8 JRPGs Better Than Final Fantasy 7

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8 JRPGs Better Than Final Fantasy 7

Final Fantasy 7 may have been a hugely important game in the JRPG genre, but I think we can do better.

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While I can understand why, I don't like that Final Fantasy VII has been retrospectively considered "overrated." I grew up with the SNES era of Final Fantasy, and I still consider FF7 second only to Final Fantasy V.

In fact, the only title on that list I can agree with being better than FF7 is Persona 4.

You forgot Suikoden 2, your list is flawed.

I agree with most everything on this particular list...surprisingly.

However, for my personal choice, I would've replaced Skies of Arcadia with Wild ARMs. And that's due to the fact that, not only does the game has a wonderful story, but the music and the intro were unbelievable.

Also, some surprise for showing no love to the Mana series; especially Secret of Mana. Man, too many good JRPGs to trump FF7, imo. Q.Q

Not to be rude, but the amount of typos and grammatical errors in this article is ridiculous. I can overlook an error or two in an article, but when there are multiple errors on each page, and each page only has one paragraph of text, it comes off as very unprofessional.

OT: I never owned a PS1, so the only titles on the list that I've played are Super Mario RPG, Chrono Trigger, and Persona 4 (I never owned a SNES either, but I have Chrono Trigger for the DS and Super Mario RPG on my Wii). Persona 4 is one of my favorite RPGs, but another game I wouldn't have minded seeing on the list is Dragon Quest VIII.

Wouldn't agree with Chrono Cross, FFVI or Xenogears, personally. Especially Chrono Cross; the game was beautiful with an amazing score but neither the gameplay nor the story grabbed me. I liked Xenogears and FFVI but I liked Final Fantasy VII better. I basically agree with the rest of the list, though I never played Super Mario RPG or Skies of Arcadia (though I'm planning on getting it for my Dreamcast soon).

I actually think Final Fantasy VII has managed to become so over-rated it's now under-rated. The hype backlash is ridiculously powerful.

Some games I would have listed would be:

Phantasy Star IV because

Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, which is my favourite game ever. You could add just about any SMT game here, though.

Grandia, but only because of its gameplay; story does its job but isn't too memorable

Final Fantasy Tactics, since we're counting SRPGS; for my money it's the best game in the franchise and it isn't even close.

Other JRPGs of note:

The story is interesting enough, but the key aspects of this RPG are the outstanding music and Visual Novel sections where you dive into your companions' subconscious. The magic system is also somewhat novel, as your magic using companions will channel the chosen spell/song until they run out MP or get hit by an enemy(you can guard your spellcaster to prevent that).

Again, the story is serviceable, and a bit dark at times, but it isn't why it makes my list. Legend of Legaia is notable for it's combo-based fighting mechanic. Instead of simply choosing an opponent and attacking it, you input a combination of attacks targeting specific parts of the opponent's body(left, right, high and low). Specific combinations activate special moves. It's pretty much a fighting game as viewed through the lens of a JRPG developer.

Epic story, actiony combat(similar to the Tales games), crafting, 86 freaking endings... Seriously, if you haven't played this game, do.

There's a lot of other games I could add(like some of the above mentioned Tales games), but I think that should do nicely for my contribution.

Graphically superior to FFVII, which is no surprise, since it came out after FFVIII. I personally found the combat more engaging than either of those games. The plot is perhaps just as convoluted, but that in itself seems to be more of a summary of JRPG plotlines in general. At any rate, it is a shame that the brand has faded into obscurity. God knows we could use a better localization than the pisspoor one we got.

I believe Golden Sun also technically qualifies as a JRPG - I'm willing to vouch for that one in a heartbeat.

CHRONO CROSS!?!?!?!?!
O, yes...THAT'S just...wow.
FANTASTIC! I love CC over FF7 ANY day.
<3

I'd agree that FF8 is also better than FF7.
It's combat is better, the music is beyond superior, and even the cast is more enjoyable.
-Never mind Triple Triad, which is one of the best mini-games...EVER.

Also, because this video is STILL relevant...even after all these years.

Plus his follow up video:

Ah, Final Fantasy VI, the game with a main villain so bland that he needed entirely rewritten when the game was localized (and Woolsey's version became canon). The game whose heroes' only real motive throughout the game is that they're the protagonists.

