Even though all of the mainline Final Fantasy games are supposed to be completely separate stories and worlds, there are various things that link all of the games together. For example, most-- if not all-- FF games have Chocobos, Moogles, summons of some kind, currency called Gil, airships, characters named Sid (sometimes spelled differently), and some form of crystals as a central plot point.
Of course every FF has weapons, but more specifically, they all have weapons that each have some kind of final, ultimate form. While said weapons are simply referred to as "ultimate weapons" in many installments, sometimes they go by a different name-- Final Fantasy III has Legendary Smith weapons, Final Fantasy V has Sealed Weapons, Final Fantasy X has Celestial weapons, and Final Fantasy XIV has Relic Weapons, to name a few. No matter the name, the function is the same: these are the best versions of the various weapon types of their respective games, and they are usually devastating in battle.
Though it seems obvious that every ultimate weapon is extremely powerful and worth the trouble to obtain it, that isn't always the case when you examine the weapons in the context of their individual games and the characters that use them. To be honest, sometimes it's just bias against a certain character that makes us dismiss their ultimate weapon, but that's valid when you have to spend an excessive amount of time leveling up a weak and/or dull character just to get their disappointing ultimate weapon.
Here are the 15 Strongest Final Fantasy Ultimate Weapons (And 10 Most Useless), Ranked.
25 Strongest: Caladbolg (FFX)
FFX remains a fan favorite to this day-- even if it took some retrospective appreciation to get there after fans saw the directions the series would go in after this installment.
In most FF games, the main character is also the most powerful, and Tidus certainly holds his own among the great primary protagonists in the history of the series. In particular, once he gets the Caladbolg-- don't bother trying to make sense of how to pronounce it-- his battle prowess goes through the roof.
24 Most Useless: Marvelous Cheer (FFVII)
Even among Final Fantasy VII's most hardcore fans, Cait Sith is a character that doesn't have many supporters. Few players latched on to him or spent much time bothering to level up the awkward-looking, clunky-to-use character.
From a statistical point of view, Marvelous Cheer-- also known as HP Shout-- isn't a terrible weapon. Among the other ultimate weapons in FFVII, almost all of which are extremely powerful, Cait Sith's is by far the worst of the bunch. It also requires using Cait Sith in the first place and leveling him up high enough to use it, which is already 3 strikes against it.
23 Most Useless: Loki's Lute (FFIV)
Some of the weapons on this list never stood a chance at greatness. There is only so much improving that can be done to a weapon that is barely a weapon in the first place.
FFIV's "spoony bard" Edward has an ability called Hide that literally lets him remove himself from a fight. That pretty much says everything you need to know about his effectiveness in battle. Only an obsessive completionist would even bother getting Edward's best lute, and even those that do probably still won't waste much time actually using the sad excuse for an ultimate weapon.
22 Strongest: Ultima Blade (FFXV)
Some people still refuse to accept a Final Fantasy game with non-turn-based battles, although that is only one of many reasons why Final Fantasy XII is one of the most divisive installments of any major game franchise in history.
Those who allowed themselves to get into FFXV found its battle system to be pretty enjoyable, and the protagonists are capable of unleashing some dazzling destruction -- especially once players start getting the game's best weapons, like Noctis' incredible Ultima Blade.
21 Strongest: Tournesol (FFXII)
After many consecutive (offline) installments where characters had their own unique ultimate weapon, Final Fantasy XII hearkened by to the earliest days of the franchise by allowing many of its weapons-- including their ultimate versions-- to be wieldable by multiple characters.
FFXII's ultimate greatsword is the Tournesol, the second most powerful weapon of any type in the entire game. In fact, the sword was perhaps too powerful, as Square Enix saw fit to nerf it a bit in the HD remasters.
20 Most Useless: Strange Vision (FFVIII)
In Final Fantasy VIII, Selphie, the game's resident manic pixie dream girl, is portrayed as clumsy but nonetheless uses nunchaku, which is the last weapon that a clumsy person should be trying to use.
With that in mind, perhaps it is somewhat intentional that Selphie isn't a particularly effective fighter. Unfortunately, she also doesn't seem to have anything else to make up for her weak weaponry-- up to and including ultimate weapon Strange Vision. She's just another FFVIII character that you will barely use.
19 Strongest: Masamune (FFI)
The Final Fantasy franchise's original "ultimate weapon" is the Masamune sword, a weapon that has appeared in some form in many installments of the series but was particularly prevalent in the early games, before characters really started to have their own unique arsenals.
The Masamune was special in the original Final Fantasy as it was equippable by any character, and was the strongest available weapon for any character. The most effective lineup, no matter what four classes you chose, was one where all four of your party members had a Masamune in hand. It wasn't until FFIV that it became a one-character weapon.
18 Strongest: Death Penalty (FFVII)
If you browse online forum discussions about Final Fantasy VII's ultimate weapons, you'll see a lot of hate for Vincent's Death Penalty. A lot of that disdain is valid, as Vincent's most powerful gun requires a lot of work over a lot of hours to maximize its usefulness.
