#1 Edited by GalacticGravy (544 posts) -

Please, only looking for feedback from people who have experience with these games.

I recently beat Final Fantasy VI and I'm probably about 5 hours from beating Final Fantasy V. I will soon have beaten Final Fantasy V-X. What's missing is I, II, III, IV, XII, and XIII. I haven't played a JRPG in a long time (since picking up FFVI a month or so ago) and so far I'm enjoying this kick I'm on.

Thinking about beating the original 4 games. As I go back in time I see more and more little things that make it less fun. Hard to understand magic descriptions. Enemies don't show status ailments (no way of telling if they're still asleep). NO details about special swords (you have to use it in battle before you know it casts "Drain"). I know I can use a guide but I have my phone in my lap while playing FFV and I'm CONSTANTLY looking up what items do. I wonder if playing FFI is really going to be any fun or will I just be super frustrated? I know you can only save at the Inn. Uugh. Sounds like fun already.

I don't want to cheat at all. I don't want to use save states or anything.

#2 Posted by MideonNViscera (2257 posts) -

1 is definitely a miserable fucking waste of time. I have never played 2, but I played the DS remake of 3 and it was hard as hell with a high chance of dying deep into a dungeon without a save point. I'd say fuck them all except 4. 4 is fantastic.

#3 Posted by GreggD (4477 posts) -

Real talk, the only FF game I ever finished was FFI on the GBA.

#4 Posted by Zeik (2206 posts) -

4 is one of the better FFs. I'm not the biggest FF fan, but I'd place up there closer to the top than a lot of them.

I actually really liked FF1 when I played it, and the first time I played it was not that long ago. (Relative to when it came out.) I'd have to chalk up at least part of that to a very specific mindset I was in when I played it, but I enjoyed it. Don't play it if you're not prepared to grind though.

#5 Edited by GERALTITUDE (2903 posts) -

IV is fucking excellent, everybody knows that. There's really zero reason to lump it with I-III which are so, so much simpler in terms of story and mechanics.

I thought III was decent, at the very least it isn't that long and let's be real, what kind of coward doesn't finish the series? You're nearly there anyways. Ignore XIII, it's too long and garbagey. XII is very good though. Slow start but really phenomenal once it gets going. Go play I through III just so you know what they're like and get out, you'll never have fun trying to beat them though, just go in for the taste.

#6 Edited by Turambar (6673 posts) -

1 is at this point more a cultural icon and academic curiosity than a truly enjoyable game. 2 had a divisive leveling mechanic from the day of its launch, and I'm sure reception towards it has not improved since. 3 and 4 are both still enjoyable, though I suggest playing their DS remakes as opposed to going back to the original NES/SNES games.

#7 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11462 posts) -

Nothing wrong with Final Fantasy IV. There's a reason why it's been re-released a billion times, and it isn't just "Square likes easy money". You may want to be wary about the NES games though. Final Fantasy the first is a pretty straightforward dungeon crawler type thing, FF II is infamously bad and FF III is just really hard and tedious despite pioneering the job system.

#8 Posted by Hailinel (23852 posts) -

I'd rather play any of the first four games than Final Fantasy V. They're antiquated in some ways, but I still find them more enjoyable.

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#9 Posted by SlashDance (1803 posts) -

4 is a way better game than 5, so definitely play that one.

#10 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

You are linking FF 1-4 together, but FFIV is not linked to FF 1-3.

Typically the games would be grouped as

FF 1-3

FF4-6

FF 7,8

FF9

FF10,12,13

(I think)

If you liked FF 5 and 6 then definitely play 4. It's easily just as good if not better than the other games. (I think FF4 has the best music of all the games and the best combat of all the games)

FF1-3 are still fun, but you have to understand that what is fun about them is entirely different than what is fun about FF 4-6 and ENTIRELY different than what people enjoy about FF 10-13. Iwould compare FInal Fantasy 1 to Diablo more than I would compare it to something like FInal Fantasy 10 or 13.

#11 Edited by GalacticPunt (1020 posts) -

As someone who's played through all the numbered Final Fantasys, I don't think people will enjoy the first two games today. Without a boatload of nostalgia, the original FF is an extremely grindy prototype. FF2 is an extremely grindy, broken mess. FF2's skill raising system is more broken than Morrowind's. Individual stats don't raise unless they are specifically tested. If you are too good at battle strategy, you will kill monsters so fast you take very few hits. That means your Defense and Hit Points won't raise. Then that leads to you getting to dungeons where monsters will tear you apart like tissue paper because you have low Defense and Hit Points. Which means you have to back to an old dungeon, where monsters are now harmless, and make your party members hit each other for an hour to bring those stats up. Total disaster.

