The worlds of Final Fantasy are packed with goblins, dragons, and all manner of classic mythological monsters. Most of these clichéd creatures are reasonably challenging but don’t pose an inordinate threat to your band of adventurers. However, there are some enemies that will pop up out of nowhere and strike down your party before you can say “Phoenix Down.” This is our blacklist of the nastiest creatures Square has ever ruined our day with.

10. Mind Flayer (aka Sorcerer) (FF I, IV, V, IX, XI, XII)

The original Final Fantasy is blisteringly difficult. Opportunities to save are sparse, so oftentimes you have to plunge headfirst into a new dungeon and hope for the best. Hope as you hard as want, but sometimes a particularly vicious enemy blindsides your party. Mindflayers (Sorcerer) are one such breed of foe and they like to travel in packs. You may scoff at first when it whacks you for 1 HP of damage, but you’ll shut up when one of those attacks instantly kills a party member. Making matters worse, they have no vulnerabilities and can render your melee fighters unable to flee.


These combustible pests infest almost every Final Fantasy game, and like Mindflayers they love to hunt in packs. Each attack causes the creature to swell to a greater size, dealing out hefty elemental damage as their self-destruct fuse shortens. If you don’t have a Black Mage handy who can dole out decent damage, you’re bound to have a Bomb explode causing heavy damage, and potentially murdering one of your party members.


8. Cactuar (FF VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV)

Many of the foes on this list appear out of the blue and wreck your entire crew, but at least they stick around and let you fight back. Cactuars, on the other hand, disarm you with their cartoonish looks, barrage you with their 1,000 needles attack, and run away. You’re lucky if any of your characters have more than 1,000 HP at the point you encounter Cactuars in most Final Fantasy games, making these green griefers a big threat. These hit and run nuisances would be a lot higher on the list if they weren’t so darn cute.

7. Skull Eater (FF V)

It’s always a good feeling when you find a manageable critter you can grind to strengthen your party with minimal effort. The less-than-lethal Nut Eaters are one such enemy, and you can score a great deal of AP while slaying them in the Jachol Caves. Leave it up to Square to punish your easy leveling by throwing in the occasional Skull Eater: a nasty critter that can KO party members with a single hit, and sports mockingly high evasion and defense to protect its single HP. The moral of the story? Don’t mess with woodland creatures.

6. Tonberry (FF V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII)

For a cave-dwelling creature wielding a butcher’s knife, wearing a hooded cloak, and packing some serious power, Tonberries are adorable. The first encounter with a Tonberry is unforgettable: The cuddly little green creature begins battle a curiously far distance away from your party, and spends each turn creeping steadily toward you. Fail to whittle down its massive HP surplus before it reaches you and the Tonberry will one-shot a party member. Tonberry becomes more powerful with every blow you deal to its fellow monsters, forcing you into a deadly race to finish off the deceptively dapper critter.