Top 5 Friday: Top 5 Final Fantasy Games

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I'd also like to see Top 5 Zelda & Bottom 5 Final Fantasy.

For me, the top entry is definitely FF VI.
Never before or again have I seen a game with such a wide cast, that would endear me in its entirety.
Playing through that game, I felt almost as if making real friends, and cared deeply for every one of them.

Second would be a 3 way tie between the Tactics spin-offs I played.
I just love the idea of a turn based strategy with a fantasy theme, and it'd be too hard to pick the best entry here, since each had different strong points.

Third place falls to FF V.
I just love the way they handled the character progression in it, and the story had it's moments.
Overall though, I rank it here because of the gameplay.

4th would be FF X-2.
Say what you will, but it knows it's cheesy fanservice, and it rolls with it perfectly.
I was for a moment considering putting it 3rd, but let's face it, there's only so far fanservice can get you.

5th place is FF 3.
Gameplay wise it was a precursor to FF V, but it had a weaker story and some kinks still left to work out.

I really don't get the point of this show If I wanted to know what some random dudes favourite games were I could just go to any old forum. this is this sites weakest show, needs a major over haul, This is just pointless and boring.
And how did he manage to get the FF 5 = FF 2 in the USA bit wrong. How hard is it to do some very simple research. FF4 was the one renamed to 2.

Why am I listening to this guy tell me what Final Fantasy games are best, when he can't even get their numbering right?

V was never originally released in the West at all, and it most certainly wasn't released in the west as Final Fantasy II. That was Final Fantasy IV.

VIII along with X and XIII is one of the worst Final Fantasy games I've played, not only from a story perspective but from a gameplay perspective as well. The only redeeming qualities are the villain designs, as you noted, and the card game. The Junction System, the take on the Limit System and pretty much everything else - especially the characters, their dialogues and story - are just trash.

You were right about the Job system in V being awesome.

You were right about Final Fantasy: Tactics being wonderful.

Final Fantasy VII was okay, but I can take it or leave it. The JRPG explosion in the PS1 and PS2 eras, I suppose, could be linked to it.

I wasn't surprised at all that VI was at the top of your list. It's always the go to favorite of anyone that doesn't want to have to listen to people blow their tops.

And saying that every Final Fantasy after VIII was Square dropping the ball? IX was easily better than VIII, but VIII was utter trash so that's not giving IX nearly enough credit. IX was the throw back to older Final Fantasy games, and it did a wonderful job at it. XII was surprisingly good - despite the development hell that resulted in missing features, forced in characters (Basch was the main character originally, you didn't play from Vaan's perspective) and more than a few other questionable or flawed decisions. XII is an example of what happens when the higher ups fiddle constantly with the creative decisions of the team, if Matsuno had been left to do what he wanted - instead if the higher ups pissing him off until he threw up his hands and left - XII would have been another Final Fantasy: Tactics level experience, and it shows for anyone familiar with Matsuno's work.

I hated X, and for good reason, but its combat system was solid and X's combat evolved into its final and best form in Final Fantasy X-2 a game far too many people dismiss. X was terrible, so the fact that it spawned X-2 a vastly superior product to X (all it had to do was not star Tidus to be better, let's be honest, but it actually did more than that)still boggles my mind. Yes X-2 is flawed in so many ways, but at its core X-2 is just a fun romp that's in permanent silly mode. Switch your brain to that mode and enjoy.

I can't imagine ever watching this top 5 series again . . . your taste in Final Fantasy games is fine, it doesn't have to be my taste. I'm not pissed off about your taste. I'm pissed off you're blatantly getting facts (like saying V was released as II, and far more than that) completely and totally wrong. If you can't be bothered to know or look up easily and readily accessible information . . . then I can't be bothered to watch the waste of time that is this top 5 show.

