Poll: Your Favorite Final Fantasy after 7

Doing this as a counterpart thread, because looking at it, my thoughts were "gee, people REALLY love FF6." I'm also curious as to whether FF7 is as definitively loved. Also, I would have included the MMOs, but there's not enough space for both 11 and 14, so I cut both of them out.

Anyway, my vote's for 10, on the basis that it's the only FF game I've ever played, but don't let that stop you.

Can't vote, no FF Tactics

This is an extremely hard question, since the series was in a crazy golden age for so long before and after 7. Let's go down the list (of the games I've finished. Can't comment on 11 or Tactics.):

I don't think I need to say much about FFVII. It's a landmark classic for a reason, and almost every aspect of the game is iconic. The soundtrack, the party members, the materia system, the scenic vistas, etc. You all know it and you all love it.

Final Fantasy VIII is a really really amazing game. It has a lot of huge flaws, but honestly that's just because it was so ambitious. And that ambition definitely played off. The game has some extremely interesting systems around junctioning, secret gfs, and the card game that people love so much. It's also a real treat visually, with one of the most grounded and consistent settings in the series history.

Final Fantasy IX is a masterpiece in terms of its' cast and soundtrack, it has a really fun world, and the combat is very satisfying and visually pleasing. It has some of my favorite party members designs in RPG history, and they all have their own satisfying arcs. The game gets big points for having my favorite party member in the series, Amarant. His design is so stylish, and he has the best tool kit in the game, in terms of spells.

Final Fantasy X is more divisive, but I think it's as great as any of the others of this era. The main cast is the most human and relatable in the entire series, and the addition of voice acting made the plot gripping in a way prior games couldn't compete with. The setting is very fleshed-out, and feels like a real world that people live in. You really get a complete picture of this world's culture, on a level few games have ever reached. Plus, the gameplay is very fun. I love blitzball, and the combat is very dynamic, with the character switching. It's the only game from this era where you're really discouraged from picking one A-team and just using them.

Final Fantasy X-2 is worth considering as well, since it expands on a lot of what made X great in the first place. The combat is even bigger and better, the character switching has been replaced with an even more dynamic job system, and the characterizations are still very human. I really appreciate the continuing development of the characters after they saved the world in X, something that we don't usually get to see. I can understand that the j-pop opening cutscene and general "GIRL POWER!" flavor turned a lot of people off, but I think that's their loss.

I'm not going to talk very much about XII, XIII, or XV. I honestly don't have too much to say about them.

FFXII is a solid game, a little dull, but very meaty and satisfying. Gambits are cool, and I love the visual designs of the entire party.

FFXIII is a goddamn travesty. I don't care about the linearity, but actually playing the game is an exercise in frustration. The only viable combat strategy is "be the right classes and mash auto-battle" (outside of the even worse "do this one specific chain of actions or die instantly" eidolon fights), and it can suck it.

Finally, I didn't enjoy FFXV. I like the story and the characters, but the combat is almost as one-dimensionally bad as 13's, and the open world design isn't great. The game makes no effort to place any of the fun loot anywhere that makes logical sense, so you really have to follow a guide if you want to get any of the interesting weapons. And as someone whose biggest pleasure in RPGs is getting all the weapons and fooling around with weird strategies, that's an insurmountable flaw honestly. I watched my wife play through it, since I couldn't be bothered.

As for which is my favorite, I'd have to give it to 9. The soundtrack and general tone of that game make me happy in a way no other game can, and it's just a lot of fun. Plus, Kuja is a really entertaining final villain to fight. His plot comes full circle during the battle with him, with the way he desperately clings to life as he gets hurt, spending entire turns just casting curaga on himself. And his final trance attack being Ultima is an explosive fanservice payoff, in a game full of very overt nods to prior games in the series (As well as a few subversions of those nods, such as Eiko being the white mage despite having the summoner horn, as opposed to Garnet). I'll leave you with this now.

Out of the Final Fantasy games I've played, I only really like 7. 4 and 5 were kind of dull and 12 was abysmal in both story and gameplay. Tried getting into 6 a couple times, but got sidetracked with other games after a couple hours. Should really play all the way through it some time.

IX was the apotheosis of what I feel the series is and should be. It takes the best parts of 7 but with more of a fun "Fantasy" world of the earlier games(particularly the SNES ones) and it works on so many levels.

