Whats your honest take on the Final Fantasy series?

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#1 Posted by henrythefifth (2502 posts) -

So I've been slowly replaying though the PS1 and PS2 era FF games. The originals, not remasters.

And it has made me realize the games weren't all that great, even for their own time. Definitely not the best JRPGs their eras had to offer.

Apart from graphics. I mean nobody can argue FF games weren't the best looking JRPGs of their time. Especially when it came to cut scenes.

But to specifics.

FFVII-IX: these games have the same issue in common. Very cool opening parts, but then the games become rather generic grind fests and lose their narrative approach and cool. I mean after you grind ten hours to beat some nasty boss, you kinda forget what the plot was about...

FF X: painfully linear tunnel run. Even dungeons had become tunnels.

FF X-2: tries to be less linear, but turns out to have less content than the average GoT episode.

FFXII: Great effort to emulate Dragon Quest, but unfortunately only the opening town feels alive, while rest of the game world is dead and dull. Note also the total lack of side quest (apart from the hunts) Nowhere near as good as DQ games were.

And as for FFXIII saga on last gen, Well, they really are the worst JRPG games I played on that gen. Even Blue Dragon was better! And the brilliant Lost Odyssey felt like a masterpiece compared to them.

So, to cap: While I kinda liked many FF games in their own time, in retrospect I have to admit they weren't that great. Especially as I now have more experience of JRPGs from all those eras and can better compare various franchises to FF.

But thats just me.

How about you? How would you rate the original FF games in retrospect. Have they still got the magic for you, or is the magic gone?

Oh, and no trolling. Even if you are fervent fan of FF. Keep it civil, ok.

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#2 Posted by Speeny (1651 posts) -

I loved what I've played. FFX & FFVII. But, I only like the turn-based combat system. So I didn't touch FFXV. I might however, give the VII remake a go.

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#3 Edited by Archangel3371 (27972 posts) -

I found them to be great games both back when they first came out and playing them again today. In fact not that long ago I played through the original Final Fantasy VII again and while the graphics have obviously aged poorly I still found it to be an excellent game and really enjoyed playing through it again.

Final Fantasy VIII and X are two of my all time favourite games. Recently picked up the X/X-2 HD Remaster and XII HD Remaster and look forward to playing through them again. X-2 isn’t as good as X but I found it to be still a really good game. Same with XII. I don’t know why you think XII to be an attempt to copy Dragon Quest as I don’t see the similarities at all. It’s more of an attempt to mimic an online MMORPG but offline.

I wouldn’t rank the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy higher then VII, VIII, or X but still found them to be quite good and enjoyable. I also had a great time with XV and just recently got the dlc for it and plan on playing through it again along with the dlc now.

As a franchise Final Fantasy is my favourite RPG franchise.

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#4 Posted by thehig1 (7284 posts) -

Well final fantasy VII is and probabily always will he my favourite game of all time.

I disagree about forgetting what the plot is about, every minor detail of the games plot, characters and the world is engraved into my head and I could act out the while plot from memory.

Final Fantasy IX was pretty much just as good, you cant get back your first experience though.

Final fantasy VIII sucked, couldn't get into the charecters or the world which is a major.part of what keeps me playing long JRPGs.

Final Fantasy X, was similar to IX, loved it but can't compete to first experience.

I played the older final fantasy games only a few years ago, while I can appreciate they are excellent games for their time, they show there age.

The DS remake of IV is good, and V had possibly the best job system in the whole series.

The series died for me from 12 onwards, when they started to piss around with the battle system too much it effectively changed the genre and direction of the games.

12 onwards are unplayable to me.

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#5 Posted by Sevenizz (3844 posts) -

Boring.

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#6 Posted by pmanden (638 posts) -

Final Fantasy 5 is one of my all-time favorite games because of the challenging combat and complex job system. All games from 1 up to 10 range from good to brilliant in my opinion, but from no. 6 and on they just became too damn easy. I felt that games such as no. 7, 10 and 13 could have been so much better with a higher difficulty setting. I never touched the MMO games.

Though they have declined in quality, I still look forward to every new FF release except the online-only games.

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#7 Edited by nepu7supastar7 (5093 posts) -

@henrythefifth:

The hype is stronger than the games themselves. It was really only until Final Fantasy XV that the games started to become fun to play. But even from the beginning, there were very little things that they did well.