Personally my list looks like:

5. Final Fantasy XII (International - Zodiac Job System version)
4. Final Fantasy IX
3. Final Fantasy V
2. Final Fantasy IV (II [The original SNES version, not the edited and censored DS version that cuts out things like Rydia slapping Edward around when he's feeling sorry for himself])
1. Final Fantasy: Tactics

As a bonus: Vagrant Story (screw everyone, I know it's not a final fantasy, but it's a part of Matsuno's Ivalice setting which Tactics, XII, Vagrant Story and Revenant Wings all take place in). No I don't count the Ivalice of TA and TA2, nor should anyone.

My list usually pisses people off because of what my number one is:
5.) FF VI
4.) FF X-2 (don't judge me)
3.) FF X (LPing the International, which is gonna be fun)
2.) FF IX
1.) FF XII (mainly the International one since it's soooo good)

That's right XII is my favorite Final Fantasy game out of all of them.


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 was one of those people that would have given you flak over it. When XII came out, I had pretty much nothing but hated for it. I didn't like the world, didn't like the characters, hated(I mean HATED) the fact that it pretty well shoehorned you into using the gambit system with its user unfriendly battle system, and the summons in that game absolutely SUCK. HARD.

The summons in that game STILL suck. That hasn't changed.

BUT, I changed my opinion after playing Tactics and learning that XII isn't so much another standalone FF like...well, nearly all of them, but part of the Tactics line. And I did love Tactics, but I played Tactics AFTER XII, so I never knew. Once I played Tactics though, I learned that I was playing through the events that led up to the War of the Lions, and the Gambit system was actually a more advanced form of the auto-combat system I used in Tactics. The grid was just gone and it was portrayed like any other FF. When I stopped trying to think of it in the same terms as VII or VIII, I realized just what a great game it is.


Best part about the International version of XII is that the replaced the License Board with 12 unique ones representing 12 different classes (Black Mage, White Mage, Red Mage, Knight, etc) and that made me love the game even more. I played XII before Tactics as well and I love it even more now that I've played Tactics. ^.^

I agree with you on the Espers though as they do indeed suck. Although some of their back-stories are pretty cool. Like how the Ocuria feared Zodiark so much that they trapped him in the form of a baby and sealed him in the deepest parts of the Henne Mines. The Ocuria are dicks and I could actually sympathize a bit at what Venat was trying to do. Too bad Vayne was a power-hungry tyrant.

It's nice to see that FF VI is on so many people's lists,
I thought I was the only one. FF VII was my first but 6 really sold it to me.

I guess mine would go something like this:

FF 9
FF 8
FF 10
FF 7
FF 6

Somehow I never got round to playing FF 12 as my Playstation 2 had died by then, so fingers crossed that PS4 drag me away from the next xbox.

Loving the love for IX guys... Gives me a little faith in gamers again.


Mediocre JRPG hyped to no end.

For its time it was excellent.


Personal Top 5?

5)Final Fantasy *
4)Final Fantasy 8
3)Final Fantasy 7
2)Final Fantasy 12 Int
1)Final Fantasy 9

I put a * for the 5th spot because I haven't played 5 or 6 yet, but 1-4 really didn't hold me. I'd add 10 but I loathe Tidus. He was purely negative on the story and quality of the game.

Yeah I'm gonna stop watching this Top 5 friday-thingy. Trying to post your personal top of anything on the internet is basically stupid unless you make it entertaining to watch and you're able to back up your choices. Presentation in this series isn't all all. Meh...

Top 5 Final Fantasy Games

This week, Joshua talks about the best of the best in the Final Fantasy franchise.

Watch Video

Are out thy mind? Tactics,4,9,7 are good,and 8,10,10-2,and 13 are crap!

Posting thumbnails of women with enormous breasts in an attempt to get extra views is something I'd expect to see on Youtube, not the Escapist. I am disappoint.

I've played, 1-9,11,13. I started playing 10 but the my friends disc had a scratch that stopped me from progressing then my ps2 died.

My list:

I have no 'better than' preference when it comes to any individual Final Fantasy game. I click the link to the video because of Tifa...

