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My Favorite Final Fantasy Games... In Preferential Order

  • Sep 3, 2009
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Everyone talks about how fantastic Final Fantasy VII is. And I agree, Final Fantasy VII is fantastic. I love that game as dearly as I love any other. It's one of the influential games out there. But this is now a list of my favorite Final Fantasy games in order. And Final Fantasy VI, in my mind, set a standard that it was the job of future Final Fantasy games to live up to. And I can sympathize with those who say VII is better. It does things that most JRPGs couldn't dream of. But whenever I think of Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy VI is what comes to mind. Originally released in the States as Final Fantasy III, this showed us how far Final Fantasy had come. It has a remarkable cast of characters, and has two unlockable characters. Final Fantasy VI is easily my favorite of the series. But there's another Final Fantasy that I felt was far better than Final Fantasy VI...
See the full review, "The Finest Fantasy of Them All".
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy IV. Of all the Final Fantasy games in the series, Final Fantasy IV set the foundation like no other game ever did. With one of the best ensemble cast of characters and a story that can still rival any JRPG today, Final Fantasy IV may be among the most important (and most overlooked) Final Fantasy titles out there. Final Fantasy VI may be my favorite, but if there's any Final Fantasy game that predates VII that every Final Fantasy fan should play... it would be Final Fantasy IV. And luckily a reissue on the DS just dropped down, and it's better than ever.
See the full review, "The Final Fantasy to Make One of the Biggest Dents in the Series".
Of all the stories in Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy X is my favorite. The style itself is quite different for Final Fantasy. No more ATB battle system, voice acting (no matter how laughable some of them are) and presenting a far more linear approach. Final Fantasy X had a chance to be a complete and total disaster. But it wasn't. It has great customization and a fantastic music score. It's perhaps one of the strongest and deepest Final Fantasy titles you'll ever play.
See the full review, "One of the Finest Fantasy Games Out There".
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Why is Final Fantasy VII number 4 on this list, you ask? The JRPG that launched the genre like never before in the United States is only number 4? Well, yeah. I love Final Fantasy VII. I think it's the darkest and has one of the most memorable moments in the history of Final Fantasy... when Aerith dies. Oh, did I neglect to mention spoiler alert? Well, if you didn't know that then you're not much of a Final Fantasy fan anyway. Let me explain why it's number 4, though for those who are about ready to cut me limb from limb. It is the most influential JRPG, but I find that the cast of characters isn't as memorable as those mentioned in the above Final Fantasy. We can all remember Cloud and Sephiroth and Aerith, but the rest of the cast isn't quite as awesome. Most of us just remember them the most because for many it was their first Final Fantasy. And I'd rather people be introduced to Final Fantasy through VII than most other Final Fantasy games. Final Fantasy VII is awesome, but it isn't my number one. It's still an incredible adventure that everyone should undertake once. It has a marvelous story. And FYI you CAN'T revive Aerith. It's 2009... shouldn't we just accept that she's not coming back?
See the full review, "One of the Greatest Games Ever Made".
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy VIII is often labeled the black sheep (if it isn't VIII it's usually XII). And indeed it earns that for being remarkably different. But it still has a really good story and has a really good soundtrack to go along with it. Squall is a memorable character, and some of its CGI scenes are the best you could hope for on the original Playstation.
See the full review, "A Final Fantasy That Tries Too Hard".
Final Fantasy V Advance
The Job System. Is there a better way to customize characters in a Final Fantasy? First introduced in Final Fantasy III, Final Fantasy V does the best job of utilizing it. What Final Fantasy V lacks in story and character development it more than makes up for in Gameplay. Final Fantasy V isn't meant to be a story endeavor for those curious. It's meant to emphasize gameplay. And it does so thanks to the job system.
See the full review, "(4.5/5) Mediocre Story But Incredibly Fun to Play".
Box Art
Final Fantasy XII comes under a lot of scrutiny. Sometimes for weird reasons. It most certainly doesn't turn a lot of heads. The story is kind of slow and unusual (for Final Fantasy) and the License Grid eventually makes everyone the same, but I was rather captivated by the story in many respects. But this was the Final Fantasy that came about after Hironobu Sakaguchi left. And the difference shows.
See the full review, "Not a Fantasy for Everyone".
Final Fantasy IX
This is actually the Final Fantasy which Sakaguchi, the creator and producer of the main series likes the most. It's not going to click too well unless you've played all the other Final Fantasy titles. It has a lot of different references. In fact, they were rather unsure if they wanted to give this a roman numeral. Of course they did. At the time it was a nostalgia trip for many a fan. Of course in America it wasn't quite as big of a nostalgia trip since most of games referenced weren't released. But now that the entire series is out and about worldwide Final Fantasy IX becomes a better experience.
See the full review, "Not the Best of Final Fantasy But Still Not Bad (3.5)".
Final Fantasy I
It seems odd that I'd put the very first one down near the bottom of the list. But I'll be the first to say it... the Final Fantasy titles before IV just weren't anything special. They were huge at the time of their releases on the NES, but they go to show that some games don't age as well as others. Final Fantasy I is a good game overall, but the slow battle system and even slower story might hold some back. Yet it's a good challenge and has a pretty good twist. The game has been released A LOT so if you haven't played it, you have a lot of options.
See the full review, "The Fantasy Which Started It All, But It Hasn't Aged Well".
Then there's Final Fantasy III. It was probably the best of the NES installments, but when it was finally released in the states it was disappointing that it wasn't given many of the much needed upgrades. It uses the job system, but not as well as Final Fantasy V... but this was before then so I don't hold it against it. It's ridiculously hard too. And while that DS release looks really good, it's just hard to get past the fact that a lot of its conventions are dated... but didn't hold up. Especially when you realize how well Final Fantasy IV and V have.
Final Fantasy II
Of the whole main series this is perhaps my least favorite Final Fantasy. The story gets off to a grand start and all, but it's the gameplay of Final Fantasy II that's a nightmare. It takes a bit too much to go into here, but let's just say it was an experiment in stat raising that went horribly wrong.
See the full review, "(2.5/5): Perhaps Promising for It's Time, But Definitely Hasn't Aged Well".
And this is just here because I haven't played it. I'm no MMORPG guy.

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About the list creator
Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #7
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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