Let me put it another way. In my personal head canon, SE stopped making FF games after IX. There may be other games called Final Fantasy since then, but they're not the same thing.

jedisensei:
Can't vote, no FF Tactics

This is my sentiment as well. Perhaps you should change your topic titles to specify "main (AKA numbered entries)" Final Fantasy games, OP?

IX. IX is also my favourite if we were to include VI & VII.

Well I'm voting 14 anyway.

Not only is it the only FF game I've put 300 hours into (and I mean in a single playthrough, not multiple), but it got me into MMOs when I've been shunning them for at least a decade.

FF X for nostalgic purposes. I watched my dad play it so long ago, and I was blown away by the cinematics (particularly the edgy opening scene that appealed to my wanna-be-edgy personality at the time) and I liked Tidus. Yup. I thought he was cool when I was 9. And by the time I grew up to have the patience to play a RPG, it turned out to be a pretty damn solid one.

So I may be cheating by having two, but I'm sure it doesn't matter.

In many ways 9 and 10 were better... but I have to go with 8. Simple reason, it is the only replayable one. 9 is great, 10 is great, but I'm a working adult and frankly don't have the months at a time to devote to a game necessary to replay 9 or 10. 8 is still the only FF to reduce its grind to make it manageable to play in a week or so of an hour here and there. It isn't the BEST FF game. But it is easily my favorite because it is the most and frankly the only accessible FF game. I own 1, 4, 6, 7, and 8 on my current pc... and the only one I've played through to completion (a couple of times actually) is 8. Each of the others sit entirely unplayed on my backlog or have a forlorn forgotten save that I will probably never load because I have no idea where in the game I'm at they've been sitting for so long.

IX and X are both amongst my favourite games period. I would say that X beats IX only slightly, and solely because of graphics. They're both 10/10 in every other possible regard for me.

EDIT: OP, given that 11 and 14 are both MMO's, you could have combined them into 1 option?

IX. IX is actually tied with VI for my favorite FF game ever. The characters are wonderfully-written, the world is one that's a lot of fun to explore, the story has way more depth than is at-first apparent, and Kuja is perhaps one of the greatest villians in all of fiction, somehow managing to be understandable and sympathetic, and simultaneously still someone you completely despise. I've seen people dismiss IX because of its art style, but they are really missing out on one of the best RPGs of all time.

Kyrian007:
8 is still the only FF to reduce its grind to make it manageable to play in a week or so of an hour here and there. It isn't the BEST FF game. But it is easily my favorite because it is the most and frankly the only accessible FF game.

Accessible? Depends on who is playing.

To do what you just said players need to know how to get the most out of the Junction system. Which magics to junction to which stat. Meaning they also need to know how and where to get those magics. Preferably in a fast and easy way, so drawing is out of the running. So that leaves item and card refinement. Card refinement is probably the better option since it can yield some high-level magics early in the game. Of course, that depends on knowing which cards to get and where to get them. You can probably guess where I'm going with this.

I agree you can get through FFVIII fairly quickly ... if you already have a pretty in-depth knowledge of its mechanics. A new player doesn't have that benefit, especially since the game doesn't explain much of the above all that well (if at all), so they're kind of out of luck unless they use guides, or are naturally inclined to minmax and tinker with mechanics.

I'd argue that for new players, FFVIII is one of the less accessible ones.

I am going with X.

I hate that scene with Tidus laughing like an idiot, but I love all other characters in the game

12

And I hate the fact this game is so underappreciated.

Chimpzy:

Kyrian007:
8 is still the only FF to reduce its grind to make it manageable to play in a week or so of an hour here and there. It isn't the BEST FF game. But it is easily my favorite because it is the most and frankly the only accessible FF game.

Accessible? Depends on who is playing.

To do what you just said players need to know how to get the most out of the Junction system. Which magics to junction to which stat. Meaning they also need to know how and where to get those magics. Preferably in a fast and easy way, so drawing is out of the running. So that leaves item and card refinement. Card refinement is probably the better option since it can yield some high-level magics early in the game. Of course, that depends on knowing which cards to get and where to get them. You can probably guess where I'm going with this.

