While Square's Final Fantasy series has remained as one of the most popular J-RPG's of all time but however in recent years the franchise has gone through evolutions but unfortunately changing the way that the franchise was never meant to be. These resulted in poor sequels and questionable spinoff games. For this list I have decided to go all out and list in the worst of the worst and the biggest disappointments that Square has unleashed on this once beloved series. Be warned not many people will agree with the choices I picked out. Some entries provides promise that eventually lead to complete disappointments.
10: Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (Known as just Mystic Quest in Europe)
Platform: Super Nintendo
In 1992 Square begun to think the West would find Final Fantasy games difficult to understand so instead of Final Fantasy V the developers released a spinoff Final Fantasy game called Mystic Quest was made to be targeted for the US/EU markets for almost a full year. It did have some ideas like simple puzzles, the ability to chose your battles which were new at the time plus the soundtrack wasn't too bad even if it wasn't really memorable. Mystic Quest had a very painfully basic storyline, the inventory including weapons and armour were small and typical battle options were stripped down to make it simple to make the game even easier then it needed to be. It tried to make an appeal to the English speaking audience but however became one of the more disliked in the series by fans.
9: Final Fantasy X-2
Platform: PlayStation 2
When ever Square releases a brand new Final Fantasy sequel it has always moved towards a different setting with different characters, that changed when the developers released their first ever sequel to a sequel game that was X-2. While it had some ideas like being able to travel all over Spira and it had a fast paced battle system but reality soon became clear that it soon begins the franchise's downfall. It tried to make the appeal to the female demographic by only having a female only party with Yuna and Rikku wearing inappropriate layers of clothing for a 12+ rated Final Fantasy game. The music consisted of atrocious short looped tracks that resembled 1960 porn-style instead of fantasy tunes and many of the minigames where either bad or broken in various ways like Blitz Ball which you cannot play. It is big shame that X-2 could not reach the quality that made the original X close to one of the top titles on the PS2.
8: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Echoes of Time
Platform: Nintendo DS/Nintendo Wii
There are so many serious problems with Echoes of Time, poor combat, text only communication for multiplayer and poor storyline cutscenes are just some of the small problems. The game's real problem that can really ruin the game for everyone comes from the AI companions, they don't follow the player or help with puzzles cause they spend the entire time committing suicide. It is also hard to accept that the Wii version of the game tries to play and look like it's DS counterpart making it more complicated that it needed to be. Maybe committing suicide was a good way to get out of the game, anyone else would be.
7: Final Fantasy VIII
A controversial pick for this list, after Square made a huge success with Final Fantasy VII on the PlayStation things were defiantly looking high for the franchise, but when Final Fantasy VIII was made it proved that there will be times where the series could eventually screw up. Of all the positive things about Final Fantasy VIII that stands out would be the CGI cutscenes but when you get to the gameplay and storyline side of things FFVIII proved that the game best achieves style over substance. Some of the game's main characters are either bad or downright unlikeable like Squall or Zell, grinding EXP makes normal enemies be the same level as the highest level character sometimes resulting in an unfair difficulty challenge. The game's Junction System forced players to spend hours drawing magic from monsters in order to get stronger which is likely to become tedious when it takes forever to get one spell to 100. Getting a collection of cards proved also to be a chore and most battles can be won by relaying on summoning Guardian Forces since you start the game with them and they cost a thing, beside taking damage for their users. To be vaguely honest Final Fantasy VIII does not hold up by gaming standards today but eventually Square fixed all of all those issues for Final Fantasy IX and put the series back together at least for a few years.
6: Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII
Platform: PlayStation 2
One of the most critically acclaimed games of all time got a sequel that is deeply flawed, it did try to fix some of the issues before releasing in the West but unfortunately it is proved that anyone cannot polish this Turk. It had awkward controls with a constrictive melee system but the game's biggest problem was hot it attempted to dive into more about Vincent's past as well as trying to match him on par with Cloud or Sephiroth which is a mistake considering their characters. It was one of a few Final Fantasy games that wanted to try and make an effort on a different genre but doesn't do it right.
5: Final Fantasy XII
Platform: PlayStation 2
Another controversial pick for the worst FF list, Final Fantasy XII tried to bring in a fully open world with some elements of an MMO game but also implemented a license board system in which in reality everybody can do or wear the exact same thing as long they have license for it. The combat was slow and dull and it's so called gambit system is very limited and clunky that you do not get the most necessary ones until much later on and the hunting system was a complete mess with you running from location to location talking to an NPC to actually get the hunt started. It's storyline focused way too much on politics then actually thinking about any of the characters specially for the main character Vann who is treated as extra weight for the party. Final Fantasy XII is a very conflicted game that doesn't execute it's ideas properly and it's Japan only re-release called FFXII Zordic Job System tried to place a Job system to make the game more unnecessarily difficult then it needed to be.
4: Final Fantasy IV The After Years
Platform: Mobile/Wii Ware/PSP/Tablet
Final Fantasy IV was one of the top 2D Final Fantasy games and it follows in the shadows of Final Fantasy VI, so making a sequel to one of the 2D instalments would have been a fan pleasure. Unfortunately for fans that wasn't without the company's stupid decision of releasing the game into different episodes which angered players who wanted to purchase the entire game immediately, not to mention that each episode was insanely expensive making it one of the most expensive games on Wii Ware. All that for a storyline which is on par with bad fiction, badly designed areas and a terrible sequence near the end of the game which I will not spoil here. The After Years was a mere after thought of a sequel and it is best avoided alongside the Interlude Storyline on the PSP version.
