Over the years Square's Final Fantasy has become one of the most important game series in the gaming industry and as such it is time honor the best of the best the long running RPG series has produced ever. There are plenty of great games which so far hold up well compared to the newest titles released today. This was a difficult list to put together considering everyone has their opinions on the best titles that existed so it is time to set some rules for this list.
Final Fantasy must be in the title especially for UK releases
Only the games that managed to get a release in Europe will count
One entry per sub series will count
With these limitations these are the currently best Final Fantasy games of all time.
10: Final Fantasy III
To start the list Final Fantasy III introduced class switching which allowed many different and unique way to playing through the game such as trying to go through with 4 Monks or with 4 Red Mages. Many of the classes offered many different skills that can be used for battle and also the game allowed temporal assists which made NPC's very useful. It's storyline got better alongside the presentation when it got a complete make over for the Nintendo DS in 2006. It remains as one of the most difficult 2D installment of the series but it is still remains as a great game on the DS but a bit outdated on the PSP or the Ouya.
9: Final Fantasy V
While Final Fantasy V has the most laughable English dialogue in the main series but it's gameplay taken from parts of III and IV still helped made it a memorable game nonetheless. Adding in a few new classes the game also introduced multi-classing which allowed things like making a mage wield swords or strong warriors to use magic abilities. Final Fantasy V helped popularize fan-translation projects across the internet after birth of game console emulation.
8: Dissidia: Final Fantasy
Platform: PlayStation Portable
Dissidia is Final Fantasy's answer to the fighting game craze plus taking in many of the famous or infamous characters from the series. Both Dissidia and also it's prequel Dissidia 012 featured a complex fighting system that has great RPG leveling mechanics. The battles also featured a Brave system which when high enough allows the player to deal major damage to their opponent as well as a fighting system which make the fights play like in Kingdom Hearts and the FF7 Advent Children movie. Dissidia 012 also added assists and also alongside the original game you get to experience a storyline that is explained between the various major characters of the series, or you can just pick out your favorite and fight against the characters you like and dislike from each installment which has makes Dissidia pure fan-service.
7: Final Fantasy X
Platform: PlayStation 2/PlayStation 3
While not on par with the best classic like VI, VII and IX Final Fantasy X made it's excellent production trend to the PlayStation 2 and brought together a true winding storyline with voice acting and fantastic cutscenes. Final Fantasy X introduced a brand new leveling system called the Sphere Grid which made leveling more different then any other installment in the franchise. It even returned to the old style battle system plus adding in a turn order which helps ensure that the player makes smart decisions with each character.
6: Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
Platform: Game Boy Advance
The original Final Fantasy Tactics was a superb strategy game of the Final Fantasy name that sadly never got released in Europe but however seeing the popularity and acclaim it got Tactics got released onto the Game Boy Advance especially for the UK. Tactics Advance not only brought together the mechanics that made the original awesome but also included a Law system, different jobs to develop your characters and a superb presentation.
5: Final Fantasy
No best Final Fantasy list is complete without having the original game on it, you just cannot leave the original off cause the original is always declared a classic. There are so many different party combinations and it is always fun to see players do various hardcore challenges like taking on the game with 4 Black or White Mages or with 4 Warriors. What original was supposedly meant to be the last effort from Square to have their chance in the video game industry helped make Final Fantasy a thriving franchise in gaming.
4: Final Fantasy IV
Platform: SNES/PSOne/WSC/GBA/DS/PSP/Wii VC/PSN/iOS/PC
If anyone is too sum up classic RPG story telling that can still be epic and worth revisiting after so many years then that title will be Final Fantasy IV. Cecil the main character is left openly rebels against his actions as a dark knight and become a paladin to make things right again. Final Fantasy IV introduced the Active Time Battle System where enemies can attack even if you are busy giving commands to your characters. Final Fantasy IV remains as one of the finest 2D installments and things got better for it with it's 3D remake for the Nintendo DS which included voice acting, however the tablet and PC releases where made like the DS version but they are really weak ports. Play either the Super Nintendo or Nintendo DS releases because they still provide some of Final Fantasy's best moments today.
3: Final Fantasy VII
With the release of the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 consoles and eventually Nintendo and Square breaking their deals. This forced RPG fans to leave the Super Nintendo and move onto the PlayStation to play one of the systems legendary titles that is Final Fantasy VII. The game's huge acclaim and popularity helped not further popularize not only the franchise but also the Japanese Role Playing market in the West. The storyline and characters where unforgettable with brilliant CD sequences and graphics with exception of the poor character models outside battles that showcased the power of the PlayStation and the game ran on 3 discs. It has the enjoyable battles including the use of Materia and Limit Breaks plus the enjoyable minigames. FF7 still remains as one of the top games that anyone who wants to get into RPG's must play.
2: Final Fantasy IX
Square took what was so great about Final Fantasy VII and fixed everything that was so bad about Final Fantasy VIII and returned the series back to its roots, at least for that time being. The characters were great and colorful and the storyline was superb alongside the CD cutscenes which were strong for the series. The battles remained enjoyable, each character had their own abilities and skills they can learn and equip and the Limit Breaks called Trances where very cool to use. Final Fantasy IX isn't just an heavy improvement from Final Fantasy VIII but it was an all round superb game and stands as one of the best RPG's released on the original PlayStation.
Final Fantasy II (NES/PSOne/GBA/PSP/Tablet)
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call (Nintendo 3DS)
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (Nintendo GameCube)
Final Fantasy Dimensions (Tablet)
1: Final Fantasy VI
Platform: SNES/PSOne/GBA/Wii VC/PSN/Tablet
No matter what some people say Final Fantasy VI is not only one of the best 2D Final Fantasy game but also one of the overall best in the franchise. There are so many cutscene moments in a Final Fantasy game but none go anywhere near as deep as Final Fantasy VI. Scenes like the opera which used the that SNES soundchip well and not to mention the introduction to one of the best Final Fantasy villains of all time Kefka which that laugh. It perfected the 2D Final Fantasy gameplay and tossed in Magic Spells that any character can learn after a few hours into the game on top of their own abilities which made them all useful, 14 main characters had their own struggles and storylines which made each of them more memorable such as Terra, Locke, Cyan or Seles. Top that with the excellent soundtrack, graphics and the already superb gameplay Final Fantasy VI is still of the best games in the series and it would be foolish for any fan of Final Fantasy to miss out on it.
Do you agree with this list? What were your favourite Final Fantasy games of all time?
Written By Anthony Hayball (AQWBlaZer91)
Happy Gaming to you all and please remember to stay away from the bad games!