As in most Tales games, the characters in Tales of Symphonia are absolutely fantastic and well fleshed out, and each and every character in this game is completely unique from one another! Easily my favorite part of Tales games are their characters, and I really like all of them to some degree, so this ranking was quite challenging! Now without further ado, RPG Ranked presents... Tales of Symphonia: All Characters RANKED! (by Personality).
9. Genis Sage - C Tier
Sorry, but not only is Genis my least favorite character in battle, but he is currently my least favorite character in Tales of Symphonia... as well as my least favorite character in the whole series (I haven't played every game, so take that with a grain of salt). Honestly, the fact my least favorite Tales characters is still in C Tier and not F Tier? That is a testament to how well-crafted the characters are in this series! While I thought the overarching story of discrimination toward half-elves was powerful and profound, Genis just eventually began to drive me crazy. He treats Lloyd quite badly judging that they are supposed to best friends, kind of leaving Lloyd in the dust when he meets Mithos. Yet Lloyd still treats Genis so well. This type of one-sided friendship absolutely pissed me off, not going to lie. I understand wanting to be friends with someone of your same race, but that doesn't mean you should go abandon your best friend! Honestly, during the opening hours of the game Genis was easily my favorite character, but with each skit and cutscene in the game, he just got worse and worse and worse until my opinion of him descended to complete rage. However, with an awesome backstory, I can't hate on Genis that much. He isn't too bad, but he still isn't great, so I had to put him in C Tier.
8. Raine Sage - B Tier
Definitely a step up from Genis, but still, I don't really love Raine all that much. Her big sister personality is awesome, her friendship with Lloyd is quite fun and realistic, and her backstory is slightly more compelling than Genis's. Her scholarly personality is hilarious and is a highlight for Raine, but she still carries over quite a few annoyances I had with Genis. She treats her problems with annoying quips and violence just like Genis, which doesn't exactly make me like her all that much, and her personality becomes by far the most one-note by the end of the game. She eventually just becomes a walking joke for the team, just making dumb jokes about books and stuff. Raine had the potential to be the most interesting character in the game, perfectly aligned with the themes of discrimination... but that just wasn't the case. Overall, I feel like Raine had so much missed potential and while I liked her, she wasn't exactly a fantastic character.
7. Colette Brunel - B Tier
I will admit, Colette is a darling character. She is incredibly kind, loving, and relatable... in some ways. In other ways? She is by far the least relatable character in the game. As a tropey "chosen one" character, Colette becomes incredibly annoying at times. Granted, the story revolves around her and the story is actually quite interesting for a "chosen one" story... but that didn't make me like Colette that much better. I think Zelos was by far the more interesting "chosen one" character. However, Colette definitely has some positives in my eyes. Colette and Lloyd have a fantastic friendship, and while it seems a lot more platonic than romantic to me, I really do like seeing this play out (I am more of a Lloyd + Sheena shipper because of the way they talk to each other, but I digress). As much as I like some things about Colette, she just becomes too annoying and a little too kind to be compelling. She literally is so nice to the point it isn't believable that anyone would ever act like this, and that just makes her so distant as a character. Overall, I really enjoy Colette's personality in a lot of ways, but really dislike it in other ways—and I feel the same about her story. She's great, but not fantastic.
6. Regal Bryant - A Tier
Not putting Regal at the bottom of this list will probably get some Symphonia fans all riled up—especially since the last few characters are huge fan favorites. But honestly? I loved all the intrigue built up around Regal's character. I wanted to know why he kept himself handcuffed, as stupid as it seemed. I wanted to know what all of his subtle hints to Presea were throughout the story. I wanted to know why he just, well, decided to stay with the party. I loved how we got a truly mature character to join the party once Kratos leaves—it just gave a lot more justification and levity for the more adult themes of this story. While his personality is quite bland and wooden, his story ended up being so touching and disheartening to me that I could forgive his boring personality. Regal just really felt like a fantastic person affected by the terrible world he lived in. He was plagued by guilt—he was fueled by guilt, something that is so sad, yet somehow, so relatable. Overall, I think Regal has a fantastic story—one of my favorites in the game—but truly, his bland personality and dialogue drops him very far down the list for me.
