Top Five Final Fantasy Games-A Completely Subjective List

September 17, 2011 at 8:47 pm (Games) (, )

           5. Final Fantasy XII:

            FFXII is not exactly one of the more popular FF games, but I feel it deserves to be in the top 5. FFXII doesn’t allow you to explore the entire world as most FF games do, and though it is a diverse region, it doesn’t feel that way for some reason, and the music isn’t anything to get excited about. Nevertheless, no game makes you feel more like a god than FFXII. XII has monsters that can literally take hours for just one battle. The innovative battle system introduced in FFXII is nice, because you don’t have to wait for the screen to change to start a battle, and you can take on as many monsters at a time as you want. As soon as you see the monster, you just go straight for it. The license system is a nice, new idea, and instantly gets the player hooked to complete it. Characters are no longer restricted to certain weapons or armor; they just need the license for it. The characters aren’t exactly all that interesting, and their all blonde, which kind of gets to me when I look at the cover. Maxing out your characters is relatively easy, but you really only need to get them to about 70 since leveling up doesn’t affect your stats, (except HP and MP), and you will more than likely have the license board maxed out by the time you reach level 50. XII introduces monster hunts, where you go and fight and get paid to take out bosses. The graphics are a bit fuzzy at times, and FFX, its predecessor, actually has better graphics, but this is really overseen when you play the game. The only setback of FFXII is the ultimate weapon, the Zodiac Spear. It is by the far the cheapest trick Final fantasy has ever played. To get the Spear, there are four chests in the game that you CANNOT open if you want a guaranteed Zodiac spear. Otherwise, you have to hope against hope that you can beat the 1 in a 1000 odds of finding it in a chest that isn’t on even on the map, in the hardest area of the game. But you can probably get along without it. Your giant boss battles will just take a bit longer than if you did have the spear. Overall, a good game and a game of firsts, but not the best.

     4. Final Fantasy XIII:  

            The latest addition to the FF series is hands down, the most visually and aurally appealing. The FFXIII world is the most seemingly expansive and diverse in any video game, and the music is incredibally fitting. The characters are easily separate from one another, and each has their own back-story explained in one way or another in the game. There is no real main character as each one gets their moment to shine, but you’re going to play as Lightning as much as you can any way because she’s that cool. The battle system goes back to the turn-base system, but you only get to control one character at a time, which can get really annoying as when specifically your character dies, you lose the fight. Thankfully, FFXIII is the first FF game to not make you start over from the last place you save, and rather puts back a few steps away from the monster you just fought. Oh yeah, you can still see the monsters before you fight them like in XII, but once you touch them you go into a battle sequence. The level up system is a nice mix between the sphere grid and the job system. Each character specializes in three of the six jobs (the other three are just a lot harder to level up) and getting each sphere requires a certain amount of experience to get to. Your characters are once again restricted to certain weapons and armor, but you do get health or MP boosting items that anyone can use. The only reason I’m putting this game above XII is the graphics because they are purely amazing. It is one of if not the only FF game someone would not mind watching because the graphics are so stunning. XIII continues the monster hunt side-quest brought up in XII, but is not as appealing because a majority of the monsters are just ones you could go and find yourself as opposed to new mutated monsters. Maxing out your characters and acquiring any ultimate equipment is definitely a challenge. I have over 70 hours on my game and I know I have not even come close. Another setback of XIII is your inability to stop and appreciate the game, as it just kind of forces you through the world and doesn’t really let you sit back and enjoy the place they’ve created until you get to the end, and even then you still can’t revisit 80% of the game areas. The high points of FFXIII are the graphics and level up and battle system, but it doesn’t quite satisfy in other areas, which puts it in the top 5, but, despite its good ideas,  not too high up there.

