Edited 1 year, 7 months ago

Poll: Which final fantasy's are a must play? (181 votes)

Final Fantasy 10%
Final Fantasy II 4%
Final Fantasy III 8%
Final Fantasy IV 43%
Final Fantasy V 15%
Final Fantasy VI 63%
Final Fantasy VII 51%
Final Fantasy VIII 27%
Final Fantasy IX 48%
Final Fantasy X/X2 44%
Final Fantasy XII 27%
Final Fantasy XII/XII2/XII3 10%

I skipped 11 and 14 cause they are MMOs

#1 Posted by believer258 (13194 posts) -

This again!?

I feel like this thread pops up every few months.

Final Fantasy 1 is something you should only play if you have an academic interest in where this whole series began. I don't think it holds up particularly well these days, even though it's been re-released several times.

Never played 2 or 3, but 2 is perhaps the only one that I've never heard any love for.

I'm playing 4 right now. If you want a good place to start, you might as well start here.

I don't know much about 5, other than its introduction of the job system that Tactics, Bravely Default, and FFXII International use.

6 is often considered the best one these days.

7 was the most popular in its day but is often outshined by 6 and 9

8 is extremely divisive. Some say it's the worst, some says it's the best. I haven't played it, but I do hear that it's easily broken.

9 takes a break from all the serious-faced drama that the series had been building up. And then goes on to be pretty serious in its own right despite being more cartoon-y than the other PS1 games.

10 is pretty linear and it marks the start of Final Fantasy changing battle systems. There's no ATB here at all.

12 is probably my personal favorite, but others really dislike it. There are no random encounters, it's very open, its world is interesting, Balthier pretty much is the main character as far as I'm concerned, and the annoying teenaged brat character is very useful in battle and doesn't actually have much to do with the story.

13 is probably the most divisive. You should play 13 if only so you can understand where each group is coming from.

So, all of that useless stuff said... I don't know where you should start. I don't know where anyone should. I've personally played (though not finished) 1, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, and 13, and I think that all of them have their own strengths and weaknesses. Just pick a random one and start there, eventually one of them will stick.

#2 Posted by YI_Orange (1235 posts) -

You should play Tactics

#3 Edited by MEATBALL (4110 posts) -

I say VI, IX and XII (XII is fantastic, and it disgusts me when people dismiss it - like when Brad or Patrick say X was the last good Final Fantasy). YI_Orange's call of FF Tactics is also a great one. X has a great battle system with an even more fun battle system in X-2, it could be worth checking out the HD remakes when they hit.

#4 Edited by notdavid (866 posts) -

Bravely Default is FF in everything but name. In fact, I'd say that it's the first one that really feels like it belongs in the series since X. It's stellar. You should play it.

XII is a fantastic game, and XIII is interesting and has a fun battle system. But both feel like they were made by different people and just had the Final Fantasy name slapped on them.

#5 Posted by Captain1ndustry (36 posts) -

9 all the way, I may be biased though as it was the first FF title I've played.

#6 Posted by crithon (3569 posts) -

pretty much play them all, except for 2. 2 has serious problem in it's design and simple in theory "use magic, level up in magic." Then it doesn't really balance everything else out, unless you sit there and whack your team mates in between battles because your defense isn't leveled out.

And tactics, don't ignore tactics, and 7 kinda aged a bit oddly, might be fandom's nostalgia of it. But it's really slow combat compared to the GBA ports of the SNES games which are fun to just level grind in those games. You might want to play these games portable, nice to grind to.

#7 Posted by Animasta (14834 posts) -

12 i'd say is the only must play.

It's just the best one of the bunch

#8 Posted by Fredchuckdave (8220 posts) -


#9 Edited by Hunter5024 (6512 posts) -

I guess that depends on your criteria for a "must play" game. If you mean in terms of quality, opinions will differ. Final Fantasy is such an inconsistent series that no one can agree about it. If you mean in terms of historical importance? Probably 1, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 13. If you're just trying to learn about the series? Here are my thoughts:

1 is not an enjoyable game by modern standards. Though in terms of importance it probably ranks up pretty high being the first and all.