The only two I agree with in this list is FF6 and FF7 being in first and second on this list. FF4, FF9, and FF10. I call BULLSHIT on FF8 being the last good game. Hell, Final Fantasy X is the number one Final Fantasy game in Japan, Final Fantasy IX is Sagaguchi and Utemetsu's favorite, and Final Fantasy IV is a cult classic! I can see that and I have played all (but the MMO) Final Fantasy games! FF11 was Square's biggest profiting FF game and Japan was pretty positive to the 13 series and voted Lightning Farron the top Final Fantasy girl. However FF12 was pretty passed up by Japan and only got a DS sequel.

My list:
1. FF6
2. FF7
3. FF4
4. FF13
5. FF10

Posting thumbnails of women with enormous breasts in an attempt to get extra views is something I'd expect to see on Youtube, not the Escapist. I am disappoint.

Smoshgames appear to have been transplanted from youtube, which explains why their first video here had the person saying "as you all know". Time will tell as to whether they improve or not.

That ending makes me want to avoid anything by Jovenshire. Seriously, everything after FF8 was bad? FF9 was the game that showed Square had learned what pieces in each of their games were the best and combined that with a genuinely likable lead. It was easily the best Final Fantasy to date, though it did have a lackluster main enemy. FF10 and 12 were both amazing in their own ways and just writing them off as new/different therefore bad reeks of nostalgia goggles.

If I had to list them off

5. FF7
4. FF10
3. FF6
2. FF12
1. FF9

Tactics beats them all, though. That's probably just because tactics ogre is better than final fantasy, though.

To be honest, I agree with this list. I usually hate on lists that put 7 on a pedestal because it's usually "My-First-JRPG" for some people. 6 and 5 tend to be forgotten and Tactics ignored due to being divergent from the series. I may disgree with some things out of pure preference, but it's a good list.

It's a good, honest list that doesn't shove things in there for controversy and doesn't put 7 on a pedestal just because.

I absolutely agree with you one hundred percent on this.

To reiterate my Facebook comment, OP has lost all credibility for me with this whole top 5 "best of the best" Final Fantasy without including 9, It's not just a matter of opinion or personal taste, It's a matter of honesty and being not biased. 9 had everything a GOOD story should have, It's my personal #1 and favorite and despite how infuriated I am with this whole debacle, I know for certain and my judgment is unclouded when say that the reason why OP even listed the top 5 as the top as he did was because those are the ONLY FF games he's played, that, or he decided to pick the most popular ones before IX(and add in IV for "reviewer credibility") and make a list off that. The fact that there are MASSIVE INCONSISTENCIES in his video regarding IV, V and II should make you question whether you should trust this person from hereon.

Even Jim Sterling honored FFIX in one video that tackled how tragedy should be done and how FFIX was the perfect example of it( To this day, the ending of IX still saddens and disturbs me the same way as watching the last episode of Kino no Tabi does, the fact that Vivi died thinking that Zidane didn't make it still saddens me to no end. A Final Fantasy game giving me something that's truly lasting? How shocking.

5. 10 (bad characters, fun game though)
4. Tactics (best story of all of them)
3. 12 (Vaan aside(and he wasnt the main character, basch and ashe were) great characters and really fun gameplay)
2. 13 (Most will disagree with me on this one, but I thought the gameplay for this one was by far the greatest. I liked the stagger mechanics and paradigm switching)
1. 6 (kefka... need I say more)

I dont care much for 7, didnt like any character save Cid and the story was mediocre at best.

Only two games consistently top my list:

#1) Final Fantasy Tactics*
#2) Final Fantasy 6

The rest are a mish-mash that haven't retained as much appeal to me for one reason or another, especially as time has gone on.

#3) FF5 (Job system is great and enables so much variant play. But FFT just does it better.)
#4) FF7 (This is a nostalgic pick, freely admitted. But it's an honest list.)
#5) FF9 (this would be much higher on the list if not for two things: The artstyle, most of which I have never liked. And a few characters who annoyed the shit out of me.)

