Final Fantasy bosses are swimming with challenging and exciting battles. Over the course of the series, the game has evolved from turn-based battles to more action-oriented gameplay. That has allowed players to see a variety of battles and types if you’ve played multiple entries across the decades. Bosses you see in more recent games like Final Fantasy 15 are grander in scale than those you might have seen on the Super Nintendo in the 1990s. That doesn’t always equate to them being more legendary, though.
Oftentimes, the final boss of a game is also the main villain, but that isn’t always the case. Especially for Final Fantasy. While we’ve ranked all the villains for the series, their ranking in that list won’t equate to where they fall in this one as a boss. Being a good villain doesn’t always equate to being a great final boss if they’re one and the same.
You won’t see either of the MMOs on here due to a large number of expansions and “final bosses” across those games and expansions.
Final Fantasy 2 Final Boss – The Emperor
The Emperor isn’t a great villain. We ranked him last in our list of all the villains in the mainline series. As a boss, he’s not all that great either. Perhaps the most interesting thing about him is that when he hits you with a physical attack, he replenishes his HP. Otherwise, the battle plays like a paint-by-numbers encounter with all the normal boss-type things going on.
Final Fantasy 10 Final Boss – YU Yevon
While Yu Yevon is a decent antagonist, he makes an abysmal final boss. It’s one of those situations where the final few battles (like Braska’s Final Aeon) leading up to him are fantastic, but the final encounter is more of a plot device. Some do consider Braska’s Final Aeon to be the final boss, but if we’re talking about the final battle, it is Yu Yevon.
Unfortunately, it’s near impossible to die in the final battle, and that’s why it ranks so low on this list of Final Fantasy Bosses. He only casts a spell that harms you for 75% of your current health and there is a permanent auto-life spell on your own party. The only way to lose would be to petrify your three main members, but why would you do that?
Final Fantasy 3 Final Boss – Cloud of Darkness
As far as bosses go, Cloud of Darkness isn’t particularly interesting. Perhaps if she had been more present in the story the battle would have had more stakes. Her inclusion is one of those instances where she’s behind the scenes pulling the strings for the person the game is painting as the villain.
The battle against The Cloud of Darkness isn’t very hard as long as you’ve saved all the Warriors of Dark in the final dungeon. If you didn’t do that, her defense is high and the battle is practically unwinnable. Otherwise, it’s just being sure you have healing classes to top off your party and others that will output high damage.
Final Fantasy 4 Final Boss – Zeromus
Zeromus, like several other Final Fantasy bosses, shows up late to the party. He reveals himself after the death of Zemus, the game’s main villain. Zeromus is born from Zemus’s hatred, and he is malice personified. Because of his late inclusion, it’s not quite as satisfying getting to kill him. You don’t even know the guy!
The battle against him features a typical rotation of strong attacks that do big damage. Nothing is particularly exciting or innovative. Once he’s defeated, he cries that he will always linger in the hearts of the living as long as evil exists. So, he’s pretty much never going to go away. Anytime you wish ill will on someone, just thank Zeromus.
Final Fantasy 9 Final Boss – Necron
For much of Final Fantasy 9, you’re chasing Kuja, the game’s slinky and sorta sexy villain. It’s his murderous rage, fear, and hatred that actually awakens the final boss of the game. It’s an odd inclusion final boss that still leaves players scratching their heads. In terms of Final Fantasy bosses, it’s hard to care much for him because of this.
Expect Necron to use high-level magic spells, multiple actions per turn, and to both buff and cure itself. Plus it has an attack called Grand Cross which can not only cause instant death but any number of status effects on your party. You better be prepared. Status effects are seriously the worst.
Final Fantasy 13 Final Boss – Orphan
Orphan is another instance of a final boss not being the main villain of the game. That dishonor goes to Galenth Dysley. He’s a bit more memorable than Orphan. Orphan comes into the game very late and, again, is the one responsible for a lot of what happens in the game. His late-game appearance hampers his maximum effectiveness as a final boss.
The battle against Orphan can be long because he has the highest HP for a final boss in all of Final Fantasy. Thankfully, the battle moves more quickly and damage can be dished out at a faster pace. The catch is that he can only be damaged once he is staggered. He doesn’t hit super hard, but he can cast status effects on you. At this point, that almost seems like a final boss crutch.
Final Fantasy 12 Final Boss – The Undying
Vayne, the main villain of Final Fantasy 12, isn’t the most interesting character. In a game full of political strife, betrayal, and murder, he’s mostly just a lot of talk. Once he merges with Venant and the freaking airship, the Sky Fortress Bahamut, he gets way cooler.
In battle, he can negate damage from attacks thrown at him and dispel buffs cast on your party. You know, the typical annoying boss behaviors. He’s also able to use signature moves from the Final Fantasy regular, Bahamut.
Final Fantasy 1 Final Boss – Chaos
Before it was as memeable as it is now thanks to the ridiculousness of Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin, you were actually able to kill Chaos. Chaos, the final boss in the first Final Fantasy, is no pushover. While his arc as a villain might be a little expected and cliche, the battle against him is surprisingly tough.
