had surprisingly little screen time in the game. Even though it seemed as if players barely get to scratch the surface of Lunafreya, she remains one of the most intriguing, and therefore, best female characters in the series.

Arguably, Lunafreya represents one of the few times where the female lead is the one pushing the events of the game forward and “saving” the hero instead of the hero saving her. Fans were bitterly disappointed when the Episode Lunafreya DLC was canceled, along with a few other episodes.

6 Terra Branford

First Appearance: Final Fantasy 6

Terra from FF6

Terra is one of the characters of Final Fantasy 6, all of whom share the spotlight as the “leading role.” Terra is probably the character who has varied the most in design, with her hair sometimes being shown as green or blonde and her outfit changing depending on whether it is official artwork, FMV, a sprite, or the game in which she is appearing.


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She is one of the best female Final Fantasy characters due to her character development from a Gestahlian Empire soldier to a member of the resistance. Then there’s her sheer power, which makes her a formidable force to be reckoned with.