Getting Death Penalty powered up to the best of its ability is no easy feat. Vincent needs to have delivered the final blow to a whopping 768 enemies, so it's really only possible through many hours of very finicky play. Those who put in the effort will find a weapon so powerful that it can one-shot basically any enemy in the entire game.
17 Most Useless: Total Eclipses (FFXIII)
The embarrassing Sazh Katzroy almost single-handedly undid all of the goodwill Lightning earned for Final Fantasy XIII. Having a Chocobo chick that lives in his afro is supposed to be fun and quirky, but it ultimately just comes off as ridiculous.
To be fair, Sazh's specialty is offensive buffs, so it's not necessarily a requirement that he also be a formidable fighter. However, he still typically feels useless in the party, even after he has his best weapon. Only through post-game sidequests is Sazh made remotely powerful in battle.
16 Strongest: Mace of Zeus (FFIX)
One of Final Fantasy IX's breakout characters-- and probably the only one that has had any kind of lasting legacy-- is Vivi. Modeled after the generic "black mage" from early FF games, Vivi was reinvented as a wise-cracking comic relief character in FFIX.
While magic users' actual physical weapons aren't usually much to write home about strength-wise, Vivi's Mace of Zeus is surprisingly powerful and also allows him to unleash his devastating Doomsday spell. It isn't the only Zeus Mace in FF history, but it's the most important.
15 Strongest: Holy Lance (FFIV)
It wasn't until Final Fantasy IV that the series really started to take shape in terms of storytelling and fleshed-out characters. Many fans still consider it the best of the series in both of those respects.
Beyond the fascinating love triangle between Kain, Cecil, and Rosa, FFIV is a fan favorite because of its introduction of the Active Time Battle system and it being the only mainline FF game to allow for a five-person party. It's also beloved because of Kain himself, who is one of the series' best combatants-- especially once he has obtained his Holy Lance.
14 Most Useless: Onion Knight (FFX)
As previously mentioned, magic users in the FF series aren't usually known for their physical weaponry, and they usually only wield them out of necessity since every character needs some sort of standard melee attack.
This is no different for Final Fantasy X's spellcaster Lulu, only the developers at least had a little fun with her default weapons and had them manifested as dolls that portray various cute characters within the FF universe. As fun as it is to see a Moogle or Cactuar hop across the battlefield, it isn't very effective-- and this includes Lulu's Celestial Weapon, the Onion Knight. Just keep it tucked under her arm and stick with magic.
13 Strongest: Strongest Halberd (FFXII)
Remember how we said in the entry for Final Fantasy XII's Tournesol that it was the second most powerful weapon in the game? Well, you probably knew we'd be revealing the first somewhere farther down the list-- and that's exactly what the Strongest Halberd is.
Like the Tournesol, theStrongest Halberd can be wielded by multiple characters, though most fans would argue that it is best-utilized by primary protagonist Vaan. The only downside to the Strongest Halberd is the obtuse method required to obtain it, involving random failed actions early in the game. Thankfully, it was made easier to get in the HD remaster-- though that version also significantly decreased its power as a trade-off.
12 Strongest: Lightbringer (FFVI)
Though the Lightbringer had existed in several FF games before Final Fantasy VI-- and was always among the most powerful weapon in any game it appeared in-- it wasn't until FFVI that the Holy-tinged sword really came into its own and entered the pantheon of all-time great and powerful FF blades.
Equippable by Terra, Edgar, Locke, and Celes, the Lightbringer has devastating attack power and doles out automatic critical hits-- though it also requires MP consumption to use. Terra has her own unique, superior ultimate weapon-- which we just might be discussing later in this list -- but the Lightbringer is most people's best choice for the other three people who can use it.
11 Most Useless: Tiger Racket (FFIX)
After Final Fantasy VII and VIII caused some longtime fans of the franchise to bounce off, Square tried returning to a more classic FF aesthetic reminiscent of the SNES entries.
Final Fantasy IX also made a lot of odd choices, one of which was introducing a new weapon type called rackets. Just like they sound, rackets are similar to something you'd use in a sport like lacrosse, only you're swinging them at dragons-- and sometimes they have cat ears on them. Yes, rackets are about as worthless as expected-- even the strongest available version, the Tiger Racket.
10 Strongest: Murakumo (FFV)
Sandwiched between the two best-loved 2D Final Fantasy games-- and not localized in the West for six years after its original Japanese release-- Final Fantasy V often gets unfairly overlooked by Western audiences.
Those who are fans of job systems in JRPGs in particular have good reason to revisit FFV if they missed out on it, allowing each character to master a whopping 22 different job types. If you're going a route that has your character in katanas, the powerful Murakumo is what you should aspire to, one of the best katanas in the entire series.
