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Here I am, back at you with another Tales of Symphonia article. This is another thing I don’t expect people to read all that much, but that I’m super pumped to write, anyway.

Tales of Symphonia was an influential game for me. I first played it when I was in middle school, and as sad is it might sound, I legitimately felt as if the characters in the party were friends of mine. I wrote cringey fanfiction about them, made dumb personality tests about them – you name it.

Now, over a decade after I first played it, I’m going to rank them. So here’s a definitive ranking of the Tales of Symphonia characters. It’s only going to include party members, because secondary characters would make this list way longer than it needs to be.

My Criteria

First, let’s look at how I’m going to rank everyone. A lot of this is going to come down to my personal opinion, so if you’ve ever played the game before, we might disagree on my ranking.

Second, it should go without saying that a spoiler alert is in effect from here on out, because I’ll be writing about key plot points later on. I really shouldn’t have to give a spoiler alert, since the game is almost twenty years old, but you never know.

I’m going to score each of the party members on four different categories. The maximum score each character can receive in a category is 5, and then I add up all the scores in each category to get an overall score.

The higher the overall score, the higher they are on the list. Anyway, here are the four categories I’m scoring them on:

  • Usefulness in Combat
  • Character Growth
  • Likeability
  • Character Design

Usefulness in Combat

This one speaks for itself. I’ll be rating the character on a scale from one to five based on how useful they are in battle.

If they’re the kind of character you should leave out of your party, they’re going to get a lower score. On the other hand, if they’re pretty much indispensable, this score will be higher.

Things that might make me consider a character more useful are if they can do a lot of damage, or if they have strong healing spells. Characters that are weaker may be ones that are slow, take damage easily, or don’t deal a lot of damage.

Character Growth

You can think of this category like this: how much did the character change for the better over the course of the story? Were they largely the same from beginning to end, or do we see them making changes at the conclusion?

I’m not referring to just making a complete 180 out of nowhere, either. When I mean character growth, I’m referring to believable conflicts that lead to noticeable strengthening of character.

The more believable and meaningful the change is, the higher the score said character will receive in this category.


Now, likeability is a bit harder to define because it’s more subjective. I guess I’d call this the “x” factor.

I’m using this category as a place for just how much I liked each party member. Because it’s entirely opinion-based, this is probably my most debatable category on the list…along with my next one, which I’ll describe below.

Character Design

I wouldn’t describe this as how attractive each character is, per se, but more like how good they looked. Not good in a suggestive way, but just how visually appealing their costumes and overall aesthetics are.

There are some (I’m looking at you, Regal) that have absolutely ridiculous and nonsensical character designs. Those will naturally receive a lower score in this category.

If I feel their designs look more polished and appealing, they’ll receive a higher score here.

Tales of Symphonia Characters Ranked

1. Sheena Fujibayashi


Okay, so Sheena turned out to be a dark horse for me. I would have never thought that I’d be ranking her number one because she’s the too-obvious choice, and yet, here we are.

First of all, she’s fairly decent in combat. I ended up scoring her a 4 in that regard, because she’s kind of a one-trick pony. Her summoning is cool, but it’s virtually the only really powerful think she can do.

However, she hits fast and makes decent cannon fodder, like Lloyd. That’s pretty useful, especially when you’re using casters who need to be protected.

She scores a 5 in character growth because we see not one, but two major arcs in her personal story. We get to see her go from a clumsy assassin dead-set on killing Colette, to someone accepting the Chosen’s help and working with her. Later on, we see her overcome her fear of summoning to make pacts with the Summon Spirits.

Oh, and let’s not forget her confronting the mistakes of her past quite literally when she fights Kuchinawa. Eventually, she even becomes the Chief of Mizuho.

For likeability, she’s a shoo-in. She’s earnest, hard-working, reasonably intelligent, and is voiced by the amazingly talented Jennifer Hale.

I docked a point in character design because of the bizarre random focus on her chest. She’s even bending over in her title screen picture, which I thought was kind of overkill.

Usefulness in Combat – 4

Character Growth – 5

Likeability – 5

Character Design –  4

Overall Score: 18

2. Kratos Aurion

Kratos Aurion

There are probably quite a few people who would debate with me on this one, but Kratos deserves to be high up on the list. I actually thought I would put him at first place until I ended up scoring Sheena higher unexpectedly.

For combat, he gets a 5. He’s kind of a renaissance man on the battlefield. He can tank with the best of them, cast decent offensive spells, and he’s a healer. Granted, the only healing spell I can recall him learning is First Aid, which is kind of weak when compared to Raine, but it still helps solidify him as indispensable.

In character growth, he also gets a 5. Why? He’s the only real thing tying the party back to the ancient party of failed heroes led by Mithos. For thousands of years, he’s been a member of Cruxis, until he fell in love, had a son, and was forced to murder the mother of his child when her exsphere turned her into a monster.

