I don’t know how it happened but I was able to play every single main titled FF game except the online ones. I had my fair share of JRPGs and thanks to these I was able to gain somewhat of an open mind and was able to determine what FF game really did it fo me. This is from bottom to top. (Warning: May contain Spoilers)
Number 5, Final Fantasy 6
This game took me by surprise. I first played this on the FF Anthologies and I kept hearing that FF6 was pretty good. I just wanted to see it first hand what this game offered and it did not disappoint. Great sort of characters, excellent memorable music, great graphics (yeah I said it) and it was pretty fun all around. And of course, the villain Kefka was a lot of fun. Kinda wish he was wee bit more in there. Even though this game was great, I did feel like the plot was really short compared to the other FFs. It really felt that once Kefka moved those statues, the story ends, and everything after that point becomes optional and “non-canon”. I really wish there was a stronger narrative during the World of Ruin but other than that this game was great and there were actual parts where I felt something I never thought I would feel when playing a game. This game was very artistic and it really showed with Nobuo Uematsu’s music and with some areas like the Opera House or Figaro Castle. Not to mention Dancing Mad, which may have Sephiroth’s One Wing Angel a run for its money.
Number 4, FF4
How did I play this game?! Oh yeah, it was in FF Chronicles along with Chrono Trigger. I don’t think I had any idea how good both of those games were gonna be. FF4 was pretty amazing, and near damn perfect. I don’t know what to fix in this game, though the writing in the version I played was a little weird and it seemed so dumbed down just so the kiddies would understand but that is to be expected. There were several other versions that fixed it up a bit. But yeah, I was able to love the characters especially Cecil and his journey of redemption and forgiveness. Even the sequel is probably the best FF sequel no one has ever played, a sequel done right.
Number 3, FF7
Of course! Who the hell wouldn’t have this particular game be in their list? This is the game that started it all for me and for a lot of people. The first FF game I played and I’m glad I was able to play this one first (I almost bought FF8 as my first FF game *shudders*). This game may be overrated but there are reasons why this game is so goddamn popular and this game is actually pretty good on its own. A colorful cast of characters, each one of them actually having a story to tell. Each of them had a turn in the spotlight, which I can’t say the same for the recent FF game nowadays. What I thought would take place only Midgar became a much bigger world than I ever realized and this game took a totally different turn in making this game look modern with over-the-top American swearing (that’s probably why we were able to like it so much). Though I wish Jenova was more a threat and the whole Sephiroth/Jenova thing on your journey all the way to the Northern crater still kinda didn’t sit well with me, and the head trauma that Cloud goes through may not work well nowadays. The FFVII Compilation Project, though most of it sucked, was well deserved because we wanted to see these characters and the world after the game because the demand was high, and don’t get me started on that one scene that put everyone to tears. I guess it was a game that came at the right time.
Number 2, FF12
You heard me right, bitches!! FF12 is one of my top 2 most favorite FF games of all time! In fact, it’s hard deciding whether to put this in the 2nd spot or the 1st spot. It could have easily would have been the number one spot. Heck, I still see it as number one. I know a lot of people don’t like this game. Saying it is too political, or not enough romance, or the plot is just plain boring or this game is just gonna play itself thanks to its Gambit System, and it has turned off a lot of players. For me, I was expecting all of that. This FF is for veterans and shouldn’t be your first one to try out. So how the hell did I still enjoy this game? Since I played FF Tactics and Tactics Advance I knew FF12 was gonna share the same world and let me tell ya: if there is a fantasy world that I wanna live in, it is Ivalice. That world is packed with so much lore and interesting races, architecture, agriculture, its law system, everything about this world is amazing. The best world of FF hands down and that alone was able to trump everything else that was lacking in the game. This game was able to remind me what makes a game a game, or more specifically what makes a JRPG a JRPG and I was to have a lot of fun with this game and its world despite its flaws. A lot of changes were made on this game during development and if it actually stuck with their creatives guns and kept some ideas like Basch actually being the main character, then this would be even better. And come on, this game had a lot of high scores when it came out. A perfect score on Famitsu, and higher than FFXIII or even FFXV. That’s saying something
Honorable Mention, FFX
This game was pretty nice as well. I like the characters, and I really like the battle system. Wish they implement that more in other FF titles. I didn’t mind the linearity. I didn’t know what that word meant until FFXIII came out. They introduced voice acting in this one and even though it was cool at the time, playing this game now may make you notice a lot of awkwardness in some of the lines, and mostly by poor direction. Not much that I wanna fix in this game other that fact that Auron is deliberately holding everything back for us the viewers. The story was pretty good but I saw the true enemy coming 50 mile away but it was an excellent journey but I hated the Cloister of Trails and Blitzball, they are both intersting concepts. I admire this game for having a lot of original ideas and names for things we are familiar with, even created their own language. That’s pretty neat.
Number One, FF9
I’m glad I’m not alone when I say that FF9 is very good. It pretty much came at a time when the PS2 was released, and many people glossed over this game in order to get that. Whatever is was, this game was dangerously underrated. I thought I was gonna hate this game by the way the characters looked, but surprisingly I was really having fun with the game, I mean really having fun with it. I don’t know, something about it. This became my most FF favorite game and I was able to like everybody. This is Hironobu Sakuguchi’s favorite game as well so there’s gotta something about it.I like how the game felt, I like the main cast- Vivi was awesome, Steiner was funny, Zidane was a nice change after the emo Cloud and emo Squall. The music was great. Everything felt great until the third disc. I mean come on, Necron? After reading the Ultimania of this, I really wished they would have implemented the crystals and their functions in the actual game. One thing I’m very interested in is how each FF logo in the title would fit into the story. For FF9, it was a crystal and the crystal only shows up at the very end for a few minutes or something. According to the Ultimania, there were more crystals (or at least each planet has a crystal) and they served a higher purpose of being the preserver of life and manages the cycle of souls. None of that were mentioned in the game. it was as if the Ultmania was written as an afterthought way after the game was actually made. In fact, before I read the Ultimania, the ideas I had for the crystals were strikingly similar to the ones mentioned in there. I actually wanted the final boss to be a Crystal Guardian of Gaia or something, a being that felt that the crystal was being threatened thanks to Kuja, and it summoned its own Crystal Warrior, that could bear a striking resemblance to a Warrior of Light from FF1, to defend it from anyone and would kill anyone without discrimination until the crystal was repaired and safe again. Anything other than the dumbass Necron, who we have never heard of up until we come up to him. I understand that this game focused on Life and Death but come on, all we needed was Zidane’s speech before the final battle and then we are good. Anyway, this game was pretty awesome and it became the most favorite FF game of all time and I’ve yet to see anything else that topped that.