Top 5 Friday: Top 5 Final Fantasy Games

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I turned this off when the mistake of equating FFV with the NA release of FFII was made.

That was an offensively bad failure to do even your most basic Wikipedia research.

Oh, and I greatly disagree with the man's opinions as well, with the exception of where he put FF6. For me:

6 > 9=12 > 4 > 3 > 10~7 > 1 > 2 > 13 > 8

Never played 5, or tactics or whatever, so they aren't on my list. As well as the fact that ff11 and ff14 DO NOT COUNT. they are a DIFFERENT GENRE. So there.

And the number of times I have to find myself defending how good Final Fantasy XII is to a fanboi of Final Fantasy XIII, I actually have lost count.

Anyway. My avatar ftw.

I am entirely with you on the 12 vs 13 thing. I actually find it rather funny when one of my friends tries to defend 13, I usually just point him towards spoony's review of it. I spent the entirety of 13 thinking "it'll get better". It didn't. Though if I have one complaint about 12, it did end rather abruptly. But it was definitely more worthy of a proper sequel than 13.

[quote="aeric90" post="6.402689.16638333"]
I have to defend my love of FF XII all the time. Heck I mainly play the international one now which helps improve my points, but still people give XII too much flak if you ask me.

I'm still not sure how I feel about XII. It does many things better than any other FF game before or since, IMO (the character designs, the world design, the voice acting, the dialogue), but it just doesn't manage to resonate with me the way other FF's do.

My list? I've posted it in just about every other forum on the net, so I might as well do it here :P

2: VII
4: X
5: IX

I really, really loved XIII. I acknowledge most of the complaints people had, they're valid, but I guess I don't play FF games for the same reasons as a lot of other people. Anyway, while I'm here, I'm just gonna list the others in order, since I love doing that, what with my OCD and all.

6: X-2
7: XII
8: XIII-2

And, actually, I'm going to leave it there. I have played IV and VI to completion, but I don't feel qualified to comment on them. The thing is, I'm pretty sure that VI would be near the top of my list, if not at the very top, if I'd played it when it first came out. Couldn't really do that in Australia, though. I recognise the brilliance of it, I just didn't play it at the right time. I've played I-III on emulators, but not enough to really have an opinion. I've never played Tactics, something which I will remedy soon, as I have the PSP version sitting right here. And finally, I don't think anyone really counts XI or XIV, both of which I have played briefly.

Anyway, of the 8 games I've ranked, I want to make it clear that only XIII-2 would fail to get a rating of at least 9 out of 10 in my book. The other seven are just brilliant. XIII-2 left me genuinely disappointed, however. There was just no narrative thrust, the story was a bit too ridiculous, like XII it lacked resonance for me, but unlike XII I thought the story was told quite badly.

Well, that's just me!

My only reaction to any FF list goes like, "Let's see whether VI is #1 or not. Yay!/Boo!" So... yay!

Mine (best first) goes:


Note that I haven't played IX, XII, or XIII. I'd really love to play IX someday, as I hear nothing but good things about it, but alas, no console. I will defend VI as the best in the series and one of the greatest games of all time to my death. I think VII's incredible hype and the backlash to that hype are both unwarranted. Also, I know it's a terrible game, but I do have a certain nostalgic affection for MQ.

over the past couple decades i have tried SO hard to like final fantasy 6. i keep hearing what an amazing story is has and i want to be pulled in but i just cant get in to it, no matter how hard i try. im up to the part where im supposed to go to the floating continent and i just dont care about whats going on. maybe the story picks up after the floating continent, so so far nothing in the game has really stood out to me except the graphics, which look amazing for the time

Imo it's not really the story so much as the characters. The plot and many of the devices it used were revolutionary in 1994, but they've since been imitated to the point that the game's story prolly seems cliched or formulaic (see also.)

