Of the nearly countless RPG franchises from Japan on the market, Final Fantasy stands as one of the most revered and celebrated. It has seen dark days, but its impact on gaming and the genre is undeniable. Since 1987, each game has been pulling players into fantastic worlds filled with colorful characters, melodramatic plots, and addictive battle systems.
One aspect of the series that always showcases the creators' vivid imagination is the boss encounters, which often aim to strike fear into the hearts of players. Even if the battle itself is not difficult, the boss's design is always easy to appreciate. Additionally, many of the special duels are with characters who have been introduced and fully fleshed out, making it an emotional experience as well.
Because of the sheer amount of these present throughout the whole series, we felt it necessary to sort out the strongest ones out there, ranking them all the way up to the most devastatingly powerful. The next twenty five entries are judged not solely on their difficulty, but considering their abilities in the cannon. While some of the bosses do not pose a significant threat in battle, their abilities prove they have a power beyond imagination.
So get ready to grind, because here are The 25 Most Powerful Final Fantasy Bosses Officially Ranked.
25 Orphan - Final Fantasy XIII
Orphan is Final Fantasy XIII's final boss, and the party encounters the beast just as doom is about to befall Cocoon. The fal'Cie hoped to use Orphan in order to summon The Maker, who, as the name implies, creates worlds.
The battle itself can be a tough one if the player is unaware of the boss's very simple weakness. As it turns out, Orphan is vulnerable to Poison, and will be made more manageable if the spell is cast upon it. Because of its Achilles heel, this boss takes a low spot.
24 Chaos - Final Fantasy
Chaos is at the center of a dubious plan to create an endless cycle of evil and destruction. Four Fiends send the knight Garland back in time, who in turn sends the Fiends into the future in order for them to put Garland in the past first.
It's a little confusing and does not make a whole lot of sense, but it is a scheme the Warriors of Light must thwart none the less. Garland reveals himself to be Chaos, and the party dukes it out with him, ultimately winning and correcting the timeline.
23 Cloud of Darkness - Final Fantasy III
Final Fantasy III opens with mysterious events transpiring and a crystal instructing the party to bring balance to the world once again. Eventually, the player learns who is behind all the recent chaos.
A mysterious green entity known as the Cloud of Darkness seeks to not only destroy the world, but toss it into a void, making it appear as if it never existed in the first place. The menacing foe appears as a female, almost as an antithesis to the nurturing Mother Nature-esque forms present in numerous fantasy stories.
22 Ex Death - Final Fantasy V
The Crystals of Final Fantasy V are used to lock away an evil bent on destroying the world. Even inside its magical prison, Ex Death is able to manipulate events to its will, ultimately breaking the seal and initiating the world's downfall.
The party then faces it down themselves. After its initial defeat, Ex Death transforms into Neo Ex Death. Finally after this last transmogrification, the world ending entity is eliminated and the planet begins to heal. Ex Death is notable for getting closer to its goal than most Final Fantasy antagonists do.
21 The Emperor - Final Fantasy II
While Final Fantasy II is one of the weaker titles in the series, due in part to its easily broken character progression, it is still important for being the first title in the series with a fleshed out plot.
The ruler of Palamecia, simply known as the Emperor, is a mysterious foe for the party to face down. Even after his initial defeat, he returns from the abyss as a demon in order to end all life on the planet. Thankfully, he is felled once again, ending the empire's reign of terror.
20 Kaiser Dragon - Final Fantasy VI
This boss is only present in the Game Boy Advance version and all following releases. One may be hard pressed to access the Kaiser Dragon, let alone defeat it. Before reaching the optional encounter, one must first progress through the Dragons' Den. To enter this bonus dungeon, the party has to best eight legendary dragons found throughout the World of Ruin.
Only after finding and slaying these foes can the Kaiser Dragon be fought. The enemy goes through five different forms in the battle, forcing players to change tactics with each new incarnation.
19 The Two Bahamuts - Final Fantasy XIII-2
The sequel to the thirteenth numbered entry is bogged down by a confusing, nonsensical plot. The two Bahamuts seemingly come out of nowhere, but they still earn a place on the list by putting up a tough fight.
If the player is unprepared for what this duo throws at them, they will wipe the floor with Serah and Noel. The rest of the game is a cakewalk, so it comes as a surprise that the last boss requires tact. However, the fight hardly seems worth the effort considering the game's disappointing ending.