I agree you can get through FFVIII fairly quickly ... if you already have a pretty in-depth knowledge of its mechanics. A new player doesn't have that benefit, especially since the game doesn't explain much of the above all that well (if at all), so they're kind of out of luck unless they use guides, or are naturally inclined to minmax and tinker with mechanics.

I'd argue that for new players, FFVIII is one of the less accessible ones.

Draw is what makes it work. The first time you fight something for the second time, you realize the spells drawn are consistent per monster type. And after that it never really pays to fight something more than one time. You go into a any random mob battle in one of 2 ways. 1: there is a monster type you've never fought before, so you draw any spells you don't have to 3 full racks of 100 (takes 2 -5 minutes). 2: there are no new monster types, you win it as quickly as possible and move on(less than a minute). No guide needed, I picked up on this during the fire cave tutorial. And all you need to know about what to junction where, when you get something new... plug it in and see. Doesn't really require a guide to tell what number is bigger. GF's gain new abilities slower than you accumulate magic, so its always pretty easy to tell what spells do well where and you aren't caught short of magic to junction. And the tutorial for all of this is in game, available to look at any time you might want to.

And the plus is, you never have to spend time running back and forth trying to trigger random encounters to grind up levels. Just going from place to place you'll fight something in an area at least once. Trying to trigger random encounters to grind for levels is 90%+ of most FF games. In 8 there's one area where you might have to do that to grind for the highest level stuff, but if like me you have the PC version that came bundled with the chocobo Tamagotchi... he can grind for the high level stuff for you and you can bypass that bit altogether. Skipping over content is usually a minus in a game. However; when its just bypassing grind... it's actually a good feature.

Bravely Default. :)

Seriously it's FF9.

Final Fantasy 7 was good for it's time, really really good. "Good for it's time" is pretty much the best one can say about all the Final Fantasies (except 12, that one just plain sucked) now that Final Fantasy 15 exists. Final Fantasy 15 has surpassed every Final Fantasy that has come before it in every way possible, which given how long the thing was in development it really should be.

It's got a massive open world with a crapton to do, unlike the large maps of before that had pretty much nothing for like 95% of it, giving FF15 a massive amount of playtime and replay value that other Final Fantasy titles lack.

It's got 4 extremely well developed protagonists with a great and believable dynamic between them. The fact that (occasional guest party members aside) there's only 4 means that they don't get spread thin in character development and the computer controlled ones are all very effective in combat with little artificial stupidity and are well balanced to most if not all fights.

It FINALLY switched to an action RPG system, something that the series as a whole should have switched to a long long time ago, and a good one at that. The combat is intense, dynamic, fun, and most importantly based on skill rather than level grinding and/or cheap gamebreaker tactics to have a realistic chance of victory. Unless one is monstrously overleveled the enemy can and will kill you if you don't make effective use of the dodging, block/countering, and warping mechanics and time your attacks carefully.

A great story that feels... well, more REAL than most video game plots. It probably comes down to the characters particularly the protagonists being written so well and written in a manner that feels like how real people would act given the situation they're in. I don't see any stiff wooden dialog and the characters don't use outdated or made up slang, go "thee" or "thou" or any of that odd dialog that people in our world stopped speaking like decades or more ago if they ever did at all.

And, of course, great graphics, but that's a point barely important enough to be worth mentioning.

The fact that Final Fantasy 7 is being remade with the same engine makes me salivate. I'm really hoping (and with the massive amounts of sales FF15 got probably will) that other FFs get remade and future Final Fantasy games along the same lines as FF15.

Final Fantasy XIV. It's the only FF game I actually like, despite my general love of turn based RPGs.

Hawki:
Doing this as a counterpart thread, because looking at it, my thoughts were "gee, people REALLY love FF6." I'm also curious as to whether FF7 is as definitively loved. Also, I would have included the MMOs, but there's not enough space for both 11 and 14, so I cut both of them out.

Anyway, my vote's for 10, on the basis that it's the only FF game I've ever played, but don't let that stop you.

I'm thinking 15 is one of the best purely because the gameplay is the most fun. But I think if it had been on story I'd probably pick 8 or 9. I just couldn't get into 10 to the same degree no matter how many people tell me it's amazing. I still quite like it though, even though it's waaaay too linear for a Final Fantasy game.

9 is least controversial among fans I reckon.

9 is probably the safest and least controversial one. Great musical score, nice cast of characters, good story, okay gameplay. It also had one thing that most video games do not, a great ending.