I adore Final Fantasy VI's mechanics. I think the gameplay is easily the most solid the franchise ever saw. But the story and characters just never did it for me. Even at his best, Kefka was little more than a poor Joker knock-off, and I could never find any reason to care about the heroes.

I think a lot of the flack Final Fantasy VII gets is because of an awful English translation. It's pretty evident, comparing Michael Baskett's official localization to the original, that he didn't really understand the plot. Not that I blame him; the game's data files are a complete mess, and you'd pretty much need to be intimately familiar with the game before even starting a localization to compensate for awkward technical design and translate it correctly.

It's a shame, if you ask me. Final Fantasy VII has a lot of depth to the characters that most non-Japanese players will never know. And all that clone/memory loss stuff actually makes sense when translated correctly!

P.S. Thanks

Good to see Skies of Arcadia get love. That game was fantastic.

Seriously, 8? I can think of 20. Anyway, some cool games some I haven't played yet, I might do so.

Worgen:
You forgot Suikoden 2, your list is flawed.

Yeah, no Suikoden 2..this is blasphemy.

So much console, so little PC. :(

Is there any really good JRPG that a PC gamer can get (without needing to use emulation, which is pretty dicey both technically and legally)? I've always been an RPG fan, from the old D&D games to the likes of "Fallout" and "Elder Scrolls". JRPGs are something that's missing from my experience.

Dragon Quest 8 is also another JRPG I would put forward as being better than FF7.

Still though, the only Final Fantasy that I like better than 7 is 9(I love that game so much). 6 was a nice adventure, but Kefka didn't really turn out to be all that interesting to me, and I did not connect with the cast of heroes as much as I would have liked. I'm also one of those maniacs who honestly enjoyed chocobo breeding and racing in the Gold Saucer.

TheMadDoctorsCat:
So much console, so little PC. :(

Is there any really good JRPG that a PC gamer can get (without needing to use emulation, which is pretty dicey both technically and legally)? I've always been an RPG fan, from the old D&D games to the likes of "Fallout" and "Elder Scrolls". JRPGs are something that's missing from my experience.

A significant chunk of this list is good, and all of it is on PC. But uh, maybe avoid The Last Remnant; great game, abysmal PC port.

P.S. Thanks

There are a whole lot of JRPGs that are better than FFVII.
Dragon Quest V, VI, VIII, & IX
Tales of Symphonia
Final Fantasy VI
Star Ocean: Till End of Time

Glad to see Xenogears on this list, I can definitely agree with that. One of the best RPGs of all time imo.

Mahorfeus:

I think I like you, though you did ninja me on that.

OT: Seeing the list open with Skies made me so damned happy, I loved the hell out of that game. Though as before stated, missing Legend of Dragoon is pretty bad.

Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy XII, Dragon Quest 8, Chrono Trigger, The World Ends With You, Final Fantasy IV, Dragon Quest 5.

There are 8 I like more. Not that hard.

TheMadDoctorsCat:
So much console, so little PC. :(

Is there any really good JRPG that a PC gamer can get (without needing to use emulation, which is pretty dicey both technically and legally)? I've always been an RPG fan, from the old D&D games to the likes of "Fallout" and "Elder Scrolls". JRPGs are something that's missing from my experience.

FF7 and 8 and 3 are on Steam. All are very good.

FFXIV if that counts is also on steam, and as somebody else mentioned there's a whole mound but not many of em I've played.

ScrabbitRabbit:

Some games I would have listed would be:

Phantasy Star IV because

I'd just come here to say the same thing. I loved this game and played it over and over. I took it so personally... Hows no one mentioned Secret of Mana or Shining Force though? Both absolutely ooze charecter and charm and are begging for HD remakes.

bjj hero:

ScrabbitRabbit:

Some games I would have listed would be:

Phantasy Star IV because

I'd just come here to say the same thing. I loved this game and played it over and over. I took it so personally... Hows no one mentioned Secret of Mana or Shining Force though? Both absolutely ooze charecter and charm and are begging for HD remakes.

The Seiken Densetsu series I'd place more in the action-adventure genre along with Legend of Zelda than in the RPG genre. And Shining Force is Strategy RPG, so if you're going to count that then Final Fantasy Tactics becomes Best RPG of the Always.

