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Jul 01, 11 at 2:03pm ^Rank Final Fantasy
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Here's how I rank the mainstream titles (best to worst; I tried to keep in mind the time period when the game first came out, so that "age" has no bearing on how good it is).
NOTE: these are all strictly my opinion, obviously. I may come across strongly when I'm talking about what I hated or what I loved, but I tried to keep an open mind and note what I liked in the games I disliked overall, and what I disliked in games I thought were decent or better overall. I judged these games based on their ORIGINAL releases only (so no remakes). Also note, these paragraph summary's will contain SPOILERS.
XIII was, for the most part, utterly disappointing. Sure, the visuals and voice acting were very well done, but what Final Fantasy hasn't had great visuals for their time? The characters (save for Sazh) are completely terrible. The names are ridiculously bland and lack a unique nature (Hope, Snow, Lightning, Fang). Hope is a whiny, weak, inept, socially retarded mama's boy. Snow's heart is in the right place, but he otherwise comes across as an idiot who can't back up his trash talk. Lightning (Asche's sister) is a bitch who blames others for her problems, is hypocritical, and apparently feels the need to beat Snow's face in every other cinematic scene. Fang took stupid pills near the end. Vanille make me reach for a pair of ear-plugs. Only Sazh- who is decent comic relief, as well as a loving father- is worthwhile.
The story, while not bad, the presentation for it sucked. You have to read that dumb log-journal thing to get a complete understanding of the story...wtf? And of course, the linearity. Run down corridor, fight boss, cut scene. Rinse and repeat. You can't even control all party members, and if you're leader goes down, you lose. The AI is dumb, as I once or twice had the misfortune of an AI controlled character healing a character who has more health than a different character. Even the leveling system is linear, with little choice in what direction you want the character to go in.
With all that said, I do, of course, approve of it's visuals and Sazh. And the ending was not bad (the most well-done part of the story, actually, though that may not mean much). Other than that, however, I am one of many who personally think that this game is a complete embarrassment to the franchise. Why they continue to ruin their once good name with sequels and spinoffs to this crap is beyond me.
The original three are by no means bad games. But there are far too many problems to ignore. The characters are bland and unmemorable ("The Warriors of Light" (I), "The Four Orphan Warriors" (III), "Emperor" (II), etc). The games are plagued and swarming with disastrous bugs which make half of the spells useless and pointless. They are the only games in the series as well where I have found you are pretty much required to grind before you can get past a certain point. Grinding shouldn't have to be a necessity, rather just simply an available option if a player wants to make a boss fight easier. As is usually the case, the earliest three games generally got better when they had less age. II had a better story and characters and less gamebreaking bugs compared to I and III, but it also had the worse gameplay. Ultimately, however, I placed II as greater than III because of what a drastic improvement it was over I. III was a slight improvement over II in terms of fixed bugs and such, but II improved upon I much greater than III did upon II, and thus I ranked II above III. For their time, these were good games, and they're still good for a play if you're up for the nostalgia.
XII is an interesting one, given how many seem to hate it, and it is my lastly finished one. The gameplay sucked. The action styled crap was poorly done, most of the bosses were a bore and uncreative, and I spent 90% of the time in boss fights healing and reviving. In the last boss fight, I swear I had to revive everyone at least 15 times each...and I still won on my first try.
Contrary to what most think, I thought the story and characters, as a whole, were not that bad, or at least not as bad as XIII. Although Asche, Basch, Penello, and Vaan all sucked, I found myself particularly fond of Balthier and Larsa, and to a lesser extent, Judge Gabranth and Reddas. Unfortunately, all of them were incredibly underdeveloped and really lacked some decent depth to them (especially Balthier: awesome character potential). Vaan was pointless. No role. Just his occassional dumb comments. I liked the "old english" approach they took too. Made for a nice change.
I decided to rank XII above XIII due mostly to my preference overall of it's characters, story, and presentation over XIII. I can't decide between them though which one had the worse gameplay.
As is with the two ranked below it, I hated the gameplay system in VIII. The draw system was dumb. If you were in need of a particular magic, you had to travel across the globe, just to get into a particular fight. Then you had to mash the X button for a half hour, just so you could use some magic later on. Dumb. Or as it was put in a Final Fantasy parody I once saw "Okay, that's way too time consuming, and retarded. When did we just stop kicking their asses as fast as we could?"
