When it comes to the RPG genre, there has never been quite a prominent brand in both the east and west than Final Fantasy. The most iconic of all RPG series, it has time and again set the standard for what makes a good RPG and has constantly defined the wow factor when it comes to in-game graphics. So let me share to you my personal top 5 Final Fantasy games.
5. Final Fantasy VII
The video game that brought us 3D graphics in an RPG, cool mini-games within games, permanent death of a great friend and ally, awkward situations, and many more. FF VII was a wacky mess but it definitely made us rethink just what any RPG has to offer to us. It showed us cool ways to customize our combat using the materia system. The game had a lot of fun specials for each character and even some bonus characters that we can miss if we’re not too careful. All because if they were permanent characters then the game would’ve had 4 discs instead of 3 for the PS1 (which they later did with FF VIII). It is also worth mentioning that this game gave us one of the coolest if not the coolest looking antagonist of our childhood in Sephiroth. Though the game had some dumb character moments, it also has so many memories and awesome 3D scenes at the time. FF VII has a special place in most gamer’s heart.
4. Final Fantasy VIII
A game that is messy and can easily be exploited early on by those who know just how to make use of the mess that it built itself up with. The game has many flaws and the draw and junction system has always left me more confused each time I try to remember the game’s mechanics. The plot didn’t help much as well because it was very convoluted since it was dealing with time mind control. But despite all of its shortcomings, the game has one of the most memorable open world experiences and epic moments I have seen from any video game yet. It is one of the few Final Fantasy games wherein you have to fight some of the summons in order to use them in combat. Even summons are not free from death this time, and what kind of game lets you turn your entire school into an airship? Not to mention fighting another school by literally crashing onto each other with motorcycles coming out of one of them! Add in some side characters with a lot of depth and we have one awesome great Final Fantasy in the books.
3. Final Fantasy X
This was a Final Fantasy game that really emphasized on the journey that you went through with your friends. One where they guided you by the hand only to push you down a cliff to face reality for what it is more so than most FF games. The story was quite rich that you never really felt bored at what the game throws at you and it can even throw you in for a loop a few times. The characters you have fought beside with were given so much detail into who they were that they were filled with so much life. It is actually a lot like the FFXIII wherein it was actually quite linear in retrospect but it was never as strict in its linearity since you can easily go back at any point in the game but it never gave you much reason to do so until you unlocked the airship. Instead of the usual card games, FFX gave us their unique combination of swimming, football, and rugby in blitzball. At first it didn’t seem like a fun game but as I kept playing one time when I was bored I became engrossed in it. I would easily spend hours just playing blitzball and making my team better, recruiting people from all over Spira to improve our chances only to find out that most of the best players were actually the default team members I had. Also, playing in tournaments for prizes that may or may not help me with my journey in the long run. No other FF game has ever had so much depth in their mini-games as much as FFX in their blitzball.
2. Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions
This Final Fantasy game is so close to being a perfect game if not the closest in the entire series. Fun, addicting, time consuming, and a multiplayer mode that actually works for a Final Fantasy game that makes you just want to keep going in because of the exclusive gear in the mode. The story is so rich and filled with so much political strife, betrayals, deaths, hardships, and sorrow that this is easily one of the best stories I have ever seen in any form of medium. Combine that with a very deep job and tactical battle system filled with so many job classes and a huge cast of characters then this is easily my favorite TRPG of all time.
1. Final Fantasy IX
Why this is at the top of the list is simple, no other Final Fantasy game executes “Final Fantasy” as much as FFIX. A colorful world with so many races, airships flying everywhere in the sky including in the world map, a dynamic world filled with hidden areas, awesome CGI that pushed the PS1 to its limits, fun minigames like frog catching and chocobo hot and cold, chocobos growing up to become more powerful, characters who are easily remembered throughout the generations, a deep story that is without a doubt one of the series’ best, high stakes wherein all existence in all of time is at the risk of destruction, and so much more. This game is not only my favorite Final Fantasy of all time but it is also my favorite game of all time. Coincidentally, FFIX is also the favorite FF game of Hironobu Sakaguchi, the series’ creator. I can’t wait for a remastered version of this to one day come out.
And there you have it. FFXV could’ve made the list but I abstained from including it because it has yet to be complete especially since it will still be getting more new content in 2018. So what’s your favorite FF game? Let us know in the comments below.