Final Fantasy VI would not be a masterpiece without its amazing cast of characters. They are all unique and have defining personalities and skillsets that cause them to stick out from the crowd, but some of these skillsets simply don't match up to the others. Because of this, I felt obligated to rank all of these party members in today's article... Final Fantasy VI: All Characters RANKED!
Before we get started, I am going to define what each tier means:
E Tier - entirely situational, only has a few uses
C Tier - can do everything higher tiers can do, but to a much lower degree
B Tier - are either decent for both worlds or really good in one world
A Tier - entirely dominant in a powerful strategy
S Tier - entirely dominant in multiple powerful strategies, possibly to a slightly lesser extent than A Tier
Alright. Let's get started with the first character now!
14. Umaro - E Tier
World of Balance Score: N/A
World of Ruin Score: 14th
Okay, in an extremely casual playthrough where you are just trying to beat the game as fast as possible, Umaro wouldn't be too bad of a pick due to his high stats and his powerful attacks. Heck, I purposely put him in my main party for the final boss once just for the memes. And he didn't do too badly! Honestly, Umaro could be worse. But also, why would I use Umaro over a character who can Dual-Wield Ultima Weapons and hit eight times? Or why would I use Umaro over somebody who can Dualcast Ultima? Or why would I use him over somebody with the Dragon Boots and Dragon Horn? In a game where most of the characters can utilize one of the three broken strategies, why would I use a yeti I cannot even control? Especially in a game where there is a similar character (Gau) who can also cast magic? Sadly, even though his physical attacks are actually some of the best in the game, overall, his lack of magic and good special abilities places him in the E Tier. At least he is good in the Coliseum, as well as the best character in the Cultist's Tower :)
13. Gogo - C Tier
World of Balance Score: N/A
World of Ruin Score: 12th
Gogo is a very fun character to have in your party. He can Mimic abilities in battle, and he can equip up to three command abilities useable by other party members! This makes Gogo an incredibly versatile character. However, it comes with a catch: he, like Umaro, can not utilize Espers to raise his stats. To add to that, he also has by far the worst stats in the game. Because of this, he is just incredibly less reliable than just using the character who boasts the original skillset. Due to the fact that physical attacks and magic are the most dominant skillsets anyway, there's almost no reason to use Gogo with his super low stats and weak abilities. Overall, Gogo has great versatility, but he doesn't have the stats or equipment to back it up. Hey... at least he is the best character in the Coliseum!
12. Strago - C Tier
World of Balance Score: 10th
World of Ruin Score: 11th
In the World of Balance, Strago is an okay character. Though I find him to be the worse Blue Mage of the game (Gau is better for sure), he is able to decent damage with Aqua Breath and a couple other Blue Magic spells he has. However, he is gained far too late in the World of Balance to be put to good use, so honestly, I would just stay away from him except for when he is required to be in your party. Though his magic stat is the fourth best in the game and he can equip costumes, Relm can equip costumes and female-equipment and brushes and has the best magic stat in the game. And Celes and Terra have amazing equipment and better magic stats. So why even use Strago when those three girls are just better? Let's move on to the World of Ruin.
In the World of Ruin, there are only two reasons to use Strago: White Wind and Mighty Guard. Otherwise, he is almost useless due to just being inferior to the three girls I just mentioned. I do find Mighty Guard to be incredibly useful, but not useful enough to waste one of my four party slots on this old man. Sorry Strago, but overall, you are just severely outclassed by your younger comrades.
11. Cyan - C Tier
World of Balance Score: 7th
World of Ruin Score: 13th
In the World of Balance, Cyan is basically a much slower version of Sabin. He will be one of your strongest single-target attackers, and his exclusive katanas help save your other weapons for the more generic attackers. His Fang and Flurry abilities are especially great in beating up bosses and stronger targets alike due to their high power and defense-breaking capabilities. Though he is slower and weaker than Sabin or Edgar, he is still a great pick for your fourth party slot in the World of Balance. He was almost always in my party in the World of Balance except for when I could use Shadow over him!
As much as Cyan is one of my favorite characters story-wise, he is a piece of garbage in the World of Ruin. His katanas become incredibly weak compared to basic swords, and the only Bushido that can actually do enough damage to match other characters are much too slow to be impactful. In the time Cyan can use his "powerful" Tempest command to do four times the damage of a basic attack, I could attack at least twice with a character equipped with the Genji Glove and the Master Scroll (at least 16x damage). And even worse? In earlier versions of the game, you have to wait for Cyan to charge his Bushido before you execute other commands! Overall, even though Cyan is pretty great in the World of Balance, his equipment and ability speed are far too bad for him to be useful in the World of Ruin.
10. Setzer - C Tier
World of Balance Score: 9th
World of Ruin Score: 9th
Setzer is a very interesting character, as he is arguably the most average character in the game. His Slots and physical attacks are both decent, but nothing to write home about. His Slot command is decent in the World of Balance, as he can deal around the same amount of damage as Edgar's Auto Crossbow with abilities like Prisimatic Flash! However, it is too random for it to be reliable, in my opinion. His Slot command isn't that bad, but it isn't that good either. And besides, you get Setzer so late in the World of Balance that there isn't really a point of using him anyway.