The characters and story were alright. Certainly, it had one of the best female leads with Rinoa and one of the better protagonists in the series in Squall. Sadly, every other character is incredibly underused. Squall and Rinoa receive 90% of all of the character development in the game, but there isn't anything really noteworthy with the others.
Even though the gameplay is poor, especially compared to most of the others, it was still slightly better than those ranked below it. As well, it had better, more diverse side-quests (such as the card game), and although most of it's characters are easily forgettable, it had two of the better leads in the series in Squall and Rinoa. And thus why it is ranked where it is.
X had a beautiful world and was the first Final Fantasy to have voice acting, and is a decent game on the whole. The music is top-notch and really fit with some of the more touching scenes, and it's overall presentation was excellent. I didn't care much for the sphere grid, and the game was fairly linear, so it does suffer in those departments.
And, as is with those ranked beneath it, I felt that X left much to be desired with it's characters. Except for Auron and maybe Yuna, they were uninteresting. Tidus was one of the worst protagonists in the series, probably the third worst, better than only Vaan and Lightning (not counting the first three games, obviously). Sin was a good villian for the game, though he is ridiculuously easy to defeat as a final boss.
X is a good game, had an excellent soundtrack, a decent story, and a touching ending. The sphere grid was OK, not too wild on how "open" the game is, and the game suffers from boring (Kimari), idiotic (Wakka, Rikku, Lulu), and childish (Tidus) characters. Auron and Yuna (a good female lead) help.
IX had one of the best gameplays in the series. The system made sense and was well done and balanced. Really loved the various abilities you could choose and the equipment selection in the game. The limit breaks sucked though. Most were completely lame (Zidane's turns into a pink monkey ) and they were extremely rare. You couldn't control them, and most of the time they occured at the end of a pointless battle.
The story is OK, but the characters are the weakest part of the game. It has the worst antagonist in Kuja. One of the worst protagonists in Zidane. One of the worst female leads in the series in Garnet. I didn't have a problem with the others, like Steiner or Quina (occasional comic relief characters) or Amarant (the one mature character in the game), but they were very easily forgettable.
I placed IX just above X for one main reason. It has, overall, a superior gameplay. The story and characters are roughly equal overall compared to X, however.
VI has everything a good RPG needs, except a protagonist. The entire character cast was one of the most solid in the series, as well as allowing for the most playable characters in a FF game. All of them (except for that Mime and that Yeti) received decent depth and development throughout the game, even some of the optional characters, like Shadow. The weakest character, and the games main fault, however, is Terra. Unless I was told beforehand, I would have never guessed she was the main character. She gets approximately two noteworthy scenes of development (how she came to be, and recruiting her back). Locke, Edgar, and heck, even Sabin get as much and maybe even more development. Not to mention, I don’t care for what character she has. A whiny, weak girl who doesn’t want to do anything and wants the men to solve her problems for her. I have mixed feelings on Kefka. On one hand, I never got the “oh sh*t” feeling from him and was by no means intimidated by a clown, like I was by the likes of Sephiroth, Exdeath, or even Golbez. On the other hand, I appreciated the change of pace for a more comical antagonist, who still managed to give a great impression of insanity.
The story and characters on the whole are solid. The gameplay is pretty good too. Desperation Attacks are first introduced here, although I didn’t really like how they were done. Really, I can only fault the game for a couple of annoying bugs and the lack of a protagonist.
V was a solid game all-around. It had a revamped job class system where you could master up to 22 classes, which allowed for terrific choice to a situation. Characters and story were pretty good. Didn't dislike any of the characters. The story, while a bit on the "silly" side at times, is very good. Exdeath is a good antagonist. Bartz was OK. He's a bit on childish side of the character personality spectrum, but not nearly at the same level as the likes of Zidane, Tidus, or Vaan. Really loved how Galuf's death was done. The first major character death in the Final Fantasy series, Galuf was one of the main four characters and was one of my favorites in that game.
Placing V over VI was a very tough decision, but I decided to give V bonus points for being the first to kill an important character, and I could not ignore the fact that V had a more solid protagonist.
IV was an amazing improvement over the first three. The first Final Fantasy to take a step forward from the blandness of the first three, it was a major improvement. It had a solid, excellent cast of characters, nearly all of whom I liked. Loved Cid, the twins, Palom and Porom, Edge, and Rydia. Cecil and Rosa were OK. Plenty of twists in the story, some of which though were “Character X is dead! Oh, not really” which felt a bit overused by the end.