I think the main draw for someone playing it nowadays would be the characters, and specifically whether you like them and want to spend more time with them or not. FF6's approach is still pretty unique (ensemble cast w/ a unifying antagonist, rather than a unifying protagonist,) and the interactions within the party and the way in which the whole cast gets their own arcs and development make the game. The entire design of the game is crafted around the notion that all the playable character (except the few optional ones) are essential and have their own stories.

So... if you're not interested in the characters, I'd say it's prolly not going to change, and the game might just not be your cup of tea. (And I say this as someone who loves FF6 to pieces--I still replay it every couple years and prolly will until I die. It was very important to me growing up, especially the friendship between Celes and Terra, but I can admit it may not push everyone's buttons the right way.)

Loved 8 and 13, what can I say, I'm a sucker for scifi. Yes, I know 13 was garbage, I don't care>

Anyway, this was a lot better than past lists, they gave reasons and some personality to the list. I said I'd give it one more chance, and they delivered by being less... terrible. So I'll keep watching, for now.

Yeah, FF5 was not FF2NA. And FF:Tactics was just a marketing effort on a Tactics : Ogre game (Kind of like the FF Legends, which are just rebrands of some other game I forget, a few of the gameboy Zeldas, and Super Mario 2)

9 missing is unforgivable.

And the explanation for 8 was "It starts with cool cutscene! And uhm, stuff! Which we will say nothing about. And a story we admit is total nonsense". Which was sort of the case with 7 too, but that at least had visuals.

I'm older, but I kept playing religiously up to 10.

My list:

FF: II (american) - it was a good first RPG I ever played
FF: IX - To me, VIII was kind of a let down. 9 brought things back to the roots in my mind. the cut scenes were great and the characters well done. Somehow the ending got me, and it's one of the only moments in gaming history that left me breathless
FF: Tactics - Just so much to this game. Great story, great characters. Lots of different ways to play... The open ended feel is something I see a lot of present-day games reach for, but cannot pull off
FF: VII - this one is almost a tie for first. VII made the case for not only what an RPG could be, but why you should buy a PlayStation in the first place. The music and art were just incredible in how well they could set exactly the right tone for whatever stage you were in. Great varieties of monsters, awesome characters... It filled a lot of holes you had to imagine with FFIII (american) by taking advantage of the playstation.
FF: III (american) - Easily a game I could be buried with. Greatest characters I've ever read in any medium. Every emotion came out with this game. The side quests weren't even a option. You wanted to immerse yourself as much as you could into this word... and for players who loved to explore, there is a lot of payoff in this game. It's a game I'll force my kids to play like other parents might force their kids to read dr. suess books.

Did not take long for this series to reach the bottom of the barrel, did it?

Top five out of a field of sixteen is not exactly a wild range.

i mostly approve this list, most cause & isn't #1

my top five looks like this though, since thats a thing in this thread.

5#FF 7
4#FF 9
3#FF Mystic Quest
2#FF 5
1#FF 6

Since everyone else is throwing their list in, VI, Tactics, IV, IX, I, XI, V, XII, VII, III, X-2, X, II, VIII, and the XIII series.

VI: Everyone mattered, even though there were lots of playable characters. Not an unlikable on in the bunch. Kefka is The Joker of the FF universe. Watching the world burn before watching the world burn was cool.

Tactics: When you max out the game played timer on a JRPG, you must like it. Nice dark backstabby story that didn't get lost in it's own ass like most current FF's.

IV: Slightly better story then 6 (as a whole), bleh combat system holds it back. Spoony bard.

IX: Good story. Proved you could have a likable non-brooding main hero. Best 3 dimensional Final Fantasy.

I: What can I say. Credit where credit's due. First I played back when I was 7 or 8.

XI: Awesome MMO ruined by grinding (back in the day, heard it's changed). Really great storylines and music, and did a really good job on making it feel like a Final Fantasy world.

V: Job system. Story was meh. Job system.

XII: What XI would feel like if it were single player. I actually dug the new layout a bit...but I hated gambits. The whole "I don't care if it's just menus, I'd just like to do some playing in the game I'm playing." Wasn't a big fan of the grid system, but was better the Sphere system in X. Likable set of characters. Except Vaan. WHY ARE YOU HERE VAAN, GO AWAY AND LET THE IMPORTANT PEOPLE HANDLE IT. Like cool pirate dude and sexy bunny chick, and...uh... ... huh. I know there was at least a third....hmmm....