     3. Final Fantasy X:

          Final Fantasy X is one of the more unique and diverse games in the FF series. Spira is a beautiful world and vividly portrayed as FFX was the first PS2 FF game, that is one of the most entertaining to go mess around in, and the music (namely the song of prayer) is definitely something to remember. The main character is the star player of the Zanarkand Abes (a blitzball team), who ends up 1,000 years in the future and becomes a guardian to the summoner Yuna. The game is played through Tidus’ point of view, and has his commentary throughout the game, which makes him an easily relatable character as you and him are in a strange new world and neither of you quite know what’s going on. FFX has incredibly diverse characters, each with a unique personality which is reflected in their battle style. Your characters are restricted to specific armor and weapons, and you no longer have any auxiliary items that anyone can use. FFX’s battle style is your typical FF turn-based fight, but you are given a table in the corner that tells the order of turns and how your actions will affect the order before you actually act. X introduces the sphere grid, which is the basis for FFXII and XIII, where a character’s level turns into how many spaces they can move on the grid, and become stronger and learn new abilities on the way. Maxing out your characters is actually fairly easy, once you get the ultimate weapons, which is not as easy. The ultimate weapons in FFX are some of the hardest to get that wouldn’t take a mastery of the game (unlike FFIX).  Getting the weapons and the items to fully unlock them are each a side-quest in themselves, but they are well worth it. The graphics are amazing after coming from FFIX, and are somehow overall better than FFXII. FFX’s extra game within the game is blitzball, which is basically soccer in a huge sphere of water. Past getting one of the ultimate weapons, you only ever have to play it once, and you almost might as well just walk away because there is no way you are going to win unless you really like blitzball. The story that unfolds between Tidus and Yuna is arguably the best in the entire series, and the most emotional by the end of the game, which is the only reason why anyone would play X-2, easily the worst FF game ever. FFX is an amazing game, but the next two just bring more to the table.

    2. Final Fantasy VII:

            Final Fantasy VII. If you have ever heard of the FF series, it was more than likely about FFVII. Easily the most popular game in the series (which is obvious since they made a movie out of it and two spin-off games), and for good reason. FFVII does not disappoint. The FFVII world is vast and diverse, and extremely fun to go play around in. The music is the most modern sounding in the series, due to the fact that you spend a lot of time in developed or developing cities. Cloud is a great main character, and though at times he does some questionable things, you can’t help but understand and sympathize with him. He is a very relatable character, and a great fantasy idol. Then, of course, there is Sephiroth. Voted one of the best video game characters countless times, he is the ultimate video game antagonist, whose path into darkness you can clearly see, from being the most powerful warrior in the world to the its personal Angel of Death. FFVII also allows you to play as not only people, but a badass fox/wolf/awesomeness named Red XII. The materia system in the game is one of Final Fantasy’s coolest level up systems, and is actually a major part of the plot line. Maxing out your characters and materia is actually not too much of a problem at all, due to item duplication cheat, and finding the ultimate items is an enjoyable journey as opposed to a “I might as well” kind of thing. VII also has Chocobo racing, which if you want to get everything, is required. The graphics are not exactly great, but let’s remember it came out in the 90’s, and was actually pretty good for its time. The game is also one of the few Final Fantasy games to incorporate a bit of humor from time to time, which is probably why it was the most popular FF game.

      1.   Final Fantasy IX:

      IX is easily the best Final Fantasy game in the entire series, but I still can’t quite figure out why. It just is. The FFIX world is one of the most interesting to explore, and the music stays with me to this day, and I know I will be humming some of the songs in my grave. The characters are easily the most diverse and complimentary of all the groups across the FF universe. The relationship between Zidane and Garnet is the best love story in the series, and Kuja makes for a great antagonist who would only work in the FFIX world. The game play is your typical turn-based FF battle system, and the characters are still restricted to certain weapons, (but not necessarily armor) and each have certain abilities that they can learn through equipment (which is where ability points come in). It also brings back the four character team-up from the first four games or so, and allows for real-time fights for more experienced players who want to blow through battles. Maxing out your characters is a not too much of a hassle, but you really do not need to to do everything you want in the game. The game is so entertaining that you will not care about the “out-dated” graphics. FFIX’s side games include Chocobo Hot and Cold, which is required to get most of the ultimate weapons, and tetra master, an interesting card game that can get some-what addicting (especially when you accidentally lose your best card). I cannot give too much more explanation as to why it is the best FF game, so you will just have to go get it and see what I mean if you want to truly understand.



Note: I have not played 5, 6, 8, or any that were online, but considering I’ve yet to hear anyone praise any of them, I doubt they would be added to my list.


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