I'd like to give the list a shot too.
(Not in order of my preferences)

1.Grandia 2

2.FF XII (Yep and if you want to fight about the fact it's amazing @Neronium: has my back)

3. Wild arms

4. Valkyrie profile

5. Various Tales games (They're all the same but good at what they do)

6. Parasite Eve

7. Breath of fire IV (PLAY THIS GAME!)

8. trails in the sky

I don't know if you'd count Alundra, Nier, or valkyria chronicles in the list but they'd be there instead of a few.

So is it just the "Cool thing" to shit on FFVII now? Just because it was popular?

Yea its not the best FF but its a damn good one, and definitely one of the most iconic.

I'll have to pick up some of those games on that list and give them a shot.

No Breath of Fire though...I keep hoping to see that series on lists like this. I guess its fanbase has really dwindled since the PS1 days. A real shame, that series had such charm.

The White Hunter:
Final Fantasy XII

Ahahaha, really? FF12: the shiny game with not a single likeable character, plot so boring it has no twists a la ff8, no "holy shit did he really do that" moments a la ff7, terrible sluggish combat that prefers to involve the player as little as possible, across-the-board terrible voice acting (with notable mentions to both Vayne and Larsa Solidor, who were the only two VAs to not make me want to cough up blood), a mediocre upgrade system not on par with even ffx's bloated mess of a grid? Come on, man. Even comparing the combat systems *alone* ff7 blows it out of the water. Materia allowed a mind-boggling amount of freedom in terms of individual and team builds, and TBC was at its peak during that era. Ditching TBC entirely for a world-map-monster-fighting-arena with massive cooldowns between abilities was a huge joke, and severely lowered the game's fun factor. Yahtzee likes to rail on turn-based combat a lot, but when you replace it with a system EVEN MORE BORING, you have failed on a whole new level.

FF12 was very superficial. It looked nice (sort of, ps2 etc), and had a few "wow" moments - the main one for me was Vayne's speech in Rabanastre. His voice acting combined with his animated motions were nearly flawless, and I felt like I was being lied to by an actual politician. A+ job on that cutscene. The entire rest of the game, however, was far worse. It opened with an "epic" story about war between nations, the heroic sacrifice of a noble for his country after just getting married, etc and then... it scales down to absolute joke level, with vaan the "why-am-I-even-here" (only saved from the label of NPC because, yknow, youre forced to control him) and penelo the "vaan wasn't interesting enough to be alone, so here I am to follow him around doing nothing." It takes *hours* to meet actually interesting characters, and dozens of hours to get to a point where the actual interesting bits of the story intersect with vaan's quest to be the blandest protagonist alive.

Then the game was marred with entire sections of really repetitive, boring and grindy filler material. Pretty much everything early on around Rabanastre, the entire trip to Bhujerba, etc. #1 most annoying section is easily the village of the bunnygirls, all of whom have ridiculously obnoxious accents, and because Fran is one of them (and shares their fucking obnoxious accent) she gets a lot of screen time to run around being retarded. I don't mind fanservice females being added in just to get ass shots (I mean, Miranda Lawson even got some backstory behind her fabulous ass) but damn, that bunny village took entirely too long.

After 20-30 hours sunk into that game, I put it down and never returned. I was maybe halfway into some jungle somewhere, on a trek from someplace where we had done nothing for far too long, running around doing nothing in the jungle for far too long, to go to a place where we'd inevitably do nothing for far too long. The game had simply become too painful to continue playing. The one-dimensional characters with stock archetype backstories, the annoying voice acting, the lackluster plot that took entirely too long to kick in, the sluggish, disengaging combat system and the lack of airship all combined to make the first Final Fantasy game I could simply not finish. Haven't played anything after since - watched Let's Plays of Final Corridor 13: Linear Corridor Exploration and said "welp, definitely dodged a bullet there." But honestly? 12 wasn't much better. You get shepherded around boring areas for boring reasons, going through a constantly immersion-breaking game simply to get to the end.