VII: Overrated horribly. Meh story. Meh combat system. Meh music (alright, yes Sephiroth's music is the best boss theme. Too bad people have frikkin absolutely killed it by playing it every five seconds), villain was boring, and the ending was too damn vague. I got done and was like "WTF just happened?". ... Yes, I cried when Arieth died, shut up.

III: Job system. Story was kinda scattered. Eh, it's a NES game, kind of to be expected. but hey, I hit dudes 25 times.

X-2: Really? Yes really. Yes the game was goofy, but I just saw it as an expansion to X then a true sequel. Made it more bearable for some reason. You got the job system (yeah, it goes by a different name in the game. Its still the job system), and I dug the mini-game puzzle thing the had (not blitzball, the other thing).

X: Just...ugh. Garbage. Only character I liked was Kamarhi, cause he kept his mouth shut most of the time. The combat was...actually alright. I liked the idea of being able to rotate your whole team in to deal with weaknesses. Too bad it became pointless once you broke the stupid sphere system. One decent song in the whole bog. (Zanarkand). I. HATE. BLITZBALL. And dodging lightning. I did both in my "ultimate" save. Why. Why did I do that. I will look back 20 years from now and mourn the time I spent doing that. Wait, what am I saying, I'm doing that NOW.

II: Guess they felt they needed to do something different back then. No. They didn't.

VIII: Crap story, crap music (except Man with Machine Gun), crap combat system (Draw system can die in a fire), and I hate every single one of the characters. Every. Single. One. Don't try to sell me on the stupid romance, either. Girl meets douchebag guy. Girl repeatedly throws herself at douchebag guy despite douchebag guy being douchebag guy. Douchebag guy saves stupid girl's life. Remains douchebag guy. BLAHGAALWIERUGLA. It's not romance, it's a girl with seriously poor self worth! When I bloody care more about the characters in the B - Story (Laguna frikkin rocks. Now THERES YOUR FRIKKIN ROMANCE STORY.), you have a problem.

XIII - Pure and utter garbage with nothing redeemable about it. There's really no need to go into it. Complete failure in all categories. The series has officially disappeared up it's own anus at this point. I lump its spawn XIII-2 and ...why is there going to be a 3?...whatever. I lump it with it, because despite assurances that it's much approved from the original, I don't care enough about the original (read: at all) to play the sequels.

Wait, so you had 8 there, but not 9?

Seriously... you had 8 there, but not 9?

Ok i'm not sure what happened, but for years I have listed 6 as #1 on my list....while the majority have listed 7 or 9 or sometimes even 10. I always felt I was in the minority with just a few other big fans of 6 (3).

Now suddenly everyone is listing 6 as #1? Did they do a remake of 6 recently or something? I mean 6 is INCREDIBLE, and I have played it over more times then any other FF game (or any other RPG).....but it never seemed like everyone else felt that way.

What happened?

I would have put 8 at no.6, and 9 would have made it into my top 5, pretty much agree on the rest.

I've never understood the immense hate Final Fantasy VIII always received. I thought it was perfect. The developers paid so much attention to the characters. Just because they're adolescents it doesn't mean they're any less worthy of a good story. Once you filter past the school playground rubbish the story is superb. I personally thought the plot was really interesting.

I've never understood the immense hate Final Fantasy VIII always received. I thought it was perfect. The developers paid so much attention to the characters. Just because they're adolescents it doesn't mean they're any less worthy of a good story. Once you filter past the school playground rubbish the story is superb. I personally thought the plot was really interesting.

It's the fact that people act like its being bad is an accepted, objective fact that bothers me. It was voted as the 22nd best Japanese game by readers of Famitsu, which admittedly makes it the 6th FF game on the list, but it was voted ahead of both FF6(25) and 9(24). It was critically praised. By 2003 it had sold 8.5 million copies. It has won various awards.


