9 of the best fighters and warriors in Square Enix games

Blade in hand, they dive into the heart of battle. Let’s celebrate some of our favorite fighters, warriors and generally awesome sword-swingers!
Por Duncan Heaney

Warriors and fighters are a mainstay of any RPG. Sword in hand, these brave combatants dive into the heart of the action, relying largely on strength and skill with the blade to see them through.

We wanted to highlight some of these remarkable warriors of all types across our games.

But let’s be honest - this is a role that can be somewhat blurred - while some characters slot perfectly into the ‘fighter’ archetype, others have abilities that go beyond the blade. The important thing is that they all primarily rely on their weapons and their skills to win the day.

Squall - FINAL FANTASY VIII Remastered

Squall Leonhart

The introspective Squall has trouble sharing his thoughts with others, but when he’s on the battlefield, you know exactly what he’s feeling. Most of the time it’s: “I’m going to hit you very hard with this gunblade”.

Squall has his fair share of flaws - he’s uncommunicative, reluctant to assume responsibility and wastes far too much time playing Triple Triad (although that may be just when we’re in control). Even so, he has an inner strength that draws people towards him - his friends know he’s someone they can rely on, even if he doesn’t.

Of course, his outer strength is pretty impressive too. He’s one of the few people able to wield a gunblade - a powerful weapon that lets him augment his strikes with a powerful blast for a little extra kick.

All said, we consider him among the greatest warriors in all of gaming. And if you don’t agree… whatever.



This Alexandrian knight is proud, brave and utterly loyal to Alexandria. Unfortunately for her, this loyalty is easily manipulated and she’s responsible for some truly heinous acts in the name of the queen.

However, we’re not here to judge her decision-making, which is… let’s say ‘mixed’ (destroying Burmecia: bad choice, opening her heart to Steiner: great choice), we’re celebrating her skills as a warrior. In this respect, she’s unmatched.

You face off against Beatrix multiple times in FINAL FANTASY IX and each time she destroys your group without breaking a sweat. She’s someone you quickly learn to fear and respect, so when she joins the party for a short time during a certain event, it’s a real thrill.

Ardbert - FINAL FANTASY XIV Online

Ardbert from FINAL FANTASY XIV Online

While some embrace the role of the villain, others have it thrust upon them. So it is with Ardbert, the Warrior of Darkness.

This powerful fighter is regularly at odds with the Warrior of Light. Ardbert first appears after the events of Heavensward to threaten both Hydaelyn and its greatest champions. He’s a constant threat who is brash, angry, and utterly loathes the very concept of “heroes.”

While his methods may be dangerous, his motivations are pure, as his singular focus is on saving his home. Over the course of the story, you begin to understand the rage and regret that drives him and even sympathise with his plight. He doesn’t want to be a monster - he just doesn’t see any other path.

He’s a truly compelling character in a game full of them and one of the most memorable warriors in the series.

2B - NieR:Automata

2B from NieR:Automata

2B or not 2B? That is the question - because her fellow Android A2 is equally deserving of recognition as a warrior.

But with NieR:Automata The End of YoRHa Edition currently winning new fans on Nintendo Switch, it seems most appropriate to avoid spoilers and focus on the character you play as at the start of the adventure. And also because 2B is a formidable fighter.

As a member of the android military unit YoRHa, 2B is more than trained for combat: she’s designed for it. Her speed and agility, as well as her ability to wield multiple weapons, means she’s capable of taking on enemies that tower many meters above her. And often do.

She approaches each battle with focus and a no-nonsense attitude - but she has an emotional side too. It’s just a shame that the story of NieR:Automata means you don’t get to see it, right?

…shh! Spoilers!


You haven’t been properly introduced to Hikari yet - OCTOPATH TRAVELER II isn’t out until February 24, 2023.

But you should be excited because he’s one of the best warrior-type characters you’ll meet next year. Hikari is the younger prince of Ku - a nation that seems to always be at war. This kind-hearted fighter worries greatly about his nations’ people, who suffer greatly due to the endless conflict.

Despite his formidable skills as a fighter, he prays for a world without conflict, and sets off on a journey to try and bring peace to his nation.

So why’s he in this list? Is he a tantalizing tease of what’s to come? A display of confidence in a character we know you’ll adore? A shameless reminder to preorder OCTOPATH TRAVELER II? All of the above?

We’ll let you decide that for yourselves but take it from us: Hikari absolutely deserves his spot. We can’t wait for you to find out why.



Jack can do it all. Whether he’s a diving dragoon, tricksy thief or a punchy pugilist, the protagonist of STRANGE OF PARADISE FINAL FANTASY ORIGIN excels at any job you equip him with.

He starts his journey, however, as a Swordsman - and when it comes to carving up foes, he’s one of the best in the biz. Whether he’s going to toe-to-tentacle with a Malboro, or facing off against one of the Four Fiends themselves, a greatsword is all he needs to come out on top.

And what greatswords they are! STRANGER OF PARADISE FINAL FANTASY ORIGIN is full of beautiful gear, but these massive blades are particularly impressive - so much so that we commissioned prop-maker LittleJem to bring one to life!

We’ve said it over and over again by this point, but grouchy Mr. Garland really is a Jack of all trades… and definitely a master when it comes to the sword!



The protagonist in Valkyrie Elysium was created by Odin to purify souls.

How does she do that? By beating the ever-loving daylights out of them of course!

Many of the darker souls left in the desolate ruins of Midgard manifest as undead, meaning they have to be defeated to be saved. Of course, the Valkyrie is more than up to the task - she was literally made for this.

She’s able to use multiple weapons, from different types of swords to spears, access Divine Arts to purify foes, summon Einherjar - spirits of fallen warriors - to help her in battle and more. Few fighters in action RPGs have so many options available to them in how they approach a battle.

Combined with her speed and agility, it all makes the Valkyrie a force to be reckoned with - few action RPG heroes are as fun and flexible to control as her!



“What the…?!” I hear you gasp? “Not Cloud Strife?”

Look - blondie definitely deserves to make this list, but with CRISIS CORE –FINAL FANTASY VII– REUNION coming on December 13, it’s only right that Zack gets his time in the spotlight.

He’s more than worthy of it too. Zack is a skilled fighter who wields the iconic Buster Sword as much skill and style as any of its other owners. Whether he’s facing off against Wutai ninjas, mechanical monstrosities, or Summons like Ifrit, his speed and strength give him the edge he needs to triumph. He’s one of the few people to have beaten multiple 1st Class SOLDIER operatives...

But the size of the Buster Sword pales in comparison to the size of Zack’s heart. He’s a generous soul who believes in his friends and will do anything to protect them. He may start CRISIS CORE as SOLDIER 2nd Class, but he’ll always be 1st Class in our hearts.

Who needs Cloud, eh?


…oh alright, he’s equally awesome, so here he is. You can stop typing that Tweet now.

Those were just a few of our picks for our favorite fighters, but it’s barely scratching the surface of all the amazing characters out there. It’s a highly contested field - there are so many amazing warriors that everyone is sure to have their own favorite.

So let us know who you’d pick. Share your thoughts on social media - maybe we’ll do a follow-up that highlights your picks later!