- stories from FF1 - FF7 have always been pretty dull and basic. Final Fantasy VIII broke that streak but then went back to simplicity in IX. And it just went downhill from there. Square Enix was never great at storytelling. But the fans hyped them so much that the myth about them being great came to be.

- Chocobos! I dunno why but I just love these things and they're literally THE trademark animal that represents the entire series! You can't have a proper Final Fantasy without Chocobos.

- the music and atmosphere is really the only thing that always came out right. Like Final Fantasy VII's soundtrack or even VI. The music is so moody and beautiful that it almost fools you into thinking that you're playing something truly epic. It sure fooled me for a while! But once I started to play other jrpg's, I started seeing how far behind Final Fantasy really is in every other aspect.

All in all, Final Fantasy is a fun game series in itself with a rich history. They are worth playing but they don't really live up to the hype that's given to them. Final Fantasy XV just about sums up what the series is about. Running around a world, level grinding, doing quests, sleeping at inn's, and riding Chocobos. Take that as you will.

Overall series score: 7/10

Final Fantasy I: 5/10

Final Fantasy II: 5/10

Final Fantasy III: 4/10

Final Fantasy IV: 6/10

Final Fantasy V: 6/10

Final Fantasy VI: 7/10

Final Fantasy VII: 8/10

Final Fantasy VIII: 9/10

Final Fantasy IX: 7/10

Final Fantasy X: 8/10

Final Fantasy XI: 5/10

Final Fantasy XII: 6/10

Final Fantasy XIII: 4/10

Final Fantasy XIV: 6/10

Final Fantasy XV: 6/10

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#8 Posted by pavanear2 (2 posts) -

Final Fantasy VI, out of the sports I've performed, has clearly failed the much. Final Fantasy VII is popular, but its graphics and features are unusually off-putting. 2D games with fairy artwork just fail better than PlayStation

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#9 Edited by RSM-HQ (8338 posts) -

Tried I think three to five of the games in brief sessions. Never found them particularly interesting.

Rarely enjoy turnbase combat at anycase. Especially when it has no tactical twist to it. From my understanding Final Fantasy is about the grind/ loot and nothing else (I'm sure some are exceptions to the rule). No structure, no coordination, none of that. Which for me leaves a lot to be desired.

Games that simply look pretty fool the most shallow of casual Gamers, but I (like many) enjoy some mechanical depth. I suppose that's why this series is hitting a decline. They've only gotten more simple as time moves on. And was a fairly straight forward series to begin with.

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#10 Posted by Random_Matt (4141 posts) -

All shit to be honest.

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#11 Posted by sakaiXx (5502 posts) -

Used to be my favorite series. Seems to lost their mojo when they go multiplatform.

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#12 Posted by JohnnyGT1 (147 posts) -

I enjoy them and I still do. Every entry has a flaw or so, but I have managed to complete them even if I never go back for a second playthrough like others in the series.

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#13 Posted by Valgaav_219 (2379 posts) -

Still my favorite RPG franchise. The great thing about Final Fantasy is that you will be getting a top of the line JRPG but each one will be different. If you think you're about to replay FFVII, FFVIII, or FFIX each time you try a new title you will be sorely disappointed. Each game is different but I still enjoy each one for what it is and what it tries to bring to the table. I just beat FFXIII-2 like yesterday and man was I blown away by that ending. FFXII is nothing like Dragon Quest and it told a very mature story that was much more political in nature than your typical Final Fantasy. FFVIII & FFX are my favorites and they still stand head and shoulders above a lot of crap RPG's that you see being released today imo

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#14 Edited by omegaMaster (1270 posts) -

I love the Final Fantasy series... well, FF1-FF12.

Final Fantasy VIII and X are my favourites out of them all.

The Final Fantasy series was once the gold standard of JRPG's back in the day. Now Final Fantasy as a brand has fallen from grace. Ohhh how the almighty have fallen.

FFXIII and FFXV have tarnished the brand and all that comes down to Square-Enix.

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#15 Posted by DoomNukem3D (198 posts) -

They really arent very fun to play but I do like FF 9. I might turn on it if I played it again though. I've actually never finished FF 7 because i got too bored with it. FF 8 was the first game i played where i started to notice how stupid parts of the story were.

