Six of Final Fantasy’s Best Summons

Knights of the Round summon screenshot Final Fantasy VII

The Final Fantasy series wouldn’t quite be the same without its iconic collection of summons. Also known as Espers, Aeons, Eidolons and Eikons, these powerful beings can turn the tide of battle, or make for a formidable boss encounter. Here are some of the most notable and powerful summons from the franchise.

Shiva

Shiva summon sequence from Final Fantasy XV
Shiva is always a beautiful, almost naked woman when summoned in Final Fantasy games, unlike the lore of the deity in Hinduism

Shiva is easily one of the most recognizable and popular summons in the series. She is among a few other summons, like Bahamut and Ifrit, to make appearances in every Final Fantasy game from Final Fantasy III to Final Fantasy XV. She is also shown in the Final Fantasy XVI trailer, so we know she will make an appearance there as well.

As an ice-elemental summon, she oftentimes has access to abilities like Blizzard, Blizzara and her signature move Diamond Dust. She always appears as some form of blue-skinned woman in blue clothes, except for in Final Fantasy XII where the Archadian Imperial Fleets are named after popular summons and one is named Shiva.

She most recently appeared in Final Fantasy VII Remake where she was an optional boss battle through Chadley’s VR headset. Should you prove successful in defeating her, you will acquire her summon materia to add to your collection.

Shiva has always been a personal favorite of mine. She may not be as powerful as some of the other summons in the franchise, but she has proved herself to be a useful addition to my summon collection.

Ifrit

Ifrit summon sequence Final Fantasy VII Remake
Ifit has always been a monster of flames, more fitting the universal lore than Shiva’s summon

If there was one summon in the Final Fantasy franchise who I had to guess everyone knew about, it would be Ifrit. Like Shiva, Ifrit has made an appearance in every game since Final Fantasy III and looks to continue to do so as he is also in the trailer for Final Fantasy XVI. He is a fire-elemental summon and his signature move is an attack called Hellfire. He appears different in each title, but retains his beast-like appearance.

I cannot think of Ifrit without remembering the opening scene in Final Fantasy XV, which later is a boss battle, where Noctis and his friends are battling him. The area is riddled with flames and heat waves, and it just seems impossible to take him down. That is exactly how I picture Ifrit, and is a perfect example of just how powerful he can be.

He is a force to be reckoned with and, honestly for me, my most used summon in the franchise. He is just such a staple nowadays that I can’t imagine a Final Fantasy game without him. There are few summons that can match his popularity and strength.

Most recently, Ifrit was also in Final Fantasy VII Remake as the only summon obtained as part of the story. Jessie will give the Ifrit materia to Cloud pretty early in the game, and I certainly used it a lot.

Bahamut

Bahamut summon sequence Final Fantasy VII Remake
Bahamut is a monster under the sea holding up the world, more akin to Cthulhu, in ancient lore, not a dragon as in Final Fantasy

Another staple of the series, Bahmut has been in every single game since the beginning except for Final Fantasy II. The infamous Dragon King was in the very first Final Fantasy game, but instead of being a summon, he was an NPC that could upgrade your character’s class. It would be impossible to make any list of Final Fantasy summons without featuring him.

Not only has Bahamut been in almost every Final Fantasy game, he even has his own game, Bahamut Lagoon and he is even present in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, where he appears as “Bahamutt”.

With notoriety like that, it’s no wonder he continues to be in each title. As a summon, his power is no doubt useful to any party, but as an enemy, you better come up with a good strategy to take him down. His signature move, Megaflare, deals non-elemental magic damage that will ignore defense and evasion.

When looking at all storyline summons in Final Fantasy games, Bahamut is usually considered to be the strongest. Acquiring him usually requires you to prove yourself in battle with him first, making him a satisfying summon to obtain. Bahamut’s most recent appearance was also in Final Fantasy VII Remake. Like Shiva, he was made available to the player after successfully defeating him in Chadley’s VR headset.

