Back in the late '90s and early 2000s, I played JRPGs almost exclusively. While I dumped tons of hours into Chrono Trigger, Suikoden II, and Legend of Legaia, my favorite (haters gonna hate) was Final Fantasy VII. Why? Because it had an incredible cast of memorable characters.
No matter how many times I played through it, though, I could never bring myself to drop Cid Highwind from my party. He was edgy, and cool; he smoked cigarettes like a badass, had a potty mouth that out-pottied Barret, and carried a giant, sharp spear that he'd use to stab enemies to death. But I found him most endearing because of his sad backstory. Cid had all but given up on his dreams, resigned to the fact that the rusty rocket in Rocket Town would never fly again. But it did--and he flew it, ultimately finding redemption. Cid's story was an inspirational one, and he remains my favorite party member out of any I've seen in an RPG.