The Shameful Narcissist is currently running a poll asking readers to vote for the best Final Fantasy game of all time. As a response to that post I have decided to jot down my three favourite RPGs from Square-Enix’s legendary series. Just missing the cut are Final Fantasy 8 and Final Fantasy 14. Eight was a great game although the system of drawing magic from enemies, to boost stats, was far too easy to exploit. Fourteen deserves praise, as Square managed to salvage the game after a terrible launch. At the time of writing FF14 is one of the better MMOs money can buy… and I am not just saying that because the servers are populated with cat girls.
3rd) Final Fantasy 10: For many people this was the last great Final Fantasy game. It’s the title that convinced me to buy a PlayStation 2, which was the first console I ever purchased (all of my other systems were gifts from relatives.) Tidus wasn’t the greatest protagonist perhaps, but the rest of the cast was cool – particularly badass Auron. Aside from the story itself I sunk many hours into Blitzball, because I am a sucker for sport management sims. Heck, when I rebought FF10 for the Vita I never beat the last boss. Screw saving the world, I just want to grind for cash so I can play season after season of underwater soccer.
2nd Final Fantasy 6: Also known as Final Fantasy 3 in the States, as some of the earlier FF games weren’t localized (or perhaps because Yanks can’t count.) Final Fantasy 6 took a while to win me over. I originally played it on an SNES emulator and gave up on it after a few hours. Years later I gave the game another chance on the PlayStation One and got hooked once the ability to customize what spells your party can cast became available. It’s impressive how many playable characters you can recruit when you consider the game’s age. Easily the best of the retro Final Fantasies in terms of gameplay, story and quotable lines. If you think otherwise you must be more insane than a spoony bard.
1st) Final Fantasy 9: The top spot goes to the game that got me into the RPG genre. It’s one of my favourite games of all time thanks to its beautiful soundtrack and memorable cast of characters. Steiner the bumbling knight, Zidane the rogue with a Goku like monkey tail and Vivi the adorable black mage. If you don’t like Vivi you don’t have a soul. They just don’t make Final Fantasy games like this anymore. Now all Square cares about is fast paced combat, sci-fi worlds and photorealistic graphics. It’s technically impressive, but lacks the charm of FF9’s four man parties, medieval setting and chibi character designs. Modern day Final Fantasy has forsaken me, so I’ll have to rely on Bravely Default instead to satiate my hunger for traditional turn based RPG goodness.
So there you have it. Those are my three favourite Final Fantasy titles. Feel free to list your own picks in the comments section below. I look forward to reading how my opinions are wrong, just because I omitted a certain release that features a spikey haired cross-dresser and a flower girl slayer with mommy issues.