The first game in the Final Fantasy legacy lays the groundwork for what has become the premier RPG series.

User Rating: 8.9 | Final Fantasy NES
It had to start somewhere and Final Fantasy is a wonderful combination of role-playing intuition and simplistic style that became the first footstep in the ever growing popularity that is console RPGs in America. The story starts with a simple enough quest of rescuing a princess from the clutches of a knight turned bad. As the four adventurers set off on this quest, they realize that world in a much more dire situation and have taken it upon themselves to become the "Light Warriors" and save the world from an unspeakable evil. Your party consists for 4 members that are chosen from any combination of classes that include a fighter, thief, black belt, red mage, white mage, and black mage. Each of these characters have their strengths and weaknesses, for example the black mage has very powerful magic, but has very low HP, strength, and defense, while fighter has high HP, strength, and defense, but is unable to use magic and becomes expensive to maintain when upgrading weapons and armor. After completing the first mission, the world begins to open up and the group is allowed to explore their surroundings and encounter new enemies. The maps and levels are simplistic, yet straightforward and are large enough to have a wide variety of areas without being overwhelming. The main objective of the game is to restore the light of the four crystals that control aspects of the nature, like the water crystal and the earth crystal. The first half of the game plays in a linear fashion as it becomes apparent were your party's next destination is. Once you gain control of the airship, the other half of the world is completely open allowing for some different adventures and approaches when it comes to completing the necessary tasks. The enemies do not present too much of a challenge if your party is diverse. Leveling your character is also straightforward as you gain experience from your enemies and the harder the foe, the more XP you'll have as your reward. Some drawbacks I found were the repetitive nature of many of the dungeons, the cost of items, and the magic system, but these are hardly enough to limit the game's effectiveness. Overall, this is a rewarding game that provides an excellent starting point for any serious role-playing gamer.