Many newcomers often feel intimidated or confused about which game to start within the Final Fantasy Series.
Let me help.
First, keep in mind the mainline Final Fantasy games are completely separate. There’s no official connection between Final Fantasy I and Final Fantasy II, for example. Each of these games takes place in a different universe, with different characters, battle systems, and story. The Final Fantasy series is like a “collection” of games. Feel free to start with any game you want!
…well, you might want to take note of the direct sequels. Final Fantasy XIII, for example, is a trilogy consisting of Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. You might not want to play Final Fantasy XIII-2, the sequel to Final Fantasy XIII, first.
Whew. So, what are my recommendations!
Final Fantasy XIII
Wow, this one? Yes, because this is where the series is heading. Final Fantasy XI (and XIV) may have appealed to Western MMORPG players. Final Fantasy XII may have Western aesthetics. But Final Fantasy XIII tried to consciously branch out to a Western audience. Fast-paced battles and achievements, yet enough story and character development to make it identifiable as a Final Fantasy title. Final Fantasy XIII won’t be nearly as divisive in the future as it is now. The trilogy forged a new path to titles like Final Fantasy XV, Final Fantasy XVI and beyond. After playing this, you may like other science fantasy titles such as Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII. If you’re looking for a Final Fantasy game that predicted where the series is heading, play Final Fantasy XIII.
Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy X seems universally loved. Everything about this game, from the story, music, world, and art style, is beautiful. The game was the flagship title on the PlayStation 2, the first to have voice actors and complete 3D rendering. Final Fantasy X also brought back the turn base system; it’s really refreshing to switch out your characters in midbattle to someone more suitable. But this game also starts the trend of sequels. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and Final Fantasy X-2 was still a good game. Square Enix loves to innovate while taking a nod to the past. Final Fantasy X is exemplary of this. It was able to combine the best of Final Fantasy while moving forward. If you’re looking for a Final Fantasy game that gives you the best of the best, play Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy VII
Nearly everyone starts here. And for good reason! Final Fantasy VII was the flagship title on the PlayStation 1. Final Fantasy VIII is the JRPG experience! It was single-handedly responsible for popularizing the Final Fantasy series. What made Final Fantasy VII so special? Everything. The story was engaging. The FMVs had a movie flair to them. While the graphics don’t hold up to today’s standards, many liked the 3D models at the time. The diverse cast still The music also remains one of the finest and most memorable in the series. And even today, the game is so popular that many crave for the remake. If you want to play the game everyone’s talking about, play Final Fantasy VII!
Final Fantasy IV
Why start here? Because it sets the tone for what fans expect from Final Fantasy. The game has a grand sweeping and epic storyline, character development and great music. Yet, it also implements the ATB system. If you like Final Fantasy IV’s, you’ll love Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy X.
That’s right, the first game. Most gamers might consider this grand adventure a dusty museum piece. But don’t underestimate it! Sure, it doesn’t have a complex narrative, intricate battle systems or poignant character developments. But it does have the framework of the series: crystals, job classes, Warriors of Light, airships, cities, and towns, etc. Amano’s designs, Uematsu’s music, and Sakaguchi’s vision would set the standard for Final Fantasy for the next five games. If you want to see where Final Fantasy began, play Final Fantasy.
Final Fantasy XV
It’s a Final Fantasy for fans and first timers. So the catchphrase says.