Gameplay is good, it’s the only Final Fantasy to allow 5 characters in a party. I both like and dislike this. I enjoy having more characters I like to use in my party, but it feels a bit unfair for 5 people to fight against 1 lone enemy. Some annoying bugs in here too.
IV gets the nod over V and VI due to being the first with a love story(s), a better protagonist, and the fact that it was just an incredibly huge improvement over the last installment in III.
I posted this elsewhere. I didn't feel like typing it over again so I just copied and pasted it.
-elaborate summons, with high-detail graphics and quite lengthy (the longest, KOTR was 2 minutes long)
-The best gameplay system that made sense with the corresponding story, while being somewhat innovative. I-VI were very similar and a bit cliche- mages do magic, swordsman hit with swords. VII used a materia system, that had vast combinations and could easily be switched between other characters with little hassle. And it didn't feel stupid like VIII's draw system where you had to run halfway across the world just to waste 5 minutes on 1 enemy getting specific magic. Nor was it linear like XIII's system. Materia made sense since it came from the planet's life source, it felt innovative, and the possibilities of combinations felt endless.
-Best cast of characters. A socially awkward "weak" badass protagonist (who is thus easier for me to connect with and whom I find more realistic), who wasn't a douchebag like Squall or Lightning, nor childish like Zidane, Tidus, or Vaan. Cecil was a bit feminine and Bartz was somewhat childish (though not nearly on the level of the former 3). A sweetheart who can kick your ass and is more than just a large chest. A big, buffed African-American who wields a machine gun for an arm and is more than just your stereotypical black character and has a deep and complex tragic past. A chainsmoking pilot with a foul mouth and is by far the best "Cid" in the FF series. A vampire-esque pistol user who wears a cape and transforms into various monsters. A silly, young ninja girl who steals from you and is difficult to join your party. An experiment and a talking dog-hybrid whose grandfather and whose home village holds great importance to the story. An antagonist who maintains a calm nature no matter the circumstance (unlike many other villians) and can use a Super Nova. And of course, a sweet, innocent girl who would suffer from a tragedy while simultaneously holding great importance to the story.
Some of the boss battles were royal bitches, notably RUBY and EMERALD. Outside of FFI and OMEGA weapon in FFVIII, I have never encountered a difficult boss battle since in the FF series. Doomsday planet and that book in FFIX were mildly challenging, and Sin was ridiculously easy in X.
-Best story. Cloud- a weak, socially awkward guy who wields an unusually large sword- manages to defeat the most powerful soldier on the planet. He undegoes many tragedies throughout his life, including the loss of his home, his best friend, Aerith, and even himself. The "Life source of the planet" theme felt innovative and made sense. The best antagonist in the series, who envelopes you with fear and a sense of "oh sh*t." The only FF that had the balls to kill off an important playable character (though V had Galuf), much less a sweet, innocent girl.
-Limit Breaks. Non-existent in I-V and XIII, these were awesome and all-around baddass. Cid's rocket's from his ship. Cloud's 15 slashs of rape. Tifa's wrestling moves. Barret's Guns of Hell. Vincent's transformations. Aerith's immortality.
Although first present in VI, I felt that it was utilized better in VII. In FFIX, it was hard as hell to get a "Trance" and when you did, half the time it was at the end of a pointless battle (you couldn't control them). On top of which, some of the modes looked flat-out stupid (I mean, come on...Zidane's pink monkey mode compared to Cloud's Omnislash? ). In FFVIII, it was easy to spam Sophie's limit, which even kills bosses, and to spam limits in general. Simply whacking a team member until they're near death allows for constant limit attacks. In FFX, the same point previously made with FFIX...this time Tidus throwing a dodgeball compared to Cloud's Omnislash .
-Best soundtrack. Loved the boss music, one-winged angel, jenova, and the theme music. Really sets the mood and the setting.
-First, true RPG experience. I know what most will think when reading this. "It's his first, that's why he likes it." It's not entirely true that FFVII was my first, rather it was the first one that I completed (a few years ago). Truth be told, I played a few hours worth of FFX when it came out, but quickly tossed it aside because I hated everything about it- the main character looked like a fag, everyone dressed like a bunch of hippies, the gameplay was boring and didn't make any sense to me, and the story felt cheesy. Years later, I got FFVII off PSN and absolutely loved everything in it. I would try X again later, and would actually find it to be decent this time. So it's possible, of course, in my case that my playing FFVII actually allowed me to better appreciate some of the others.