The rest fall flat for one reason or another but the biggest loss of appeal lies in the loss of character-mechanic relations. In FF6, Terra's unique abilities and attributes are important to her character. To a lesser degree, so are Locke's, Sabin's, Cyan's, Gau's, Strago and Relms'. You see them employ abilities similar to their mechanical role in game, or in passing.

Compare that to FF12:
What do we know about Ashe? She's Royalty who lost her husband and kingdom to war. Is this represented in any way mechanically? Nope. Ashe is as capable a fighter as two street rats with no military training or fighting background, and Basch, a knight and combat veteran. They are not just comparable, they are all directly interchangeable.

It's "Blank Slate" character design; which in a character-driven story, only serves to further divide gameplay from characterization. And that seems counter-intuitive to me, given that marrying mechanics with purpose is unique to the medium of gaming.

FF6's fusion of these is token at best, but even that small amount of overlap makes it far more believable to me than any game that came after it in the series (even FF9).

*(And if you want to argue about how this is just Tactics Ogre or that it's a spinoff, I kindly suggest you tell someone else because I find no meaningful or practical merit in it. Why? Most of the FF MAIN SERIES aren't even in continuity with each other; related by iconography more than anything, so why should I care if it's a spinoff or not?)

Well...he seems to be really into the classic it's funny he chose to ignore FFIX, a game that really went back to the roots but was still new and fresh and original. And then that comment about how every game after FFVIII sucked...whatever...

But it's true, everyone has a different favorite FF list. So here's mine:

5. FFX: The characters were pretty original and the story/plot twist was rather surprising. It was so good, it was the first FF game to have a direct sequel. But we're not gonna talk about that...

4. FFIV: I actually liked the fact that it felt more like a play or a drama more so than other FFs. I believe most FFs always shoot for a plot like that. Most characters felt like they had a reason to be there, even the kids. And to see the fall and rise of the hero was kind of interesting. At least it didn't take the Cloud route where he sinks into depressio-- anyway, moving on.

3. FFXII: Yeah, so it wasn't as beloved as most FFs but I still liked it. The characters were pretty fleshed out (Except for Vaan and maybe Penelo, and therein lies its failure), the plot about a revolution and villains not being complete dicks was interesting. Sure, it was a LOT like Star Wars but in a different universe with different characters and a different for me!

2. FFIX: Now this was the one game that felt like I was reading an old story book. From the music to the characters to the locations to the plot. It was all very interesting and made me want to keep playing. No, I didn't finish it a 100% but that's only because I didn't want to do the side quest; I wanted to keep playing so I could find out what happened to the main characters!

1. FFVIII: I guess this is the FF oddball. I just liked the fact they tried to create a contemporary-boderline-futuristic FF game and, like that guy said, the characters, the card game, the plot, the setting, the music, everything made it just an incredible experience for me. Squall was not a depressed character, he was just mellow and careless but when the time comes to step up and become a leader, he doesn't hesitate at all. I could go on and on about this game but I'll stop there...

I'm glad that Final Fantasy VI was put above Final Fantasy VII.

Though to be honest, while it is supposedly the "true" best Final Fantasy, my best list would go something like this.

1. Final Fantasy IV
2. Final Fantasy VI
3. Final Fantasy IX
4. Final Fantasy Tactics
5. Final Fantasy V


Mediocre JRPG hyped to no end.

Agreed. So very agreed.

I was expecting the worst but I was pretty happy with the list. I did like the inclusion of V and Tactics but disliked VIII being on there, my choices would be:

5. V
4. VII
3. IX
2. VI
1. Tactics

For me:
5. FF 10
4. FF 9
3. FF Tactics
2. FF 5
1. FF 8

Why is FF 8 number one? One of those "my first final fantasy game" so it holds a special place in my heart. I love the characters, the story-line and the cutscenes. The draw system was a bit "eh.." though. The only FF game I haven't played between 4-12 is number 6 and I REALLY want to play it. Macs and PS emulators don't seem to work together well though...

My Top 5 is

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