Suikoden 2 is widely regarded, alongside Xenogears, as the best RPG of all time, so you’re going to want to play it, and you’re going to want to get the best characters. It’s based on a classic Chinese novel called the Legend of the Water Margin which is about a ragtag group of people who come together to overthrow an empire. Suikoden 2 has an incredible story about two best friends on opposing sides of a war. It also features 108 different characters to collect, about half of whom can be used in battle. So who are the best characters? Let’s take a look.
First, the thing to understand is that the most important thing for each character is the number of rune slots they unlock. This is because combining Fury (2x damage buff), Double Beat (attack twice) and Double Strike (1.5 damage given and received) all stack, making your character stupidly overpowered. Add in a Rage/Thunder weapon rune (1.5x damage) and… well, you’re reaching unnecessary levels of busted. It’s not a hard game — throw a Fury and a Double Beat rune on anyone and they’ll faceroll the entire game, but nevertheless, here are the best characters.
Killey is flat out the best character. 3 open rune slots, no locked equipment, and an open rune slot on his weapon. Give him the rune combo described above + a Rage or Thunder rune on his weapon and 3x Fire Emblems and watch him kill the final boss in one hit.
Sheena is the second best character, almost tied with Killey. The only difference is that he’s stuck with a Star Earring in his accessory slot which makes him slightly weaker physically. The difference is miniscule. Sheena, also, will kill the final boss in one hit just fine.
Rina, Sid and Chaco are in a 3 way tie for the next best three characters, for all of the same reasons.
Kahn is almost there, but since he has a Magic Drain rune stuck on his weapon, he can’t quite get there.
In practicality, collecting all these runes is very time consuming, and so there is some value to characters who are great to just plug and play, have an awesome magic rune, or those who you can toss a Fury/Double Beat rune on and be good. These notable mentions are:
Riou (the hero): His magic rune is probably better for a 3rd slot rune than a Double Strike rune. He’s the best healer in the game, in addition to being broken statwise.
McDohl: The main character of Suikoden 1, who you get for importing your data. Similar to the hero, he has a pretty busted magic rune that, while nowhere near as powerful as a single attack from a totally decked out Killey or Sheena, wrecks.
Viktor: Has only two open rune slots, but has the best weapon and an insanely high strength growth. His potential isn’t as high as Killey or Sheena, but he reaches his potential much more easily and it’s definitely enough to blast through the game with.
Nanami: You have to use her for most of the game, but then she’s unavailable at the end, which is… disappointing, from a party-planning perspective. The thing about Nanami is she’s the fastest character, and there’s a rune called a Spark rune, which gives your whole party her speed. So, even though she only has two rune slots, giving her a Fury rune and a Spark rune makes her a strong enough character who provides unique utility.
That about does it for the best characters in Suikoden 2. Be sure to check out the Games Section for more guides like this, and be sure to check out the Suikoden section for more articles about Suikoden 2 and other games from the series.