Since you are enjoying FF5 and 6, I think you will dig 3 and 4. FF3 introduces the multiple jobs, like FF5 has, and has some interesting temporary party members you pick up throughout its story. FF4 is kind of the "most classic" entry, full of betrayals, deaths, love triangles, multiple worlds, and many variety of Chocobos. It's the most frequently remade Final Fantasy for good reason.

#12 Posted by Sinusoidal (1283 posts) -

You are linking FF 1-4 together, but FFIV is not linked to FF 1-3.

Typically the games would be grouped as

FF 1-3

FF4-6

FF 7,8

FF9

FF10,12,13

(I think)

If you liked FF 5 and 6 then definitely play 4. It's easily just as good if not better than the other games. (I think FF4 has the best music of all the games and the best combat of all the games)

FF1-3 are still fun, but you have to understand that what is fun about them is entirely different than what is fun about FF 4-6 and ENTIRELY different than what people enjoy about FF 10-13. Iwould compare FInal Fantasy 1 to Diablo more than I would compare it to something like FInal Fantasy 10 or 13.

If you're going by console generation, then 1,2,3 on NES, 4,5,6 on SNES, 7,8, 9 on PS1, 10, 12 on PS2, and 13 all alone by its miserable self.

I think 1 is still worth playing partly to see where the series came from and partly because it is still a good game. (Use a *coughemulatorcough* and use save states and hack them for levels if you really can't stomach the grind, and the first one requires quite a bit of grind. Beware, hacking save states can ameliorate or ruin the experience. When I hacked max stats into all my characters, due to the dated mechanics of the game, the final boss ran away from my party, which counted as victory.) If after 1 you're still up for more, you can take on 2 and 3, but they're far from necessary experiences.

#13 Edited by Angouri (230 posts) -

FF1 is interesting in terms of historical value. It was interesting to see where this series started. It is grindy, but it was also pretty short (like 15-20 hours?). I appreciated it. FF2 is pretty boring, but introduces a sorta-real plot, and FF3 has some interesting mechanics, but its saved system is messed up. You will die, deep in a dungeon, and be sent back to your last save, and be SO ANGRY.

FF4 is a must-play. One of the best stories of the Final Fantasy series. Great twists and storytelling. 4-5-6 are amazing games.

And I've always grouped the FF series by platform:

1 - 2 - 3 (NES) <-- historical curiosity FFs

4 - 5 - 6 (SNES) <-- the "classic" FFs

7 - 8 - 9 (PS1) <-- the "blockbuster" FFs

10- 10-2 - 12 (PS2) <-- Square is crazy and way into bad voice acting FFs

13 - 13-2 (PS3/360) <-- when FF went real bad

#14 Posted by GalacticGravy (544 posts) -

It sounds like FFI and FFIV are the only ones I should tackle out of the originals. I think I'd probably agree with @turambar that I'd enjoy it as an academic excursion more than anything.

You guys also reminded me of something!

Years ago on my old DS I bought Final Fantasy III. I played it for a couple hours but it was BRUTAL and even simple battles were giving me trouble, so I sold it. Totally forgot about that.

#15 Posted by TheRealMoot (352 posts) -

Final Fantasy 4 is some good stuff! Story, characters, music, combat etc. It's just got one catch: Brutally difficult (In comparison to all the other Final Fantasy games) At the start of the game almost any enemy on the world map can instantly kill you and most of the bosses have to be fought using specific techniques or they will wipe you out in one or two turns. Check it out! It's awesome. (Seriously, I love it.)

Final fantasy 3? I played the DS version, and It's kinda like the first 2. Very little in the way of story, strict saving rules (Only on the world map) and the job system is simple. You are one class. You can change. But nothing caries over. It's not to memorable, but it has all the problems you listed like the status ailments and item stuff.

Final Fantasy 2: F*CK IT. Played through that recently, for the first time, and I hated everything about it. The leveling up system, which could be likened to Skyrim or Oblivion. It's neat that every character is a blank slate and you can turn them into anything you want... but the game is kinda broken by it. If you cast a lot of spells, you gain more MP... but if your spells cost very little or too much your not going to gain any. The weapon leveling system is broken too. You only gain experience in any given weapon class by attacking enemies the game deems stronger that you. Most enemies, are not deemed that way. The game also has no permanent 4th party member. They get rotated out constantly as part of the story and there always under powered. The games dumb.

The first Final Fantasy is cool. There's very little in the way of story, but it's a neat little adventure to collect some crystals. You choose your four characters at the start of the game and have to live with that choice. The worst part is the... exploration? Nobody tells you what to do after the first objective or two and you have to talk to every single person in every single town till you hear something that might be a lead of the next story progression quest. I got lost for hours till eventually some random towns person said something along the lines of "There's supposedly a fairy in the forest" and I had something to go on. But after that I was lost again... The game doesn't hold your hand, it just tosses you in the pool and tells you to swim. Not how to swim, just too swim.

