The Spaniard dominated Stanislas Wawrinka in straight sets to clinch his own La Decima, becoming the first man to win 10 titles at a single Grand Slam and taking his overall tally to 15.
The victory also marked Nadal's first Grand Slam success since he last won the French Open title in 2014, and he admitted that he was surprised to have enjoyed such prolonged success in his career.
"This tournament I have been playing great during the whole event since the beginning. So it has been, I think, a perfect Roland Garros for me. I'm very happy for everything," he told reporters.
"Today was a very important day for me. There have been some tough moments the last times, injuries, so it's great to have big success like this again.
"In 2005, I thought in 2017 I'd be fishing on my boat in Majorca. I didn't really think I'd have such a long career and win so many tournaments. So this video was very special. It showed great moments of my career. And back then, of course, I couldn't even think for a second that this would ever happen to me."
Only Margaret Court has won more titles at a single Grand Slam in tennis history, scooping 11 Australian Open crowns between 1960 and 1973.