9 Strongest: Lion Heart (FFVIII)
A lot of people choose to look at the Gunblade-- the weapon of FFVIII protagonist Squall-- as completely absurd. It's a sword that is held like a gun and can shoot and slice at the same time-- but if you're playing a FF game for realism you're going to be disappointed.
Besides adding a fun little timing-based element to Squall's attacks wherein you can add a damage boost to your attacks if you press a button just as he is swinging his sword, the Gunblade also has the potential to be upgraded to its ultimate form, the amazing Lion Heart, one of the most powerful swords in FF history.
8 Most Useless: Last Resort (FFVI)
Back in the SNES days, Nintendo of America was a little overzealous with its censorship. The Final Fantasy series was hit with ridiculous edits like changing the spell name "Holy" to "White" and choosing to leave out the job title of FFVI's Setzer because he was-- gasp!-- a Gambler.
Tat's about the most interesting thing there is to say about Setzer. His attacks, which make weapons out of unimpressive items like cards, dice, and darts, are as weak as they sound and far too reliant on luck. His ultimate weapon, Last Resort, goes the card route-- and Gambit he is not, so there is no exploding or any of the like happening here.
7 Strongest: Cloud's Ultima Weapon (FFVII)
There are a lot of things in Final Fantasy VII that defy the laws of physics-- but perhaps the most egregious one is Cloud's impossibly massive sword that he should barely even be able to lift off the ground let along nimbly swing at enemies.
It stands to reason that the strongest version of Cloud's already dangerous sword would be among the most powerful weapons not just in the FF franchise but video games in general. Sure enough, the Ultima Weapon is true to its impressive name and is capable of doing serious damage to anything that it is driven into.
6 Strongest: Excalibur II (FFIX)
The Final Fantasy series has a history of having the strongest weapons rely purely on blind luck-- or a strategy guide-- to obtain them. In the case of FFIX, there is an ultimate weapon that is so hard to get that the weapon that is second-best to it is often considered an "alternate ultimate weapon" since it isn't as annoying to find.
Many fans accept Steiner's Ragnarok sword as his ultimate because the Excalibur II is such a pain in the armor to find-- but this list is about power, and Excalibur II is still the superior sword for Steiner, and one of the most powerful melee weapons on this whole list.
5 Most Useless: Godhand (FFX)
Following in the tradition of characters like Yuffie and Selphie, Rikku is Final Fantasy X's token peppy teenager who is always ready to give high-pitched words of encouragement while jumping up and down and flashing a peace sign or giving a thumbs up.
Somewhat surprisingly, Rikku largely uses her fists in battle, though she doesn't have the inherent toughness of a Tifa to convincingly pull it off. Instead, she is the kind of character you find yourself only calling on when you are out of better options. As impressive name as her Celestial Weapon has, her Godhand isn't strong enough to keep Rikku from riding bench for most of the game.
4 Strongest: Ragnarok (FFIV)
We don't know for sure if Rosa chooses Cecil over Kain in part because of his battle prowess, but nobody would blame her for picking the guy with the Ragnarok over the guy with the Holy Lance.
The name Ragnarok has been used to describe a lot of different things in the universe of FF-- an ability, a weapon, a summon, and an airship. It's hard to deny that it is most commonly associated with Cecil's ultimate weapon, one of the most powerful weapons in FF history-- except for in FFIV Advance and FFIV for PSP, where it is unfairly nerfed in favor of the Lightbringer.
3 Most Useless: Save the Queen (FFVIII)
Whips have a sterling reputation in video games thanks to the Castlevania series, but that's not to say that every whip in every video game automatically gets the same reverence as ones wielded by members of the Belmont clan.
All due respect to FFVIII's Quistis as a character, but her whips are not particularly impressive in battle. Even her strongest one, the oddly-named Save the Queen, isn't enough for Quistis to be a part of too many people's main FFVIII team.
2 Strongest: Apocalypse (FFVI)
In the original release of FFVI, Terra's best option for a weapon was the Lightbringer, which was also the best weapon for the other three characters who were able to use it. Something never quite felt right about such an important character having to settle for the same "best weapon" as other characters, which is something that the Game Boy Advance port rectified.
There are various quirks that keep FFVI Advance from being the definitive version of the game, but it will always be noteworthy for introducing the Apocalypse sword, an exclusive ultimate weapon for Terra that gives her a more fittingly special weapon all her own.
1 Most Useless: Gastro Fork (FFIX)
Many FF games have a token "weird" character, a character who stands out from the largely humanoid casts by being an animal, a robot, or some other type of unique creature. More often than not, those weird characters end up falling flat.
One of the last of this hopefully retired trend was FFIX's Quina Quen, a member of that game's fictional Qu race of genderless beings. Quina was useless, not only being boring to look at but literally having kitchen cutlery as weapons. Gastro Fork sounds more like something you'd have inserted during an operation than an ultimate weapon.
What's your favorite ultimate weapon in Final Fantasy? Let us know in the comments!