FF12 was surprising to me. After having played every previous final fantasy, even the "basic" simple ones like ff1 and ff3 which hardly had a plot at all, I couldn't imagine getting most of the way through one and just not caring to end it. They were too engrossing for me to just "quit," y'know? Then the later installments put in great story and plot hooks - even Kefka "I'm totally joker but don't tell anyone I don't want a lawsuit here" Palazzo actually *showed you reasons to hate him* on screen. It wasn't told to you after the fact, it wasn't assumed you would hate him simply because he was the bad guy, you SAW what he did. Sephiroth's now-famous scene with Aeris, combined with all the other backstory concerning him and Cloud, resulted in a nearly flawless build-up to a final confrontation. 8's greatest weakness, by far, was its story; after FF6 and FF7 knocked it out of the park, 8 was pretty fucking weak in comparison, with the actual villain not revealed until well past halfway into the game. But the rest of the game was still great! The GF/junction system afforded just as much freedom for builds as FF7's materia, the triple triad game was a great timesink, and the non-Rinoa characters were all pretty great (Rinoa was about as annoying as Fran though).

But compare those stories to 12. What does Vayne really *do* to make you hate him? By the time the story's even begun, your country lost. Most of the "atrocities" are committed by judges or other members of Archadia. The most shocking thing Vayne does is kill his own high council (all bad guys, to the player) to prevent a coup. Does that make me hate him? Na... not really. It's a logical step. Vayne is basically presented as a calm, collected militant leader and that course of action fits in perfectly. Then, out of character, he goes banana nut-butters and tries to re-start the war he already won, but before he can really do anything else, you kill him. #welp?

Kefka literally destroys the entire planet, scorches the continents with a magical laserbeam from atop his god-fortress. Sephiroth emotionally manipulates the majority of the party throughout 7 to his ends, even exerting limited mind control via Jenova cells to get what he wants several times. That and "the aeris scene" mark him as the clear villain, and gives every character in the party reason to hate him and work against him. 12 doesn't have... any of that, really. Ashe and Basch have motive, but the rest... don't, outside of alliances of convenience. When those kind of conflicts become seriously lethal, most of that party would have split, Balthier included. I won't even get into all the problems presented by having Vaan exist at all, let alone be the "focus" of the story, despite the actual story revolving around Ashe. It was a disjointed, chaotic mess.

Anyway... na. 12 was nothing on 7. 12 was nothing on 6 or 8 or 9. I'd posit it was worse than 10, even, given 10's fairly coherent anti-established-religion plot. With some work making the characters, both good and bad, a little deeper and with meaningful histories, I could have totally dug 12. But since that didn't happen... the end product was a Final Fantasy game so boring I couldn't even finish. A first for the series. That's something, at least?

Middle_Index:

ScrabbitRabbit:
I actually think Final Fantasy VII has managed to become so over-rated it's now under-rated.

great point

I like to refer to it as "The Insecure Contrarian Effect"; basically something becomes so popular that people try to act like it's overrated in order to sound "daring"...only to create a clique that gets to big or vocal that suddenly they realize all they did was create another opinion that might be overrated and thus have to find another clique to form. Seriously, we can also say that FFVI is said to be so underrated it's now overrated thus defeating the purpose of the initial thought forming in the first place.

VII is the best FF and is still the great Japanese RPG of all time. And I can say that comfortably due to it reaching iconic status and still being thought of as the benchmark for story, characters, and setting even seventeen years after its release. So, this is what I propose: do not make a list of games in order to put down another, that's just such a waste of time. Furthermore, I MIGHT give this list a bit of leeway if its choices weren't so on the nose. Anyone worth their salt already knows of Xenogears, Chrono, Mario RPG, Arcadia, Persona, etc. The only oddball is Front Mission 3. Where's Suikoden, Breath of Fire, Odin Sphere, Lunar, Parasite Eve, Brave Fencer Musashi, Star Ocean, Valkyrie Profile, Threads of Fate, Radiata Stories, Radiant Historia, Saga Frontier, Tactics Ogre/Ogre Battle, Baten Kaitos, Shining Force, Tales of, Dragon Force, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Valkyria Chronicles, Phantasy Star, Vagrant Story, Etrian Odyssey, or any of the Nippon Ichi games? Going from "top 1%" to "top 2%" of the names to know in RPGs isn't really radical nor is it really promoting the idea of examining truly lesser known titles.

I loved Chrono Trigger, and hated what they did in the sequel Chrono Cross. That is just a game that shouldn't have seen the light of day.
Additionally, no Breath of Fire 3? That game should easily be in that list....twice.