2 I actively dislike. Most people don't care about this one because it didn't come out until the ps1 days I believe. Also because it's not very good.

3 is probably the least known Final Fantasy. It didn't come out in America until it had a remake on the DS. It's not as bad as the two before it, but everything it does, 5 does better.

4 (known as 2 until the ps1 days) is a classic. Likely because it was the first SNES game, got a release outside of Japan, and introduced the ATB system that would be used until Final Fantasy 10 got rid of it. This is a must play I'd say. The story and gameplay aren't aging super well though. I think in a few years people will say the same things about 4 that I said about 1. So play it while you have a chance. Jeff's favorite for some reason.

5 is also a lesser known game, likely because it didn't receive a release outside of Japan until the ps1 either. It's sort of an oddity in the series because it focuses a lot more on gameplay than some of the other ones do. I like it a whole lot!

6 is the final super nintendo entry and widely regarded as one of the best in the series. Story wise it holds up way better than a lot of the others, and the gameplay is great too. One of my two favorites. Absolutely play this one.

7 is the first ps1 game and one of the most well known in the series. It's one of the most popular in the franchise but the cool kids don't like it anymore. It's my other favorite. It's aging pretty poorly though. I'd definitely say you should play it.

8, pretty much what Believer says. Some people love it, some people hate it. I love it, though not unconditionally. Probably don't need to play this one.

9 is great. It intentionally tries to evoke some of the older trappings of the franchise, which they began to stray from in 6 and 7. By the end of the game though, I'd say it really comes across more half and half. This game is wildly popular on this site, ranked 1 or 2 next to 6. I haven't seen that sentiment echoed elsewhere though. A lot of the classic Final Fantasy fans I know think it's too much like the modern ones, and vice versa. Certainly an interesting one. Probably play this one.

10 is the last Final Fantasy that people seemed to agree was good. It adds a few things, changes a few things, certainly falls more on the modern side of things than the classic side. Most people I know who love Final Fantasy 10 are latecomers to the series. Still holds up great.

12 is another divisive game. I don't care for the combat, because it's not very engaging at all. I think the story is ill executed, and I think 4 of the 6 main characters are far too shallow to care about. Some weird people like it though.

13 is generally disliked. Most people say it's too linear, takes too long to get going, has generally annoying characters, and an incomprehensible story. When you stack it all up like that it sounds pretty horrible, though it's not as bad as some people make it out to be. It's still pretty bad though. It does have its supporters though, particularly on this site.

#10 Edited by fisk0 (5603 posts) -

I'm really fond of 4, 5, 6 and 12 (and I'm kinda getting into 14 too).

Oh, and the Final Fantasy Legends games on Game Boy don't get enough love. I especially loved Final Fantasy Legend III.

This tune alone is probably one of the best songs in the entire Final Fantasy series:

Loading Video...

#11 Posted by ArbitraryWater (13279 posts) -

We get this thread enough times that I feel like I've said what I'm going to say a thousand times already:

Final Fantasy is such a varied (and divisive) series that there isn't any real definitive answer to that question. For my part, I don't think you'll find much objection to skipping all 3 NES installments, and I think most people are going to tell you to play all 3 of the SNES ones (or at least I will, because I like FF V). After that its sort of up in the air.

#12 Posted by ViciousBearMauling (1779 posts) -

Look, let's get real. Final Fantasy 7 is over-rated. Come on, go back and try to play that game, my nostalgia got the shit beaten out of it after I went back to that game.

FF 6 is hands down a MUST play. It's really fantastic.

FF 8 might be fantastic or awful in your eyes, really have to form that opinion for yourself.

FF 10 is an interesting one, 10-2 isn't good.

FF 12 is Star Wars, not joking, should really check it out.