18 Belias - Tactics
The ability to summon Belias in this highly regarded spin off comes from the Stones. These stones grant its holder's deepest wish, regardless of its nature. If the person is pure of heart, it can cause miracles, but it can also be used to summon forth ancient evils, using whoever has the stone as a host.
The primitive graphics of the game do a good job in conveying Belias's horrific appearance, and the battle is on par with the game's sometimes unforgiving difficulty. Belias makes appearances in other titles, but he is the scariest here.
17 Zodiark - Final Fantasy XII
In this storied series, some things worth getting are often hard to obtain. The Esper Zodiark from Final Fantasy XII is a prime example of this, as it only becomes available to summon after besting it in battle.
The secret boss can be found deep in the Henne Mines, but one should not venture into its depths until they are at a high level and are well equipped. The Esper boasts over three hundred thousand health points and will sometimes become immune to magic during the fight, making for a challenging bout.
16 Necron - Final Fantasy IX
Necron is comparable SkyNet from The Terminator. It resolves that humans seek out their own destruction and the world would be better off not existing, so it takes on the responsibility of expediting this process. Of course, Zidane and friends are not about to just let that happen.
The omnipotent being is defeated, but ominously vows that it will always be there as long as there is life and its counterpart. The battle itself can be formidable, but it can be made easier with the right equipment and an intelligent strategy.
15 Zeromus - Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy IV's last boss falls victim to the classic trope of the true villain not revealing themselves until the very end. While this is an exhausted cliche, Zeromus is still a force to be reckoned with. The party is helpless against is and all hope seems lost.
However, everybody binds together in prayer in order to grant Cecil additional strength. This miraculously works, and Zeromus is destroyed. Were it not for the power of people's prayers, the party would have lost and Final Fantasy IV would have had a darker ending.
14 Ultimecia - Final Fantasy VIII
What's scarier than a malicious god? Perhaps someone who will stop at nothing in order to become one. In Final Fantasy VIII, this is Ultimecia's goal, and achieving it involves destroying all existence, achieving a singularity with her at the center.
Squall and party won't just sit idly by and let her go through with it, though, so they decide to taker her on. Her power is very great, but it ultimately becomes her downfall, as she ends up trapped in an endless time loop of defeat and rebirth, sealing her fate and saving the world.
13 Ultima - Tactics
The last boss in Final Fantasy Tactics was felled over a thousand years before the game's events, but was resurrected and used the protagonist's sister as a host. Eventually, the two separate and Ultima is a free being once again.
Thankfully, Ramza is able to best the beast before it unleashes itself upon Ivalice, but Ultima triggers a massive explosion in the process, seemingly sending Ramza and his sister off to an early grave. If players enters the battle unprepared or without saving before entering the dungeon, they could be in for a grueling and time consuming fight.
12 Bhunivelze - Lightning Returns
Bhunivelze plays a part in Final Fantasy XIII, but is only ever hinted at until Lightning Returns, the third entry in the trilogy. The god is essentially all powerful, with the ability to create and destroy worlds on a whim. His goal is to meld into every human's heart, thus ruling over the one thing over which he never truly had control, humanity.
During the final battle, Lightning is only able to emerge victorious with the help of her friends and the numerous summons. Even after this, it is uncertain if Bhunivelze is actually deceased or simply resting.
11 Omega Weapon - Final Fantasy VIII
At the lowest depths of the Deep Sea Research Center awaits the legendary super boss, Omega Weapon. Only the bravest of explorers will take the plunge, finding this mean boss battle.
Omega Weapon wields a gigantic sword, which is a replica of Cloud Strife's ultimate weapon from Final Fantasy VIII. The beast also has an attack that instantly knocks out a party member, even if they are at maximum HP. With the right strategy, Ultima Weapon can be a cakewalk, but running in ignorantly will spell doom for Squall and company.
10 Ozma - Final Fantasy IX
Ozma is entirely optional in Final Fantasy IX and best avoided by those who don't have the stomach to face it. What makes the strange creature so frightening is that it barely resembles a living being.
This multicolored ball is theorized to be a failed summon that was locked away, but it is hard to say for sure exactly what it was. All that players know is that this enigmatic monstrosity puts up one heck of a fight. Thankfully, the game warns players ahead of time of the bout, giving them a chance to prepare.