The only REALLY bad one after that (at least in the main series) would have to be 13. I've heard only good things about 9 and I also hear that 11, the MMO, is actually pretty good as well. I KNOW that 10 and 12 are ALSO good and in my opinion better than 8. 8 is probably one of my favorites but even I can see that it is terrible.

Note: I've never played FF8, FF9, or FF 13-2.

5) Final Fantasy 13:
Best combat system in the entire series.
I love the devotion to plot over needless grinding and backtracking. I understand this is exactly why so many people loathe the game but in my opinion it was a strength. The game starts slow but builds into something really fun to play.
Unfortunately, the story is forgettable and the villains are weak.

4) Final Fantasy 12:
Great combat system aside from having to buy your attack triggers.
IE) cast x when health <30% has to be bought? Really?
I loved the combat and some of the characters were quite interesting.
They completely dropped the ball with Vaan and Penelo which hurts an otherwise great entry.

3) Final Fantasy:
The ability to create any party and play the way you want puts this very high on my list.
I only wish that the combat was less of a grind otherwise it would stand the test of time a little better.

2) Final Fantasy 2 (SNES) (5 elsewhere I think?):
Best overall story although I wished the game ended before going to the moon. Great variety in the characters as well.

1) Final Fantasy 6:
Best music of the franchise. Favorite characters and most memorable moments.

Scars Unseen:
[quote="Falterfire" post="6.402689.16638363"]

Problems I had with his list... I can see why he chose FF V, but the characters in that game never grabbed me. As for FF Tactics... I love the game, but it really shouldn't count since it isn't really a Final Fantasy game; it's a Tactics Ogre sequel wearing a Final Fantasy wig. No seriously... check out these screenshots of the Playstation version of Tactics Ogre and tell me it anything looks familiar:

You do know that the creator of Tactic Ogre was part of the team that made FF tactics right?

Just saying that makes me miss Ogre battle 64...

Still hate this show but I'm glad 6 was named first place :D
If anyone who loves FF6 or is curious about it,
has an awesome breakdown of the design behind the game.
Also make sure to check out for an upcoming game similar to FF6.

Yes, yes... we all have our own lists of where each FF lands. Fair enough.

But am I the only one who is constantly disappointed by this video series? This one was especially terrible with the 'oh, Numbers confuse me' display.

As of yet, I do not like any of the people in these videos...

Yeah, stand back, junior, let the man show you how the Top 5 FF Games list should go:

5: Final Fantasy VIII (I admit, I'm not a fanatic and played every one of the games and I do have a lot to dislike about FF8, but I do think there's a lot to like. Fantastic graphics for the Playstation era, it was quite challenging, it had an expansive story that lasts a long time, cool summons, it's just the Drawing magic system annoyed me, the characters got on my nerves (especially Squall's emo crap and Selphie being pants-on-head insane) and the sudden plot turns often feeling like Deus Ex Machina.)
4: Final Fantasy I (The one that started it all. Yeah it's downright primitive by today's standards, but that's part of the charm.)
3: Final Fantasy VII (Aside from some minor plot and character annoyances (mostly coming from Cloud going through his emo phase) and the fact that people have greatly overblown Sephiroth's badass factor, VII's combat was solid, it had enjoyable characters, an interesting world and the materia system was relatively straightforward and not the think-you're-getting-customization of today's character kitting.)
2: Final Fantasy IX (To me, one of my major complaints about the more recent Final Fantasy games is that it was never set in stone what a one character could do, that everyone was a jack-of-all-trades. It was like rolling in with a party of bards in a D&D game. This is one of the reasons why I love FF9. Add in loveable characters (Squeenix, want to make a shitload of money? VIVI PLUSHIES. Search your feelings, you know it to be true!), the combat and ability-learning system was solid and the world, again, was fascinating.)
1: Final Fantasy VI (Best Final Fantasy Game ever. Great characters, great magic-learning system, great world, BEST VILLAIN IN FINAL FANTASY HISTORY. Screw the HD 7, let's see an HD re-up of this.