#13 Posted by wjb (1774 posts) -

No offense, OP, but we get this every few weeks.

I'd say @believer258 has the right idea. XII is my favorite, too.

I'll leave it at that.

#14 Edited by Steadying (1748 posts) -

VII and X. Skip X-2.

Oh yeah, play Crisis Core too, but do that AFTER you play VII.

#15 Edited by Lyisa (429 posts) -

1, 4, 6, 7, and 9 are the most important ones, and the ones most worth looking at.

1 can be substituted for 3 if you prefer, 3 is definitely more playable (and the ds remake was pretty good).

4 is okay and a lot of peoples favorite. It, like 3, has a ds remake that makes it easier to get into.

6 is probably what most people around here consider to be the best one.

7 is worth playing if only to see what people were talking about and where all the love comes from.

9 is worth playing after you've played the other games, and probably loses value to people who haven't played the other ff games.

Keep in mind also that all of these games are old and the mechanics in each are incredibly dated, simple, or broken (and sometimes all 3). I assume you're asking because you have some interest in seeing what Final Fantasy is all about and my list was compiled as such.

@yi_orange said:

You should play Tactics

Also this.

#16 Edited by LiquidPrince (16602 posts) -

Can't really say because FF is one of those series where everyone has differing opinions on. My favorites are 7 and 13. Bravely Default is sort of a modern day combination of all the FF's in some way or another.

#17 Posted by Xeiphyer (5701 posts) -

Final Fantasy Tactics.

Also IV, V, VI, VII, IX, and X.

#18 Posted by Nev (607 posts) -

@animasta said:

12 i'd say is the only must play.

It's just the best one of the bunch

She's right. I agree with this.

Play 4, 6, 9 and 12. Done.

#19 Posted by xyzygy (10596 posts) -

There is no answer, they are all good in their own way (some more than others). My favorites are VIII, X, XIII but I like them all really. Least favorite possibly being 9 because the aesthetic is just annoying and it doesn't really do anything special.

#20 Posted by egg (1665 posts) -

definitely the original on NES

But play all of them because they all have randomly triggered encounters (except 12 and 13) and therefore are highly enjoyable.

Don't play 12 and 13, everyone knows they suck. People who defend them are FF series apologists who feel the need to defend every aspect of the series.

#21 Posted by lilyWhite (31 posts) -

Every one of them, so a person can form their own opinion about which games they personallylike and which ones they personally do not enjoy. Because when you're unable to distinguish between personal opinion and objective quality, you get brilliant people who say that games that sold very well are "generally disliked" and that "everyone knows they suck".

#22 Edited by Veektarius (5521 posts) -

You will receive every answer except 2, 3, 5, and 13.

Edit: Some people may say 13 but I think they're being contrarian and would admit it's really not a 'must play' even if they like it.

Here are my opinions
1: Basically nothing more than a template for the mechanics and the general story many of the others will center themselves around. Some people talk about playing games because of history. Definitely don't play it for the game.

2&3: I played fan translations of these years and years ago. I can only say they didn't hold my interest; I don't remember anything else.

4: A good debut on 16 bit systems that is the first to integrate an interesting cast of characters. I couldn't have been less interested in the story.

5: Oh wait, I could have been less interested in the story, because that's how I feel about 5. This game is very grindy because it incorporates a job system.

6: This is the first in the series to experiment with a non-generic fantasy setting, which makes it interesting on its own. It's also the first to spice up the combat with key input special attacks. I'd say it's the first "must-play".

7: I have a lot of nostalgia for this game. The combat isn't as interesting as 6's, but its world is probably the most interesting in the series (some might pick 8 for that) and it has a great cast of characters. I don't know if I'd rate it a must play because of the dated graphics, but if you can put up with the screenshots, go for it.

8: This game has a great setting and a pretty interesting story, but I really disliked its characters, and people's opinions of its attempts to innovate on the gameplay of Final Fantasy range from "somewhat tedious" to "broken".