#16 Posted by TobbRobb (4579 posts) -

4 is good, you won't have any issues there. 1-3 however are like 5 except even more broken and obscure. Tread at your own risk.

#17 Posted by Hunter5024 (5535 posts) -

1 is really tedious and boring in a modern context. I beat it for the first time a few years ago, and felt like it was kind of a waste of time. If you have no nostalgia for it then you will probably only enjoy it as a historical curiosity.

2 is the game I have the least experience with. I've played the first couple hours maybe 3 times and something different made me give up on it each time.

3 is just like 5, but not as good.

4 is alright. I played it again earlier this year and I don't think it holds up as well as people seem to think it does. A lot of my enjoyment came from my nostalgia for the game. Lots of people like to recommend the DS version because it has better graphics, but bear in mind that they made the DS version much harder and grindier than the original.

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#18 Posted by Video_Game_King (35976 posts) -

Final Fantasy III/IV: Retro fun.

Final Fantasy II: Miserable slog.

Final Fantasy I: Eh, it depends. It takes a certain mindset to get any enjoyment out of it.

#19 Edited by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

I think Final Fantasy 1 gets a bad rap. I think it admittedly plays different than any other FF game, but I think many of the things it does right are things that Final Fantasy is worse for not carrying along within the series.

For instance, in FF1, your character can use a broad range of weapons, and it's up to you to choose what you equip them with. Every store sells almost everything. So if you want your monk to go barehanded... awesome. That's up to you. If you want them to use nunchaku... awesome. that's up to you. In later FF games, they made the ridiculous choice to have every store JUST HAPPEN to sell whatever weapons your current party members use, no matter how obscure a weapon it is, and it just HAPPENS to be one notch better than the one they have equipped. There was something really awesome about going into the store and having to make decisions like "Okay, I could grind up forever and then buy this one flaming sword of awesomeness for one of my characters, but then everyone else is going to have no weapons or armor to speak of, OR I could use the money more wisely and buy everyone dinkier weapons and also be able to afford healing potions and tents..."

Which is really the crux of FF1. It's more about resource management and strategy than it is story and graphics. that's why I liken it more to diablo than newer FF games. One of the reasons I was such a huge fan of Final Fantasy Tactics is because it felt more like Final Fantasy 1 than any FF game afterwards, to me.

#20 Posted by Driadon (2995 posts) -

If you like the combat system, 1 is a great time, though only if you're playing the re-releases (GBA version or beyond) as the original FF1 was a grindy misbalanced mess of a game compared to modern designs.(and is the only core FF i've ever completed, the others being all of the FF Tactics games)

2 is very different and strange. Story is still pretty lite, core game systems are way different with weapon specialties, ect. It may float your boat, but I can't recommend it with what little I played of it.

I'm slowly playing 3 on my phone and it's pretty fun. It feels a bit like 2 in some instances, but its all job based and is way more balanced from what I've played of the two. There's a more pixel-hunty bits to it, but nothing that doesn't feel enjoyable.

#21 Posted by Max_Cherry (1131 posts) -

First off, you can't use the word "retro" in a forum thread title; preferably, you shouldn't use that word at all unless it's a prefix to a compatible word root such as active or grade. That's just common sense. As to your question: just skip ff2. If you can only play one then play ff4. It's amazing. Yours. -James

#22 Edited by mosespippy (4031 posts) -

I played FF1 and 2 for the first time in probably 2005 or 2006. They were old school fun. I particularly like that in 2 the characters don't level up, their ability with the weapons and spells that they use does. It's different from the typical system in a refreshing way. I tried to play FF5 last year and did not like it at all. I stopped after maybe 6 hours.

#23 Posted by Solfege (13 posts) -

FFIV is definitely worth your time. FFXII is probably my favorite FF game, so yeah. The first two have such basic stories and mechanics that they never really clicked with me.

I´m currently playing through the Snes trio on GBA and it´s awesome! Great series.

#24 Posted by Verendus (348 posts) -

While I-III aren't exactly the best out of FF games, they're still a lot better than XIII.

FFIV is brilliant game though.

#25 Posted by Icicle7x3 (1173 posts) -

I played through I and II earlier this year and still had a pretty fun time with them, but I can understand how they might not be for everyone.

#26 Posted by Tajasaurus (789 posts) -

MISERABLE FUN

#27 Posted by Slag (3989 posts) -

@galacticgravy: IV is the only one that stands up today. If you really want to play 3, definitely do the DS remake.

1 is just really raw and hasn't aged well

2 was always strange and has easily the worst combat system.

#28 Edited by probablytuna (3533 posts) -

You should've started with the first Final Fantasy. If you played through the "newer" titles it's obvious that it'll be difficult to go back. It's like if you played GTA V then go play GTA III for the first time. I played Final Fantasy, II and III on my iPhone and I thought they were pretty great games. Granted they were all remastered versions (III being the DS 3D remake) and I played the PSP version of IV. Having seen the visual upgrades it was a little difficult going into FFV (have yet to finish it).