Anyway, since it is my first true RPG, it opened up my gaming at that point and now I have played pletny of RPGs, including the other FFs.
-There is nothing for me to really fault FFVII on. There are a few translation errors and mis-spellings that can make the story confusing if you don't read it carefully enough, and there a few glitches, but that doesn't really affect the experience.
These are just my reasons. Although I'm sure others have similar views, and I'm sure that these are many of the core reasons why FFVII has sold nearly twice as many as many of the other FFs (sold 10 million; the others range anywhere from 4-8 million)
I would love to hear what others think on the mainstream titles. Hopefully there are plenty of people here who have played all (or most) of them.
Edit: May 21, 13 3:40pm
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Jul 03, 11 at 7:45pm ^re: Rank Final Fantasy
I've actually only played three of them and here are my reviews:
3. FFIII-This one was kind of boring. The whole thing was about the 'Warriors of Light' and the characters didn't seem to have any real personalities. Kind of disappointing.
2. FFIV-I LOVED this one. Great characters and plot. I loved Golbez and Kain's characters and basically all of the characters were lovable and amazing. Loved the gameplay and it was altogether one of the best games I ever set hands on.
3. FFXII-My definite favourite. Great graphics, gameplay and storyline. I grew to love all the characters, ESPECIALLY Balthier and Larsa. Balthier's personality is charming and is a lovable character. Excellent game.
I can't wait to get another Final Fantasy game. I was thinking of Revenant Wings and Final Fantasy VII(Everyone seems to love this one).
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Jul 05, 11 at 1:21am ^re: Rank Final Fantasy
7-10 were great because they remind me of the year 2004.
Remember spring 2004-spring 2005
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Jul 05, 11 at 2:48am ^re: Rank Final Fantasy
Great write-up, duhu1148, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I can't say I agree with everything you've written, but there is plenty in there that I do.
I frankly can't be bothered with doing my own blurb for the (main) games in the series that I have played (to completion), but an ordered list of preference would almost certainly look something like this:
The others I haven't played, and sit firmly on my to-do list.
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Jul 05, 11 at 4:09am ^re: Rank Final Fantasy
I have only played from FFVIII up until FFXII (excluding FFXI and FFXIV). Currently playing FFXIII.
My FF Ranking:
- For obvious change in battle system
- The most anticipating FF with absolute control
- The only drawback is the treasure chest randomness
- But that makes the game interesting and challenging at the same time!
- For its top-notch graphic
- Innovative Stagger system
- Could have been better if Party Leader is switchable
- For its Aeons, Break Damage Limit and Sphere Grid
- Fair storyline and decent amount of side-quest
- For its awesome junction ability
- which in return makes the game very easy and less challenge
- Good storyline
- For its comical approach
- The game can be very easy or hard depend on player's choice
- The less impressive character growth in terms of power and potential
- But it's still a decent game nevertheless
When a person tells you they're not crazy, trust me they are...
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Jul 06, 11 at 6:58pm ^re: Rank Final Fantasy
I never played FFVIII, FFIX or FFXIII and I don't count FFXI and FFXIV as actual games in the series.
Edit: Jul 06, 11 12:11pm
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Oct 07, 11 at 3:25pm ^re: Rank Final Fantasy
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Oct 07, 11 at 4:58pm ^re: Rank Final Fantasy
quoteI judge originals. Remakes are simply the original (meaning lack of creativity, which is part of the gaming aspect) with sugar on top.
quoteNo, I fight every random encounter I come across on my way to the next story objective. In the original 3, you were forced to grind at certain points. And I do every side-quest.
quoteMeaning that they improved over the predecessor (in a gameplay/story aspect, not graphics). This is one of the few points that I can't see it being argued with. Surely you believe that II and III had less bugs than I? And surely you'd agree that II and III's story was less "bland" than I?
quotesee above. It's not so much in mechanics, which is subjective (such as "I prefer VII's materia system over VIII's draw system"). It's more so improving upon concept, bugs, balances, etc.
quoteGood for you.
quoteWhat are you talking about? I do sidequest/hunts/all battles,etc. I said I beat the final boss despite all of my characters dying 15 times...all in my first try. That's kind of pathetic IMO.