In the World of Ruin, Setzer is even more interesting. He is one of the three characters required to beat the game, so that's a bonus for him. His Slots are still slightly relevant at the beginning of the World of Ruin, but he quickly falls off to become one of the weakest characters in the game... that is until you get the Dice, Fixed Dice, and the Death Tarot. Once you get those weapons, Setzer can become a pretty dominant character! However, in a game where no weapon can out-pizza the Ultima Weapon or the Valiant Knife, overall, Setzer is always just an average character that isn't bad, but isn't good.
9. Relm - B Tier
World of Balance Score: 11th
World of Ruin Score: 7th
Relm, just like Strago and Setzer, joins the party a little bit too late in the World of Balance for my liking. Here, she has decent magic and equipment, but I don't really see why anybody would use her over Terra when Terra has the broken Trance ability. Her Sketch command, though fun, is easily the worst special ability in the game. Honestly, I hate to say this, but Relm is worse than Strago in the World of Balance. Take the L, Relm, you suck in the first half of the game!
I find this to be the perfect time to cover my World of Ruin philosophy of "The Four." I always have four slot for my party members, and I call this philosophy "The Four." The first slot always has my character that is great at Dualcasting Ultima with the Soul of Thamasa + Celestriad. The second category has my character best suited towards using the Master Scroll and Genji Glove. The third category? The Dragon Horn and the Dragon Boots. And last but not least is... wait for it... my healer and buffer (so crazy, right?). Anyway, my point of explaining this is that Relm is the optimal character for the first slot of this philosophy. Relm becomes the best magic caster in the game due to her great equipment and her insanely high magic stat! Because of this, she is one of the best party members to have in the World of Ruin! Overall, Relm is one of "The Four" to use in the World of Ruin, but since she is such a terrible character in the World of Balance, I had to rank her in B Tier.
8. Locke - B Tier
World of Balance Score: 12th
World of Ruin Score: 4th
Oh my gosh. Locke is so dreadful in the World of Balance. Like, I love him so much in the World of Ruin, but he is the only character who has almost nothing going for him! All he can do is steal and physically attack, and physically attacking is almost always the weakest thing you can do in the World of Balance! Don't put Locke in your party unless you really want to steal something. Please, don't do that to yourself!
Now the World of Ruin? Locke is so sick. I personally find him to be the best character to utilize the second of "The Four." The Valiant Knife is my personal favorite weapon in the game, and the Valiant Knife + Ultima Weapon combo is easily the best option for the Master Scroll + Genj Glove combo! Overall, Locke goes from the worst character in the game to becoming the game's best damage dealer. From a Thief, to a treasure hunter, to an Onion Knight. What a progression.
7. Sabin - B Tier
World of Balance Score: 3rd
World of Ruin Score: 10th
Sabin's Blitz command is a joy to use, which is perfect because it is also broken! He is easily one of the strongest single-target attacker in the game during the World of Balance, and you should definitely keep in your party during any segment that you can. Though his equipment isn't the best, his damage is well worth it.
Sadly, even though Sabin is sitll a strong character, he really falls down the ranks in the World of Ruin due to his weak equipment and his lack of any of "The Four." His Phantom Rush cannot do anymore than 9,999 damage, and his Chakra isn't quite enough to keep him in the party, as nice as it is. Overall, Sabin is an amazing character in the World of Balance, but quickly falls into obscurity during the World of Ruin... but since he is so dominant in the World of Balance, it felt wrong to place him any lower on the list.
6. Gau - A Tier
World of Balance Score: 6th
World of Ruin Score: 8th
Gau is interesting. If you don't invest time into learning his Rages, he is easily the worst character you can ahve. But if you give him the time and effort he deserves, he can became an amazing choice to have in your party! His versatility in his Rage skillset is something that no other character has... and it costs no MP! Want to kill Ultros? Give him a rage with Fira! Want to decimate enemies with insanely strong physical attacks? Give him Cat Scratch. Want to quickly beat the Magitek Research Facility? Give him a Rage that casts Thundara. Honestly, Gau is a lot stronger than most people give him credit for.
Though Gau isn't an amazing endgame character, per se, you should recruit him as early as possible in the World of Ruin. His Cat Scratch is insanely powerful, and give him the Snow Scarf and the Master Scroll? He can be completely broken. And yes, you heard me right. The Master Scroll works with Cat Scratch. This lets him do sixteen times damage with one click of a button. Though this is later outclassed by other characters due to the nature of the damage limit, and is slightly unreliable since it is only a 50-50 chance of working, it is still a great option until characters like Locke, Edgar, or even Setzer get strong enough to hit 9,999 with their attacks. Overall, Gau is incredibly powerful in the World of Balance and for the first portion of the World of Ruin, but he falls of by the endgame due to being outclassed and due to his unreliable nature.
