I’ve been a fanatical fan of the Final Fantasy role-playing video games since the first time I played one almost 20 years ago. Now, with the recent release of the latest installment (number 13), I’m in the middle of one right now, and I couldn’t be happier. If you’ve heard about the games, but haven’t had a chance to play, you might not know quite where to start. No worries! Here’s my list of the 8 best Final Fantasy games, and where to find them.
Price: $19.99 at gamestop.com
for PlayStation 2
North American Release: 2001
This is far and away my personal favorite of all of the Final Fantasy games, with an incredibly involving plot, just the right amount of full-motion video sequences, strong character development, gorgeous environments, a dynamic battle system, creepy villains, and the best soundtrack ever. The only complaint I’ve ever heard about this game is that it’s too linear… but I love it anyway. I admit it — I cried several times during the game, especially at the end…
Price: $44.99 at amazon.com
North American Release: 1997
This is the Final Fantasy game that most other die-hard fans of the series love the best. It features a range of characters and a very involving plot… even the main character in drag! The villain is wicked, the main female characters beautiful and engaging, and the male characters funny and (of course) strong.
Price: $9.99 at gamestop.com
for PlayStation 2
North American Release: 2003
I was absolutely thrilled when I heard that SquareEnix was making a sequel to the first Final Fantasy X… and I thought from the trailers of the game that I’d love it. I did, but not as much as the first one. It was fantastic to be immersed in the same worlds, with some of the same characters, but I really missed the ones that weren’t included this time around. Still, it was entertaining, and I loved the different endings.
Price: $11.99 at gamestop.com
for PlayStation 2
North American Release: 2006
The characters and plot of this game were phenomenal, and I loved that they eliminated random battles from the game play. Again, the environments were amazingly realistic, and the battle system was fun. This game wasn’t nearly as linear as FFX, with dozens and dozens of side-quests.
Price: $17.99 at amazon.com
For PlayStation (originally for Nintendo)
North American Release: 1990
This was the first Final Fantasy game I played, and I was hooked from day one. It was completely different than anything else I had played, and it was so engrossing in a way that the Mario Brothers and even Zelda just were not. I wonder how much I’d like it if I played it again, now… I’ve included the link to the re-mastered version with the second installment for PlayStation.
Price: $59.99 at gamestop.com
for PlayStation 3 or XBOX 360
North American Release: March 2010
This is the most recent release of the Final Fantasy games, and I’m not done with it yet, but I love it. I don’t fully understand the plot yet, but so far, it’s involving and interesting. Again, there aren’t any random battles, which is nice, and the level-up system is new, too.
Price: $17.99 at gamestop.com
for Nintendo DS
North American Release: 2008
I loved this game the first time I played it, and believe it or not, it made the transition to the tin screen very well! The plot is engaging and involving, and it’s really deep. It’s also pretty inexpensive, and if you’re looking for an easy way to start the Final Fantasy games, then this might be a good start!
Price: $14.99 at amazon.com
North American Release: 2000
After finishing Final Fantasy XII, I enjoyed VIII, but I have to admit I liked IX better (at least until X came out). The characters are interesting, but the plot isn’t all that interesting… it’s almost formulaic… but I loved it because the graphics and sound were a huge leap forward!
I’m sure some of you have your own favorite Final Fantasy games, and you might or might not agree with me about which one is the best. Have you played any of the games in this series? Which one is your favorite, and why? And which character do you like best? Please tell me!
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