The Final Fantasy Debate

  • I just watched a live web show recently and the age old debate about Final Fantasy was brought up. I wanted to generate a topic for a healthy discussion about the franchise. I find it absolutely FASCINATING how some of the games I enjoy are HATED by others. So here is a list of all the numbered entries I Love/Like that I've PLAYED:

    7, 10, 12, 4, 1, 2 and I HATE 8 and 13.

    I have NOT played the two many love, 6 and 9, nor have I played 3, 5, 11, or 14. My hangup on 6 is two-fold: Currently do not own a platform to play it and I REALLY don't like games that bog me down with characters. 9 has a look and story-arc (from what I've been told) that does not appeal to me.

    Now, I just wanted to see which of the games people enjoy and why. To get the ball rolling for me; 7 is my favorite in most things, Setting, Tone, Story, Music, Characters, Customization. 10 has the best battle system: Tactical turn based with switching out characters on the fly. Also it has my favorite overall character, Auron, but the game also does not have that difficult of a curve. It took a little while to get used to, but 12's active system allowed me to enjoy the game through a lens of pre-planning coming together. Plus I'm a big Star Wars fan, so the episode 4 story parallels are neat.

    As far as 8, the story was TERRIBLE in multiple facets and the magic system, Junctioning, was not a great use of magic. The characters for me were pretty drab and the enemies being scaled to Squall's level made it very difficult to have a balanced party (again, for me). And 13? I don't think I need to beat that to death any further than everyone else has done.

    How about all of you? What's your favorite Final Fantasy and why? Why do you dislike (to put it in a cordial way) certain games?

  • Banned

    6 is objectively the best.

  • Gotta agree with him, FF6 is the pinnacle. Favorite game of all time.

  • Personally, there's one Final Fantasy game that will always have my heart - Final Fantasy Tactics. I prefer the strategic element and the story really doesn't have many melodramatic moments that a lot of the series is known for (7 through 13, basically). 5 is defininely worth a play through as the job system alone is a ton of fun, plus it dealt with death of a party member long before 7 had its iconic scene. Lastly, super unpopular opinion here, but I honestly like 13. It's not the best in the series by a long shot but it's not a terrible game. It did a lot of things differently which is what the series used to be known for. Tie that in with an "easy to pick up, difficult to master" combat system that was entirely unique and you have an entry that shouldn't garner as much hate as it does. Final Fantasy 8 though... yep, feel free to hate that one. Just a shame my favorite summon (Doom Train) gets tied down to it.

  • Only played 6-10, and I really enjoyed them all. FF 6 might be my favorite next to 7 as well. What made FF 6 so special to me was I got it with this strategy guide...

    This is my favorite video game guide of all time. This guy doesn't just write how to beat bosses and where to find items, he writes what the towns and characters feel like, how spooky a place is or how happy the NPCs are. Its general just a fun read that really enhanced the game for me personally.

  • I like: FFVI, FFVII, FFX, and FFXII

    I played most of IX and some of VIII, but I feel like I can't have a definitive opinion on either one as I didn't beat them.

    I beat FFXIII, and although it's a linear Final Fantasy with an incredibly frustrating battle system, I don't hate it in the way most do. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and how they played off of each other. The characters (especially Hope and Snow) get a lot of flack, but just because a character is unlikable doesn't mean they're bad.

    And to XIII's credit, every environment was very cool, albeit underutilized.

  • I pretty much agree with your list i hated 8 and 13 aswell but i also hated ff10. Once i realized i ccouldn't control the Airship like i did in previous games, i lost my shit. I almost didn't complete it. Fucking hate Tidus.

  • @BallzBallz I hear the airship argument often... but is it really that much of a dealbreaker? I know it's cool to be able to pilot the ship at your own discretion, but using the airship takes up around 1% of overall playtime for a Final Fantasy game.

  • I've actually got to say I enjoy 8 quite a bit. It probably has a slight skew since it was my first Final Fantasy, but overall I loved most aspects of it. Same when I eventually played 7 and X.

  • The series peaked between FF 4-9, though my personal favorites are 6, 7 and 8 (all for different reasons).
    I think that 6 has overall the best "story", 7 has the best "world" to explore and stuff to do in it (the Gold Saucer for example is legendary). I like 8 for the numerous game design decisions (from how you could customize your characters to the 0 grind to the absolutely fantastic final dungeon that is Ultimecia Castle).

    FF10 and onwards is when the series pretty much stopped being traditional FF for me.

  • One great thing I'll admit about 8 - Triple Triad is one of the best sidequests/minigames in any release, ever.

  • For me, FF7 is my favorite game of all time, and naturally my favorite of the series. Comparatively, I dislike FF6 the most, and FF12 is right there next to it.

    I've gotten to the end of FF5 and lost my save file. Someday I will beat it, but it's hard getting back into it.

    I've beaten all the rest of the mainline entries (non-MMO), though not every one of them from their original versions. I could never stomach FF3, but FF3DS was another matter entirely, and probably has one of the best launch intros of all time, which is unfortunately watered down on any single screen device. FF4DS also gets more criticism than I think it deserves. FF4 balances out to my 2nd favorite, but I absolutely feel that 4DS is an all around upgrade in every way. The 3D sprites are faithful to the concept art more-so than the classic sprites, which I suppose some people take issue with. I don't know if I could handle faithful representations of the FF5 concept art, for example, I know the Steam/iOS port of FF5 is hideous.