5. Presea Combatir - A Tier
Honestly, Presea shares my same problems I had with Regal. I like her story a bit less, but her personality a bit more—I guess I could've had these two switched, but Presea comes earlier in the game, so I put her higher on the list. Like Regal, she also has an element of deep loss to her story—less of guilt, but of sorrow. You can tell she's been scarred by the way she acts, and while that makes her a more reserved and less bubbly character, that is great in a game full of eccentric personalities. She's the most grounded of the group in my eyes, and her absolutely roasting Genis's romantic advances? It's absolutely hysterical (and well-deserved... sorry Genis, but Presea is way too good, old, and mature for you). While her story is just a small snippet in the game's much grander story, I'm very glad Presea was a part of this game, and I truly found her to be a great character.
4. Lloyd Irving - A Tier
I tend to like flavor characters more than main protagonists, so that's kind of a me problem. But as a whole? Lloyd is a very superb protagonist. We see the story through Lloyd's eyes, even though Colette truly is the game's main character (very similar to the relationship between Tidus and Yuna in Final Fantasy X or, to an extent, Jude and Milla in Tales of Xillia). Lloyd kind of gives self-insert vibes, as he knows very little about the expansive worlds of Sylvarant and Tethe'alla and their mannerisms, meaning he learns them right alongside the player. He oozes charm and his story by the endgame is very solid, even if not quite as good as the other characters. The affection system also adds quite a bit to Lloyd's character, as it really lets the player develop Lloyd's relationships the way they want to. However, as a whole, Lloyd is just a solid (yet mostly predictable) JRPG protagonist, as well-executed as he may be.
3. Zelos Wilder - S Tier
Womanizers are terrible, I will admit. Many people bill Zelos as a womanizer, but truly, that's not really what he is. A very flirtatious player, sure, but even then, he is still a very kind, funny, and loving guy (and you can really tell he is just flirty so that everyone can have a good time). He has a lot more depth than you would think at first glance—he thinks very highly of Lloyd, even if he doesn't show it very often. While tropey, I personally think that Zelos actually does this awful trope really well without pushing it to a disgusting level... and he is hilarious while doing so. Outside of his charming personality, him tackling his duties of the Chosen was very interesting, and his creative problem-solving is awesome. Overall, Zelos has the most fun (albeit most unrealistic) personality of the group, making him a loveable guy, and also a guy with a pretty epic story to boot.
2. Sheena Fujibayashi - S Tier
One of the greatest moments in Tales of Symphonia is when Sheena reveals she is from another world—Tethe'alla. This whole plotline was really awesome, and all of her plotlines related to the Summon Spirits were quite great! It was also really cool that she was originally sent to kill Colette, making her a villain. Then she eventually becomes sort of an anti-hero before finally becoming a full-on hero! She also has my favorite personality of any of the characters in the game. Why? Because she feels like she could be a real person much more than any of the other characters. Sheena has a lot of insecurities, regrets, and more, which is always nice for an older game like this one! Sheena also comes from a cool hometown, and there's a lot of nuance to her backstory. I really like her story about Volt, from letting her town down when trying to make a pact and later coming around full-circle when Corrine makes a valiant sacrifice so Sheena can't fail again. Overall, with a great story and the most realistic personality, Sheena is one of my favorite characters in Tales of Symphonia.
1. Kratos Aurion - S+ Tier
With two of Kratos's plot twists being arguably the best moments in the game, I love this dude. He's a complex anti-hero, somehow a pretty good dad, and an awesome character as a whole. Kratos is revealed to be a member of Cruxis for thousands of years until he falls in love and has a son—Lloyd. He's a badass, stoic warrior, but also a loving dad. He loves Lloyd, but like Regal, had to kill someone he loved because they became a monster because of an Exsphere. Kratos realizes through the party that there is still hope in the world, turning on Mithos and helping the party (either directly or indirectly based on your actions). I love how he always helps Lloyd so he can stay safe, yet he still doesn't agree with his actions at all. Kratos has tons of complex character traits and intriguing (yet heartfelt) moments, and because of that, he is hands down my favorite character in Tales of Symphonia.
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