Best Monks In The Numbered Games

There are plenty of class options across the Final Fantasy games, from spellcasters who wield the various forms of magic to aid or harm to those who use swordplay, and even those who use mechanical contraptions and guns. Then there are those who forgo those various trappings to levy their most powerful weapon: their bodies.

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Through mastery of martial arts, these guys and gals devastate their foes and aid their allies, with their expert knowledge and application not only of their own bodies but the bodies of others, bringing into battle little more than some light armor, gloves or gauntlets, and occasionally, sweet ninja claws. In Final Fantasy, these warriors tend to be known as part of the Monk class but are not always explicitly listed as such.

7 Prishe (FF11)

A rough-and-tumble foul-mouthed tomboy of a gal, Prishe is a spunky and immortal fistfighter who features heavily in Final Fantasy 11’s Chains of Promathia expansion and is also a secret character in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy. Amongst her de ella feats of physical prowess de ella is dropkicking an evil god hard enough to shatter its magical shields multiple times if need be.

In Dissidia 012, she’s a combo monster, able to Brave Break opponents with skillful combinations of moves that lead to skillchains, where she hits enemies so hard that they explode. On top of that, as a representative of the Monk class in FF11, she has the aptly named Hundred Fists that make her fast enough to chain together skillchains for some glorious damage.


6 Coral Amarant (FF9)

FF9 Amarant

An enigmatic character initially sent after the main characters alongside another character, Amarant shows his true colors as an honorable person when he is disgusted by his partner’s willingness to take hostages. Soon after, he joins your party.

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An aloof persona, Amarant walks a thin line between being a Ninja and Monk, having the ability to throw weapons and other offensive items for big damage and utilizing his Flair skillset to crush enemies with moves like No Mercy and Demi Shock while using moves like Aura and Chakra to support his teammates. Interestingly enough, his Flair works in Oeilvert, a place surrounded by an anti-magic field, showing that his power comes from bodily skill rather than magical sources. Notably, when he enters Trance mode, he fights in his skivvies, showing that he’s done messing around.

5 Yang Fang Leyden (FF4)

Yang Fang Leiden in various asskicking poses

Yang Fang Leiden is an ass-kicker amongst ass-kickers, the leader of Fabul, a place known for its warrior Monks. Characteristic of Monks, he has a lot of hit points and deals a lot of physical damage, proving that those muscles aren’t just for show. He’s limited to light armor, and aside from adding elemental damage or status effects, the claws he can equip aren’t all that powerful, but he doesn’t need them either – he is perfectly capable of beating foes down with his bare fists.

Like any badass, he is willing to sacrifice himself for the greater good and has the distinct quality of being such a heavy sleeper that only a frying pan to the noggin will wake him.

4 Snow Villiers (FF13)

Snow getting ready to throw down in FFXIII

A giant of a man, standing at 6’7 with impressive size 15 ass-kicking boots, Snow Villiers is the goodest boy around, to the point that he’s a member of the neighborhood watch when you meet him in Final Fantasy 13. He’s as loud and boisterous as he is huge and generally friendly with everyone he meets, putting him at odds with the main protagonist of the game, Lightning, who is taciturn and independent to the point of being cold to her allies. Further putting him at odds with Lightning is that he’s engaged to Serah, her sister of her.

In combat, he has the high HP characteristic of Monk characters and fights mostly with his fists, enhanced by his tricked-out gravity-manipulating trench coat, though he can also cast spells – mostly of the ice variety, which is ironic given his hothead personality. His full-ATB attack from him is Sovereign Fist, where he jumps into the air and punches the ground so hard it explodes, damaging all enemies caught in the blast. Snow always keeps it 100 percent, as in this move it always deals its full damage amount, regardless of enemy defenses and weaknesses.

3 Zell Dincht (FF8)

Zell Dincht thumbs up FF VIII

Zell is a mercenary and student of Balamb Garden, a combination orphanage, school, and private military contractor, but unlike his fellow mercenary classmates, he forgoes their fancy weapons, including whips, three-part nunchucks, and gunblades, in favor of the oldest weapon of all: the human body. Zell might rub some the wrong way, but his good humor, positive outlook, and sheer joie de vivre provide a fantastic foil to Squall’s ‘I’m-too-cool-to-have feelings’ attitude, allowing him to look cool and mysterious in comparison to Zell as opposed to being irritatingly dour.

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Plus, his general upbeat attitude helps in some sadder story beats in Final Fantasy 8. In a fight, he takes out enemies using fisticuffs and his Limit Break, Duel may just be one of the most powerful ones in the game and is definitely one of the coolest mechanically. You get four to 12 seconds to input moves, which Zell performs, a process you repeat until you input a powerful finishing move or you run out of time, but the best use of Duel is arguably just to input the easy moves in fractions of a second, which in ideal conditions will destroy even the strongest bosses in the game in one turn.

two Tifa Lockhart (FF7)

Tifa prepares to throw down in Don Corneo's palace

Bartender, anti-corporate militant, and master martial artist, Tifa proves that a gal can do it all and look damn good doing it. Tifa is the de facto den mother for AVALANCHE, but don’t think for a second that she can’t kick ass with the best of them, and this is keeping in mind that one of her companions has a sweet gun arm and another wields a sword workshop that he is and almost as wide.

But she doesn’t need such trappings, only her body and the teachings of Master Zangan to lay waste to her opponents, reducing them to zero in a flurry of punches and kicks. In Final Fantasy 7 Remake, she strings together combos to take down single enemies with ease, racking up their stagger gauge, gaining bonus damage, and ultimately taking them out with lightning speed.

Unlike other FF Monks, Tifa isn’t a bag of HP, but she hits hard with the best of ’em and is quick enough to dodge hits so that she doesn’t need to worry about hit points. She can uppercut with the grace of a breaching dolphin and move quickly enough to make opponents see a shower of stars.

1 Sabin Rene Figaro (FF6)

Sabin Amano art, beard variation on the right

A lot can be said about Sabin, about how he’s rough around the edges but ultimately a good guy, someone who chose justice over being king, and generally an awesome guy from what is arguably the most beloved 2D Final Fantasy. Or how his Blitz command works by inputting button combos to perform powerful martial arts moves, something inherited by Zell in FF8.

But what does all that matter, in the face of the fact that he might be, physically, the strongest character in all of Final Fantasy, the only one capable of literally suplexing a train? That’s right, this man picked up a Phantom Train and all the cars attached to it, put it over his head, jumped into the air, and brought the train with him for massive damage, a feat not done before or replicated since by any Final Fantasy character and possibly any character ever. That is n’t even his only feat of strength from him in FF6, but what else could compare to it suplexing an actual, literal train, including all the cars it was attached to?

NEXT: Final Fantasy Type-0: Every Class 0 Student, Ranked

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