Also, the game is far from "logical," lol (though that's true for most FF games; I think FF games are more mechanical than anything else- not that there's anything wrong with that). I've played plenty of difficult games.
quoteEh, other than maybe Asche's voice, I though voice acting was above average.
quoteYes he did.
quoteFor me, linear is bad. Not as important as story/world/presentation (for an RPG), but still important to me.
quoteYou misunderstand. I thought Auron was a badass and was one of the most redeeming characters in all FF, not just X. I said OTHER THAN Auron and maybe Yuna, the characters sucked.
quoteIf you like Tidus, more power to you, but he was kind of wimpy. He doesn't necessarily have to be uber-powerful, but nearly the entire party was "stronger" than him and a better "leader" than him in a story sense, other than maybe Wakka.
quoteWell at least you didn't say my opinion sucks this time.
quoteTerra is generally viewed as the "main" character by Square via various data crap and by Dissidia. Also, if there isn't a main character then that implies that all the characters could be considered "main," which is completely inaccurate. There are only 3 characters who can be argued as the main characters in the grand scheme of things.
quoteNear the middle-end, when trying to recruit her back, she does not immediately want to come back and instead you fight the boss with your male characters, until she stops being a pussy and helps. Not really a character I relate to, nor can I easily understand her motives like I can with others like Locke or Shadow. *OPINION.
quoteWho said I played on emulators? Stop making assumptions.
Jesus Christ I'm just going to stop here. This is purely subjective, which you do not seem to understand and you're getting way too excited over this.
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Oct 07, 11 at 5:00pm ^re: Rank Final Fantasy
quote Memento MoriThanks. Since you're top half and bottom half are nearly identical to mine, you'll probably enjoy IV and V if you ever get around to playing them.
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Oct 08, 11 at 2:43am ^re: Rank Final Fantasy
quote duhu1148I very much plan to. I haven't done so in a while, but from time to time I search for Anthology on the PS1 on eBay, but I don't want to pay through the nose for it, and so I've been outbid in all my previous attempts.
I doubt I'll be getting it any time soon, as I still haven't even replayed IX again yet, and I reacquired a copy of that something like two years ago.
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Oct 08, 11 at 4:21am ^re: Rank Final Fantasy
The only good ones were III, IV, VI, and VII
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Oct 08, 11 at 9:14am ^re: Rank Final Fantasy
FYI duhu1148, you didn't have to draw the magic in FFVIII. You could refine it from items and cards so I've thought I could take a simple note about that.
And I don't see why the talk about the worst characters of series in FFIX. I suppose that it's just a subjective view so I won't get into that.
And yes, of course FFVII is the best... (/sarcasm)
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Oct 08, 11 at 11:27am ^re: Rank Final Fantasy
I've played all of them for a considerable time(excluding XI and XIV) and this is what I think. I would elaborate on why but I'm not really that bothered.
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Oct 09, 11 at 7:45am ^re: Rank Final Fantasy
quote Memento MoriYou... posted word for word what I was planning on typing. Literally!
Anyway, here's my list. I change it every now and then, depending how pissed off I am at a specific one, but I haven't played any in a while, so this is my general all-time list (7 is and has always been no1).
I did enjoy every one, so *bleep* it, I'm gonna post my reasons.
FF7: Undeniably the greatest game I have ever played. I have literally, over the years, completed it at least 100 times. And I never get tired of it.
FF8: I loved the story. I loved the junction system. I hated the magic system though, 7's materia had it perfected.
FF9: I did enjoy 9 thoroughly, but there was just something about it. I recently downloaded it on PSN and played it again after years, and I just can't be bothered completing it (which is truly unlike me). For those interested, I quit near the end of Memoria.
FF10: I enjoyed it thoroughly. I'm going to compare my criticism for it with my FF8 criticism. Just a couple of minor flaws.
FF12: Square Enix seem to be taking a different direction with their FF releases, to my distaste. Still pretty okay though, but "pretty okay" isn't good enough; I demand a release worthy of a 10/10 when I play a new FF game.
FF13: Same as above, and I completely agree with the OP's review.
Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
- Dr. Seuss
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Oct 15, 11 at 7:40am ^re: Rank Final Fantasy
New ones are really horrible
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