Greece, Croatia and Iceland secured their spots, while Denmark were the one Uefa runner-up to miss out on a final chance to reach Brazil next summer
France beat Finland 3-0 in their last Group I game but Spain's win over Georgia ensured les Bleus were consigned to second, while Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal team-mates finished a point behind Fabio Capello's Russia in Group F.
The one Uefa group runner-up that will miss out on a play-off spot due to their worst record against the first, third, fourth and fifth-placed sides are Denmark due to there only being eight spots up for grabs.
Group B's race for second between four teams - Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Armenia and the Danes - went down to the wire, and the way the countries took points off each other worked against them in the end.
Sweden were the only team heading into the final round of matches guaranteed of a place in the play-offs, with Germany a distant Group C winner, no teams challenging their second place and the bottom-placed team already decided.
The second team to know their play-off fate were Greece, as Bosnia and Herzegovina won to deny the Euro 2004 winners automatic entry to the tournament in Brazil next summer.
Croatia had already sealed second place in Group A and were able to avoid missing out on the play-offs despite losing 2-0 to Scotland in their final game on Tuesday.
Iceland - who have never reached a major international tournament in their footballing history - will be delighted to have a crack at World Cup 2014 qualification after Slovenia were defeated 1-0 by Group E winners Switzerland, meaning the Scandinavians' 1-1 draw with Norway was enough to finish second.
Turkey's 2-0 defeat to Netherlands ensured that Romania finished ahead of their Group D runner-up challengers and Fatih Terim's men slipped from second to fourth, with Hungary hopping into third with their 2-0 win over Andorra.
The final spot on Tuesday went to Ukraine, who hammered San Marino 8-0 but were pipped to first place in Group H by England, who beat Poland 2-0 in their Wembley clash.
The draw for the two-legged ties will take place on October 21 in Zurich, with giants France potentially seeded second, opening up the possibility of a clash with fellow pre-draw play-off favourites Portugal.
The top seeds are expected to be Croatia, Portugal, Greece and Sweden although October's Fifa ranking is yet to be released, with France, Ukraine, Romania and Iceland set to be the other four sides.