That said, i still like 10, 13's, and 15.

9 or 10.

9 is generally the one I'd pick, but I'd admit there's some definite horrible awkwardness to the mechanics at times. From the emphasis on stealing (granted, the protagonist is a thief class) to keep up without super-grinding, and a general lock on party composition that often forces you into dodgy setups (Particularly the Four Elemental Fiends part).

10, well yeah, Tidus is annoying. And Blitzball is a cheesy at best gimmick. But beyond those surface flaws its a more solid game.

8 is a pile of jank that feels like you're following the boring party rather then the interesting one, and reliant on a lot of stuff buried in menus while the tutorial tells you the worst possible way to play. 7 is its own pile of awful writing and mediocre gameplay (when it does descend into a barrage of terrible minigames).

Never jumped too much into the real time ones. The bits I played were the general mess I'd expect of trying to mix a turn based tactical game into some sort of real time ARPG. Lots of fiddling with AI settings and watching the game play itself as much or more then you.

X. It had its flaws, but so does every game on this list. It had lots of fun characters and a battle system that I feel hasn't been exceeded since then. Also the battle song sounds a bit like a sea shanty to me, so more win there. If it had a cutscene skip option for certain scenes and revamped the Aeon portion of the final battle to be more involved, I think it would be much better regarded.

Spira is one of the only gaming worlds I've ever really wanted to delve further into and learn more about, such as the history of the arch-summoner Yu Yevon who created the 'ultimate Aeon' through his sacrifice, only for it to become the eternal terror of all humanity. At the same time he 'preserved' his doomed homeland in a dream state where it could actually continue to grow on its own and give rise to alternate versions of its real human population (Tidus being an altered 'copy' of Shuyin, and a much nicer, more fun guy as a result). Lots of interesting concepts here that we didn't get to see fully fleshed out.

Here's a video I found recently examining the crucial differences that made one extremely linear Final Fantasy game well-regarded, and the other one not so much:

The mythical version of SaGa Frontier that actually got finished.

Hell, most days I'd take the SaGa Frontier that we actually got. Though Cube Watermelon's playthrough of FF9 makes me think I should pop it in one of these days.

WhiteFangofWhoa:
X. It had its flaws, but so does every game on this list.

I didn't mind 10, but it's still one of my least favourites in the series next to 12 and 3 (I still haven't played 2, but I imagine that's not great either). 10 feels much too linear for a FF for me most of the way through. One of things I liked most about the final fantasy series is the sense/feeling of exploration. 10 and 12 didn't really feel like that in the same way. It just felt like corridor, cutscene, corridor, cutscene up until nearer the backend of the game. I think a lot of people like 10 if it was the one that introduced them to the series, which seems to be the case with a lot of PS2 owners who are a good few years younger than me. I did like it though, in general. It was alright and I didn't mind the story really - it's just not as good as the majority of what came before it or 15. 15 is definitely way better than 10, gameplay wise, imo.

Saying all that, I played 10 quite recently, so I don't know if that changes my perspective slightly.

FF8:
Yes, I know it's objectively not the best...but a LOT of nostalgic baggage comes with that game for me.

I also think FF10-2 doesn't get near enough love for how much fun to PLAY.
One of the BEST implementations of the 'job system' in any series.

10 probably has my favourite combat of any turn-based combat game. You can switch out any team member at any time without losing a turn, there's a bar indicating the order of turns for both your team and the enemies, so it doesn't feel like you're blindly strategizing, and barring two, your team is comprised of fighters with very specific abilities that match up very well with most enemies. You hear that Persona 5?

The characters and setting are fun, too, if you don't take them too seriously. I actually like how the setting makes you feel like you're on a tropical vacation.

I like 9 for its witty and charming characters, and picturesque world, but I don't care much for the way it does turn-based combat, so I never got very far into that one. I still kind of want to though.

I never finished XIII-2 (right at the end) or played XIII-3 so not really going to comment on those except that the reason I stopped playing XIII-2 despite being so close to completion was I couldnt take the boredom anymore and did not want to force myself to play another second. Also never played XI as my comp would not run it at the time and Type 0 is one I also havent got around to.

If we are including VII as we seem to be then that would be my favourite by a mile as its still my favourite game ever made and is the game I have replayed more than any other (at least games of length). I just love the world, characters, materia system and story so much in that game.

