From Polygons to Picture Perfect: Good Luck Trying to Find Ugly Guys in the “Final Fantasy 7 Remake”

All photos courtesy of Square Enix’s media center.

By Destiny Jackson, Gina Battaglio, Nataly Guzman, and Miguel Gonzales, For The Bulletin

This is not your older brother’s (or sister’s) 1997 “Final Fantasy VII.” Those innocent, unsexed pixelated blips from 1997 have now found themselves at the mercy of the pent-up, quarantined, sexually frustrated gamers of 2020. Though announced (prematurely) at E3 in 2015, Square Enix’s “Final Fantasy 7 Remake” couldn’t have come at a better time. When the remake project was first revealed back at E3 in 2015, nostalgic gamers and enticed newbies waited with bated breath as they counted down the days until the game’s March 2020 release. Expecting a 1:1 rehash of the 1997 version, with some updated dialogue and graphics, fans (read: the internet) were in for so much more. In this highly anticipated, vibrant and overly sexed 23-year-old development in the making, the pixels that we once knew got a major face lift. 

We all know sex sells, and since its release “Final Fantasy VII Remake” (FF7R) has become the fastest-selling PS4 exclusive at 3.5 million copies sold within three days. Now, while it was probably not Square Enix’s intention to detract from the main story (a group of planet-defending vigilantes ban together to stop an evil super soldier and a corporate conglomerate from bleeding the planet dry) it doesn’t seem like they tried NOT to keep your eyes focused (up here) on the issue at hand. 

While boasting itself as a remake, the new FFVII goes beyond the boundaries of its predecessor in more ways than one. It’s a stunning, three-dimensional journey brought to life by stellar voice acting, high-def 3D mapping and imaging. But more importantly, all the main characters are ridiculously hot and they aren’t afraid to show it. In fact, these characters are so distractingly hot that Twitter and TikTok have also picked up on the sheer horniness of this otherwise, very serious and twisted game.

To celebrate the game’s launch, continued success, and unsuspecting hotness, CSUDH Bulletin’s guest writers team up to rank the sexiest guys in the game from hot to hottest in who would make the greatest boyfriend material–you know, those glowy orbs that help you level up?

#7 Wedge

Destiny:  Ah, Wedge, our thicc king.  Though he’s on the bottom of our hot list, it doesn’t mean he isn’t carrying his weight with the rest of the other lookers designed by Square Enix. Matter of fact, he’s the safest low-risk dude here. His mannerisms scream “mama’s boy” and his quips remind you of that boy you turned down in high school because he talked in movie quotes. 

Gina : I love Wedge. He’s a Sector 7 vigilante with a heart of gold and a quirky habit of collecting harems of identical cats. While being the most vanilla of the male ensemble, he’s a big ol’ sweetie that just wants to help his friends take down the bad guys. But I still do worry about his unhealthy cat collection, are you OK Wedge? 

Miguel : Good ol’, reliable Wedge. What he lacks in ripped muscles and chiseled good looks (at least compared to the other characters on this list) , he makes up for tenfold with his caring personality towards his teammates, the environment, and his lovable cats. The man just wants to see the world thrive without Shinra giving the planet the ultimate succ and draining all of its Mako energy. This endearing goof is sincere, a bit awkward, and would probably love to spend his carefree days eating pizza and beer, while watching TV and snuggling up to his three cats. To me that sounds like the perfect date. I can get behind that! 

Nataly: It’s about time we have thicc softie representation. Here we have a guy who breaks the mold of men’s physical expectations we often see in the media: a guy who’s a little rounder, but his size is not there to be the butt of jokes: it’s just there. He still participates in a stealth mission as part of an eco-terrorist group, pushes through his injuries, and goes back in a crisis to save his cats. A man who loves cats, pizza, and the environment. I’m into that.

#6 Barret

Gina: Barret gives off major HDE (hot dad energy). Who doesn’t love a family man? I mean come on, this guy’s sole purpose is save the planet from “global warming” just so his daughter can one day grow up to breathe clean air. If he was a real person, he’d totally vote for Bernie. Wrap me up in those big buff arms, daddy. 

