Nice break down. We have very different tastes though. I would have to say ix and xii are my least favorites going all the way back to the original FF. I found IX to be to easy with annoying characters and I just couldn't get into XII. I found VIII's story to be great, the Junctioning system to be underrated, and the characters to be the most believable of all FF characters. X and tactics would definitely be tied for second though. Also, I think VII gets so much praise because it was the first 3d RPG for a lot of gamers. I actually played VIII and IX first then went back to VII and found that the story doesn't add up (as you put it), the battle system was just a remake of VI, the materia system was a more convoluted version of VI's magic system, and the characters were not believable at all (minus Barret). I appreciate your opinions of course, but mine are pretty different. I put VII, IX, XII at the bottom and raise VIII, X, VI (you didn't play it so you couldn't include it I know).
To start off, i will list all the FF games i have played
FF VII Crisis Core
What truly made this game was its epic story and innovative battle system. The graphics at the time were quite amazing, but i cant help but feel they are dated in this day and age. The story starts off with what seems will be very cliche, but it quickly turns into an amazing story of love, revenge, betrayal, and saving the world (maybe it was a little cliche). The battle system in this game was incredibly fun i found. Battles play out on a chess-like battle field with turn based combat. The jobs system and gaining skill were also pretty awesome. The main thing about the battles is that they got repetetive and were really long. All in all though this was a pretty fun Final Fantasy game, but not the best...
This game is a classic. It set the standard for all RPGs to come. Some people would go so far as to say it was the best final fantasy or even game ever... but not me. While this game was very enjoyable with and amazing story, i cant bring myself to say it was the best. This game does however feature what is arguably the best cast of characters in any game. I know i sound crazy for saying this, but i think there should have been a different main character. Cloud is a badass and all, but he could really be a wimp at times. Now the battles system and the materia were both very cool. I suppose my main gripe with this game is... at many places in the game, the story just plain didnt make any sense. If you have played it before you probably know what Im talking about. It left too many questions unanswered. Despite this minor (very minor) flaw, this was an amazing game. I mean absolutely amazing.
Now FF VIII has often been dubbed the worst in the series, but i beg to differ. While it didnt compare to VII, it was still a fun game. Granted the whole junctioning system was pretty weird, and the story felt dry and at times boring, i still thouroughly enjoyed this game; enough to replay it several times. Now the story itself is nothing more than save the world from some weird sorceress with a love story on the side; not much there. This game certainly wasnt my favorite, but it deserves more credit than it gets.
FF IX was, quite simply, amazing. The story was amazing, the characters were amazing, are you seeing a pattern? This game included some of the coolest characters ever (mainly Vivi). While the battle system was nothing new, it was fun to finally have 4 people in your party. The side quests in this game were also probably the best of any FF, i spent hours upon hours searching for treasure with my chocobo. My only problem with this game was that it seemed... almost cartoonish and for little kids. Im not sure why, it just gives that feel. But even so, FF IX was a great contribution to the amazing FF series.
Now i had a lot of fun playing FF X, but come on, just like in FF VIII, the whole love story thing got old real quick. With that said, i can go on to some of the better parts of the game. I think my favorite part of FF X was the new character progression in the form of the sphere grid. This was a simple addition that added a lot of depth. It was really fun just clicking on little circles to improve your character. It sounds boring, but trust me, this was a great idea. The battle system was nothing new, but i liked how you could take some time to decide what move to do next and it showed the order of attacks on the side. Its also worth mentioning that the blitzball sidegame was actually quite entertaining.
This newest addition to the series had a whole different feel to it than the rest of the series; and it worked big time. The battle system was the main difference. There were no more random battler (finally) and it was basically real time combat. You could switch between party members at will, or assign gambits to control their AI. The story in this game also felt a lot more political, which is really not a bad thing, quite the contrary really; it added some depth. Like FF X, the character progression also worked really well. This time however, it was new and very improved i have to say. There is nothing quite so satisfying as saving up your points to learn new skills, equip new weapons, or even new summons. On that note, the summoning is a little weird but i think it works for the style of combat. Vaan is a little weird as a main character, but i think it is interesting to see it from his perspective. I think Balthier would have been a better leading man, but not a big deal. I replayed this game so many times now (and its pretty long) that its starting to get boring. haha just kidding, thats not possible!
FF VII Crisis Core
This game, in my opinion, served the sole purpose to explain some of the story behind FF VII. In that sense, the game worked pretty well. But this game was not what it should have been; it didnt really have the epic and moving story of the other Final Fantasy games. But even so, i found this game to be quite fun. The battle system would have been better if it just wasnt one lousy character the whole time. It also had potential to be great if it was on a console rather than handheld. But oh well, this was still a really fun game to play.
So I must admit, I didnt know what i was going to say when i started this blog, but I've made up my mind now. I really want to just say that my favorite is whatever one Im playing at the time, but that's a pretty lame answer.
The reason... The battle system was great, story was great, characters were great, the character progression was great, the sidequests were great. I think it goes without saying that this was a great game, the greatest Final Fantasy, and maybe the greates game ever. This was a tough decision, but FF XII really beats the other ones (barely) with its cool new battle system and addictive character progrssion. Hope you enjoyed my blog. If you have a differing opinion, feel free to discuss it with me. Im always up for discussing Final Fantasy games.
It took me a while to get into FFXII, but once i did, i couldn't stop playing it. the battle system was so different from all the previous games, and from the looks of it, FFXIII is headed in a similar direction. I still find that whatever Final Fantasy i am currently playing is my favorite.
Nice breakdown of each FF game! I have played all of these with the exception of Crisis Core (no PSP) and my opinion on each game is much the same as yours, with one large exception. I love the more political storyline of FFXII, but I just didn't like the game as much as most of the others. FFIX takes the gold for me. :D