If we are not including VII then X would be the next easy bet for much the same reasons except replace materia with battle system as I still feel it has the best battle system in the series when you are actually fighting (VII has the best pre battle system imo).

VIII I like but the card system kinda puts me off playing it again as getting all those cards was a major pain and I feel it was tied to heavily to the other game systems making it less easy to ignore.

IX I also liked but jeez that battle system is sooo slow and imprecise and after disc 3 it always felt like a major slog so the few times I have replayed it I always stop there.

XIII and XV I also got some fun out of but XIII took way to long to get going and had some incredibly annoying characters. Doesnt help the battle system is near auto pilot until you start doing the harder hunts which happens after you finish the damn story. XV was just unfinished the story was very weak as well and while the battle systems were fun in a way its also quite weak imo. I wish they had focused more on story and not pointless busywork.

XIV I have played a lot and enjoyed and still play today although im out atm but honestly if I did not have such a good time with the people I play with I would have dropped it entirely by now. Still my favourite MMO I have ever played though.

XII I hate after II its my least favourite in the series to such an extent I struggle to find anything I like about the game except the final hunts.

I actually think 8 was the best, much more interesting mechanics than 7.

It's a three way tie between the XIII series, XV and FFXIV:ARR for me.

XIII series was fun, had a legitimately good villain even if he did look a little fruity and the combat system was fun.

XV is a goddamn masterpiece and worth the wait.

XIV:ARR is an excellent MMO and hell, meaty enough that it could be a standalone non-MP FF game.

Maximum Bert:
I never finished XIII-2 (right at the end) or played XIII-3 so not really going to comment on those except that the reason I stopped playing XIII-2 despite being so close to completion was I couldnt take the boredom anymore and did not want to force myself to play another second. Also never played XI as my comp would not run it at the time and Type 0 is one I also havent got around to.

If we are including VII as we seem to be then that would be my favourite by a mile as its still my favourite game ever made and is the game I have replayed more than any other (at least games of length). I just love the world, characters, materia system and story so much in that game.

If we are not including VII then X would be the next easy bet for much the same reasons except replace materia with battle system as I still feel it has the best battle system in the series when you are actually fighting (VII has the best pre battle system imo).

VIII I like but the card system kinda puts me off playing it again as getting all those cards was a major pain and I feel it was tied to heavily to the other game systems making it less easy to ignore.

IX I also liked but jeez that battle system is sooo slow and imprecise and after disc 3 it always felt like a major slog so the few times I have replayed it I always stop there.

XIII and XV I also got some fun out of but XIII took way to long to get going and had some incredibly annoying characters. Doesnt help the battle system is near auto pilot until you start doing the harder hunts which happens after you finish the damn story. XV was just unfinished the story was very weak as well and while the battle systems were fun in a way its also quite weak imo. I wish they had focused more on story and not pointless busywork.

XIV I have played a lot and enjoyed and still play today although im out atm but honestly if I did not have such a good time with the people I play with I would have dropped it entirely by now. Still my favourite MMO I have ever played though.

XII I hate after II its my least favourite in the series to such an extent I struggle to find anything I like about the game except the final hunts.

Why do you hate FF 12 so I can argue with you that its not a bad game.

Final Fantasy 10 without a shadow of a doubt. I loved blitzball. I loved the monster arena challenges. I loved the dark summons and trying to beat them normally before giving up and yojimbo'ing their asses. The scenery was colourful and varied and the characters were quirky.

It's really the last good final fantasy game i have played...what followed is unremarkable and tedious

I say 10, not necessarily because I thought it was the best but it was one both my dad and I played through together when it first came out. After that, he started a new game and proceeded to overhaul the sphere grid and max everyone out over the next 260 hours of gameplay. It was a bonding experience for me.

XV is the only one I've beaten, so.... As much as I'd like to play and beat the other games, I don't exactly have 600+ hours to spare. I have considered FFX, though.

Final Fantasy VIII.

It's the only Final Fantasy that I have any in-depth experience with and I honestly really enjoy the thing.

IX, easily. Strange thing in my house growing up, some games my siblings and I just skipped without talking about it.

Played everything before and X and XII, didn't play IX until just a few years ago. One of the greatest in the series, one of the best game endings ever IMO.

 

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