9: Sort of like playing a child's story. It's a fun game, but the art style never stopped bugging me. Maybe it's a must play, I'm not sure.

10: Really interesting story and setting and has the best character in FF history (Auron). You'll probably end up hating some of the others. I like the way they changed combat and am sorry they didn't keep it. Never played the sequel. Must play

12: A few very good characters and a few very weak ones in one of Final Fantasy's smallest casts. The combat was a major step backward for me and the setting wasn't so great but man, I really loved the dialogue. Very mixed feelings on it.

13: This game is basically the opposite of 12. The dialogue sucks, the setting is strange but more convoluted than interesting, but the gameplay is really good - they're just a bit slow in rolling it out. I enjoyed myself enough to beat it and even gave 13-2 a shot (but did not beat that). It's a very 'fresh'-feeling game, just not a particularly good one, if that makes sense.

#23 Edited by McLargepants (430 posts) -

I'll start by saying that Final Fantasy XI is the best in the series, and its unfortunate that you can't enjoy it in the same way I did years ago.

I think the ones you absolutely should play are 4,6,7,9,10, and 12. 4,6 and 9 are the ones I really like out of those, 12 is fun too and gets a bad rap. Enough people really dig 10, and its getting an HD release soon, that you should play it, but thats one I could never revisit, its just too stupid for lack of a better word. And 7 is way too up its own ass, but again its a seminal piece of fiction, that you should definitely experience.

Play them in that order too to get the "full" effect.

#24 Posted by Darji (5412 posts) -

You should basically play everything from 6-14 up. 1-5 are just so outdated that they are mostly not fun for new players anymore. Maybe skip the sequels and spin offs completely. And personally I think 7 and 9 are the worst modern ones with 8 and 10 the best ones.

Also something very important to note: The story in FFXI is one or maybe even the best story a FF game ever had. Yes it is a MMO and today very easy and casual but the story is still more than worth it. 14 is a fun MMO to play as well but since there is not as much addons and content as XI has you do not need to play it in general.

#25 Edited by TobbRobb (5325 posts) -

What Final Fantasies you should play is honestly mostly up to taste. Take a look at 4-13 and see which one looks most up your alley thematically. They all play differently enough that you can go back and forth without any major issues.

#26 Edited by Seppli (11233 posts) -

I voted for FFVI and nothing else, because it was my first Final Fantasy game, and every other Final Fantasy game I played was mildly disappointing at best in comparison to that experience. If you enjoy JRPGs, you should be fine with any of 'em from IV upwards. The first few are just too... old and generic by any standard.

#27 Posted by shinboy630 (1356 posts) -

Little piece of advice regarding FFXII specifically. Play the International Zodiac Job System version if you can. I am currently playing through it now after not liking XII when it came out and it takes a hot mess of a leveling/license systems and actually makes it decent through the introduction of jobs with their own unique license board. It is a true game-changer.

#28 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7597 posts) -

4,6,7 and 9.

Some of the others are pretty good, but those are the absolute must plays.

#29 Posted by Aetheldod (3914 posts) -

All of them or none of them .... I finally found out that with this series is always about personal opinions what some consider unbarable some consider great and vice versa. In my case I love most FFVIII and FFXIII/2 (well playing right now , so fas so good) and yet I deeply hated and disliked IX and XII . But I think that is good because theres something for everybody.

#30 Posted by Superkenon (1583 posts) -

I think it's worth playing all of them, if only for academic reasons. The Final Fantasies, especially from 5 and on, all get really varied in their themes and sensibilities.

Just no knowing what might click. Play 'em all and join the divisive conversation.

#31 Edited by Hunter5024 (6512 posts) -

@lilywhite said:

you get brilliant people who say that games that sold very well are "generally disliked" and that "everyone knows they suck".

People enjoy every game they buy?

#32 Edited by TruthTellah (9711 posts) -

Tactics, Chrono Trigger, and Xenogears.

