6 of the best FINAL FANTASY summons

We celebrate a few of the most memorable Espers, Eidolons, Aeons and Eikons in the FINAL FANTASY series and explain what makes them so special.
Autor: Duncan Heaney

What would FINAL FANTASY be without Summons?

Call them Espers, call them Aeons or Eidolons, even Eikons… whatever name they’re currently going by, the ability to call on these powerful entities is one of the most purely awesome things you can do in the series.

Useful too - feeling overwhelmed in a fight? Simply pull a legendary being of ultimate destruction out of your arsenal and watch your enemies fall before you.

There are loads of Summons in the FINAL FANTASY series, and we wanted to highlight just a few of our favorites…


Ifrit

Few summons are as beloved - and iconic - as this raging inferno of flames and fury. His mastery of fire coupled with a… let’s say ‘irritable’ disposition, make him perfect when you want to issue a burn notice on your foes.

Ol’ Iffy - as absolutely nobody calls him - has been present in almost every mainline FINAL FANTASY game since his debut in FINAL FANTASY III. Most recently, he made a triumphant appearance in FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE, literally diving into battle to let Shinra’s security forces know they’re fired.

His future’s looking pretty bright too - he features heavily in the trailer for FINAL FANTASY XVI. Just one of many reasons it’s among the hottest games coming to the PS5!

Did you know: Ifrit was inspired by a type of Jinn / Djinn from Arabic folklore that embodies fire. He even went by the name Jinn in the original Super Nintendo version of FINAL FANTASY IV!


Shiva

Shiva’s total control over ice makes total sense - she’s effortlessly cool.

Like her counterpart Ifrit, she’s one of the most famous and prolific summons in the entire FINAL FANTASY series. She made her first appearance in FINAL FANTASY III just as fans have come to know her - not really dressed for the weather but powerful enough to give even the strongest of foes the cold shoulder.

Over the years, Shiva’s remained a consistently powerful and popular presence in the series. Whether she’s helping Squall thaw out in FINAL FANTASY VIII Remastered, or challenging Yuna in FINAL FANTASY X HD Remaster, we’re always excited to see her… and her iconic Diamond Dust attack!

Did you know: According to FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE, Legend has it that Shiva once saved the planet by staunching a catastrophic wound with a massive glacier. Told you she was cool!


Tonberry

We all love tonberries, right?

I mean, yes, we’re deathly afraid of them because they can shuffle us off our mortal coil with one mean-spirited slice of a knife (and boy can they hold a grudge!), but there’s something about their beady eyes and stubby widdle legs that’s just so gosh darn cute!

While you’re most likely to encounter tonberries as enemies…

…or adorable plushies…

...in FINAL FANTASY VIII you can get one as a summonable Guardian Force.

It’s not easy, mind you. First, you must defeat at least 20 tonberries in the dangerous Cetra Ruins area. That’s a slightly terrifying ask in itself, yet it’s still not enough!

To actually claim Tonberry as your own, you must then face off against the Tonberry King… a super-sized, super-stabby psycho with a spectacularly sharp knife.

And yet… he has a little crown. D’awwww.

If you manage to beat the King, you’ll be rewarded with your very own summonable tonberry. It’s so refreshing to have one of these guys on our side for once!

Did you know: The humble tonberry has gone by other names over the course of the series, including Pug (original FINAL FANTASY VI) and the decidedly unflattering Dinglberry (FINAL FANTASY V on PlayStation). That said, a tonberry by any other name is just as butt-clenchingly terrifying.


Odin

When you’re facing off against particularly strong foes, it’s good to have Odin at your back.

This horse-riding warrior specializes in instant kills. Summon him into battle, and he’ll typically use his Zantetsuken move to take out your opponents in a single hit.

The name and function of the move can differ from game to game - it can be called Sword of Vengeance, Atom Edge or Steel Bladed Sword - but the function is the same: take out enemies as quickly and cleanly as possible. He’s very efficient like that.

He’s not always 100% reliable of course (we all have our off days), and he’s usually better at taking out rank and file enemies than bosses. Still, you won’t find many more respected Summons in the entire FINAL FANTASY pantheon.

Did you know: Have you tried facing off against Seifer in FINAL FANTASY VIII Remastered with Odin equipped? If not, give it a go - you may be in for a surprise…


Ramuh

If we ever did a list of the top FINAL FANTASY beards, there’s no doubt that this legendary summon would top the list. If that’s all we had to recommend him, it would be enough - but he has something even more impressive - power over thunder and lightning.

Since his debut in FINAL FANTASY III, Ramuh has been leaving his targets shocked and awed but no FINAL FANTASY game captures the power of Ramuh like FINAL FANTASY XV.

When he deigns to make an appearance, the choir starts singing, the sky splits, everything around you is reduced to smoldering embers. It’s an assault on the senses that captures the raw, elemental power of lightning!

Did you know: Ramuh was originally planned to appear in FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE, but was ultimately left out of the game.

Why? Co-Director Naoki Hamaguchi, explains: “Firstly, we thought there would be fans who would like to use Leviathan in Mako Reactor 1 like you could in the demo for the original game.

“Secondly, we also thought that fans would be disappointed if they could not see Bahamut in a FINAL FANTASY game — I know I would be!

“So unfortunately, Ramuh doesn’t appear in the game – but he’ll definitely be in the running next time we make a decision on what Summons to use!”


Bahamut

Mr Hamaguchi is correct. To not include Bahamut in a FINAL FANTASY game would just feel… wrong. This dragon-like beast is a mainstay of the FINAL FANTASY series, making his legendary debut in the very first game - albeit not as a Summon.

Over the years, he’s been both friend and foe - when he’s on your side he’s a powerful weapon, whose power can turn the tide of battle. Even when he’s not the strongest Summon, he’s definitely up there near the top of the list.

When he’s against you though… let’s just say that tonberries suddenly don’t seem seem so bad.

Whichever role he’s currently playing, Bahamut is a true icon of the FINAL FANTASY series - an iconic figure who struts his stuff with mega-flair.

Did you know: Bahamut has appeared in every mainline FINAL FANTASY game… except one - the big-winged wonder sat out FINAL FANTASY II.


Those were just a few of the FINAL FANTASY Summons that we love to… well, summon. But we’re sure you have your own favorites - why not share your own picks with us on social media:

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