#29 Posted by Noblenerf (310 posts) -

Thinking about beating the original 4 games. As I go back in time I see more and more little things that make it less fun. Hard to understand magic descriptions. Enemies don't show status ailments (no way of telling if they're still asleep). NO details about special swords (you have to use it in battle before you know it casts "Drain"). I know I can use a guide but I have my phone in my lap while playing FFV and I'm CONSTANTLY looking up what items do. I wonder if playing FFI is really going to be any fun or will I just be super frustrated? I know you can only save at the Inn. Uugh. Sounds like fun already.

I don't want to cheat at all. I don't want to use save states or anything.

Final Fantasy 1, in its original NES form, came with two fold-out guides: one detailing the world map, objectives, and the most of the dungeons, and the other detailing almost every enemy in the game, as well as a spell/item chart on the back side. It was not a 100% guide, but it let the player know a great deal about the game. They were necessary, as it is not a straightforward game. For instance, party members never change targets so you need to manually keep track of enemy's HP (there are no lifebars, if I recall correctly) otherwise your party will waste their turn attacking nothing. There will also be times where you'll need to grind for a while to gain enough power to defeat certain enemies, or money to buy new equipment.

It may not sound like it, but make no mistake: Final Fantasy 1 for the NES is a fun, great game. Just keep in mind the era that it released in.

If you want to avoid the archaic design of Final Fantasy 1 & 2, play one of the re-releases. They're insufferably easy, and there is no need for any sort of guides to complete them.

#30 Posted by frankfartmouth (1016 posts) -

1-3 are definitely a bit dated, but I wouldn't necessarily say you shouldn't play them. They're pretty quick and easy, so you can burn through them with little pain and at least say you did it.

IV is great, one of my favorites in the series.

#31 Posted by Veektarius (4579 posts) -

I don't like IV very much; the story is kind of silly and it's pretty easy to miss important things without a walkthrough, but I like it better than V.

#32 Posted by MikeLemmer (526 posts) -

I would play the first hour of FF1 to taste its old-school style, then complete the entirety of FF4.

Honestly, if we're talking NES RPGs, I would avoid the Final Fantasy series and play the Dragon Warrior series instead. Dragon Warrior 1 is worse than Final Fantasy 1. Dragon Warrior 2 is decent, but skippable. Dragon Warrior 3 lets you choose your teammates' classes and ties into Dragon Warrior 1 & 2 in a crazy way. Dragon Warrior 4 is the best RPG on the NES. (Not counting Mother since it wasn't released in the US.)

#33 Posted by Video_Game_King (35976 posts) -

Dragon Warrior 1 is worse than Final Fantasy 1. Dragon Warrior 2 is decent, but skippable. Dragon Warrior 3 lets you choose your teammates' classes and ties into Dragon Warrior 1 & 2 in a crazy way. Dragon Warrior 4 is the best RPG on the NES.

I agree with this.

(Not counting Mother since it wasn't released in the US.)

But not this. The original Mother was grindy as fuck and lacking the clear character and humor that make Earthbound as good as it is.

#34 Posted by Brendan (7685 posts) -

@mideonnviscera: Just popped in to say that I accidentally flagged your post, so while the mods drag you away into banland unjustly please don't vow revenge on me!

#35 Posted by cbarnes86 (545 posts) -

I would definitely play 4. It has an incredible story and goes some interesting places. I would also play 1 just to see where the series came from. Maybe not beat it, but it depends how interested you are. It does some crazy things considering where it came from and the remakes are pretty good. I have never beaten 2 or 3, but for obvious reasons. These never came to America until the re-releases and by then, it is hard to go back and play that type of game (especially after 6 and forward). Really depends on how much time you have. The first 4 really lay the foundation on the rest of the franchise and it is interesting going back and seeing where some of the features have come from.

#36 Posted by MideonNViscera (2257 posts) -

@brendan said:

@mideonnviscera: Just popped in to say that I accidentally flagged your post, so while the mods drag you away into banland unjustly please don't vow revenge on me!

It's ok. I frequently have my posting abilities taken away haha

#37 Edited by MormonWarrior (2541 posts) -

The first good Final Fantasy game was VI.

THERE, I SAID IT.

#38 Edited by Nasar7 (2598 posts) -

Play IV, skip the rest.

#39 Edited by Marz (5642 posts) -

ff2 aka 4 for snes is worth playing. you can also play the DS version if you want to play a pretty good 3d remake of the game.

#40 Edited by MikkaQ (10268 posts) -

1 was fun for historical purposes, just seeing how much of that game has carried over into every other FF game is kinda cool.

IV is a genuinely cool game, the other two are pretty boring to me.