Jeremy enjoys gaming when not helping manage the college he graduated from.
What Are Jobs in Final Fantasy?
The Final Fantasy series often refers to RPG classes as "jobs", each accessing certain abilities for the character in that job. Jobs come in many shapes and sizes, and they were especially prominent in the franchise's early games.
A job's usefulness depends on the game its on, but many tend to perform better than others—which reign supreme? These are the ten best jobs throughout Final Fantasy!
10. Red Mage
Role: Jack-of-all-trades with offensive and defensive magic
Where Black Mages use offensive magic and White employ defensive, Red Mages wield both, adding a versatile member to your team. Furthermore, unlike their counterparts, they can equip swords and other non-mage weapons to deal decent physical damage.
In games like FF3 and FFV, this offers arguably the best class in your early adventures, but Red Mages eventually hit a glass ceiling, unable to learn high-level spells of either type. So they eventually transition into other classes, but they're undoubtedly one of the best jobs starting out.
Role: Mage with expensive but powerful spells
Example: Yuna (FF10)
Summoners are unique wizards who fight by summoning magical beasts to attack. Doing so requires lots of MP but inflicts heavy damage, making summoners a bit hard to level but great against bosses.
Like most mages, they tend to have poor physical stats and weapon availability, but they often receive other magical powers to compensate—Yuna serves a dual role as the party's White Mage in FF10 and Rydia functions as a Black Mage in FF4. Speaking of which . . .
8. Black Mage
Role: Damage-based magic.
Example: Vivi (FF9)
One of the most frequent classes, Black Mages appear in nearly all of the franchise's games. Like other magic-users, they have poor physical stats and equipment, but assault foes with powerful magic.
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You have to be careful not to run out of MP, but Black Mages offer several ways to exploit enemy (and boss) weaknesses with their numerous elemental spells.
Role: Tank with light healing abilities
Example: Cecil (FF4)
Cecil begins the fourth game as a Dark Knight, but eventually shifts into this superior class. Paladins are versatile team members who deal physical damage and wield minor healing spells, supporting the team's White Mage.
They also harness the Cover ability, letting them take damage in the place of wounded allies, ensuring vulnerable party members live long enough to mount a comeback.
6. Blue Mage
Role: Utilize effects stolen from enemies
Example: Kimahri (FF10)
Blue Mages are tricky units who recover time to develop; they can permanently learn enemy powers by being hit with them, eventually providing a wide variety of techniques. Making the effort to train a Blue Mage and hunt down new abilities can extend your grinding, but with a little patience, you'll be rewarded with a powerful spellcaster with decent physical stats.
Role: Focus on physical damage
Example: Kain Highwind (FF4)
Dragoons favor spears and lances over swords, but like Knights and Warriors, they dish out intense physical punishment while soaking up damage themselves. Dragoons tend to be faster than most armored party members, and they wield the trademark Jump ability, temporarily leaving the battlefield before unleashing a powerful blow.
4. White Mage
Example: Garnet (FF9)
White Mages lack offensive prowess, carrying terrible physical stats and little to no offensive spells, but their healing capacity makes them integral to any team. With no equal in recovering damage, removing debuffs, or reviving defeated allies, few parties dare venture without at least one dedicated White Mage.
3. Onion Knight
Role: Terrible stats . . . until higher levels
Example: Luneth (FF3)
A rare class, Onion Knights have little going for them for most of the game and simply serve as a starting point to branch out of. They also can't equip most equipment, further decreasing their power.
But once they hit level 90, their stat growth upon leveling up skyrockets, easily turning them into the strongest party members at level 99. They're also the only units that can equip the legendary onion equipment. So, after lagging far behind throughout most of your adventure, they make a huge comeback in the end stretch, helpful against endgame secret bosses.
Role: Fast and powerful physical damage
Example: Shadow (FF6)
While their HP and defenses are mediocre for melee units, Ninja carry impressive speed and power, hitting enemies fast and hard. More than that, their unique Throw command tosses items for varying amounts of damage.
Anything thrown is permanently lost, but throwing shuriken offers one of the best boss-killing tactics in the franchise, inflicting massive damage that often peaks at 9999. You can always buy more throwing stars, but this chews through your cash, so save them for boss battles.
Role: Healer/Magical damage
Example: Tellah (FF4)
Sages are sort of like upgraded Red Mages, able to cast both offensive and defensive spells. Unlike Red Mages, they can't wield swords, making them weak physically, but they don't lose access to high-level spells of either type, making them the preferred class for prior mages to transition into.
With potent healing added to elemental damage, Sages remain a staple party member for any game that has them.
Jobs Across Final Fantasy
In recent titles, characters are often locked into certain roles, but even then, there's usually some room for tinkering, like whether to have Snow from FF13 focus on damage or tanking. And many jobs let you keep abilities from past jobs once you switch, offering custom characters who blend the best of both worlds.
Today's list has you well on your way to a balanced party, but experiment and find what works for you. But for now, as we await Square's next Final Fantasy adventure, vote for your favorite class and I'll see you at our next gaming countdown!
© 2019 Jeremy Gill
leondb on October 19, 2019:
I didn’t realize at first you were writing up about FF as a whole lol. Yes, I’m one of those people who look at the title and skips to the numbers on the list. Yuna is my favorite since she healed and could summon.