It’s probably the most famous RPG franchise of all time: Final Fantasy. But when you start talking about which one is the best, emotions run high. Here are our favorite games in the series; what’s yours?
Mary-Anne: Final Fantasy IX. Fan reception on IX is very polarized, and I can sort of imagine why, but can’t empathize with it at all. For its time, IX was the modern world’s throwback to old-school JRPGs where you swapped weapons and roamed the world with a party of four made up of stereotypical Final Fantasy classes. For all the JRPG tropes the game took on, it did so with panache, and with an exceedingly human story to boot. Zidane, Dagger, Vivi and the rest all come to life in that marvelous game, and I’m just glad it had a happy ending or I’d probably have gotten really depressed when I finally finished it.
Chris: Final Fantasy X
Sure, the main character may have been a bit whiny, but I loved pretty much everything about Final Fantasy X. X just had the best music, world, and story out of the lot. Not to mention one of the most enjoyable mini-games. But what makes Final Fantasy X my favorite is its sphere grid. Leveling your character was no longer linear, I was free to build my characters as I wished. Final Fantasy X was just the perfect mixture of story, art, and gameplay that stood out above the others.
Xairylle: Absolutely Final Fantasy VII! I loved the characters and the story. It wasn’t my first Final Fantasy game and in fact, I only got to play it several years after it was originally released. I used to always see Cloud Strife’s giant poster in a PlayStation rental shop on my way to school and it was practically love-at-first sight, but I only found out who he was years later. And Sephiroth. Oh my goodness! Sephiroth! He was so awesome I almost didn’t want to kill him. Also, just to put it out there, just because I like Final Fantasy VII does not mean I like Aeris Gainsborough. It is actually the opposite. I hated her in Final Fantasy VII (I liked her in Crisis Core, though) and I loved Tifa Lockhart.
Iain:Final Fantasy VIII. Just in case you forgot how much I love Final Fantasy VIII, let me remind you why it’s awesome and why my colleagues are totally wrong. I say that with love, guys! VIII has the best coming-of-age plot in any of the Final Fantasy series and it has some of the coolest characters ever. The legendary douche that is Squall, the romantic/insane Seifer and the surprisingly violent Selphie are all among my favourite characters ever. Oh and lets not forget you can fly a school and fight another flying school! And gunblades!
Charlie: None of them. I’m sorry, but I have never seen the appeal of the Final Fantasy series. The worlds always felt chaotic to me, like the designers just made a list of “things that are cool” and then threw them all together into the same world for no real reason. The turn-based JRPG style battles never held any appeal at all for me, and nor was I ever captivated by the story or characters, at least as presented in any of the trailers I saw. I fully realize this makes me a gaming outcast and heathen, but I can’t help it. JRPGs in general and this series in particular have just never done it for me.
What was your favorite Final Fantasy game?