3: The Final Fantasy XIII Trilogy
Platform: XBox 360/PlayStation 3/PC
There is no other Final Fantasy game that could turn out to be a big disappointment then Final Fantasy XIII. After the big reveal trailer back in 2006 fans waited 4 years for the series next big release but it ended up being the unlucky number for fans. The original XIII was a strictly linear game with constant tutorials that continue to come after many hours into the game, XIII is barely even considered a game when you are merely walking from one big corridor to the next to fight enemies and eventually a tough boss with only the second half the game having small amounts of sidequests before being stuck to the storyline again. The battle system used a Paradigm Shift system which wasn't well executed and having the leader die meant Game Over. XIII's other main offence is weak storyline and the worst possible character roster you could have for a Final Fantasy which has characters like Snow, Hope, Vanille and worst of all Lightning, Not one single thing is even likeable about her such as her voice and the way she is even portrayed. Final Fantasy XIII was such a huge failure but what is worse is that although Square Enix acknowledged that it was linear they then decided to give out squeals that nobody ever wanted. Final Fantasy XIII-2 tried to fix some of the original XIII's problems by actually featuring an explorable world map and improving a tiny bit of XIII's combat but it can never improve on the storyline. It was just as convoluted as the original and the choices you make barely make any difference and after a few hours you really begin to lose what you are really supposed to do. If you though XIII and XIII-2 were bad you haven't seen just how bad Lightning Returns is. The storyline is the most painful to sit through because of the god awful characters which are just as unlikeable as they were in the original especially Lightning. She is portrayed as an emotionless dress up doll with a more ridiculous premise that doesn't make her any better. Get this, Lightning is now a servant working for the gods and she is tasked in saving as many people as possible before time runs out. That's right Lighting Returns is on a Time Limit which means you do not have any time to explore the world and sidequests that you need to do to get stronger can only be done at certain hours of the day. The combat was poor and often-times unfairly difficult against bosses, the soundtrack was generic and it's graphics are just bland with plenty of lifeless areas. Clearly Final Fantasy XIII are not Paradigm Shifts for the series but they were just awful and some of the franchise's worst and most disappointing games to be released.
2: Final Fantasy XIV Online/Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn
Platform: PC/PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4
Final Fantasy XI's gameplay certainly doesn't hold up today but it is Square Enix's most profitable Final Fantasy game and despite some reasonable hate from players it has held a large player base for over a decade, making it one of the most popular MMO's next to World of Warcraft and Everquest which understandably where much better. When Square Enix announced Final Fantasy XIV as an online game fans raged out as the MMO that no one wanted. When the game got released players experienced a broken disastrous mess of MMO with a terrible interface, awful combat, bad questing and plenty of bugs, glitches and server problems. It was truly one of the franchise's biggest failures in Final Fantasy history but that didn't stop Square Enix from attempting to remake the game from scratch. They tried to turn the tides with A Realm Reborn but while it remains popular it doesn't mean that the game carries better polish. The combat was just as slow and punishing, quests that as fun as getting bird poop on the face and also including a pay to play basis that are just way too expensive for what the game attempts to offer, also the game's server problems rendered players unable to login from day one. It literally doesn't matter how much polish a game like this could go through there is little to like about the game and that realm really should have remained dead and forgotten.
Final Fantasy XI Online (PC/PS2/XBox 360)
Final Fantasy Fables Chocobo's Dungeon (Wii)
Final Fantasy Legend (GB) (Known as SaGa in Japan)
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (Nintendo 3DS)
Final Fantasy III (PSP, Oyua and Steam versions)
1: Final Fantasy All the Bravest
One thing that really needs to be said about All the Bravest is that it is not a game at all, I am dead serious Final Fantasy All the Bravest isn't a game at all but a disgraceful app that is designed to steal all the hard earned real life money from Final Fantasy fans who use iPhones and Tablets. Every thing in the game costs money from areas to characters and the game costs as well to even download it, you want to purchase Cloud from FF7 you might be able to try and buy him but because purchases are random you might end up with a character you don't want like a pig from FFIV. All the Bravest gameplay is waving your fingers across the screen to make your characters attack and over 30 characters can attack at once but they die in one hit. If a character dies you can either wait 3 real world minutes for one to be revived or by purchasing an hourglass which also costs real money. Beyond being disgusted by the design and gameplay, Final Fantasy All the Bravest is a complete and utter abomination that it is not only one of the worst Final Fantasy games of all time but one of the worst mobile and all out worst ever games in existence which perhaps destroys all hope for Final Fantasy to redeem itself. All I can say Square Enix is how dare you take our favourite Final Fantasy related sprites and music and turning them all into one disgusting game that must be avoided at all costs. No hardcore fan should ever have to suffer with it.
Do you do you not agree with this list? Even if you don't then please tell in the comments What were your hated Final Fantasy titles?
Written By Anthony Hayball (AQWBlaZer91)
Happy Gaming to you all and please remember to stay safe!