The Final Fantasy series is home to some of the most iconic villains in video game history. These antagonists are likely to strike fear in the player due to their motivations, designs, and personalities, but not all of them are as evil as they seem. Some villains feature heart-wrenching backstories and compelling character arcs that suggest they are worthy of forgiveness, but only a few have had the luxury of obtaining it.


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Final Fantasyis no stranger to implanting complex characters into its stories, with some becoming even more lovable than the protagonists. Most of Final Fantasy’s villains have wrought too much chaos to be worthy of redemption, but there are some exceptions.

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5/5 Ultros – Final Fantasy 6

Terra and her companions first encounter Ultros while navigating the Lethe River. Unlike all other random encounters before this battle, Ultros tends to speak to the party and poke fun at them in whatever way he can. He returns multiple times throughout the story to hinder Terra’s journey and, though his appearance implies he is nothing more than a monster, his true disposition is revealed during his encounter with Relm.

Ultros has no trouble with verbally assaulting his enemies, but his attempt at mocking Relm results in severe backlash from the other party members. Relm is clearly insulted by Ultros’s remarks and threatens to jump to her death in response to them. Terra takes this opportunity to scold the purple octopus for hurting the child’s feelings, but Ultros doesn’t know how to react. In the end, he apologizes to Relm and asks her to sketch his portrait. Though it may not seem like it at first, it is clear that Ultros has a heart. Perhaps if Final Fantasy 6 allowed him the time, he could have sought redemption.

4/5 Gabranth – Final Fantasy 12

Prior to joining the Archadian Empire, Noah was nothing more than a young boy lost in a world at war. He relied on his brother, Basch, to keep him and his family safe, but Basch’s decision to join the Resistance left the young Noah resentful and bitter. Noah believed that his home in Landis was destroyed due to Basch’s absence and came to despise his brother. As a result, he joined the army that invaded his homeland in search of power and also to punish Basch for abandoning him.

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Gabranth journeyed to Nabudis in an attempt to win the war for Archadia. While there, he used his likeness to Basch to impersonate him and kill King Raminas. He kept his brother locked away for years after these events solely to berate him about his failings until, one day, he finally escaped. Though his methods were cruel, Gabranth was a hero in his own way. He swore to protect Lord Larsa from all harm, even if it meant committing treason. He knows what it feels like to be abandoned and refuses to allow the young lord to share these feelings. Gabranth could have achieved redemption if given the time to seek it but, sadly, he was not.

3/5 Shuyin – Final Fantasy X-2

Final Fantasy X-2 follows Yuna’s time as a sphere hunter. With Sin gone, Yuna has the chance to create a whole new life for herself and decides that scavenging Spira in search of relics from the past is her newfound purpose. Her new life is happy, but the discovery of one particular sphere quickly turns her world upside down.

Said sphere depicts an individual who looks surprisingly like Tidus, Yuna’s once thought to be deceased lover. This discovery prompts Yuna to double her search efforts in the hope of reuniting with her true love, but she eventually discovers the man on the sphere is not who she thinks. Though Shuyin looks like Tidus, he is a completely different person. His goal in Final Fantasy X-2 is to take revenge on Bevelle for the death of his fallen love, Lenne. Shuyin died during Bevelle’s war on Zanarkand, but his devout hatred allowed him to live on. Though he eventually accepts his fate and fades away, he could easily have been redeemed if he saw past his anger.

2/5 Ardyn – Final Fantasy 15

The events of Final Fantasy 15 set out to paint Ardyn as an inherently evil villain and, though he offers little reason for the player to think otherwise, it isn’t exactly accurate. Ardyn was blessed with the gift to heal others by the gods and was led to believe that it was his destiny to save the world. Sadly, he never got to fulfill this role as his envious brother, Somnus, tarnished Ardyn’s name and banished him from his kingdom. Ardyn felt betrayed, but it was only upon meeting Verstael Besithia that he began contemplating revenge.

Ardyn’s primary goal is to reclaim what he believes is rightfully his. He harbors a tremendous hatred for the brother, and thus the family, who cast him out but only because of Niflheim’s manipulation. If left alone, Ardyn could very well have started a new life as a healer. This never happened, however, as Ardyn’s anger was fueled and subsequently directed at the kingdom Niflheim sought to take over. He did some truly terrible things and nearly destroyed the entire world to achieve his stolen destiny, but he could have been redeemed if the gods listened to his pleas.

1/5 Seymour – Final Fantasy 10

Seymour is first introduced to the player upon arriving in Luca before the Biltzball tournament. Though he manages to convince all those who encounter him that his intentions are noble, the ominous music that accompanies him suggests that the player should not. Since childhood, Seymour was forced to face a great deal of persecution due to his lineage. He was viewed by his peers as an abomination regarding his Guado father and human mother and was thus cast aside by both races.

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To convince Spira that Seymour was a figure worthy of respect, his mother chose to transform into an Aeon, so Seymour could call upon her to defeat Sin. However, Seymour chose a different path and allowed his trauma to slowly contort his view of the world. He decided that freeing Spira from its sadness would require the world’s destruction. His intentions were once noble, but his methods were too extreme. Perhaps if his family protected him from the world, he may have grown up to be a more heroic symbol worthy of redemption.

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