I'm both dissapointed and filled with seething RAGE because eight got a mention but nine was neglected. It's not that eight is a terrible game, I actually quite enjoy it when im in the mood, my main, perhaps only issue, is that for much of the begining of the game the main character is completely insufferable. It could just be me but it feels as though the character designers were just going through the motions when it came to Squall, ticking boxes on a checklist. I don't actually mind the magic system too much because its not difficult to keep on top of once you get going and having to check how useful various magics are for stats and the like is only a very minor nuisance.

Nine is a game with a decent story line, interesting characters, including the villan and whatever you would class Beatrix as. Not only that but I actually cared about the destruction that went on throughout the game, less so in recent playthroughs but surely there can only be so many times you can see something before it becomes routine. It tried to tackle big questions, is created life equal to that of someone born natually, Vivi's issues may perhaps even go as far as to ask wheather real artificial inteligance could be considered a form of life. I like that by the end of the game you as a player and probably even the hero come to understand how lucky the hero was for being able to live the life they had and it has some of the best music of the series as a whole.

Who is that woman on the main page when you click this video?


5 - ff10
4 - ff6
3 - ff9
2 - ff8
1 - ff7

Now, Final Fantasy 9 is my personal favorite. I love the music, the characters (<3 Freya), and the battle system. However, on the whole, I don't disagree with this list. I wouldn't have ranked 7 quite as high, but it does deserve to be on the list purely because it did introduce Final Fantasy to a huge new audience and basically revitalize the JRPG in North America single handedly.

That said, yes. 6 deserves to be number 1. While not my personal favorite, it is still the best of the franchise to date. The largest roster of playable characters (Tactics doesn't count for this), yet almost all of them have a detailed story behind them. And while it had been done before, the way FF6 pulled the rug out from under you again and again was amazing. Main character's really a demon? Check. Think party members are dead? Check. Relationship between characters? Check. Surprise previous relationship with characters? Check. Blow up the world! Check!

For FF big bads, Kefka takes the cake. He sets out to become a god. AND DOES IT!
Sephiroth is just a brute with mother issues. He's anger and force with no real direction. He's no worse than a school yard bully, just with a big sword. All wrapped up in a girly man.
Even Kuja is a better villain than Sephy, because Kuja plays strategy for the whole game. You don't even see him until the end of the first act, and you only find out who he is and just how many strings he's pulling until mid-way through the second. AND HIS FINAL BATTLE THEME! Although Necron was kind of a bullshit final final end out of the blue. (Fan reason: True form of the Iifa tree demon.)

So my list, since everyone's doing that sort of thing:

5: FF 7 (For revitalizing the franchise and genre)
4: FF 4 (For bringing how to actually tell a story to FF)
3: FF Tactics (For being the lovechild of Final Fantasy, Tactics Ogre, and Fire Emblem)
2: FF 9 (For detailed characters, intricate story, and a combat system that worked superbly well. And the music!)
1: FF 6 (For being the best Final Fantasy at being Final Fantasy. Characters, System, Story, Bad Guys, Music, etc.)

5-9 or 10

The only final fantasy games I just hated were mystic quest, any of the sequels like 10 2, and 8 I feel was a just horrible game. Mechanically it was crap, the draw system was stupid, the story just wasn't very interesting or emotional to me & so on.

Even the gameboy games that had almost nothing in common (gameboy not gba) seemed better then 8 to me.

Interesting list. FF Tactics took me by surprise because I expected you were only doing main series games. I was also surprised -but pleased- to see you acknowledge FFVIII, which I think is one of the most underrated games in the series- it was radically experimental, but unlike FFII it didn't suck as a result. Most importantly, its setting and story were really the most unique in the series. I still hold the FFVIII setting up as one of the best fantasy gameworlds ever created.

