While each game may have a handful of its own unique weapons, the vast majority of the equipment found in Final Fantasy games shows up repeatedly throughout the series’ many entries. The strongest weapons typically vary from game to game, but there are some which find themselves near the top of the rankings time and time again.
Many of these weapons are based on real-life blades and swords while others are quite literally the stuff of legend. There are one or two top-tier original weapons as well, although as is the case throughout the franchise, folklore and mythology play an important role in fleshing out the series’ dense lore.
10 Death Penalty
First appearing in Final Fantasy VII, the Death Penalty serves as Vincent’s ultimate weapon and can be acquired in Lucrecia’s Cave. It’s based on the Colt revolving rifle and while it may not be inherently powerful, it comes with a somewhat unique perk.
The weapon becomes increasingly powerful with each additional enemy that it slays, meaning that it has almost limitless damage potential. Due to the way that damage is calculated in the game, however, there is a theoretical maximum; although even this places it far above all of the other weapons in the game.
Although the vast majority of the series’ most powerful weapons are bladed, there are a couple of incredibly useful rods and staffs as well. The most impressive of these is perhaps the Nirvana, which is not only powerful but also offers some very useful perks.
In Final Fantasy X, it is Yuna’s most powerful weapon and reduces the cost of all spells and summons to just a single MP. The Nirvana is also one of the best weapons for Vanille in Final Fantasy XIII while also offering an ATB gauge segment and the Nirvana Zeta is the most powerful White Mage weapon in Final Fantasy XIV.
Based on the legendary Celtic blade of the same name, the Caladbolg is a two-handed greatsword that was said to leave behind a rainbow-like arc when swung. According to legend, it was supposedly so powerful that it could slice the tops off of mountains or cut through an entire army like hot butter.
Although its appearances throughout the Final Fantasy series have been incredibly limited, the Caladbolg serves as Tidus’ Celestial weapon in western releases of Final Fantasy X. Once fully powered up with the Sun Crest and Sigil, it’s able to break the damage limit, completely ignore enemy defenses and becomes more powerful when Tidus’ HP is full.
The Muramasa is named after a Japanese swordsmith called Sengo Muramasa. His katana swords were incredibly popular during the Muromachi period and eventually became the blades of choice for Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu and his subjects. As time has passed, however, the swords have garnered a reputation for being cursed.
Many believe that the blades exhibit an unquenchable thirst for blood and, in some cases, can even compel their wielders to take their own lives in their attempts to satisfy this craving. It’s for this reason that they are often referred to as Demon Blades and this is also the case in several of the Final Fantasy games.
The Lightbringer is an incredibly powerful sword that is imbued with holy magic. This, and its high attack stats, make it an incredibly effective weapon — especially when up against undead enemies. It’s the most powerful weapon available in both Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI and is up there with the very best in many of the other games that it appears.
Although not quite as powerful, the Deathbringer is not too dissimilar although is imbued with dark magic rather than holy. Its attack stats are usually fairly high, but what makes the blade so deadly is its ability to instantly kill enemies with a single strike. As with other insta-kill attacks in the series though, the chances of it doing so can be fairly low.
Most people consider Goro Nyudo Masamune to have been the greatest Japanese swordsmith of all time. With this in mind, it’s not too surprising that his work would go on to inspire one of the most iconic and deadly weapons in the Final Fantasy franchise.
Its most famous wielder is almost certainly Sephiroth and it was with the Masamune that he so memorably murdered Aerith. Sephiroth isn’t the only Square Enix character to have gotten their hands on a Masamune blade though, with Auron, Zidane, and Cyan having done so in their respective games.
Zantetsuken is the signature weapon of Odin, who himself is based on the Norse god of the same name. The Japanese name for the blade loosely translates to ‘iron slashing sword’ and is typically given to a blade that can slice through iron or steel. This is quite fitting, as in the Final Fantasy series it can cut through just about anything — enemies included.
The sword features in several titles and usually has a chance of inflicting instant death. The odds vary from game to game, although in Final Fantasy VI there is a 25% chance. That it can also be equipped by four of the main party members makes it one of the game’s very best weapons despite its attack stats being a little lower than some of the other options.
The Zantetsuken may possess the power of the Norse gods, but the Ragnarok takes its inspiration from the apocalyptic event that will completely obliterate them all. It has featured in every mainline Final Fantasy game with the exception of Final Fantasy VIII and Final Fantasy XIII and has insanely high attack stats.
There are several games in which it’s the strongest weapon outright, although it generally tends to rank somewhere amongst the top five. It’s been wielded by the likes of Cecil, Cloud, and Tidus and made its most recent appearance in Final Fantasy XV.
Inspired by a magical sword from Arthurian legend, Excalibur is said to have granted its wielder immense power. Some say that it even made them invincible. It first appeared in the very first Final Fantasy game and has since gone on to feature in all but a handful of the subsequent releases.
More often than not, it is one of the strongest swords available in the games in which it features although occasionally sits just behind Ragnarok in second place. Many of these games also feature a similar-looking blade known as Excalipoor. In stark contrast to its namesake, however, this gag weapon’s attack stats almost always make it the worst sword in its respective games.
1 Ultima Weapon
The Ultima Weapon first appeared in Final Fantasy VI and has featured in most of the games that have followed it. It was created during the War of the Magi around the same time as the magical monster of the same name. As a result, there is often a strong connection between the two.
Defeating this planetary protector is often a requirement for obtaining the sword, which is also referred to as the Atma Weapon in some of the series’ earlier titles. It is Cloud’s ultimate weapon in Final Fantasy VII, Zidane’s ultimate weapon in Final Fantasy IX, and shares many similarities with Squall’s ultimate weapon (the Lion Heart) in Final Fantasy VIII.