9 The Dark Aeons - Final Fantasy X
There are two things that make the Dark Aeons of Final Fantasy X so menacing. Firstly, they are super powered versions of Yuna's beloved summons who the party must battle. Secondly, they appear in innocuous locations throughout Spira, surprising unwitting players who want nothing more than to go about their business.
They can even be in the way of vital secondary items, making them harder to collect. Not only can the duels be endlessly frustrating, but they can also be downright obtrusive as well if Tidus does not collect certain items before the beasts show up.
8 The Unending Coil Of Bahamut - Final Fantasy XIV
The series' second foray into the MMO genre is chock full of intense, grueling battles with super powered beasts. Among all of these, the Unending Coil of Bahamut is said to be the most challenging.
In a single fight, the party is tasked with besting three bosses individually before they all team up. Each of the challengers hold more than five million health points, with the strongest having a whopping thirteen million. Players who defeat the three monsters can safely call themselves true masters of the popular online role playing game.
7 Kefka - Final Fantasy VI
Kefka is perhaps the greatest villain from the series' sprite era. He is more developed than the previous antagonists and, in an unforeseen twist, actually wins. Only after the party's defeat do they reform one by one in The World of Ruin in order to once more take on the maniacal knave.
It would also be a sin not to bring up his laugh and the clown make up when discussing the frightening presence. The boss fight itself will not send players running to the hills, but Kefka's effectiveness as a villain cannot be understated.
6 Adamantoise - Final Fantasy XV
Taking on the towering Adamntoise is optional for Noctis and his friends, but doing so showcases what Final Fantasy does best -- impressive scale. The slow moving giant is so massive that it initially appears to be a mountain.
The actual battle is more a test of endurance than skill, as it carries well over five million health points. Once it is defeated, the party will be greeted with small festivities where NPCs thank the player for felling the wild animal. It's not evil or brutally difficult, but the impressive size and appearance award the animal a high spot on the list.
5 Yiazmat - Final Fantasy VII
Yiazmat is the hardest and longest boss encounter in Final Fantasy XII, and maybe even in the whole series. At level ninety nine, this optional beast will still take at least an hour.
Throughout the lengthy fight, Vaan and company slowly chip away at the monster's fifty million health points while keeping an eye on their own dwindling life and resources. It is the last hunt and any player who has bested it has more than proven their aptitude towards role playing game. Afterwards, we suppose there is nothing else to do but take it on in the handheld spinoff, Revenant Wings.
4 Titan - Final Fantasy XV
Titan is fought near the beginning of Final Fantasy XV, and players are thankfully not tasked with completely slaying the summon. Instead, Titan simply tests Noctis's abilities before lending his aid to the recently orphaned prince.
The spectacle of the battle is more than enough to showcase the mythical being's unimaginable strength. Titan has been seen countless times before, but never has he been this large and meticulously detailed. It is fortunate for the party that Titan lends a hand in battle, and doesn't try to completely destroy the player.
3 Emerald Weapon - Final Fantasy VII
Emerald Weapon is a real pain the neck to battle. It has a staggering amount of health points, a special attack that deals damage based on the amount of equipped Materia, and must be tackled with a time limit if the player has not obtained the Underwater Materia.
The optional super boss is found swimming underwater, and can sometimes ambush players as they exit the underwater dungeon, the Gelnika. With the most powerful magic and the right strategy, Emerald Weapon can still wipe the floor with players just from one wrong move.
2 Penance - Final Fantasy X
Penance is such an intensely difficult fight that just having the chance to fight it requires beating most of the other super bosses. This arduous battle is only available once the dark aeons are defeated, which itself is an impressive feat.
It is recommended to have everybody's ultimate weapon fully upgraded, as normal arms barely leave a scratch. Well equipped characters with high stats do not mean a thing, however, if the player rushes in blindly. Only true masters who know the ins and outs of Final Fantasy X stand a chance.
1 Sephiroth - Final Fantasy VII
Sephiroth is not the hardest boss battle in Final Fantasy, and not even the most difficult one of his respective game. With the Knights of the Round Materia, he can be taken care of quickly.
However, he has one special move that exhibits incredible power and fury. Those who have played Final Fantasy VII already know that this is referring to Super Nova, an ability that destroys most of the solar system. Its hyperbolic animation borders on parody, but it means that Cloud and his friends are taking on a being so mighty that it can destroy planets on a whim.
Which Final Fantasy bosses are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!