Miguel: Barret is the type of guy who can command a room with his sheer presence. He’s in charge of kicking ass and rallying up the troops with iconic lines such as: “a good man who serves a great evil is not without sin.”  It’s almost criminal that he’s not already a politician in the FFVII universe! And can we talk about his biceps and his smoldering stare for one second? The man could literally piledrive me into the ground and I’d thank him and promise to call him the next day for a second date.

Nataly: Barret is intense. It’s passion that stems from anger at his planet being sucked dry by greedy corporate overlords, causing the top few to live in comfort while many live in poverty and squalor. While the game gives him quite the potty mouth with lines such as “[The planet is being drained] while you sleep, while you eat, while you shit. The hell you think is gonna happen when it’s all gone, huh?”  But then on the other hand the game gives us whiplash worthy tender moments with his daughter Marlene whom he refers to as “cute as a button.” His dad instincts combined with being the most swol out of AVALANCHE…yeah, I dig that.

#5 Biggs

Destiny: He looks too much like Charlie Sheen from “Platoon” for me to think he’s attractive. But he does help little orphan kids, so I guess that gets him a little bit higher on the sexy list.

Gina: BIGGS WOW. Talk about a “glow up” huh? Like his crime fighting partner, Wedge, he also just wants to kick ass  and take names, and who doesn’t love a good hero in training? Also, did you see that facial hair? How could I say no to facial hair. I’m a girl with needs and those needs involve facial hair. Square Enix, call me. 

Miguel : Biggs is absolutely one of my biggest crushes in this game. The man not only looks like he could be a perfect candidate for “The Bachelor” with his head turning good looks, he’s also the brains of the Avalanche group and has a penchant for overthinking, the man could give me heart palpitations with his wild eyes and his killer smile. 

Nataly: Biggs volunteers with orphans. Enough said. He acts as a middle ground between the clumsy, unmethodical Wedge and rowdy, headstrong Barret. He’s got a sharp jawline and a  lean, muscular body that I wouldn’t mind hiring to teach me some private lessons. 

#4 Reno/Rude

Destiny:  I love a ginger haired man as much as the next Ron Weasley fan girl, and much like Hogwarts, I wish I could be the headmistress of Reno’s castle. The true glow up award here though goes to the man in black, Rude. His 8-bit polygon was lacking the suave enhancements of the cooly tempered gentlemen. Because of their ying-yang partnership with Reno being like fire and his partner Rude being like water they are tied for me at medium sex appeal. 

Gina: First of all, who doesn’t love a man in a suit? What Rude lacks in personality (as the stoic member of the Turks), he makes up in facial hair. And sure, Reno may be a little vindictive and murderous, but he knows he looks good. Look at his unbuttoned shirt. That’s pretty damn spicy.  

Miguel : Reno looks like the type of wild club boy who has all the connections and can get you into all the hot places. When you’re with him, you’re gonna have a fun night as he seduces you with that fiery red hair and smart ass remarks that you can’t help but laugh at.   Rude on the other hand looks like the tough, intimidating type who you can’t quite get a read on. Which in turn makes him hotter and only makes you want to get to know him more. The guy wears a freaking suit, works out, and has a head that’s smoother than a baby’s ass.  I’d be down to be whisked away by that handsome Turk any day of the week! 

Nataly: Reno’s beauty is upsetting. His original polygon did nothing for me, which made it easier not to fall for him since he is essentially a bad guy anyway. But now that it’s 2020 and they gave this asshole a conscience in his affliction to help the big evil corp Shinra destroy the planet … I might be rethinking my allegiances. With his moral torment and that unbuttoned shirt (and boy did the remake make it even more noticeable)…I can’t help but be attracted to him. As for Rude? Well, at least he takes the time to button up his shirt.

#3 Rufus Shinra

Destiny: Rufus Shrina and I both have daddy issues, but at least his comes at the expense of being the son of the wealthiest and corrupt businessmen in Midgar.  While more prominent in the original “Final Fantasy”, he is inserted in the game after roughly 20 hours of playtime. Perhaps for good reason though, as he rounds out our bottom three. . We love man with power and money, even if he is destroying the world to make it. 

Gina: One of the hardest boss fights in the game. When we first meet him, the camera wastes no time  panning up, and then down to show us that not only is this hot, rich, spoiled man  packing (a very large gun, that is), he’s got a  great finger technique (What? He can pull the trigger very fast, you know.) Aim that gun right at my heart, Rufus.

