He had a team of seven people, an uncertain product, and the thought that if this game didn’t work out, he was done. Sakaguchi told Famitsu back in 2007, “The name ‘Final Fantasy’ was a way for me to show that if this didn’t sell, I was going to quit the games industry and go back to school. It was really a “final” situation.” Another reason for the “final” name choice was Square’s uncertain financial situation at the time. Music composer Nobuo Uematsu said this in an interview with Wired in 2009.
It’s hard to believe that we came so close to not having Final Fantasy be what it is today. The process of narrowing down dozens of games to just nine is very hard, and there is no way to move forward that doesn’t leave good games on the cutting room floor. As well, there are a lot of spoilers to come, so be warned. Once more into the fray! Here are the nine best Final Fantasy games of all time, in order from best to worst.
1. Final Fantasy VII Remake
As you might expect, Final Fantasy VII Remake will also be on this list. However, the new life that was added to Midgar allowed for a great mix of nostalgia and new, unexplored, depth. That doesn’t mean that every change that was made was good. I’m not sure about the scene in President Shinra’s office, but the end result was an eye-popping look at Shinra’s dystopian metropolis. of the more action-oriented Final Fantasy games that have been the most popular in recent years, Remake is pretty much the best one, though it’s not clear yet which one (the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy, Final Fantasy XV, Final Fantasy Type-O).
2. Final Fantasy
The first game in the series is both a franchise-defining and a franchise-black sheep. This is because it is the beginning of all of these beloved games. When you name your characters, they are known as “Warriors of Light.” This isn’t a common thing in the series, and it makes this entry feel a little boring. However, right next to them are the familiar ability trees, great music from Uematsu, and dungeons that are arguably as hard as any in the game series. This is one of my favorite parts of Final Fantasy because you can change your class later in the game. It’s both surprising and rare for a party to change that big, which makes it even better.
3. Final Fantasy VIII
When Final Fantasy VII came out, it was a huge hit. Final Fantasy VIII was always going to have a hard time following that. But because it had one of the most exciting starts in the series, VIII looked like it could handle it right away. VIII is both a winner and a loser because of its own goals. The ideas that run this entry are some of the best, but sometimes the way they are put into practice isn’t as exciting. The Junction System is one of the most unique magic systems in the series. Trying to get magic from enemies made the magic side of the fight stop working (junction effectiveness decreases as you use your drawn magic).
In the plot, VIII is the best. Squall’s first dance with Rinoa, the assassination attempt on Edea in Deling City, and the revelations at the Orphanage are some of the best. These kinds of moments go above and beyond some of the less-well-done design elements. They give us a story that is a little less fantastical, and thus a little more real, than some of its predecessors. Ultimecia didn’t start time-compressing worlds until after that, but, you know, that’s fine.
Oh, and in VIII, Triple Triad was launched for the first time. That’s enough to put this game on the list.
4. Final Fantasy Tactics
There were jobs in Final Fantasy III and V. In Final Fantasy Tactics, we get a different kind of tactical gameplay with a different kind of job system. The game is also set in a complex political drama where everyone is related, plots to kill each other and then kill each other, which makes the job system even more interesting. Here is a summary of Tactics from the Final Fantasy Fandom:
Sounds like “Game of Thrones.” In the end, the game turns into a confusing bloodbath with overpowered characters (like Orlando), old friends (like Cloud Strife), and a job system that makes good on its promise of gridded, tactical gameplay. I don’t care what anyone else says, the fight in the “Finath River” with all the red chocobos casting “Choco Meteor” all over the place was the most difficult part of the whole game for me.
5. Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy X is the first game in the series to be released on the Playstation 2. It has one of the best storylines in the series, as well as graphics that still look good twenty years later. While Square Enix added a lot of unnecessary (regrettable) things to Tidus and Yuna’s story, the original story’s ending was one of the most satisfying. We saw the team of heroes bring about the Eternal Calm, but we also lost Tidus in a beautiful goodbye with Yuna.
Blitzball is one of the most detailed minigames in the whole game. It might have been even more fun than playing Blitzball to go around Spira and look for better players, sign them to contracts, and then see how well your footwork paid off on the field. It wasn’t long after I took Nimrook from the Al Bhed Psyches, but I don’t think I ever gave up on another goal again.
6. Final Fantasy IV
This is the point where every game feels like it should be higher on the list. More than any other Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy IV is still the best one. There are fully-developed, class-oriented characters, the first game to use the ATB system, and the first truly great soundtrack in the series. This is the best one yet. Final Fantasy IV: Interlude and Final Fantasy IV: The After Years are two story extensions that may or may not be necessary, but their existence shows how much this group of characters inspired fans to think about them and make up their own stories. I also think IV taught me a lot about life.
7. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest
Final Fantasy was the series that finally made Japanese role-playing games popular around the world, but it took a long time. We’ll talk about that PlayStation game in a little while. Squaresoft made Mystic Quest from the ground up as a gateway drug, a simplified version of the classic fantasy adventure story and character-building mix that made the genre so rich in the 1980s. It was meant to get people into the genre. The end result is a fun and unique thing. The game Mystic Quest felt too simple in the wake of the game Final Fantasy 4. Today, it looks and plays like some of the most artistic indie RPGs, like Cthulhu Saves the World. It boils down RPG progress to its essentials and surrounds them with big cartoon art. As a bonus, Ryuji Sakai and Yasuhiro Kawakami made one of the best Square game soundtracks of all time in this game!
8. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
It has been a big part of the Final Fantasy series from 1 to 15. A lot of the games have been about how four people work together. In this unique Gamecube spinoff, Square changed the dynamic to a game where four players work together instead of characters in a party. The result was a dungeon crawler that was hard to play because it required four Game Boy Advances and special cords in addition to a Gamecube, but it was the best couch co-op experience ever. Anyone who has played Crystal Chronicles with friends to the end knows that it’s a lot of fun to do that together. In addition to being a great play, Crystal Chronicles has an absolutely lovely Celtic folk soundtrack and a peaceful visual theme.
9. Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions
If it’s hard to believe, this is the most self-conscious and complicated Final Fantasy game ever made. The story of two soldiers who were raised together and became involved in brutal regional conflicts reveals a plot that makes the Catholic church the villains. It also shows that the messiah was a supernatural warlord who was also demonic and bent on enslaving humanity. Sunny things! But the politics of Tactics are a good match for its grueling, addictive fights. It’s a great memory to build an army over years in the game world, leveling people up in different warrior skills, and making sure your strategy was perfect. When you cut down Final Fantasy to its most basic parts, like character drama and battles, it comes out like a piece of tempered steel! First, War of the Lions was on the PSP. It’s the best because it has beautiful animated scenes and Balthier from Final Fantasy 12.