The Top 10 Best RPG Party Members Ever

The Top 10 Best RPG Party Members Ever


As any genre stalwart knows, an RPG is only as good as the characters you grind through it with.  Would anybody really have slogged through Final Fantasy XIII without Lightning?  But just being an awesome protagonist doesn’t get you onto this list, you have to provide the gameplay chops to hang with these heavy hitters.  Some of them are off the wall, heck some of them even suck as a character, but they all are a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield, and that should count for something!

 

 

 

 

10.  Dias (Star Ocean 2):  For those of you who have never played Star Ocean, let me explain the decision you have to make at the beginning of the game:  After a short introductory sequence, you are asked whether you would like to play as the swordsman Claude, or the magician Rena.  Each of them has a character specific to their playthrough.  While Claude gets some bratty kid named Leon, Rena can recruit the best swordsman in the world, Dias Flac.  So much for gender equality.  Dias is nasty, and makes Claude look like a real punk.

 

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9.  Geno (Super Mario RPG):  While Geno may not be the most attractive character (OK, he’s an absolute monster), he is a magical star-being that inhabits the body of a doll.  Why anybody would keep a Geno doll is beyond me, but it could have been worse.  Thankfully that kid wasn’t playing with Ken dolls.  All of his titular abilities are cool, but it’s the utterly devastating Geno Beam that really cements Geno’s place on this list.

 

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8.  Miranda (Mass Effect 2):  Honestly, I never really cared for Miranda as a person or as a romantic option, preferring to hook up with Tali (what’s behind the mask!?), but her combat prowess cannot be denied.  She is the only character who A) Provides bonuses to the entire squad, and B) Is the only character with Warp and Overload, effectively rendering any enemy’s armor, barrier or shield obsolete.  If you don’t believe me, boot up Mass Effect 2 on Insanity and see how far you get without her.  No really, I’ll wait.

 

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7.  Cecil (FFIV):  Dark Knights are cool.  There’s just no way around it.  The dark color palette obviously makes them edgy, and you get to do all sorts of bad things.  However, there comes a time when everyone needs to grow up.  As much as I loved that Dark Wave attack, Cecil’s redemption story was mind-blowing at the time, and made him one of the first video game characters I actually cared about.  He’s no slouch at combat, but it’s Cecil’s tale that really makes him stand out.

 

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6.  Banon (FFVI):  No, he’s not a real party member.  He’s really not as technically good as the other one-off party members you get (Leo and the Moogles), but Banon does have Health.  Enough said.  An instant, free-MP move that heals your entire party is obviously useful, but unfortunately Banon is short-lived.  However, he’s available on the Lete River, and that move takes on a whole new level of awesomeness when combined with the Lete River power-level trick.  Sadly, even being level 99 couldn’t save him.  R.I.P. Banon!

 

 

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5.  Auron (FFX):  There are cool party members, and there is Auron.  In a league of his own, Auron at first appears to be your typical stoic swordsman, but, as the game advances, reveals himself to be so much more.  Final Fantasy X had a convoluted story at best, but rooting Auron’s background in Jecht and Braska’s fight against Sin and infusing feudal Samurai lore into his character led to an unforgettable character.  Oh yeah, he also kicks major butt in a fight.  Square feels the need to keep bringing Tidus back, so here’s hoping were not quite done with Auron.

 

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4.  Vivi (FFIX):  The Final Fantasy series has never shied away from fan service, but they really knocked it out of the park with Vivi.  Both a nod to old school black mages and an ushering in of new ideas, Vivi was far and away the most popular character from the polarizing FFIX.   Perfectly encapsulating the black mage look, Vivi’s impressive combat skills and endearing personality made sure that he would become one of the more memorable FF characters, and a lock for our list.

 

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3.  KOS-MOS (Xenosaga):  A lot of people have never played Xenosaga.  If you’re one of those people, here is what you need to know about KOS-MOS:  She’s a super-powered robot who houses Mary Magdalene’s soul and is capable of re-configuring her body to add giant lasers and cannons capable of destroying entire star fleets.  Is there really anything else that matters?  It was always a sad time when they took KOS-MOS out of your party, but you knew she wouldn’t be gone for long.  That is one empowered chick.

 

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2.  Fighter (FF):  Cloud, Squall, Cecil; Final Fantasy has been home to some memorable (and not so memorable) protagonists, but, for my money, Fighter was the best of them.  While he technically wasn’t even a “real” character, and none of your warriors actually had any personality, I just can’t imagine playing through the original Final Fantasy without a Fighter leading the way.  He is an absolute tank, dealing way too much damage, and is capable of soaking up a huge amount of hits.  Sure he’s expensive to maintain, and a ginger nonetheless, but otherwise, it’s hard to beat the Fighter.

 

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1.  Orlandu (FF Tactics):  When a character’s nickname is (for some reason) Thunder God Cid, you can reasonably expect that he’s going to be pretty good.  Orlandu, however, is beyond good.  He’s game-breaking.  Able to use all the best sword abilities in the game is ridiculous enough, but his high stats and obscene starting equipment (Excaliber!) really seal the deal.  Once you get the Thunder God, the difficult FFT becomes a whole lot easier. Orlandu is simply an unreasonably strong party member, and our clear pick for number one.

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