The win, which was soundtracked by the raucous singing of 'Allez Les Bleus' from an army of travelling France supporters, was built on a rigid and powerful defence while Michael Guigou was the hero at the other end, throwing in five goals.
For Sweden, silver represents a success as they had no sizeable pre-tournament expectations, but it was the fourth time they have taken second spot on the Olympic podium and their wait for a gold continues.
They found life tough against the French defence, though six goals from Niklas Ekberg took him to 50 for the tournament as they pushed the champions all the way.
Earlier, Croatia won bronze after a comfortable victory over Hungary in the Basketball Arena.
Slavko Goluza's side, whose semi-final defeat to France denied them the opportunity to fight for a record third gold medal, move up to joint top in the all-time list of medal winners with three alongside Russia, Yugoslavia and the USSR.
They were too strong for a tired-looking Hungary and led from the 12th minute, again inspired by the brilliance of Ivan Cupic, whose eight goals took his tally for the tournament to 49.