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#16 Posted by Shantmaster_K (1443 posts) -

Never played any of them until FF13. And didn't really care for it. I like the idea of it, so I am excited to try FF7 and FF10 remake.

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#17 Posted by Speeny (1651 posts) -
@doomnukem3d said:

I've actually never finished FF 7 because i got too bored with it.

I agree that the storyline can be a bit slow honestly & fairly complex with the Sephiroth stuff imo. It was still a great game though.

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#18 Posted by henrythefifth (2502 posts) -

@Archangel3371 said:

I found them to be great games both back when they first came out and playing them again today. In fact not that long ago I played through the original Final Fantasy VII again and while the graphics have obviously aged poorly I still found it to be an excellent game and really enjoyed playing through it again.

Final Fantasy VIII and X are two of my all time favourite games. Recently picked up the X/X-2 HD Remaster and XII HD Remaster and look forward to playing through them again. X-2 isn’t as good as X but I found it to be still a really good game. Same with XII. I don’t know why you think XII to be an attempt to copy Dragon Quest as I don’t see the similarities at all. It’s more of an attempt to mimic an online MMORPG but offline.

I wouldn’t rank the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy higher then VII, VIII, or X but still found them to be quite good and enjoyable. I also had a great time with XV and just recently got the dlc for it and plan on playing through it again along with the dlc now.

As a franchise Final Fantasy is my favourite RPG franchise.

Well, when playing FFXII I just had this vibe that they had tried to copy the happy open world mode of DQ into FF universe.

But now that you point it out, they probably got influenced by Phantasy Star Online. The similarities surely are there.

I did enjoy FFXIII-2 quite a lot, as it gave you more freedom, and two characters meant you did not have to take turns grinding big party into high level, and could just focus on the two heroes (and their pet monsters).

And to FFVII fans: I love the game, but I still find that the story does go limp after you leave the main city. There are some quite pointless characters you get burdened with, such as the ninja girl and the toy robot, and they do not add to the story, but rather just splinter it further so that while you are levelling up the ninja girl for the fight with her daddy, you really forget what the main story was supposed to be about..

My fave of the games is FFVIII. I think it keeps the story going best without becoming tunnel run, and does not get sidetracked as much as the other PS1 games do.

Of the SNES era games.. Well, I found Genesis/Megadrive JRPGs to be more interesting!

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#19 Posted by Archangel3371 (27972 posts) -

@henrythefifth: I didn’t really find the open world of Final Fantasy XII to really be “happy” myself, not like that of the Dragon Quest games. As for it’s influences I think it was just Square-Enix bringing their recent online MMORPG Final Fantasy XI to an offline setting. Not really sure how much of an influence, if any, that Phantasy Star Online would have had on both FFXI and FFXII.

For me I greatly preferred the SNES RPGs especially Final Fantasy II and III.

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#20 Posted by Valgaav_219 (2379 posts) -

@henrythefifth: Yuffie (The Ninja Girl) was an optional character. If you even had her in her party it's because you did an extra side quest that caused her to join your party. Of course her role in the party isn't going to be a key role because you can beat the full game with or without her and it won't change a thing. Same goes for Vincent if you managed to attain him as well. They're optional party members.

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#21 Posted by Clefdefa (738 posts) -

If you weren't there when those game came out ... yeah they aren't very impressive but they were in their heyday.

I did love IV, VI, VII, IX, Tactics and XIII-2

Every Final Fantasy was a linear game ... they just never had the mean to do it all like a linear game so you have open areas but everytime you didn't have a choice of where you were going ...

Anyway

I liked IV because how the caracter did change and get older during the story

I liked VI because they did have plenty of cool idea but limited by the SNES, each caracter felt fun and I liked how Celest become the main caracter in the second half of the game.

I like VII because the story was cool to me even though they had many problem with continuity and some of it is because of the translation.

I like IX because the caracters were fun to me. The story was a mess at some point ... you had a main vilain and then BAM a new vilain is there out of nowhere ... but still I like it and we had Steinberg and Vivi.

I like TActics because you had to think a lot in the latter part of the game, the story is very good, a lot of drama.

I like XIII-2 because of the story with branching path ... it could've been very dark with some of the stuff that did happen in the story. Same with Lightning's return

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#22 Edited by Lembu90 (577 posts) -

VI and IX are my all time favorites. X and XII are also favorites but not much as VI and IX. XIII is good or at least I found it much better than most people said. Its "sequels" however are trash. VII and VIII are mid-tiers or at least not as good as most people claimed. XV and VII Remake are craps for abandoning turn-based system.