I think the post-VIII games can get a bit of a bad rap as well. I actually think IX is somewhat overrated- as a retro throwback to the earlier games of the series it was an excellent and well-polished game, but it lacks the "oomph" to really stand out as more than a very solid JRPG. X was a revelation for the new generation on the PS2, much like FFVII was on the PS1, but I REALLY think it's poor FFXII that has received the most bad press. Some people have called it the worst FF of all, while others have lauded it as almost perfect. I haven't finished it yet (so sue me, I have a JRPG backlog a hundred games long), but I think it's pretty amazing. XIII on the other hand is a pretentious, gameplay-deficient mess which SquareEnix should be ashamed of. As Yahtzee put it, it's a game that makes itself perfectly clear that it doesn't want you to play it. If Squeenix ever get past making unwanted spin-offs to it, hopefully FFXV will actually be willing to settle for being a really great GAME.

Oh and I STILL insist that FFXI should never have been called FFXI. It screwed up the series numbering. It should have been Final Fantasy Online, XII should have been XI, XIII should have been XII and XIV should have been FF Online II. They weren't willing to make FF Tactics part of the main series, even though it's more like an actual FF game than FFXI ever was.

5: FFX
4: Crisis Core
2: Tactics

I'm not for FF7 best game of all time... I'd go LoZ:MM,
but... I'd probably agree with it for best FF game...
I'd never played 6 so I can't really comment on it, but I find it hard to believe that all these people had played 6...

Anyway there is also a distinct lack of love for FF10 in this topic as well.

Oh and Tactics totally deserved to be on the list, not including spin offs... I think that is counterproductive to attempts at innovation, at least in this series.

FFIX is nowhere on the list.


You probably can't tell, but Vivi is very saddened by this. :(

Ah well. It's still my most favorite of the series. :)

I've played every FF except 12 (it's looking at me from a dusty shelf) and of course we all have strong feelings about what is the best.

I found 8 to be the worst, I had to force myself to finish it. I'd definitely put 6 in that list, but 4 was great and my personal favourite is 9.

EDIT: My dislike for 8 was mainly down to an interesting combat system having almost no tutorial leading to a horrendous level of compulsory grinding once I knew what the heck was going on.

Also I couldn't get past how much of a prick the main character is, he doesn't even change, the worst emo nipple-face in the multi-verse. I still can't work out what that silly bint saw in him?

4: FFX-2
1: FFX

I thought X was amazing, VII had some of the best quests, VI had great characters, X-2 had the best combat, and XII had the best side quest system, which is important to me. VIII had the best mini-game. Triple Triad was addictive as hell.

When I bloody care more about the characters in the B - Story (Laguna frikkin rocks. Now THERES YOUR FRIKKIN ROMANCE STORY.), you have a problem.

Yeah, I've always maintained 8 would've been better served as Laguna's story of overthrowing the evil Sroceress of Esther, and (somehow) becoming President.

Instead it was Teen Assassins go to kill Sorceress for unspecified reason, fail utterly, ???????? Forced romance ???????? Forced Doublecross, ?????????, ??????????, ?????????, ????????????, Time travel junk ????????? ?????????? ?????????? SPACE SEX!, ???????????, ?????????, ???????????????????? WTF Just happened.

(The Draw system was tedious, and the alternative means were a little obscure, but I do have to give it some credit for being the only FF to really try and explain why the characters were the walking gods they were, combat-wise. (In 6 the characters are still obviously superhuman even pre-Esper augments, and in 7 everyone has materia, making their efforts nonsensical)

I'm confused as to why they decided it would be a good idea to do a top Final Fantasy video... I mean it's one of the most argued about franchises ever, they should have known that his opinion would spark some grand debate in comments. Maybe that was the goal?

Considering the last few weeks entire pages of comments were "THIS SERIES IS BORING AND INOFFENSIVE AND LAZY" I'd say that was the goal. And it worked.

I like 1. There, I said it.

I love FF1, it's one of my favourites in the series. I just love that kind of simple, but engaging, dungeon crawling gameplay.

That error about FF 5 being 4 was hilarious, and yes I'm mentioning this again. The trolling will continue until standards improve.

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