Cecil Harvey - Final Fantasy IV
I'll come right out and say it – Cecil is my favorite Final Fantasy protagonist ever. The others on this list rank very highly for me as well, but Cecil is, hands down, my favorite personally. I could list out all the reasons why he is a complete beast from a fighting perspective, or why his cold (and eventually endearing) personality is so easy to relate to, but instead I want to focus on his story. While it is customary for characters to undergo figurative transformations over the course of a tale, it's quite rare to see them undergo literal transformations as well. Cecil is, at the start of the game, one of the most talented and feared warriors in the world with near-unmatched powers as a Dark Knight. As he grew in strength, he lets those powers consume him and he embraces the darkness to the point of no longer having compassion for his friends and loved ones.
Tidus - Final Fantasy X
Love stories are timeless, that's a fact. Love stories that involve dreams that were never actually real, villains that are in fact possessed versions of protagonist's fathers and sidekicks that are actually dead, well, those are the kind of love stories that you never forget. Tidus (pronounced Tee-dus and not Ty-dus as I thought throughout my childhood) is one of the most popular and well-received heroes the Final Fantasy franchise has ever seen, for good reason. His transformation from a cocky and self-centered athlete to a brave and heroic savior over the course of the game is truly incredible.
Before you start writing an angry comment about how the XIII trilogy has ruined the Final Fantasy brand and how they're the worst JRPGs of all-time, hear me out. First of all, the quality of the games as a whole is not necessarily relevant to the quality of the main protagonist. Second, plenty of other thingshave happened over the past several years that have soured the Final Fantasy brand far more severely than a few games that actually sell quite well. Finally, and this is the big one, Lightning is just an awesome character.
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