    I actually enjoy the FF13 series. I understand some of the basic criticisms behind them, but I don't understand the widespread hate. Also Hope was the best character in the first game, and Vanille was by far the worst.

    If I were to rank them, discounting X-2 and XIII-2/Lightning Returns:

    FF7 > FF4 > FF10 > FF9 = FF8 > FF13 > FF5 > FF1 > FF3 > FF2 > FF12 > FF6

    My dislike for 6 isn't due to the anti-popularity vote, it's just how I feel. I anticipate a remake of 6, because I think I will enjoy it more when it is in 3D. On the other hand I don't think my dislike for 12 can be fixed without extreme revisions to the story, so maybe it deserves to be in the bottom spot instead.

    FF8 has issues and FF9 doesn't, really, but I appreciate 8's world a whole lot more, so they're kinda even. FF10 took out airship flight (airship map select doesn't count), but in every other circumstance I absolutely love the game. FF4 is just timeless. You could re-release that game 10 more times and I'd buy it every time, as long as you don't go that HD sprite route like on the PSP, I'll never understand why that's more valued than 3D models.

    I also play FF14, but it's felt really slow and dull these days, so I haven't played it as much. I keep trying to find excuses to get back into it though. I still haven't beaten Heavensward and a new expansion was just teased by Yoshida, so I'll need to rev up my gears sometime soon.

  • @thrashinuva I really, really like Hope for so many reasons. Firstly, I made him into an insane ravager that just decimated everything he touched. Secondly, I think he has one of the more interesting character arcs out of any Final Fantasy. He truly grows as a character and my opinion of him also changed - from groaning every time he complained to finally respecting his transformation and all the obstacles he had to overcome to get there. Not enough Hope love out there, that's for sure.

  • Super happy to see all of these responses! A couple of notes I wanted to add:

    @BallzBallz: To your point about Tidus hate, I understand it. While I don't hate him with a passion, he and Wakka are the WORST party characters of the game. The main Final Fantasy character I REALLY can't stand is Vaan from 12. He and Penelo are not necessary. Once the other four characters become a part of the party, its easier to stomach, but still: TERRIBLE.

    @kirkking2000, @suplextrain: I'm really glad that you enjoy 8, as this is a fundamental reason why this thread is here. I dislike it, but you do, so having your reasons is super cool!

    @SabotageTheTruth: I have not played Tactics, but I'm happy you've included it here. Even though I started this with a skew of main numbered entries, I don't want to limit this discussion to just those.

    Because every game is not related to another, it allows for such a diverse set of opinions which is why I love this conversation. Thank you everyone for your input!

  • Final Fantasy VII is my favourite FF game of all time. Since that cold winter day back in 97 I've been chasing the dragon ever since. My issue with every Final Fantasy game since then is that it wasn't VII lol. And that unfortunately has effected my enjoyment of the other entries. I still enjoyed VIII and IX, but X was a complete departure of a series I really enjoyed. No world map to explore? Was the hell kind of FF is that? Lol. Anyways I played and beat X, never touched XI, stopped playing XII after an hour and got excited for XIII until I heard it was linear. Tried XIV but I'm not a fan of MMO's and now XV is the first time I've been hopeful in a FF game in years.

    I'm looking forward to VII Remake and I'm happy that they are making changes. I wasn't happy at first, but the more I thought about it the more I realized I don't want the same game I've played several times. I obviously want the same story, world, mood and setting of the original but I want them to take that game and make it more than it was. Just make sure there some open world for me to explore dammit lol.

    Anyways, to be fair FF7 was one of my first games that made me love gaming. That's what makes it special to me. I've played some of the classic ones and they were good for what they were but I wish I played them when they first released.

    I think the hard part about video game franchises is that it's hard to keep a balance. You constantly have to compete with yourself and so do the fans.

  • Final Fantasy XII is the best. Tactics is also great... so is FFIV... so is VI... and X... and IX... and VIII.... VII isn't half bad either...

  • My favorite videogame of all time is Final Fantasy Tactics. It's endlessly replayable, crazy deep, great story, compelling characters. I've played through it more than 30 times in my life.

  • 7 > 9 > 4 > 6 > X > 8 > 5 > 13 > 12 > 3 > 1 > 2

    I think FF7 has the most well developed main character and world and a really unique style, while 9 had a great balance of depth across its whole cast

  • @El-Shmiablo said in The Final Fantasy Debate:

    6 is objectively the best.

    And that's where you're wrong. It's a great game, but the problem with it is that it gets muddled at the halfway point. When the massive world changer happens, anything you do there has absolutely no direction and doesn't give the player much clue what to do next.

    Now, it's also one of my favourite Square games, I even rate it higher than the much better paced and built Final Fantasy 4 (AKA 2, way back when... "YOU SPOONY BARD!"), but it's not the best in terms of game construction and pacing, that goes to the aforementioned FF4.

  • I'd say that there is no one right or wrong answer, because how varied this series is, and everyone has their own tastes. For me, FFVI is the best, because of the story and characters.

    But I also do like IV, V, VII, IX, X and XII. First three, while ok, don't hold up in my opinion as well, but I do appreciate them. VIII is ok, but many things in it doesn't make any sense, like Junction system and somewhat retarded story. I have also tried both online games, not my thing.

    XIII... Just no. That game is just walking a corridor. It doesn't feel like a world, not even when you reach gran pulse. That is just one hub area to bunch of corridors. All other FF games had me believe in the worlds they portrayed, which is one of the reasons I love these games, and XIII dropped the ball with this.

    Hopefully XV will return the series into its former glory.