He’s proof that the love between a father and son can overcome all obstacles. His willingness to do everything for Lloyd in secret while still ostensibly working for Cruxis shows a depth of character that I adore.

In likeability, I’m giving him a 4. Some might like that tough guy act, but I find it kind of cliché, which is why I deducted a point from his score.

He scores the lowest in character design with a 3. The only reason for that is I seriously hate his outfit. The weird wing-spike-things on the back have always made me think that he looks kind of like an angry beetle.

Usefulness in Combat – 5

Character Growth – 5

Likeability – 4

Character Design –  3

Overall Score: 17

3. Lloyd Irving

Lloyd Irving

As the protagonist, it makes sense that Lloyd would score high on the list. Since the story naturally centers on him, you’d see decent character growth and usefulness.

However, in combat, I’m only giving him a 4. That’s because, like Sheena, he doesn’t do much other than hit hard and fast. He’s still good at protecting your squishier party members, though.

I waffled back and forth on character growth, but ended up giving him a 5. I feel as if Lloyd really strives to correct and confront his mistakes throughout the series.

In likeability, I’m giving him a 4. The lovable idiot shtick is kind of old, and I really don’t think he’s as stupid as the game wants to make you believe, especially later on. His courage and acceptance of all kinds of people is what really appeals to me.

I gave him a 4 in character design because he’s kind of boring-looking. When you compare him to the other characters, he doesn’t really stand out as much as you’d expect the main character to…but his outfit is reasonable for all that he does throughout the game. (Plus, he gets some pretty awesome wings at the end.)

Usefulness in Combat – 4

Character Growth – 5

Likeability – 4

Character Design –  4

Overall Score: 17

4. Zelos Wilder

Zelos Wilder

Ah, Zelos. The lovable pervert with a hidden depth to him stereotype that you see in pretty much every single anime that has ever existed.

He gets a 5 in combat because he’s literally just a Kratos clone. He can deal physical damage, cast scary spells, and heal your party members. This gives you a lot of flexibility with how you want to use him.

I gave him a 3 in character growth. We do see him confront some hard situations, like his desire to escape the shackles of the Chosen’s duties and his need to always be on the “winning side.” But at the end of the game, I don’t think you see him change all that much in the areas where he’s weak.

For likeability, he’s a 4. I love his sense of humor and he does a lot to brighten the darker moments of the game…but that silly pervert stereotype is way overdone in anime, and it’s time to retire that trope, I think.

In character design, he’s a 4. He looks okay, and that’s about the most I can say about him. He’s got envy-worthy hair, but his outfit is kind of middle-of-the-road. He looks best when you can get his formal party outfit later on.

Usefulness in Combat – 5

Character Growth – 3

Likeability – 4

Character Design –  4

Overall Score: 17

5. Presea Combatir

Presea Combatir

If you want someone who can absolutely wreck face, it’s Presea. She wields an axe that’s as big as she is throughout the game, and it does serious damage to enemies.

That’s why she gets a 4 for combat use. She can absolutely eviscerate enemies in battle, but she doesn’t have much in the way of defensive capabilities. All she does is hit and hit, which is fine, but ultimately uninteresting.

I’m giving her a 4 in character growth. She goes from an emotionless shell of a person after being victimized by the Angelus Project to becoming a fierce avenger of her sister’s untimely and tragic death. She’s oftentimes a much-needed voice of reason in the party.

Presea gets a 4 in likeability. Tara Strong gives a strong performance here as the pink-haired, axe-wielding warrior. Even after she’s saved from the Angelus Project, though, she’s remains cold and distant throughout much of the game, which makes her a little off-putting. That was probably intentional.

In character design, I gave her a 4. I love how she carries an axe that’s as big as she is. She looks kind of dreary and boring, though, which is the main reason for the deduction.

Usefulness in Combat – 4

Character Growth – 4

Likeability – 4

Character Design –  4

Overall Score: 16

6. Raine Sage

Raine Sage

My decision to place Raine lower on the list might be another controversial one. Because of her insanely powerful healing abilities and cool exterior, she tends to be popular with fans.

Her healing prowess grants her a 5 in combat use. She’s so vital to keeping your team alive, that if you’re not using her in your party, you’re wrong. Period. I still almost gave her a 4 here, though, because she only has a couple offensive spells, so aside from buffing your team, she doesn’t do much.

In terms of character growth, she gets a 3. Although we later learn she’s a half-elf who escaped to Sylvarant from Tethe’alla to avoid the ravages of racism, you don’t really see much change in her at all. She’s pretty much exactly the same at the end of the story as she was in the beginning.

I gave her a 3 in likeability because I don’t find her particularly interesting. She’s extremely intelligent, but the game rubs this in your face at literally every opportunity. She seems kind of two-dimensional when compared with other characters because that’s pretty much her sole defining personality trait.

