I’ve been playing Final Fantasy games since 1999, though I had been playing video games far longer than that. Here are my top ten, with #1 being my favorite.
10: Final Fantasy VI
Medieval, steam-punk, with a mix of industrial and magic, are my thing. Final Fantasy VI was quite the adventure, and I loved how the story diverged into a “Choose Your Path” play-through.
- Favorite Character: Sabin
- Favorite Location: The Veldt
- Favorite Thing to Do: Fly the Blackjack
9: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (the first one).
Cartoons and quirkiness are one way to my heart. I’m a believer in letting the artist exaggerate the character’s personality through their physical attributes, and by exaggerate, I mean really do it. Crystal Chronicles had some adorable, fun representations of iconic Final Fantasy characters, such as the Moggle you could trim and spray paint, and sneaking around the Tonberries in the Moschet Manor.
- Favorite Character: Tonberry Chefs
- Favorite Location: Moschet Manor
- Favorite Thing to Do: Discovering the quirky characters and taking in the beautiful scenery.
8: Final Fantasy VII
Although I enjoyed the story, I’m not a fan of melancholic heroes. The character development could have been better, but the action and expansive world, with all its depth and side quests, with character origin stories, more than made up for it.
- Favorite Character: Cait Sith (the cat on top of the giant plush toy).
- Favorite Location: Costa del Sol
- Favorite Thing to Do: Motorbike Mini-Game
7: Final Fantasy X
I was in high school when FFX was released, and was thrilled that for the first time there would be voice acting. The action was awesome, the story memorable, and the emotion (thanks to the voice acting) was moving. The battle system was great, but I had hoped for more depth to it. They did with the overdrive system what I wish they would with skills: let characters learn new skills by doing things (for example, learning Firaga by using Fira and Fire).
- Favorite Character: Rikku
- Favorite Location: Luca
- Favorite Thing to Do: Capture Monsters
6: Final Fantasy XIV
I played FF14 with its original release, before A Realm Reborn. I don’t think the original was that bad, but the gameplay of A Realm Reborn (the second version of the game) vastly improved. The transition between the two versions was genius: literally killing off each of the characters in a cataclysmic event, never to return. (You had to start the story over again in the new realm.) I don’t intend to return to MMOs anytime soon, but was glad I could play this one for a bit.
- Favorite Character: (Mine, Alde Pawberry, a Miqote White Mage)
- Favorite Location: Gridania
- Favorite Thing to Do: Randomly heal people!
5: Final Fantasy Tactics
The job growth system, with all its intricacies, drew me into this game. That, and the cartoonish character art was quite entertaining. They had little ball / mittens for their hands (much like my artwork for The Quest Logs) — I admit, I’m not great at drawing fingers. I never finished the game, nor did I get that far into it.
- Favorite Character: Agrias
- Favorite Location: Balias Swale
- Favorite Thing to Do: Knock enemies off a ledge.
4: Final Fantasy X-2
FFX-2’s fun vibe kept me playing it several times. I still enjoy the music. “I’ll Give You Something Hot,” which is LeBlanc’s battle theme, is my favorite tune. I enjoyed the mission-based (quest-based, even) gameplay, so I could experience the tale in the order I wanted. Some choices meant I couldn’t do others without a second playthrough – which I’ve played through at least three times.
- Favorite Character: Rikku
- Favorite Location: Luca
- Favorite Thing to Do: Hunt down the Cactuar children.
3: Final Fantasy VIII
My first Final Fantasy, and for awhile, my favorite. The two most memorable scenes for me were the Sorceress Assassination Attempt, and the Battle of Two Gardens; both were filled with exciting action and music. There’s an excellent back story about Hein, Laguna, Kiros, and Ward, and the Sorceress War, that I wish Square-Enix would revisit, maybe in a prequel.
- Favorite Character: Selphie Tilmitt
- Favorite Location: Esthar
- Favorite Thing to Do: Fly the Ragnarok
2: Final Fantasy XI
At first I struggled with FFXI: I chose Thief as my class, which I learned was mostly a solo class. This game brought several lessons to me, one being the value of giving people what they want to be part of their team. You can’t just go through life and hope people will take what you think they’ll want; that’s a really challenging thing to do. Once I focused on being a Red Mage, I found myself enjoying the game all that much more.
- Favorite Character: The Goblins (friendly ones)
- Favorite Location: Windurst (visiting Shantotto)
- Favorite Thing to Do: Treasure Coffer Hunting
1: Final Fantasy IX
The characters, the world, and story, of Final Fantasy IX, are woven like a warm quilt on a cold winter night. Most of the characters; I wasn’t a fan of Amarant. The main hero is an optimist, which I believe is how heroes ought to be. (Sorry, Squall and Cloud fans.) Again, the quirky, cartoonish character style won me over. I love how several staple characters had much more involvement: the Moogles’ Mognet system of delivering mail, and the Chocobo Hot n Cold.
- Favorite Character: Eiko
- Favorite Location: Daguerreo Library (of course – look at all the books!)
- Favorite Thing to Do: Chocobo Hot n Cold
Which are your favorite Final Fantasy games, and why? Comment below.