Miguel : Money? Check. Power? Check. Animal lover? Checkaroonie! While Rufus isn’t exactly high on my personal ranking of eligible FF bachelors, you can’t deny his influence in the series. If you ever needed a sugar daddy to pay for materia you just couldn’t afford, look no further! Rufus will take good care of you. Plus, he has a dog! I mean, come on now. 

Nataly: “Final Fantasy’s” version of the ultimate Karen. As the privileged heir to the planet-destroying Shinra Corp, it’s a wonder that he even made it this far down on the hot list. As I mentioned before, I’m a sucker for the grassroot antics of the AVALANCHE group, but I’ll be damned if the deep pockets, smouldering eyes, and the psychosexual corrupt vibes didn’t grab my attention. He’s also a fan of traveling by helicopter, so absolutely, I’d let him take me out on a fancy date that I could probably never afford. 

#2 Cloud Strife

Destiny: As soon as you start the game as the titular good-bad boy, Cloud Strife, the game wastes no time setting up the cult (read: harem) of Strife. There are 7 characters in the game that have a thing for him–both men and women. Is it the clumpy way he walks? Is it the grumpy way he talks? Or is it those damned beautiful blue-green eyes of his? Either way, he’s my pick for perfect boyfriend material. Who doesn’t like a sad white boy? 

Gina: Women love a man they can fix, just ask the triage of women who fall for him during the gameplay as he travels from the sector  7 slums to the “disneyland of sin”, Wallmarket. Nevermind those sad eyes and those pouty lips that they upgraded in the remake, it’s all about Cloud’s journey of learning to loosen up that makes him more attractive than his 8-bit counterpart. That cross-dressing scene at the Honey Bee Inn, iconic. Also, Square Enix, please tell me where Cloud learned how to throw his booty back like that? 

Miguel : Cloud sort of reminds me of that “damaged” guy we’ve all met once before who has a dark secret, is reserved, might ghost you for months, but still manages to text you “happy birthday” (because he cares). You’d just love to change that bad boy, and your influence starts to bring out a gentler side of him you didn’t even know was there. You begin to see Cloud has a soft spot towards others in need and underneath that hard, aloof persona he has when he’s actually a big softie. Plus that iconic hairstyle of his? Total heart throb material. 

Nataly: Cloud is every girl’s dream, and every dad’s worst nightmare. He’s an ex-SOLDIER turned mercenary (ie: he used to fight for the bad guys, and now he fights against them). His years at war have hardened him, but he might be not as distant as he lets on. The man can kill a man in one blow with his powerful Buster sword, and then right after take you out for a night of dancing in one of the most unbe(e)lievable (and now iconic) parts of the game. He’s the epitome of a stereotypical bad boy that should make every girl run for the hills: he’s quiet, sulky, and carries trauma from the war. But under all that he cares about his friends’ wellbeing. 

#1 Zack Fair

Destiny: It almost feels weird to place Cloud Strife’s best friend Zack Fair at the top of our hot list. But, not only is he the hottest, he’s also someone who survived the clutches of death. While women love Cloud, and with good reason, I think his much taller (though much dorkier) friend takes the pizza (one of the recurring food references throughout the game). 

Gina: Zack, my sweet baby boy. The fallen hero (spoiler: he died while trying to save Cloud in his own spin-off game “Final Fantasy VII Crisis Core” and then was resurrected for the remake to the surprise of everyone) with a big heart and small brain. He’s adorable and just wants to fight bad guys for a good time, not a long time.

Miguel : Speaking of iconic hairstyles, who wore it better: Cloud or Zack? Cast your votes in now! Seriously though, I wish Zack had gotten more screen time because seeing him again in HD graphics with those green eyes and almost spiked to perfect black hair? Not to mention the fact that he has a cocky attitude, wields the Buster Sword like a pro, and cares about the lower-middle class? Oof, be still my heart! 

Nataly: Zack. What an adorable hottie of a goofball. His outgoing personality balances out Cloud’s stoic one, and he is willing to fight to the bitter end not just for himself, but for those he cares about too. Being a SOLDIER, he has many of the same traits as Cloud: stunning eyes, toned physique, and is a skilled swordsman (I wonder if he can dance as good as Cloud… something tells me he does). Seeing Zack in the remake was emotional, and I only wish we’d gotten a little more of him. Here’s to hoping that wish comes true in part two!