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#23 Posted by henrythefifth (2502 posts) -

@nepu7supastar7 said:

@henrythefifth:

The hype is stronger than the games themselves. It was really only until Final Fantasy XV that the games started to become fun to play. But even from the beginning, there were very little things that they did well.

- stories from FF1 - FF7 have always been pretty dull and basic. Final Fantasy VIII broke that streak but then went back to simplicity in IX. And it just went downhill from there. Square Enix was never great at storytelling. But the fans hyped them so much that the myth about them being great came to be.

- Chocobos! I dunno why but I just love these things and they're literally THE trademark animal that represents the entire series! You can't have a proper Final Fantasy without Chocobos.

- the music and atmosphere is really the only thing that always came out right. Like Final Fantasy VII's soundtrack or even VI. The music is so moody and beautiful that it almost fools you into thinking that you're playing something truly epic. It sure fooled me for a while! But once I started to play other jrpg's, I started seeing how far behind Final Fantasy really is in every other aspect.

All in all, Final Fantasy is a fun game series in itself with a rich history. They are worth playing but they don't really live up to the hype that's given to them. Final Fantasy XV just about sums up what the series is about. Running around a world, level grinding, doing quests, sleeping at inn's, and riding Chocobos. Take that as you will.

Overall series score: 7/10

Final Fantasy I: 5/10

Final Fantasy II: 5/10

Final Fantasy III: 4/10

Final Fantasy IV: 6/10

Final Fantasy V: 6/10

Final Fantasy VI: 7/10

Final Fantasy VII: 8/10

Final Fantasy VIII: 9/10

Final Fantasy IX: 7/10

Final Fantasy X: 8/10

Final Fantasy XI: 5/10

Final Fantasy XII: 6/10

Final Fantasy XIII: 4/10

Final Fantasy XIV: 6/10

Final Fantasy XV: 6/10

You praise the music, but doesn't FF series recycle the music bit too much? Almost every game seems to use the same musical score, with slight variations...

Chocobos were great way to travel in FFXV. Too bad the chocobo races were so lame in it..

In other FF games, I did not much care for chocobos. If you have to breed special chocobos so as to get to secret locations, well, it just distracts too much from the main story and just adds another pointless side activity.

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#24 Posted by nepu7supastar7 (5093 posts) -

@henrythefifth:

Are you kidding? I WISH Final Fantasy recycled its music but very few tracks carried over to other games and those were the victory fanfares and Chocobo riding. But everything else has always been completely different.

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#25 Posted by henrythefifth (2502 posts) -

@nepu7supastar7 said:

@henrythefifth:

Are you kidding? I WISH Final Fantasy recycled its music but very few tracks carried over to other games and those were the victory fanfares and Chocobo riding. But everything else has always been completely different.

In FFXV, you can listen to all the old soundtracks in your car, and once you get the mp player, you can listen to them on foot as well..

That's what I call recycling!

Not that there were many tracks I liked listening. The annoying techno rock of FF action sequences is so painfully dull music..

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#26 Posted by nepu7supastar7 (5093 posts) -

@henrythefifth:

In FFXV, you *collect* soundtracks from older games. That's completely optional. Out of all the Final Fantasy games, about 4 of them shared some songs ranging from FF1-6. Then FFXII reused the theme song from FF1 and that was about it.

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#27 Posted by lamprey263 (36115 posts) -

Limited exposure, tried numerous times over many years to get through FF7, always got bored really quick. Liked XIII and XIII-2 more than everyone else. Replaying through XIII series after X enhancement.

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#28 Posted by henrythefifth (2502 posts) -

@nepu7supastar7 said:

@henrythefifth:

In FFXV, you *collect* soundtracks from older games. That's completely optional. Out of all the Final Fantasy games, about 4 of them shared some songs ranging from FF1-6. Then FFXII reused the theme song from FF1 and that was about it.

well, I'm sorry, but when I listened to those hard rock/trash metal songs on the various FF soundtracks in FFXV they all sounded the same to me! I dont mean that as a troll, they really are rather samey...