5. Mog - A Tier
World of Balance Score: 8th
World of Ruin Score: 6th
Mog is cute and pretty decent in the World of Balance! His high starting level and his supportive Dance abilities make him a not-too-shabby pick! Though he doesn't have anywhere near the versatility of Gau, he still can effectively support the team or damage all the enemies on the screen! Though I wouldn't recommend him in the World of Balance, he still easily outclasses weaker characters like Setzer or Strago.
In the World of Ruin, he truly becomes one of the best characters in the game. Not only is he the strongest choice for the Dragon Boots + Dragon Horn combo, but he also has two of the best pieces of equipment in the game: the Snow Scarf and the Molulu's Charm! He can become almost invincible by jumping and equipping the Snow Scarf, all while doing tons of damage... overall, he is just an amazing character, but not quite as good as the next four characters.
4. Shadow - S Tier
World of Balance Score: 4th
World of Ruin Score: 5th
In the World of Balance, Shadow is best used as a very powerful and swift attacker, rapidly throwing Shurikens and dodging attacks. With the power of Shurikens, Shadow can be almost as strong as Sabin... and faster too! Sadly, he has a limited stay in your party during the World of Balance, but he has plenty of times to shine and I recommend that you use him as much as you can!
In the World of Ruin? Though this sounds counterintuitive due to his dark demeanor, I find him to be the best White Mage in the game, and the only one who can fulfill the fourth of "The Four" better than any other character. With the right weapon and Relics, he can have more than 100% evasion with little effort... give him some Magic Defense-boosting equipment, and he will be the ultimate tank! This makes him the perfect support character, as he can survive better than any other character. On top of all of this, he has Interceptor and his powerful Throw command, so he can do tons of damage, support the party, and heal all at the same time. Though Shadow is the most debatable of the characters I have put in the S Tier, overall, I think he deserves it due to his sheer survivability that no other character can attain.
3. Celes - S Tier
World of Balance Score: 5th
World of Ruin Score: 2nd
Celes is one of the two characters that has access to Magic from the get-go, which makes her a very good character to use up until you get access to Espers for the rest of the party. After that, she becomes quite a bit weaker since she doesn't have any broken abilities like Trance to keep her going, but her Runic and her equipment allow her to still be an A Tier pick for the latter half of the World of Balance. I would recommend having either Celes, Gau, Shadow, or Cyan as your fourth party member in the World of Balance... so take your pick!
In the World of Ruin, she becomes even better and manages to even surpass Terra! Due to her Runic ability still being somewhat relevant (and Trance not being relevant), she becomes even better than Terra! Mash her equipment, her Runic, and her ability to use both the first and second of the "The Four" effectively, and you've got one of the best characters in the game.
2. Terra - S Tier
World of Balance Score: 2nd
World of Ruin Score: 3rd
Terra starts off an incredibly poweful character due ot her innate ability to use Magic. Her healing spells completely carry the party, and her elemental spells can be put to great use to finish off groups of enemies hit by Auto Crossbow or to decimate bosses. However, once everybody else starts learning Magic from Espers, Terra becomes less special, right? Wrong. On top of having some of the best equipment of any character, Terra has the Trance ability, which is the strongest ability in the entire World of Balance when it comes to fighting boss battles. As long as you do not abuse this ability during enemy fights, she can become the ultimate battle machine during bosses and end them within seconds. Make sure you take Terra (as well as Sabin and Edgar) anywhere you go in the World of Balance!
Luckily, Terra does not fall off the map during the World of Ruin... she only gets better! Her ability to fulfill both the first and second of "The Four" makes her an incredibly strong and versatile character no matter the situation! Sure, I think she is a little weaker than Celes in the World of Ruin since Trance isn't very useful anymore, but she still is much better than most of the other characters in the game! Overall, Terra is an amazing character from the start of the game to the end, which can only be said about one other character on this list...
1. Edgar - S Tier
World of Balance Score: 1st
World of Ruin Score: 1st
Edgar is utterly broken in the World of Balance, boasting the best single-target and multi-target attacks in the game... as well as great equipment. His Auto Crossbow, Drill, and Chainsaw can all wipe out enemies like no other character, making him an absolute must-have in your party. Though his Tools fall off during the endgame, there is no denying their incredible strength in the World of Balance.
When it comes to the World of Ruin, Edgar is the only character in the game who can fill the second and third slots of "The Four" with great proficiency. His ability to equip all spears and swords is unrivaled, and it allows him to fit the roll of either a Dragoon or a Ranger. It is absolutely insane how broken they made Edgar in this game, and overall, he is easily the strongest character in Final Fantasy VI.
As a bonus, I'll throw in some of my favorite party combinations:
My World of Balance Team: Terra, Edgar, Sabin, Gau/Shadow
My World of Ruin Team: Locke, Edgar, Celes, Shadow
Physical Team: Locke, Mog, Shadow, Sabin
Magical Team: Terra, Celes, Relm, Strago
Balanced "The Four" Team: Edgar, Celes, Terra, Shadow
"The Four": Mog, Locke, Relm, Shadow
The Worst Team: Cyan, Strago, Umaro, Gogo
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