#33 Posted by Hippie_Genocide (1135 posts) -

IV, V, VI, IX, and XII

I'll admit, I loved VII and VIII when they came out, but they don't hold up well at all and aren't the timeless classics that I mentioned above. FFVII is not a must play from a "wow, what a great game" standpoint, but it's kind of like required reading, if you will. FFV I feel is the most underrated in the series among gamers outside of Japan. Really more people need to play that because it rarely gets mentioned in opinion polls like this. It's my personal favorite.

#34 Posted by Cubical (667 posts) -


#35 Posted by Rebel_Scum (968 posts) -

4,6,7 and 9.

Some of the others are pretty good, but those are the absolute must plays.

This is a nice way to put it so...


#36 Edited by Fattony12000 (8007 posts) -
  • Final Fantasy
  • Final Fantasy III
  • Final Fantasy VI
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Final Fantasy X
  • Final Fantasy XII

Would give you a good taste of the types of things going on in that series.

Loading Video...
#37 Edited by Yesiamaduck (1532 posts) -



I mean they aren't great stories, bloated, the best ones have aged terribly and the new ones were tripe to begin with.

At a push I'll say Tactics and 6 but everything else was very much a game of their time, I tried to replay FF7 recently after adoring it as a child and it's not held up at all.

#38 Posted by Jagged85 (213 posts) -
#39 Posted by NorthSarge (275 posts) -

Tactics. (i liked 7, 8, 9, & 10 as well)

#40 Posted by iceman228433 (709 posts) -

I would go with 4 and 6

#41 Posted by BD_Mr_Bubbles (1834 posts) -


#42 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2646 posts) -



I mean they aren't great stories, bloated, the best ones have aged terribly and the new ones were tripe to begin with.

At a push I'll say Tactics and 6 but everything else was very much a game of their time, I tried to replay FF7 recently after adoring it as a child and it's not held up at all.

Final Fantasy VI, VII, VIII, IX and X are as good today as the day they were released.

Final Fantasy IX especially.

#43 Posted by benspyda (2128 posts) -

My first FF experience was FFX and I really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed X-2 and XII. I had a mostly miserable time with XIII due to finding Hope, Snow and Vanille completely unbearable and the rest of the cast very dull. The previous instalments on PS1 never really clicked with me going back, they've just dated so much. I've played pieces of the SNES stuff and they seem fine.

Also I am loving the hell out of Bravely Default which is pretty much just an FF game without Chocobos.

#44 Posted by Hailinel (25787 posts) -

Final Fantasy IX is in third place? Really?

#45 Posted by Canteu (2968 posts) -


#46 Posted by Darji (5412 posts) -

@hailinel said:

Final Fantasy IX is in third place? Really?

Yeah I know should be in the last place. Man this game was so bad.... Especially the characters except Vivi of course. The only highlight.

#47 Edited by horseman6 (801 posts) -

IV, V and VI are all you need to play. Everything past that has been awful. If you hate your life, go ahead and play VIII, X, X-2, and XII. The stories and voice acting. . . ugh. It's sad because XII has a damn good battle system, reminiscent of Vagrant Story but the story is so terrible that it sucks all of the fun out of the game.

#48 Posted by Dasacant2 (245 posts) -

Well I generally like 4-12 but I think if you are a new comer 6 and 10 hold up the best.

Look, let's get real. Final Fantasy 7 is over-rated.

I don't know if this is true anymore. It seems half the time it is mentioned today is to say how terrible it is.

#49 Posted by Slag (5965 posts) -

Well I think VI and IV are the pinnacle of the series.

but I suppose if I had to pick one and only one it would be Vii even though it's not close to being my personal favorite. Just as the game got too much praise back in the day, it gets too much hate now.

It was the most culturally significant and probably offers the best fusion of the old and new sensibilities. It would provide a pretty good glimpse into the series a whole.

#50 Posted by Fattony12000 (8007 posts) -