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#29 Posted by nepu7supastar7 (5093 posts) -

@henrythefifth:

I think we can all agree that pretty much everything about Final Fantasy XV was garbage. The only good thing was the gameplay.

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#30 Posted by Clefdefa (738 posts) -

@nepu7supastar7: The gameplay ? There is almost nothing to do.

FFXV was a walking/driving simulator on autopilot and the only interesting story part were locked behind DLC.

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#31 Posted by nepu7supastar7 (5093 posts) -

@clefdefa:

Arguably, all Final Fantasy games are walking simulators. But despite that, FFXV played alot better. That's where credit is due. It was at least enjoyable to play, wherever you find the fun aspect. I found it fun just exploring the world on Chocobo, doing quests and level grinding.

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#32 Posted by Lembu90 (577 posts) -

Let's face it, FFXV is a crap milked for DLCs than anything else. Button-mashing gameplay and unfunny homoerotic "jokes" between K-Pop wannabes are making the game even worse. Target audiences: American K-Pop fans? I"m glad that Persona and Dragon Quest still around to balance things up.

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#33 Edited by robert_sparkes (3020 posts) -

I still need to play XV before I judge it but the series has definitely gone in a different direction from the ps1/ps2 days. Not necessarily they're fault just gone with the times.

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#34 Posted by henrythefifth (2502 posts) -

FFXV had fun open world freeroam, I give it that. I enjoyed the grand vistas of the main map. Also, the heroes were all very likeable.

Trouble was, FFXV had no real side missions to go with the open world. Just a handful of boring fetch missions. Fetch frog, fetch car part, fetch a gem.

Also, while the map was big, there was nothing to see there. I explored every corner of the main map, and for the most part, it was devoid of anything interesting. Just few generic huts and tiny ruins here and there. Nothing to see, nothing to find, for the most part.

And no mini games either. Pinball was pretty much the only mini game. Why did they not make the King's Knight game into a mini game you could play against NPCs like the card games in the old FF games?

So, while I enjoyed the road trip and the funny heroes of FFXV, the rest of the game just left me empty.

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#35 Posted by Ovirew (9025 posts) -

I enjoyed all of the older FF games - 1-10 and Tactics. I think somewhere around 12 they lost me, and then they really lost me with the 13 games.

In the years since then, I generally liked the FF3 remake, but I was really fond of the Four Heroes of Light on the DS. I felt like the series might gradually get back to the key things that made the gameplay more enjoyable back in the day. By some accounts things got even better when the Bravely Default games came out on the 3DS, but I just never had the time to check them out.

I think the people in charge of making the games nowadays continually sabotage it because they reject turn-based gameplay and medieval fantasy in favor of fast-paced action, and characters that range in appearance from Japanese pop stars and boy band members to what seems to be the Japanese viewpoint of American action movie characters.

Main series Dragon Quest games work really well because they embrace what makes them so great. They embrace cheerful fun and vast continents, all of the memorable and iconic monsters, the turn-based traditional JRPG fixings, and the anime-inspired world of kings, adventurers and dragons that Akira Toriyama provides the wonderful aesthetic for.

New FF games could be great if they made a modern version of the sort of world the early games existed in. Most times when they try to return to basics, they decide to screw things up - adding in these odd, new character races and making the characters look super-realistic and simultaneously like unrealistic models. Just take a look at the character those old, pixelated character sprites had, and reimagine it for modern times. Or go more in the direction of FF7 and explore a more modern world. Or FF8 and explore a sci-fi world. I think another great FF game could come along one day, but probably only once the company changes guard.

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#36 Posted by Lembu90 (577 posts) -

@Ovirew: I think the reason why FF taking nosedive in recent years because Square-Enix is more interested to cater the fans of fast-paced action games like Devil May Cry, Bayonetta, Nier: Automata and some of the slower-paced ones like Dark Souls/Bloodborne and their countless clones. I would love to see FFXVI returned to its turn-based format but given on SE's attitude towards turn-based systems and current popularity of FFXV, that's not going to happen. In my opinion FFXV is a massive success not because it is a good game but rather come at right time served towards tight audiences. World of Final Fantasy is the last FF game I enjoyed but sadly it was overshadowed by much more popular FFXV which released month later after WoFF.

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#37 Posted by henrythefifth (2502 posts) -

Do not buy the 'Episode' DLCs for FFXV. I did, and they turned out to be very poor indeed.