Phoenix

Phoenix summon sequence Final Fantasy XIV
Phoenix is always a bird emerging from flames, as the old lore goes, and Final Fantasy nods to with Phoenix Down.

Less popular than the likes of Ifrit and Bahamut, Phoenix still stands to be one of the most powerful summons in the series. Its ability, Flames of Rebirth, will revive all knocked out party members. As such, its down feather, the Phoenix Down, is the commonly used item in these games to do the same thing.

Its most popular appearance is probably in Final Fantasy VII, where it can deal incredible amounts of fire damage to all opposing enemies on the battlefield and bring every one that is knocked out back up on their feet.

Its ability to combine attack with revival is what makes this summon so useful and powerful. Phoenix can truly turn the tides of battle and save players from a game over. It may not be as popular as some of the other summons, but it does make an appearance in the Final Fantasy XVI trailer, so it may get some more love in the future.

Yojimbo

Yojimbo summon sequence Final Fantasy X
Yojimbo means bouncer or bodyguard in Japanese. He takes the form of a samurai in Final Fantasy games. Don’t confuse him with your uncle Jimbo. He hates that.

Yojimbo’s first appearance was in Final Fantasy X where he can be acquired in the Cavern of Stolen Faytth. He is definitely the least recognizable on this list, but he has the potential to be the strongest summon in the entire franchise.

Yojimbo is one of Final Fantasy X’s optional summons. You can play through the whole game and never pick up this Aeon, but to do so would be a huge mistake. As a sword for hire, Yojimbo will attack according to how much Gil the player gives him at the start of his summon, as well as a more confusing mathematical formula. However, if you find the sweet spot, he can instantly kill an enemy, including bosses, with his move Zanmato.

He comes with a great deal of risk/reward, but there’s no denying his sheer power if you manage to pay him the right amount to perform Zanmato. As for his other moves, he is still a pretty powerful Aeon, but he will blow through a ton of your Gil. I think that is why most people overlook him. Regardless, the fact that he can achieve the staggering feat of killing even bosses with one move, warrants him a spot on this list.

Knights of the Round (Ultimate End)

Knights of the Round Summon Ultimate End sequence Final Fantasy XIV
King Arthur’s Knights of the Round apparently get down with Cloud and co. I wish Merlin was a reoccurring character like Cid.

There are numerous summons throughout all the Final Fantasy games, but Knights of the Round just had to be included, even though it only appears in a few of the games. The summons literally summons the 13 knights of King Arthur’s famous “Round Table” in the lore. They each do an attack, in turn, during the summon, ignoring the enemy’s defense and dealing massive damage (129,987 damage to a single target, at max, actually).

In Final Fantasy VII, where Knights of the Round first makes an appearance, you feel like a serious bad*** after collecting and casting it the first time. It is also one of the few summons where you don’t get bored watching the animations after a few castings of it. Of course, Knights of the Round isn’t required to beat the game (almost overkill actually for Sephiroth), but you are definitely going to want them in your pocket for the battles against the Weapons.

Conclusion

There are many summons to choose from in the Final Fantasy franchise and all of them are incredibly powerful. With Final Fantasy X being my favorite, this list came easy since that game has so many to choose from that all tie into the game’s main story so well. However, outside of Final Fantasy X, these summons have made their mark on numerous titles both in and out of the Final Fantasy franchise, making them an absolute must in any Final Fantasy title.

So which summon in your favorite? Which one do you think is the most powerful, the most useful? Let us know in the comments!

Agree with the author? Couldn’t disagree more and are frothing at the mouth to tell him? Leave a comment here, on Facebook or send an email and make sure to follow Never Ending Realm on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube!

Tell your friends!

By Dakota Deitsch

I love all video games but primarily enjoy RPGs. Pokémon is my favorite franchise, but I’ll play any game really. I tend to game on PlayStation and on my Switch the most.