Aiddon:

Middle_Index:

ScrabbitRabbit:
I actually think Final Fantasy VII has managed to become so over-rated it's now under-rated.

great point

I like to refer to it as "The Insecure Contrarian Effect"; basically something becomes so popular that people try to act like it's overrated in order to sound "daring"...only to create a clique that gets to big or vocal that suddenly they realize all they did was create another opinion that might be overrated and thus have to find another clique to form. Seriously, we can also say that FFVI is said to be so underrated it's now overrated thus defeating the purpose of the initial thought forming in the first place.

VII is the best FF and is still the great Japanese RPG of all time. And I can say that comfortably due to it reaching iconic status and still being thought of as the benchmark for story, characters, and setting even seventeen years after its release. So, this is what I propose: do not make a list of games in order to put down another, that's just such a waste of time. Furthermore, I MIGHT give this list a bit of leeway if its choices weren't so on the nose. Anyone worth their salt already knows of Xenogears, Chrono, Mario RPG, Arcadia, Persona, etc. The only oddball is Front Mission 3. Where's Suikoden, Breath of Fire, Odin Sphere, Parasite Eve, Brave Fencer Musashi, Star Ocean, Valkyrie Profile, Threads of Fate, Radiata Stories, Radiant Historia, Saga Frontier, Tactics Ogre/Ogre Battle, Baten Kaitos, Shining Force, Tales of, Dragon Force, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Valkyria Chronicles, Etrian Odyssey, or any of the Nippon Ichi games? Going from "top 1%" to "top 2%" of the names to know in RPGs isn't really radical nor is it really promoting the idea of examining truly lesser known titles.

I agree almost 100% with a few minor exceptions in the games department (some I might have added or taken out since I didn't play/enjoy a few that you listed).

Okay, I love Final Fantasy 7. It's easily one of my all time favorite game, if not my all time favorite game. Part of that is that it was the first Final Fantasy I ever really played and it's the first time I played a game that really had story, characters, and an evolving plot. Prior to that I had mostly played games like Sonic, Earthworm Jim, or Comix Zone to name a few. Great games in their own rights, but Final Fantasy 7 made me realize that games could have an actual story and character development.

So, maybe someone tells me that I am looking back on FF7 with rose colored glasses. If I played it again, I might not think it was so good. Well, I play FF7 regularly. And, while the graphics didn't age well, I always enjoy it.

Here's the thing. I also love games like Suikoden 2, Chrono Trigger, Breath of Fire 3, Xenogears, and many many others. I even revisit many of them on occasion. Without Final Fantasy 7, I may never have known the love for RPGs that I do now. And while many of them are great, I would be unlikely to name any of them as "better" or "worse" than Final Fantasy 7. This doesn't have to be a competition. We can enjoy many games.

Tales of Symphonia deserves recognition here as well.

I consider it superior to FF7 but of course it's all about personal preference. Easily among my favorite all time RPGS (not just JRPGS). It's got some excellent voice acting, a traditional basic story that's still interesting to experience. Some fantastically memorable characters and an excellent combat system.

As for FF7 itself...I only ever considered it a decent entry in the franchise even at the height of it's popularity. Below are how I'd rank the FF series of the ones I've played.

1) FF 6
2) FF 4
3) FF 1
4) FF 13
5) FF 11
6) FF 10
7) FF 7

A highly debatable list to be sure but that's how I feel. Note: I've never played FF9 or Lightning Returns. FF9 seems like it would be right up my alley and I pray they release it on steam one of these years.

I think i've seen FF9 mentioned once in the comments, for shame.

Also, Eternal Sonata, that was how to do real time combat FF12.

Wow. Whats with the FFVII hate?

Half those games owe their success to FFVII's success in making JRPGs mainstream. One of them is not a JRPG (Front Mission 3). There are those that I think are probably better than FFVII but I don't see a need to create a topic to bash the poor thing yet again. Also, important to note is that your list is almost completely comprised of Square games. You need to look at some titles from other companies to see what other great games lie around.

Well, personally I prefer FFVII to all those games, although many of them are certainly on the same level. But that's just me, I'm just a huge fan of FF in general. All good, woo for opinions :)

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