The Final Fantasy role-playing game series has been going strong for more than 30 years, and the powerful allies you can summon into battle are one of its most iconic and powerful attacks. These summons range from lowly goblins and adorable chocobos up to massive armored castles and planet-devouring dragons.
What are the ten biggest, baddest, most useful summons in the series? Read on to find out!
The Phoenix summon appears in many Final Fantasy games and provides a unique combination of offense and defense. In addition to the fiery wrath it unleashes on your enemies, the Phoenix summon will also revive fallen party members. That makes Phoenix the perfect mid-battle summon to recover after a devastating attack from a boss battle. It also regularly plays a role in the story, as in Final Fantasy VI, where the Phoenix helps Locke revive his fallen love, Rachel.
The king of the Norse gods also plays a regal role in many Final Fantasy games as an ancient warrior on a horse who swoops in and slices all your enemies into pieces. Odin’s “Zantetsuken” attack is the most reliable of the “instant death” summons, which can prove invaluable in long dungeons with difficult battles. He generally does not perform Zantetsuken on bosses, instead dealing damage with his spear Gungnir.
In many of the games, you must defeat Odin in battle before he will assist you. Those battles can be difficult races against the clock before he performs Zantetsuken on you.
Alexander is one of the most physically impressive summons in the series: a giant angelic fortress that unleashes holy magic on your enemies. Alexander also provides protection at times, like in Final Fantasy XIII, where Alexander serves as Hope’s Eidolon and protects the young mage in battle.
The most iconic scene with Alexander in the series, however, comes in Final Fantasy IX, when you summon him to protect Alexandria Castle from a hostile attack by Bahamut. Watch it play out above.
The legendary warrior Yojimbo appears as a special summon for Yuna in Final Fantasy X. He may be the most powerful of all summons in the series, but he is unreliable and only helps you if you pay him large amounts of Gil. In battle, he chooses from a range of possible attacks, based on how much coin you pay him and other game factors. That makes him an unpredictable summon—unless you are so rich that you can increase the chance of his devastating Zanmato attack, which is like a more powerful version of Odin’s Zantetsuken.
Golem is a purely defensive summon, but also one of the most useful throughout the many battles in the series. First appearing in Final Fantasy V, Golem drops in and defends the party from attacks until his hip points are depleted and he leaves. Against fearsome enemies with strong attacks, Golem is literally a lifesaver.
Golem tends to become available earlier in the game than other summons on this list, yet Golem retains its utility deep into each title. That means Golem might be the most summoned of the summons in all of the Final Fantasy series.
Final Fantasy XIII gives each of its six playable characters a personal Eidolon to summon in battle. It’s only fitting that the coolest character, Vanille, has the most badass Eidolon: Hecatoncheir. This summon is based on the hundred-handed monsters of Greek mythology, known as hecatoncheires, and Vanille’s version packs a hundred powerful punches.
You must survive one of the most exhilarating battle sequences to unlock Hecatoncheir. Get by, and you are rewarded with an Eidolon who both casts quake and becomes an incredible battle mech when it joins with Vanille. Watch it in action above.
Anima from Final Fantasy X is perhaps the most fearsome and emotionally-wrought summon in the entire series. The party learns that she represents the tortured soul of Seymour’s mother, who is wracked with guilt over Seymour’s evil actions in the game. Her full body includes two parts, with a restrained human-like body perched atop a horned demon. Upon summoning Anima, she pulls the battle down to the underworld, where she unleashes a 16-hit Oblivion attack that deals massive damage.
Bahamut is the king of summoned monsters in Final Fantasy IV, where he lives on the moon and awaits a worthy summoner to assist. He appears in almost every Final Fantasy game, sometimes in multiple evolving forms, and always with extremely powerful flare attacks that avoid enemy resistances. Besides chocobos and moogles, Bahamut could be the most recognizable repeating character in the entire series.
The alien warship called Ark is the ultimate summon in Final Fantasy IX. The summon animation for Ark lasts for two minutes while the ship travels from a far-off planet to fire its shadow laser on your enemies. The extended animation can get tiresome once you’ve seen it a few times, but it actually provides a hidden bonus for the difficult boss battles at the end of Final Fantasy IX.
Characters equipped with Auto-Regen continue to heal themselves during the summon animations, meaning that a single summon sequence from Ark can heal your entire party back to full health. Try defeating optional superboss Ozma without that!
Knights Of The Round
The ultimate summon from the critically acclaimed classic Final Fantasy VII, Knights of the Round takes a lot of work to unlock and is essential to defeating the two weapon superbosses. The summon does solid work in the final battle with Sephiroth, as you can see in the video above. Every other battle in the game will end 90 seconds after 13 Knights have their way.
To harness their unrivaled power, you will need to master the chocobo racing subgame at the Gold Saucer and breed the winning chocobos until you get the elusive and elite gold chocobo. That takes a lot of time and effort—some fun and some tedious—but the reward is totally worth it.