He uses all the major magic attacks that do high damage to all of your party. He also has an instant kill Earthquake attack that can be avoided by equipping a Ribbon. Chaos can also heal himself because, well, of course he can. Careful job selection for your party is required to make sure you have ways to counter all that he throws at you.
Final Fantasy 5 Final Boss – Neo Exdeath
It is still very funny that Exdeath, Final Fantasy 5’s antagonist, is a giant tree person. Once that tree form is whittled away, he is absorbed into the Void, and this form emerges. Neo Exdeath has a surprisingly cool design for being an early Final Fantasy. He’s a conglomeration of a variety of different creatures, beings, and humans.
The battle involves targeting different parts while also keeping yourself alive. There are quite a few tricks to making the battle easy involving the mime ability and summons, but regardless, Neo Exdeath is a much cooler final boss than Exdeath was a villain.
Final Fantasy 15 Final Boss – Ardyn
Final Fantasy 15 has some really exciting battles. With a much larger world, the scale for bosses, enemies, and summons exceeded much of what came before it. The battle with Ardyn is interesting. He is one of just a few bosses that does not morph into some large creature. Instead, he mostly remains looking like himself, though his appearance does change to become a little more sinister.
The battle with him has Noctis battling a foe that uses many of the same skills he uses. It is fast-paced, glitzy, and somewhat of a showstopper battle even if he isn’t particularly difficult. As far as Final Fantasy Bosses go, he is one of few who reaches his main goal, and that was simply to die. Thanks, Noctis!
Final Fantasy 7 Final Boss – Safer Sephiroth
Sephiroth is one of those characters you just knew would be the final boss. He is so present throughout the story and does some truly heinous things. The final battle with him comes in two parts. The first is against Safer Sephiroth. Behind the scenes, some interesting things happen with his stats. If you have level 99 characters, his hit points increase by a set amount. If you used the very long but high damaging Knights of the Round summon in the final Jenova battle, he’ll gain an extra 80,000 HP.
In terms of the actual battle, he follows a set of attacks that all do high damage so using your best materia, attacks, and setting up defenses is key. After he is defeated, a scripted battle against a bare-chest Sephiroth takes place that cannot be lost.
Final Fantasy Tactics Final Boss – Ultima
Final Fantasy Tactics doesn’t get enough love. It is a fantastic game that makes politics interesting and has cameos from other Final Fantasy games. It also features a masterclass in tactical and strategy-based combat that can be surprisingly challenging.
While Ultima isn’t a particularly hard battle, her story and how the final battle against her came to be is over a thousand years in the making. The battle begins with Ultima possessing a Succubus-like appearance, but once she’s been damaged enough, she morphs into a skeletal monstrosity. It’ll take some careful planning to take her down.
Final Fantasy 6 Final Boss – Kefka
Kefka is the best villain in the Final Fantasy series. No questions. (Unless you’re in our comments telling us we’re wrong.) As a boss, he doesn’t quite reach the heights of some other Final Fantasy bosses, but he comes close. He is one of a few villains in the series who archives his goal by becoming the God of Magic. Your party fittingly fights him in a heaven-like setting.
The battle starts out with an attack that immediately drops all of your party members to one HP and from there, you better heal. He has many incredible spells and abilities at his disposal. Your party is guaranteed to take a pounding. Between his power, the battle’s sky-high setting, and the challenge he presents, he’s one of the best bosses in the series.
Final Fantasy 8 Final Boss – Ultimecia
Ultimecia is one badass witch. She is ultimately trying to become God by compressing all of space and time. Her final form is a creepy and exaggerated version of what she looked like as a human. Many of the same colors and ideas from her original design are there, but they’re bigger and grander.
In battle, Ultimecia isn’t a pushover either. She can be one of the hardest Final Fantasy bosses if you’re not prepared. She can obliterate your Guardian Forces in a hit, deplete your magic stock and cause your stats to plummet, and cast Apcolapyse for high damage if you aren’t protected by Shell or Invincibility.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake Final Boss – Sephiroth
I know I’ll get a lot of pushback for this, but come on, it’s a fantastic, exciting, and beautiful battle. Final Fantasy 7 Remake drives a bit of a divide among fans for its adaptation of the original. Say what you want, it’s hard to deny the flashiness and cinematic quality in the final fight against Sephiroth. As far as Final Fantasy bosses, it doesn’t get much more exciting and visually stunning than this.
While the game offers a lot of nostalgia, there are definitely some moments that have fans scratching their heads. It’s clear the game isn’t following the original in every way. Had it been, this battle with Sephiroth wouldn’t even exist. He moves fast, does high damage, and swapping between your party members is key to defeat. If it’s any indication of what’s to come, we’re in for a treat!
That’s our full ranking of all of the final Final Fantasy bosses, please let us know how much you agree or disagree in the comments, and be sure to check out our ranking of all the Final Fantasy heroes!