She gets a 3 in character design because she’s kind of middle of the road. Her outfit is sensible, but doesn’t really stand out and has always made me think of a pumpkin.

Usefulness in Combat – 5

Character Growth – 3

Likeability – 3

Character Design –  3

Overall Score: 14

7.  Colette Brunel

Colette Brunel

Back when I first started playing this game, most people didn’t like Colette very much. In recent times, that seems to have changed. However, I’m still putting her near the bottom of my list, despite the fact that she’s my favorite character.

In combat, she’s not amazing. Although it’s nice that she’s partially ranged, she’s very slow and vulnerable to attacks. She has four angel spells that she can use, which are pretty freaking amazing, though.

I honestly think her character growth is some of the worst in the game, which is why I gave her a 2. She begins as an insecure, constantly apologetic, clumsy person, and…doesn’t grow much.

She’s frequently getting kidnapped, too, and this remains a common occurrence throughout the game. It almost makes her like the Princess Peach equivalent in Tales of Symphonia.

Like I said, Colette is my favorite, but I still gave her a 3 in likeability. Her insecurity, neverending apologies, and clumsiness get old pretty fast. When she’s not stumbling her way through another apology, she has a way of fading into the background even though she’s the freaking Chosen One.

I gave her a perfect score in character design. Why? It’s simple: pretty wings. I wish I could say I had a more complex reason for this choice, but her sunset-colored wings have always been one of my favorite things in the game.

I realize that’s shallow and stupid, but there it is. I love Colette’s wings, and they’re the main reason I always play as her in battle.

Usefulness in Combat – 3

Character Growth – 2

Likeability – 3

Character Design – 5

Overall Score: 13

8. Regal Bryant

Regal Bryant

I feel pretty happy with my placement of Regal on this list. Like Kratos and Zelos, he’s a physical attacker that can use healing spells, which leads to his score of 4 in combat. However, he doesn’t have the bonus of the offensive spells that Kratos and Zelos have, and he’s actually a wee bit slow with some of his special attacks.

In character growth, I gave him a 3. Later on in the game, you go through this whole story arc where you find about his fiancée, Alicia, whom he had to kill after she was turned into a monster by her exsphere. This is the whole reason he wears handcuffs – so he’ll never kill another person with his hands again – but the whole thing feels so contrived.

Even after he avenges Alicia by killing the ones who put the exsphere on her, he makes no changes. He essentially goes back to square one and stays there for the rest of the game.

He scores a solid “meh” in likeability with a 3. Like Colette, he has a tendency to fade into the background because he’s just not that interesting personality-wise. It’s a shame, because as a company president, ex-con, and avenger, he should be more impressive…but he simply isn’t.

I’m slamming him with a 2 in character design because…just look at him. Look at that belly shirt. It’s implied that he wears the outfit because he was a convict, but you don’t see other convicts being forced to wear that ridiculous get-up in Tethe’alla.

I guess if it makes him feel more comfortable, then more power to him, but doesn’t make much sense to wear that kind of outfit in battle.

Usefulness in Combat – 4

Character Growth – 3

Likeability – 3

Character Design –  2

Overall Score: 12

9. Genis Sage

Genis Sage

Many people put Genis higher up on their lists because his spells are crazily strong. Once he learns Meteor Storm, he might as well be a magical god.

But I still only gave him a 4 in combat because offensive spells are all he does. The moment he runs out of mana, he’s screwed, because he can’t really defend himself at all. If you’re going to use him, make sure you equip rings that make spells cost less TP, otherwise he’ll burn through it quickly.

He had an average character growth, so he scores a 3 in that regard. You see him deal with cowardice at the end, and he does interestingly befriend Mithos in the late game. But, like his older sister, he largely remains the same.

I gave him a 2 in likeability. Again, this is my personal opinion, but I just don’t like him all that much. He’s kind of a snotty brat for much of the game, and he frequently comes off as arrogant. Also like with Raine, his intelligence is oftentimes his only defining personality trait, which doesn’t make for an interesting character.

His character design is okay. It looks vaguely Kingdom Hearts-y, but it’s nothing to write home about, so he gets a 3 here.

Usefulness in Combat – 4

Character Growth – 3

Likeability – 2

Character Design –  3

Overall Score: 12

Wrap Up

Whew! That’s my ranking of the party members in Tales of Symphonia. I’m pretty confident with my scoring, but for the sake of brevity, I skipped over some aspects I could have gone deeper into.

If you would rank the characters differently, feel free to let me know. I’d love to hear if anyone else has opinions about the game, because it’s my favorite and I never get tired of discussing it.

Want to read more about Tales of Symphonia? Try checking out my post about why Tales of Symphonia is multiplayer.

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